Elizabeth J. Sparrow is a native New Yorker, and a graduate of Hunter College and New York University. She rarely writes about what she knows because there’s no fun in that. "Story-telling is about discovery and creating characters that behave willfully despite your earnest efforts to wrangle them into a cohesive narrative." Her two most compelling literary influences are the prose and poetry of Freddy the Pig and the blessed incantations and benzedrine-infused inspiration of Jack Kerouac.
"Run Away, Lizzy"
With knife-like precision, Reilly asked, “Lizzy, what are you going to do when I’m no longer around for you to run away from? Have you thought about that?”
Her mouth puckered in a catch of surprise. He realized that the little girl in her had assumed the game would go on until she said it was over.
1968: During one of her father’s raucous Hollywood parties, ten-year-old Elizabeth Jane (E.J.) Hatton meets twenty-two-year old Texan heartthrob, Reilly Donner while swinging from a fourteen-foot ladder and hoping for a soft landing. She falls hard…for him.
1982: E.J is drowning in sadness after the death of her adored father. Reilly swaggers back into her life (“arrogant, patronizing and in love with the sound of his voice”) as the director of her Uncle Wade’s latest project: a prime time soap opera. As the associate producer, she’s not about to swoon over her childhood crush who riles her up by renaming her “Lizzy”, and who teases and bullies her as if she’s a child in need of a firm hand. She does her damn best to avoid him while trying to ignore those little fluttering sensations in her stomach whenever he gets too close.
Reilly is mystified, frustrated and eventually, smitten with E.J’s elusive and at times, downright perplexing behavior. He pursues her with the stealthy determination of a bobcat stalking its next meal.
Conflict arises when the soap’s leading lady, an old flame of Reilly’s, sees his budding infatuation as a threat to her plans for a rekindled affair. She’s harboring a secret about Lizzy’s father - waiting for the opportune moment to reveal it.
“Run Away, Lizzy” is a romantic comedy-drama that combines the frothy elements of making a prime time soap opera with the sexy shenanigans of a mismatched but meant-to-be couple.
The Irish Tempest2016
Press and Media Mentions
- "Once you start this novel, be prepared not to put it back down! I found The Irish Tempest to be a beautiful and well-written tale of friendship, revenge, love and betrayal. It's simply addictive and truly fascinating..." San Francisco Book Review "The fates of two families mesh with Ireland's struggle for independence in this debut novel. Using several historical events and a large socially diverse cast means that Sparrow must keep multiple plates spinning, and some plotlines and characters feel underdeveloped. Yet the author finds emotional resonance when her players intersect with history..." Kirkus Reviews "The Irish Tempest" reveals author Elizabeth J. Sparrow as having a genuine flair for deftly creating memorable characters and a riveting storyline that fully engages the reader's attention from beginning to end. Midwest Book Review, February 2017
- Critic's Report – The Booklife Prize in Fiction Title: The Irish Tempest Author: Elizabeth J. Sparrow Genre: Fiction/General Fiction (including literary and historical) Audience: Adult Word Count: 87,335 Assessment: Sparrow's novel about two aristocratic families coping with World War I and the Irish War of Independence is expertly plotted and features well drawn characters and solid prose. The female protagonist, Lacey, is a headstrong heroine, but nonetheless nuanced. She’s equally drawn to a family friend 10 years her senior and a street-tough orphan closer in age. Both could be described as bad boys, a choice guaranteed to heat up the sex scenes. Score: • Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10 • Originality: 8 out of 10 • Prose: 8 out of 10 • Character/Execution: 8 out of 10 • Overall: 8.25 out of 10