Sunday, October 9, 2011

Welcome to the Flower Child Blog Tour!

Warmest Welcome to

Sheila Deeth!
 Author and...
  Mongrel Christian Mathematician?

I’m a mathematician (help!). In fact, I describe myself as a “mongrel Christian mathematician.”

The mongrel probably applies to both the Christian (Catholic, Methodist, Church of England, free Evangelical, Presbyterian, Christian Reformed…) and the mathematician (pure and applied and whatever lies between).

But I’m also a writer and book reviewer.

I always wanted to be a writer; math just intervened with the lure of perfection and right answers. But I never wanted to be a book reviewer. In my secondary school the principal issued an edict that no-one should study English Lit—it might put us off reading. I became a very quick and eager reader, so perhaps her technique was sound. But I managed to go through life to age 40 and beyond (not telling how much beyond) without ever attempting to write a book review or even book report.

Then I met the internet. Still dreaming of writing (still programming computers with math) the internet was a perfect outlet except that no-one was reading what I wrote. I met other aspiring authors online and when one had a book published, I found all his e-friends writing book reviews. It seemed like the friendly thing to do, so I gave it a try. Then I wrote one for someone else. Then I confessed I could never remember what I’d read and someone said keep records, keep lists, post reviews…

I became a writer and reviewer.

I love reading, and I really do read quite fast. I’ve read 229 books so far this year, and it’s only October. Two hundred and twenty-nine book reviews is a lot of writing, so I guess it begs the question, have I given up writing my own stuff in favor of being a reviewer? The answer’s no.

Writing book reviews introduces me to a lot of variety and teaches me to be, at least moderately, critical. I note things for review as I read—ah, a typo (there’s always one, but too many will drive me crazy)—a misused word (I wonder how often I’ve failed to check what I wrote was what I meant)—too many sentences starting with the same phrase, repeated words, scenes that are described once too often through different eyes, points of view that switch too fast, too many adjectives… The list goes on. And, having spotted these things, I reread my own books. Help! A typo, a misused word, too many sentences starting… You get the idea. It’s as if reading other people’s books tunes up my inner ear.

Of course, the trouble with all this is I soon reach the point where I’m not sure I dare send my writing out because I know it’s not good enough. But book reviewing helps again. Nobody’s perfect. Try.

Of course (repeated phrase!), it also helps that I’ve now got a couple of acceptances under my belt, so somebody, somewhere, believes this mongrel Christian mathematician writes well enough to be published. Who am I to disagree?

About Flower Child:

When Megan miscarries her first pregnancy it feels like the end of everything; instead it’s the start of a curious relationship between the grieving mother and an unborn child who hovers somewhere between ghost and angel. Angela, Megan’s “little angel,” has character and dreams all her own, friends who may or may not be real angels, and a little brother who brings hope to her mother’s world. But Angela’s dream-world has a secret and one day Angela might learn how to be real.

Where to find Flower Child:
On Gypsy Shadow’s site:
More Informative and excerpt...

On Amazon!

On Smashwords! 

About the author:  Sheila Deeth grew up in the UK and has a Bachelors and Masters in mathematics from Cambridge University, England. Now living in the States with her husband and sons, she enjoys reading, writing, drawing, telling stories, running a local writers' group, and meeting her neighbors’ dogs on the green.

Sheila describes herself as a Mongrel Christian Mathematician. Her short stories, book reviews and articles can be found in VoiceCatcher 4, Murder on the Wind, Poetic Monthly, Nights and Weekends, the Shine Journal and Joyful Online. Besides her Gypsy Shadow ebooks, Sheila has several self-published works available from Amazon and Lulu, and a full-length novel under contract to come out next year.

Find her on her website:

or find her books at:

Sheila, Thanks so much for visiting here at Book Reader's Heaven! 
We certainly learned more about've got a lot of options for us to consider...
 Congratulations for all of your contributions in both your writing and your other activities! 
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  1. Sheila...I really have to ask you how you do everything you do! I had to cut back on my reviews because of the time consumed, so am amazed your reading has far surpassed mine, even if you are a fast reader...You go, girl!

    I loved your "mongrel" comment. I tend to have traveled to a number of denominations too, normally based upon what church is close to where I was living at the time...never thought of calling myself a mongrel though...LOL!

  2. Thank you so much Glenda! I guess I used to read shop-signs and road-signs from the bus as a kid and turn them into stories--maybe it was all that reading from a speeding vehicle made me read like a speeding kid.

  3. Hi Glenda and Sheila-

    I too am in awe! I could only manage about one review per month when I was a book reviews editor.

    Do you find you learn something new about your own books when they are reviewed? I think it's thrilling when a reviewer sees past the surface story in fiction to the concepts and connections below, especially when they find common ground with an admired author.

  4. Wow 229 books read! I thought I was doing well. I don't know how you have time for anything else. I have also found that reviewing books makes me more cognizant of my writing errors.

  5. Way to go, Sheila. I must say that 229 book is impressive.

  6. Sheila, seems we are all impressed with your reading speed, but I was also impressed with all that you have published! Plus your writing group, mentioned a novel coming that your mystery?

  7. There's an element of mystery in my upcoming novel, but it's more a tapestry of small-town life with one fraying thread that might tear everything apart... I've just been assigned an editor, which is fun, exciting and scary all at once.

  8. I know about you mean about the thrill of reviews of my own books Cheryl, and I certainly felt that thrill reading your review of Flower Child! When a review feels like someone's shifting your puzzle piece neatly into place--there's nothing quite like it!

    In a way that's what I enjoy about writing reviews too--taking the book I've read and looking back to see where it belongs.

  9. Sheila, I'm so glad to see that you're introducing yourself and your books to a wider audience.You're such a wonderful writer, you deserve a large readership.

  10. Thank you Pat. That's so kind of you.

  11. Interesting experience! Thanks for sharing! Wish I could be able to read so much! And write too...:). Well, the problem with me is the lack of time...
    I guess a suggestion of mine will be welcome? use sites like, cafepress. com, fiverr? They could be a good way to promote anyone's works and to help "remove" stupidity in the streets like headlines on t-shirts, fridge-magnets, cups, etc: My Boyfriend kisses Better Than Yours, FBI - female body inspector, etc. Not everything we see and think of should be about sex, right? It would be much better if there were more nice pictures of mythical creatures, good thoughts, poems from fantasy genre, etc? I'm allanbard there, I use some of my illustrations, thoughts, poems from my books (like: One can fight money only with money, Even in the hottest fire there's a bit of water, Money are among the last things that make people rich, or
    Let's watch the moon, let's meet the sun!
    Let's hear soon the way the Deed was done!
    Let's listen to the music the shiny crystals played,
    let's welcome crowds of creatures good and great...etc).
    I guess such lines look and sound much better than the usual we see every day? Best wishes! Keep the good work going! Let the wonderful noise of the sea always sounds in your ears! (a greeting of the water dragons'hunters - my Tale Of The Rock Pieces).