5.0 out of 5 stars Felt Like a Kid Again July 16, 2012
If you like books that can take you back to a simpler place and time, read this one.
Sweet and endearing, this book is very enjoyable, with well drawn characters and a few twists and turns. I read this on the beach in Michigan, but as I flipped the Kindle pages I was easily taken south, to a small Texas town of the 70's. It brought back many great childhood memories of my own. Don't be afraid to upload this to your Kindle, and enjoy.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Whodunnit Read For Summer …(or anytime, really) July 23, 2011
I just read this little gem of a whodunnit and was completely enthralled. First off, kudos to the author on character development. It's the first thing that carries you in to the story because the 2 boys are so genuine that they engage you right away. This can't be easy for an adult author to pull off, but he does it in expert fashion. The use of childhood -or rather, boyhood humor, comes at unexpected yet welcomed times and had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion. You might be disappointed if you're looking for a gruesome read, because this one's "G-rated."
Second, the plot is masterfully crafted with twists and turns that come at the pace you'd expect from a murder-mystery. Plus, the twist at the end will surely come as a surprise to even a serial whodunnit reader. I have to add that for anyone who is fond of southern culture and idioms, this story will quench your thirst in a big way. I can't remember the last book I read that had this kind of authentic grasp on southern mannerisms, and being a born and bred northerner, I literally crave southern characters. I'm definitely adding this author's name to my search list.
5.0 out of 5 stars Will be rereading this one. June 20, 2013
By Donna B. Smith
Eagerly awaiting sequels. Chilling story line with unique characters. I certainly felt connected to events as they unfolded and felt the horror that Junebug and friend must have felt. Chillbumps!
My wife convinced me to read the YA trilogy, The Hunger Games and I must say I'm pretty impressed. Being YA books they are a very fast read but the author does a great job of creating a complete world even though the books are unraveling at a breakneck speed.
The villain in the story is both the system and a character named President Snow (who I invariably picture as Newt Gingrich), but it raised interesting questions in my mind as to how books develop.
It is generally accepted that novels have to have a protagonist (hero) and an antagonist (villain) although sometimes the real villain is a system or way of life although that can also be embodied in a specific person.
This was done wonderfully in the Hunger Games books just as J.K. Rowling managed to do in the Harry Potter series. Both President Snow and Voldemort are absolutely evil with no redeeming features, as opposed to a more sophisticated embodiment of evil such as Hannibal Lecter.
In my own books, I have one character in No' Chance, Silas, who is evil and I made no attempts to develop a reason for his evil or gave the reader any sympathy toward him. In Junebug and the Body, there is a villain (I won't give away who it is) that, while they're not evil, they are definitely the bad guy.
In The Bottle Tree, my personal favorite to write, I used a character to embody the racial atmosphere that existed in the Deep South as a way of life at that time.
One of the new books I am working on, in addition to the second book in the Junebug and the second book in the Noah Chance series, is about methamphetamine use and the villain in that book is really the drug and poor choices in life.
What are your thoughts? Is one kind of villain preferable over the others?
I know many of my readers are also writers. If that is you, which type of villain do you prefer reading about and which do you prefer to write about?
A couple of people have asked if I'm going to publish print versions of my books and the answer is, probably so, but I'm not in a big hurry to do so.
Yes, many people don't have access to Kindles and Nooks and that limits my market right now. I know, people can read them using the free viewers for Kindle and Nook available for computers, but I'm not a big fan of reading on the computer and I suspect many others feel the way I do. Reading on the Kindle is a pleasure as it appears to be for the Nook. As a side note, as I get older the ability to increase the size of the font on the Kindle becomes a favorite feature.
One main reason that i write for the Kindle and Nook is that it's easy. I can write what I want, how I want, and don't have to listen to anybody telling me to change it so it looks more like something else that is on the market. I could mimic someone else but then it's not really me writing and, as other writers know, we write because we have to write not always because we want it to be marketable. As a character in the television series Supernatural whined, "Writing's hard!"
Another reason I write eBooks is because I can set the selling price. Since I got my Kindle I have gotten very, very conscious of what books cost. For some reason it sticks in my craw to pay $1 less for a Kindle book than a print copy. Certainly, I still do it sometimes but I know that the prices the big publishers charge for eBooks could be cut, they just choose not to and fight the market. I have found some great books on Amazon that were priced at $4.99 or less, and some for as little as $ .99 (even a few for free) and so I now look for more independent writers and spend less time looking through the bestseller lists. Sure, some have a few spelling or grammatical errors and some have formatting issues (I know from experience there are still bugs in the conversion programs) but I can forgive a lot for a $20 savings.
I LOVE the feel and smell of a book, but realistically eBooks are the wave of the future not only for the reasons cited above, and I will again emphasize the ability to increase the font size, but also because they read well in the sun and are extremely convenient. I can carry hundreds of books around with me in a package smaller and lighter than most printed copies. Since I travel a lot, this is also a big deal.