My Blog:

My character-driven historical fiction grips readers' emotions and surprises them with unexpected twists. Silk: Caroline's Story is my debut novel and the first installment of The Silk Trilogy. “The social realism of Jane Austen meets the Southern Gothic of Flannery O’Connor” in this award-winning novel set in 1899 in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, where Caroline must choose between the town doctor and a good-natured farmer—all the while oblivious to a young sociopath who is not about to let this happen. Full of laughter and heartache, this Lowcountry tale is continued in Tapestry: A Lowcountry Rapunzel, which centers on Caroline's daughters. Other novels are in the works at various stages and of different epochs, but I often feel more like blathering about my reading and writing than actually doing it, so I've opened this venue for sharing my thoughts with you in real time - about books already written (by me and by others), those yet to come, and a few about life in general, I suspect!

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Tapestry an Award-Winner, Too!

Tapestry: A Lowcountry Rapunzel is trying to catch up with big sis! Silk's sequel has received an award in its very first book contest! It was named a finalist in the category of general fiction for the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Yay!

 

Friday, May 20, 2022

'Stealing Mr. Smith' Reveals the Darker Side of Tanya E Williams' Psyche

Tanya E Williams reveals a darker side of her psyche in her second novel, Stealing Mr. Smith--a sequel to Becoming Mrs. Smith (click for my blog post on that novel).  Tanya's main character, Bernice, reminds me somewhat of my antagonist Jessie Bell from The Silk Trilogy, only she's nowhere near so disturbed nor criminal. Bernice has a similarly difficult childhood, though—she cares for her dying mother, and then is abandoned by her father. She’s scrappy and calculating, but for all that she’s ‘bad’, others are much worse to her. Then she meets Mr. Smith, an actually decent sort (somewhat analogous to my series' Clayton Bell), and after all Bernice has been through, it’s hard to absolutely condemn her for doing whatever she can to obtain him. She does no worse than has been done to her by others, and her intent is arguably nobler, though Bernice wastes precious few thoughts on such concerns. Stealing Mr. Smith is an intriguing read. Who can help but sympathize with Bernice after having experienced the traumas of her childhood with her? In this poignant novel, Tanya steeps us in a historic setting around the time of World War II while sensitively unfolding how this sometimes-devious woman is in part a product of her circumstances.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Kirkus Review of 'Tapestry: A Lowcountry Rapunzel'

"Alexander’s prose ably replicates the rhythms of speech—and life—in the 1920s South... readers will find themselves hooked by the more dramatic elements of this coming-of-age tale... A richly embroidered story of early 20th-century rural life in South Carolina." -from the Kirkus Review of 'Tapestry: A Lowcountry Rapunzel'.



Tuesday, May 10, 2022

'Silk' Honored with IndieBRAG Medallion


 Silk: Caroline's Story was honored with the IndieBRAG medallion! So pleased. They told me a month ago, and I've been waiting with bated breath since then to be officially listed on their website and to actually get the medallion. Yippee!

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Royal Town Rambles Recommends 'Tapestry: A Lowcountry Rapunzel'

 "It was one of those novels that sucks you in and that you find difficult to put down until you turn the last page. The tie-in to local names and places makes it all the more appealing." Royal Town Rambles recommends Tapestry: A Lowcountry Rapunzel. Check it out!


Read Linda Brown's full recommendation for Tapestry: A Lowcountry Rapunzel at her blog. Note that she has soooo much hard-to-find local history on her Royal Town Rambles blog, focused on Kingstree, SC, and you can join her Facebook page, too!

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Becoming Mrs. Smith by Tanya E Williams: A Gentle Author Writes a Profound Love Story

Tanya E Williams reveals her gentle, thoughtful, spiritual nature in her debut novel. Despite the difficult content of the novel—debilitating illness, war, loss, and death—the author shields and instructs the reader with her uplifting perspective.

Violet, the protagonist, has at first what seems a pure and simple love relationship with her beau, John Smith. World War II soon changes that.

*SPOILER ALERT*


Violet is deeply dismayed when John joins the military to go fight in the war. She can’t bear the thought of such a good man voluntarily murdering others, of him choosing to leave her behind in order to do so. In the course of the novel, she makes a mild transition to being able to appreciate the heroism behind his motives, realizing what a sacrifice it is for such a gentle soul.  I at first wondered why the author did not expound more on Violet’s transition, but then I realized that it’s because there was only a subtle shift.  Violet did not change her mind, she only expanded her perspective to be more understanding and accepting of what she couldn’t change. She never actually advocates that it was the ‘right’ course. She merely gains an appreciation for the sacrifices he’s making for the sake of the others being brutalized, who really did need help.  It’s actually all quite lovely and true. In the end, I still think of it as a sweet love story, though there is a certain sadness throughout and especially to the ending—sad yet strangely uplifting. As uplifting and gentle as such an ending can be.

Friday, April 22, 2022

It's Tapestry's Launch Day!

From Tapestry: A Lowcountry Rapunzel --
“Such wonderful timing. I received a new book for you just yesterday.” Anne entered the room, beverages steaming on a silver tray. As she placed it on the coffee table, she slipped out the volume she’d been carrying beneath it.... Gaynelle took a long sip of the sweet, rich cocoa then sank into the sofa cushions, resisting the urge to pull her feet up. When she grew up, she would have a couch just like this. She’d wear thick socks and curl up with a book, right in front of the fireplace, with a big silver pitcher of cocoa and fancy teacups. Exactly like this, except without shoes.