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Archive for the ‘Guest Writer’ Category

One of the first books that sparked my interest in history, and particularly the Middle Ages, A Distant Mirror, purported to compare the 14th Century to the 20th. At the time the book was published, I was deep in studies of Comparative Literature, World Literature, Women’s Fiction et cetera, et cetera.

Cover image of A Distant MirrorWhat enthralled me about A Distant Mirror was the inevitable connection to tales of chivalry and classic romance—a literary convention that is neither tragedy nor comedy; a heroic or mysterious prose narrative set in a distant time or place; a medieval tale of knightly adventure.

Barbara W. Tuchman turned the study of history into a great adventure and a lifelong love of all things Medieval.

I loaned my copy to a fellow Mediophile (I think I’ve made that word up) and she never returned it, so it was with great pleasure that I found Tuchman’s book is available on the iBookstore.

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Humor-Social Commentary/Contemporary

As you’ve probably guessed, Linton Robinson is one of my favorite go-to authors for humor, particularly male humor. Call me whatever you like but Lin’s humor makes me laugh. It’s ironic, twisted, often self-deprecating and always ROFL funny. My favorite line is “Have they ruled out suicide?” (You’ll have to read Sweet Spot to get that one.)

This week I’m featuring The Way of the Weekend Warrior, a sardonic look at the world of the wayward journalist, gone rogue and a whole lot of other things.

I am enthralled by Lin’s humor, caustic wit, sarcasm, insights and social commentary. He sees the world for what it is, full of people who have no business pretending they are anything other than—well, you be the judge. But remember, we’re in the same boat.

The Way of the Weekend Warrior is available on Amazon, in Kindle or Paperback.

 

 

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Sci-Fi/Fantasy Romance
Size Matters, By J. L. Salter
 
Size does matter, when you’re only a foot tall.
  
Concept:
Accidentally swallowing a mysterious pill from her eccentric scientist cousin, Emma Hobby shrinks to under a foot tall. When she resumes normal size, she must track down her cousin, who’s obviously in trouble (based on those unsettling messages he left). Can those sci-fi miniaturization pills help find him? How about Logan Stride, the attorney who wants to handle more of Emma than her case? 
 
Blurb:
Emma Hobby mistakenly takes a pill from a bottle mailed her by her eccentric/brilliant cousin — and it reduces her to eleven inches tall. Now she’s eye to eye with the Cyndi dolls she lovingly collects and sells in her shop.
Nobody – not even her best friend – believes her, so Emma takes another pill to see if it happens again. It DOES! This time she has a witness (Vickilee), who records things as they happen… and establishes a partial timetable.
Now that she thinks she knows what happens and when, can Emma use these pills somehow to help rescue her cousin, who left those unsettling messages? And will that handsome attorney she’s almost dating help her efforts? Or will Logan Stride just get in her way?
 Size Matters. Novel, $1.99. Size Matters

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Historical Inspirational

Borrowed Light by Carla Kelly

Cover Image Borrowed LightThis book was among seven nominated for the RWA’s Rita Award in 2012. I’m including Borrowed Light in my featured books because I so often recall characters and scenes from the book.  For instance, Paul Otto, the hero of the story, is the son of a settler’s orphaned daughter and a warrior of the tribe that rescues her. Julia Darling, the heroine, is a graduate of  Fannie Farmer’s Cooking School. Mr. Otto, as he is known throughout the book, is a Wyoming rancher in need of a good cook for his cowboys.

Another character in the book is inanimate and, though I am not a cook, fascinated me as much as the four ranch hands: the Queen Atlantic stove which attracts Julia to the isolated ranch in the first place. Drawing Mr. Otto and Julia together is their shared faith. Kelly does justice to her own faith, the Church of Latter Day Saints, with clarity and simplicity for non-LDS readers.

Borrowed Light is published by Bonneville Books (cedarfort.com).

