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Friday, July 5, 2019

The Wise Grasshopper




Grasshopper,
this bundled month,
I made homemade apricot jam rather
than spend time on edits.
Editing my book is like a patriotic parade,
with funereal slowness.
A sad march.
Characters are intimate friends.
I’m sensitive to their needs.
They want me to linger.

But I’m going swimming.
Plug in the fan,
turn on the air.
I’m crocheting a blanket.
Reading a book with dreary characters.
Local play rehearsals are my new diversion.
Town had a historic bell-ringing celebration.
Glad I could make it.
There’s the woman’s group,
the city meeting at Elks,
and of course,
church.

Jittery dogs need a walk.
Reruns on television.
It doesn’t seem fair to repeat quiz shows,
though my answers sound impressive.
I’d rather be an ear to a friend.
Their drama better than mine.
I’m not complaining.
But there’s something about this summer,
That’s kept me praying.

A sudden shift in normal--
perhaps just the alignment of the stars--
in the warmed-up sky.
One neighbor sailed away forever.
Our home shook on the Fourth of July.
You were here,
 as if to warn us,
centered on the gate.

Anyway, labels.
I need to make stickers for jam jars.

Go work on my manuscript?
What is wrong with you?
No wonder I took your photo.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Springing Into Summer Reading


Do you know you can read books on your Smart Phone? All you have to do is download the Amazon Kindle App(pictured above), and a world of books will be at your fingertips! Believe it or not, I've known this for a long time, but even with my new super-strong reading glasses, I prefer my eReader. Imagine my consternation when my eReader decided to freeze like a Popsicle during a heatwave? We tried everything. It went kaput. On the blink. Dead as a door nail. We tried pushing the on/off button for several seconds. Turning it back on, etc. Nothing but a dark sky. No stars.

The charger didn't work either. Everything was stuck, like that kid who licks the icy pole in A Christmas Story.  I searched the internet for technical repair ideas and watched how-to videos where computer experts remove the back of the gizmo with microscopic tools. When I shared some of those videos with my husband, he laughed and reminded me to set the clock on the DVD player. Guess we didn't inherit too many mechanical genes around here. The DVD is not even plugged in, but I've figured out the microwave clock. When they do away with daylight savings time, I'll be ahead of the game!

One day, I sashayed into the big electronic box store and asked the friendly, self-described geeky employee what he thought I should do. It was obvious he felt sorry for me. Several other employees gathered around and stared at me with sad, but kind eyes. They told me to bring it in for a tune-up, which, by the way, is pricier than a tune-up on our car. Certainly, more than the entire reader cost in the first place.  Blinking back tears, I worried I'd never get to read my giant pile of virtual books.  Can you imagine, I even went to a bookstore and purchased regular, tree-killing paper books?  Finally, I relented and bought a new reader online.

 And, while waiting for the package to arrive in the mail, I opened up that App on my phone and read some great books. 

Here's some spring favorites:





This book is the perfect companion for someone about to travel to Wales. I can imagine it would come in handy when making a bet at a pub. Crammed full of information, it’s almost intoxicating. I can tell the author could write several additional books about many of the subjects covered in this compendium. Of course, most of the tall tales are based on hearsay and the oral tradition. There's a lot of research here. That being said, the author, Jack Strange often uses the word ‘possibly’, as he navigates from one amazing topic to another. Lucky for him, he didn’t see most of this with his very own eyes.
There are detailed stories about Welsh dragons, witches, coal miners and their premonitions. There are several Welsh ghost stories, superstitions, courting rituals, wedding customs, the fate of wife beaters, food, miraculous springs, frog curses, pirates, monks, Merlin, King Arthur, The Holy Grail, fairies, mermaids, and Druids. Even unique Welsh sports such as Shin Kicking or Bog snorkeling.
And there’s more: The legendary afanc is apparently the Welsh equivalent of Nessie. Women acted as reinforcements during war, there’s the devil’s bridge and the sensational belief that a Welsh explorer by the name of Madoc, discovered Alabama in 1170.
“Wales is a country where everything has a song; the surf chants as it breaks on the shore, the rivers sing in their secret solitude through the hills, and even the wind whispers to its own tune.” So sensitive and so romantic.
Personally, I loved everything but the historic names and the strange combination of letters in the Welsh language.
My favorite quote is ‘Unraveling myth from folklore is nigh impossible in Wales, and that is part of the strange charm of this country.”





