This year. Every year people set goals for themselves, things they would like to accomplish over the next 365 days. Some of us start out great and some of us quit before the first 24 hours is up.
Last year, I set a goal to read 500 books. I had stumbled upon the Goodreads Reading Challenge and thought, “go big, or go home” and I read a lot! My children complain regularly that I have my nose in a book and constantly ask, “why are you reading?” It’s one of the things that really gets under my skin. It makes me want to say, “Well, why are you playing video games or why are you watching t.v. or why are you Face timing again!”
Goodreads says that I reached my 2016 goal, but I was actually about 100 books shy of reaching it. Some books I’d completed had not been marked “read” and therefore pushed me over the 500 mark.
One of my goals this year as a reader is to show a little more support to the authors that I read. I have found many new authors via Kindle Unlimited, BookBub, Instafreebie, Inspired Reads, Goodreads, Amazon, Facebook and friend recommendations. If it were not for all these avenues of finding books I would seriously be missing out on some great stories.
One of the ways I plan to further support my fellow writers this year, is by leaving a review with Amazon and Goodreads for every book I read. I already like many of their pages, profiles and follow them, but I haven’t always left reviews. I don’t know how helpful reviews are and I do hope to be finding that out for myself later this year! I also decided to take it one step further and share about each book with you here, perhaps you will find new authors to love as well.
I am a member of a Facebook group called Sweet Wild West Reads. It is a wonderfully active group and in that group I connected with author George H. Mcvey. One particular day the authors from the group were telling a bit about themselves and readers were asking them questions. I always love learning why an author chose to write, that day, I got to ask George.
The response he gave me came in the form of a small story and left me with the desire to read a book of his; Redeeming Reputation. I finished reading it just this evening.
First, let me tell you a little bit about the way I review books. I do not share any details of the story that will give it away or spoil it. I do not critique the author’s writing style – to each their own, as long as it is not distracting or filled chalk full of typo’s. I DO, however warn you if the author uses foul language. I personally believe that takes away from the story as it distracts me. If I find something else within the book that is distracting I will point it out, for example: hard to read fonts, lots of bold lettering and things of that nature.
My purpose for leaving the review is to help the author, however, I will be honest and give the correct amount of stars in regards to my dislike or love of the book. My reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are short and sweet. I tell the author and the reader if I liked the book and I always say thank you, as the author put a lot of time, effort and bravery into writing it and sharing it with the world.
Since I have decided to write reviews here as well, they may be a little more “wordy” but they will not reveal or spoil anything, and they will be written as a letter to the author. I hope you enjoy them.
I finished reading Redeeming Reputation today and wanted to take a moment to share my feelings with you. At first, I honestly did not expect much. I try not to judge a book by it’s cover, but once in awhile I still do. The cover did not say to me; Pick Me! Pick Me! I chose to read Redeeming Reputation because of YOU.
I connected with you via Facebook in the Sweet Wild West Reads group and there you shared with me the story of why you write. It brought tears to my eyes and made me smile. That was the reason I purchased and read your book. Most of your comments within the group cause me to smile or chuckle. Your friendly nature is the reason I visited Amazon the very day you told me the story of why you write. I simply had to know more.
As I began the book, I was still unsure if I was going to finish it. I even stopped reading it and finished reading Josephine Blake’s book Dianna (which I need to write a review on). After finishing Dianna and continuing to connect with you on Facebook I realized I hadn’t been fair to you or your book and it deserved my true attention, but it was hard because you’d hit a nerve with own heart.
I picked it up again last night, as I read before bed, almost always. I was surprised when I glanced up to see my clock telling me it was well after midnight! I knew I should be sleeping, just like now, yet I’m wide awake. I couldn’t believe it! I gave you my full attention and you hooked me.
I did put the book down and go to sleep…sometimes I don’t, then I really struggle the next day. Thursday’s are my full writing days and I could not focus today. I tried over and over, but my mind kept wondering back to that book! Why did it appeal to me so much? It was new and fresh, but it was more than that George.
You see, I know that you are not only an author but a Pastor. My Grandpa was a pastor. In your book, the character is a Preacher and he also finds himself working for the Sheriff. My Grandpa was also a police officer. The character in the book tells us of things his Grandfather taught him, like how to shoot a gun. The relationship between Nathan and his Grandfather is what got me.
It melted my heart and it brought tears to my eyes. Now, I don’t know if the story will do that with each reader, but it did with me because my Grandpa was one of the most important men in my life. He taught me to shoot a gun, drive a car, plant a garden and so many, many things. He was a great storyteller and I loved to listen to him. He was the greatest man I’ve ever known. His home, was like my second home as I was there just as often. I knew someday I would loose him and I knew I’d never be ready for that day.
That day came October 9th, 2013 and I still struggle with it. I miss him so much; his voice, his laughter, his storytelling, his hugs and his belief in me.
Redeeming Reputation connected with my heart on so many levels. I do not want to spoil anything for future readers so let me just say this… Nathan wanted to do something, his goals and motivations were there because of God and his Grandfather.
My Grandpa is the reason I have decided to bring my written works out into the open for the world to see. Many, many years ago when I was but a teenager I wrote a letter to a dying woman, trying in my very small way to encourage and comfort her. I never mailed it. I forgot about it. My Grandpa found it and read it. The letter had touched him so much that he was disappointed it had not reached it’s intended before she passed. He spoke with me at length about my writing and told me then to stop hiding it; that it was a gift God had given me. I regret that I did not listen and I pray that God has given Grandpa a window to see that I am finally following his advice. I know in my heart he is at peace and I am happy for him, but I still miss him so much.
Redeeming Reputation made me feel close to my Grandpa again for just a few hours and for that my heart and I thank you.
This wasn’t the writing I had planned to do today, obviously, but it is the writing that occurred and now I must get to bed as I sadly do not get to sleep in on Friday’s. I hope if you have taken the time to read this post, that you will give George’s book a chance. Maybe it will touch your heart too or at the very least leave you with a warm smile. Be Blessed.