Buckland Gap

Buckland Gap by [Wiltshire, Charles Stanley]THIS WEEK’S TWO OTHER FEATURED BOOKS, “THE GREAT PENGUIN RESCUE,” BY DYAN deNAPOLI AND “A BETTER TRUTH,” BY VALERIE JOAN CONNORS, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST, OR BY CLICKING ON THE AUTHOR’S NAME ON OUR AUTHOR PAGE.

————————————

THE BOOK: Buckland Gap

PUBLISHED IN:2016

THE AUTHOR: Charles Wiltshire

THE EDITOR: Austin MaCauley

THE PUBLISHER: Austin MaCauley

SUMMARY:  With shades of Clockwork Orange and Trainspotting, new author Charlie Wiltshire gives an unflinching, and often times disturbing, account of life on one of England’s most difficult estates. From the details of ‘pulling gear’ to the politics of cancer, Buckland Gap asks if society can ever be saved. Even from itself.

A can of lager, a cigarette and a well-placed scratch. Thus begins David’s day. Being a hard geezer on the Buckland estate ain’t easy, but David has the crown. He’s got the girls, sprogs, flash car and the meanest headbutt in Portsmouth. His days are filled with crime filled sprees to ensure his obese mother has her requisite fags, booze and curry. But even a thug like David has aspirations and his foray into drug-dealing is seen as a step-up. But through a serious of increasingly violent events, David’s kingdom erodes, unravels and culminates in an explosive finale.Image result for Charles Wiltshire + author+ photos

THE BACK STORY:  The inspirations for this book are varied but the main ones are discussed here. The first inspiration came about after I was chased through the Buckland estate in Portsmouth by a group of thugs simply for the fact I was alone and middle aged. Luckily I was able to evade them but the apparent leader of this gang became the model of the main protagonist in the book. Much of the story background information has been gathered by listening to people in pubs and clubs, family conversations and sources such as Facebook. Gathering this information over a period of five years finally helped me formulate the final story line. The city streets can be violent places at times and I realised there was a story to be told about this.

WHY THIS TITLE? The title reflects the style of life the protagonist and his family live in.

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT:  This book has an intended global audience which includes anyone who has an interest in just how violent the cities of England can be at times and how some of this violence comes about. While people such as the protagonist make up a very, very small proportion of the UK population, they do exist. I feel the general public (of all ages) will enjoy this publication, especially those who live in areas where they never meet people like the protagonist, I believe they will be fascinated and shocked to realise such people do exist.

AUTHOR PROFILE: My name is Charles Wiltshire and I hail from Hampshire in England. My work experience is based around the IT industry but on my heart I have always wanted to be full time Author. I love creating stories and building fiction worlds. My other loves in life are cooking, running and motorbikes.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: http://bucklandgap.com/sample.pdf

LOCAL OUTLETS:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Buckland-Gap-Charles-Stanley-Wiltshire/dp/1786127911
https://www.amazon.com/Buckland-Gap-Charles-Stanley-Wiltshire/dp/1786127911

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT:
https://www.waterstones.com/book/buckland-gap/charles-stanley-wiltshire/9781786127914
http://www.brownsbfs.co.uk/Product/Wiltshire-Charles-Stanley/Buckland-Gap/9781786127914
http://bookshop.blackwell.co.uk/bookshop/product/Buckland-Gap-by-Charles-Stanley-Wiltshire/9781786127914
http://www.bookdepository.com/Buckland-Gap-Charles-Stanley-Wiltshire/9781786127914?ref=grid-view
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/682278
https://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=21307995970&searchurl=x%3D0%26y%3D0%26sts%3Dt%26sortby%3D17%26an%3Dcharles%2Bwiltshire

PRICE:
US: $14.95
UK: £8.99

CONTACT THE AUTHOR:
charwilts@gmail.com
http://bucklandgap.com
https://twitter.com/ChaWiltshire
https://uk.linkedin.com/in/charles-wiltshire-24115a126
https://www.facebook.com/buckgap/

The Great Penguin Rescue

Image result for dyan denapoliTHE BOOK: THE GREAT PENGUIN RESCUE: 40,000 Penguins, a Devastating Oil Spill, and the Inspiring Story of the World’s Largest Animal Rescue.


THE AUTHOR:
  Dyan deNapoli.

PUBLISHED IN: 2010.

THE EDITOR
: Wylie O’Sullivan (at S&S’s Free Press)

THE PUBLISHER
: Simon & Schuster’s Free Press (My S&S author page: http://www.simonandschuster.com/authors/Dyan-deNapoli/62164348)

SUMMARY: The Great Penguin Rescue tells the remarkable true story of the rescue of 40,000 penguins from Treasure oil spill in South Africa. This historic event, which spanned more than three months in 2000, still stands as the largest and most successful animal rescue ever undertaken. This gripping first-person account is seen through the eyes of Dyan deNapoli, who was a Penguin Aquarist at Boston’s New England Aquarium at the time, and a member of the first team of penguin experts to fly to Cape Town from the US to help manage the massive rescue operation. In what was an intensely grueling effort, the rescue team and more than 12,500 completely inexperienced volunteers cleaned, fed, rehabilitated, and released back into the wild nearly all of the penguins affected by the oil spill.

