Entries by Mary Maddox

What are you, writer or author?

I began wondering about the fine distinctions between a writer and an author after encountering some online snootiness toward those who self-publish. One commentator sniffed that self-publishers cannot be authors since no one has validated their work; they’re merely writers who scribble whatever nonsense comes to mind and upload it to KDP or CreateSpace or […]

Anne Steinberg’s Manroot: magic and mystery

In Manroot Anne Steinberg tells the tragic story of Katherine, who inherits the gift of magic from her Native American mother and nothing but heartache from her abusive white father. After her mother’s death Katherine and her father travel from the Southwest US to a small town in Missouri, where they find work at a tourist […]

Have you written a short story that deserves to be read?

The Awesome Indies are looking for short stories for their upcoming anthology. Submissions are open to anyone. Here are the guidelines: 1.    Length: 4500 word maximum with no minimum. Short shorts are as welcome as longer works. 2.  Target audience: We want to appeal to a general adult audience. a.  No explicit violence or […]

The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky: worth your time

I began David Litwack’s novel The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky expecting the title character to be a fabulous creature supercharged with magical power. Instead I met Kailani, a nine-year-old girl who has run away from home. Kailani does have the ability to transform the lives of those she meets, but her power […]

Ebony and Spica: Two Birds in My Life

In Ebony and Spica: Two Birds in My Life, Janet Doolaege tells about a blackbird and a starling who were rescued as fledglings and spent long and happy lives as part of her household. It might seem like there wouldn’t be much of a story here, but the author’s keen observations and skillful description make […]

Channeling my inner grammar nazi

There’s nothing like a dose of ambivalence to add unwelcome melodrama to your life. Allow me to introduce Grammar Nazi. She takes up space in my head, and like any good nazi she’s always looking to expand her territory. I think I remember her from sixth grade.   No way am I a grammar nazi. […]

My writing process is mine alone

Author Tahlia Newland has offered me the opportunity to join in this blog tour. The idea is simple. I answer a series of questions on my writing process and my current work, then I tag new authors to answer the same questions, and the chain carries on, a pattern of infinite growth. Unfortunately, the authors […]

The Fourth Season: a literary mystery

The Fourth Season is the fourth and final book in a mystery quartet by award-winning Australian author Dorothy Johnson. (The others are The Trojan Dog, The White Tower, and Eden.) I read the book with the disadvantage of not having read the earlier ones, so I knew nothing about the protagonist, Sandra Mahoney. She lives […]

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New by Tori Ridgewood: Blood and Fire

I’m delighted to welcome back author Tori Ridgewood. Blood and Fire, second book in her Talbot Trilogy, has just hit the virtual shelves. What chance does one witch have against five vampires? Alone, not much. But Rayvin’s allies are gathering… The battle between good and evil supernatural forces heats up in the long, cold November […]

Confession of a story binger

I don’t remember much from the summer I was thirteen, months of boredom punctuated by moments of emotional violence involving my father and/or my stepmother and/or my grandmother and/or me. I lived with Nana in a trailer behind the tavern Dad owned. The trailer had a small yard with a dusty cacti garden and a […]