I received an email yesterday that Trail of Second Chances has been awarded a B.R.AG. Medallion. The award is given by IndieBRAG, a site dedicated to helping separate the cream at the top of the independent publishing world. Based on their criteria (plot, writing style, characters, copy editing, dialogue, cover/interior layout), ten percent or less of the books they review earn a Medallion.
Their last criteria is the 'would they recommend this to a friend' standard. Personally, for all the complexities that go into creating a book, both the writing and the production, this is the test that I like best. I don't buy books to put them on the table and impress people (unless folks get impressed by the sheer number of books) but to read and share. The sharing lends almost as much pleasure as the reading.
I am very pleased to be a B.R.A.G Medallion Honoree, to say the least.
For those of you who like to read and have a hard time coming up with new books, take a look at their website. They've done a lot of the curating so you don't need to worry about buying a dud.
In related news, the incomparable John L. Parker, Jr gave me a blurb for the audiobook version of Finishing Kick. When I wrote the book, I intended it to be the high school 'girl' version of John's Once a Runner. As a natural tie-in, he would have been one of the first people I should have contacted about the possibility of reading it. Except, in a rarity in my life, I didn't have the guts to send him a letter and a copy of the book.
I met John in Eugene earlier this year, along Jack Welch and a host of others, and about the third day there, told him that story. His response was a laconic, "You should have." So this time, I did. This is what John sent back:
Paul Duffau knows cross country inside and out, and he knows how to tell a story. I can't imagine a high school runner--or any runner for that matter--who won't keep eagerly turning pages to find out if the charming and enigmatic Callie can find a way to dethrone the haughty know-it-alls from Fairchild Academy. This is a wonderful coming of age tale as well as an exciting sports story. Highly recommended!
Not all of that will fit on the audio cover, but I'll be updating the print copy of the book, and you can bet it will make it on the cover there. When one of the folks that you truly respect give you an 'atta-boy', it's a definite boost to the ego.
The audiobook will have a cover that is dramatically different from the print book - the design differences are interesting enough that I think I'll be querying some of the leaders in the field about them. We are on schedule for a release on the audiobook in the next week or so. I'll pu the new cover up when I get it finished.
It's snowing today in Asotin. Not much, but white, cold, icky. It was in the seventies in Eldoret with afternoon thunderstorms. I know which I prefer.