Friday, May 10, 2013

Another amazing review...and a new book I think you would enjoy

Before I published The Color of Thunder, I didn't think much about other least writer's I don't usually read. For some reason I had it in my head that there is a big competition out there...or that author's were each on their own fighting to be on top. This, my friends, is not the case, and I'm so glad that it isn't. 

Mind you, I wasn't really sure what it was going to be like to be published. I started The Color of Thunder  way back in the late 90's. I was afraid for a long time, rewriting and editing the same chapters over and over again because I was fearful of actually putting myself out there to be read and judged. Then my husband and I began our family and, although I thought about this unfinished novel a lot, I was immersed in this wonderful thing called motherhood. When I went back to it, really got serious about it, it wasn't that I wasn't afraid any longer, (truthfully, in many ways I still am,) but the time to finish it and to get it published had arrived and I decided that I wasn't going to quit until it was out there.


My experience has been amazing...mind-blowing and wonderful. I have met some incredible authors who I am excited to call my friends. That whole competition thing? Not so much. All of us want to help one another, we want the other to succeed. We email, read each other's novels, post reviews and encourage. It's awesome.

I've already written about an author by the name of RP Dahlke. She writes mysteries and I'd already read and enjoyed all four of her books before we had an occasion to talk to one another. She's writing a fifth book right now and if you like a good mystery with a bit of humor and a great cast of characters, I suggest you check her out here:

There's another author I'd like to encourage you to read as well. Actually, a pair of them. They are a husband and wife writing team, one from New Zealand and one from England, and their pen name is Lambert Nagle. This is the review of The Color of Thunder that I received a few days ago from them.

The Color of Thunder is a beautifully written coming-of-age story told from the viewpoint of Faith, one of three sisters in the Lindsay family. The story begins in 1946 in Jackson, Mississippi. These folks are model citizens: fine, upstanding, and pillars of the community and none is more self-righteous than the Lindsay family patriarch. Or at least this is what Pastor Lindsay would like his family to believe but one night Faith witnesses her father's dirty little secret first-hand, which forces her to confront Pastor Lindsay's warped religious belief system. By day he likes to preach God's word, spouting homilies such as 'love thy neighbour.' But by night, he and his fellow citizens have no qualms in carrying out vigilante acts of unspeakable violence towards their fellow man. And all the while the womenfolk either don't know or worse still, pretend not to know and turn the other cheek.

As a fellow reviewer has noted, there are parallels here with Louisa May Alcott's Little Women here and this is what lifts this story above its peers. To re-imagine the family saga and update it for the 20th century, replacing the Civil War with the Civil Rights movement is astute and brave. In the hands of a lesser writer this might have been difficult to pull off but J.C. Wing does a magnificent job and does so with such accomplished writing that I can't imagine why no agent or publisher has yet seen the commercial potential in her work. More fool them.

I would give this book 5 stars for the characterisations alone. Faith and her sister Hope are living, breathing, three-dimensional characters. Faith is as patient as Hope is feisty and for much of their childhood Faith despairs that her sister will ever grow up. But the bonds of sisterhood are too strong to allow the temporary setbacks to dent their solid friendship, although Hope at times seems to be a very hard person to love. As Faith says,' I love my sister unconditionally and no matter how mean and rotten she'd been to me or how many names she called me, I was there for her and she always knew where to find me.'

The other achievements in this richly evocative tale were the finely observed details that invoke all the senses. You can almost taste the food made by Faith's downtrodden mother - from the peach cobbler to the fried chicken and creamy mashed potatoes. And as I finished the book I imagined I could smell the unmistakable fragrance of magnolia as it was just beginning to fade...
But the lingering memory I will have of The Color of Thunder is the advice that Faith's friend Ruby gave her as a lasting legacy - 'grab all the sweet you can in this life.'

Move over Jane Smiley, J.C. Wing has arrived!

Right now I am in the process of reading Lambert Nagle's book Revolution Earth and I am enjoying it immensely. It takes place in four different continents and is written in a rich, colorful and engaging language that is so entirely entertaining. It's a thriller involving a Metropolitan Police Detective, a Big Oil PR guru, a group of eco-terrorists and one determined girl suffering from the injustices of a seemingly uncaring legal system. I will save the rest of my narrative for the glowing review of this book that I plan to post shortly but I will say this: Read this will not be disappointed!

Check out this link to read more about this writing team and to purchase Revolution Earth
It's available from amazon in paperback for $8.97. The Kindle version is only $2.99. 

Summer time is nearly upon us and a lot of us will be traveling. You need a book to read on the bus/train/plane/boat. This one would be an excellent one to have on hand.