Saturday, July 26, 2008


Hi Y'all,

I picked up my mail today, and along with the political flyers, bills, and other junk, I noticed an envelope from my first publisher, Booklocker. These are fine business people, not prone to send useless items, so I ripped it open and found a book review of my debut novel, The Gift Horse, which launched in February 2004, so a review after all that time was quite unexpected, of course.

As I read the reviewer's analysis, I was pleasantly surprised. The Gift Horse is a book that readers either love or hate. In fact, a some love to hate it and have made great efforts to tell me about it! This new review states that The Gift Horse has "a highly original plot with social commentary on the rights of young women in our society. There is an obscure warning in all of this, but Ms. Dodd turns it around into a moral question."

I wrote the much of the book at a time when I was struggling with the almost overwhelming tasks of full time teaching, mothering two school aged children, and being a wife/helpmate to my beloved husband. The Gift Horse manuscript was a stress-relief task, which didn't get the polishing touches until I left high school teaching. The reviewer is quite correct about the social commentary. While most women have embraced modern thought, there continue to be some who are swept away by powerful personalities and our society's total lack of a moral compass.

When composing the back cover copy, I mentioned that readers would be taken for a wild ride on The Gift Horse. Like a helpless rider on a runaway stallion, readers of this novel either enjoy the ride or scream to be let off.

My thanks go to Shelley Glodowski, Senior Reviewer at The Midwest Book Review for her thoughtful comments, and to my publisher for letting me in on the surprise. BTW, the entire review is posted on

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