Saturday, March 28, 2015


Local #indieauthors whom I've befriended. Looking forward to diving into their books.

A post shared by Roy Pickering (@roylpickering_author) on

I went on a brief Twitter rant the other day about self published / indie authors, inspired by the claim of Sarah Taylor that Self-Publishing is no longer a dirty word.  True?  Depends on who is saying it, I believe.


This is work for white people and people of color to do, sometimes together, sometimes apart. It’s work for writers, agents, editors, artists, fans, executives, interns, directors, and publicists. It’s work for reviewers, educators, administrators. It means taking courageous, real-world steps, not just changing mission statements or submissions guidelines. ~ from Diversity Is Not Enough: Race, Power, Publishing by Daniel José Older

Powerful facts based MUST READ piece by Zetta Elliot on Black Authors and Self-Publishing


Check out the interview I conducted with indie author, Todd Keisling.  If support of indie authors is hard to come by from various parties in the publishing industry machine, at the very least we need to support each other.  Below are reviews written for a few books I've read that were self published.  One of them took off (no, I'm not talking about 50 Shades of Grey) in a big way.  Perhaps it's just a matter of time for the others.

FerrymanFerryman by Carole Sutton

They say the devil is in the details and you will find a rich supply of them in this mystery novel, transporting you to 1970's Cornwall, England, racing aboard a sleek yacht or attending a fancy costume ball where far more than meets the eye is there to be discovered by those in search of answers. One of the people following trails both hot and cold is Steven Pengelly, a man wrongfully convicted of murder who gains his freedom after two years of imprisonment when the body of the woman he was supposed to have killed surfaces from the depths of the sea, freshly deceased. Although he has no further need to clear his name, the sister of a woman gone missing convinces him to join her desperate rescue mission. A man who does need redemption is Alec Grimstone, the detective who saw to it that Steven was convicted and now must follow the only path that will lead to a clean conscience, and to the true abductor/killer behind an escalating series of crimes. I will delve no further into the plot, with Ferryman being a mystery that I don't wish to spoil for anyone. Better to pick up a copy for yourself and follow the twists and turns that lead to a villian whose perversity is only matched by the clever measures he takes to maintain his depraved secrets. If you are a whodunnit fan, and who isn't to some degree, be sure to add Carol Sutton to your reading list.

View all my reviews

The Time CavernThe Time Cavern by Todd A. Fonseca

This book transported me back in time to when I was an avid 10-year old reader, which is both ironic and apt since it features 10-year old time travelers. But I’ve gotten ahead of myself (yet more time traveling) as I pen this review about a most wonderful young adult novel – The Time Cavern by Todd A. Fonseca. I typically do not read much fiction geared towards pre-teens and those in their early teenage years, having left that period of my life decades behind. Prior to The Time Cavern I suppose the last book I read that fit this bill was the first Harry Potter book. There was a tiny bit of buzz about Ms. Rowling’s wizardry series (perhaps you’ve heard of it too) so I decided to check out Part I and found it to be an enjoyable read, though it did not inspire me to pick up additional titles in the saga. I appreciate the ultimate achievement of the Harry Potter books beyond making Rowling a gazillionaire and launching a number of movie star careers. Millions of young people in their formative years who may not otherwise have been turned on by reading in a day and age where one’s phone provides as much entertainment as an arcade decided to check out a book (and then another and then another) because tremendous buzz made it a trendy thing to do. No doubt a good many of them moved beyond the Potter books and became lifelong readers, just as the Jules Verne books I read as a grade school kid sparked my addiction to books, not only as a vociferous reader but also as a writer. Young people lucky enough to stumble into The Time Cavern will be similarly affected. In it, a bright, curious, mechanically inclined boy named Aaron moves to a new house in a rural area with his family. Initially he feels like a fish out of water but his acclimation to a new home is sped up when he befriends Jake, a classmate who is not crazy about her real name “Jacqueline” or about being passive and stereotypically “girlish”. She has a spirit nearly as adventurous as Aaron’s, which is a good thing because they soon find themselves on an adventure upon discovery of a century old diary page that eventually leads them to a most extraordinary tree. Throughout the course of this briskly told tale Aaron and Jen become detectives on the trail of a case that is simultaneously ancient and futuristic. Their interest in scholastics, particularly science, serves them well as they unearth clues in a number of inventive ways, including a most ingenious use of a tanning bed. The backdrop to their caper (which also put me in mind of the Dan Brown blockbusters but featuring considerably younger protagonists and minus the violent aspect of adult thrillers) is an Amish community, people who Aaron comes to learn have basically suspended time with their lifestyle choices rather than joining the progressive march of technology. Whether it’s a trip to a cornfield or to a planetarium, each experience throughout the narrative is learned from and the knowledge is used to propel Aaron and Jake’s progress into uncharted territory. Fonseca cleverly intertwines the following of time honored traditions with science fiction elements to generate an enthralling plot that is sure to lure any young reader away from his wii game system. As this book shows, kids today may be considerably different than kids of even just one generation prior, but what kids of all generations and all ages have always been drawn to is the opportunity to embark on a thrilling adventure. The Time Cavern showcases masterful storytelling that will immediately be passed forward to one of my nephews. I highly recommend picking up a copy for the young explorers that you love.

View all my reviews

From Where the Rivers ComeFrom Where the Rivers Come by Terin Tashi Miller

Set in the not especially distant past, Terin Tashi Miller transports readers to India. You'll feel as if you are walking the streets of Benares or Dehli, tasting the food, experiencing the heat, brushing away the dust, inhaling smoke from the funeral pyres, experiencing the claustrophobia of jam packed train rides, and taking in the vividly detailed sights. The first person narrative comes from the perspective of a journalist who is foreign to India by birth and race, but has been immersed in the culture long enough for it to be ordinary rather than exotic to him. He is not so much stranger in a strange land as an observer who has seen what India offers, recognizes the differences and similarities between his American homeland and the country from where his paychecks are earned, and accepts them with minimal judgement as the ways of the world. Miller's novel is neither plot heavy nor a character study, but rather, a story of place and slow to change times which subtly indicates the fine line between escaping where you are and who you are.

View all my reviews

Elf on the Shelf (The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition, Volume 1)Elf on the Shelf by Carol V. Aebersold

An instant charmer. We'll see if it results in more nice than naughty behavior from my spirited 3 year old daughter over the couple weeks leading up to Christmas. She has definitely bought into the idea (after a little skepticism at first - "it's just a toy") that there's a scout elf situated in our home who waits until after she goes to sleep to fly back to the North Pole and file a report on her actions, then heads back to our house to be found the following morning in a different spot.


Whether it's independently published or not, when you discover a great new book (even it's only new To You) please be sure (word of mouth on and off social media is enormously appreciated by authors) to SHARE THE LOVE.       Reviews are awesome!!!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Patches Of Grey by Roy L. Pickering Jr.

Patches Of Grey

by Roy L. Pickering Jr.

Giveaway ends May 20, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
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