Sunday, 23 November 2014

Recap of an Evening Spent with a Local Book Club Who Read Turnstiles

On Thursday night, I had the privilege to be invited to a local book club as a guest author to discuss my novel Turnstiles. It was such a treat (and a little surreal!) to be in a room of women who had studiously read the book; they also quoted passages and spurred on great discussions about different themes. The wine flowed as well as the words. I was impressed by the questions that were raised and musings about different characters and parts of the story; not to mention greatly encouraged by the group's overall positive comments about the book and how connected and sympathetic they felt toward the characters and their various plights. I was also told that it was one of the only times they had spent the entire evening discussing a book they had read. I look forward to more opportunities to chat with book clubs, and spend a rare literary evening engaged in the company of readers! I am feeling inspired.

Friday, 14 November 2014

A Poem for Remembrance Day from my poetry book A Mother's String

I realize this poem is being posted after Remembrance Day, but I wanted to share it: My Grandfather's Box My mother keeps her recipes, tax receipts and other ingredients for her daily tasks, to help keep the house standing, all in my grandfather's box. He gave it to her shortly before the operation, and told her about how it was a gift given to him in the war by a Russian prisoner. A man he would have never considered an enemy, beyond the sound of bombs blasting and barbed wire fences of the prison camp. Beyond, where the beaches were still a place to search for living shells that didn't explode in your hands. This man collected shiny paper, perhaps Christmas wrappings, and cut-outs from magazines, piecing together a mosaic or a collage of twentieth century culture to meld his with the western world. To remember, and to reach out beyond his world, one he shared with this stranger, my grandfather, in that dire place. An unlikely gift between men both encased in foreign surroundings. The colour has faded from the touching of hands, the lid opened and closed gently, but too often. This box was not meant for my mother's recipes and receipts, but it is right for her to keep it to know the history to fill the box with memory. From A Mother's String published by Ekstasis Editions, 2005

Monday, 10 November 2014

Turnstiles: A Great Read To Curl Up With On A Chilly Night

Please check out and share my author website and debut novel, Turnstiles at Turnstiles is receiving wonderful reviews, and is a great read to curl up with on these cold, autumn nights. Cheers and happy reading everyone, Andrea McKenzie Raine

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Literary Passages -- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Catherine's face was just like the landscape -- shadows and sunshine flitting over it, in rapid succession; but the shadows rested longer and the sunshine was more transient, and her poor little heart reproached itself for even that passing forgetfulness of its cares.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Judge, 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.

This is a sensitively told and intriguing drama that unfolds around the world from London to Paris, Canada to the United States. The trade paper package is a good one: The matte cover features an attractive type treatment, but the title is hard to read due to a lack of contrast. The cover image is strong and striking. But overall, the bland color palette limits the impact of the cover. The spine also suffers from a lack of contrast. The back cover is well-designed; the cover copy is good and the endorsement is a nice touch. The author bio is solid and the author photo is striking. The interior is clean and well-designed, and the text is well-edited and presented. The writing is clear and precise and very readable. The style is engaging and entertaining, straightforward and direct. The author writes about people who are lost on every level physical, emotional, and spiritual with compassion and insight. Her characters are finely drawn and well-developed. This is a rich and layered work told by a first-rate storyteller. That said, the author tends to move from one character's point of view to another within the same scene; this head jumping detracts from the story and undermines its effectiveness.

Monday, 3 November 2014



Spawning A Sequel For Turnstiles

This morning, a creative seed was planted for a sequel to Turnstiles. I am also polishing my draft manuscript for the prequel novella... the saga continues!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Literary Passages -- Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Threading its way out from among his grey hairs, and continuing right down one side of his tawny scorched face and neck, till it disappeared in his clothing, you saw a slender rod-like mark, lividly whitish. It resembled that perpendicular seam sometimes made in the straight, lofty trunk of a great tree, when the upper lightning tearingly darts down it, and without wrenching a single twig, peels and grooves out the bark from top to bottom, ere running off into the soil, leaving the tree still greenly alive, but branded.