Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Body in the Baptistery Book Club Review!

Welcome to all of our followers for the first Tate Authors book club review. For those of you participating you will have twenty four hours (and really more....what are we gonna erase this?) to post your responses to the five questions about the book. Be honest, be "pg" rated or under, and most of all have fun!

Question 1: How was the introduction, storyline, character pacing, and your overall impression of the novel?

Body in the baptistery question 2

What character, storyline, and specific chapter did you like the best and why?

Body in the baptistery question 3

What other stories, movies, or storytellers come to mind that is like baptistery?

Body in the baptistery question 4

What if anything do you wish the author had done different?

Body in the baptistery question 5

What rating (using our Tate Authors scale of course, it is on the right banner of this website) would you give this novel?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

First Book Club Book! Body in The Baptistry by Jim Wilcox

TABR is excited to review our very first book club book. Readers have until 12/15/09 to aquire and read a copy of Body in the Baptistry by Jim Wilcox. On the 15th, I will post a Book Club template for all participants to respond to, and formal commenting will commence on this site from 6-7pm, Mountain Standard Time. Commenting will be ongoing, so if someone failed to get the book read by the 15th, or cannot participate in the live comment period they can add their comments at any date after.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Book Review: Body In The Baptistery (A Gideon Grant Mystery) by Jim Wilcox

Book: Body In The Baptistery (A Gideon Grant Mystery)

Author: Jim Wilcox


Release Date: September 2006 (Tate Publishing)

Genre: Christian Fiction; mystery (soft-boiled)

Pages: 318

Review Date:11/11/2009

Book Synopsis (Back Matter)

What's Gideon Grant to do now that his mentor in his newfound faith has been assassinated? What any red-blooded ex-cop turned PI would do--find the cold blooded killer. Jim Wilcox's Body in the Baptistery takes you along for the chase with danger at every turn. Betrayal and death test Grant's new faith, but he perseveres with the tenacity of Jane Marple and the patience of Hecule Poirot. On his first plunge into the waters of mystery writing, author Jim Wilcox dives into the deep end of the pool and doesn't come up for air until a series of murders is solved. Take a deep breath when you open Body in the Baptistery--it will keep you submerged in mystery to the end.

Review: Baptistry was overall a fun and enjoyable read. It is set in several US cities including Houston and Springfield. Gideon Grant, the ethyl sipping addict of the past turned reformed Christian and tenacious yet reluctant private detective works off his own demons while fighting the demons of others as a tale of mafia, mayhem, and generally criminal chaos challenge the nascent Christian’s belief in a higher power.

On the writing style: Baptistry is written primarily as mass market trade (detective), with one liner zingers that really are clever and add a good zest to the storyline. Wilcox does a remarkable job with subtle life observations cloaked as sarcasm on the at times silliness of human interaction. For instance, characters in the book will perform immensely human tasks such as discreetly parking in the “guest” spot of parking lots which they do not qualify for, and other mild human mores. Baptistery does at times deviate from genre fiction with at times subtle and at times more overt Christian narratives which will likely be enjoyed by those of the Judeo-Christian ideological spectrum, but may be tangents or at times challenging to those of non-Christian faiths.

On the Target Audience: As just alluded, the main audience is likely to be fans of Christian fiction, and especially those aligning with Protestant paradigms. However, in my opinion the book is broad enough to be enjoyed by general fans of mystery and suspense, and should not be considered only for Christian Fiction Readers.

On the best parts: The most enjoyable aspect of this book includes the sarcastic banter scenarios and also the structured chapter endings. Wilcox really does a very nice job punctuating the ending of nearly every chapter, which is a difficult skill many authors have not mastered, but which Wilcox does very well. The storyline itself is also fun and reminiscent of classic conflict structures, but superimposed with a modern retwinking that makes for an authentic feel.

Closing thoughts and overall summary: Baptistery is a worthy read that will not be a waste of time or effort to the interested consumer. I highly enjoyed the story and easily recommend it to others. Baptistery does not have gratuitous violence or sexuality, but does have real substance when this type of narrative is needed to push the story along. At times the plot sequencing is a bit formula driven, but not in a bad way. In other words Wilcox appears to value the character sequence more than the plot, and so the book is more about figuring out how the characters will deal with the ending, rather than what the ending is itself, per say. (In analogy we all know Perry Mason is going to win the court case, but the discovery is more in the backward looking details and how the lives and personalities came to the story climax, which Wilcox does brilliantly). It is easy to see why Wilcox lands another two books in the Gideon grant Series, which I look forward to reviewing soon on this site! Good read!

Heath Sommer

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Book Review: Good to the Last Drop: Refreshing Inspiration for Homeschool Moms and Other Busy Women by Dee Dee Wike

Book: Good to the Last Drop: Refreshing Inspiration for Homeschool Moms and Other Busy Women

Author: Dee Dee Wike

Release Date: pre-release (scheduled for release December 2009)

Genre: memoir with religious themes

Pages: 332

Review Date: 10 29 2009

Review: Last drop is a spiritually intimate journey into the mind of an American Christian woman who reflects upon the religious and familial as well as intrapsychic sanctities of her several decades of Human experience. Written in the well-known formula of musing meets morality (think Chicken Soup for the Soul) Last Drop was an enjoyable, at times moving and at times funny (and at times both) exploration about the life and times of the American mother and parishioner. The book is broken into a litany of short memoirs and musings, most often closing with a scriptural tie in from the Bible.

On the writing style: Easy to read, easy language, with speckled humor that oscillates with analytical wisdom and subtle dialectics. The book itself appears to have been crafted as the type of novel that can be read on a coffee table or as a brief motivator for every day, or rather can be read straight through (most probably on a rainy, overcast day next to a roasting fire).

On the Target Audience: While the book has wide ranging appeal to any consumer who identifies in the Judeo-Christian religious spectrum, the author very appropriately defines the target audience in the title: Mothers, especially those who home school and are actively religious will like this book the most. However there are wide ranging applications that transcend many demographics.

On the best parts: As with all memoir fiction, certain passages have particular intimacy and insight. I enjoyed the underpinning morality and humor of "On the right side of the grass" and "Fill ‘er up", while enjoying the direct and simple, yet emotionally somber narrative of "Refreshed".

Closing thoughts and overall summary: An easy, fun read that anyone in the Judeo-Christian theological spectrum could easily appreciate. Seems to be an excellent tool for stimulating thoughts that might be shared in a religious talk or Sunday School lesson.

Author websites:

--Heath Sommer

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The beginning of a long journey into the choas of life...

As a young man a tired, weathered and wrinkled face put itself into mine, opened its mouth and said “If you cannot find fair with yourself, find fair with your company”. Okay, well perhaps that didn’t happen exactly in reality, but if it did, it’s good advice I’d follow. Friends beget friends, who then as a group beget success and support. This site is actively seeking for Tate authors who are in the process of promoting and exposing their book to the world, but would also like to be edified and edify one another in the path to literary meaningfulness. If you would like to both receive some exposure for your writing and give some exposure to another, peruse and decide if this is the right place for you. We hope you’ll join!