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Medieval Romance 

JUSTICE: Book 1, Pendyffryn: The Inheritors

Book Cover Image - Justice by Lily DewaruileJustice. Hard won. Easily lost.

To prepare his daughter, Tanglwys, for a future without his protection, Meinor Hedydd contracts with Gwennan Pendyffryn to take her as an apprentice in the Invader’s Gaer household to learn skills that will be of use to others and a source of income for her. The presence of another dependent fostered child affects Gwennan’s stepson, Marshal deFreveille, in a way that is not entirely unwelcome as he begins his own training to become a soldier in his father’s army.

After the death of her father, Tanglwys is forced to leave the Gaer to help her mother but continues her work with the apothecary to cultivate medicinal herbs that will save other soldiers’ lives.

From the beginning of their acquaintance, Tanglwys and Marshal face hatred and intolerance. A fateful encounter at the river sparks more than his protective inclination toward her, but when Marshal disciplines her brother and his friends for tormenting Tanglwys, their budding friendship falters.  Punishes

Her brother’s resentment and loathing for the Invader’s son are fierce. His violence toward his sister for causing the incident leads to his demotion to the lowest ranks of soldiery. In fear of her brother and her mother’s continuing hatred for the Invader, Tanglwys denies her growing admiration for Marshal but he has another future in mind for them.

Justice is available on Kindle, Nook, and on the iBookstore as well as in paperback.

 

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Book Cover Image The WayChristian Fantasy

A boy alone in an ancient forest always forbidden for him to enter or even go near. Now there is no choice as all that lies behind him are the broken dreams and shattered bodies of his people set ablaze in the night all because they refused to bow to tyranny. His nation gone, it’s up to him to survive or perish in the night as the case may be easily enough. Nothing is for sure in a forest where even the trees go to war.

The Way – is a story of High Christian Fantasy that reveals truth. Evil is evil and all that is good is under a never ending assault to be polluted by that which is diametrically opposed to the ways of Eloah, the Most High, the Creator of everything. Expect to be led on a journey that reveals what it’s like to be a warrior cast into the epic struggle of Good vs Evil.

The Way is available for Kindle and Nook as well as at other online book outlets.

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I posted this review about Linton Robinson’s book, Sweet Spot, several years ago, but with all the political upheaval recently, this particular book keeps coming to mind. I loved it then and love it still.

Mazatlan Confidential Sweet Spot, Linton Robinson

Linton Robinson’s  novel of corrupt politicians, Mazatlan Carnival and baseball has all the credentials for a block-busting read: gritty, graphic and gripping. This is a fortuitous find among the many thousands of titles that are published every year and well-worth the effort. Fans of Elmore Leonard, Raymond Chandler and Tennessee Williams will discover resonances with Robinson’s main character, Raymundo Carrasco – retired, short-haul, major league star turned investigative journalist and local government flunky.

The depth of this novel is astonishing and the skill with which Robinson interweaves his dramatic motifs is a lesson in craft for any writer. Robinson’s command of his metaphors is masterful. The background information needed to create the depth of this story is fed through Carrasco’s columns and his insights about his native city and fellow citizens. If you thought you knew something about Mexico, this book will set you straight.

Carrasco has returned to his native Mazatlan after a few seasons over the border where he held his batting average steady – good enough for the Majors. Despite his success, he hasn’t found that “sweet spot” in his life. Although it seems a foolish choice, with the murders and mayhem of all the vultures surrounding him, he seeks that moment working for the mayor’s office press team. Just when his life can’t get worse, it does, spiraling into gruesome hilarity and poetic decadence.

Despite the relentless brutality, this novel is a glorious celebration of humanity in all its joyful exuberance and soul-destroying routine.

Sweet Spot is a novel I can recommend. It is thoughtful, intense and violent. It is also hilarious and beautiful in its compassion for all we poor/pure souls seeking that moment of absolute perfection.

While I read this, word for unrelenting word, I realized that the United States’ most intimate foreign relationship is mutually dependent and as destructive as Mundo’s love affair with Mijares.

 

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