Thirty Minute Reader, The Return!

Hi there! Oh! Well, thank you! It’s great to be back! I’m still reading and writing and reviewing, but this week I’ve mostly been writing. I wrote a post over the weekend, but it turned into a rambling rant about a topic that has been done by better folks than yours truly. Here, for example, by Kristin Lamb. I decided I’d better stick with talking about the stuff I’ve been reading. In books, that is.

Before I jump in, though, I just want to say how much I really enjoy reading Indie authors. There is so much creativity and talent that we readers have been denied by the templates of big 6 publishers, and what an agent thinks she can sell. I’m not Anti-traditional publishing at all. I’m just glad that there is a bit more to choose from, and that I get to see NEW ideas in fiction. Take a look at the indie authors at your favorite bookseller, and buy a couple of their books. You’ll see what I mean.

If this is your first Thirty Minute Review post, go back to the beginning, and see what you’ve missed.

Aaaaaaand, back.

I have finally made a little time for some catch up reading, and I’m so glad that I did. I got to the halfway point in Dead: The Ugly Beginning last night. I was getting a little worried about the vignettes, to be honest. I was afraid they were going make the whole book feel like a bunch of left over scenes that were thrown in to fill up some space, and turn a short story into a full length novel. I admit it, I had a crisis of faith. The thing is, I couldn’t stop reading it, regardless of which part of the story I was on. It’s all good stuff.

So I better go ahead and say ‘Sorry’ for doubting you, Todd.

image from

I’m happy to admit that I was wrong. Every time I think I know where this book is taking me, Bam! We swerve onto a side street that I didn’t even know was there. It makes for an exciting ride.

I looked back at the stuff I highlighted while reading last night (something I usually do when I find disagreeable grammar), and every item was something I thought was particularly fun, clever, or just wanted to read again. I’m not going to give anything away, but the scene on the highway with the station wagon and the baby… Brilliant! I want more. Happily, I have about half of the book to go.

But first, I have to tell you what’s going on in D.D. Scott’s Carats and Coconuts. After the first story in the book, I am into the actual Carats and Coconuts part. All can say at this point is that more I read these characters, the more fun they are.

D.D.’s narrative style is so easy going, that she can feed you a few bites of back-story, and it will taste just like the main course. It’s sort of like listening to the stories your favorite tells after a long, crazy vacation. You have to imagine that your aunt it really good at it, though.

Even though I’m meeting the characters somewhere after the first book in this series, we’re becoming pretty good friends. I’m not even terribly upset that I’m not the funny one of the gang, either. No, I’m ok with it.  Really, it’s alright, I’m fine. Can we just drop it?

I’ll catch you up again next week. Until then,



Review of We Are Not Alone, by Kristin Lamb

(This is a re-post from last month)


I bought We Are Not Alone (WANA, as I call it), by Kristin Lamb, on the recommendations of Dee Dee Scott and several other authors (Waving at the WG2E), after seeing something called a ‘Tweet’ with #WANA in it. Being a newly published author, and a complete social media neophyte, I knew I needed help. I wanted to be sure I was doing things properly, and with so many powerful endorsements, Kristin seemed just the gal to set me straight.

I started reading WANA with all of the joy and expectations that one might feel opening a computer programming textbook. I was, as you might guess, very pleasantly surprised within the first few pages. Kristin teaches in exactly the way I like to learn.

1. She begins with ‘Why’, as in “Why do I need to bother with all of this ‘Social Media’ voodoo, anyway?”

2. Next comes the ‘What’, as in “Ok, I’m sold. Now what should I do?”

3. Finally, she gives us the ‘How’, as in “Step One: go to this website. Step two, click that button…”, only she does it much better than I am describing. Trust me.

The writing is flawless and entertaining, the content is well laid out, and the material is explained in clear terms with pictures, screenshots, and (don’t you love eBooks?) links to helpful websites and utilities. She took a fairly dry subject (sorry Mr. Zuckerberg), and not only made it interesting, but got me excited about it, and eager to explore the Twitterverse.

Before I read this book, I thought that “social media” was political commentary, websites were made with magic smoke, and a platform was the secret ingredient in my special shoes. Now, I know better, and I’ll be posting all about it next week on my Blog, which will update to my webpage, my Facebook Author page, and MySpace (Yes, MySpace! Read the book!). Don’t worry! I’ll tweet the links.

I am a real stickler for giving honest ratings and reviews, so these five stars are not a giveaway. The only problem I have with this book, is that I didn’t read it six months before releasing my own book, and after all this book has done for me, that’s just not worth taking a star away. Go get this book, and tell it Greg sent you.