Talking Turkey

A little fowl fun. Turkey or goose?

While the old birds shopped for Christmas presents, Felix and Mort made their annual Black Friday visit to the local tavern to plan Christmas dinner. They’d taken charge of the cooking years ago, and ever since the first year – when they’d admittedly ruffled a few feathers – the girls happily had left them to it.

They pored over recipes and shared reviews while Phil, the barkeep, kept the bourbon flowing. Felix spread out his clippings and arranged them into piles. “Time to talk turkey.”

Phil leaned on the bar. “Having turkey this year?”

“Goodness no!” Mort shook his head so hard his chin wobbled. “Goose! We always recommend goose.”

Phil raised an eyebrow. “What about Christmas traditions?”

“I’ll have you know, goose has a very long history.” Felix searched for the magazine article. “All the way back to the ancient Egyptians. Did you know that Marco Polo reported seeing geese in China? And Queen Elizabeth ordered that goose be served every Michaelmas in honor of her victory over the Spanish Armada.”

“But what about Ben Franklin?” the barkeep pointed out. “He was a big fan of turkey.”

“A turkey if there ever was one.” The two cooks laughed. “He should have stopped at electricity.”

“Nothing beats goose,” Mort said. “Goose fat has a far better flavor than peanut oil. Some people even save it for cooking. Did you know you can buy pure goose fat on Amazon?”

Phil shook his head. “My wife hates all the grease.”

“Aah…” Felix said, taking Phil under his wing. “But everything about roasted goose tops turkey. The skin is crispy. A goose is juicier than a turkey, and its dark, succulent flesh has a distinctively rich flavor all its own, with just the right amount of gaminess. Most importantly, the meat isn’t dry; it flakes off the bone.”

Mort’s beady eyes turned dreamy. “Alongside the golden goose, I’m thinking airy potato dumplings, red cabbage, and a baked apple with lingonberries. And apple sausage stuffing.”

“And liver paté,” Felix added, waving a recipe like a flag.

Mort sifted through the piles. “Shredded confit! Or we can pack the meat into pastries for deep-fried goose spring rolls.”

Phil replenished their bourbon and slid a recipe from the pile nearest him. “Goose crown pink with celeriac and cranberries. I don’t even know what that means, but it sounds good.”

Felix sighed. “We need to make a decision and get our ducks in a row. How about classic orange and thyme-scented goose? With all Mort’s fixings.”

“Sounds perfect.” Mort beamed. “We should slow-roast for 4-5 hours at 120C. We’ll still get crispy skin, but the breast will stay tender. Then for the last half hour, we’ll turn the temperature up to 220C.”

“You’ve convinced me,” Phil said, topping off their glasses. “I’m trying goose this year.”

“Your wife will love it.” Felix grinned and swayed on his perch. “Oh, my. I’m feeling loose as a goose!” He rested a wing on the bar, holding himself up.

Phil helped them gather up their recipes. “Time for you two turkeys to head home or your gals are going to cook your gooses.”

With a laugh, the two strutted from the bar, wattles wagging and tail feathers fanned. “We did it,” Felix chortled. “Another successful convert.”

“It was easy.” Mort danced a little turkey trot. “He was a sitting duck.”

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate.

And to those who don’t, I wish you a week full of gratefulness, love, and laughter.

Gratefulness, Book Tour, and Winners!

November has been a difficult month. While my book tour continued with its final few stops, my private life was focused on my mother’s failing health, letting her know in myriad ways how much I love her, and saying goodbye. She passed peacefully in the evening after my tour ended.

Some bloggers may wonder why I continued with a book tour when my time with my mother was running out. Honestly, replying to comments only took minutes, and I needed small breaks to gather myself and step outside my growing grief. But there was another reason…

The kindness of this blogging community meant the world to me when I needed it most. Your comments were about a book, yes, but the repeated visits to my tour, the tireless commitment of your time, and your generous support transcended anything so mundane. Though most of us have never met in person, I felt your real-life friendship as if you stood by my side. I’m so grateful.

Now for a little fun

The two-month-long book tour is over. Yay!

You’re probably sick of me and my book, but I needed to take a little more blog space to say thank you (again) to all my hosts, to all the bloggers who took the time to visit the posts, to all the readers who picked up the book, and the kind souls who shared reviews.

