Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Brick Walls and Mazes

No, I'm not talking about writing novels, though I could be.

There are times when writing Sebastian and Neely's story has felt like I've been wandering around in a maze, and that the only way out is to scale over a brick wall, but someone keeps moving it!

Fortunately it wasn't like that today. Today Seb and Neely and I had a very good day, and I've left them happily liplocked for the moment while I come over here to announce that today's book is a hardcover copy of Charming Grace by the talented amazing Deborah Smith.

If you have read Deborah's books, you already know how great she is and you need no introduction. If you haven't, you should. And Gunnar will try to see that you win this week because Deborah is an amazing writer. Charming Grace is an amazing book.

Grace is dealing with enough pain in her life for any ten women -- most of it suffered when her dearly beloved husband Harp was killed in the line of duty as a member of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation while protecting a hospital's patients from a killer. Harp is a hero -- and someone wants to make a movie of his life.

Grace is not thrilled. And she's even less thrilled when she comes face to face with the man making the film and his bodyguard/sidekick/enforcer ex-con buddy, Boone. Grace has issues. Boone has issues.

And Deborah Smith does inter-personal "issues" better than anyone. She never skims the surface of her characters. They are real and flesh and blood, and if you look closely you can see them bleed on the page.

I love her books because she doesn't shy away from tough stuff. Smith's characters never get to take the easy way out. You will laugh with them, cry with them, and cheer for them to find their happy ending. And chances are it won't be exactly the ending you expect.

Great book. Comment this week and get in the drawing.

I spent the day when I wasn't with Seb and Neely preparing and then giving a talk on Brick Wall Ancestors and various ways to trick them into telling you what you need to know about them. It's surprisingly like writing, really. You have to sneak up on them, come at them from where they least expect it. And never give up.

It works lots of the time -- for both genealogy and writing books.

And thanks to all who asked, the frogs are mustering. Making great efforts to get themselves properly aligned before send-off. Of course frog # 8 is still MIA, but I have hopes he'll turn up shortly.

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Blogger Dina said...

I've not had a chance to read any of Deborah's books yet, I'll have to try soon.

23 April, 2008  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Dina, Deborah Smith's books are deeply emotional and quirky at the same time. You never get "milque-toast" characters in her books. They all stand out in deep relief. She's a very Southern writer, too. You get a real sense of place and cultural context. Powerful, strong stuff.

23 April, 2008  

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