Other reviewers have described The Last Waltz as poetry and I agree with them. Of all the stories I read by one of my favorites, Murray Pura, this story flows elegantly and poetically through a day in the life of a man and a woman, Mitchell and Charity Davis, enduring the War Between the States.
Reviewing Surrender the Wind – Rita Gerlach, Author
Adventure travels back and forth between the colonies and England during stressful times around the Revolutionary War. Rita Gerlach had woven another terrific story for her wide reader base.
Enemies and lovers follow the adventures through life threatening and rewarding days as this gently written tale tells the story of people who have ties in both lands. Blood runs thicker than water and family will stick together.
Some characters are wicked through and through, while others turn from wickedness to be the links that save the day for the righteous.
Surrender the Wind gives readers a glimpse of the ‘people’ involved in the beginning of the United States. There are no political scenarios discussing the birthing of the government. Instead, we see ordinary people who love their work and land. As a patriot, Seth Braxton has to overcome the connected prejudices toward the perceived enemy of family in England and deal with the prejudices which are aimed right back toward him. He finds firm, lasting friendships, matures to heal family rifts and marries the only woman who ever captured his heart. I don’t want to spoil the story for you, so you will have to read for yourself to learn which of the bad guys and good guys survive battles, shipwrecks and fires. You know, in a good story, there is a mixture of victory and tragedy.
Rita Gerlach weaves a tale of adventure and love with the accompanying risks and dangers through a ‘clean path’. I enjoyed a swiftly moving story that carries no profanity, personal faith without specific preaching, tenderness with no steamy, anatomically correct sex scenes. Yet, the story manages not to be boring! A talented novelist.
I purchased this novel for my Kindle Fire and am proud to have you find it on my reading list. I plan to read more of Rita Gerlach’s writing.
Olivia’s Wedding — Joy Ross Davis, author | Murray Pura’s Cry of Freedom
Olivia’s Wedding is Joy Ross Davis‘ short story contribution to Murray Pura’s Cry of Freedom Anthology. As the Civil War battles move closer to the family home, plans proceed for Olivia’s dream wedding. Her mother’s gardening skills have made the lawns and flower gardens a beautiful, amazing place to have the wedding.
Daniel, the groom, is off at war, adding to the stress — will he be able to leave his position?
Calm reigns through the character of Cyrus and the gentle mare Marigold as a mysterious, magical wedding dress appears in Livvy’s room.
All comes together as angels care for the family in the path of the battle and for those who ‘want to go home’.
Joy Ross Davis has given her sweet angel treatment to this story of families in the woes of the Civil War where different opinions and philosophies cost happiness and lives…where do people find peace and protection when the future holds an overwhelming task of rebuilding after destruction?
As a part of the Cry of Freedom anthology planned by Murray Pura and enthusiastically joined by excellent and informed authors, Olivia’s Wedding will be one of your favorite ‘reads.’
Reviewing Return to Shirley Plantation of the Cry of Freedom Anthology | Carrie Fancett Pagels, author
Set in the heat of the Civil War, Carrie Fancett Pagels‘ novella revolves around the amazing and REAL Shirley Plantation where wounded soldiers were treated in exchange for protection from the ravages of war that destroyed many of the plantation homes of the south, wreaking havoc and misery on all races and persons.
This story approaches a unique point of view for the War and Emancipation.Several of the main characters are of mixed race ancestry. They are in a more risky position and disrespected by evil on both sides of the war of mixed race ancestry. Not much detail is provided in the story (it is a novella and not a long book) about their parents, except that at least two sets of parents appear to be a love match which was illegal if not uncommon during the era.
The Northern balance character, Michael Scott was raised in the North, but conscripted by the Confederacy to serve in that army. “Shanghaied” is a fitting term as he was snatched off the streets of a non-identified southern Ohio town.
During the time that Shirley Plantation was set up as a field hospital to care for the wounded and dying, particularly Union soldiers, the Shirley family were active participants in the care giving; one member of the family, Dr. Carter served as surgeon and doctor for the patients. In this story, the plantation inhabitants, free and slave worked the fields to produce food for the patients. The Carter family and their slaves practice Christianity and employ faith. When the Union armies first arrive, the family makes every effort to protect the light skinned people by including them in the family story. Faith and obedience to God’s will shows up in the story multiple times when that will worked out better than the obedient expected. Scott and another friend see their faith strengthened and renewed through their experiences.
As expected, all ends well with Angelina and Matthew returning North with safe passage in the height of war. A sweet romance with no profanity, violence or steamy sex scenarios.
You can let your home schoolers read about historic events safely and set them onto research about the Shirley Plantation.
The author is familiar with Shirley Plantation and clearly loves the historical spot. I know it is a novella, but I would have enjoyed even more detail about the buildings and furnishings. Images that we do have show an unusual architecture, different from the typical Antebellum plantation that we see in movies. Given that the plantation is noted as the first plantation in Virginia (1613) and the oldest family-owned business in the United States, I expect one should not expect a movie appearance.