Often compared to Jon Krakuer’s Into Thin Air, The Great Penguin Rescue was described as “a real-life eco-thriller with a happy ending” by the New York Post, who put it on their ‘Required Reading’ list. As another reviewer wrote, “Dyan deNapoli gives the reader ‘come to life’ descriptions of what it took to clean and rehabilitate every bird, how each volunteer was trained, and the commitment it took to accomplish such an enormous task. It’s almost as if every reader was part of the rescue operation.

“Readers are drawn headfirst into the exhausting physical and emotional experience and, along the way, meet a cast of remarkable characters who are vividly brought to life – from Big Mike, a Jiu-Jitsu champion and gentle giant with a booming bass voice who worked every day of the rescue effort; to a sweet man named Welcome (aka “the Penguin Whisperer”), who had a magical ability to calm any penguin he held in his arms; to Louis, a seventeen-year-old student who created a new formula for a highly effective degreaser used during the rescue mission. The heroic efforts of these caring individuals, and so many others – including business owners, laborers, students, retirees, well-heeled housewives, and the homeless – saved the birds from near extinction. The extraordinary international collaboration of scientists, zookeepers, animal rescue groups, and thousands of concerned citizens helped save the African penguin – recently declared an Endangered species – from an all-too-common man–made disaster.

This heartwarming and riveting narrative is not just a portrait of these captivating birds, nor is it merely a cautionary tale about the environment – it is an inspirational example of how following one’s passion can lead to unexpected and fulfilling adventures. It reminds us that one person truly can make a difference. Moreover, it dramatically illustrates how people from different countries, different backgrounds, and different cultures can successfully unite for a greater purpose – and it is a moving testament to their ability to achieve the seemingly impossible when doing so. The Great Penguin Rescue will inspire readers to believe that they, too, can make a difference!


THE BACK STORY
I couldn’t NOT write this book. I’ve always loved creative writing, and more significantly, I’ve had a profound and abiding love of animals for as long as I can remember. While I’ve been deeply concerned about endangered species since first learning about them as a young girl, I always felt powerless to do anything to help save them from extinction. I returned to college for a 2nd degree in my early 30’s to pursue a lifelong dream of working with dolphins (which I briefly and joyously did), and later, during an internship at the New England Aquarium in Boston, I unexpectedly fell in love with the penguins. I decided to accept a job there as a Penguin Aquarist after graduating and, a few years later, found myself in an enormous warehouse in South Africa, surrounded by tens of thousands of oil-covered penguins.

When I boarded the plane in Cape Town to head home after 3 weeks, I just knew that I had to share this remarkable wildlife rescue story with the world. However, it would be 8 years before I found the time to sit down and write it. In October of 2010, on the 10th anniversary of the final month of the rescue, the book was finally released by Simon & Schuster. It went on to receive several literary awards, including a Silver Nautilus Book Award, selection as a “Must-Read” Book in the Massachusetts Book Awards (as well as 1st-place finalist for the Mass Book Award), and was named “One of the best Natural History books of 2010” by Library Journal.

 One of the phrases I often heard repeated by the volunteers at the rescue centers was, “This rescue effort has restored my faith in mankind.” This sentiment resonated deeply with me then, and continues to do so to this day. Each one of those 12,500 volunteers is my hero, because we truly could not have saved those 40,000 penguins without them. 


WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT?
The comment I hear most often from readers is, “I felt like I was right there with you in the rescue center!” They tell me they laughed, they cried, and they were inspired by the story. The thousands of eager volunteers inspire some people; others are in awe of the dedication of the wildlife rescue team; while others are amazed by the resiliency of the penguins. And, whenever I get a letter or e-mail from someone telling me they donated to a penguin rescue center after reading the book, I’m the one who starts to cry! It’s precisely the reason I wrote the book – to inform people about this incredible conservation success story, and to inspire them to help penguins and the environment.

 

The Great Penguin Rescue is the only book that has been written about the record-breaking Treasure oil spill rescue. What could have been a dry recitation of the facts is instead a compelling narrative and an intimate portrait of this historic event, written by a first–hand witness and participant. Niche audiences would include birders, penguin lovers (obviously!), animal lovers, animal rescuers, disaster-relief workers, nature lovers, environmentalists, conservation advocates; and those interested in volunteerism, leadership, teamwork and collaboration, and inspirational stories.


REVIEW COMMENTS
:

The Great Penguin Rescue is a powerful story, one that needs to be heard. Not just to find out what happened in South Africa…but so that we know, even though tragedies like this will keep occurring, there is hope.” – Grant McCreary, The Birder’s Library.  

