A Different Kind of Book Review: Town Father: Where Graceful Girls Abound

My dear friends, I’ve been inspired to write a different kind of review for a novel that is currently ON SALE at Amazon.  Kevin Brennan’s Town Father: Where Graceful Girls Abound is available for 99 cents this weekend only.  I recommend you pick up a copy now and read my review later.  But, it’s a free country.  Do as you choose.

***

Maggie assayed the kitchen table, using her index finger to count the settings.  There were only the four of them tonight, but still she wanted to count and be sure she hadn’t overlooked anything.  It was her night to “host” the book club she and her cousins had formed.  The core of the club included herself and her two cousins, Melissa and Mary.  Lately, Randy, Mary’s boyfriend, had been joining them.

Well, he’d been joining them because he was already there, already spending weekends at Mary’s house.  Maggie smiled.  She was looking forward to hearing Randy’s take on Town Father: Where Graceful Girls Abound, the latest novel by Kevin Brennan.  She had thought of him a lot while reading the novel, imagining him as Henry.  Strangely, though, she didn’t imagine Mary as Avis, Henry’s love, although she certainly wouldn’t say that during their meeting.

The tea kettle interrupted her meditation with its high-pitched squeal and, as if on cue, Melissa pulled up in the driveway and Mary and Randy came bounding down the stairs together.  She cast a side-long glance at Mary as Melissa entered the house and gave them all chilly hugs.

“I feel like my fingers might just break off like icicles, they’re so cold.”  Melissa reached for her cup after Maggie poured in the hot tea, using it to warm her hands.  “You need to knit me some new mittens, Maggie.”

Maggie smirked.  “Maybe for your birthday.”

“That’s in July! I need them now!”

Ignoring Melissa’s feigned histrionics, Mary placed the subject of their discussion in the middle of the table.  To read Town Father in time for the meeting, they took advantage of a recent sale and downloaded the Kindle versions.  But Maggie, ever the purist, had to have a bound paper copy.  Well worth the cost for that cover alone, she thought as she gazed at the colorful illustration.  She picked it up.

“Well, shall we begin?  Since this was my choice, I’ll start.  I really enjoyed this novel.  At times it felt like such a fun romp, you know?  It’s historical fiction, around the 1880s forward, and I really felt like I was reading a book from that time.  Sort of the same way I feel when I read Austen.  Brennan really captures the language, the sentiments of that time.  What made it even more fascinating is it’s a utopian novel, about an idealized community of only women.  I know utopian experiments weren’t unheard of then, but still, they were usually based on a style of living, like agrarianism, not a separation of the sexes.  I thought the community of Hestia was idyllic.  Can you imagine living somewhere where everyone contributes according to their skill and you have none of the competition that sets people against each other?”

Mary stirred her tea.  She could easily imagine Maggie in such a community, knitting up clothing for the citizens and getting food and shelter and acceptance in return.  She glanced over at Randy.  For her part, she could only consider such a thing if Randy were her Henry and she were his Avis.  Otherwise, not a chance.

“I enjoyed it, too.”  Randy’s voice cracked slightly, which it usually did when he was the center of the three cousins’ attention.  Mary tried to keep her smile to herself.  Indeed, he was like Henry, the man who becomes the Town Father, who provides a truly organic service to the community of 300 women, making sure that their community will grow.  Like Henry, Randy has a moral backbone that won’t break and yet he’s amenable to new ideas.  At first, Henry was appalled by his “duties” as Town Father, but he quickly (maybe too quickly, she thought) came around to see himself and his “contributions” as part of a greater ideal.

“You know,” Mary started, wanting Randy a chance to gather his thoughts since she knew he was a little bit … shy.  “You know, I liked it too, although I would have liked Henry to have been stronger, especially when the circus came to town.  I mean, he was there with these women through so much, definitely sensitive to the suspicions of the people near to them, but when that circus comes, he practically runs off with his tail between his legs after the first run-in with the ringleader Hazlitt.”

“But, I think that’s totally in keeping with his character,” Randy said.  “He’s a very introspective man and also inclined to blame himself when things go wrong.  Remember, he had had his heart broken before.”