I hope that you also found some new blogs to follow and some amazing new books to read! If I’ve stuffed your new year with books, I’ve done my job.

Free Book Trailer

As a thank you for hosting me, I offered to put my 28 hosts’ names in a drawing for a Diana-made book trailer. And the winner of a free book trailer is:

Noelle Granger from Sailing Away

$50 Amazon Gift Card Drawing

Every time a visitor left a comment at one of my tour stops, I recorded their name for a drawing for a $50 Amazon Gift Card. Anyone who commented on multiple posts earned multiple entries.

In total, there were 794 visitors who left 4,133 comments on my hosts’ 28 posts. Phew!

I collected all the names in Excel, snipped them into tiny slips of paper (for two hours), and crumpled them into a jar. For a $50 Amazon gift card, the winner is:

Colleen Chesebro from WordCraft Poetry

***

Congrats to Noelle and Colleen. I’ll be in touch with you both shortly!

Thanks again to everyone in our wonderful village for making this writer’s journey a pure pleasure.

One Final Writing Truth… #1

Go Gently into that Good Night

If you’ve noticed my absence for the past few days, it’s because my dear sweet mother transitioned from this life into the vast and unknowable realm of the spirit. I’ve been her caregiver for the last five years, and it was with loving care that I stroked her face, whispered in her ear, and saw on her way.

Anne Peach 1934-2022

This beautiful poem by Sue Vincent and her accompanying photos speak eloquently of the arc of life as expressed through flowers. She wrote it a couple of years before she too passed with grace from this world. I’d like to share it with you now.

Flowers

by Sue Vincent

There were always flowers.

Orchids pinned upon a mother’s breast,

All lace and diamonds.

Long black gloves

And painted lips,

As she left, laughing.

A child who watched

As the door closed.

There were flowers…

Yellow tulips,

Cellophane and ribbon

A girl who blushed

As the curtain fell

Upon the stage;

She cradled them,

A first bouquet.

There were flowers

Roses and lilies

White, in hands and hair,

Their fragrance mingled

With frankincense,

A ghost of awe and wonder

Finding a home

In memory.

There were flowers…

Rainbow hued,

Everywhere.

Greeting a life newborn,

With love and welcome,

Lighting stark severity

As a babe cried.

There were flowers…

Daisy chains

Around his brow,

Crowning him with sunlight,

In laughter,

In simplicity,

In love.

There were flowers,

Three roses,

Red as life,

Placed in a cold hand,

One for each heart

Saying farewell.

Too long,

Too soon.

There are flowers,

Heather and bluebells

Painting horizons

Still unexplored.

Pathways of petals

Laugh at our feet,

Inviting.

In joy or sorrow,

When the tears fall,

There are always flowers.

From:

Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

The Necromancer’s Daughter Book Tour: Day 28 (Last Stop!)

Welcome to Day 28 of The Necromancer’s Daughter’s Book Tour!

Thank you to everyone who stopped by along the way. I hope you’ve enjoyed:

~ My favorite books from my hosts’ lists, along with my reviews.

~ Something from or about The Necromancer’s Daughter.

~ Leave a comment on any of my hosts’ sites, and your name will be entered in a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift certificate. The more tour sites, the more entries!

Day 28, the End of the Line!

D. G. Kaye’s Blog: D. G. Kaye Writer

Debby’s blog is a writer’s resource that occasionally ventures into the happenings in her life. She shares reviews, writer interviews, links to writing tips from all over the blogosphere, and some of her own poetry. Debby is a regular contributor to Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord Blog with a variety of features from travel tips to her more recent discussion of spiritual awareness and personal growth.

Debby writes memoirs about different aspects of her life. From the conflicted relationships she navigated as a child to her journey of self-discovery, to the challenges of aging with those we love. From travel tips to the trials of menopause. Some are hilarious and some are poignant, and all are rich with advice for others facing similar situations.

Since losing the love of her life, Debby’s begun a series of podcasts on the topic of grief. As a previous grief counselor, I can say without hesitation that her podcasts are insightful, honest, moving, and full of gentle wisdom. Anyone interested in learning more about the human journey through grief can start here: Grief, the Real Talk, Episode One.

I’ve read all of Debby’s books. Here’s one of my reviews:

Twenty Years: After “I Do.”