 “The Great Penguin Rescue is a riveting account of one of the worst wildlife disasters in history. Dyan deNapoli relates her firsthand experiences with the cleanup efforts and the rehabilitation of thousands of birds in exquisite detail that will capture readers’ hearts and minds effortlessly. This book is a must-read for every bird lover, nature lover, and oil executive to learn not only how destructive a spill can be, but also how much love, compassion, and effort is needed to deal with the consequences.” – Melissa Maynzt, Birding/Wild Birds on About.com

 “In the wake of the BP disaster and its botched bird recovery, it’s gratifying to read Dyan deNapoli’s new book. The lesson: When the job is done right, birds can be saved and returned to the wild.”  – Birder’s Magazine (selected as one of the “bird books we like” for 2010)

“It’s hard to imagine a silver lining coming out of a story about an oil spill, but if there ever were one, it would be The Great Penguin Rescue.” – The Daily Beast


AUTHOR PROFIL
E: I’m a penguin expert, TED speaker, educator, author, and life-long adventurer. I was raised in a small coastal town in Massachusetts, and have always felt a very powerful connection to animals and the ocean. I always dreamed of doing something to help save endangered species, but couldn’t imagine what one person could possibly do to make a difference.  

 

Although it took many years (32 in fact) before I found the courage to pursue my seemingly impossible dream of working with aquatic animals, once I took that leap into the unknown, there was no turning back. I could never have imagined the many amazing opportunities that would present themselves once I began pursuing what I was most passionate about – the most extraordinary of which was helping to actually save a species. 

 Working as a rehabilitation manager during the Treasure oil spill rescue in Cape Town, South Africa was a tremendous privilege – and it was, by far, the most rewarding experience of my life. Having witnessed firsthand the devastating impact of oiling on 40,000 penguins, I am now more determined than ever to do everything in my power to protect these vulnerable seabirds. For this reason, I donate 20% of the proceeds from my book and from every speaking engagement to penguin rescue, research, and conservation groups. 

 I’m a frequent guest on radio and TV shows in the US and abroad, including interviews with the BBC, CNN, and CBC-Radio Canada. I lecture about penguins; pursuing your dreams; and how to give a TED talk at conferences, grade schools and colleges, museums and science centers, assisted living centers, and on nature cruises. In December of 2106, I made my second trip to Antarctica – this time with Homeward Bound; a groundbreaking leadership initiative for women in science. I’m excited to be returning to Antarctica again as a Global Perspectives Guest Speaker for Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic. I’ve had the honor of speaking at four TEDx conferences – my talk about the penguin rescue can be viewed on TED.com. Link is here: http://www.ted.com/talks/dyan_denapoli_the_great_penguin_rescue

AUTHOR COMMENTS: “My mission as The Penguin Lady (my business name and moniker) is to raise awareness and funding to protect penguins. Most people would be surprised to learn that, of the 18 penguin species on earth today, 15 are listed as Threatened or Endangered – and their populations are crashing precipitously. The top two threats to penguins today are global warming and overfishing – and these are two issues that each one of us actually has the power to do something about through our daily habits and choices. I lecture internationally about these important conservation issues, encouraging my audiences to; 1) consider what they can do to help protect animals and the environment, and; 2) pursue their own dreams, no matter their age or other apparent obstacles.”

SAMPLE CHAPTER: Link to the prologue on NPR’s website: http://www.npr.org/books/titles/481301352/the-great-penguin-rescue-40-000-penguins-a-devastating-oil-spill-and-the-inspiri#excerpt LOCAL OUTLETS: Interested readers can order the paperback version of the book at their local bookstores.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Nook, Kindle, BAM, iTunes, Audible, and many more stores online carry the hardcover, paperback, and/or audiobook. The audiobook was released by Tantor Audio: https://tantor.com/the-great-penguin-rescue-dyan-denapoli.html Most of the links to buy the book in all forms can be found here: http://booklaunch.io/dyandenapoli/the-great-penguin-rescue and on here on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Great-Penguin-Rescue-Devastating-Inspiring/dp/143914818X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486761821&sr=8-1&keywords=the+great+penguin+rescue

PRICE: Hardcover is $26.00, paperback is $15.95, and audiobook is $34.99 (but all are less through most online outlets).CONTACT THE AUTHOR: My e-mail is dyan@thepenguinlady.com and I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as The Penguin Lady (links below).

My current website (a new site is also in the works) is at http://www.thepenguinlady.com/

A Better Truth

A Better Truth by [Connors, Valerie Joan]THE BOOK: A Better Truth

PUBLISHED IN: 2016

THE AUTHOR: Valerie Joan Connors

THE EDITOR: Deeds Publishing

THE PUBLISHER: Deeds Publishing, Athens, Georgia

Valerie Joan ConnorsSUMMARY: A Better Truth is a psychological thriller whose central character struggles to recognize the difference between reality and hallucination, nightmare and memory.

When the frantic pace of her Washington, D.C. life becomes too much for her to bear, Willow St. Claire takes refuge in the North Georgia Mountains. She buys a bookstore, hoping to spend her days talking to customers about the latest releases, and her evenings in the quiet oasis of her mountain retreat. Alone in her cabin, two miles away from the nearest neighbor, Willow must learn to cope with the terror of her past, heal from the loss of her mother, and maintain a relationship with a teenaged daughter who refuses to leave D.C. where she lives with her father. But a knock at Willow’s kitchen door late one night, sets off a series of events that will shatter her newly found peace and tranquility, and threaten to trigger another breakdown. Willow has held tightly to her own version of the truth for over three decades, because for her, real truth is much too disturbing.

