Darrell Laurant, author of The Kudzu Kid, writes about The River Caught Sunlight: “This gracefully written, multi-layered book is actually a literary hybrid — part memoir, part novel” on his blog Snowflakes in a Blizzard.

“The elegant prose comes from Katie Andraski’s previous work as a poet, while the story is a fictionalized version of her own…There’s a lot going on here, and it’s even more poignant when you realize that it isn’t just made up. Moreover, the conflicts that assail Janet Westfahl about her job mirror those of many committed Christians who worry about how their beliefs are sometimes interpreted and applied in a real world setting by those whose motives are suspect.

“Andraski probes this dilemma with the dexterity of a brain surgeon lancing a tumor, and one of the book’s reviews says a lot about how well she succeeds: ‘Like all good writers, Katie has plucked her story from her life. This book has a piercing insight at its heart as humane as it is damning of religion gone off the rails.’ That quote comes from Frank Schaefer, the real-life evangelist for whom Andraski handled publicity. The flesh-and-blood Jeremiah Sackfield.”

Laurant has started a blog/newsletter, Snowflakes in a Blizzard whose purpose is to “separate authors from the herd and give them one on one time with readers.” Click on the link and subscribe for updates on other books you might have missed because great books are being buried by the blizzard of so many million books being published each year.

He says, “Just walk through a Barnes & Noble or venture onto the Amazon book site these days, and you’ll realize that the floodgates have opened. The gatekeepers have been overrun.

“Given the current technology, virtually anyone who wants to publish a book can now do so. And that’s a good thing, because I believe everyone has something of value to say and something to teach the rest of us.

“But it’s also bad news for individual writers, because the chance that someone will randomly pick up or click on a particular book has decreased exponentially. I chose the name for this blog because getting noticed for a writer in this market — especially a new, unknown writer — is like a snowflake trying to stand out in a blizzard.

“This project is designed to help that. Obviously, I can’t force anyone to buy a particular book, or even visit the blog at all. Yet featuring a different book twice a week will give that author some ‘alone time’ with whoever the blog can attract, and a chance to make his or her case.

“Unfortunately, I still have to be something of a gatekeeper, because the success of this depends on our collective credibility and the blizzard doesn’t always discriminate on quality. But I have a broad tolerance for ‘different,’ and a lot of these books will fall outside the usual boundaries of ‘genre.'”

And if you’re an author who would like to be included, contact Darrell at writersbridge AT hotmail.com. If you’re wondering whether this free service is worth it, today I saw an uptick in my Amazon sales rank, where The River Caught Sunlight Kindle Edition jumped 388,180 ranks and went to 127, 238. And one person commented, “Wonderful post – based on it, I just bought the book…”