My Review: Twenty years after her vows, author D. G. Kaye, looks back at the lessons learned about love, commitment, and aging. Kaye married a man twenty years her senior, already 58 at the time, and asked him for twenty years (at least) – thus the title of the book.

In a way, this memoir is a tribute to the man she dearly loves, a fact that comes through loud and clear. But it’s also about her journey as a partner, about the hurdles, insights, and growth along the way.

“In sickness and in health” is a major theme as bodies bend to the inevitable challenges of aging. Kaye shares her emotions and thoughts regarding her husband’s illnesses, but also some wisdom about preventative care, advocacy, and the adjustments needed to continue living a full life.

This is a poignant read to be sure, but full of practical advice too about laughter, travel, sex, communication, and preparation for the end of life. Most of all, it’s a memoir about love. An evening’s read and highly recommended.

***

If you have a chance, head on over to join The Necromancer’s Daughter tour at Debby’s blog: D. G. Kaye Writer.

*

Thank you!

The Necromancer’s Daughter Book Tour: Day 27 (one more stop to go)

Welcome to Day 27 of The Necromancer’s Daughter’s Book Tour!

I hope you enjoy:

~ My favorite book from my host’s list, along with my review.

~ Something from or about The Necromancer’s Daughter (follow the link below).

~ Leave a comment on my hosts’ sites, and your name will be entered in a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift certificate. The more tour sites, the more entries!

Day 27, here we go!

Noelle Granger’s Blog: Sailing Away

Noelle’s blog is all about books. She shares book reviews as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team as well as from her other reading interests. Her blog is also a place to learn about new releases, catch a short story, or get a glimpse of the goings-on in her life. She shares some extraordinary and fascinating research into the life of the Pilgrims, which resulted in her book: The Last Pilgrim.

I’ve read all of Noelle’s ebooks, which started with the Rhe Brewster murder mysteries series. They were great fun, and I heard there’s another one on the way! As noted above, her interest in colonial New England resulted in a historical fiction novel. Can you imagine my surprise when one of my notorious Peach ancestors got a mention in the book!

The Last Pilgrim by Noelle Granger

My Review: I just finished this amazing historical fiction, and despite its length (458 pages) I clung to every word. The story chronicles the true events of the Pilgrims’ journey to the New World in 1620, and then continues through 80+ years as the colony struggles for survival and contributes to the growth of a nation. The author deftly weaves two narrative threads from beginning to end: the historical events of the times, and the personal lives of those who lived them, as seen through the eyes of Mary Cushman.

One thread, about 50% of the narrative, focuses on the politics of the time—conflicts between the venture’s investors and the colony, friendships and wars with the Native Americans, and problems with governance, both civil and religious. This is primarily narrated through the eagerly prying ears of Mary Cushman whose family(s) are leaders in the Plymouth colony.

The other 50% of the narrative is Mary’s personal story of growth into a pioneer woman, wife, mother, and grandmother. Mary is 4 years old at the crossing and the book ends when she’s in her eighties. The story is told initially from the perspective of Isaac Allerton, her father, and then gradually shifts to Mary’s point of view alone.

One thing I found enthralling was how “true to the time period” she was in her thoughts and actions while at the same time demonstrating her innate intelligence and will. She’s a lively character, and the connection to her was instantaneous. All of the characters are 3-dimensional and beautifully written, and the themes of friendship, loyalty, faith, love, loss, and family are no different than today.

The author’s research was clearly extensive—of both the actual events and politics of the time but also of the daily lives of men, women, and children. Wonderful details brought the story to life, transporting me smack into the 1600s. This isn’t a glorified tale of colonization. The events are conveyed through the lens of those who made choices for the colony and their families. Some are disturbing to our modern sensibilities, but I thoroughly appreciated the authenticity.

Having grown up in New England, many of the places were familiar and I was captivated by the history. I highly recommend this novel to history buffs and readers of historical fiction.

***

If you have a chance, head on over to join The Necromancer’s Daughter tour at Noelle’s blog: Sailing Away.

The Necromancer’s Daughter Book Tour: Day 26 (2 stops to go)

Welcome to Day 26 of The Necromancer’s Daughter’s Book Tour!

I hope you enjoy:

~ My favorite book from my host’s list, along with my review.

~ Something from or about The Necromancer’s Daughter (follow the link below).

~ Leave a comment on my hosts’ sites, and your name will be entered in a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift certificate. The more tour sites, the more entries!