THE BACK STORY: A Better Truth is my fourth novel, and my first psychological thriller. I enjoy reading thrillers, so I thought I’d enjoy writing them. I had so much fun with it that I’m already working on a couple more of them. The character and opening scene from the book came to me while I was in the middle of finishing my second novel, Shadow of a Smile, and tried to distract me from the task at hand. So I wrote the opening scenes so I wouldn’t forget them, and put it away for a couple of years until I was ready to get back to it. I have a good friend who is a retired psychiatrist, and she helped me with some of the science to make sure that my scenes accurately portrayed the types of behavior that could result from childhood trauma.

WHY THIS TITLE? Willow has been trying to suppress a terrible memory from her childhood for most of her life. To shield herself from the memories, she has invented new and happier ones. She needed a better truth to replace the terrifying memories of her real truth, and begins to think that her seventeen-year-old daughter might now be doing the same thing.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? The underlying theme in A Better Truth is the desire the main character has to be free of the stresses of everyday life, and make a quiet, peaceful life somewhere with a great view and no telephone. As an author with a full-time, demanding day job, I know that I can relate. I think readers will too.

REVIEW COMMENTS: “I loved taking this thrilling journey with Willow, who learns that the truth will set you free…if you can survive it. Fascinating, with twists and turns that keep the pages rolling!” …Lynn Cullen, nationally bestselling author of Mrs. Poe and Twain’s End

“A Better Truth is a real page-turner! Valerie Joan Connors has crafted a book that has it all: suspense from the beginning, complex characters, a plot that keeps the reader guessing, and lots of surprises—including a breathtaking ending. At the same time, this novel has substance as it reminds us of our frailties, of the bonds of family and love, and of the possibility of recovery. It’s a book that should be passed from reader to reader and one I will not soon forget.” … Constance McKee, author of The Girl in the Mirror

AUTHOR PROFILE: Valerie Joan Connors is the author of four novels, A Better Truth (Deeds Publishing, 2016), A Promise Made (Deeds Publishing, 2015), Shadow of a Smile (Deeds Publishing, 2014) and In Her Keeping (Bell Bridge Books, 2013).

The child of an artist and a musician, Valerie was born in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan a long time ago. Her family moved her out west, where she spent her formative years in Eugene, Oregon. Then she bounced up and down the west coast, spending time in San Diego, Seattle, and Portland, before her job as a software consultant brought her to Atlanta in 1996, the same day as the Olympic torch.

While writing her first traditionally published novel, In Her Keeping, Valerie became drawn to the plight of tigers in captivity, after meeting the eight-week old tiger cub in a sanctuary in North Carolina that was the inspiration for the book. In addition to her next thriller, Valerie is working on a novel that will follow some of the characters from In Her Keeping as they explore the world of trophy hunting in Africa and the impact it has had on the African lion, a rapidly diminishing species. Valerie is a lifelong animal person who has no patience for bullies of any kind.

Valerie credits her association with the Atlanta Writers Club with the fact that her four novels were both written and published. She has happily served on the AWC Board since 2011 in nearly every capacity, including as AWC President from 2013 to 2015. She continues to serve as the VP of Programming and Officer Emerita. During business hours, Valerie is the CFO of an engineering firm. She is a dog person, and supports lion, tiger, and elephant conservation efforts, and hopes to raise awareness through her writing. Valerie lives in Norcross with her husband and two rescue dogs, and is working on her next novel.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: I think a lot of people will relate to what the main character experiences when the “busy-ness” of her life becomes overwhelming. However, Willow experiences stress in a much different way than most of us. She is plagued with night terrors and waking hallucinations. Or, are they memories?

SAMPLE CHAPTER: The first chapter of each of my books is posted on my website: http://www.valeriejoanconnors.com. There you’ll also find book club discussion questions. I love visiting book clubs in the Atlanta metro area, and would be happy to make a virtual appearance via teleconference.

LOCAL OUTLETS: Bookmiser in Alpharetta, Georgia

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Deeds Publishing: wwww.deedspublishing.com

PRICE: Cover price $17.95

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Website: http://www.valeriejoanconnors.com Email: author@valeriejoanconnors.com

Twitter: @VJConnors Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/Valerie-Joan-Connors-Author-178400845541233/

Weather Report, Feb. 13

African Penguins

(PHOTO ABOVE FROM UKTV)

THIS WEEK’S TWO FEATURED BOOKS, “WITCH BALL,” BY ADELE ELLIOTT AND “INSPIRATION STREET,” BY DARRELL LAURANT, CAN BE FOUND (ALONG WITH THE “FIRST TUESDAY REPLAY”), BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST, OR BY CLICKING ON THE AUTHOR’S NAME ON OUR AUTHOR PAGE.

————————————————————–

Happy Valentine’s Day, a day in advance. Have you thought about buying your beloved a book?

This week’s Snowflakes offerings, for example, offer a little something for everyone.

For openers, we are honored to have Dyan deNapoli’s “The Great Penguin Rescue” join our long list of featured work.

Because the U.S. media generally only covers events in other countries if they involve the overthrow of the government, a natural disaster or a series of explosions, you may well have missed hearing about this ecological catastrophe when it occurred in 2000.

