By the time I finished Whittled Away the author had made me care about the characters. That’s a roundabout compliment, because there are way too many realistically detailed Civil War battles in this novel to be my sort of book. And Phil McBride definitely makes you feel like you’re in the middle of the action. But I kept on reading anyhow.

DISCLAIMER: Phil’s one of my critique partners in the small town we both live in, so naturally I’d be reading his books.

Phil’s put a lot of research and accurate detail into his one, which is a little too much for me, but not for his target audience. If you like military history (and lots of it), and especially if you’re interested in Confederate soldiers’ experiences, this is your book.

Whittled Away is about the decimation through war of the Alamo Rifles Company K of the Sixth Texas Infantry regiment as they experience the Civil War from the Confederate side (obviously). There is a reason he named it Whittled Away. Harrowing at times, at other times humorous, enlightening, horrific, Phil takes two fictitious friends through the hell of war, prisoner of war camp, triumph and defeat.

I’ll be reading it again someday, especially if I need inspiration writing about war, battles, and soldiers.

WHITTLED AWAY  http://amzn.com/B00EBYO372




WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  The Beasts of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Whittled Away by Phil McBride.  Stuck on You by Heather Thurmeier.  Release Me by Julie Kenner.

You can find the novels and short stories of Gretchen Rix at http://amazon.com/author/gretchenrix


Merry Christmas To Me

I did this last year (making an effort to buy e-books from my indie-published Twitter followers).  I  think it’s what we indie-published writers need to do–buy some of our peers’ works.

I’ve spent the past two days trolling through my Twitter feed to find what I’ll buy next.

Seumas Gallacher has been nice to me (as one of his Twitter friends). I’m considering his books http://amzn.com/B008H45KJC .

Robert Storey  had a very enticing come-on for one of his books, plus it’s only 99 cents. I seriously considered his book and then bought it. http://amzn.com/B009XGVBDM.

STUCK ON YOU by Heather Thurmeier sounded like the kind of romance I’d love, even it it isn’t an indie  http://amzn.com/B00B03EHTG. I bought it too.

And I’m going back to the Steven Havill Posada series. Love it.


HEART LIKE AN OCEAN by Christine Steendam is meriting my attention, too http://amzn.com/B00BC2TCJA .

From among these indies I’ll probably find one or two I really enjoy. And then I’ll have another new (new to me) writer to follow.

Give a new writer a chance. Buy from one of your Twitter followers. You might just discover a Lindsay Buroker or Annelie Wendeberg among them.


You can find my books and short stories at http://amazon.com/author/gretchenrix

I’m also represented on the Nook and Smashwords sites. Photos by Roxanne Rix.


WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  Torrent by Lindsay Buroker.

Come For The BBQ, Stay For The Parade!

 COME FOR THE BBQ, STAY FOR THE PARADE!  OR COME FOR THE DICKENS FESTIVAL, STAY FOR THE BBQ! Either way you can’t lose. This upcoming Friday night, and all day and half the night Saturday is the A DICKENS CHRISTMAS IN LOCKHART festival. If you’re young enough you’ve never seen a small-town old fashioned Christmas parade, you’ve got a chance to see one Friday night at seven. If you’ve never come to Lockhart to see its beautiful courthouse or taste its famous barbecue, here’s your chance.

Close by are Smitty’s and Blacks. Out on the highway is Kreuz. And just about on the corner near McDonalds is Chisholm Trail. Each one different, each one memorable. And if you don’t want barbecue? Well, you’re pretty much out of luck. Lockhart isn’t called The Barbecue Capital of Texas for nothing.

On Saturday there be vendors, and I’m one of them. We’re selling my paperbacks ARROYO, THE COWBOY’S BABY, TALKING TO THE DEAD GUYS, and my newest, THE COWBOY’S BABY GOES TO HEAVEN. At our booth we’re also featuring our friend Patrick Kampman’s two YA horror novels CHANCE IN HELL and THE HAUNTING OF PICO. I’ve read them; they’re good. Bargain prices, too.

And if you’re looking for old cookie jars, we’ve got a few for you.

There are other vendors, too. And meet the rest of the local authors at book signings in the historic Dr. Eugene Clark Library all day Saturday. There are carriage rides, a petting zoo, glass blowers, a bird show, Aztec dancers, and lots and lots of local school choirs and dancers.

If it rains, we’ll be there. If it snows, we’ll be there. If it’s eighty degrees (not going to happen), we’ll be there.

This is the way we sell my paperbacks, folks. Face to face at the local festivals, and sometimes at the Farmers Market. While some of the local stores also sell my books (and those of the other local writers), mainly LOGOS, and BookPeople in Austin, the hand selling is what has worked best for us (go buy one of my books at BookPeople!!!) If you are also a writer, this is something you should try.

Photos by Roxanne Rix. Book covers by Glendon Haddix.

You can find all my books and stories at http://amazon.com/author/gretchenrix.

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK: The Case of a Cold Trail and a Hot Musket by Janet Christian.  The Scroll Lawyers by R.J. Jagger.  Diving Into the Wreck by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.