Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Book Review: 2 4 1--Cats and Publishing Hell

If the cover art didn't tickle my fancy, I doubt I would have picked The Girl with the Cat Tattoo by Theresa Weir as a read. But I did, and I'm glad I did. This novella was listed as a romance, I guess it's because the cat, Max, is trying to set up his owner, Melody, with a new boyfriend two years after his first owner and her husband, David, a cop was murdered. You got all that. Good. I liked Max. He moved and thought like a cat, not that I'm a cat whisperer.

Amazon Link
Though the subject matter underlying the story is quite deep, getting back into life after the death of a spouse, it is given broad brushstrokes for this story. The story also leaves little doubt what the outcome is going to be. Just how we get there is the somewhat interesting part, especially with the odd costumes that the heroine wears as part of her job that are very inappropriate for the situations in which she ends up.

While the mystery was nicely woven into the story, the ending was a bit ho-hum with a character out of the blue and the final solution not as sharp as it could have been. It felt a bit like a test case for a line of stories with only so much time invested and a bit of an attempt to steal some thunder for a similarly titled novel (cat=dragon). Still if you like cats, a little romance, and mystery light, this could be your cup of tea for a short drive to grandma's for Thanksgiving. A solid "4" from me.

Bonus Review

How the HELL Do I Do This? A Blogging Writer's Tiny Guide for Self-Publishers By Kareen Wade is a non-fiction advice book targeted for self-publishing authors. It took the time to eat two egg McMuffins, two hash browns and one refill of an extra-large diet coke to go through the book. The bottom line: Uneven, but for $.99 you could do worse, and I have found many books of lesser value for similar price on the same topic.

Amazon Link
This one was part cheerleader and part marketing guide with an uneven mix of emphasis on a few topics and drive-by hits on some topics. The big thumbs-up for the book were many of the links to other sites and the author's enthusiasm to help everyone maximize their sales. The downside is the material felt like it was gathered in a rush and lacked some focus on maximizing your effort except for a huge pump-up of Google+. It was also a bit of a mixed bag for the reader as to the knowledge base necessary for the writers to even address some of the advice.

But like most advice in the fast-paced world of self-publishing, what's hot today is old news tomorrow. Writers venturing into the world of self-publishing need to be on their toes for those tidbits that have true value in selling their wares. If you're a newbie, this might be your grab-bag of information and techniques worth a "4", but overall, it is a slightly better than average source of publishing advice, a strong "3," with the hopes that if it is re-issued with a clearer sense of direction and prioritization, it can move up in ratings. 

No comments: