Saturday, September 30, 2017

Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer

Let’s begin with the summary:

Grace Mallory is tired of running, of hiding. But when an old friend sends an after-hours telegraph transmission warning Grace that the man who has hunted her for nearly a year has discovered her location, she fears she has no choice. She can't let the villain she believes responsible for her father's death release his wrath in Harper's Station, the town that has sheltered her and blessed her with the dearest friends she's ever known.

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His telegraph companion, the mysterious Miss G, listens eagerly to his ramblings every night and delights him with tales all her own. For months, their friendship—dare he believe, courtship?—has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intended for him. Yet when he takes the next step to meet her in person, he discovers her life is in peril, and Amos must decide if he can shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.

And now, my review:

I loved this nerdy hero! Most heroes are alphas, but this beta had a lot of appeal. The intelligent and brave heroine had my respect and sympathy.

The story was sort of an historical “on-line dating” story, and I loved it. The couple connects over the telegraph wire. The author included some hilarious scenarios that made me laugh out loud.

If you’ve read the earlier book in this series, you’ll have an advantage. Unfortunately, I hadn’t. So, some of the characters and their history was a mystery, and the “Aunt Henry” character threw me a bit.

I enjoyed watching the hero and heroine interact. Clever interactions kept me reading for a while. But I did feel a little lost in this series community.

I would give this book three stars because I lost interest at about 1/3rd of the way into the story. Readers who enjoy a lighter read with interesting characters and fun humor will enjoy this novel, but I do recommend reading book one in this series first.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

I Should be Writing by Mur Lafferty

Are you a beginning writer? This book may be for you.

Let’s begin with the summary:

Don't just dream it, write it! I Should Be Writing is a writing workshop in a journal, full of helpful advice and encouragement for the person who wants to finally write the story they've always dreamed of creating. Let award-winning podcaster Mur Lafferty, who in the past has interviewed authors including John Scalzi, Neil Gaiman, Gail Carriger, Adam Christopher, and Kameron Hurley, guide you through the nuts-and-bolts process of honing your craft, including which writing myths to ignore, how to refine your creative process, listening to your inner muse while ignoring your inner bully, and more. 
This book also contains writing exercises that will help the blossoming writer strengthen the writer’s muscle of writing every day. These include everything from situational writer's prompts to lists of ideas writers should try to jot down between writing sessions.

With this helpful guide, you can make the phrase, "I've always wanted to write a story..." a thing of the past. Because you should be writing!

And now, my review:

Written with an encouraging, wholesome tone, this writerly how-to is perfect for beginners. You’ll find a pep talk in every chapter. The author encourages readers to embrace their passion for writing, own the title of writer. Some writing non-fiction books include graphic language and/or excerpts that include violence—not this one.

It’s a fast read, with the basics of plotting, setting, editing, and definitions of traditional publishing versus indie (self-publishing). Plus, as promised, there are tons of writing exercises in the back to get you writing.

Lafferty includes his advice to follow “only one rule.” You’ll have to read the book to discover what that rule is.

For the right audience, this book is a great tool. If writers are on a trajectory of 10,000 hours plus, with 1 hour to 3,000 hours being a beginner and the "plus" being someone who has achieved at least some success in publishing and who is consistently writing and publishing, then this book is for those in the 1 hour to 3,000-hour folks who are learning the basics and who could use encouragement to push on.

I recommend it.

I recommend it.