A big thank you to everyone who commented on my post on Monday. It was a big decision for me, and I was thrilled to have loads of people chiming in with their support! I was also on the Writer's Guide to E-Publication yesterday, talking about my decision-making process. It's a great site for anyone wanting to learn more about the world of self-publishing. Check it out if you have an interest -- I'll be there every Tuesday.
And if you're looking for a new blog buddy, head over to Coffee with Marcie and say hi! She's new to the blogosphere.
It's been a while since I've done some book reviews here, so I figured I'd do a little update on some books I've read recently.
Following the Whispers - Creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair by Karen Walker
With a frankness and honesty, Karen Walker details her life from childhood to adult, revealing how she overcomes great obstacles to reach personal acceptance. Told in a clear, matter-of-fact manner (no self pity anywhere to be seen!), one can't help but be pulled into this brave and forthright memoir. Definitely worth a read.
Invisible by Jeanne Bannon
Written in a fresh and fun voice, 'Invisible' by Jeanne Bannon tells the story of overweight misfit Lola, who has the uncanny ability to become invisible at any given moment. The story moves along at a swift pace, and I enjoyed watching Lola learn to accept herself -- and deal with the temptation of revenge. A very enjoyable read.
The Arranger by L.J. Sellers
'The Arranger' is my first LJ Sellers novel, and given how impressed I was with this futuristic, fast-paced narrative, it certainly won't be my last!
I was fascinated by Sellers' creation of a national competition called The Gauntlet, kind of a ramped-up version of a military obstacle course. Add one ex-cop who's older and tougher than the other competitors and throw in a lot of intrigue, and you have the makings for a fantastic thriller.
Can't wait to read more of Sellers!
Backpacked: A Reluctant Trip Across Central America by Catherine Ryan Howard
I read and loved 'Mousetrapped', so when I heard Catherine had a new book out, I couldn't wait to dive in. I wasn't disappointed -- Catherine takes the same dry wit and self-deprecating humour along for the ride in 'Backpacked', the story of her travels through South America. From nearly falling off a horse on a vertical volcano ride to a a bevvy of eccentric -- and sometimes downright threatening -- characters along the way, reading this travelogue made me feel like I'd gone on the journey myself. Highly recommended for anyone who loves reading about the extremes of exploration without actually having to endure the discomfort.
CLOCKWISE by Elle Strauss
'Clockwise' by Elle Strauss is a fun, fresh read. Featuring an awkward teenage girl who accidentally time travels, the novel follows her adventures as she struggles to cope with both the past and the present -- and drags her crush along with her! The narrator's voice is sharp and witty, and you can't help identifying with her insecurities. A fantastic read for anyone, adolescent or adult.
House of Diamonds by Karen Jones Gowen
House of Diamonds follows two sisters. One is on her way to achieving her dream of being a writer, despite the chaos in her busy household and her frequently absent husband. The other is struggling to keep it together whilst her newborn clings to life in the hospital. Author Karen Jones Gowen plunges readers into the daily details of each household, holding us at close range and never letting go. The intensity of emotion -- from frustration and fear to joy and faith -- is palpable throughout. Although generally I'm not big into 'faith' novels, Gowen weaves this into the narrative in a natural and subtle way, and it added to the fabric of the families' life.
Have you read any of these? Have a great Wednesday, everyone!