Sunday, April 5, 2015

REVIEW: The Glassblower's Wife

The Glassblower's Wife
Joanna Campbell Slan

Genre: History, Jewish, Women in History
Publisher: Spot On Publishing
Publication date: 3.20.2015
Pages: 42

Recommended by: Great Escapes Book Tours, Read 2 Review
Date read: 3.30.2015

It's very rare that I am torn when it comes to a book.  I either love it or hate it - that's just the way it is with me - and usually I am on the love it side.  When I read the book description to this story, I knew I wanted to read it.  I love historical books and the idea seemed really exciting - I even went and looked up what actually happened at this time before I began the story.

The story itself is very good.  It kept my interest and was well written.  I loved the characters - even the ones I wasn't supposed to - and wanted to know more.  In fact, I wish the story had been longer.

My problem was that the editing was bad.  And that's a real turn-off for me when it comes to books.  I, myself, am an editor and there are things, when reading for fun, that I can ignore, but this was crazy - punctuation, double-use of words, among other things - and it took away from the love I could have felt for this story.  With a re-edit to fix the massive amount of mistakes, this could be a 4 - even 4 1/2 - star book.  

Would I recommend this story?  Yes.  But just beware.

About the book:
When Jewish glassmakers and their families flee the powerful Doge of Venice, the cost of their freedom is three hundred and fifty-seven mirrors - the creation of the magnificent Hall of Mirrors in Versailles.  But the Doge sends assassins to pick off the artists, one by one.  Can Ruth Telfin, the mute wife of the head glassmaker, save her people?  This is a 12,000-word short story.
About the author:
National bestselling and award-winning author Joanna Campbell Slan was born in Jacksonville, Florida, but she grew up in a small town in Indiana.  After graduating from Ball State University with a degree in journalism, she worked as a newspaper reporter, a newspaper ad salesperson, a television talk show host, a college teacher, a public relations professional, and a motivational speaker.  In that capacity, she was named by Sharing Ideas Magazine as "one of the top 25 speakers in the world."
            She is the author of twenty-two books, eleven nonfiction and eleven fiction, including Death of a a Schoolgirl, which won the 2013 Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence.
            Joanna's personal essays have appeared in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and one was made into a television program on the Pax Network.  The college textbook Joanna wrote - Using Stories and Humor: Grab Your Audience - has been praised as an invaluable resource by Benjamin Netanyahu's speechwriter and endorsed by Toastmasters, International.
            RT Book Reviews has called Joanna "one of mystery's rising stars."  Her first novel - Paper, Scissors, Death - was an Agatha Award finalist.  It features Kiki Lowenstein, a spunky single mom who lives in St. Louis.
            Kirkus Reviews has said, "Slan's mysteries are most valuable for the well-developed characters and the issues they raise."  RT Book Reviews has said, "Kiki is so darn entertaining that she'll keep readers hooked."  A series of short stories featuring Kiki are available on Kindle.
            Joanna's newest series - The Jane Eyre Chronicles - began with Death of a Schoolgirl (Berkley) and continues with the release of Death of a Dowager.  The series features Charlotte Bronte's classic heroine Jane Eyre as an amateur sleuth.
            As "Lila Dare," Joanna has penned the fourth book in the Southern Beauty Shop series - Wave Good-bye.
            Joanna is married to David Slan, owner of Steinway Piano Gallery, which serves metro-Washington, DC, as well as Steinway Piano Gallery in St. Louis, MO, which serves most of Missouri and much of central Illinois.  They have one son, Michael, who is a professional poker player.  The Slans live with their two dogs, Rafferty and Victoria, on Jupiter Island, Florida.

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