Gifts that give back!

My friend Tom Williams over at Writing About Writing has come up with a great gift idea for the holidays. Like Oprah and her favorite things he's compiled a list of novels he feels would make great gifts for you, or maybe that friend of yours who loves to read. He graciously added The Soul Seekers, which I can't thank him enough for.

Of course, I'm going to reciprocate the favor. This guy is such an amazing writer. His first book The White Rajah is a thrilling love story set in 19th century Singapore. It covers a short and controversial time in the life of adventurer James Brooke, as told by lover John Williamson. The sequel Cawnpore carries on with the life of Williamson—set during a time of conflict with the British Raj in India. Not only is Tom an excellent writer, and friend, but he loves Tango and takes classes frequently. His books are an exciting dive into history with such fine detail and vivid storytelling. Another thing about Tom, he is so kind. He takes his time out to help fellow writers prepare and fine-tune their work. Go now. Seriously. His novels are the kind that you read and can't wait to tell your friends about.

Next I'd like to recommend Talli Roland's Mistletoe in Manhattan, a fun read just in time for the holidays. And one that won't break the bank! As you know, Talli's a good friend and admired writer around these here parts. She became a mother to a beautiful little baby boy just last year and, honestly, how does she do it? I don't think it would be an understatement to say that she's the most prolific writer I know, and one of the most giving too! If you're looking for a fun and romantic read this Christmas, go have a look. Hurry, before she writes another one!

I've already recommended this one, but I just love it to death. It's a novel I came across by accident one night when bored and feeling down. I loved it so much that I wrote a review on my blog and then sent an email to the author—who kindly wrote back to me in return. A really, really, super nice guy and mind-boggingly great novelist. Not only is this book funny, but it's like a study of the human spirit in the most beautiful way possible: Who we are, and what we are capable of. It's like Grapes of Wrath, but with John Lennon. I've read it three times. Another novel that I'm amazed hasn't snagged a huge book deal (yet). John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe. You can thank me later.

And lastly, I can't end this list without including every single book in the WiDo catalog. A good-hearted publisher with great taste. I can say with all seriousness that they do not let their authors get by with just anything. They want great fiction because they care about their readers, and their authors. And they have such a wide array of books. So, go now and check out their amazing catalog.

I with you a Very Merry Christmahanakwanzika!

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