Monday, July 2, 2012

Good things happen when you're out of town

I went away for a week, and lots of nice things happened while I was away!  For one thing, I didn't spend much energy thinking or worrying about Secrets of a Summer Village, its sequel, or my other book.  And while I was busy not worrying, there was some minor action:

1. I was a guest poster at a very beautiful expat website:  

2. My book was reviewed by a very nice reader who won my book through the Goodreads giveaway.  I believe she's a librarian.  

Secrets of a Summer Village is a perfect summer read for middle school age youth and older. It tells the coming-of-age story of 17-year-old Rachel who ventures abroad to Turkey from her home in Washington state. Rachel lives for one month with her Turkish host family. There she has a 17-year-old "sister" named Aylen and an older "sister," Leyla. The family has moved to their summer home on the sea for their vacation. Most of the action during the story takes place in this summer village. 

The characters bond almost immediatelty and Rachel finds herself feeling like she has been in Turkey much longer than a few days. While there Rachel meets a boy, falls in love, and experiences jealousy in her interactions with other girls. She goes through the brief courtship of the older sister, Leyla, and stays in Turkey longer than the original month in order to take part in Leyla's wedding. 

Both Rachel and the reader learn much about modern family life in Turkey and many of it's customs. The author is able to insert all these facts into the book in a way that is natural and that doesn't detract from the story line.The story itself is told in a more simplistic style, using language that reflects the unsophisticated characters of both Rachel and Aylen. The fact that there is no profanity used and that there is only the mention of physical attraction rather than overt sexual references, makes the book more approachable by readers in the middle school age range. However, older readers might just find the book a refreshing change from other young adult novels being written today.

I enjoyed this book and felt that I learned a lot about Turkey and its way of life. I recommend the story to readers age 11 and up.

(In compliance with FTC guidelines, I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.)

She posted the review on Amazon, too, and gave the book 4 stars :) (note: she spelled the charatcter Aylin's name wrong. But I forgive her fully.)

I've got some more guest posts coming up soon, and will keep you all posted.  

In other news, I've had more rejections of my children's books.  But I have not given up.   I just read our children the stupidest bedtime story last night.  And it was published. It's about underwear.  Sadly, they liked it.  But my books are better. I think. 

I've made zero progress on my audiobook, but will work on that furiously for the next few weeks.  My goal is to have the audiobook 100% done in two weeks, and the editing done before July 25th.  Better get working.....


  1. Whoops, the reviewer is a speech therapist, not a librarian! :)

  2. "I just read our children the stupidest bedtime story last night. And it was published. It's about underwear. Sadly, they liked it. But my books are better. I think."

    I'm sure your books are better. The children's stories I've seen on bookstore shelves lately seem so banal and uninteresting - as if the writer assumes children can hardly think. My theory is that they indeed will NOT think if they aren't given good books to read as children. I hope your stories do get accepted soon!