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New this month:

Webutation

bookcover: 
Sea Change
Author: 
Frank Viva
Publisher: 
Myrick Marketing and Media, LLC
Genre: 
Rating: 
7
ISBN/ASIN: 

9781935179924

Description of Sales Url: 
Purchase from Amazon
Review: 

Twelve year old Eliot Dionisi gets sent off for summer vacation to visit his mother’s family in Nova Scotia. His parents think it will be a big adventure for him, but Eliot is not so sure he wants to see his Grandmother McNeil. He stays with his Uncle Earl who is a fisherman, and makes friends with some local kids from Point Aconi whose world revolves around fish and the boats that go out to get them.

Sea Change by Frank Viva is presented in a creative fashion, with child-like drawings that bring a youthful perspective to the table. Contrary to his expectations, Eliot discovers on his vacation the place that his Mother had "spent an entire summer in Point Aconi, and it was the best summer of my life." Eliot's summer vacation speaks of all summer vacations spent encountering strange friends, and encountering new foods and strange ways that only take a few months to feel like home.

What is appealing about this book is the nostalgia and romance of summers-gone-by.

However, there is also a looming threat from a coal manufacturer that never comes to a point. Maybe Frank Viva is planning more stories where the coal giant is taken on. If that whole thread had been left out, it would have been a better book. I am sure I was not the only one who spent the whole book waiting for that other shoe to drop. It never did.

bookcover: 
Sea Change
Author: 
Frank Viva
Publisher: 
Myrick Marketing and Media, LLC
Genre: 
Rating: 
7
ISBN/ASIN: 

9781935179924

Description of Sales Url: 
Purchase from Amazon
Review: 

Twelve year old Eliot Dionisi gets sent off for summer vacation to visit his mother’s family in Nova Scotia. His parents think it will be a big adventure for him, but Eliot is not so sure he wants to see his Grandmother McNeil. He stays with his Uncle Earl who is a fisherman, and makes friends with some local kids from Point Aconi whose world revolves around fish and the boats that go out to get them.

Sea Change by Frank Viva is presented in a creative fashion, with child-like drawings that bring a youthful perspective to the table. Contrary to his expectations, Eliot discovers on his vacation the place that his Mother had "spent an entire summer in Point Aconi, and it was the best summer of my life." Eliot's summer vacation speaks of all summer vacations spent encountering strange friends, and encountering new foods and strange ways that only take a few months to feel like home.

What is appealing about this book is the nostalgia and romance of summers-gone-by.

However, there is also a looming threat from a coal manufacturer that never comes to a point. Maybe Frank Viva is planning more stories where the coal giant is taken on. If that whole thread had been left out, it would have been a better book. I am sure I was not the only one who spent the whole book waiting for that other shoe to drop. It never did.

bookcover: 
Writing to Wake the Soul: Opening the Sacred Conversation Within
Author: 
Karen Hering
Publisher: 
Atria Books
Non-fiction_: 
Rating: 
6
ISBN/ASIN: 

1582704120

Description of Sales Url: 
Purchase from Amazon
Review: 

Karen Hering is uniquely qualified to write a book of spirituality. She tells of when her mother was losing the ability to speak; and how when there was a computer for her mother's communication, Karen configured the vocabulary for the communication protocol, and provides a perspective of figuring out what language would be necessary in her mother's diminishing sphere. That, in fact, is what this book is about. The language of communication, the gift of language honed to its spiritual point.

The challenges in this book can be liberating, perplexing, revealing, full of importance, deep in meaning, but it is all a matter of engaging oneself, milling oneself. This is a book for writers, thinkers, dreamers, philosophers, theologians. This book may have been intended for theologians, but we writers also can find a method here to help us write what is in our heart, through exercise, through the practice of contemplative correspondence, and an exploration of metaphor.

The language and method Hering espouses shows promise in being able to help one's inner writer come to the page. While Hering herself may be someone hidebound in her own religious theology, I would propose that writers can use this book beyond prescriptive theology, and use these questions and exercises in journeying where ever an individual search for meaning may take us.

bookcover: 
Live to Write Another Day: A Survival Guide for Screenwriters and Creative Storytellers
Author: 
Dean Orion
Publisher: 
Sky Father Media
Non-fiction_: 
Rating: 
8
ISBN/ASIN: 

9780989059312

Description of Sales Url: 
Purchase from Amazon
Review: 

While the best, meatiest screenwriter's survival guide that I've read is Max Adams Screenwriter's Survival Guide and the New Screenwriter's Survival Guide or Guerrilla Meeting Tactics & Other Acts of War, Dean Orion's Live to Write Another Day: A Survival Guide for Screenwriters and Creative Storytellers provides a different guide—not how to navigate the Hollywood trenches, but the trenches of the page.

