I left the event with two signed copies of her novel and with an inspired desire to continue the revision process of my own manuscript.
That being said, I put my own work on hold to read Shattered Marbles.
Without giving too much away, it’s about a woman named Jai Blacksmith living in Detroit who is starting to become overwhelmed by the stresses of her job, her love life, and her personal health. She believes she is on the verge of a mental breakdown when she starts seeing marbles and ominous messages like “Do you miss me?” everywhere. She thinks it could be an ex-boyfriend stalking her, but she has no proof of it. On top of that, she starts seeing a homeless man following her, but no one else seems to see him. The story follows Jai as she tries to solve the mystery, or has a mental breakdown in the process.
The book is filled with twists and turns that kept me wanting to read more. When I thought I had it all figured out, I was jerked in a new direction. The mystery of the marbles kept me on my toes until the very end.
ArtB.’s writing style reminded me a lot of Janet Evanovich’s “Stephanie Plum” novels. She is able to perfectly portray Detroit in a positive way without completely removing the grittiness of the city. Her dialogue was spot on, and the voice of the narrator was strong and poignant.
ArtB. did a wonderful job of mixing mystery, romance, humor and psychology into the story.
Of course, as I was reading, I had a hard time removing my editor cap. There were a few grammatical errors that seem to come with self-publishing, and there were a few scenes that I felt could have been developed more.
That being said, I thought that this was a strong debut novel for an author who is just starting to get into the world of self-publishing. I can’t wait to read her sequel, and I wish her the best of luck with her future in writing.
To learn more about ArtB. and her novel, visit her website at workofartb.com.
Written by Dani Cojocari. Originally published in The Oakland Post on April 21, 2015