This book surprised me from beginning to end. Karen, the main character, worked so hard in previous books, I thought she had earned the right to snuggle, instead of traversing all over the United States helping friends with difficult issues. But, as you read about all the other lovable characters, you’ll be glad they have someone like Karen in their life. We all need a Karen to remind us of balance.

The author delves into topics such as: risking true love for family, the possible beginnings of Alzheimer’s, drugs, ethics, elder abuse, same-sex marriage, just to name a few. Almost every negative point has a positive counterpoint. One of my favorite lines, “While I complained, a half-dozen black and grey chickadees flitted over and began feeding.”

Spreen is an excellent writer. She keeps things lighthearted by even breaking through that fourth wall at times, addressing the reader. As in Chapter 20 about a hand gesture and how it’s “not the one you’re thinking,” or when she has to “plan” a trip and says, “you know”. Which cracked me up. The personal style makes for comfortable reading, as if Lynne Spreen is relaying her story to a close group of friends. Then, near the end there are even more clever surprises but you’ll have to read the book to find out more!





Once I got to the sentence,”Unfortunately, fate opted for revenge over some past indiscretion to come back with the vengeance of a thousand plagues,” there wasn’t a doubt in my mind I’d be in for an entertaining cozy mystery.

Kellen’s father is the president of Braxton College where two murders take place in Diamond Hall. Hercule Poirot, he’s not, but Kellen does have a certain intuition about things that may help Sheriff Montague solve the double homicide cases. There are red herrings that pulled me into several maze-like false beliefs about the killer’s identity, which, made for fast page turning. Could it be the Coach? His friend Conner? His old flame Maggie? One of the students? The Dean? Maybe even his dad?

Nana might know. After all, she’s busy baking things and giving him insight into local politics, while serving Kellen shortbread with lemon icing or coconut cream pie. I have to admit I was distracted and drooling, by the time he wrote about the blueberry scones, the double fudge brownies, peach cobbler and my all-time favorite: cherry pie. This author needs to write a cookbook or at least he should attach a few of his Nana’s recipes.
Either way, most of the truth will come out in the end, but there are a few surprises and a major curve-ball that will make you crave more of this author’s work. Of course, you might also want a side of Nana D’s corn muffins with raspberry jam, or her warm cinnamon buns on the side.



This book will inspire anyone. You don’t need to like dogs or auto racing to see the underlying metaphorical message that weaves throughout this novel. “That which you manifest is before you.” In other words, looking behind you, or glancing in the rear-view mirror, especially if you’re a race car driver and it’s raining, can cause a lot of trouble, even death.
Enzo, is a dog, and the narrator of this unique, artful story. Everything is from his perspective and you’ll almost forget that a talented author by the name of Garth Stein is the actual author. Since Enzo’s person, Denny is a race car driver, that makes Enzo describe everything as if, he too, were a race car driver. When there’s a courtroom battle, Enzo wants to be part of it. Each time Enzo uses the pronoun ‘we’ instead of me, or him, your heart will melt into a thousand pieces. You see this dog listens to everything and knows the truth about Denny. In fact, he understands things that humans don’t even understand. And though the story is nothing like Old Yeller, you’ll probably need a tissue by the time you reach the finish line.





With years of experience in marketing and advertising, I enjoyed this fantasy about neuromarketing. In this case, a demon from Hell wants power over Heaven, God and our country, using electronic devices that influence souls. In this action-packed story with detailed characters, the author talks about goggles that make users unable to think for themselves. Reginald is in charge of marketing the goggles, and Timothie is a gay superhero from another planet. Bael is the demon wanting millions of souls. Even if “good always wins over evil,” there are sections that make you wonder. Is the planet doomed? There are funny parts that made me laugh out loud, and wild twists that kept me turning pages. I think, if you like superhero stories such as the Avengers, you’ll like Timothie Hill And The Cloak of Power.

How about you? Read any great books, lately? 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Photo Blog of Santa Rosas

 I wrote about hiking in the Santa Rosa mountains five years ago, during a drought. Here's the link to that post: https://evegaal.blogspot.com/2014/11/hiking-preserving-good-ideas-praying.html

Imagine how lovely everything is after the recent rains.
 Here's our April hike. 
Snow in the distance
California poppies
Crazy wild cacti
The adobes
Poppies
The road less traveled.


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Connecting With a Brilliant Author!





Connections. Isn’t that the entire reason for the Internet and all the various, social media sites?