Dyan’s Snowflakes template explains: “The Great Penguin Rescue tells the remarkable true story of the rescue of 40,000 penguins from the Treasure oil spill in South Africa. This historic event, which spanned more than three months in 2000, still stands as the largest and most successful animal rescue ever undertaken. This gripping first-person account is seen through the eyes of Dyan deNapoli, who was a Penguin Aquarist at Boston’s New England Aquarium at the time, and a member of the first team of penguin experts to fly to Cape Town from the US to help manage the massive rescue operation. In what was an intensely grueling effort, the rescue team and more than 12,500 completely inexperienced volunteers cleaned, fed, rehabilitated, and released back into the wild nearly all of the penguins affected by the oil spill.”

Dyan describes herself as “a penguin expert, TED speaker, educator, author, and life-long adventurer. I was raised in a small coastal town in Massachusetts, and have always felt a very powerful connection to animals and the ocean. I always dreamed of doing something to help save endangered species, but couldn’t imagine what one person could possibly do to make a difference.  

“Working as a rehabilitation manager during the Treasure oil spill rescue in Cape Town, South Africa was a tremendous privilege – and it was, by far, the most rewarding experience of my life. Having witnessed firsthand the devastating impact of oiling on 40,000 penguins, I am now more determined than ever to do everything in my power to protect these vulnerable seabirds. For this reason, I donate 20% of the proceeds from my book and from every speaking engagement to penguin rescue, research, and conservation groups. 

“I’m a frequent guest on radio and TV shows in the US and abroad, including interviews with the BBC, CNN, and CBC-Radio Canada. I lecture about penguins; pursuing your dreams; and how to give a TED talk at conferences, grade schools and colleges, museums and science centers, assisted living centers, and on nature cruises. In December of 2106, I made my second trip to Antarctica – this time with Homeward Bound; a groundbreaking leadership initiative for women in science. I’m excited to be returning to Antarctica again as a Global Perspectives Guest Speaker for Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic. I’ve had the honor of speaking at four TEDx conferences – my talk about the penguin rescue can be viewed on TED.com. Link is here: http://www.ted.com/talks/dyan_denapoli_the_great_penguin_rescue.

————————————————————————–

ALSO FEATURED ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD FOR FEB. 14-20.

“BUCKLAND GAP,” BY CHARLES STANLEY WILTSHIRE.

The American “inner city” has not only spawned a host of social problems, but proven a rich source of books, movies and music. What we sometimes fail to realize is that this setting — and the people who deal with its challenges — is replicated in virtually every other industrialized country on the world map.

Like England, for instance, as Charles Wiltshire tells us in this book.

“With shades of Clockwork Orange and Trainspotting, new author Charlie Wiltshire gives an unflinching, and often times disturbing, account of life on one of England’s most difficult estates. From the details of ‘pulling gear’ to the politics of cancer, Buckland Gap asks if society can ever be saved. Even from itself.

“A can of lager, a cigarette and a well-placed scratch. Thus begins David’s day. Being a hard geezer on the Buckland estate ain’t easy, but David has the crown. He’s got the girls, sprogs, flash car and the meanest headbutt in Portsmouth. His days are filled with crime filled sprees to ensure his obese mother has her requisite fags, booze and curry. But even a thug like David has aspirations and his foray into drug-dealing is seen as a step-up. But through a serious of increasingly violent events, David’s kingdom erodes, unravels and culminates in an explosive finale.”

“A BETTER TRUTH,” BY VALERIE JOAN CONNORS.

A Better Truth is a psychological thriller whose central character struggles to recognize the difference between reality and hallucination, nightmare and memory.

When the frantic pace of her Washington, D.C. life becomes too much for her to bear, Willow St. Claire takes refuge in the North Georgia Mountains. She buys a bookstore, hoping to spend her days talking to customers about the latest releases, and her evenings in the quiet oasis of her mountain retreat. Alone in her cabin, two miles away from the nearest neighbor, Willow must learn to cope with the terror of her past, heal from the loss of her mother, and maintain a relationship with a teenaged daughter who refuses to leave D.C. where she lives with her father. But a knock at Willow’s kitchen door late one night, sets off a series of events that will shatter her newly found peace and tranquility, and threaten to trigger another breakdown. Willow has held tightly to her own version of the truth for over three decades, because for her, real truth is much too disturbing.


SNOWFLAKES NEWS

I received this e-mail last week from Brian Simpson, whose “Island Dogs” was the first book featured on Snowflakes in a Blizzard in May of 2015. He writes:

“‘Island Dogs’ has a new cover. It turns out that if you name a book  ‘Island Dogs’ and then put a dog on the cover, people strongly believe that the book is about dogs. With hind sight being 20/20 and all that, it now seems obvious. So what was there to do, but spend more money and fix it!”

I’m also going to my first ‘Meet the Author’ function. It’s me and three other authors. I’ll let you know how it goes. Or if you’re in the St Petersburg neighborhood on the 18th, stop on by. (The flyer was made before the new cover came out).

Witch Ball

Witch Ball by [Elliott, Adele]

THIS WEEK’S OTHER FEATURED BOOK, “INSPIRATION STREET,” BY DARRELL LAURANT, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST, (ALONG WITH THE FIRST TUESDAY REPLAY), OR BY CLICKING ON THE AUTHOR’S NAME ON OUR AUTHOR PAGE.