Day 26, here we go!

Gwen Plano’s Blog: Reflections

Gwen’s blog is primarily a poetry blog as she participates in Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday syllabic poetry challenges. Her poetry is beautiful and serene and reflective of her beautiful and serene personality. If you want to take a deep breath and relaxing sigh, it’s a place to visit. Gwen also shares new book releases for fellow bloggers, and she’s a contributor to The Story Empire writer’s blog where she shares her writing experience and tips.

Gwen has written a lovely memoir “Letting Go Into Perfect Love” as well as a military paranormal thriller series that began as a collaboration with author John Howell. I’m two books into the series and can’t wait to dive into the third.

Here’s a review of the first in the series:

The Choice: the unexpected heroes by Gwen Plano

My Review: This is Book Two in the series and it follows two weeks on the heels of Book One, The Contract. The Contract ended with a foiled assassination attempt on the President of the USA from within the government. Global repercussions were avoided, but important lives were lost. The international plot has yet to be investigated and those accountable brought to justice. That’s the focus of this read.

Admiral Joseph Parker is joined by civilian Donna Tucker and Airforce Public Relations employee Jim Andersen at Begert Airforce Base to begin the investigation. A trustworthy team forms and most of the book focuses on tracking down clues and following leads. The investigation is complex but logical and easy to follow.

And it’s not all routine work as the guilty parties are still at large. As the investigation gets closer to discovering the depth and breadth of the conspiracy, anyone with information that might break open the case starts dying. A sense of urgency intensifies as the bodies stack up and the death threats zero in on the team. The third-person present tense POV adds to the sense of immediacy.

I liked all of the characters, particularly the team of protagonists. They’re smart, and they care deeply about what happened and about getting to the truth. Aside from the thrills, there are romantic subplots as well as a paranormal/spiritual element to the story. The book ends with a cliff-hanger, so readers should be prepared to read onward. Highly recommended to fans of military thrillers.

***

If you have a chance, head on over to join The Necromancer’s Daughter tour at Gwen’s blog: Reflections.

The Necromancer’s Daughter Book Tour: Day 25 (3 stops to go)

Welcome to Day 25 of The Necromancer’s Daughter’s Book Tour!

I hope you enjoy:

~ My favorite book from my host’s list, along with my review.

~ Something from or about The Necromancer’s Daughter (follow the link below).

~ Leave a comment on my hosts’ sites, and your name will be entered in a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift certificate. The more tour sites, the more entries!

Day 25, here we go!

Audrey Driscoll’s Author Blog

Audrey’s blog alternates between gardening tips (and glimpses of her beautiful flowers), and all sorts of information and tips about writing. She’s a member of Writers Supporting Writers and provides links to the group’s video discussions on different aspects of the craft, covering “topics related to writing, publishing, and everything in between.” She also shares some of her own writing-related projects, short stories, and books.

Audrey’s publishing list includes her popular Herbert West series and a duology set in Egypt that I thoroughly enjoyed. If you’re an armchair traveler, it’s worth the read for the adventure alone. Here’s my review:

She Who Comes Forth by Audrey Driscoll

My Review: France Leighton and her beloved cello, Eudora, arrive in Luxor, Egypt to take part in an archeological dig. It’s not quite the adventure she expected, but she hangs in there. After a cello performance, she meets the mysterious Adam Dexter, who turns out to be far more than she expected, and not in a good way. Egyptian mythology comes alive as France must find a way to save the world from destruction.

This book is well written, the kind of writing that disappears into the background and therefore leaves the reader fully immersed in the story. I loved the setting, the details about Egypt and its mythology, the elements of the dig, and France’s interest and reverence for the magnificent tombs. In the afterword, Driscoll points out that she’s never been to Luxor, but as a reader, you’d never know it. Her research shines.

Told in first person, the story is wholly France’s. She’s a rich and thoroughly believable character, and her struggles were relatable to me. Secondary characters are beautifully three-dimensional as seen through her eyes. I loved the advice of her “talking” cello and totally fell for the relationship.

The story moves at a moderate pace, a slow burn, with hints at something supernatural at play dropped here and there along the way. At the 75% mark, there’s a giant leap into the paranormal/occult that I wasn’t quite ready for, though in hindsight I could see the preparation. A compelling story that I highly recommend to readers of literary fiction and to those who enjoy a strong female protagonist.

