Onions by Cy Young

Charles Wesley Onions is cruising through life as only a twelve-year-old can: aimlessly consuming all the comic books he can afford, and dodging an endless stream of school bullies. Then, he meets octogenarian Sandrine Galano Fuller and his hapless young life changes forever.

In this captivating offbeat novel, called, simply, Onions, author Cy Young draws the reader deep into the unlikely but fascinating story of Onions’ escape from an adolescent hell of foster homes and petty thievery into a wary friendship with Fuller, who begins the slow process of building the boy’s self esteem.

Written skillfully in the tradition of John Irving and his always-outre casts of characters, Onions rises above the stereotypical coming-of-age storyline so popular among many Young Adult novels these days to render a tale both sweet and fulfilling.

Charles Wesley (C.W.) quickly gets recruited into Mrs. Fuller’s zany campaign to derail a plan by local power brokers to build a taxpayer-funded sports arena. The plan has been cooked up in a smoke-filled back room by crooked city hall officials, who would receive handsome kickbacks from bad apple builders like this succinctly summed-up mayoral crony:

“Zinnerman’s short, hefty legs were crossed at the ankles revealing his passion: red, green, and orange argyle socks. His thin-lipped smile was like the bottom line of a ledger.”

This kind of priceless exposition abounds in the book, which also features such disparate (but crucial) plot elements as skinny-dipping senior citizens, big bore trumpet solos from The Wizard of Oz, and treetop aerobatics by a leaflet-dropping ultralight aircraft.

The narrative dips and weaves its way through Onions’ euphoric highs and devastating lows on the way to a surprising conclusion that finds C.W. many years later standing center stage at Madison Square Garden — a living testament to just what a single act of kindness at a crucial time can do to a troubled teen. It is a moral worth remembering in these perilous times of senseless school violence.

Five-plus stars to Onions for unparalleled storytelling and quirky characterizations that inspire deep reader empathy for some players, disdain for others and a fascination for all.

Amazon Link


A Twitter Epiphany . . .

My Publishers Daily Reviews site has exploded in Twitter interest, going from a grand total of seven followers last Friday — to more than 150 in a week. What’s the secret? I typed Indie Authors into the search bar and, as I clicked “Follow,” on each of the resulting suggestions — all authors,  my ideal target — Twitter automatically suggested another! Most followed me back, and just like that the number of Followers multiplied. Good etiquette indicates that you send a “Thanks for Following” Direct Message, with a brief, mild sales pitch and a shortened link (courtesy of Most clicked on to my site and several sales of promotional reviews resulted. Bottom line: great way to reach a targeted audience. Authors could do the same by, for example, typing in “Avid Readers,” or some such. Continue to grow by clicking on Followers on your Twitter home page, then scrolling down to find still more authors to Follow. For me, this was a truly astounding example of the power of Social Media. Anyway, thought I’d share. Find me on Twitter: @PublishersDaily!

Try a Promotional Review Today!

Don’t overlook the Built-In Sales Advantage given to you by Amazon: the ability to display favorable reviews on your book’s product page — giving you instant credibility — even if you haven’t got a single customer review yet! See this site to discover the insanely low cost of such a review, and see examples and testimonials from a host of authors…..

My 123rd Review

I just finished posting my 123rd Amazon review. This was on the subject of winning arguments. The author states, in fact, that there is nothing as satisfying as winning a good argument and he gives 91 tips on doing just that.

The one thing he says never to do in an argument, however, is hurl an insult at your opponent. He says it characterizes a “weak poisition,” and is beside the point.

Hmm. Wonder if Donald J. Trump has read this book — and rejected that advice?

Guess we’ll all just have to stay tuned….

To see my review, click here.

New Website Kicks Off!

Well, we’re underway, with a customized Don Sloan page that features:

  • Five published books
  • Comprehensive, free reviews at Don Sloan’s WordPress site
  • A book blog featuring more than 1,000 titles in 11 genres
  • Professional, Kirkus-quality book reviews — at a fraction of the cost

Whew! It’s a lot to accomplish in one day — but it’s a good start: grouping all Don’s services and books together — finally in one spot!

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More to come tomorrow. Adios!