I had a deadline earlier this month that I had a really difficult time meeting, and my brothers and I have been busy clearing out the family home, so I didn’t do much reading since my last free post. I’ve only got two titles to tell you about today, and then a bit of news from me.
Protecting the Dead by Katherine Gilbert
Katherine is a brand-new author at Eskape Press, and her urban fantasy is the first of this genre for us. I’ve been reading it slowly and steadily for over a month, but it’s slow going for me, and I’m currently about 80 percent through it. Part of my snail’s pace is due to the unfamiliar genre. I’m not used to reading about demons, angels, werewolves, succubi, and cat people, and they’re all present, along with several other characters I’ve never heard of. The other reason is because a lot of the book deals with the heroine’s introspection throughout her ordeal, which is accepting what she is (I haven’t yet reached the part where that’s revealed). It’s written entirely in first person, so we have no idea about the hero’s struggles or his thoughts. Still, I’m determined to finish this book before Katherine joins us next week to tell us more about it.
Pirates on Lake Michigan? By Lon Hieftje
A week ago I participated in an author event in Holland, MI. Sitting at the table next to me was a local gentleman who writes young adult stories. He also had a slim volume that caught my eye. I have several books about local history, but the idea of pirates on the Great Lakes is intriguing, so I purchased his book. It took less than a half hour to read, since most of the pages are covered with photographs – not of the actual people, places, and events described in the book, but people and places in the same time period. Only a handful of men are featured. The information is given in a conversational tone and is riddled with grammar and punctuation errors (though Lon assured me he’d had it edited). It’s light entertainment, but definitely not useful for research.
And now for my news…
Last year, Four Calling Bards was released as part of the Nine Ladies Dancing 2017 anthology. This is the fourth book in my Partridge Regencies, which includes The Partridge and the Peartree, Two Tutor Doves, and Three French Inns. The anthology was available for only three months, so this year Eskape Press made it available as a single title release in both ebook and print. Here’s the blurb:
Amanda Collins leads a satisfactory but uneventful life as the vicar’s daughter in sleepy Whitecastle. But her sedate days are turned upside down when some of the village’s wealthiest men suddenly show an interest in her. The Lord of the Manor, the village doctor, and the butcher have all made offers, and Amanda doesn’t quite know what to do. Fortunately, her wealthy aunt Grace needs a temporary assistant, and she escapes to Cambridge, where she gets a taste of life outside the village while considering her options.
Andrew Sommers has been groomed for a career in domestic service. But when he sees people needing help, he can’t pass them by without lending a hand, and this costs him his job at Whitecastle Manor. Thankfully, the Collinses take him in and encourage him to use his knowledge and compassion in a new career. Andrew enjoys working for Vicar Collins. He’s also attracted to the vicar’s daughter but knows he can’t compete with the wealthy men who already have her attention. Instead, he uses his writing ability to create love poems for the Lord of the Manor and passes along notes from the doctor. He longs to tell her of his own feelings, but she couldn’t possibly consider him as a fourth suitor. Or could she?
Four Calling Bards is available at Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, and Kobo.
Congratulations on “Four Calling Birds”! What a unique way to play on the title: four callers. I like it very much.I truly think the series is brilliant.
Both of the books you reviewed sound quite readable to me,( the books that I read don’t usually go into succubi, however).
Perhaps the “mistakes” in the Pirates might be colloquial?
Thanks! I’d really like to round out the series with a fifth book, but I’ll have to see.
Several of the errors in the pirate book are indeed colloquial, but most are spelling and punctuation. More than one injury is not spelled injury’s, no matter what part of the country you’re from. Still, it’s an easy read.
Good news on Four Calling Bards. I enjoyed that story. Hopefully, you’ll be able to get back to reading soon. Cleaning out a parent’s home is never easy.
Thank you, Diane! And thanks so much for reading it.
It’s always a shame when writers persist in skipping important (and, yes, expensive) steps like professional editing. I’ve encountered several people who insist that they have the editing part covered because their wife / daughter / friend / fiance majored in English and has agreed to read their manuscript. Oops. Those shortcuts will be clear and present to anyone who bothers to read that story.
Oh well, live and (hopefully) learn.
Love the premise of your Four Calling Birds.
I have a manuscript concept started — which I long to return to — with a Cyrano type situation. Of all the love stories I’ve ever read or heard or seen, one of he saddest is the devotion of Cyrano to What’s-her-name… and the beauty of his literary courtship with her. And how painful is that final scene when she finally realizes that it was Cyrano who’d “made love” to her all those years.
Yes, I know of many people who consider a single read-through by someone who studied English to be equal to an edit.
I loved the Cyrano story – I first saw a stage version at the Fisher Theater in Detroit while I was in high school. Yes, it’s a sad story – but Four Calling Bards (not Birds) is a traditional romance, so there’s a happy ending.
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oops — I read that title three times and each time I saw “birds.” Just proves the point we both made… that stories need a good editor.
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Congratulations on Four Calling Bards being released on its own. I absolutely loved it! YOur Christmas stories are the only ones that I have read outside of the Christmas season, I know they’re going to be well written and so I read them as soon as they release where as all other ones wait until late November.
I don’t know why that didn’t post my name.
Aww, thank you so much, Angie! I’m pretty happy with the series. Maybe someday I’ll combine them into one album, since they’re all pretty short. We’ll see.