Saturday, September 1, 2012

Killer Frost Is Out! Reader Comments

Cover of my first mystery, now on sale!

$15.95 paper; $2.99, Nook and Kindle.  Check out the savings on Amazon and

Here are some encouraging reader comments I've already received.


Killer Frost Reader comments.

Lane Stone (review on book entry for Amazon 8-6-12-five stars): I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  The characters were real.  The ability to write with authenticity about such a diverse group is a rare talent.  Loved it.  

John Merrett (8-14-12) email: A good novel with good characters, plot, etc., but I was simply blown away by your great account of the unprepared students who should not be in college.  Judy, like most people I have known that there were problems in our schools of higher learning.  I had no idea they were as bad as you so vividly present them, though.  Like wow, as the youngsters say.  The dialogues are simply great, and I don’t think that anyone can read this novel and not understand much about the failures of colleges today.  You certainly wrote those passages from the heart and I think readers will respond to them from the heart.  My heartiest congratulations on a novel you can be very proud of.

Katherine Wood (8-15-12) email:
I received your book yesterday...I have read over half.  The more I read, the more absorbed I became...not just about the plot but the characters...  I just want you to know how much I am enjoying the book.  When I got to page 113 [part of Rick Clegg’s speech on Black History], I said WOW... that was a part I will read and reread many times.
2nd email: As I’ve read, I’ve thought about what separates great fiction from mediocre fiction... perhaps it is the intensity with which we believe the story is real...and the characters are real.  As I’ve read your book, I know your characters are real and telling their story is important.  I keep applauding Penny’s tough love and her ingenuity.

Diane Gallagher (8-11-12) email:
I love your book!  It came on Thursday and I completed it last night.  It was a fast paced and enjoyable read.  The current ed system is one I have been connected with so I understood the terrain. ... I hope you are proud!

Sharon Ramirez (8-20-12) email:
Judy, how I enjoyed Killer Frost.  I read it yesterday and appreciated every word.  I liked the characters, especially Penny, who shows a winsome combination of wisdom and naivete.  The theme worked out very well, the way you showed your community of people, how they cooperated together in the garden-trees, their tea and their meals together.  And of the daffodils.  I thought of Wordsworth, and I’m sure you did when writing this book.  Also, I thought of his “Splendor in the Grass” in which he writes that no matter the change or the loss, there’s always something strong that’s left–“We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind.”  Which leaves us with hope just as your fine mystery does.
I like that the violence is minimal, off stage.  I guess that’s how it’s done in cozies.  I usually read more crime-ridden books where there’s more action, but your book makes me appreciate the calming effect of a good cozy.  I could feel myself relaxing when Penny started making tea.  
At first I struggled with so many characters but you did a good job of helping me keep them straight, employing your “tags” when you could.  And best of all, your message came across to people like myself who don’t have a clue about blacks in education or even the South and its problems.  I’m the better for having read your book, and I know you’ll build up a good following.  I’m going to circulate my two copies.  Good luck with your good book! It’s professionally written.
From a later email (8-30-12): [You] look like a sweet little old lady, maybe like Miss Marple who farms.  Had Christie created Miss Marple as a gentle lady farmer, she would have given us Judy Hogan.

Michele Drier –(review on Amazon, 8-24-12)–Four stars:
Penny Weaver has established a comfortable life moving easily between Wales and North Carolina with her beloved husband, Kenneth.  But when she agrees to take on a mid-term teaching position at St. Francis College in Raleigh, she finds her life and her love for Kenneth challenged.  The school has enrolled students who aren’t ready for college in order to take advantage of state and federal grants and Penny’s department chairman, Oscar, is willing to fight the administration for these students’ futures.  This passion spills over into tension as she struggles with her attraction for Oscar, but who will fight for Oscar when two administrators turn up dead?
Ms. Hogan has drawn a clear picture of some of the forces battering academia today and peopled it with a great, layered cast of characters, all of whom tightly hang onto their secrets.  
A good read and I hope just the first of Ms. Weaver’s adventures.

Elaine Goolsby.  Email 8-28-12.  Killer Frost is a remarkable mystery that combines an engaging, well-written plot with a contemporary social issue.  The killer frost metaphor is an image that readers will keep in their memory.


  1. Wonderful reviews, Judy. I'm not sure how to leave them on Amazon. Email me tomorrow and tell me how to do it. I've been wanting to know how to do it for others, too.

  2. Now that I'm back at my computer, I'm catching up on your blog. I have begun reading Killer Frost for the second time, and it's even better second time around - a good sign of good writing - layers to be discovered and uncovered. I'm hoping to see more of your characters in print!
    Sharon D. Ewing