Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Indie Book of the Month: April 2017

The book I chose this month is Undertow by Christina Morgan.

Okay...this one's going to be a little hard for me. The truth is, I liked this book, but I didn't love it. In fact, I had several issues with it.

What I liked

I liked the pacing. I liked the introduction of little details in the beginning which turned out to be significant later. I'm also a sucker for a good mystery, so I felt compelled to keep reading and find out what, exactly, really did happen to Marissa Taylor. Overall I found it to be an enjoyable read which kept my interest from beginning to end.

The Problems I Had

1st: There are quite a few typos. This is something I'm normally willing to look past because, lord knows, I understand how easy it is to miss those things, especially when you've proofread your book so many times it doesn't even look like words anymore. But this book has a heck of a lot of them. It just needs a couple more read-throughs with the editing glasses on before it's really ready for public consumption.

2nd: There is a recurring grammatical error. I'm always careful to differentiate between typos and errors. To me a typo signifies that the author knows better, but just missed something. An error is an indication that the author does not know what is correct. I only found one major error, but still it bugged me. The author repeatedly used "drug" for the past tense of "drag" instead of the correct "dragged." A small detail, but one that stuck with me nonetheless.

3rd: The book takes place in North Carolina on the Outer Banks. This is, of course, on the East coast, but there are two moments in the book where the narrator describes watching the sunset over the ocean. The sun does not set over the ocean on the East coast. Since it is the Outer Banks, it's possible that the character was actually watching the sunset over Pamlico Sound, but if so that should have been specified.

4th: I questioned the believability of the ending. I won't give out any spoilers, but it just made me scratch my head and wonder, "Is that what would really happen?" I wish it had gone into more detail about the investigation and the trail so I would maybe see some of the evidence and courtroom arguments that would have led to the end result.

Nonetheless, I'm glad I read this book and would definitely recommend it to others. I just felt I needed to point out the above so people will know exactly what they're getting with this book.

Undertow can be purchased on Amazon here.


  1. Greta,
    I tried to find an email in order to contact you privately, but I could not. Let me start by first thanking you for taking the time to read my novel, Undertow. However, I must have misunderstood some things. First, I do know that I reached out to you for a review, but I have a note that says I never received an email back. I am TOTALLY fine if you didn't like the book. Please don't take this comment as sour grapes. You are entitled to your opinion and I respect it. But I think it's only fair that I get a chance to respond to your specific issues with my book. First, as to the grammatical errors, I beg to disagree. I didn't just throw this book together. I paid to have it edited. I do not believe there were "recurring" grammatical errors. In fact, I just ran ANOTHER spell and grammar check in the Word document and found nothing at all. And as to the characters watching the sun SET on the beach, it's only fair that your readers who may not be as familiar with Outer Banks as you and I are, you CAN watch the sun set on the beach in OBX. As long as you're facing the sound side of the ocean. If you will recall, Grant's condo was on the sound side of the ocean as was Kate's law office. So as I had already spelled this out several times, I didn't feel it was necessary to once again state this. I do feel that's a bit nit picky, to be honest, especially since it's a bit misleading to potential readers. Now, believe it or not, I'm not going to give you a hard time about the ending. That's subjective and totally up to each reader to decide if it works for them or not. Others seem to really love the twist ending. But each reader will have to decide for themselves. I have no problem with you raising this issue, as long as readers are willing to remember that every twist ending doesn't work for every reader. Personally, I didn't care for Gone Girl, especially it's "twist ending," but it was a huge success. I just thought it was only fair that I clarified a few misconceptions so the potential readers aren't tainted, biased, or swayed too heavily by incorrect information. Finally, I will say that in my review request, I did ask that you contact me first if you did not care for the book or if you had negative comments BEFORE you posted on your blog, Amazon, or Goodreads. Since I never heard from you and had no idea you were even reviewing my book, we weren't able to discuss this thoroughly. I would never, ever ask for you to change your review. Your opinion is your opinion. That's fair enough. But I would really rather you have not posted this review on your blog at all given your many concerns and dislike of the book. Therefore, I am politely requesting you kindly remove this post or at least allow this rebuttal to remain on this page. Thank you again for your time. Sincerely, Christina Morgan

    1. Thank you for reaching out, and I appreciate your concerns. I do hope you have seen the review I left on Goodreads and Amazon. In that review I do not go into as much detail regarding the things that bothered me about the book as I do here. This is my personal blog that reflects my tastes and opinions. Amazon and Goodreads are places where people will go to find out about your book. I try to be sensitive to that. If you read back over my other book of the month reviews, even the books I gave five stars to had some issues which I mention on my blog, but not on other platforms.

      I also feel I stated fairly clearly on my submission page that I do not want personal contact information and I do not want people to send me their books. The choice of book of the month is solely at my discretion. The fact that I picked yours is because, of all the submissions I received this month, your book captured my interest the best. What that says about your book is that it has a good premise, and the opening chapters are engaging enough to make the reader want to learn more. I certainly did. And after I got past the sample chapters I wanted to keep reading just to find out what was going to happen, and I stated that in my review.

      I will certainly leave your comment up on the page. You have the right to challenge the things I said in my review, but I will not be removing the post because I have put out the promise on my submission page that I will be reviewing one indie book per month, and this is my April book. I will not be choosing another because now I need to be screening submissions for the May book and will not have time to rethink my April choice. I make my choice based on the best sample chapters of all the books submitted to me, but there's always the danger that after the sample chapters I will encounter issues I did not see coming. Most of what I mentioned with regard to your book consists of small details that other readers may not mind, and I think most people reading this post will be able to see that they are small details and will be able to decide for themselves if it is something that would bother them, but if something troubles me I can't write a review without mentioning it. I believe honest reviews are important, and while I tried to be more positive in the reviews I left on Goodreads and Amazon, I still felt it was important to give my full opinion.

      Thank you again for reaching out to me. I did enjoy your book. It was an engaging story with good pacing and likeable characters. Best of luck with it as well as future projects.

  2. Greta,
    Thank you for responding. I will admit, I must have missed the policy on no prior contact with authors on your website. That is on me. I guess I just assumed that since I never heard back from you, you weren't interested in reviewing my book. I will be sure to pay more attention next time I read a reviewer's policy. Lesson learned. And thank you for clarifying your thoughts on my book. I guess we can politely agree to disagree on certain aspects/opinions, but the bottom line is that you are absolutely entitled to your opinion and I certainly appreciate the kind things you did say about my book. Thank you, finally, for leaving my comments up. I never have and probably never will again comment on a reviewer's blog post, but it's nice that you're allowing me the chance to rebut some of your assertions. Best of luck on your blog in the future.