Thursday, February 20, 2014


We authors live or die by those all-powerful
Reviewer's Words

The !@#$ Review Pitts:

The book had a weak and unbelievable plot. The characters were not well fleshed,
the pages were wordy, and the ending was disappointing.  Dodge this one - 1 *

You fall into a major depressive tailspin, lock yourself in your room (with either alcohol, chocolate, or ice cream), and swear never to write another book. Does the Maffia still accept 'contracts' on way nasty reviewers?  If the review was particularly cruel, you might go with all three of the above mentioned comforts.

Alternatively. . .

This book is a masterpiece of literary writing.  The characters are richly crafted, the plot is gripping and realistic, and the writing is tight, terrific, and powerfully crafted. Could not put it down.
Thoroughly recommended  - 10 **********

You go crazy with the news on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ Linkedin and more.  Your fingers are numb from texting friends your fabulous news.  Toasts with friends and family make you forget, for about 5 minutes, that you must BLOG the good news as well.  You wonder about the cost of a NY Times add, or even a local plane to do a fly-over and "smoke" the good news to the locals? You don't sleep for three days, while the underwear draws of your entire family are in dire need of clean socks, skivvies and bras.  WHO CARES. . . YOU got a RAVE REVIEW!!!  It even impressed your mom-in-law! Ye-e-e-e - Haw!!


You've read my fantasy versions
Now for the


I received what I think are two SUPER Reviews for my new young teen book,

Trial by Walkabout

And NO, I did not advertise in the NY Times or hire a plane. 
However, I do plead guilty to all  the rest - so sue me!!

Below is why I went a little crazy:
Wouldn't YOU?

Trial by Walkabout 
 Author: Margot Finke 

Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
                       Paperback ISBN: 9781616334505; 1616334509                     
eBook ISBN: 9781616334512; 1616334517
Reviewer: Karen Cioffi

'Walkabout' is Great Mid-grade Reading

The Writer’s Digest article “7 Ways to Make a Good Story Great” offers a lot of insight into this topic. It explains that as a writer you need to (1) ‘go beyond the five senses; (2) take advantage of your characters idiosyncrasies; (3) write the nitty-gritty; (4) don’t write down, thinking the audience won’t get it; (5) don’t include irrelevant content; (6 and 7) involve the emotions of the reader.

Margot Finke’s 'Walkabout' easily covers all these elements. It is truly good writing that has the reader anticipating the next page. The story’s protagonist is 13-year-old Josh Howard. He and his older brother, Tom, are at odds, fighting all the time and telling lies about each to their parents. With their parents away, Tom locks Josh out of the house after a fight

“Outside,you!” A hard shove shot Josh out the door flat on his back in the dirt. The door slammed shaking the frame. “You can stay out there ‘till the rains come for all I care.” Tom’s voice faded as he moved further indoors.

This is the catalyst that launches Josh into a world of survival, danger, hunger, Dreametime stories and tribesmen. Josh, who wants to get even with his brother, goes on an Aussie walkabout with an Aboriginal friend, Bindi. Bindi needs to go on this journey to fulfil his ‘manhood’ ritual. The two friends face lethal snakes, a huge and dangerous male kangaroo, a pack of wild dogs, a vengeful emu, and a crazy Medicine Man.
The story’s action is well crafted and Finke blends just the right amount of back-story throughout the book so the reader learns of the rich Aboriginal background and the treacherous outback terrain. In one scene, Josh and Bindi hide up in trees to escape death by a pack of wild dogs:

Shutting his eyes, he pleaded over-and-over. “Make them stop! Make them stop!” Finally, the victim grew silent. A sob escaped Josh. The slobbering sounds made by the dogs of death filtered up to him.He tried not to hear the soft tearing noises. And the smell—the stench of every creature these four-legged killers had ever slaughtered rose from them in putrid waves.

The writing is powerful and at times raw, as shown above, just what boys love. But, along with the heart pounding action, it also teaches subtle, yet powerful lessons about lying and loyalty. Trial by Walkabout takes the reader on an amazing ‘growing up’ journey through the Australian outback. This is great children’s reading and I highly recommend it for middle-graders and young adults.

Amazon:  Softcover (Kindle coming)
Website for autographs  plus my FREE Aussie Recipe Book

Survival by Walkabout
Margot Finke

Reviewed by:
Penelope Anne Cole
Award winning author of Magical Matthew and Magical Mea

 So, how do I like her latest middle grade novel, Trial by Walkabout?  It’s another love fest!  This is a compelling adventure that keeps you on your toes,  wondering what could happen next as Bindi and Josh go “walkabout” in the outback. l'lI admit I’m a fan of Margot Finke’s books.  I loved everything about her  Down Under Calling.  I thought The Revenge of Thelma Hill was just scary enough.  I also enjoyed the banter between Taconi and Claude -- plus learning more about life “Down Under.”

Young teens Bindi and Josh are the grandsons of Taconi and “the Boss,” the previous owner of the Cooperoo Cattle Station.  They grew up and played together before Josh went off to boarding school.  They’ve grown apart over the years and meet up again in this story when Josh is locked out of his house after a fight with his big brother Tom. 

Josh thinks up a plan to get even with Tom and going walkabout with Bindi fits his needs perfectly.  But the actual walkabout is more of an adventure than the overnighter Josh bargained for.  The way the teens deal with the outback’s strange creatures, living off the land – even surviving personal danger – makes for great fun and edge-of-your-seat excitement.

I can’t give away the ending.  Suffice it to say that Josh learns a lot on his walkabout about the important things in his life and personal values.  He learns more about friendship and relationships along the way.  He struggles with his original plan to get back at Tom and wants to set things right, if possible.  It’s good to see his character grow.

Exciting stories that entertain us and remind us of our moral compass – these are the kind of books we need more of.  Thanks to Ms. Finke for another winning teen book.  Trial by Walkabout is recommended for ages nine to fourteen – especially reluctant boy readers.

Published by( Guardian Angel Publishing.) 
Amazon:  Softcover (Kindle coming)
Website for autographs  plus my FREE Aussie Recipe Book

'Walkabout' is one of 4 young teen books I am offering FREE to teachers, in return for their class reading it, and adding a CLASS REVIEW on Amazon.  I will also  do a Skype Author Visit to each class that reviews my books.

See this  BLOG POST for details.


Books for Kids - Skype Author Visits 


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