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Tag Archives: Audrey Driscoll

An Antidote …

,,, to The Worst Book Ever.

For every indie author who puts lousy product out there, I come across a handful that do much better work. Kevin Brennan is the gold standard. Tammy Robinson is right up there also.

Sidetrack here. Tammy was one of the first indie authors I “got to know” when I started blogging and publishing myself. Her first book Charlie and Pearl just absolutely knocked my socks off. She self-published a few more books, ending with Differently Normal. It was that book that got Tammy a two book publishing contract with a major publisher. The second book, Photos of You, was recently published in New Zealand (coming to other countries slowly) and went to #1 there. Such success couldn’t have come to a better person.

Anyway, there are plenty of others out there. Two who recently came to my attention are Audrey Driscoll and Berthold Gambrel.  Audrey and Berthold write in genres that I don’t read much of these days. As a result, I’m not going to try to “review” them in the true sense. Hell, I never really try to review books. I do reviews my own way.

The best description I can provide for Audrey’s work is supernatural, historical fiction. She’s been compared to H.P. Lovecraft. Not having read Lovecraft, I have no idea if the comparison is valid. But I have read two of Audrey’s books — The Friendship of Mortals and her most recent work, She Who Comes Forth. Both books are well written with fascinating characters. They also are clearly the result of study and research. It’s clear that Audrey cares about her craft and want to put quality in front of her readers.

Berthold writes in science fiction. Through the course of a novel and several short stories he is creating a future world that you might compare to the Star Trek world. I’ve read his novel The Directorate and just completed his long short story 1NG4, with another short story he published several months ago still unread, waiting quietly on my Kindle. I also, maybe, had the opportunity to grab a sneak peek at something that’s coming up.

What I like about Berthold’s stories, and I think I said this before when I posted a review of The Directorate, is that they are science fiction stories with real people in them. The people and their feelings and how they deal with things haven’t necessarily changed because they exist in a future world. No, they’re just like humans today — it’s just that the world has expanded to planets and solar systems and travel by light years. His stories also don’t overwhelm the reader with the technical realities of the future world. Those details are embedded in the story naturally as you go.

So, there you have it. Just in case you think all indie authors publish typo-filled, poorly written schlock … it ain’t true. Go to Amazon, give Audrey and Berthold a try and while you’re at it, check out Kevin Brennan and Tammy Robinson. I don’t think you could be disappointed by any of them.

 

Carrie Rubin and Audrey Driscoll — Authors Who Deserve More

Audrey Driscoll is a blogger/writer who has followed my blog for some time. I have always appreciated her likes and occasional comments, but I only recently returned the favor and started following her blog a few months ago.  It’s the kind of writer’s blog I appreciate. Most of the time you don’t even realize she has pursued publishing efforts because much of her blog is dedicated to her other pursuits.

A few weeks ago Berthold Gambrel posted a review of one of Audrey’s books, The Friendship of Mortals. Interestingly, Berthold learned of Audrey from my blog, likely because of a comment she left there that he then followed down the WordPress trail. His review inspired me to read The Friendship of Mortals. And I don’t know why. I’ve never read Lovecraft and haven’t the foggiest idea about his (her?) books and stories, although I’ve heard the name occasionally over the years.

Actually, I do know why. I wanted to show some support for a fellow writer and I hoped for a good story to go along with it.

So, I downloaded the Kindle version of The Friendship of Mortals and spent the next few weeks reading it. I’m ashamed it took me so long to read it because it was a book I could have easily read in a few days or a week in my earlier years. It was that good. I really didn’t want to put it down. But these days, my reading time is limited to the few minutes I can keep my eyes open when I head upstairs at the end of the day, and some occasional opportunities on weekends. Sitting and reading for a couple of hours is a rare occurrence.

Regular readers know that I don’t write typical book reviews. That, in my mind, requires more work than I’m willing to put into reading a book. To do so would, potentially, destroy the joy I experience when I read a good book, and I don’t want to risk losing that joy — a thing that has stayed with me for much of my 53 years on this planet.

The Friendship of Mortals is a well-written tale. I don’t know if it is true to Lovecraft, although Berthold certainly thinks so. What I do know is that I really enjoyed the story and believe Audrey Driscoll deserves more attention than she gets for her writing. The Friendship of Mortals is a book that in a different, better world would be traditionally published and would find an audience. More people should be buying and reading it. If you want more details, you should read Berthold’s review — he’s much better at these things than I.

As the days rolled on and I worked towards the end of Audrey’s book, I knew that I had to finish the book to move on to the next one. The Bone Curse was a-coming, just in time for our trip to Sedona.

I’ve been following and reading Carrie Rubin for years now. The Bone Curse is her third book. She writes medical thrillers and The Bone Curse promised a stretching of her boundaries. A trip, not just through medical mysteries, but also a bit into the supernatural and mysterious world of the vodou religion. After reading her first two books — The Seneca Scourge and Eating Bull — and continuing to read her blog and following her on Twitter, Carrie has become an author I want to keep reading. I want to see how she grows as a writer and what she comes up with next.

It’s an odd thing. There are very few times I’ve viewed writers in this way — wanting to see how they grow. But I think that’s one of the things that e-books and all of the ways books can get published these days has done. Much like Spotify and streaming services have opened many doors for musicians I would have never heard of under the old regime, publishing has been blown wide open as a result of the internet and technology. Carrie is an author I likely would have never heard of in the “old days,” but through social media and less traditional publishing routes, I did.

Carrie very clearly cares about her craft and the quality of what she puts out into the universe. Each of her books has shown her growth as a writer as she spins more complex tales. I can’t wait to see what comes next, but first … The Bone Curse.

The book arrived in the mail a couple of days before we left for Sedona. I took four books with me on the trip, but I knew which book would be first. I started reading The Bone Curse while we waited to board our plane. After the 90 minute flight was over, I was 100 pages in and I wouldn’t have minded hurtling through the rest of the book to the end.

But I was on vacation and we were pretty busy over the next few days. Always, in the back of my mind was the thought “when would I get to pick the book up again.” The Bone Curse is just absolutely relentless. There is no break, no time to relax. Carrie’s ability to just keep moving the action forward, to keep ratcheting up the tension, is displayed from beginning to end in The Bone Curse. If you want a taut, well-written medical/supernatural thriller that will demand your attention and commitment, pick up her book and get started.

It’s interesting, Audrey’s The Friendship of Mortals is a bit different. It’s a bit slower. In my Amazon review of the book, I compared it to baseball. There’s a bit of leisure to it, a bit of poetry. To carry the sports analogy a bit further — Carrie’s The Bone Curse is like an NHL playoff game that’s gone to overtime.

Both Audrey Driscoll and Carrie Rubin are the types of writers who deserve more attention than they’re getting.  These ladies are incredibly talented. They are committed to their craft and they write stories that deserve a much larger audience than they are getting. It’s great that the technology-driven explosion of publishing has given them a platform. Now, it’s time for their platforms to expand.

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