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    Americas Award

    Deadline January 4

    Americas award Consortium of Latin American studies program, Stone Center for Latin American studies, Tulane University, 100 Jones hall, New Orleans LA 70118–5698.

    Website: HTTP://claspprograms.org/americasaward

    bookcover: 
    Author: 
    Novak, Brenda
    Series: 
    Whiskey Creek Book 2
    Publisher: 
    Harlequin Mira
    Genre: 
    Rating: 
    8
    ISBN/ASIN: 

    ‎ B08D7Q79Q6

    Description of Sales Url: 
    Purchase from Amazon
    Review: 

    When Cheyenne, her sister, Presley and her mother, Anita arrived in Whiskey Creek, Cheyenne was home for the first time in her life. Before Whiskey Creek, they had gone hungry and cold, begged at street corners, and lived just ahead of the law. Their mother did what she had to do, whatever it was, to get by. Life was on the edge, and anything but respectable. When Cheyenne was fourteen, they arrived in Whiskey Creek. It had been home ever since. Miraculously, they were still there as Cheyenne made it through high school. They might live in the river bottoms, but Cheyenne she has real friends in Whiskey Creek. Life is pretty good.

    Presley works in a casino, Cheyenne works at a bed-and-breakfast, and Anita is dying. There is the memory of a blond woman alive in Cheyenne’s head, and Cheyenne is afraid she will never know who the blonde woman is, or if she is just a fantasy she’d dreamed up. There are questions Cheyenne is afraid will never be answered.

    When Snow Falls is my introduction to Brenda Novak’s Whiskey Creek series. The setting is a unique small town populated by lots of fully-fleshed characters, plenty of small town drama, and lots of stories behind the scenes. Although she has such a miserable start in life and a disreputable mother, Cheyenne is remarkably well balanced, and has a cadre of well-balanced, well-meaning, loving friends, at least two potential love interests (more than what you’d expect for a virgin in her mid thirties) and everything in life looks bright and shiny—as long as she doesn’t look at her mother and their tumultuous past. There might be a few little complications to be navigated, like the private investigator, Eugene Crouch hunting for Anita; Eve Harmon, Cheyenne’s best friend expressing interest in Joe DiMarco, the guy Cheyenne has been crazy about secretly, since she was fourteen; and running into Dylan Amos in the park. Some girls have all the luck.  

    Highly recommended.

    I found When Snow Falls a charming read. One of the best things about a series is that there are lots of characters with their own established realities. Beneath the surface stories, there are more stories lurking. Lucky for me, a reader with a short attention span, I didn’t have to memorize the whole cast, because Brenda sent Cheyenne’s friends on a trip, getting them out of the way so that Cheyenne could deal with the ethical consideration of her infatuation with Joe on her own. Only instead she…

    but no! Can’t give away the story! 

    OCEANVIEW Announces: New in hardcover and ebook!

    Announcing the 2022 OREGON LITERARY FELLOWSHIPS

    bookcover: 
    The Big Fat Surprise
    Author: 
    Teicholz, Nina
    Publisher: 
    Simon & Schuster
    Genre: 
    Rating: 
    9
    ISBN/ASIN: 

    978-1451624434

    Description of Sales Url: 
    Purchase from Amazon
    Review: 

    Investigative journalist Nina Teicholz digs deep into sixty years of experimentation on the American public, an unacknowledged experiment which has had disastrous consequences to our health, leading to the prevalence of nutrition-related disease. Does fat make you fat? Our common understanding to avoid fat, but our obsession with and failure to lose weight is obvious proof that restricting fat does not slim us down or keep us slim. Slimming fat—an oxymoron, right? Nina examines the spectacular lack of science behind the USDA recommendations regarding what constitutes a healthy diet.

    Ask yourself if saturated fat is healthy or not. Teicholz's examines the history of the pseudo-science behind 'healthy' diet recommendations from the government-related sources like the ADA, the American Heart Association, etc. Her research goes back beyond physiologist Ancel Keyes whose science went only as far as it supported his slippery theory that demonized fat. Teicholz looks behind the curtain. You don't believe there's a government conspiracy by Big Food that is behind metabolic disorders cursing much of the US from birth on? Boy, do you have a surprise coming.

    Do you have writing rituals? Are there things you do that may be considered superstitious that helps you keep the muse happy? I have theater experience, and the theater is chock full of superstitious. Don't whistle on stage. Beware performances of "Macbeth" because they are bad luck. Wish an actor to "break a leg" before a performance.

    It's been a little over a year since Massachusetts went into lockdown in light of Covid19. The day before lockdown, my husband and I went out to dinner at the Beverly Depot for my birthday. That restaurant is a restored, turn of the 20th century train station. Very unusual and cool place to celebrate my birthday. The next day, we were on our way to becoming agoraphobic. Being cooped up in the house for months on end took its toll. We were both bored and tired. 

    That was a year ago. This is now.

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