Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Backlash, Demons and Pies, Oh My!

by Julie Coulter Bellon

As most of you know, I’ve been getting a lot of reading done lately. The memorable ones that I’ve read in the past two weeks have been Traci Hunter Abramson’s Backlash, Josi Kilpack’s Key Lime Pie, and I was privileged to read Jeff Savage’s new book, Demon Spawn, in manuscript form. They were all amazing books, but in different ways.

Traci’s books have been my adventure escape. She takes the “Saint Squad” on different missions to countries like Abolstan and they get into these impossible situations and have to think their way out of them. The heroes are nicely flawed, yet smart, protective of each other and their country without being obnoxiously over the top. For me, her books have been a nice way to get the adrenaline kicked up as I turn page after page to see what happens next. Her new book, Backlash, however, isn’t like that at all. Backlash is a very emotional book, with one of the Saint Squad dealing with problems in his marriage and problems in his job. There’s not a lot of adventure compared to her other books, and I think it was a real departure from her previous work, but it highlights her versatility as an author. The book will draw you in, adventure or not, because the tension is there for emotional purposes as well as the peripheral danger, and I really enjoyed it, especially the last scene. It was well written and while there wasn’t the normal adrenaline rush throughout, it was still one I’d read again on a rainy day.

Josi’s culinary mysteries have been my guilty pleasure. I never dreamed I’d be so interested in reading about an older woman and her adventures in solving murders, but each book in the series gets more and more engrossing, and I find myself unable to put them down. I read Key Lime Pie in one day and I think that it’s a close second to my all-time favorite Lemon Tart. Josi has such a depth to her plot layering and emotion that resonates through all the relationships, it is really fascinating to read. In this book, there is a body found that could be a long-lost daughter, crazy characters that become endearing and/or annoying, and a love triangle that twists and turns throughout. I thoroughly enjoy Josi’s writing style and the way her characters are so real, but we have the added bonus of recipes that made my mouth water, and look so easy that I think I should really try them. Definitely a five star recommendation in my book.

As for Jeff’s manuscript, Demon Spawn, I know he’s posted bits of it on this blog at times, and all I can tell you is that those little bits are just a small taste of how great this manuscript is. It’s written for a national audience, and is a departure from Jeff’s other books, but I think it showcases all of his strengths as a writer. There is no doubt in my mind this book has the potential to be as big as Hunger Games and other books of that nature. I can’t wait to hear what happens with it.

And if you’re looking for something to read, I heard the Christmas compilation that I was a part of this year, “How Will Christmas Find Us,” is out in stores, but no one I know has seen it yet. This booklet has a cute blue cover with twelve true stories from authors like me, Anita Stansfield, Clair Poulson, Jeri Gilchrist, and Betsy Brannon Green to name a few. I’m just so excited to see it for myself, so let me know if you find it out in the stores, will you?


At 10/07/2010 4:17 PM, Blogger Tamara Hart Heiner said...

they all sound like great books! Which reminds me,I need to request more books from my library!

At 10/07/2010 6:21 PM, Blogger L.T. Elliot said...

I love Josi's books like crazy! I'll have to check out Traci's and I'm super looking forward to Jeff's! Yay for books!

At 10/08/2010 10:39 AM, Blogger Michael Knudsen said...

Some great recommendations, Julie. It's great to see so much great fiction coming from LDS writers! In addition to these, I have to say that Stephanie Black's thrillers (most recently Cold as Ice) are top-notch!

At 10/08/2010 2:02 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Thank you, Michael!


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