CFBA Tour – A Vote of Confidence

The latest book for the CFBA Tour is A Vote Of Confidence by Robin Lee Hatcher.

In A Vote of Confidence, the stage is set for some intriguing insight into what it was like during 1915 to be a woman in a “mans’ world.”

Guinevere Arlington is a beautiful young woman determined to remain in charge of her own life, For seven years, Gwen has carved out a full life in the bustling town of Bethlehem Springs, Idaho, where she teaches piano and writes for the local newspaper. Her passion for the town, its people, and the surrounding land prompt Gwen to run for mayor. After all, who says a woman can’t do a man’s job?

But stepping outside the boundaries of convention can get messy. A shady lawyer backs Gwen, believing he can control her once she’s in office. A wealthy newcomer throws his hat into the ring in an effort to overcome opposition to the health resort he’s building north of town. When the opponents fall in love, everything changes, forcing Gwen to face what she may have to lose in order to win.

This is my wife’s type of book, so she provided her opinion. She enjoys Hatcher’s writing, and this romance novel didn’t disappoint. The characters are very believable, as they are developed well. She had a hard time getting into it at first, but after a little while it was one she couldn’t put down. She thought it was pretty straightforward for a while, but some unexpected twists delighted her, leaving her surprised at how the ending comes about. Overall it was a fun story and didn’t disappoint her expectations of one of her favorite authors.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Vote Of Confidence, go HERE.

unpredictable with good twists, enjoyed the characters- developed well. fun story

CFBA Tour – A Vote of Confidence

The latest book for the CFBA Tour is A Vote Of Confidence by Robin Lee Hatcher.

In A Vote of Confidence, the stage is set for some intriguing insight into what it was like during 1915 to be a woman in a “mans’ world.”

Guinevere Arlington is a beautiful young woman determined to remain in charge of her own life, For seven years, Gwen has carved out a full life in the bustling town of Bethlehem Springs, Idaho, where she teaches piano and writes for the local newspaper. Her passion for the town, its people, and the surrounding land prompt Gwen to run for mayor. After all, who says a woman can’t do a man’s job?

But stepping outside the boundaries of convention can get messy. A shady lawyer backs Gwen, believing he can control her once she’s in office. A wealthy newcomer throws his hat into the ring in an effort to overcome opposition to the health resort he’s building north of town. When the opponents fall in love, everything changes, forcing Gwen to face what she may have to lose in order to win.

This is my wife’s type of book, so she provided her opinion. She enjoys Hatcher’s writing, and this romance novel didn’t disappoint. The characters are very believable, as they are developed well. She had a hard time getting into it at first, but after a little while it was one she couldn’t put down. She thought it was pretty straightforward for a while, but some unexpected twists delighted her, leaving her surprised at how the ending comes about. Overall it was a fun story and didn’t disappoint her expectations of one of her favorite authors.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Vote Of Confidence, go HERE.

unpredictable with good twists, enjoyed the characters- developed well. fun story

Follow Up on BoneMan’s Daughters

I reviewed BoneMan’s Daughters almost 2 weeks ago, but there is still a lot of buzz about it. I read an article on CNN.com today with a catchy headline: ‘BoneMan’ creator grew up with cannibals. Hard to top that, methinks.

Here’s the article about Ted and his place in (or out) of Christian fiction. There are some memorable quotes by an editor, Henry Carrigan, that I want to share as well:

“Good writing is lacking in a lot of Christian fiction. It’s pedantic, the prose is awful, the writing is static and it’s difficult to believe the characters,” Carrigan says.

Though Christian publishers pushed hard to get their authors on mainstream shelves, what eventually did often was shelved away from fiction under a subsection called “inspirational fiction.” “Even though they made the crossover, they didn’t make the crossover. They were ghettoized,” Carrigan says.

Dekker has succeeded, Carrigan says, because “he knows how to write.” Describing Dekker’s style as ” ‘CSI’ meets God and Satan,” the editor observes, “He knows how to use the formula when he uses a formula. He can suck people in. That’s why he’s been so successful.”

So what does this say about Dekker and Christian fiction in general? Thoughts?

Follow Up on BoneMan’s Daughters

I reviewed BoneMan’s Daughters almost 2 weeks ago, but there is still a lot of buzz about it. I read an article on CNN.com today with a catchy headline: ‘BoneMan’ creator grew up with cannibals. Hard to top that, methinks.

