Book Reviews, Reading

In support of Indie authors … or what I read this summer

Writing proved elusive for me most of this summer, but I used that time to read. I’m an Indie author, so I believe I should support other Indie authors. I read books by five of them:  Judy Croome, Davin Malasarn, Cathryn Grant, Natasha Alexander, and Christa Polkinhorn.

You may have heard a lot about how much junk there is at the online bookstores since self-publishing has become relatively easy and inexpensive. Well, I didn’t read any junk. They were all different genres, and ranged from fun to serious, but they were all worthwhile reads. I’ll share my reviews.

Dancing in the Shadows of Love is the kind of book that makes me wish I knew how to write a better review. I’m simply overwhelmed. Judy Croome has written a book that’s gorgeous, brilliant, heart-breaking, uplifting, empowering … and more!

Although the story takes place in a purposely undefined place and time, the characters are painfully real. The story follows three women, each with a damaged soul, as they yearn to be loved, but first they need to define love and, in order to do that, they must learn to forgive. The mysterious Enoch is their guide for this spiritual journey.

Judy Croome’s writing is impeccable and her insight into the soul of man astounding. I believe this book came straight from her heart—and that heart is a large and beautiful one.

If I could, I’d give this book six stars. I’m definitely looking forward to her next one.(Amazon; [ebook and print] Barnes & Noble; Smashwords)

The Wild Grass and Other Stories — One of the strengths of Davin Malasarn’s writing is his ability to make his characters, no matter the age, sex, nationality, or status, real and familiar to the reader. I was continually surprised to feel I’d lived a story, though he wrote of an experience foreign to me.

It’s no surprise that several in this collection of stories, written in beautiful, clean prose, have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and won or placed in competitions. The only negative for me is that I reached the last story too soon.  (Amazon [ebook and print]; Barnes & Noble; Smashwords)

In Fatal Cut, Cathryn Grant has given her protagonist Madison Keith a delightful voice. Madison is smart, witty, and more than a little curious—perfect for a church receptionist. She’s also tattooed, pierced, and unusually perceptive. In this first of a series, Grant introduces us to Madison’s particular brand of detection and mystery solving. Fatal Cut is a page-turning tale that will satisfy, but leave you hungry for the next one.  (Amazon; Barnes & Noble; Smashwords)

An Uncommon Family — In Christa Polkinhorn’s debut novel Love of a Stonemason, she introduced us to the adult Karla Bocelli and in this prequel she takes us back to Karla’s childhood. We learn more of what life was like for the child artist Karla as she dealt with the death of her mother and a long-distance father, but the heart of the book is a love story, complicated by secrets.

This time around it’s Karla’s aunt Anna, hardened toward love by a devastating secret in her past, who must decide whether to let artist and teacher Jonas into her heart. When Jonas, who has lost his beloved wife to cancer, discloses a secret to Anna, he only confirms her distrust of men. But the determined Karla won’t give up. She uses all her youthful ingenuity in trying to form those she loves into An Uncommon Family.

In this well-told story, the author takes us on tour from Switzerland to New York City to Mexico and back again, allowing us to experience these locales through the eyes and hearts of her characters. An Uncommon Family is another pleasurable read from the talented Christa Polkinhorn.  (Amazon [ebook and print]; Barnes & Noble; Smashwords)

Just Desserts: Greed. Lust. Death. Tiramisu. — Does Natasha Alexander know how to create interesting characters, or what? This hilarious and outrageous romp features bombs, boobs, books, and a beach! What more could you ask for? Scrumptious food? Oh, yes it has that too—but watch out, it could be deadly.  (Amazon; Barnes & Noble; Smashwords)

Blog Stuff, Fun Fridays, Writing

Versatile and irresistibly sweet?

My email inbox is an abyss. If I don’t respond immediately, I’m likely to either think that I did, or forget I ever received the email. Two months ago Kate Cardon Parish awarded this blog the Versatile Blogger Award. Her email arrived during the comment blitz after WordPress Freshly Pressed one of my posts and was promptly buried in all those email notices.

Recently, Hannah Fergesen awarded this blog the Irresistibly Sweet award. Both rules for these awards state that I must share 7 random facts about myself and pass the award on to 15 other blogs. I’ll combine the rules, meaning I’ll reveal only 7 facts, not 14, and share them with only 15 bloggers, not 30. So, read the enthralling tidbits about me and then go visit Kate and Hannah’s excellent blogs. Then, visit the blogs listed below. Or be rebellious and do none of the above.

  1. I don’t like the taste of coffee … in any form.
  2. I get anxious when I sweat.
  3. The first book I ever checked out of a public library was A Mouse in the House. (Not the book currently in print.)
  4. I have seen a ghost.
  5. By the age of 26, I was the mother of four boys.
  6. I can’t swim.
  7. I’ve worn the same shade of nail polish on my toes for 38 years. It’s by Revlon, and they change the color name from time to time.

Now aren’t you glad you stopped by my blog today? I mean, really, how could you have lived the rest of your life not knowing those facts about me?

Okay, I’m supposed to pass these awards on to 15 blogs, but I know some of you already have these awards or don’t do “fun” posts. If so, ignore the rules and just consider this a shout out to your blog. And I’ll add one extra for luck. New and old friends, in no particular order:

  1. Kayla Olson
  2. Michelle Davidson Argyle
  3. Christa Polkinhorn
  4. T.A. Olivia
  5. Natasha Drew
  6. Jennifer Neri
  7. Laura Best
  8. Amanda Hoving
  9. Cathryn Grant
  10. Christi Craig
  11. Trisha Sutton
  12. Kasie West
  13. Candice Kennington
  14. J.C. Hart
  15. Heather Simone
  16. Judy Croome

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