——————————–

THE BOOK: Witch Ball

PUBLISHED IN: 2014

THE AUTHOR: Adele Elliott

THE EDITOR: David Ross

THE PUBLISHER: Open Books

SUMMARY: A kooky transvestite aunt, a shocking murder, and three generations of family secrets collide to make a high school girl’s summer anything but boring.

Gertrude (Truly) Moore is at loose ends during a sweltering summer in Columbus, Mississippi. Her crush on college boy, Eric, meets surprising resistance from her parents, Kay and Tommy, and her Grandfather Hyrum. Their motives for objecting to Eric are as bewildering as the two-headed snake that Hyrum once owned.

“Witch Ball” exposes the prejudices and long standing emotional wounds of a small southern town. Complex relationships are intertwined in this mystery of a witch hunt, leading to psychic healing. This novel is true “Southern Gothic”, touched with magic. It is Flannery O’Connor meets Fannie Flagg, humorous, tragic, and a bit absurd.

Adele Elliott HeadshotTHE BACK STORY: Kay and Tommy harbor a long-standing bitterness against Eric’s parents that is rooted in high-school heartbreak. But, there was something else. Ruby (Eric’s mother) was raised by Clementine, a black cleaning-lady who had worked in Kay’s childhood home. Races do not mix well in Columbus. Although, Ruby was perceived as being white, adopted as an infant, the stigma of her black “mother” was a source of prejudice.

WHY THIS TITLE: A witch ball is a charm to attract good spirits to a home. Aunt Fleur creates these.

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT:  There are two themes to the book. One is the idea that we can create our own reality, and our identity. Aunt Fleur altered her gender and her persona. She helps her great-niece to evolve from Gertrude into Truly.

There is a more important cautionary message advising us to be careful who we deify, or vilify. Demons may not have pointy horns and tails, and angels may not have wings.

REVIEW COMMENTS: By traveler2 on May 2, 2014

“I just finished reading Elliott’s WITCH BALL and would like to recommend it without reservation for a thoroughly entertaining, easy read. I’m generally a slow reader but gobbled this one up in less than a day. It’s definitely not heavy literature, and if that’s what you need, then go read one of the classics. But if you want to be entertained by believable characters from a small Southern city, read WITCH BALL. This is Elliott’s second book in less than six months, and I think that she’s on a roll. In this story, Truly (Gertrude) Moore becomes involved in the life of a “tranny aunt” who is despised by a city full of Baptists who don’t tolerate those who are not like themselves. “Who’s yo mama and where do they go to church…?” A good, quick read with important lessons.

By Bridget Figenshu on July 1, 2014

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

“Loved it. Can’t wait for her next book. Great read. Couldn’t put it down. Characters were so colorful and interesting.”

By Maria on June 10, 2014

“Character Development and Plot: In some ways, this story reminds me of To Kill a Mockingbird. It has discrimination, a trial, and a young girl’s view of the events. However, it revolves around a different discrimination – transgender and transvestites. Truly is a fifteen year old girl on summer break in the South. She adores her aunt and seeks advice from her. At the beginning of the book, Truly has a crush on Eric, a college boy who works at the local library. Things turn upside down with a death of a local boy and then the murder of the track coach. Secrets come out not only in the community but also in Truly’s own family. The book focuses on sexual orientation and discrimination within the South. Truly grows up during the summer. She must learn to stand up and go against the crowd. She forms her own opinions on what is considered right or wrong. She also learns about forgiveness. In today’s world where gay rights are on the news more often, this book focuses on how society is hard to change their views. It lightly brings in religion – specifically Baptists – as well as the law.”

AUTHOR PROFILE: Adele Elliott is a painter, a psychic, and a designer of fantasy tiaras. She is a New Orleans native who has been exiled in Mississippi since her home, and most of her sanity, were blown away by an evil wind named Katrina. In this alternate reality she proudly wears the title of “Poster Girl for Liberals”.

Adele’s first novel, Friendship Cemetery, was released in 2013. Her second novel, Witch Ball, was released in 2014. She has published numerous short stories, has written an opinion column for The Commercial Dispatch, and is a frequent contributor to Catfish Alley Magazine.

Dovie, Adele’s third novel will be released in spring 2017.

Adele lives in a big purple, green and gold house with her wonderful husband, Chris Hannon, and three “children”, Charlotte Russe (the wild dingo dog), Freda Jolie (lady dog), and Loa (a magical boy-cat).

AUTHOR COMMENTS: “I am so flattered and excited to be invited to post in this group of readers and writers. I send you all my best wishes for peace and much success in this new year.”

SAMPLE CHAPTER: http://adeleelliott.com/witch-ball-excerpt/

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon.com

PRICE: Paperback – 15.95 new, Kindle 2.99

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: adele@adeleelliott.com

Inspiration Street

THE BOOK: Inspiration Street.

PUBLISHED IN
: 2016.


THE AUTHOR:
  Darrell Laurant.

THE EDITOR
: Nancy Marion, Blackwell Press.

THE PUBLISHER
: Blackwell Press, Createspace.