Here’s the article about Ted and his place in (or out) of Christian fiction. There are some memorable quotes by an editor, Henry Carrigan, that I want to share as well:

“Good writing is lacking in a lot of Christian fiction. It’s pedantic, the prose is awful, the writing is static and it’s difficult to believe the characters,” Carrigan says.

Though Christian publishers pushed hard to get their authors on mainstream shelves, what eventually did often was shelved away from fiction under a subsection called “inspirational fiction.” “Even though they made the crossover, they didn’t make the crossover. They were ghettoized,” Carrigan says.

Dekker has succeeded, Carrigan says, because “he knows how to write.” Describing Dekker’s style as ” ‘CSI’ meets God and Satan,” the editor observes, “He knows how to use the formula when he uses a formula. He can suck people in. That’s why he’s been so successful.”

So what does this say about Dekker and Christian fiction in general? Thoughts?

CFBA Tour – Elisha’s Bones

It’s the end of a busy week for this blog. It’s been a very “Bone”-ish week. First, I reviewed Ted Dekker’s latest, BoneMan’s Daughters. Then we had the blog tour for Blaggard’s Moon, in which the main character was facing having monsters eat his bones.

Let’s keep the theme going with the new book Elisha’s Bones by Don Hoesel. This is his first book, so how does a new author stack up in this calcified week.

Things I liked about the book:

I loved the globetrotting adventure. Don does a great job in painting the local scenery and using the landscape to amplify the prose. He states he’s traveled to some of the places, and researched others, and I can’t tell what locales are the research only ones.

Jack Hawthorne is an unlikely protaganist, not the type to go out charging to save the world. He’s a bit of a lazy “skate through life” type of guy (though some of this is explained by the story). He’s sarcastic, infusing things with a sense of humor. Still, his growth through his experience is palpable.

The suspense is kept ratcheted up, and you’re never certain who is good and who is bad. He has a good feel for pacing.

Things I am pondering:

The use of present tense, 1st person POV was quite intriguing. It provided for some real immediacy when dealing with what Jack was experiencing. The limitations of what Jack doesn’t know also adds to the story. Still, it took me some time to get used to reading it. See these posts for more thoughts on this.

The bottom half of the cover is very cool. The top half needs a little more work to make it as stylish as the top. The silhouette seems too cliche or something.

Things that could be better:

Some of the other characters weren’t fleshed out as well as they could have been. In particular, Esperanza is his companion through most of the book, yet at the end I wondered what she looked like and didn’t fully know her. Their relationship was always nebulous.

Some description (mostly of people) lacked, but that may partly be a function of the present tense, 1st person POV. It wouldn’t work for Jack to always stop and mentally describe each person he meets to himself in present time. I like a little more, but I don’t know that this form would really allow it.

Overall:

This is a very good first novel for Don. He had a strong voice throughout the book, and the action and suspense kept me turning pages until the very end. My negative comments I’m ocnfident will recede as he develops more as a writer. Keep them coming Don, I’m up for more.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Elisha’s Bones, go HERE

CFBA Tour – Elisha’s Bones

It’s the end of a busy week for this blog. It’s been a very “Bone”-ish week. First, I reviewed Ted Dekker’s latest, BoneMan’s Daughters. Then we had the blog tour for Blaggard’s Moon, in which the main character was facing having monsters eat his bones.

Let’s keep the theme going with the new book Elisha’s Bones by Don Hoesel. This is his first book, so how does a new author stack up in this calcified week.

Things I liked about the book:

I loved the globetrotting adventure. Don does a great job in painting the local scenery and using the landscape to amplify the prose. He states he’s traveled to some of the places, and researched others, and I can’t tell what locales are the research only ones.

Jack Hawthorne is an unlikely protaganist, not the type to go out charging to save the world. He’s a bit of a lazy “skate through life” type of guy (though some of this is explained by the story). He’s sarcastic, infusing things with a sense of humor. Still, his growth through his experience is palpable.

The suspense is kept ratcheted up, and you’re never certain who is good and who is bad. He has a good feel for pacing.

Things I am pondering:

The use of present tense, 1st person POV was quite intriguing. It provided for some real immediacy when dealing with what Jack was experiencing. The limitations of what Jack doesn’t know also adds to the story. Still, it took me some time to get used to reading it. See these posts for more thoughts on this.

