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.