SUMMARY: “Inspiration Street” profiles a remarkable group of people who lived and thrived on just two blocks of Pierce Street in Lynchburg, VA during the years of segregation. People like:

Anne Spencer, a late-blooming poet who became the only female African-American included in the prestigious “Norton Anthology of American Poetry.” Meanwhile, her home at 1313 Pierce became a mecca for literary figures of the Harlem Renaissance.

Her son Chauncey, a pioneer aviator and one of the original organizers of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Walter Johnson, a physician in Lynchburg and former college football star, taught future Wimbledon and U.S. Open champions Arthur Ashe and Althea Gibson the fine points of tennis on his backyard clay court.

Frank Trigg, a previous owner of Johnson’s house at 1422 Pierce, was born a slave and lost an arm to a plantation farming accident as a youth. Nevertheless, he eventually became the president of three colleges.

C.W. Seay, who spent 30 years as principal of the segregated Dunbar High School, turning it into one of the top secondary schools in the country, white or black.

Amaza Meredith, the product of a racially mixed marriage, was a self-taught architect who not only designed a cutting edge college building at Virginia State University but an entire subdivision on Long Island.

Ota Benga. A Congolese pygmy, he was brought to the U.S. for the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis and wound up being exhibited in a cage in the Bronx Zoo, along with an orangutan.  The resulting protest, especially from African-American groups, caused the zoo to release him into the care of a religious school in Lynchburg. While he never actually lived on Pierce Street, he spent time there and was tutored by Anne Spencer.

THE BACK STORY: As a long-time newspaper columnist in Lynchburg, I occasionally wrote articles about the individuals listed above — first about their histories, then about current efforts to preserve their legacy. At some point, it stuck me that all of them were from the same two blocks of an outwardly unremarkable inner city street in an out-of-the-way southern city. When I found out that Pierce Street had been laid down on the site of a defunct training camp for Confederate soldiers, the larger story became irresistible.

WHY THIS TITLE?: Something about this street seemed to inspire the people who lived there.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT?
It can be argued that these stories represent black history in microcosm. But even if you set aside the racial aspect, they’re just inspiring stories.

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“‘Inspiration Street’ is just the best kind of history–personal, detailed, full of real people. It is a delightful blend of “the rich life story of an out-of-the-way street in an out-of-the-way city,” and the backdrop of the massive cultural shifts that moved this nation into and through the Civil Rights Era. Darrell Laurant is a storyteller and understands that at the heart of a good narrative is the individual story that reveals the larger truth.”– Patricia Dean Robertson, author of “Looking for Lydia, Looking for God.”

“A great and real ‘street level’ story.” — Victor Cardwell, former Pierce Street resident.

“Inspiration Street is a beautiful tapestry of the interconnecting lives and experiences that intersected in these two blocks in Lynchburg, VA. I was hooked from early on, and didn’t want to stop reading when it ended.

“The narrative surpasses the local nature of two city blocks. The stories of individuals and their accomplishments, most of whom prevailed over multiple obstacles, have implications for American social history. As a still white-focused American society (ironically, given the rapidly changing demographics), the contributions of all but the most broadly famous African-Americans are little known. (Many of those who were well known, by the way, visited Pierce Street, some multiple times.)

The direct connections of most of the residents of Pierce Street with former slaves or first-generation descendants of slaves revealed a strength and determination of those residents to rise above, to utilize and maximize their talents and skills for the continued advancement of a population previously (and frighteningly) treated by much of the old south as unworthy of humane treatment.

“In contrast, their humanness and their humanity shone through, along with their amazing intellect and talents.  It is a fascinating story—of artists and educators, athletes and professionals, of their connections with such luminaries ranging from U.S. Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall and Jackie Robinson to Duke Ellington and Maya Angelou, and even Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. One of the residents, Anne Spencer, in addition to winning accolades for her poetry, opened her home on Pierce Street to many of the leading lights of the Harlem Renaissance.

“Inspiration Street is a gem of a story that draws you into the world of these two blocks of Pierce Street in the first half of the twentieth century and beyond to its present day resurgence and recognition of its broader place in history.” — Dawn Lajeunesse, author of “Star Catching” and “In Her Mother’s Shoes.”

AUTHOR PROFILE: After a somewhat nomadic childhood (he lived in six different cities growing up) and short stints with newspapers in Columbia and Charleston, SC, Laurant settled in for 36 years with the News & Advance, a daily in Lynchburg, VA, the last 32 as the paper’s local columnist. After retiring from journalism, he and his wife Gail moved to Lake George, NY, where he continues to write and observe. He is the author of four books — “Even Here: A Small Virginia Community, a Violent Decade,”A City Unto Itself: Lynchburg, VA in the 20th Century,” “The Kudzu Kid” (a novel) and “Inspiration Street,” and is currently finishing his second novel, “The Last Supper League.”

In 2015, he started Snowflakes in a Blizzard, a free marketing service, as a way to get original writing in front of the reading public.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: “I’m on a mission to introduce these remarkable Pierce Street folks to the wider world.”

SAMPLE CHAPTER: On Amazon.

LOCAL OUTLETS: Givens Books, Lynchburg, VA.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or through the author.

PRICE: $9.99 during Black History Month.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: My e-mail is writersbridge@hotmail.com. I’m also on Twitter #bookblizzard, Linked-In and Facebook.