The bottom half of the cover is very cool. The top half needs a little more work to make it as stylish as the top. The silhouette seems too cliche or something.

Things that could be better:

Some of the other characters weren’t fleshed out as well as they could have been. In particular, Esperanza is his companion through most of the book, yet at the end I wondered what she looked like and didn’t fully know her. Their relationship was always nebulous.

Some description (mostly of people) lacked, but that may partly be a function of the present tense, 1st person POV. It wouldn’t work for Jack to always stop and mentally describe each person he meets to himself in present time. I like a little more, but I don’t know that this form would really allow it.

Overall:

This is a very good first novel for Don. He had a strong voice throughout the book, and the action and suspense kept me turning pages until the very end. My negative comments I’m ocnfident will recede as he develops more as a writer. Keep them coming Don, I’m up for more.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Elisha’s Bones, go HERE

Blaggard’s Moon Sets Sail

Leave a comment to win the latest Ted Dekker hardback, BoneMan’s Daughters.

Time to wrap up the CSFF tour for the month. I’ve been discussing the books of George Bryan Polivka with my new…uh, friend, Spinner Sleeve.

Ye mockin’ me boy?

No sir! He’s one of the stars of the pirate treasure of a novel Blaggard’s Moon. Over the last couple of posts, I’ve discussed the Trophy Chase trilogy by Polivka. The books, impressive to begin with, improved throughout the series. I wondered how he would follow it up.

Blaggard’s Moon is actually a prequel to the series, which is an interesting place to go, as it has the potential for disaster (see Lucas, George). It was advertised as the musings of Smith Delaney, one of the supporting characters from the trilogy, as he awaits his certain death. Which might not be so certain, since he appears in later books.

Don’t get cute here. What say ye about the story of Blaggard’s Moon?

Always interesting to blog with a sharp, pointy thing in your back. Anyway, as other blog tour members have noted, it has an interesting construction. Delaney is stuck on a pole over a pond from which the vicious mermonkeys (no really, these aren’t your old sea monkeys) will surface in the dead of night to munch on his bones. He thinks over his own story on how he ended up in this predicament, yet it interlaces with a story told by master story-teller Ham Drumbone on a pirate ship.

Ham’s story follows pirate king Conch Imbry, pirate hunter Damrick Fellows (boo!) and mysterious lady Jenta Smithmiller as intrigue, battle, and death weaves throughout. The reader is left guessing how this all ties together, which it does very nicely at the end.

Ye best be sayin’ that.

Actually, I mean it. Even without duress, I loved this book. The beginning is a little confusing as Polivka settles us into the structure of the story, but he soon had me hooked. The author is a gifted story teller in his own right, with a vivid imagination and great description. He must have done exhaustive research, as he sets the reader on the high seas feeling the salt air, or ducking the musket balls and choking on the gunpowder. I’m not a nautical person, but the authenticity shows through strongly.

It is almost as good as the characterization. I’ve not read another author who so clearly imbues each character with their unique way and feel. I knew the characters, and the myriad cast is very enjoyable without any confusion. From Lady Jenta to minor pirate captains to the businessman Runsford Ryland, each stands strong with their own voice. My only complaint is that Polivka doesn’t always stay in one character’s point of view in a segment, making it confusing sometimes knowing whose head you’re in. He’s spoken before on why he writes this way, but it still doesn’t change the confusion.

The story has a suspenseful plot with well-described action, heartfelt romance, wrenching tragedy, and a touching theme. I enjoyed it more than the Trophy Chase trilogy because his heroes are more heroic. In the trilogy, he used the main character Packer Throme to wrestle with theological issues (which were pretty much keeping in-character for Packer, being a former seminary student), but this wrestling, while poignant, slowed the action down. There’s a touch of that here, but the story blazes on overall.

Okay, yer point has been made. Ye love the book. Good answer, so I guess me n’the boys will be lookin’ fer some other bloggers to hassle.

You know, a “blogger” isn’t a “blaggard”.

It ain’t! Why, the lousy rat who sent me here will have a new blowhole when I’m a’done with him. Have ye anything else to say?

