Sunday, May 27, 2018

Rebirth and Book Reviews

Darn, I had really good intentions when I launched this blog two years ago.  It was to be a platform for me to share things writerly — a little about my own learning experiences in commencing a writing career in my seventies, some hints for wannabees on "pulling it together," some techniques and practices that work for me in editing, finding beta readers, getting technical help and getting published, and maybe my impressions and reflections about recent books I've read.

Alas, after three posts, life came at me. I experienced the death of someone close to me, suffered a broken hip and subsequent replacement, became immersed in the writing and editing of my second novel, served as a willing, - but not terribly competent - caregiver when my wife, Elaine, went through a hip replacement and dealt with various and sundry other competing demands on my time.

But having just signed a contract for As The Lotus Blooms, my new novel, I have a bit more time on my hands and now I wish to resurrect my efforts at blogging with a pledge (to myself) to post at least once a month (better yet, bi-weekly whenever I'm not travelling).

So, in this first edition I'd like to briefly review, and enthusiastically recommend, two books I've recently read.

So - Here's the First Review:

 This is what I said on about this book.  "This is an  outstanding, but heartbreaking, tale of a devastating and progressive health condition, and how deeply it touches those it enfolds. The author, who has closely experienced the cruelty of Alzheimers in a loved one, has shown a great deal of courage and consummate determination in writing it. This well-paced and brilliantly written story is at once poignant, agonizing, funny in places and all-consuming. The reader will have difficulty putting it down but had best keep a box of tissues at hand. It made this hardened, former combat soldier weep like a schoolchild through much of the second half. But I feel I have emerged from this novel with greater sensitivity to the whole continuum of dementia and its emotional impact on those who must find a way of dealing with its encroachment on their lives. There are not enough superlatives in the English language to give justice to a description of this debut novel by an obviously compassionate, energetic and witty author. It is worthy of six stars."

This fine novel is also a finalist for the National Indie Excellence Awards. Irene also publishes a daily blog and writes a column for Grandparents Day Magazine, an Australian on-line publication 

And - Here's the second:

Equal and Opposite Reactions is a rollicking good yarn about complex relationships and emotions in middle-class American culture. The author has created an incredibly funny romantic comedy, which transcends the ubiquitous romantic triangle and expands it into a quadrangle, complicated by the interweaving of relationships between the children of the principal characters.  Cleverly plotted, twists and turns,  and exceptionally well written this part drama and part slapstick comedy, is a tour-de-force. Bravo Patti.

Stay tuned. Next time, I think I might blog about the pitfalls and perils of collaborating with another author.

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