Tuesday, June 22, 2010

From the Ashes of Courage...a review

I first encountered J. Timothy King when he emailed to ask if I’d like to do an author interview on his blog. I was more than happy to do so, returning to him an outrageously long response…which he ended up posting in its entirety, telling me he liked the content or feel too much to cut it or something along those lines. Whatever it was, it stroked my ego which is something I believe we all enjoy. Beyond that, however, it drew me into the world of an author I had previously not known. As I always do, I searched for information on Tim King. I crawled around his blogs and websites, learning all I could about this other author.

One thing jumped out at me on Tim’s sites: A book cover. Imagine that! Along with that cover came a blurb (taken directly from Tim’s website): Gail Bishop, a headstrong, driven, single-minded businesswoman, struggles with the meaning of success, and finds it in a long-lost relationship, when she accidentally gets set up on a blind date with her fun-loving ex-husband, who is struggling with his own secret problems. Romance and a unique situation. I was hooked. It sounded like my kind of story so I ordered it.

Now, as a publisher/editor/formatter/and so on, I have to tell you I am not 100% thrilled with the “look” of Tim’s book (sorry, Tim). There were a few things I found bothersome, like the use of left justification (I like a “square” look) and hyphens (can’t stand to see them in a pleasure book). Tim did use a nice sized font and the spacing in the book made it easy to read…I didn’t feel as if there was so much on a page I was overwhelmed, although I would have left a little more room at the top below the headers and at the bottom…just a tad. I would have liked to have seen the cover text a bit smaller. It seemed stark as opposed to blending yet standing out…if that makes sense! None of it was enough to set me off. I still wanted to read it, and did.

To the meat…I truly wanted to like this book/the story. Again, I did. There were a couple of parts that left me scratching my head. One for instance: when Gail, the main character, is somewhat “attacked” by her business partner and her ex-husband’s mother. It left me wondering where that came from. These two women go off at each other in these little cat fights that seem peculiar to me. They do serve a purpose in the book. They simply don’t flow quite as well as the rest.

Whew! Issues out of the way…I did love the story. And Tim’s ability to throw in lines that struck a cord with my heart was wonderful. I wanted this story to work out, wanted to help these two find each other as well as coming to terms with themselves. I felt their anguish, reservations…all of it. Tim pulled me in and held me until the end. The overall “feel” of the story was good and I very much liked and identified with his characters. The story seemed as if it could be real -- though that is not necessarily one of my own personal requirements to make a good story. Most importantly…the story left me with the feeling that these two could have happy-ever-after; my personal favorite.

My take: I’ll give it 4 stars because I did enjoy the story. I do wish the mechanics would have been better (had a bit of an eBook feel on paper). I would definitely read another of Tim’s fiction books. I have read some of Tim’s short stories/eBook offerings and enjoyed them as well. I would say it would be worth your time to take a look around Tim’s blogs/websites, read his work, and order his books. I’ve heard the Love Idiot one is a great read. It’s on my list.

Thank you, Tim, for bringing “From the Ashes of Courage” to life in a way that others could enjoy.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Father's Day

It's Father's Day weekend and I am totally beside myself because we can't agree on what we should do! My husband, father of 4 children, two dogs, and two cats, works very hard to support his family and while I would love to give him the pamper treatment, he is not that kind of a guy. My 6 year old wants to take him to the water park but mom has hurt her back, 15 YO says "no way" because of a shaving incident, and another can't afford to get sunburned because she has a swim party next week... The back is minor, so don't worry...nothing a few days won't cure. Still...what to do. We could drive up to Independence, which we love, but the heat index is going to be 104 today. Yikes. 104...outside...in the heat...all day??? We could drive up, take a quick stroll through the zoo, eat, ride the little train and carousel later in the day... 6 YO isn't satisfied. I could send them fishing...they've been practicing all week on casting. Both had to learn. But...he would not be spending time with all his children. 12 YO and 9 YO would not go fishing if their life depended upon it. What to do? What to do?!! I hate not being in control of this situation. What plans do you have???

Friday, June 11, 2010

Jaimey Grant's "Deception"

I know that I mentioned the book in the last post and am gushing over it all over FaceBook, but I just finished editing Jaimey Grant's "Deception" and I can't say enough about it! I've read numerous Jaimey Grant shorts and not too long ago purchased my first Jaimey Grant Regency Romance Novel. However, not having had the time to read it yet, "Deception" is the first of her novels I've read. Oh my...I don't know what to say besides I LOVE THIS BOOK! As a hopeless romantic, the story is right up my alley. But, beyond that, I was awed by the depth of her characters and her ability to draw me into their lives. I had heard this about Jaimey's work but was not prepared for how captivated I became...and so quickly. Even with life at full steam around me and my need for the ever-present editor's eye searching for all the "stuff" an editor must see, I found myself enthralled. You simply have to put this book on your MUST READ list. You won't be sorry...but you will become a fan of Jaimey Grant's work.