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.