Monday, January 20, 2014

Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Diamonds and Forever

"It's all in your mind," says the title to one of the books I read this week. Meanwhile the speaker at our local writers' group assured us that we have to imagine our writing success before we can achieve it. Which leaves me wondering, will my achievements remain "all in my mind."

It's been a good week for achievements though, as well as for reading. Bethlehem's Baby came out in print. Nazareth Neighbors looks set to follow soon. Galilee's Gift has started strong and is now growing fast (but oh, how long it took to get those first chapters safely into my mind--I really struggled to decide how and when the book should start). Meanwhile, in a more modern, more fictitious world, the edit/rewrite of Imaginary Numbers is also going well. (My mum said she loved the first chapters, and usually she just likes my writing, so that's got to be a good sign!)

Of course, posting book reviews, cleaning bedrooms for our next visitors, shopping for food, buying stamps, and more, are still on my to-do list. But I'm working on them, and here are at least a few of those book reviews. Grab a coffee, check its rating for strength and flavor, then enjoy the read.

First, well-suited to an elegant, complex 4-star coffee, is Honeysuckle and Jasmine, by Liz Grace Davis, a beautifully crafted story of two young African women living in Germany. One has been abused by people she knew, the other by the system, and both struggle to make sense of their trials as immigrants and their dreams of building new lives. The story's lightened by the women's evident joy in life, and laughter is truly the best medicine in this wonderful, enthralling read.

The Wood Of Suicides, by Laura Elizabeth Woollett, deserves a darker 5-star coffee. It's written from a similar young-adult point of view, but tells a very different tale as an American teen on the cusp of adulthood loses her beloved father and finds her tangled emotions drawing her into foolish and dangerous ways. Seduction proves both more and less than she intended, and myths retold in real life lose their charm. It's not an easy read, but the self-centered, seemingly unreliable narrator turns into a powerful and haunting character in her own tale as the story progresses.

Next is Forever Friday, by Timothy Lewis. Enjoy this well-drawn historical romance with a 3-star well-balanced, full-flavored brew, and enjoy a convincing depiction of love in early 20th century Texas--plus a message of hope for struggling marriages everywhere. Add faith, and you've got all three.

Childhood’s Day, by John B. Rosenman, is a short story, set in the future, but it shares the same healing qualities of Forever Friday. Drink a well-balanced 3-star coffee and share the experience of a man haunted by childhood events, healed by the presence of a curiously illegal child.

Next is It’s All In Your Mind, by Ann Herrick. Enjoy this young-adult romance with an easy-drinking 2-star coffee, and be transported to a world of teens on the cusp of adulthood, hard-working fathers, and young men heading for Vietnam. Wise lessons are hidden behind a pleasing tale of young love, and the narration is spot-on.

Last but not least is The Da Vinci Diamond, by Jerry Guarino, a TV-script style, globe-trotting mystery with dialog-style narration, plus assassins, thieves, and seductive beauties galore. Enjoy this fast read with a light, crisp, 1star cup of coffee (Italian, of course).

And then...? Well, now it must be time for me to make dinner, with kindle in hand, continuing to read (and remembering to stir the food with spatula, not book).

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