Incredible 5-star review of The God of Sno Cone Blue–please share!

Best book I’ve read in years, it says, then:
Cover of the novel The God of Sno Cone Blue.I have not been this impressed with a first novel since Michael Chabon’s Mysteries of Pittsburgh. The characters, the plot, the pacing…all spectacularly well done. The writing is mature, confident, lyrical…it reminds me of Mark Helprin, an author whom I think writes like an angel. But the thing that impresses me most is how the narrator, who is only a child for most of the book, comes across as a child in her understanding of the adults around her and in her friends, while also conveying the angst of her mother, who is dying and writing of her own life to serve as guidance to her daughter. Marcia Coffey Turnquist juggles these counterpoints so successfully she makes it look easy, and natural, which lets the universal themes of family, life and death, friendship, and growing up shine through. This is an astonishing, beautiful book. Everyone should read it.


No, I’m not sounding much like a writer at the moment, but that’s my honest response: Wow. To be compared to a bestselling, Pulitzer Prize winner? To have my writing described as “mature, confident, lyrical” and reminiscent of Mark Helprin who “writes like and angel”? Like I said: Wow.

The words blissful, divine, incredible, fantastic and cloud nine also come to mind. I admit–quite sheepishly–I haven’t read Helprin, so, just today, ordered one of his books, A Soldier of the Great War, and I can’t wait for it to arrive. I have read Michael Chabon though, author of Wonder Boys and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, so I’m intensely humbled to have The God of Sno Cone Blue compared to his first novel–a story that launched a luminous, Pulitzer-Prize winning career.

A short tale

Speaking of stories, there’s a short one behind this wonderful review (filed August 20th) of my book. It starts just over a week ago as I sat on my little stool at the Cedar Mill Farmers’ Market where I am most Saturdays among vendors of produce and hand-crafted wares, a card table with my books before me and teetering expectations for more sales. A couple came near, among many who strolled the tents, and I called out, as I often do, “Are you a reader?”

What I learned in the next few minutes turned the question into a joke. Bob Colwell–as I now know him–is not just a reader, but, if I may coin a phrase, a super reader. He tears through hundreds of books per year. HUNDREDS. Since there are 52 weeks in a year, and assuming the lowest description of hundreds as two hundred, it means he’s reading four books a week–at least! How does he do it? By always having a book with him, he says, and in various rooms of his house–kitchen, bathroom, den, etc.,–so that there’s always something to read as he moves about, or when he’s bored with one topic he can pick up another.

And here’s how I know that Bob’s genuine. He bought a copy of my book the morning I met him and, within days, got back to me not only in detail but with news of his incredible review on Amazon. Here he is, a man I’ve just met who consumes hundreds of books, calling The God of Sno Cone Blue the best book he’s read in years. He also describes it as an astonishing, beautiful book and says everyone should read it. Again, wow.

What’s even better, Bob said my novel kept him from picking up other books as he traveled about his house: He didn’t want to leave my story. Now that’s what I call an endorsement.

–As always, your comments are welcome. Simply click on Leave a reply below–

500 copies sold of The God of Sno Cone Blue

Marcia at the Cedar Mill Farmers' Market.A big thanks to all the readers driving sales of my book: we’ve smashed the 500 mark! If you took all those books and lay them end-to-end they’d stretch to–just kidding, though it does feel like the moon. Better yet are the comments from readers I’ve never met. Here are a few of my favorites from my Amazon book page:


A 5-star review from a buyer in the Southwestern United States:

I am now recommending it for my book club to read. It was very well written, and tough to put down! I’m looking forward to more books from this author.

Another 5-star review:

(The) wonderful writing style reflects many deep emotions felt throughout the entire novel for all characters involved. Insightful and a real page turner!! Two thumbs up!!

Finally, I had to smile at this 4-star review from someone called sandyg:

 I wouldn’t normally choose this book, but I actually enjoyed it very much.

Thanks Sandy, wherever you are–I consider it a high compliment!

And thanks also to all of you who’ve shared my posts and talked up my book. While I’m thrilled at reaching 500 in sales (counting both paperback and eReaders), I’m still working on a big breakthrough for The God of Sno Cone Blue. A major national reviewer would be nice, for example. The book continues getting positive feedback, but there remains a huge audience that doesn’t know it exists, so I plug along…

What sells best?

Most of my sales have been in paperback, though I’m encouraged by all the eReader interest–lots of people love their eBooks. Online, there are five retailers offering The God of Sno Cone Blue, and you can access them all here. But if you prefer brick-and-mortar shopping and you live in the area, the paperback is also in two wonderful bookstores: New Renaissance in downtown Portland, and Jacobsen’s in Hillsboro, Oregon.

