Weather Report, Feb. 5

highway road picture 6

 

OUR CURRENTLY FEATURED BOOKS, “LIVING REVISION,” BY ELIZABETH JARRETT ANDREW, “GUESS AND CHECK,” BY THADDEUS RUTKOWSKI AND “IN SYCAMORE HALL,” BY ALISON DANIELS, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST, OR BY CLICKING ON THE AUTHOR’S NAME ON OUR AUTHOR PAGE.

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The upcoming week’s two highlighted books, “Drive,” by Don Tassone, and “Hug Everyone You Know,” by Antoinette Martin, will be the 393rd and 394th to be highlighted since Snowflakes in a Blizzard began in May of 2015.

When you consider the 30 million or so books currently listed on Amazon, that’s just a grain of sand on a beach. Nor do our 3,000 or so followers stack up all that impressively  alongside some of the behemoth blogs currently targeting writers and readers.

So Goodreads, we’re not. But that’s OK — as the sole proprietor of a free service, I’m not sure how I’d cope if I were suddenly swamped with authors wanting to be included.

That’s why I don’t do much in the way of advertising. Sure, I want Snowflakes to grow, but in a manageable way.

Nor do I make any promises about the potential benefits to writers. As I’ve said before, I compare what I do to a dating service — I can set you up with dating partners, but I can’t control what happens after that.

What makes Snowflakes in a Blizzard unique, I believe, is that each blog follower receives a separate weekly e-mail for each book that is featured.  And since many of them pass those posts along via their own social media, the weekly Snowflakes “eye count” is probably double or triple that 3,000.

I find most of our highlighted writers by rummaging through the Websites of smaller publishing houses (New York Times best-selling authors would have no need for this service) and extending an invitation to the authors of books that seem to fit our profile. Other participants come to me by word of mouth, or bearing recommendations from other writers, or from publishers who see the value of this site. I even find them on Twitter.

I’m looking for books that were considered worthy of being published, but could obviously use more exposure. If they can’t be herded into the standard genre corrals, all the better.  I gravitate toward collections of poetry and short stories as well as novels, because I feel those forms are underappreciated.

Finally, I often refer to Snowflakes in the second person, even though it has no supplemental employees. That “we” or “us” includes the writers who have been listed and the blog followers who have chosen to meet them. I have had a lot of fun doing this, been introduced to some wonderful books I would not have encountered otherwise, and maybe even helped a few authors move incrementally forward.

As I write this, by coincidence, it’s snowing.

UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, FEB. 6-12.

“DRIVE,” BY DON TASSONE.

Nick Reynolds is a highly successful food company executive. He’s also a bully, feared by his employees and estranged from his wife and children. After his latest blow-up at work, Nick’s boss orders him to take the summer off and sort himself out. Angry and despondent, Nick sets off alone from his home in Chicago for Bar Harbor, Maine.

This is the story of what Nick experiences, learns and chooses along the way. It is a colorful and moving portrait of a man who must rediscover who he is and decide whether he can go on.

“HUG EVERYONE YOU KNOW,” BY ANTOINETTE MARTIN.

Antoinette Martin believed herself to be a healthy and sturdy woman—that is, until she received a Stage 1 breast cancer diagnosis. Cancer is scary enough for the brave, but for a wimp like Martin, it was downright terrifying. Martin had to swallow waves of nausea at the thought of her body being poisoned and frequently fainted during blood draws and infusions. To add to her terror, cancer suddenly seemed to be all around her. In the months following her diagnosis, a colleague succumbed to cancer, and five of her friends were also diagnosed.

Though tempted, Martin knew she could not hide in bed for ten months. She had a devoted husband, daughters, and a tribe of friends and relations. Along with work responsibilities, there were graduations, anniversaries, and roller derby bouts to attend, not to mention a house to sell and a summer of beach-bumming to enjoy. To harness support without scaring herself or anyone else, she journaled her experiences and began to e-mail the people who loved her—the people she called My Everyone. She kept them informed and reminded all to “hug everyone you know” at every opportunity. Reading the responses became her calming strategy. Ultimately, with the help of her community, Martin found the courage within herself to face cancer with perseverance and humor.

FIRST TUESDAY REPLAY

This month, we will revisit “The Bomber,” by David O’Sullivan, “Looking @ Life,” by Polly Esther, “Fill the Stadium,” by K.M. Daughters, “Beautiful Ape Girl Baby,” by Heather Fowler, “Sharavogue,” by Nancy Blanton and “Shrapnel,” by Marie Manilla.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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bridgetowriters

Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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