The idea of not allowing authors to review books is ridiculous. For as long as I've been in this nutty business, conventional publishers have turned to other authors in the same genres for endorsements used to sell books. Amazon says they're giving more value to the reviews that get the most Helpful votes. Well, if you take a look at the reviews on any book, more often than not, the most helpful reviews come from...yep, other authors.
Anyway, I thought I'd devote today's post to giving a shout-out to books by some of my author friends I've reviewed on Amazon. If you haven't already bought their books, what are you waiting for?
Penniless Hearts by Eve Gaal
I love a good romance. I love happy endings. And I love novels and movies set in Hawaii. Penniless Hearts is all that...and it has a heroine I can definitely identify with. Author Eve Gaal has a gift for characterization--Penny Himmell is a delightful protagonist, an artist with a true artist's spirit, restless, yearning. She wants more from life than she has at the start of her story. She feels taken for granted on all levels--by her father, by her boyfriend, and by her boss. She wants adventure. She wants romance. She's convinced there's something better out there for her...somewhere. And she's willing to take the chance and go for that brass ring. Like most young women in her predicament, she falls for the dubious charms of a bad boy pilot who lures her off to the genuine charms of the Hawaiian islands--and an adventure she and the reader will never forget. I know I won't! Penniless Hearts is one of the best novels I've read in a very long time.
Secondhand Shoes by Shelly Arkon
Shelly Arkon has a unique voice that comes through in every aspect of her wonderful first novel. Her characterization is on par with more experienced authors, and her attention to detail is spot-on. And I would have to agree with her editor's assessment of her off-kilter sense of humor. This comes through in spades throughout the novel. Her delightfully quirky characters make you feel for them--whether you're rooting for Lila or wanting to throttle the evil Babs (okay, that might sound extreme, but I happen to think any mother who would arrange her own daughter's marriage to a man named Max Butz is evil). The name's bad enough, but the man himself personifies despicable! I hear the Fashion Police have a warrant out for his arrest.
No-Campfire Girls by Mark R. Hunter
If the camp I went to as a kid had been like this, I wouldn't have gone home after two days!
Mark Hunter is an excellent author. If you haven't already read his debut novel, Storm Chaser, I strongly recommend it as well. I had a discussion with a fellow author recently--about what good movies Hunter's novels would make. Hollywood, take notice of this author!
Dangled Carat by Hilary Grossman
Hilary Grossman has written a real-life romance--the story of her relationship with her husband Marc and their sometimes bumpy road to happily-ever-after. I've always been a bit of a skeptic when it comes to relationships, but Hilary's memoir makes me see that miracles can and do happen.
I can identify with her childhood struggles, having had a less-than-fairytale childhood myself--but as the saying goes, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, and Hilary has clearly emerged a strong, confident woman able to change the commitment-phobic Marc into her happy, loving husband. You'll find it hard to read her story--their story--without cheering them on!
I can't wait to see what her next book is going to be....
Butterman Time Travel, Inc. by P.K. Hrezo
I've been a fan of time travel novels ever since I first picked up one of Constance O'Day-Flannery's novels over twenty years ago...and new author PK Hrezo definitely does not disappoint. I read it in one sitting--unusual for me these days. I know I'll be reading it again soon--also unusual for me. I give PK Hrezo high marks for originality. I especially loved the temporal detour the main characters were forced to take. As one reviewer has already stated, it takes them to an important time in music history that fans will love. (I could see this as a movie, easily.)
The author has done her homework--the scientific background used to make the time travel process seem plausible is impressive. Her characters are well-developed--not a stereotype in the lot of them. I thought writing in present tense might detract from the story, but I was pleased to find that it didn't.
Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc. is the first of a series. Check out the sequels as well!