Wednesday, December 5, 2012
The Box, the Books and the Reviews
Writers' Mill is our local writing group here. We meet monthly at the library and we decided last spring to produce our second ever journal, only four years after the first! Last month a team of us were frantically editing, formatting, fixing, designing and drawing, and now, at last, the journal is here, all 75 copies of it in a large cardboard box! Thank you Createspace! Thank you Writers' Mill!
Meanwhile, of course, I was trying to catch up on reading and reviewing, so here are some more book reviews and coffee recommendations--I need coffee!!!
Starting with a lovely little Firefly for Thanksgiving, by Kathie Harrington, a lovely short romance with a message of timeless faithfulness, honorable partings and thankful returns, best enjoyed with a mild, light 1-star cup of coffee.
Another short tale, this one with a tail and written for families and kids, is C. J. Smiles' The Lucky Little Labrador on Vacation. Illustrated with lovely pictures of a labrador pup, and telling a nice blend of family drama and small child's dreams from a doggy point of view, this one's best enjoyed with 2-star lively easy-drinking coffee, and juice for the young readers who'll read it to you.
Written for somewhat older readers, Jody Gehrman's young adult novel, Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft is beautifully crafted with great dialog, excellent language, and a fascinating mystery around a missing parent. Audrey's learning strange powers and maybe falling for a wonderfully patient young man, but she stays a very real teen and tells her story in a convincing voice. Enjoy a well-balanced 3-star coffee with this one.
The Jealousy Glass, by Gwen Perkins, is a more adult fantasy set in a world where the magic users hide on an island while mainland believers call them atheists. There's a wonderful atheist cleric, two curious magicians turned ambassadors, lots of plots and counter plots, and a pleasing of old-fashioned language and modern sensitivities as the friends keep secret their forbidden attraction. Enjoy this one with a 4-star elegant complex coffee.
S. Evan Townsend's Rock Killer is serious science fiction rather than fantasy, and builds on a wonderful premise of asteroids converted to spaceships and flown to earth orbit for mining. I loved the science of this tale, but was rather less enamored of its social science--near-future history is a risky business I guess and I'm too European to the author's views. Still, it's a really good adventure and I enjoyed it. Drink some 3-star full-flavored coffee with this well-plotted tale.
Anita Clenney's Guardians of Stone is a romantic paranormal suspense novel with some great characters, lots of mystery, fast action adventure and great scenery. It's got to be the start of a series, but it makes a good standalone novel, great with a 2-star bright, lively cup of coffee.
Then there's Shadows of Suspicion by Ashley Dawn, another romantic suspense but this time with heavily Christian overtones as the sister of FBI and CIA operatives is kidnapped and joins forces with a rogue protector. The protector's opposition to God is a problem, but faithful witness wins him over even while danger threatens to snatch away his dream. Enjoy this one with a 3-star well-balanced cup of coffee.
And finally, For All Eternity (and not a single day less) by Phillip Catshill, mixes romantic dreams with solid English police work in the 80s as man-on-beat Mike finally decides to act against the hypocrisy in his job, and maybe in his marriage. Evocative, convincingly told from several different viewpoints, and pleasingly thought-provoking, this is a great introduction to the author's mystery series, and actually quite a pleasing standalone study in 1980s Britain. Enjoy it with a well-balanced smooth-flavored 3-star coffee.