Here's a bizarre tale of a tale:
The other day, we had a new LED bulb that went dark in the kitchen. I got on a chair with a wooden spoon and pushed the bulb, gently towards the ceiling, a tiny bit. It had lost its connection. When we flipped the switch on the wall, the bulb lit up like magic.

Oddly, this was a precursor to a special connection I was about to make that very same day!

You see, I have read a few books by my friend author Barbara Roman, but never thought I'd be lucky enough to meet her in person. I love reading many different types of books, but somehow, I’m especially drawn to fantasy and fairy-tales. Her spiritual stories captured my heart. 
So, imagine my curious feeling about the light-bulb in the kitchen, when I know I’m about to meet an author who wrote a mystical, children’s book about how people are similar to different types of light-bulbs! Yes! A light-bulb went off in my brain, that seemed to say,"Try to listen, Eve. You might learn something."

Last week, I had the amazing opportunity of making a human connection because of technological advances that were not possible even twenty years ago. And, after the light-bulb in my kitchen incident, I realized it’s an important, one-of-a-kind connection.


We both wore pink. 
Lovely Barbara's on the right.


 My interview with author, Barbara Roman


1. Tell us the name you write your books under and give us an easy way— or a clue perhaps—a type of memory hint-- that will help us always remember your name or the name of one of your books.

Hi, Eve.  Thank you for the opportunity to be featured on your Blog page. 

I write under two names:  I use B. Roman for my novels (The Moon Singer Series and my suspense thriller “Whatever Became of Sin?”) - somehow I thought just using a first initial wouldn’t influence a reader’s bias about it being from a male or female author and let the story speak for itself.   

For my children’s books I use the full Barbara Roman.  I felt it was softer and more approachable than just a first initial.  My children’s books definitely have a “feminine voice” so I wanted my name to be an indicator of a softer style.

That said, I could be completely wrong and am just confusing my readers!  Ha. 

2. Tell us something that no one knows about you.

Like many writers my background is somewhat eclectic.  I’ve been a professional singer since my teen years (eons!) and my “jobs” have been in journalism, marketing, promotion and feature writing for newspapers and magazines.  All of this intertwined with writing about music, then into children’s stories, then novels. 

I love all kinds of movies except horror and slasher/hacker violent films.  My television addictions are medical shows (Saving Hope, New Amsterdam, The Resident); and legal dramas (For The People), and political shows such as Madam Secretary  and Designated Survivor.  And just for contrast would you believe I was completely obsessed with the fantasy TV series Smallville?  Loved it.

3. What are your favorite genres to read? Favorites to write?

My reading tastes swing wide, when I have the time to read, which is very limited.  But I am especially drawn to legal thrillers, and have read a lot of spiritual and metaphysical books that are self-empowering.  These preferences are evident in the books I have written.

4. What are you working on right now?

My work-in-progress is another suspense thriller called “A Man’s Face.”  I have a lot of work to do on it but here’s a little teaser:   
A teenager walks in on his mother’s murder but now, 15 years later, can still only remember the scarred face of a man standing over her body. Through many plot twists and turns he discovers that the man he saw is his fiance's brother. Worse still, his fiance's father is the actual murderer - the brother had covered up the crime.  It’s a multi-generational saga of treachery and corruption set in the backdrop of the elite wine industry from Spain to California.
Suspense/Thriller

Wow, "A Man's Face," sounds like it's in the vein of your suspenseful novel, "Whatever Became of Sin".
 Well, anyway, thanks so much for meeting me, Barbara.  You, and your books are wonderful. I'm so glad we made this connection. 

For any age child.
5. You can buy her books by going to these links:


http://mybook.to/hubertinheaven
Spiritual

Update: While in the kitchen for lunch, before finishing this post,
 the same exact bulb flickered. Coincidence? 
How about you? Have you met any of your online friends? 

Friday, April 12, 2019

Happy Easter Anyway!



I’ve heard stories about how the crocus flower peeps through the snow.
Daffodil bulbs with an innate desire to grow.
Tulips that thrived in the cold,
withering when shipped to be sold.
Fiona spots one of our tulips
This one has blown away.
I’ve read Eliot’s poem about April being cruel,
especially noting the price of fuel.
I see the icy highways on the news,
wild seas and the unpleasant cruise.
Watched our petals take to the sky,
like butterflies waving a brief goodbye.
Though things seem bleak,
the way many speak,
we cannot mope.
We must understand this visual depiction of hope.
The promising end to winter storms,
as a time to be reborn.
Easter-time.