***

If you have a chance, head on over to join The Necromancer’s Daughter tour at Audrey’s blog: Audrey Driscoll.

The Necromancer’s Daughter Book Tour: Day 24

Welcome to Day 24 of The Necromancer’s Daughter’s Book Tour!

I hope you enjoy:

~ My favorite book from my host’s list, along with my review.

~ Something from or about The Necromancer’s Daughter (follow the link below).

~ Leave a comment on my hosts’ sites, and your name will be entered in a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift certificate. The more tour sites, the more entries!

Day 24, here we go!

Martha Reynolds’ Blog: Martha Reynolds Writes

Martha’s blog focuses on book reviews. She reads a wide variety of genres and her reviews are wonderfully informative and well-written, so it’s easy to browse and find something that fits your mood and preference. She also shares her own writing news and partakes in blog challenges. She’s been participating in the A to Z challenge for 10 years and had covered a wide range of topics. This year was songs from 1981!

Martha’s books are award winners and best-sellers. Here’s my review of her Amazon #1 bestseller Bits of Broken Glass:

Bits of Broken Glass by Martha Reynolds

A twenty-fifth high school reunion is being planned for six months in the future, and for four characters it becomes an opportunity to think back on how those important years shaped them. For Kellie and Joe it stirs up old trauma. For Cherry, it’s an opportunity to make amends, and for Scott it’s an opportunity missed.

The actual reunion takes place in the last chapter, so the book is really about the lead-up to that event. Each character has a separate POV narrative, which begins to intersect with other characters as the day draws near. I enjoyed the way the author slowly revealed each character’s memories as well as how their lives had progressed. The healing that takes place was cathartic and touching. To me, it seemed that karma was in play, and that kindness bred kindness, as well as the other way around.

The characters were beautifully crafted, their actions and choices realistic and their emotions full of depth. Secondary characters had the same three-dimensional feel. The story unfolds in third-person with a little first-person mixed in. The pace was excellent, and I read the book in two days since it caught me and wouldn’t let go. Recommended to readers who enjoy women’s fiction, and stories about personal growth and rising above old hurts

***

If you have a chance, head on over to join The Necromancer’s Daughter tour at Martha’s blog: Martha Reynolds Writes.

compliments of bang2write

October Book Reviews (Part Two)

Can you believe all the new releases this autumn? I feel like they’ve been coming out daily. My October reviews have included a lot of new and entertaining reads.

Thank you again to everyone who’s supported me on my book tour with your visits and comments. It’s been such a blast chatting with you. Five more tour stops to go, and I’m done. More time for Nanowrimo!

October’s (part two) reviews include my 4 and 5-star reads of prehistoric fiction, a coming-of-age novel, two romance/suspense/ contemporary western mash-ups (one with a paranormal bent), a poetry book about birds, and a children’s Halloween book.

Click on the covers for Amazon global links.

*****

New Release:

Natural Selection (Dawn of Humanity, Book 3) by Jacqui Murray

The final book of the Dawn of Humanity series ends on a positive note though I suspect that Lucy’s story of survival in the prehistoric world will continue to be riddled with danger and challenges. As the title suggests, not all the branches of primitive mankind will survive and those who do will depend on their ability to develop new skills and think strategically.

The plot is straightforward with two main threads. The first is Lucy and her group’s continuing search for a sustainable homebase. The second is their plan to rescue past members of her tribe from Man-who-preys before they become so weak from hunger that they’re killed. Lucy is the main character, but not the only point of view, and other characters are frequently brought to the forefront. These include her two-legged group members as well as those with four.

Murray’s research continues to add depth and realism to the read, and I found it as fascinating as I did in the first book. Our ancestors had it tough, and their lives were intricately entwined with the world around them. I appreciated that Murray didn’t spare our modern sensibilities. Grooming bugs from each other’s skin, eating rotten meat, and “fear poop” aren’t very glamorous, but they added to the authenticity of the story. Her word choices—to describe the harsh environment, its rhythms and wild creatures, and the nature and skill of each member of her diverse group—bring life on Earth 1.8 million years ago into vivid relief.

