"[A] stunning novel that explores the storm and stress of a marriage where both husband and wife and their long-enduring best friend Brian have cause to wonder at what loving moment was the die cast and with which random misunderstanding did their marriage become a prison. Blessed Are the Wholly Broken is wholly satisfying and shockingly memorable."
Looking for the Sun Door
"There is untapped talent just waiting to explode in here that I know many would savor."
Shannon Yarbrough, Vine Voice
"Melinda Clayton does such a rich job with the character you can hear her speaking plain as day by the end of her first chapter, and her voice resonates long after she leaves the pages of the book behind."
Tracy Riva, Midwest Book Review
News and Reviews for Thomas-Jacob Publishing, LLC
"Clayton (Appalachian Justice) has written an emotionally charged, engrossing book that tackles life's large and often overwhelming questions. Phillip and Anna Lewinsky are struggling with heartache and grief after the death of their first child when Anna discovers that she is pregnant at age 43. Shuttling between the past and the present, Clayton probes the couple's troubled world.... Clayton writes with a raw immediacy, and the multiple narratives satisfyingly converge to create an intense and compelling atmosphere."
"Serendipity is when you stumble across a book, buy it on the off-chance that it might be an interesting book and it turns out to be brilliant, a superb read. Appalachian Justice is such a rare find...." Curve Magazine
The Whites and Native Peoples represent a broad spectrum of beliefs and actions. Zeidel has confidence enough in the tale she wants to tell to let the circumstances speak for themselves....The Storyteller’s Bracelet is first and foremost about our collective experiences and histories as a single, whole Humanity, no matter our color, our gender, our religious beliefs, or our socioeconomic status. It is here that our Myths are most important and most resonant....I applaud Smoky Zeidel for keeping story and myth alive and radiant in our darkened modern world, and for doing it with such splendid skill, craft, and heart.
Joseph Media, Literary Aficionado
Conjure Woman's Cat
"Conjure Woman's Cat takes on a host of tough topics -- race, class, and sexual abuse -- and tells about them from the point of view of a magical cat.
Lena is the name of the cat in question. She belongs to Eulalie, a conjure woman...who lives in a tiny town in rural Florida....When a young black girl named Mattie disappears, Lena steps between the worlds to find out what happened to her. And when Lena discovers that Mattie was raped and murdered by some local white boys, she and her conjure woman wreak their own version of justice on the perpetrators....I was quickly drawn in by Lena's unique voice, and by the mysterious goings-on around her and Eulalie. I loved the way Campbell made magic part of the fabric of the place. And I was glad to see those boys get the comeuppance they deserved."
"The plot is multi-layered and confronts racism head-on. If you are offended by certain terms, this may not be the book for you, however it fits the era and is realistic of the times. This story concerns two families in particular. Both being torn apart, one eventually comes to terms with the past so the healing can begin. It's a realistic and moving story that will break your heart but then try to make you whole again. This book gives you a look at how white justice was handled in the south. It is sad to believe that certain aspects of this still hold true today. No one can undo the past and it could take years to get past the hurt even if the pain is a sacred pain." BigAl's Books and Pals
A few months ago I had the pleasure of reviewing Smoky Zeidel’s captivating novel, The Storyteller’s Bracelet, also published by Thomas-Jacob. Sometimes I Think I Am Like Water, a collection of poems, once again showcases Zeidel’s craftsmanship and her deep connection to nature and the importance of ritual communion with it. What I enjoyed most was the way the poems create a dynamic tension between formalized religious rituals and the direct experience of the sacred and numinous found in spiritual practices tied to the flora and fauna all around us.
Joseph Media, Literary Aficionado
Sometimes I Think I Am Like Water
Smoky Zeidel crafted well-developed characters and an inventive and clever concept about the struggle of two specific individuals striving to maintain their beliefs and endure their current circumstances. The ending [had] a twist the reader could never imagine. The Storyteller's Bracelet is, in the end, about changing history and the future through how we treat others.
Manhattan Book Review
Library Journal News!
We're proud to announce Smoky Zeidel's The Cabin and The Storyteller's Bracelet, Malcolm R. Campbell's Conjure Woman's Cat, and Melinda Clayton's Making Amends, A Woman Misunderstood, and Cedar Hollow Series have been selected by Library Journal's Self-E program for inclusion in the national catalog!
An extraordinary story of impressive complexity, “Making Amends” is a fully absorbing read from beginning to end and showcases author Melinda Clayton as an exceptionally talented and original novelist. Very highly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that “Making Amends” is also available in a Kindle edition….
Sarabande is an amazingly well told tale of redemption that starts off with Sarabande seeking Robert Adams help to settle Dryad’s haunting torment. Her quest starts off well through the dimensional divide and Mr. Campbell’s poetic prose is spellbinding as he paints a picture of Sarabande riding Sikimi through the night sky. Things then go terribly awry in a horrific set of events. Sarabande must draw on all of her inner strength to survive.
Billy May's colloquial narration will draw readers in and make them feel like they are sitting vigil at her bedside as she discusses the injustices of her past. The tale [Clayton] weaves brings Cedar Hollow and its mountain to life in brilliant and horrifying color.
Critique: "Eulalie and Washerwoman" is the sequel to"Conjure Woman's Cat" and part of author Malcolm R. Campbell's 'Florida Folk Magic' series. A simply riveting read from beginning to end, "Eulalie and Washerwoman" is very highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted that "Eulalie and Washerwoman" is also available in a Kindle format ($4.99).
Beyond the obvious abilities of this author to weave an enjoyable and engaging tale, I found the book rich with descriptive elements. So many passages caused me to pause and savor. “The air…heavy with wood smoke, turpentine, and melancholy.” “ …the Apalachicola National Forest, world of wiregrass and pine, wildflower prairies, and savannahs of grass and small ponds… a maze of unpaved roads, flowing water drawing thirsty men…”