Saturday, March 30, 2019

Metamorphosis and a Long Journey



You, tender little thing, along with millions of friends and relatives, were born down south, beyond the border in romantic, sunny Mexico. And yet, somewhere in the four steps of your life, perhaps while nibbling on the leaves of jalapeno pepper plants, as a hungry caterpillar, you remembered a song and had a deep desire to lift off someday, and head north. Perhaps it was part of an unspoken, mandatory plan. Patiently, you waited for the rain to subside.

Inside that chrysalis, you changed into your superhero outfit. A flashy number in shades of tangerine orange, against a background of black, with white polka dots decorating the edges. In case you were wondering, the chocolate-hued lingerie coordinates perfectly. Elegant, almost like a miniature Monarch. The media calls you a Painted Lady, but you know you’re more than your colors. You have the strength to travel thousands of miles, and are determined to see the world.  

When the rains drained into the sandy soil, you emerged, flapping adorable, transparent wings. Traveling by day, you avoided windshields and swooping birds that rushed towards you, as you fluttered over fences.
Taking a short break on my rosemary plants.

At times, you’d stop along the way for pollen refreshments before checking out the famous super bloom of poppies along the fifteen freeway. 

The warm spring air and the blossoms of sweetness will carry you as far as you desire. Goodbye butterfly. Safe travels.  

Monday, March 11, 2019

Ten More Days Until Spring!!


Signs of Spring


This Monday in March,
I searched for evidence.
A comforting reassurance hidden behind turbulent clouds.
The garden fairies were sure to be shivering,
But the sound of tiny wings fluttered above.
Their voices subdued,
as if humbled by the weather.
Perhaps working overtime and exhausted,
paintbrushes dry,
canvases sodden with months of rain,
they hide in the wild clover.

Stitching petals in the overgrowth,
behind evergreens and tall grass,

on the other side of the gazebo,
they create the magic.






I noticed small hints.
Wee colorful scraps,
vivid shreds,
akin to short pieces of yarn,
swept into the dustpan after crafting.
They popped out near the rosemary.

Tiny bouquets of pink,

sprouting bulbs,
a single African daisy.
Each a smile bursting from the soil;
The promised harbingers of Spring.

Physical hope,
here in my garden.









--Eve Gaal

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Library Love!





So sorry that you weren't able to make it to our local library last Tuesday. My presentation took place in a large room filled with smiling faces and lots of hospitality. There were snacks galore, such as cake, sandwiches, appetizers, cookies, muffins, etc.  What a wonderful group of kind and generous human beings! I want to thank the Friends of the Murrieta Library for allowing me to speak. It was a huge honor. Of course I talked about my books and The Intangible Heart.
 Here are snippets from my talk:
My name is Eve Gaal and I’m a local author from Wildomar and a member of the Diamond Valley Writer’s Guild. My hobbies include reading, crocheting and walking my naughty chihuahuas.

One of my favorite books is The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery. Most consider it a children’s book but it has tremendous words of wisdom, which I’m sure most of you have heard: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” 
Which leads me to what I call: The Intangible Heart. Not the vessels, aorta and throbbing organ pumping blood throughout our body, but the biggest, best piece of equipment we have. Because even though we can manage anger, hunger, most of our tears and bodily functions, there are things we can’t control. And yet, we’ve been given this super power that allows us complete control of our non-tangible hearts. Total free will to love.
These hearts of ours prep like Olympic athletes because they feel our emotions. We have those bad days, and sad days that take our breath away. But like the song from the movie Titanic, “Our hearts will go on.” It’s part of our inner spirit. It is a gift. It can reproduce as much love as you want to give. The more we give, the more we receive.

Most everything I write is about a lost character who needs to find a way back, through an adventure of trials and errors where love saves the day!


I’m convinced everything happens for a reason. Not much is random. Maybe confetti.
Ask yourself. How much of your life can you control?
Have you ever tried to train a cat?
Nail jello to the wall?