For readers who enjoy a meticulously researched primitive world and the remarkable challenges faced by our evolutionary ancestors, I highly recommend this series. It’s fascinating. (Kindle Unlimited)

*****

New Release:

Letting Go (The Defiant Sisters, Book 1) by Jacquie Biggar

My favorite books from this author are the ones that dive into complex relationships, especially those between family members. This book checks all the boxes as a group of characters navigate the trauma, losses, and sacrifices they’ve made in their lives.

Renee fled her family after witnessing her father’s suicide. Her teenage sister Izzy, left behind with a family falling apart, had to hold it all together for their younger brother Benjamin. Simon, the boyfriend Renee abandoned without a goodbye is getting married, but he’s never forgotten her. Then Renee returns home when her mother dies, and all the difficult feelings bubble to the surface.

One major strength of the story is the way it had me rooting for every character. They’re richly drawn with authentic emotional lives, full of accomplishments as well as mistakes. There aren’t any villains beyond the unfairness of life, and it was easy to empathize with the protagonists’ anger, hurt, and love. Renee, Izzy, and Simon carry the three alternating POVs, all in first person.

The focus on human dynamics doesn’t slow down the story one bit. It moves at a good clip and I had a hard time putting it down. I read it in two sittings only because I needed to sleep in between. The action is compelling and toward the end, it’s riveting. It wrapped up well but with a sense of more to come in Book Two. It will be worth the wait. Highly Recommended! (Kindle Unlimited)

*****

New Release:

Saddled Hearts by Jan Sikes

What romance reader doesn’t love a cowboy who rescues and rehabilitates horses? That’s like, “You had me at hello.” When a stranger shows up at Colt Layne’s horse sanctuary, claiming that he won the ranch years ago in a card game with Colt’s deceased grandfather, Colt needs some answers. He visits long-time widow Sage Coventry, a medium with the ability to receive messages from the dead.

The attraction is immediate, but the couple takes their time getting to know each other, and there are problems worrying Colt. First a pasture fire, and then the stranger ends up dead and Colt is framed for murder. Cut fences and sick horses add to his suspicions that someone’s out to destroy him, and he needs to figure out who it is before he ends up in prison.

Romance and murder-mystery share the pages in equal proportion. There’s plenty of lusty attraction, including a steamy sex scene, and I think romance readers will find everything in here that they love about the genre.

The parallel mystery plot is also well done with some red herrings tossed into a mix of paranormal impressions, family secrets, old journals, and a mysterious key. There’s also an underlying theme dealing with choices, forgiveness, and redemption. Though this book can be read as a stand-alone, I highly recommend the entire series for fans of romance-paranormal-mystery mashups.

*****

Secrets in the Blood by Unity Hayes

(This book just got a new cover and pen name, so don’t be confused by the Amazon info. It’s the same book.)

Family secrets, murder, paranoia, romance, redemption. Cassidy Tanner works in a reproduction western town called The Watering Hole. It’s set up to give tourists a true old-time experience including gun fights and train robberies. Her grandfather owns the place and her brother-in-law Kenton is the sheriff. She’s in charge of hiring, and one day, Shane Weston comes looking for a job.

“West” is quiet and respectful, and he has secrets, including the scars crisscrossing his chest and back. He’s running from someone and looking for a safe place. Where better than the town where his brother Kenton lives? But is Kenton ready to accept the brother he’s always believed was paranoid? When people start dying, can West run and leave the woman he’s come to love?

This debut novel gripped my attention, and I read it in one day. Secrets added a lot of mystery, and at times, I questioned what was true and false. The characters were all richly developed. I connected with West and felt for his situation, but what was he hiding? I enjoyed Cassie’s no-nonsense strength, and though, most of the time, Kenton drove me nuts, he had good reason to question his brother’s stability.

The pace moved along quickly, full of action and suspense between interludes of romance. The town was cleverly realized, and the plot was intriguing with a few twists along the way. The story is told through multiple perspectives with some mid-scene POV changes that occasionally popped me out of the story. Even so, I highly recommend this novel to readers who enjoy mystery-thriller-romance mashups.

*****

Avian Friends: Encouraging Poems Inspired by Backyard Birds by Yvette Prior, Ph.D.

Avian friends starts with the author’s foreword on how the book came to be – the result of newly planted trees and journaling about the influx of winged visitors. The book is a collection of 45 free-form, lightly rhyming poems inspired by birds, and is appropriate for both adults and children.

