Wednesday, 29 September 2010

AlphaReview: Books from afar...

The last month has been not a little crazy for me at work, and my writing has suffered somewhat.  I will be turning a new leaf over in October and getting back to it in earnest.

In the meantime though, I have been lucky enough to receive three books from afar – they have crossed the pond to find me from the United States.

The first is Cinders, a novella by Michelle Davidson Argyle.  Michelle was one of my first readers and has offered me some great encouragement and inspiration so far.
I devoured Cinders in under 24 hours and loved every word of it.  It deserves more time than I can give it here so I will be writing a review in due course, but until that time is forthcoming, I wholeheartedly recommend it and congratulate Michelle on such an engaging book.

The second book to land on my mat was Genre Wars, which I was lucky enough to win via a contest at The Literary Lab (incidentally, Michelle of Cinders fame also contributes to this blog).  I have whiled away many an hour gleaning nuggets of writerly wisdom from the contributors at the Lab, and encourage anyone interested in literary fiction to check it out.
Genre Wars is a collection of short pieces in a range of genres (duh) by various writers.  I have only dipped into it so far, but it is likely to be accompanying me on holiday shortly so that I can get stuck in – so again, watch this space for a review.

The third book from the land of the free is The Preacher’s Bride by Jody Hedlund.  Again, I was lucky to receive this as it’s an influencer copy, and when I first contacted Jody she wasn’t sure whether her publishers would send one all the way to England.  So I was particularly pleased and surprised when it was delivered to me!
This is a historical novel set in a puritan community in Bedford (my side of the pond) shortly after the English Civil War.  Its plot centres around a strong young puritan woman who is drawn to help the family of a preacher after his wife’s death.  I started reading it earlier this week and have been impressed by the compelling dialogue, beautiful scene-setting and attention to detail.  Again, I will post a full review once I have finished it – for now, all you need to know is that ‘just one chapter before bed’ always turns into three or four….

You should also check out Jody’s blog for oodles of great advice from a debut novelist.

That’s all for now folks!