Remember the Little Prince and how he wanted total control of his rose, so much so, that he placed it under a glass dome?
But we don’t live on Asteroid B612.
Here on Earth, it seems things can appear out of control. And that’s when we reach for love. We can let our inner riches flow and our heartfelt undying gifts spread like wildfire. Love is the shield that protects better than an iron umbrella in a rainstorm of negativity. Love is our weapon. People say, “Oh that’s impossible,” but then someone comes along and surprises everyone by doing it. Love is the footstool that helps us climb over barricades. Love is the reason there are miracles. Things we can’t explain.
When you leave behind a legacy of love, you will be remembered forever. Not because you have the biggest house, the fastest car or the prettiest hair. It’s your story. Create the ending you want.

And so on....After this I gave examples from my own life when I was not in control and yet still unafraid. Then I also read a paragraph from Penniless Souls. After that, we did an exercise to manifest love. We closed our eyes and imagined our intangible heart  producing heart shaped flyers we could pass out to everyone. I called it a slot machine/ copy machine combination. Everyone went home with a figurative jackpot of love. 

I ended with the following:
For me, love’s the reason I breathe, the reason I write and the reason I am here. And while I may not be the greatest writer, in my intangible heart, I am extremely grateful to those who read and review my books.  Please support your local authors. 

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Valentine Greetings!


“Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table.” ... (Matthew 4:4)



Happy St. Valentine’s Day from my little crumb catchers!

And by the way, please come see me talk about my newest novel, Penniless Souls at the Murrieta Library on February 19th!  My topics will include love and the mindful inspiration that springs from our intangible hearts!

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Kidnapped by Great Books


Kidnapped by Great Books and
 Still Reeling from National Novel Writing Month.

Everyone has an excuse but I have some good ones. Really. The best ones are listed below. There are links to each book so you can get sucked in too. Trust me these are worth it.
Sorry, that I haven't posted to my blog in a long time but once you read my reviews, you'll know why. First, there was that November Novel writing craziness. Then, add in some cooler weather, a few exhausting holidays, drops of rain, and not unlike Tom Hanks in Castaway, I had to crawl onto a couch with a book, or two or three. Okay, more like ten.
Help! I'm stuck in a writer's imagination

eBook or otherwise, help! I almost drowned in a sea of humor, excitement, fantasy and the clever turn of a phrase. Take a look at the following beauties, you won’t be disappointed. 

  Arch Font

Last Voyage is the final book of the Jerry Slider adventure trilogy. An escapade that will have you either laughing or sitting on the edge of your seat, probably both. This is a fictional journey that pulls you into the jungle and onto a sailing yacht while surprising you with ‘enough mishaps to last a lifetime’. Font has woven a humorous nightmare, using well-developed characters from his first two novels, but adding new, fascinating characters like Jonas, Koop, Mavis and Titus Attah.
As I turned the pages, I felt like a stowaway, eavesdropping on excellent dialogue, not wanting the book to end. I liked the creative characterizations, the quips, and the mere idea that something like this could possibly happen to people living on a quiet street in San Diego. This author has quite the imagination and yet, based on my own perils while travelling, this tale felt painfully realistic.
And while Rhonda, a close friend of Helen, Jerry’s wife, may have planned the Eco-cruise to South Africa without doing too much research, how can anyone blame Rhonda for the Ebola scare, the manic Vicar and his revenge-seeking wife, the wild chimpanzee in camp, the greedy owner of the Sea-Witch or the pirates holding Ak-47s? How are poisonous snakes, pygmy hippos and hungry leopards Rhonda’s fault? Ask Jerry, because he’ll be happy to share his innermost feelings over a dinner of oatmeal crepes while discussing his Last Voyage.
If you’re looking for entertainment, get on board, because your ship has come in.

Eileen Thornton

This is a novel about biological weapons, and how one family survives a giant leak in their neighborhood. Sarah is a witness to the catastrophe, which wipes out neighbors and animals grazing in the fields. Fortunately, her children are safe but Pete, her husband, is up in nearby hills tending to the sheep. When the military is called in to squelch any reports to the media, Sarah finds herself running from the law.
The author spins a believable, heart-stopping tale of intrigue and excitement with interesting characters, notable English landmarks and political larceny. A few horrific scenes might make you think of Stephen King, but the dark side is balanced with a story of unrequited love, such as you might find in Emily Bronte or Edith Wharton.
Eileen Thorton will take you through the English countryside on a fascinating journey that you’re sure to enjoy. Find out what happens to Sarah and the children. Will she be safe at her father’s house in London? Will she find Pete? Read The Trojan Project and find out!

