Underground ~ A rich tale of romance and discovery



Brilliant, but…

To all authors, be you published already or currently writing your first book (like me!) the importance of advertising and publicity for your book is paramount! Spend time on your cover, spend time finding independent people to review your book and spend time filling in the Amazon/Smashwords/Goodreads details IN FULL to give potential readers every opportunity to be intrigued and possibly buy your book! Underground is a perfect example of a brilliant book that has failed to attract people because of it’s poor advertising, poor cover and poor synopsis/blurb on sites. There’s just no way for people to be interested. They don’t know what the book is about!

Amazon/Goodreads Synopsis: Runaway Annie finds a 150-year-old letter from a southern white girl travelling the slave underground

HookLine Books Synopsis: On the run from a killer, Annie and her mother flee to a remote New England farmhouse. When Annie finds an unsent letter from a debutante in the Civil War, she is drawn to the story of a Southern girl immersed in a love that cannot see light in the American South. Determined to find out what happened to her, Annie risks bringing a killer to her newly secure door.

Underground chronicles two remarkable journeys – one across modern-day America and another through a country on the brink of its greatest historical change.

Bookish things: I’ve already mentioned the need for a good cover, but I’m going to say it again! Good COVER needed! Goodreads says 300 pages, but I would have put it at around 270 or so.

Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for $4.79 and in paperback for $13.49. You can also purchase from Hookline Books (the small press publisher)

My Review: 

bookshelves: indie-review-copies4-star-reviewhistorical-fictionindie-authorlegendary-leading-ladiesromance

Recommended for: Everyone!
Read from June 13 to 14, 2013 — I own a copy, read count: 1
I was provided a PDF version of this book, so trying to read it on my kindle was like pulling teeth. The text was tiny with loads of white space around it and yet I still managed to whisk through this tale in only a couple of days!To begin with, I felt that the two stories were a little disjointed, they didn’t seem to fit (oh I’ve never been good with patience!) so it was a little odd changing from the present to the past within the two stories. I would feel like I was just getting ‘into’ the story with Annie and we’d be thrust back in time to see how things were with Samantha.That changed at about 25% of the way though. I was thoroughly engrossed in both of the tales of Annie and Samantha and would often feel a little miffed when we changed between the two, because I wanted to know what happened with the one I was currently reading.

Breaking this down into the present and past was quite well done, you do draw similarities and yet you also see the gaping void between present day and the mid-late 1800s. Gayle managed to make me simultaneously hate two mothers, feel for two young women and dare I say it, swoon for two very different young men.

The true magic of this story was firmly in the tale at the end of the slaving era in the 1800s. Gayle managed to thrust the reader back in time and come out on the cotton plantation of Samantha and her family. The twists in this side of the story were many and varied, the deception and romance and fear as well as joy and sadness were all mashed into what felt like a very real situation. The gritty reality of that era came to life with all its blood, sweat and tears.

When we took a refreshing, yet slightly creepy and scary look at Annie’s life in the present, you got a completely different feel. The girls were similar, yet so different, their worlds 150 years apart, yet amazingly connected. I liked the thriller/crime aspect, I could believe this happening in real life, so I travelled along with Annie as she raced her way across America. I would have liked to see more of this side of the tale, and a little less (although I enjoyed every word of it) of the romance in Annie’s tale.

The characters were well rounded and believable, the plot strong and unpredictable, the melding of genres and eras was truly amazing.

This is one for everyone to read! Give it a try today.

The area that let this book down is it’s lack of blurb, and the rather dreary cover. It screams indie author and isn’t doing this book any justice. The story is a solid 4.5 stars that is unfortunately let down by poor advertising and promotion.

**Note: I was provided an electronic version of this book in return for an honest review**

Historical fiction can be done well and it can be done badly, what historical fiction books have you read recently?


6 thoughts on “Underground ~ A rich tale of romance and discovery

  1. It’s so hard to write and market at the same time. I’ve always thought of it as two completely different jobs requiring totally different skills. I’m really bad at the marketing side and wish there was an easier way 😉

    • I agree Dianne, it isn’t easy to do and does require different skills.

      It is unfortunately a necessary part of being an author though, if you don’t market your book you aren’t likely to get many sales and then you aren’t likely to get any more fans.

      I think your blog is a great way of engaging with the public. It allows people to get to know you without being all salesman like. I think that works well for you 🙂

  2. I just finished reading The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson, which is about the Pendle Witch Trials. Very strong characterisation.

  3. Advertising for Indies…I spend more time on that than writing the books! It’s like speed-dating for books. 60 seconds per book, move on…

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