Live to Write Another Day details Orion's evolving writing process, including research, note-taking, outlining, drafting, handling critique, revising and completing the screenplay.

Probably my favorite (or for me that would be the most useful) would be the section at the ends of his chapters. I am a big list-user and study-questioner, probably because I feel like I am accomplishing something as I check items off the list. I found this more of a quick, fun read than a real survival guide. It may well be his survival guide. I found the anecdotes entertaining, and relatable. It would probably be helpful to a beginning writer/screenwriter. It came across, however, as more of a memoir than a writing resource. It is quite short, so if you're looking for a big, extensive writing resource, you may be looking in the wrong place. But for a quick read when you need a little pick-me-up, it might do the trick.

bookcover: 
Mort
Author: 
Terry Pratchett
Series: 
Diskworld
Publisher: 
HarperCollins e-books; Reissue edition
Genre: 
SpeculativeFiction: 
Rating: 
10
ISBN/ASIN: 

0062225715

Description of Sales Url: 
Available from Amazon
Review: 

Mort is my first forey into the Discworld domain of fantasy author Terry Pratchett, and I found it fascinating. Perhaps it is fate when the teenaged boy, Mort, fails to get a job on his visit to the hiring fair in Sheepridge, and in the dark long after everyone else has gone home, is apprenticed to Death. The book is written in third person, and Death speaks in capital letters without the need for speech.

Death in Discworld is the familiar figure we know, and yet he is not. Because this Death has built a family, now comprised of our protagonist Mort, Death's daughter Ysabell (of the silver hair and eyes and a figure reflecting too many chocolates) and his manservant named Albert (stick-thin, raw-nosed and some two thousand years old.) This family lives in a non-reality outside of time and space "known to the few astrophysicists who have taken really bad acid" in which Death has carved a domain where his human family exists. Death's home contains myriad parts, including a stable where live the finest of Death's live horses, a black garden, a library where resides the books into which each soul is written; a kitchen where Albert cooks meals for Mort and Ysabell.

Before Death begins to teach Mort how he performs his office, and of course, it all goes awry, Mort agrees he wishes to "learn the uttermost secrets of time and space," and is sent on his first job to clean the stable, where he meets Death's horse, Binky.

I can see why Pratchett's books are so popular. Mort is everyman (or perhaps Everyboy) and Death is a surprisingly sympathetic character; one can certainly understand why he would wish to have a vacation. Pratchett's blend of myth and humor is charming like a fairy tale, humorous in a personal way, compassionate, and quirky. I can see why his books are so popular.

bookcover: 
Madam Tulip
Author: 
David Ahern
Series: 
Madam Tulip Mysteries
Publisher: 
Malin Press
Action-Adventure: 
Rating: 
8
ISBN/ASIN: 

B01DPY6FLA

Description of Sales Url: 
Purchase from Amazon
Review: 

Madam Tulip by David Ahern is a cozy mystery about an out-of-work actress with her father's psychic gift. When her best friend suggests making money with her psychic gift, Derry creates the role of her life - a fortune teller for the rich and famous. But her first gig as her alter ego, Madam Tulip, is disrupted by murder.

With her best friend framed for the murder, and the life of a super model in jeopardy, Derry must solve the case before it destroys her friends, family, and herself.

I adored Derry, her father Jacko, and her friend Bruce the most. Derry's borage tea addiction, Jacko's dramatic flare, and Bruce's unwavering loyalty kept me going back for more.

Ahern weaves an intriguing tale of murder and mayhem, with quirky heroes and dastardly villains. Madam Tulip is a fun exciting read and I look forward to the next book!

bookcover: 
Doubt and Desire
Author: 
Pamela Loewy
Publisher: 
Pamela Loewy
Rating: 
6
ISBN/ASIN: 

B01B1Y7GDC

Description of Sales Url: 
Purchase from Amazon
Review: 

This is my fist book by Pamela Loewy, so I didn’t know what to expect. The story begins as most thrillers would... Interspersed with subterfuge, lies, deceit, all the usual hallmarks of a good thriller, and then comes the romance, unexpected, and all the more surprising. Sarah and Sterling weren’t looking for love, but it finds them, and they had to figure out whether it's real or not. To follow them on this roller coaster ride is both exhilarating and nerve racking, “You look like Zeus preparing to pitch a thunderbolt.” Lovers of thriller and romance will have a bit of both, in Sterling and Sarah’s story, as they struggle to come to grips with their unique situation.

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