‘Thin Blue Smoke’ author calls Gathering String ‘masterfully constructed’

Mimi Johnson’s Gathering String is “an exceptionally well plotted and masterfully constructed story of political and journalistic intrigue,” wrote Doug Worgul, author of Thin Blue Smoke, in an Amazon review.

“With cinematic prose and an insider’s knowledge of journalism, Johnson paints an extraordinarily detailed and realistic picture of the tensions and conflicts inherent in relationships between those who seek to discover the truth and those who would keep it hidden,” Worgul wrote. “However, there are no angels or demons in Johnson’s story. Those who would reveal the truth are not always honorably motivated, and those who seek to suppress it are not always sinister.”

Worgul’s debut novel, like Johnson’s, is averaging nearly five stars in Amazon reviews.

Fans of Gathering String are also sharing the cover of Mimi Johnson’s novel on Pinterest.

Tonya Gentry, Joelle Rider, Trixie Shelfbuzz, Kindle Users Forum and E. Vee Myrberg have pinned the book on their pinboards.

Myrberg, who pinned the book last year during the presidential campaign, wrote:

The author grew up in Southwest Iowa. Her book is quite timely – a thriller about presidential politics and the challenges facing the press in these days of cell phones, Twitter, etc. It is a good read for anyone but readers from Southwest Iowa will also get a kick out of some “Easter


Gathering String: responsible for sleep deprivation

British journalist David Higgerson has started a new series, Books by Journalists, on his blog. The first book he features is Mimi Johnson’s Gathering String:

The dark bags under my eyes which several colleagues remarked on last week have nothing to do with a no-excess-spared Christmas, or chasing after an 18-month-old who has discovered that most wrapped boxes contain a present for her for a fortnight. Or, indeed, long miles travelling to relatives while my wife battled through a stomach bug.

No, those bags are entirely due to the book on the right here. You know when you think you don’t have time to read, then start reading a book when you get chance and then everything else that can be put to one side tends to go that way? This is one of those books.

Continue reading

Mimi Johnson headed for Ohio after successful Gathering String tour in Iowa and more good reviews

Recent reviews praise Gathering String for its memorable characters and relevance.

Nathasha wrote the 15th five-star Amazon review (of 21 overall reviews):

Gathering String is a great political journalism thriller, with good character development and pacing. I also enjoyed how the novel makes references to digital and social media and the changing journalism industry. It’s a very relevant and timely novel, and overall great read.  

North Dakota journalist Francis Materi wrote the sixth four-star Amazon review:

This is a book with memorable characters and an engaging story, timely and well told. Finishing “Gathering String” made me want to read another chapter; made me want to know what happens next. That’s about the best compliment I can pay to a work of fiction.

After a successful book tour in Iowa, author Mimi Johnson heads to Dublin, Ohio, this week to discuss Gathering String with a book club.

The Iowa tour also included a book club visit as well as public readings at Beaverdale Books in Des Moines and the Shenandoah Public Library.

If you’d like to schedule a visit to a bookstore, library or book club in the Washington area, you may contact the author at mimi (dot) johnson (at) me (dot) com.

Author Mimi Johnson to discuss Gathering String in Iowa book tour

Mimi Johnson will be discussing her novel Gathering String in three Iowa cities next week.

The Iowa book tour starts with a private appearance in Jefferson on Tuesday, Oct. 2, with a Greene County book club, invited by blogger Carla Offenburger, whose goodreads review is a cover blurb on the Gathering String print edition.

The first public appearance of the tour will be at Beaverdale Books, where Johnson will read from the novel and answer questions Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 6:30 p.m.

She will read again Thursday, Oct. 4, at 6:30 p.m. in the first public event at the renovated auditorium at the Shenandoah Public Library. In advance of that appearance, she will be a guest this Friday at 9:45 Eastern time, 8:45 a.m. Central, on Dean and Don on KMA radio.

Iowa bookstores, libraries or book clubs interested in scheduling other events or journalists interested in interviews may contact the author at mimi (dot) johnson (at) me (dot) com.

Johnson is an Iowa native who grew up in Essex and lived in Des Moines for seven years and Cedar Rapids for two years. Much of Gathering String is set in Iowa and three of the four main characters are Iowans.

The book is available from the Kindle Store (including the Kindle app for iPad, computer or phone) for $5.99 and as a paperback for $16.



Gathering String reviews: ‘I couldn’t put it down;’ ‘exciting tale’

Five-star reviews continue to come in for Gathering String.

John Robinson, retired editor of the Greeensboro News & Record, got so engrossed in Mimi Johnson‘s novel that he neglected his personal health:

I sat on the beach with “Gathering String” and risked third-degree sunburn because I couldn’t put it down. It’s a romance, it’s a thriller, it’s a crime whodunit. A wonderful first novel. I hope she’s writing a sequel.



Novelist Richard Hine, author of Russell Wiley Is Out to Lunch, also reviewed the book:

You don’t have to care about the future of news or the machinations of election-year politics to enjoy “Gathering String’ by Mimi Johnson. But if you happen to be a news or politics junkie, you’ll take special delight in this gripping tale of love, adventure and one big secret that, if uncovered, could change the fate of the Presidential election. … This exciting tale builds to a powerful and satisfying conclusion.


The book is $5.99 at the Kindle Store. You don’t need a Kindle to read it. You can use the Kindle app for iPad, iPhone or computer.

Gathering String blamed for neglected housework, dead battery, ‘zero work’

Gathering String coverReaders of Mimi Johnson‘s novel, Gathering String, like to blame it for things that happen in their lives.

“My house will probably stay uncleaned this weekend,” Marda Willeman Walters admitted in a Facebook post. The reason: “I’m enjoying ‘Gathering String‘ by Mimi Johnson.”

Elaine Clisham also blamed Gathering String in a tweet for her lack of productivity:

Tiffany Bridge actually blamed the book for her physical discomfort:


What is it about this novel that compels people to such sloth and discomfort? Perhaps “Meg4cy” explains in her 5-star Amazon review, headlined: “Great read with fantastic characters!”

Gathering String weaves an intriguing story that takes readers on a ride through the changing relationship between politics and journalism and the flawed but determined individuals in the middle. Spanning from the vulgar and charged newsrooms of DC to the sleepy small-town Iowa communities, Johnson crafts an intricate and fascinating tale – revealing details of the story layer by layer. While the characters are far from perfect, each has enough charm and appeal to keep you rooting for them while trying to determine your allegiance to “Team Jack” or “Team Sam.” Gathering String was an easy read that will have you trying to piece together the puzzle and thinking of the characters long after you finish.

Novelist Richard Hine praised Gathering String on Twitter:

Four enthusiastic readers praised the book on one Facebook discussion thread:

  • Bryan Cantley: “According to Kindle, I am at 31% and I am really enjoying this book. The plane crash episode was fabulous.”
  • Matt DeRienzo: “I’m about 30% of the way through, too. Really enjoying it.”
  • Kim Johnson: “Loving the book! Just starting Chapter 11.”
  • Marda Willeman Walters: “I just started Chapter 11, too. Wish I still lived in the old house I grew up in so I could go out on the sleeping porch to continue reading!”

If you’d like to join these enthusiastic readers and others who have praised Gathering String, you can buy the book from the Kindle Store for $5.99 (you can read on the Kindle app on an iPad or computer). You can read the prologue free on this site.

But charge your Kindle first. And don’t start it on a weekend when you have important work to do.