Tag Archives: book reviews

No More Mr. Nice Guy

(Alice Cooper reference).

First, a warning: this entry will probably sound like sour grapes. But it’s not, honestly. It’s just me giving voice to my frustration because I feel that my book wasn’t given a fair shot.

Local ReviewA local magazine published their review of Back To Newtonberg. It wasn’t a good one. (The review is included on the right, but I will not reveal the name of the magazine.)

I’m not upset that the reviewer didn’t like the book. What I am upset about is that based on her review (in which she got the name of the book wrong for a start), she didn’t read it. Or if she did, she didn’t pay attention to what she was reading.

I don’t claim that the Newtonberg books are great literature. Although I admit the influences of Garrison Keillor and Jan Karon, I do not pretend that I am even near their league as an author.

But I do know that I told the story better than this review makes out.

The reviewer’s plot synopsis bears no similarity to the actual plot of my book. She says “most of the content centers around Madge and the mysterious document she had received…nothing clues the reader in about what the document is.”

Um… Madge is DEAD. Has been since book two. The reviewer even points this out in one of the later paragraphs. And the document is her story (which makes up the bulk of All That Remains) that MIKE received and is shared with Nikki. And furthermore, it is a very small part of this book. The manuscript is referred to briefly in the first few chapters and that’s it.

The whole tone of the piece is very condescending. Maybe she didn’t mean it to be taken in such a way, but I read “OF COURSE the people of Newtonberg embrace her whole-heartedly” and “The Good Father Nichols” as if being said in a very snarky manner.

Look, I understand that not everyone will like the books. And I take to heart her comments about adding depth to characters and developing the plot a bit more.

But please — make an effort to at least present the facts correctly. Even Roger Ebert gave a fair review of the content of films he hated. When he reviewed The Brown Bunny, he said he disliked the film, but at least his readers knew the basic plot when they finished reading his column.

Being that this review might be the only exposure some people in East Texas have to my book (not to mention Galveston — where I have found out these reviews are reprinted as part of their local magazine), I hate to think that what they are reading isn’t true.

Rant over. I’m off to plan my next book.

A little down, but not out by a long shot.


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Filed under All That Remains, Back to Newtonberg, Notes from the Author, Publicity

It’s Arrived! (And To Prove It, It’s Here!)

(Today’s title is courtesy of The Rutles. I don’t think Neil Innes will fault me for changing it a little.)

Almost three months after I wrote the last word, All That Remains is now available for purchase.

At the risk of sounding like I’m making a speech at an awards show, I do want to take a moment to thank everyone who supported me in the writing of this book. Although primarily based on the first Newtonberg story I wrote twenty years ago, the story grew in the telling and incorporated a lot more than I originally planned. It was my first full-length book (although probably just a novella by professional standards). I am quite pleased with the result, and I think I did the story justice this time.

Although subtitled “A Newtonberg Story”, you don’t need to have read Welcome to Newtonberg to enjoy it.

I hope those of you who are interested will take the time to read it, and I truly hope you enjoy the story.

All That Remains is available in print form from CreateSpace and Amazon.

The eBook is available from SmashWords in a variety of formats. It will be available directly from Amazon shortly.

Other eBook and print vendors will be available sometime during the next few weeks.

And as always, Welcome to Newtonberg is still available from the same sources.

And now to publicize it. Please help spread the word!

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Filed under All That Remains, Notes from the Author, Publicity, Welcome to Newtonberg

“I Read the News Today, Oh Boy…”

Well, the press releases paid off on at least one front. An article about Welcome to Newtonberg and self-publishing made the front page of the Jacksonville Daily Progress, our local newspaper.

Jacksonville Daily Progress (12/8/2012)

I still haven’t received a response (or a printing) of the press releases I sent to the other three local papers. I’ll give it another week and then send it again, just in case it was caught by their Spam filter or something. (At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.)

Still, I’m quite happy with the article. There are a couple of details that aren’t quite right (for example, I intended to publish a book of twelve stories, not publish one story a month; likewise I ended up with a book of six stories — I’m not publishing a story every other month); but all in all, it’s getting the word out there about the book so I’m happy.

I’m still looking into getting copies of the eBook out to book review blogs. Does anyone have suggestions about that? I could just go looking for review blogs and e-mail the people in charge, but is that how it’s supposed to be done? Is there a main Website that lists books available that reviewers read and select books they want to review?





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Filed under Notes from the Author, Publicity