Tag Archives: blurb

Can Subtraction be a Positive? by Sheila Deeth

It’s coming soon. The release date is August 1st. And the title is Subtraction. So now I need a blurb for the back of the book. But what’s in a blurb?

Subtraction - cover concept

Subtraction – cover concept

  • I could precis the story, beginning, middle and end. But then why bother reading all the rest?
  • I could precis the setup, but what should I include; how much, where, when and why?
  • I could give you a character sketch but the characters change… well, apart from the middle-grade misfits who plan on misfitting for several more years yet.
  • I could tell you it’s related to Divide by Zero and Infinite Sum, and no, it’s not about math… well, apart from the protagonist teaching subtraction to those middle-grade misfits in his class.
  • I could give you a sentence–Schoolteacher takes a road trip in search of missing child and finds himself…. maybe add love and cats for added interest (the cat’s important).
  • I could expand on the sentence, but that’s just just extra words.
  • I could ask you a question: Can Subtraction be a Positive? Then I could try to answer the question. And then…

Actually, I kind of like the question idea. If I subtract a negative number it’s the same as adding positives, so what if I subtract a negative thought? What if Subtraction is the story of a life worn down by negatives then turned around by subtracting negativity? Or is that too complex (I’m still working on book 4 of my Mathemafiction sequence, Imaginary Numbers).

Anyway, here’s what I’ve got so far… Three completely different blurbs, and a request that you tell me which (if any) makes you more interested in reading the story. Go on, please… subtract those negatives from my blurbs, send positive vibes, and help me make something great!

Version 1:

On a road trip to look for a missing girl, a schoolteacher finds himself. Love, cats and colleagues remind him the world’s not all evil, but can he truly forgive the darkness it hides? Is trust just weakness in disguise, or is it a gift, a freedom and a hope that things subtracted might yet be restored?

Version 2 (with questions!):

Can subtraction be a positive? Can loss be a gain? And can a lonely schoolteacher find himself (love and cats) on a cross-country road trip in search of a missing child? Subtraction is a story of love, loss and hope as strangers prove to be sometimes kind, dark places hide light, and middle-grade schoolchildren learn about math, acceptance, and generosity.

Version 3 (less existential, but still with questions):

When a misfit student disappears from math class, her teacher embarks on an epic cross-country journey to find her. But who is he really looking for? Why is the pretty new art teacher so keen to help? And where do all the cats come from?

Sheila Deeth is the author of the Mathemafiction sequence of novels. Find Divide by Zero and Infinite Sum, both published by Indigo Sea Press, where good books are sold, and look out for Subtraction, coming August 1st!


Filed under books, fiction, Sheila Deeth, writing

Just Between Friends by Donna Small

Wedding dress

Click here to read the first chapter of: Just Between Friends by Donna Small

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Blurb critique

I’m trying to furiously finish/polish my “Middle grade” book, and would love any and all opinions on its blurb. Is it something you think your eight – twelve-year-old would like to read? Don’t be shy!

Here goes:

Nathan and Nina transport to Cloud Seven after finding magic vials that belonged to their grandfather. Cloud Seven, a history-changing training station, gives the twins a task: travel back to 1963, Papua New Guinea, and save a cancer-curing plant from extinction.

Success has a high stakes payoff that could reunite their family…

To all the mothers out there: Have a wonderful day tomorrow!


Lucy Balch, author of a historical romance set in Regency times –

Love Trumps Logic


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My Exciting Week

I have had an incredibly exciting week. First, I got the proofs for my novel A Spark of Heavenly Fire, but that wasn’t the most exciting thing that happened.

More exciting was finding out I’m a blurb on the cover of Suzanne Francis’s book, Heart of Hythea. Seeing my name on the back cover of a book really made me feel like an author.

Even more exciting was having Michael Palmer accept an invitation to be a guest on my blog. Yep, that’s right — the Michael Palmer, author of thirteen bestselling novels, is going to be on my blog. Oddly enough for these cyber times, he’s never guested a blog before, so this is an historic occasion. Most exciting of all, he wrote the article just for me, rather than sending me one he’d already written.

I hope I’m not going against email ethics by making our conversation public, but our little discussion was interesting (to me anyway) and I wanted to share it.

My Sort-of Interview with Michael Palmer

Be sure to stop by Bertram’s Blog  and say hi to Michael.

Pat Bertram is the author of More Deaths Than One,  and A Spark of Heavenly Fire now available from Second Wind Publishing, LLC.

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Is There a Home for Lacey


            Recently I received the proof copy of my first novel, Lacey Took a Holiday, from the good people at Second Wind Publishing.  This is one of the great things about Second Wind (or 2W as the writers have come to call it): the authors are all much more involved in the creative process, including the editing and creating the covers if we want.  I’ve found some little changes I wanted to make and they’re willing to let me.

Now that the book has been accepted and published, I can go ahead and express a concern I had long before Starr Ambrose—one of the eventual winners of the Gather “First Chapters Romance”—voiced it during our competition.  The problem is that Lacey is an atypical romance.  Since anyone who reads it is going to find out anyway, I might as well confess that Lacey Grady, the main character of the novel, is in her own words “a woman of leisure.”  This does not mean the book is full of sex.  And her “romantic interest” in the story—Andy Warren—actually kidnaps her out of the brothel where he meets her.

Well, let me fill in a few more blanks: Andy is actually a WWI veteran (the story takes place in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northwestern North Carolina in the mid 1920’s) whose wife and only son both died during childbirth.  Eventually the reader discovers that nearly everyone Andy has loved throughout his life has died tragically.  He’s really a bitter and jaded fellow.  He kidnaps Lacey on impulse because—well, okay, not only is she a prostitute, but an alcoholic.  Andy recognizes that she is drinking herself to death.  In a perverse sort of rescue attempt, he takes her out of “Curly’s” the bordello where she works and spirits her away to his mountaintop.

The problem with the story is this: who ever heard of a romance where the two main characters were so flawed, so downright “sinful.”  On the other hand, the love that develops between them is so sweet.  Not to give away too much, the romance that emerges becomes the one pure, innocent part of their lives.  Of course, there are some dangerous and difficult complications.  I’m not promising that they live happily ever after.

So can Lacey find a home in the midst of the other romance novels of 2W and on the bookshelves of Amazon and other places?  Is it too realistic to be a romance novel?  Does love redeem even people as abused and used as Lacey and Andy?  I suppose only time will tell.  –Laz Barnhill


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