Sunday Smiles: TIW edition

It’s Mother’s Day in the UK, so me and Bruv (that’s my brother’s codename) took Mum out for an afternoon of wandering around sunny London. Of course, good food and wine and Italian ice-cream were all involved. 🙂

Other things to smile about, include these thoughtful reviews of The Iron Witch. As I’ve said before, I hardly ever link to reviews, but these I will do because they are pretty detailed and look at the novel from a wide range of perspectives. I particularly like that although they aren’t all 100% positive, they offer genuine insight into both good and bad aspects. Oh, and they are all blogs that I regularly love and follow:

Jodie from the wonderful Book Gazing blows me away with the depth of her review and the thought that obviously went into it.

Ari from one of my favourite blogs, Reading in Color, did me the honour of writing a review that made me grin for the whole day (and possibly a few days after that, too!). ♥

And then Memory from the fabulous Stella Matutina reviewed TIW, and mostly seemed to quite like it. (Phew!)

Last, but by no means least, I almost (seriously) fell over with shock to see this:

The Iron Witch/Karen Mahoney: Reflections by Beth Kephart

I am just… speechless. If you know me at all, you know I am being completely sincere. Yes, I sent Beth my book, but I never for one minute imagined she would write about it. Her blog is one of my online havens; I look forward to every post and it takes me away from the often depressing publishing and news blogs I read. It was Beth Kephart’s beautiful blog that first introduced me to her writing, then led me to her books… To see my own work highlighted there is humbling. When I re-read parts of The Iron Witch (which I currently need to do while revising the sequel), I’m horribly aware of its many flaws, so to see an author of Beth’s talent say such kind things about my debut effort fills me with smiles and gratitude. (Although I shed a few tears first – I really did!)

Later this year – October, I believe – we have the pleasure of a new Beth Kephart novel, You Are My Only. It sounds incredible (click the image to read more about it):

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9 Responses to Sunday Smiles: TIW edition

  1. It’s fantastic to see so many people enjoying The Iron Witch. I loved it and have put it on my must read novel for 2011. Bask in the wonderful reviews hon, you deserve it!

  2. Beth Kephart says:


    It was with great pleasure that I read your book and reached out across the ocean toward you. You have been a dear and true presence and I am so grateful that we have connected. You are officially and talentedly launched into the world of publishing.

    (and thank you for linking to You Are My Only)


  3. ThisViewOfMine says:

    That picture is so mean. I see my favorite, mint chocolate chip.

    You Are My Only does sound incredible. Every now and then a book that will make you cry is in order. Kephart’s novel sounds like one of those books.

    • Kaz says:

      Haha!!! I love mint choc chip, too. Though I have to say the strawberry ice-cream we had was just… divine. It had real strawberries in it. *happy sigh*

      Yes! I know what you mean: it’s not enough to just read books for escapism or for laughs or entertainment, etc. Not for me, anyway. Occasionally you need to keep it real and dig into something more painful. Beth is a great writer – she started out writing memoir, and has now moved to contemporary and historical YA fiction.

  4. Isabel says:

    Wow, I’m so happy for you Karen! *hugs* Of course good reviews aren’t always 100% positive, but this doesn’t mean that the person who is reviewing the book didn’t thoroughly enjoy it. It’s a good sign because it shows they really put a lot of thought into the book, and that means that it is definitely worthy of this attention. It’s so good that you are able to realize and accept this. It’s definitely a great trait for a writer to have. And it’s actually really good that you are spotting these flaws in The Iron Witch — it shows you how much you are growing and improving as a writer! 🙂 Again, I can’t wait to read The Wood Queen. I’m sure it will be great! Good luck good luck good luck!

    • Kaz says:

      What a lovely comment to leave – thanks very much. It is hard to accept criticism sometimes, but when it’s offered as part of a thoughtful, indepth and balanced review, that makes it totally different. 🙂

      I hope to always improve as a writer – I honestly feel that the day I don’t strive to be better at this, then I might as well give up.

      • Isabel says:

        No problem! You’re completely right. What’s the point of writing if you’re not always trying to be better? Simply by writing you are growing and developing your skill. Even when I read a novel, sometimes I can detect some growth and improvement from the beginning to the end in the author’s work and writing. And that shows how much the author learned from writing! It’s such an uplifting thing to think about. 🙂

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