Mary blushed as Randy continued, his eyes first directly on her.  But as he talked, he looked around, making eye contact with Melissa and Maggie, both of whom seemed to be hanging on his every word.

“I saw a lot of myself in Henry, to be honest.  I’d had my heart broken and there was a time when I thought I should just leave, go on some adventure, go somewhere and start over.”  He glanced over at Mary and smiled.  “Of course, I’m glad now that I didn’t, but, for Henry, it’s exactly what he needed to do.  And he’s a man of honor throughout.  But he’s naïve, too, not very worldly.  It’s almost like he has to leave Hestia to fully realize the importance of Hestia’s mission and to realize how much the community needs him and he needs them.”

Melissa leaned forward, her fingers now comfortably thawed enough for her to tear apart an iced vanilla scone.  “I loved the comedy of the novel, too.  It was light, not heavy-handed at all, but it was there.  Henry was perfect for that.  How do you write a novel like this, for today’s audience, without a diffusion of humor, with Henry as the vehicle?  I mean, wouldn’t a community like Hestia be like every man’s fantasy?  But in other hands, such a novel would deteriorate into something like 50 Shades of Sepia.  You need a gullible, good-hearted, and moral gentleman like Henry to keep it from doing that.”

“True.” Randy reached for a slice of banana bread as he spoke.  “But he, the author, Brennan, does show what the “average” man would think about Hestia, how debased the women are in the eyes of someone who doesn’t understand.  Remember when Henry’s own son returns?  That was a heartrending part.”

“Oh, yes, that was genius!”  Maggie almost spilled the tea she was pouring into Melissa’s cup.  “I was really on the edge of my chair with that section of the novel.  And, you’re right, it was a sad part,because you really felt the integrity of Hestia was being threatened, not just by the son who refused to believe in it, but by the fact that it happened at all.  It was only because they exiled Paige, one of their own.  Well, and that occurred because of the circus … .”

“You can’t keep the world out entirely.  And you can’t control what goes on outside in that world.”  Randy put his cup down.  “You know, the ending surprised me.  It was a soft landing, if you know what I mean.  The community had had enough drama and at the end, it was time for Henry and Avis to take stock.  And it’s interesting because while Henry was definitely in lockstep with the program once he got over the shock, all the time you could feel that he really just wanted to be with one woman.  And because of that, well … .”  Randy felt Mary’s knee rub against his and he let his voice fade.

“Well.”  Maggie sat up straight and Melissa stifled a laugh.  Her cousin took her role at these meetings so seriously, she thought.  “Well,” Maggie started again. “Shall we vote?  I give Town Father 5 stars for originality, humor, and that beautiful cover!”

They all laughed and then, in almost perfect unison, Melissa, Mary and Randy said “Five stars!” and clinked their teacups together.
As the cousins proceeded to dig further into the scones and banana bread that Maggie had baked, Randy sat back and gazed at them.  In a way he felt like he might be in his own little Hestia, but he would keep that to himself.

***

Well, dear friends, if you’ve read this far, I hope my little review has convinced that you must have a copy of Town Father for yourself.  Remember, it’s on sale this weekend only at Amazon.

 

Yesterday Road is now just 99 cents

One of my very favorite authors, Kevin Brennan, is putting TWO of his novels on sale, in the buildup to his release of Town Father in Kindle format. Take advantage of this sale NOW! I’ve read ALL of Kevin’s novels and LOVED each one of them. Am I making myself clear?

WHAT THE HELL

yesterday road small-cover

You heard me right. To build up uncontainable excitement for the December 8th release of Town Father in Kindle format, I’ll be running sales on my other two indie titles. From now till the release, you can nab Yesterday Road for 99 cents.

Occasional Soulmates will go on sale for 99 cents on December 3rd.

Meanwhile, you can pre-order Town Father for a neatly affordable $2.99. (Be among the proud, and the few!)