Suzanne Saunders

What a delightful young-adult story about Shannon, an eleven-year-old and her cousin Jake’s pony. The author not only does a great job of immediately pulling the reader into the excitement of the upcoming Veteran’s Day parade but she also describes the unique qualities, characteristics of each horse, as a knowledgeable and consummate equestrian. If you’re looking for an easy-read as a gift for anyone who loves animals and wants to learn about horses, this is the perfect short book.








Stewart Bint

There are so many gems in this adult book of mesmerizing tales, that I can hardly select one to rave about. I mean how could you not want to be a fly on the wall at The Trial of Santa Claus? What if you found a brass lamp at an antique dealer and a genie popped out? It happens to Reginald Todd in The Fourth Wish. If you like collecting stamps, you’ll have to read Money to Burn. And I loved being fooled by Honest Don. A Timely Murder had a few great twists too. There are even poems in this book! Several stories are about aliens, time travel, lonely ghosts, even monsters who slurp up children and cyber bullies who deserve to be punished. Well, I’ll admit my favorites are the Silent Witness and Second Time Round, but I’m not going to tell you why. You’ll have to read this wonderful, entertaining collection yourself. Seriously, if you’re looking for a gift for someone who prefers short stories— science fiction, or fantasy, Thunderlands will be a hit!

Lynne Spreen

I’m convinced that everything this author writes is interesting. These stories are riveting. Some gritty, splashed with a dirty painful truth and others have surprise endings, hidden secrets and laughs. They are intended to entertain and to inspire. To make sure we are on the cover of our own magazine. Many of the locations, such as Palm Springs, Newport and Laguna Beach pulled me in immediately. These were my stomping grounds and I could relate while turning pages. The stories have amazing characters such as Doris in Boarding House or Amanda Westfield in Bad Advice. Each one has a sensible lesson or piece of advice woven into the narrative and all of them remind us to do something before it’s too late.







Mari Collier

“For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.” -Martin Luther

There’s a thread of unity amid battles, gunfights and arguments that is woven through this Sci-Fi Western novel from the beginning until the end. These factions are Silver or Green, something the inhabitants of Tonath find disheartening, because the disagreements about the correct star path leads to war and suffering. One character by the name of Brother Amos persists. As a Seeker, he’s rather impartial to war. In his opinion, a good map of the stars will provide clear answers and the best Pathway. Only time will tell which side, is correct about their assumptions. There are so many stars that need to be charted and many things to learn. We find him traveling with a group of Wayfarers, moving as far away from danger as possible. Among the Wayfarers is Venta, a single woman with a dream about building a refuge for divorced women called the Haven--and Jack Donald--a man with two hearts--from Thalia—another planet--who loves her. They need to escape the Green Marauders, Bentz and the Mechs so that Brother Amos can build an institute of his own and say, “We are neither Silver, nor Green. We are the Silver and the Green.”

There’s also a baby named Marika and unexpected plot twists that kept me reading until the last page.

Collier paints a Western diorama for her readers about life on a different planet. Having grown up watching Western shows such as Little House on the Prairie and Bonanza, some of her story almost sounds familiar and made me forget about our everyday troubles on Earth. Near the end of the book there’s a sentence that says ‘We are all Tonathians,” and I almost believed it. This gifted author will take you on a world-building journey that will leave you hungry for more if not thirsty for hot chicolet.

Barbara Roman
Rarely does an uplifting story for children seem equally adequate for adults, but 'Alicia and the Light Bulb People in Star Factory Thirteen' touched my heart this holiday season on many levels. As fate would have it, I read it on Christmas Eve and our responsorial psalm in church was about the great light which came upon the Earth, on this day!

But don’t worry, even though it’s about lights and light-bulbs, this isn’t a religious book at all. It’s a story about characters like Flood, Three-way and Twinkle and how they might fulfill their dreams to become stars. The author’s creative style makes it a good book to read out loud as a non-scary bedtime story.

Alicia is a little girl shopping with her mother in a department store when she notices a beautiful Christmas tree on display. The brilliant display of colorful lights and the breathtaking star on top create a magical portal to a special place, where it’s always today. ‘Because, as soon as it’s tomorrow, it’s today.’ That’s where she meets Carelia and the other characters who are working on getting ready to open another mysterious door. But they have to be ready.
Magnificent artwork contributes to the otherworldly aspect, creating a fantasy world that will make you want to reread this adorable story every holiday season.



Have you read a great book lately? 
Those of us looking for more excuses, I mean books, would love to hear your latest suggestions.