The ladies, they love me (or, more accurately, Thomas)

Signs of Struggle In the last few days I've had two very interesting people provide observations on my debut novel, Signs of Struggle. They are both female, astute, interesting, and opinionated. They are also well-read. One is twelve years old and the other is ninety. The 12-years-old girl is the precocious daughter of one of my colleagues at the college, and has become a big fan of SOS. She gobbled the book up and declared it good and much better than anything written for people her age. She said, "It's got lots of action and moves fast and I liked the colorful characters. Much better than YA novels about teen angst." You gotta love it.

The other reader is my wife's aunt who lives in North Carolina and is a voracious reader herself. Her daughter (my wife's cousin) came to a book signing and bought two copies - one for herself and one for her mature mother. The seasoned citizen is a strong Southern Baptist, god-fearing, and wonderful woman who is an example of virtue and humility for all in the family to emulate. We went to visit her recently and she had not only read the book, but offered several observations, including one that I had been too hard on the pastor (a corrupt individual on several fronts). I reminded her that he was not a Southern Baptist, which eased things a bit. She went on to say she enjoyed the book and was curious about how things were going to work out between Thomas O'Shea, the protagonist, and Liv Olson, his romantic interest. I told her to please stay tuned, that the sequel, A Far Gone Night, might be available by Christmas.

Although some have characterized SOS as "a man's book," others have characterized it as "mainstream fiction," and still others call it a "detective series," it is important to note that it definitely appeals to a very comprehensive spectrum of readers, both sexes, and a multitude of ages.

If you haven't picked up a copy, consider doing so. I'm pretty sure you won't be disappointed.