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Eating Bull Has Launched—Let the Extroverted Games Begin

Since I’m a little ahead of myself with NaNoWriMo, I’m taking a bit more time to see what my friends are up to. Well, last week, Carrie Rubin announced that her latest novel, Eating Bull, is available! The novel has two of my favorite subjects: public health and serial killers. Read on for more and to see how you can get your own copy of Eating Bull!

Carrie Rubin

eb for release post

A few days ago I opened my Word documents and clicked on my Eating Bull file. I wanted to see when I first started the novel.

Thinking it was only a couple of years ago, I did a double take when I spotted the date stamp of the first saved document: 10/13/2011.

Four years. Four years filled with outlining, researching, writing, rewriting, self-doubt, boredom, excitement, angst, confidence, fear, editing, querying, and publishing preparation. Oh, and endless thoughts of “what in the world am I doing?”

But the book’s release date is finally here, and I’m happy to announce it is now available in both e-book and paperback forms.

And We All Know What That Means…

It means it’s time to pull up the big-girl pants and dust off the social mask, because for the past month I’ve been preparing for real-life marketing, from contacting local newspapers for interviews to prepping for…

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Introducing the Second John Cannon Thriller – His Revenge

And here it is! The second novel in John Howell’s thriller trilogy: His Revenge! Get your copy now 🙂

Fiction Favorites

His Revenge front final Click Cover to visit Amazon US

Click for Amazon UK

Click for Amazon Canada

Click for Amazon Australia 

The second John J Cannon story continues John’s wish to bring the terrorist Matt Jacobs to justice. In the first book, My GRL John was able to thwart the plot to destroy the Annapolis midshipmen on their summer cruise. Of course, terrorists being what they are not content with just one try to embarrass America. In His Revenge, Matt Jacobs takes his hatred for America and John Cannon to another level. The action moves from a barrier Island off the coast of Texas to Washington DC, then to Northern California, and finally to Ecuador. John is on the receiving end of an offer he cannot, refuse. His avowed enemy Matt Jacobs now wants John to help him shake the reputation of the US in the world political arena. If John refuses, Matt…

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“Town Father, Or, Where Graceful Girls Abound” is LIVE

Kevin Brennan’s latest novel, Town Father, is NOW available on Amazon! And the best part is, it is available in paperback with an gorgeous cover! Sigh, eye candy for readers 🙂 Don’t waste time. Go get yourself a copy. I’m on my way now 🙂

WHAT THE HELL

Front cover smallClick the purty image to buy

Unexpectedly, Town Father has shown up on Amazon and can be purchased in paperback today. I thought for sure it would take two or three days to appear, but CreateSpace and Amazon have become remarkably efficient. Like all Death Stars.

But all the better! You can get your own copy of this fine edition right away.

And my goodness, but doesn’t it look scrumptious? I know, I’m biased, but I think Max Scratchmann outdid himself on the cover image and interior. It’s a real beauty. Matter of fact, if I were to smuggle a copy into a bookstore and plop it on the front fiction table, nobody could possibly tell that it wasn’t published by one of the top traditional houses. One thing I’m thinking of doing, marketing-wise, is to send copies to some of the better-known indie stores out there with a pitch…

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Town Father cover reveal and sneak peek

Check out this great cover and blurb for Kevin Brennan’s forthcoming new novel!

WHAT THE HELL

Front cover smallClick image for a free pdf of Chapter 1

In advance of the paperback’s release, I thought you might like a little look-see at Max Scratchmann’s remarkable cover for Town Father, Or, Where Graceful Girls Abound, along with a bit of teaser text.

Be sure to tell all your friends. Don’t forget, word of mouth is literature’s best lubricant.

—–

A Town of Nothing But Fallen Women?

                          Utopia or Ill-fated Experiment?

                                                         Scandal in the Foothills!

Three hundred independent-minded women in 1880s California have embarked on an impossible journey: to establish a town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada composed exclusively of women. The only way for the singular town of Hestia to succeed, though, is for a second generation of residents to come along, and the women imagine there must be, somewhere in the country, a benign and willing gentleman who can help them. In short…

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Cover Reveal: Singularity by Helena Hann-Basquiat and friends!

Singularity 6 x 9 coverThe time has come.

The time is now.