The poetry is divided into five sections: Musings, Mixed Enjoyment, Life and Death, Seasons, and Faith. After each poem is a half-page “Behind the Poem,” which shares the author’s inspiration. I didn’t read all of the explanations, but for my favorite poems, it was delightful to get a glimpse into the avian happenings that inspired the verse.
A few favorite poems:
“Thought Whirls” – a peaceful and whimsical flight of the imagination.
“Connecting” – a lovely memory of the author’s grandmother leaving threads on her clothesline for birds to build their nests.
“New Life” – the sweetness of discovering a nest of baby birds.
“Fall Crunch” – a walk in the autumn leaves and spying a cardinal.

Fall Crunch (an excerpt)

Crunching leaves
beneath my feet
ice cracklin’ below
red, freezing nose
shivering
hoodie pulled close
waiting for the dog to get relief
looked up
what did I see?
bright red cardinal
looking at me –
(continued)

A lovely glimpse into the author’s thoughts as she observes the birds in her yard. Recommended to fans of birds and readers who enjoy free-form poetry with a light rhyme. Only available in paperback.

*****

New Release for Kids:

Haunted Halloween Holiday by Robbie and Michael Cheadle

Count Sugular and his family are going to a Haunted House Halloween Party that promises to be great fun. Why not turn it into a weekend getaway? This delightful children’s book introduces many of its spooky characters with limericks. There’s Baby Howler, Skelly the Skeleton, Jiggle Jelly the pet sea monster, and a pair of trolls, to name a few.

The book is illustrated with fondant (frosting) characters, and though they’re spooky, they are generally happy and kind and enjoy time with their friends and family. This is a lovely read for parents and their young children who are just starting to discover the spookiness of Halloween. Only available in paperback.

*****

Happy Reading!

The Necromancer’s Daughter Book Tour: Day 23

Welcome to Day 23 of The Necromancer’s Daughter’s Book Tour!

I hope you enjoy:

~ My favorite book from my host’s list, along with my review.

~ Something from or about The Necromancer’s Daughter (follow the link below).

~ Leave a comment on my hosts’ sites, and your name will be entered in a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift certificate. The more tour sites, the more entries!

Day 23, here we go!

acflory’s Blog: Meeka’s Mind

Andrea’s forte is science fiction, so her blog includes cool science and technology articles, but that’s not all by any means. She also shares progress on her writing, book reviews, music she loves (often to write by), and commentary on some of the wise and less-than-wise human endeavors that are happening around the world. She has one of those inquisitive minds and shares what she finds.

I’ve read all of Andrea’s books, including her novels and her collection of short stories. I’ve been bugging her for another book from her alien Vokhtah series, which she’s diligently working on. It’s a story written entirely from an alien POV, which intrigues me no end.

Her Innerscape series is complete, and it’s riveting. Here’s a review:

Miira (Innerscape Book One) by acflory

My Review: What a beautifully written book. Innerscape is a science fiction story about a middle-aged woman Miira whose disease-ravaged body is dying. She decides to enter Innercape where her body will be pared down to her essential components and preserved while she lives out her life in a virtual world as a younger, healthy version of herself.

The first book in the series covers two aspects of her immersion in Innerscape – first, the preparation of her new body and the tests to prepare for her transition, and second, the transition into the VR world and her orientation. As a series, the story continues beyond the initial book, and Flory hooks the reader with the introduction of several challenging characters, corporate compromises, questionable ethics, and love.

The science is detailed and utterly entrancing, as well as completely understandable to the layperson. The premise and technology also seem entirely plausible, if not now, then in the not-so-distant future. Flory’s writing is meticulous and detailed, and the world she’s created held my fascination throughout.

And all that wasn’t even the best part! Set against the scientific backdrop, is an engrossing human story. Miira is reserved, sensitive, inquisitive, and vulnerable, a beautifully rendered human being undergoing a process that requires complete trust and a step into the unknown. The story is told primarily from her point of view and the immersion in her experience is complete. The Innerscape staff that supports her are multidimensional and believably flawed characters.

The pace is steady and yet I flew through the book because I could NOT put it down. Exquisite writing, gorgeous descriptions, high-tech science, and human pathos that grab the reader. I’m a fan and gladly recommend this book to readers of science fiction and anyone who enjoys an unusual human story.

***

If you have a chance, head on over to join The Necromancer’s Daughter tour at Andrea’s blog: Meeka’s Mind.