Editorial and Reader Reviews:
Echoes in the Walls:
--Blue Ink Review, Reviewed April 2011
Review Morgan's lively voice relates the harrowing saga of remodeling a dilapidated pre-Civil war farmhouse. Morgan describes each catastrophic event with gusto. Some scenes are hilarious enough for a sitcom.
--Angela Huston, Editor MedinaCountylife.com, February 2011
"What a fantastic read!!! And the Old Woman-- I especially loved the way you wove her so
intimately through the book...Thanks for the delightful entertainment"
--Judge, 3rd Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published eBook Awards January 2016
Calling the house the Old Woman is a marvelous sense of characterization. We may often refer to houses, cars, and even lawn mowers as 'she' or 'he,' but to begin with giving this house a title of the Old Woman creates a strong feeling about the place, a sense of creaky age, fatigue, embattled energy. And to blend the characterization into a human persona that can symbolically follow the family from room to room, and in essence, almost be heard, is brilliant. The house is the story's grandest character, with rich history, details, textures, scents, a way of speaking. The author has put much effort into giving this house a multi-faceted sense of character, adding up to a stellar story. We sense the frustration at the house projects. We groan when yet another thing needs to be fixed. We're frightened of the bats. Well done. We almost want to move away from the house as well, for all the sense of frustration it creates, but we stay because the plotting and characters are so excellent.
When Spencer delivers his evil laugh, and when Percy stands menacing in the room, we cringe. The author has given great life and spookiness to these scenes. Desperationand fear is felt in the reading. A beautiful ending with the Old Woman resigned to moving on, because the woman she sees and feels living in and loving her house is so pleasing to her. Very well done.
A melodic and flowing story that delivers a satisfying ending.
---Reviewed By Ray Simmons for Readers’ Favorite, May 2016
To be honest, I didn’t know quite what to expect from Echoes in the Walls by Katrina Morgan. I was expecting an essay type book about the funny and aggravating experiences you will have when you attempt a huge project like renovating an old house. Echoes in the Walls is categorized as non-fiction humor, which is why I expected funny vignettes, but to my surprise, this humorous book reads like a novel. I liked it because the characters are well written and very likable. They are, after all, real people, and who knows the members of a family better than Mom? The situation is totally believable. I have experienced some of the twists and turns of making an old house into the house of your dreams. This is probably another reason I like this book.
To my surprise and delight, Echoes in the Walls is, in my opinion, more about family and life’s little quirks than it is about actually doing the job of building the house. Katrina Morgan’s family is very real to me now. I feel I know them and how they will react to things at least as well as I do that fictional family so many of my generation grew up with, The Brady Bunch. This is a family you will learn to love and root for. This is a book you will appreciate. The fact that the story is true and that the characters are real, gave it extra punch and authenticity for me.
These Animals Are Killing Me:
--Sarah Leamy, Editor and writer for Dirt Roads and Dogs, October 18, 2016
The collection of memories follows a year in the life of a mom, three kids, one husband called John, and her animal friends, both pets and local wildlife. The stories are each short, concise, and written in a light-hearted conversational tone as Katrina recounts one small disaster after another, slowly building up to the point where she shouts, “these animals are killing me!”
She fully delivers the promise of incidents that are funny, family focused, and appreciative of all that happens whether expected or not. She approaches raising her family in an easy-going manner that is reflected in the chapters. It’s very much a mom’s book, one that all American mothers will relate to, the doctor visits, sending the youngest on the school bus for the first time, the choices made to take on another kitten after the beloved cat dies of old age. The pets are the final straw after the ups and downs of the young children’s accidents and growing pains. It’s one family’s chronicle told in sweet little chapters, easy to read, and then stop because your kid needs you again. So, if you want to commiserate with another mom, sharing your laughter at the events that constantly take you by surprise, then this is the perfect book for you. For your sister, who’s pregnant, maybe not! She might get worried…but then again, she saw you through it, so go ahead, give her this book too. It’s light-hearted, a family romp, a sit-com in the making.
--Angela Huston, Medina County Life Newspaper, March 2016
If you read “Echoes in the Walls” you already know what a captivating author Katrina Morgan is. If you have not read her first book, then find time to indulge in both her initial venture into the written word as well as her current, newly released second one; be prepared for a double dose of pleasure.
Morgan amusingly describes the tribulations of the family road trip: “Traveling long distances while packed closely together is unnatural, unsafe, and unending. I’m convinced that’s why so many of our ancestors settled in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. They just couldn’t stand to go any further.” Then there are the escapades of her in-denial husband turning 40 years old, still wanting to believe he has the ability and stamina of a 20-year old; his bravado landed him in the hospital...
Most people will relate to one or more of the situations described by Morgan, either as a distant but permanently etched memory of their own experiences with a non-stop active household filled with children and pets, or as a current multi-tasking parent of growing children hoping to survive each new, very long day without a crisis. It is impossible to read about the stream of ridiculous interruptions in Katrina Morgan’s life without smiling, frequently laughing out loud, and even at times shaking your head at the many unbelievable circumstances in which she finds herself becoming involved. Morgan fearlessly embraces life head-on, forges ahead with conviction into exploring all aspects of that life, and invites others to share her slightly off-beat but very positive attitude about conquering obstacles, celebrating victories, and learning lessons."
--Hilary Hawkes for Readers’ Favorite 3/31/2016 5-Star Review
“Katrina Morgan has a talent for storytelling and finding the moral or message in just about any situation she may have found herself in. These Animals are Killing Me is a wonderfully entertaining story that had me hooked from the start and soon had me laughing out loud. Anyone who has brought up children or animals or both will detect something uncannily familiar in these 30 accounts of events and episodes. When things go wrong or anxieties and stress threaten to take over, it can be too easy to view life in a negative way. But Morgan teaches us to laugh at ourselves and realize, in amongst the busyness and coping, that it is having those we love in our lives (both human and animal varieties) that is important – and that it is important to notice and treasure the little things and moments. The stories illustrate how animals - with their focus on
fun or safety, adventure or comfort - can teach us about trust, determination or acceptance.”