Those of you that are regular visitors to The Rainbow Reader know that I usually start out each book review with a short essay that somehow, at least in my humble opinion, relates to a theme, plot point, or cavernous leap-of-faith residing deep within the story. I've talked about beady little eyes influencing my faith, bearded women, the base-4 notational system, and life in a small town.
I've raved about a few books, and had to find a way to politely say that few others didn't really do it for me.
I had the good sense to ask a few special guests to write reviews, and the better fortune that many of them accepted.
I was honored to be asked to write pre-release reviews for Carol Anshaw, John Irving, and our very own Susan X. Meagher.
I even got to unveil TRR's inaugural Very Best Awards in December of 2011.
But one moment stands out for me as truly the very best, and that happened on Halloween.
Let me slow down and explain a little of the backstory first...context is everything.
You see, for quite a while now, authors and publishers have been contacting me about reading and reviewing their books. I try hard to accommodate everyone, and keep a running list of stories to review. On occasion, just as I'm about to do a review, the author or publisher will contact me and ask that I hold off on my review for one reason or another. In that case, I almost always go to the next book on the list. However, sometimes, if someone has just slipped a new book into my hands, I work it into the open slot.
That's where this whole story started...
It was October 25th, and I got an email from Casey at Bedazzled Ink. After a few lovely compliments, she got down to business, as she is wont to do—she had two books that had just come out, and she wanted to know if I could review them. I told her that wasn't a problem, and mentioned that I might just be able to slide one of them into the slot for the coming week, since I had a pending cancellation.
She jumped on that little opportunity like a vegan on a lavendar cake...
By nightfall I had the book on my beloved Kindle, and even though I didn't know it at the time, I started to read the story that would change my life.
It began like this:
"By faith the walls of Jericho fell down..."
— Hebrews 11:30
Many of you know the book I'm talking about, but for those of you who don't, it was Jericho by Ann McMan. While the book had a handful of technical and editorial flaws, I couldn't deny the fact that there was something special about it—I knew the town, I knew the people, and I knew the love story. Somehow it resonated deep within me, and it made me feel like someone had slipped a ruby into my pocket.
It was a pretty amazing experience, especially given that I'd never heard of this Ann McMan before.
Still, I had a review to write, and I did my best to give it the review it deserved—that little ditty debuted on this site on All Hallows' Eve, a year ago today.
Quite often, authors contact me after a review to say "thanks," or to challenge something I said—that's part of the process. Still, it would be over a month before I heard anything from Ann McMan, and that was only because I awarded her the TRR trophy for "