Blaggard’s Moon is a very enjoyable and highly recommended read for the casual fiction fan. For my writing friends, you should check Polivka out for his talented characterization and rich description and world-building. So far, this is my favorite book of the year. (Oh, and I don’t think Mr. Sleeve has read the end of the book. I actually don’t think he can read period.)

ADDENDUM: I’m a physician assistant, and I did a physical on a very nice gentleman who would have nonetheless been a perfect fit for one of Polivka’s characters. Missing front teeth, bandana on his head, somewhat scraggly beard, he fit the part to a tee. Made me a little nervous about REALLY having a visitor with me while I blog…

Blaggard’s Moon Sets Sail

Leave a comment to win the latest Ted Dekker hardback, BoneMan’s Daughters.

Time to wrap up the CSFF tour for the month. I’ve been discussing the books of George Bryan Polivka with my new…uh, friend, Spinner Sleeve.

Ye mockin’ me boy?

No sir! He’s one of the stars of the pirate treasure of a novel Blaggard’s Moon. Over the last couple of posts, I’ve discussed the Trophy Chase trilogy by Polivka. The books, impressive to begin with, improved throughout the series. I wondered how he would follow it up.

Blaggard’s Moon is actually a prequel to the series, which is an interesting place to go, as it has the potential for disaster (see Lucas, George). It was advertised as the musings of Smith Delaney, one of the supporting characters from the trilogy, as he awaits his certain death. Which might not be so certain, since he appears in later books.

Don’t get cute here. What say ye about the story of Blaggard’s Moon?

Always interesting to blog with a sharp, pointy thing in your back. Anyway, as other blog tour members have noted, it has an interesting construction. Delaney is stuck on a pole over a pond from which the vicious mermonkeys (no really, these aren’t your old sea monkeys) will surface in the dead of night to munch on his bones. He thinks over his own story on how he ended up in this predicament, yet it interlaces with a story told by master story-teller Ham Drumbone on a pirate ship.

Ham’s story follows pirate king Conch Imbry, pirate hunter Damrick Fellows (boo!) and mysterious lady Jenta Smithmiller as intrigue, battle, and death weaves throughout. The reader is left guessing how this all ties together, which it does very nicely at the end.

Ye best be sayin’ that.

Actually, I mean it. Even without duress, I loved this book. The beginning is a little confusing as Polivka settles us into the structure of the story, but he soon had me hooked. The author is a gifted story teller in his own right, with a vivid imagination and great description. He must have done exhaustive research, as he sets the reader on the high seas feeling the salt air, or ducking the musket balls and choking on the gunpowder. I’m not a nautical person, but the authenticity shows through strongly.

It is almost as good as the characterization. I’ve not read another author who so clearly imbues each character with their unique way and feel. I knew the characters, and the myriad cast is very enjoyable without any confusion. From Lady Jenta to minor pirate captains to the businessman Runsford Ryland, each stands strong with their own voice. My only complaint is that Polivka doesn’t always stay in one character’s point of view in a segment, making it confusing sometimes knowing whose head you’re in. He’s spoken before on why he writes this way, but it still doesn’t change the confusion.

The story has a suspenseful plot with well-described action, heartfelt romance, wrenching tragedy, and a touching theme. I enjoyed it more than the Trophy Chase trilogy because his heroes are more heroic. In the trilogy, he used the main character Packer Throme to wrestle with theological issues (which were pretty much keeping in-character for Packer, being a former seminary student), but this wrestling, while poignant, slowed the action down. There’s a touch of that here, but the story blazes on overall.

Okay, yer point has been made. Ye love the book. Good answer, so I guess me n’the boys will be lookin’ fer some other bloggers to hassle.

You know, a “blogger” isn’t a “blaggard”.

It ain’t! Why, the lousy rat who sent me here will have a new blowhole when I’m a’done with him. Have ye anything else to say?

Blaggard’s Moon is a very enjoyable and highly recommended read for the casual fiction fan. For my writing friends, you should check Polivka out for his talented characterization and rich description and world-building. So far, this is my favorite book of the year. (Oh, and I don’t think Mr. Sleeve has read the end of the book. I actually don’t think he can read period.)

ADDENDUM: I’m a physician assistant, and I did a physical on a very nice gentleman who would have nonetheless been a perfect fit for one of Polivka’s characters. Missing front teeth, bandana on his head, somewhat scraggly beard, he fit the part to a tee. Made me a little nervous about REALLY having a visitor with me while I blog…