Their committee of readers had some nice things to say, but this killed me:
Wow! The last book I reviewed for BRAG I wanted a rating below “Yes” but above “No”. This time I want a rating above”yes”. Like maybe “bound to be a classic like Huckleberry Finn or Tom Sawyer or Kim.” There should be an award above a simple BRAG medallion, like maybe “A Double B.R.A.G. Medallion” or maybe “No! I won’t turn out the light until I finish reading this!” which my wife got tired of hearing the last three nights. I usually complain loud and long about first-person books, as they make the main characters too narcissistic and the other characters too shallow. Ten-year-olds KNOW the world revolves around them, especially when they know how to successfully play the “poor but cute orphan” face. First-person is perfect for the “son of fleas”. Perhaps it is his training as an observer/spy (like Kim in Rudyard Kipling’s stories) that allows him to flesh out the characters around him. The momentous events of history seen through the eyes of a ten-year-old put some of those legendary people in their appropriate places. I look forward to reading the first book to get Lucca’s take on the Hattin debacle, which is one of my favorite times in history to have NOT been there. This is one of the few books I wish I had written. Maybe if I write until I die, my last book will approach the quality of “Acre’s Orphans”.
Reviewer, Indie BRAG
I’m honored and humbled (shut up! I can be humble if I have to!) at the love the book is receiving. Go check it out already…
There aren’t a lot of indie-press awards for historical fiction that carry any cachet. One of the few is Helen Hollick’s “Discovering Diamonds” blog. I’m proud to announce that Acre’s Orphans has won the award.
“These characters breathe life from every page and made me care about what happened to them. I highly recommend this book!”
Kristen McQuinn, Discovered Diamonds reviewer
My thanks to Helen Hollick and her team for supporting independent historical fiction. Blessings upon you all.
Count of the Sahara didn’t win one. Acre’s Bastard got a lovely review but missed the top designation, so a) I might actually be getting better at this book-writing thing, and b) If you haven’t yet read Lucca’s second adventure, what’s stopping you?
Just when you wonder if your book is being read, or if people actually enjoy it you get news like this. Pauline Barclay (blessings on her home and camels) and her website Chill With a Book have given my latest baby not one but TWO awards.
Her readers and reviewers have given us the reader award, but I also got her personal stamp of approval. Here’s what they had to say:
The storyline was packed with action and emotion. Well written with characters that brought the terrible events poignantly to life. There were times when the story had me feeling deeply sad at the turn of events. I look forward to the next book.
Chill with a Book Awards
They blessed Acre’s Bastard the same way two years ago, so it’s good to know their standards haven’t dropped!
When you send your books out to be reviewed, it’s kind of a weird process. You send them off, full of hopes. Then the waiting begins. Even if you think your book is pretty good (and the voices in your head actually agree) you honestly have no idea what the readers will think. And there’s… all… that… time to obsess, worry, and eventually forget you ever sent it off in the first place. Then you get an email that says, not only did these total strangers like your book, they’d like to give you an award!
So, it’s with pride that I say Acre’s Bastard has not one, but two awards to its name now. The “Chill With a Book” awards have awarded Acre’s Bastard with both the “Reader’s Award” and the equivalent of a Founder’s Prize, the “PB Award” (named for Pauline Barclay, the obviously brilliant woman who runs the joint and has impeccable taste.)