Saturday, December 31, 2011
Sometimes, though, it’s hard to remember the “human” part of the human interest aspect. We see the pictures, the videos, and the quotes expressing sorrow or shock or unbridled joy, but we rarely get to glimpse the reality of these situations as experienced by those most closely involved. It is an exceptional piece of work that allows the average reader/listener/viewer to really understand the mindset and challenges and triumphs of people caught up in situations that will change their lives forever.
This is why I acquired Missing Pieces, a young adult novel by Jon Ripslinger. Author of How I Fell in Love and Learned to Shoot Free Throws (Roaring Brook), Derailed (Llewellyn/Flux), Last Kiss (Llewellyn/Flux), and The Hustle (Ampichellis Ebooks), he expertly puts a human face on a small town murder scandal, one based loosely on real events and one that is definitely hard to forget.
In Missing Pieces, Kyle and Kelly Donovan’s mother has disappeared, and their father is accused of dismembering her and dumping her pieces into the Mississippi River. The story begins when the family is waiting for the father’s second trial to begin—his first ended in a hung jury—and subsequently follows Kyle’s desperate search for the truth about his mother’s disappearance.
The focus is not the morbid details of the crime, but the effects of the whole terrible situation on two teenagers suddenly thrust into facing a grim reality no child should have to face. Either their father killed their mother and they could end up with no parents if he’s convicted, or their mother ran off with a lover and abandoned them, framing their father for her murder. Imagine that you’re a teenager and those are your choices: Live with a murderer, live with no parents, or live with the fact your mother ran off and left you…
Which would you prefer?
Jon Ripslinger is at his best in telling a tale that is at once chilling and inspiring. He skillfully and realistically brings to light the silent suffering of those of those touched by horrific events beyond their control with empathy and insight, and from the first read of the manuscript, I was hooked. It’s an intriguing read, and just when you think everything is as resolved as it can be, Mr. Ripslinger throws in a bittersweet twist that will leave the reader stunned. This is why I acquired Missing Pieces, and this is why I recommend it to any reader looking for a compelling read that will resonate far beyond the last word.
As 2011 draws to a close, unforgettable stories will continue to connect and captivate us. If you are a fan of YA literature (and maybe even if you’re not), I highly recommend Missing Pieces be one of them.
HAPPY NEW YEAR from Ampichellis Ebooks!
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
As with any revolution, sometimes those responsible for setting or keeping it in motion simply get tired or finally show their true colors. The ebook revolution is no different. Several major players, those in the news promoting ebooks as a viable, even more attractive, venue for frustrated and talented authors, have chosen to sign contracts for paper books with major publishers for large advances. Their reasons may differ, but the result is the same. The landscape is changing…again.
Cowboys were my heroes when growing up. Cowboys were always clean-cut, didn't drink, smoke or swear and seemed above reproach. As an adult, I don't have many heroes—maybe George Patton, Franklin Roosevelt and Martin Luther King. They seemed above it all, but of course they are all dead so the media can't dredge up dirt on them.
Every once in awhile though, a larger than life hero rides to the front of the herd and does something that sort of puts him or her above the fray. Their name jumps to the top of my list, then, as with most heroes these days, they jumped off of it when they smell money. I don't know the circumstances, http://tinyurl.com/7zbz8zg but it seems this one went down the same path as all those valiant self-publishing Ebook success stories that have surfaced in the last few years, those modern writers who have decided to take on the status quo and come out winners despite the odds.
My problem is not that they sold out. In similar circumstances, I might have done the same; however, I don't know if I would have written books damning those who cheat authors and then make mockery of the valiant lines by going over to the other side. It's not so bad if you do what one woman did, just announce to your fans that you're tired of fighting the fight alone. However, others didn't do that. They told us what scoundrels major publishers are then ran to them as soon as a book offer is made. Real heroes walk the walk, others just talk the talk and then leave those who admire them stranded in the swamp because there might be gators in it. A real hero would rather eat last Christmas fruit cake than sell out to the powers that be. Just sayin'.