I’m investing plenty of time online learning the ropes of marketing, but, truth be told, I prefer meeting readers in person, and so I’ve spent several Saturdays at the Cedar Mill Farmers’ Market on Cornell Road, the source of the picture in this post. You’ll find fabulous products there, by the way, like fresh produce and flowers, jewelry, food and pastry (not to mention one promising book). I’ll be there most Saturdays this summer and fall, including this weekend. So stop by if you’re in the area–I’d love to see you.

Looking ahead

If Saturday is not in the cards, but you’d still like to help, let your friends know about my book. 500 in sales is a happy milestone, but I’d like to make it–perhaps one day soon–seem quaint.

–As always, your comments on this or any article are more than welcome.–

What happens after we die?

Heavenly cloud with sun in sky.The question fascinates me. For some, the answer is “nothing.” They dismiss afterlife experiences as unscientific, tricks of the brain or hallucinations. But does that really explain it? One account I’ll never forget is that of a woman who Continue reading

The God of Sno Cone Blue is in Two Book Stores and Another Newspaper

Cover of the novel The God of Sno Cone Blue.

A newly-published review of my novel calls it “A deeply engaging and satisfying read” with “well-paced suspense, interesting and well-developed characters and a vivid re-creation of time and place.”

The writeup in The Valley Times newspaper describes how the story unfolds and how it’s, ultimately, about “the pivotal moments in life that can define all that follows.” If you’d like to read the entire review, find it here in The Valley Times. Continue reading

Are You in a Book Club? What it Says About You

I love book clubs. I’ve visited four so far that have read my book, The God of Sno Cone Blue. They’ve opened my eyes to what book clubs say or don’t say–about us. This, by the way, is my favorite picture so far, thanks to Linda Kalimanis who had us toasting with sno cones of blue. Book club members laughing with blue sno cones. Are you in a book club? If so, I’ll guess a few of the things it may say about you. Continue reading

The God of Sno Cone Blue is Now on YouTube

Click here to play if you haven’t seen it. It’s the piece by KGW-TV running about a minute and a half long. What about you? Have you thought about self publishing? I’m happy to answer questions about my experience, especially since a minute and a half can only cover so much. The avenues I used were Amazon’s CreateSpace and Kindle, as well as additional eBook retailers that you can check out, if you’re interested, on my Buy Books page. It’s the future of publishing in my humble opinion. So, if you’d like to know more, please don’t hesitate to reply below with any questions either about my experience or about self publishing in general.


The God of Sno Cone Blue is Featured in The Cedar Mill News

The Cedar Mill News article on The God of Sno Cone Blue.What a nice surprise! Check out the first article about my novel, The God of Sno Cone Blue. In print, it’s a quarter-page piece, ultimately describing the book as “a good read for mature young adult readers and parents alike…” In what is probably the best insight yet, The Cedar Mill News alludes to the letters in my novel as “a story within a story” and goes on to describe my background, the novel, and its inspiration. Continue reading

Father’s Day, Mine, Yours

The meaning of father–of dad–is different for all of us, as individual as our own experiences. Was your father a role model? Nurturing? Or something else altogether, perhaps troubled or abusive or never around? The inventory of Father’s Day cards covers a wide spectrum. You’ll find a few that are gushing sentiment… next to others from “across the miles.” Still others take a lighter tack, highlighting sports or beer, camping and hunting or tinkering with cars and carpentry–all things my own father has enjoyed over the years.

Clayton and Hazel Coffey.

Continue reading

Look Forward, Graduate, But Don’t Forget to Look Back

Sometimes I think I’m too sentimental, the sort of person who can get teary-eyed in a 30-second commercial. Maybe it’s age or menopause, though the truth is, I can’t remember when I wasn’t this way. This week it’s coming at me like gale-force winds. “You’re about to be empty nesters!” I keep hearing, and, yes, it’s true. Our little birds–who aren’t so little anymore–are leaving the nest in their own gusts of wind. Continue reading

Here’s the KGW-TV Story on My Book!

Click the video link below for the story featuring my novel, The God of Sno Cone Blue. It will take you AWAY from my website, so come back if you’d like to buy a copy or hop over to Amazon books to search the title or my name. You have your choice of paperback or eBook. Many thanks, Channel 8, for supporting a local writer! And anyone interested in my books and articles, I encourage you to subscribe to this website. Without further ado, click on the image below to watch the story…