Singularity is the new novel from Helena Hann-Basquiat, with Sara Litchfield, Sandy Ramsey, Lizzi Rogers and Hannah Sears.

Singularity is the sequel to last year’s JESSICA — a metafictional look into Jessica’s possible pasts.

Singularity is coming August 1, 2015

Singularity is its own novel, and can be enjoyed all on its own, but if you haven’t read JESSICA, GO HERE to read the first chapter or GO HERE to purchase a copy in paperback or e-book.

 

 

Cover Reveal: Ichabod Brooks & the City of Beasts by Charles E. Yallowitz #fantasy #adventure

Shades of Beowulf! Charles E. Yallowitz has a new story coming out soon at an Amazon Marketplace near you … and for only 99 cents! The cover alone is worth so much more … the story, no doubt, will be priceless!

Legends of Windemere

Coming on June 1st for 99 cents!

Ichabod Brooks & the City of Beasts (Cover by Nio Mendoza) Ichabod Brooks & the City of Beasts (Cover by Nio Mendoza)

In a time of heroes, a man will take any job to provide for his family.

Ichabod Brooks has earned a reputation for taking the jobs most men and women fear to challenge. This reputation has brought him to the charred remains of a small village nestled within the hills and forest of Ralian. The ruins are a source of strange monsters that terrorize the countryside and repeatedly elude the local guards and hunters. The few brave souls who have entered the creatures’ lair have yet to come out alive or dead.

The chances of survival are slim, but that generous payment is too much for Ichabod to resist. After all, a man and his family have to eat.

Author PhotoAuthor Biography

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York…

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Never say never: get Occasional Soulmates for free next weekend

To everyone who enjoys a good story, one that she will ponder for a long while after finishing the book: Next weekend, one of my fav authors is GIVING AWAY his most recent novel. You can get Occasional Soulmates for free next weekend! Of course, I would prefer that readers do what I did and buy the paperback version because it is so much more fun to read than an e-book. But, if you haven’t yet read Occasional Soulmates, take advantage of the free promotion next weekend. Read and fall in love with Sarah Phelan and Dylan Cakebread and follow them on their sometimes hilarious, sometimes heart-breaking journey. Then buy the paperbook because, you know, you’ll want that baby on your bookshelf.

Photo on 9-22-14 at 7.24 PM

WHAT THE HELL

3D cover

I know, I know. I said I’d never do it. Early in my self-publishing experiment, I declared (at least I think I did) that I’d never give my books away as a promotion. The very idea repelled me. I gagged at the notion that people would grab the thing by the hundreds for free but they wouldn’t pay the 99 cents I usually ask in a promo. Yet, it seems to be the case that self-publishing ebooks is almost dependent on the freebie.

What changed my mind, you ask? Well, for one thing, sales of Occasional Soulmates have been (sob sob) disappointing. My experience this time around has driven home the fact that you have to market constantly, you have to spend quite a bit of money, and you have to obsess over the selling of a book to give it any kind of life on the charts. Possibly I…

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Three Ghosts is now on sale!

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the best way (whether you’re Irish or not): Indulge yourself with a FREE copy of Katie Sullivan’s latest story, Three Ghost, and while you’re at it, pick up a copy of her novel, Changelings: Into the Mist, on SALE! Then you can go and get yourself a nice Irish coffee to sip while reading 🙂

Katie Sullivan

Cover Art by Casey T. Malone Cover Art by Casey T. Malone

What do you do when the decisions you’ve made come back to haunt you? How do you make them right? Can you, when one wrong move will mean lives lost?

Deirdre O’Brien, an American political-activist living in Dublin, married the wrong man – and had to kill him to save the lives of thousands. Fifteen years later, he’s back from the dead, with a horrific plan to destroy the tenuous peace between Belfast, Dublin and London. To stop him, Dee will throw herself at a seedy underworld, where nothing is what it seems, and trust is a commodity too short in supply.

She only has three days – three days, and three ghosts. She will confront them, or risk becoming one herself.

The Race is On!

I first presented Three Ghosts as a serialized short story here at the blog, but as the story…

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