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Gambling For Good Mail: Evelyn Cole

July 9, 2009

Take a romp through contemporary Southern California culture—self-help groups, weird addictions, drive-in religion, romance novel contest, time-share sales, serial marriages, chiropractic manipulations, and stuffed pets—all shadowed by an unusual and tragic love story.

A Connecticut transplant in King Disney’s Court, Felicia Wood gambles for good mail that comes from catalogue orders. She runs from memories and skims the surface of life, cluttering her home with bonus gifts. “Sometimes I think I should think,” Felicia says, “But now is not the time,” and she plunges in. So should you.

In Gambling for Good Mail, Evelyn Cole has written a book with real potential. But it has are several problems: there’s a bitty feel to the text, and quite a few typos (including several missing closing quote-marks); but, judging by the portion that I read, the problems are nothing a strong line-edit couldn’t fix and many could be resolved by a decent copy-editor.

The front cover is okay, but not great; I think that the title could be improved; the author photo isn’t the best I’ve seen and the back cover copy is absolutely dire. But Felicia is a very engaging main character and the writer’s warm and funny tone and make this book very accessible and easy to read. I’ve not read right to the end so it’s quite possible that the plot falls to pieces along the way, or the tone fails at some point: but the writing is significantly better than competent and had it been polished some more, I think it would have had real potential for being taken on by a mainstream romance line. As it is, I read fifty-five pages out of four hundred and twenty-six, and thoroughly enjoyed them all.

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  1. July 15, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    Did you catch the typo on the postcard on the cover?

  2. August 25, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    I didn't, Puss, but I wouldn't include that in my list of errors as it could be down to characterisation rather than poor proof-reading. I do try to be kind, and not too nit-picky: but so many of these books are so full of errors that probably doesn't come accross.

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