Bohea! Learned something new when I thought I found a type to end all typos! I was certain from the flow of the story that the intention was TEA, but this arrangement of letters looked as if the writer dropped her head on the keyboard. Fingers couldn’t have made such a typo! BUT it is not a typo; it is the name of a very strong, black tea from China which was popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. Later,(after Civil War times) the name bohea was ascribed to an inferior tea grown late in the season, according to Wikipedia.
The book is not a high pressure adventure or angst filled drama. It is a pleasure read about things that are fictional, but almost certainly occurred in some form and fashion. While I may have wished for more detail about architecture and furnishing, it performs the task of a novella. The story is told with necessary information to get us from the first page to the last and is satisfying in that format. There are other places where I can learn more about the way Shirley Plantation looked in 1862. Meeting these form requirements with a decent presentation and excellent editing go a long way with me when I’m reading a book about anything.
I had one problem with my Kindle Fire, plus my Kindle PC app and the formatting. That was solved by simply reading the book with a white background as the formatting is odd with the sepia background. Random lines are selected and appear white. White is not the highlight color for the sepia background. This condition in no way the quality of the story, simply the delivery. I found a quick solution so I could continue reading and enjoying.
Reviewing “The Chosen (Portals of Destiny)” | Shay West – Dr. Fab!, author
I don’t usually seek out sci-fi or fantasy, but learned of this book in a mutual writing group on Facebook. Upon reading at the author’s website, Dr. Shay West aka Dr. Shay Fabbro aka Dr. Fab!, I found I like what Dr. Fab! has to say and decided to try one of her books. I’ve also held my hand up to be included in the launch team for the sequel of “The Chosen (Portals of Destiny)”. Even the three star ratings at Amazon speak well of the writing and the potential of this story and the sequel books in the series.
I found the book a little slow starting, but that has been my experience with fantasy sci-fi books in the past, so I kept on reading till it all began to gel. (Pardon a pun, because the Masters and Guardians come from a planet with an underwater population that resemble jellyfish with large, gentle eyes, four arms and body colors that respond to mood — the little graphic is my perception of the characters in this state.)
The story has descriptive detail that helped me get into it and the characters. I would have gone for even more, but understand that this was most likely an introduction and the following books may get more detailed regarding the different planets, civilizations and populations (not all of the characters are human and some don’t resemble humans)
The drama involved in the story is the angst of youth and while not labeled for younger readers,this book would be ‘safe’ for your kids to read. As one other reviewer mentioned, there is some violence, but it is handled well and is not gory. The character mix is spread across age groups or at least ‘maturity’ groups. I found enough complication to keep me attentive and not bored. I thought I caught the editors out, then realized that I had been making assumptions on the number of characters associated with each of the different planets. The author doesn’t copy and paste a set number of characters or type of character into every scenario. They are all individuals who will have to learn to work together to achieve the goal. Coincidentally, Dr. Fab! does write books that are specifically aimed at the young adult reader.
Other planets and other life forms are more pleasant for me to read fantasy about than vampires. Fantasy is not a genre that I typically seek out. I like the writing and the story and will be looking for the next book in the series. No profanity, a little violence, tolerance and difference encouraged.
I purchased a copy of this book at Amazon for my Kindle Fire.
COUNTENANCE, Joy Ross Davis, author Available in Print!
Ecanus Publishing released COUNTENANCE written by one of our favorite authors, Joy Ross Davis this spring for our Kindle Fire reader. Now, the book is available in print! And we’re so glad to see that.
My opinion of the book remains the same — “There are three elements that immediately attracted me to the story in Countenance and they weren’t the wonderful, strong and wise angels! First, I love huge, sensible, kid-lovin’ dogs like LuLu. Second, I can’t stay away from old historic buildings, especially those that have been converted into modern uses like a the Play House Inn Bed and Breakfast! Third, I’m a goner for individualistic, soul healthy cooking and magic, secret ingredients like that used by Sylvie Wolcott when she cooks for her guests at the Play House Inn.
I could go to the Play House Inn and play house in the kitchen any time! I would let the dog have treats while we wandered from kitchen to attic, ‘petting’ the woodwork.
But, there is more than kitchen and pet attraction in the atmosphere around the Play House Inn. Aunt Sylvie offers shelter to her niece, Nealey, who has endured an horrific tragedy. Nealey’s path back to living is surrounded by loving family on all spiritual planes, a huge, protective dog and those strong and wise guardian angels. The support team has its work cut out because evil has come to the Play House too. Evil that would destroy Nealey and all of the others to get to her. In an environment where tragedy has ruled for generations, why would evil not be the winner? It doesn’t look good.
Read COUNTENANCE and learn what happens. You’ll be glad you did!” Read it because there is a sequel coming and you want to be ready