First Tuesday Replay, Feb. 7

THIS FEATURE HAS A TWO-FOLD PURPOSE: 1. TO ALLOW THOSE RECENTLY ADDED TO OUR FOLLOWER’S LIST TO LEARN ABOUT BOOKS THEY MIGHT HAVE MISSED AND 2. TO MAKE SURE PREVIOUSLY FEATURED AUTHORS AND THEIR WORK AREN’T FORGOTTEN. IF YOU’D LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ANY ONE OF THE BOOKS REVISITED HERE, SIMPLY CLICK ON THE “AUTHOR” PAGE, THEN ON THAT AUTHOR’S NAME.

——————————————————————-

“THE FESTIVAL OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS,” BY MATT DOJNY

Festival of Earthly DelightsWhat exactly is the “Festival of Taang Lôke Kwaam Banterng Sumitchanani“? It’s a 24-hour water balloon blitzkrieg, a ruthless talent competition, and an earth-scorching, take-no-prisoners bacchanalia. It’s the one day of the year when everyone has a shot at finding true love–even a rapacious, over-sexed turtle god. It’s a celebration of hobos and heartbreak, Lionel Richie impersonators and banana-brandy-flavored rice wine. It’s The Festival of Earthly Delights.

Boyd Darrow is a young American living in Puchai, a tiny Southeast Asian country that tourist brochures refer to as “The Kingdom of Winks.” In a series of letters written to a mysterious recipient, Boyd tells of the delights, humiliations and brain-bending misadventures he experiences while adjusting to life in the small college town of Mai Mor. He and his somewhat less-than-faithful girlfriend, Ulla, were hoping to start their lives over in Puchai, but Puchai has an agenda all its own.

Ulla’s been hired to organize the talent show at the town’s annual “Festival of Taang,” but she seems more interested in the possibilities of cultural exchange with a local revolutionary. Meanwhile, Boyd grapples with a culture in which baby owls are considered a delicacy, turtles are worshipped as deities, and a wink can have one of 379 possible meanings (including “You’re fired,” “There’s something in my eye,” and “I want to kiss your lips!”). He’s also falling for his boss’s daughter, a half-Puchanese girl with a black eye and a troubling past. Lines are crossed, secrets are revealed, and, as Boyd’s life inevitably spins out of control, the Festival draws closer with each day…

Hilarious and wise and fiercely original, The Festival of Earthly Delights is a no-holds-barred celebration of love, cultural differences, and one man’s reluctant embrace of the sensual pleasures of this world, in all their awkward, enigmatic glory.

“THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE,” BY ELIZABETH MOORE

Welcome to Cedar Mill, a late-nineteenth century industrial town in the heart of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Rachel Morris—young, outspoken, and impulsive—becomes involved in a consuming relationship with David Cranmer, her long-time friend and partner-in-crime. Set against the backdrop of a vividly-imagined historical town that is itself in the throes of major change, this relationship comes to affect Rachel and David (and all who know them) in ways that are simultaneously deeply-felt, heartbreaking and revealing.

Meanwhile, in present-day Boston, twenty-something Emma Harris is reeling from the recent death of her mother. Teetering on the edge of depression and yearning for the certainty of knowledge, Emma undertakes a journey of discovery that ultimately leads her to the ruins of a Pine Barrens ghost town, where she might come to encounter the curious interplay between what is known and what is not, between truth and life—and, in so doing, find closure.

“BEHOLD THE BEAUTY, BY MONICA SHARMAN.

Do you feel unfamiliar with the Bible and want a friendly introduction? Have you been reading the Bible for years but could use a fresh approach—or a flavorful jolt? Are you thinking of inviting a friend to read the Bible, who has never read it before?

In thMonica Sharmanese pages you’ll find unique ideas such as:

• How to clear up confusing parts of the Bible
• How to read the Bible like a journalist, museum visitor, or doodler would
• How to find words and phrases that reveal more of God’s heart and desires

With each chapter a metaphor for Bible reading, Behold the Beauty gives a warm welcome to the pages of the Bible. Come on in!

“STRAYS,” BY JENNIFER CALOYERAS

When a note in Iris’s journal is mistaken as a threat against her English teacher, she finds herself in trouble not only with school authorities but with the law.

In addition to summer school, dog-phobic Iris is sentenced to an entire summer of community service, rehabilitating troubled dogs. Iris believes she is nothing like Roman, the three-legged pit bull who is struggling to overcome his own dark past, not to mention the other humans in the program. But when Roman’s life is on the line, Iris learns that counting on the help of others may be the only way to save him.

When a note in Iris’s journal is mistaken as a threat against her English teacher, she finds herself in trouble not only with school authorities but with the law.

In addition to summer school, dog-phobic Iris is sentenced to an entire summer of community service, rehabilitating troubled dogs. Iris believes she is nothing like Roman, the three-legged pit bull who is struggling to overcome his own dark past, not to mention the other humans in the program. But when Roman’s life is on the line, Iris learns that counting on the help of others may be the only way to save him.

Faithfully Yours

“FAITHFULLY YOURS,” BY PEGGY FREZON

Heartwarming true stories about amazing animals and the people who love animals, with chapters on devotion, acceptance, compassion, guidance, and more. Meet everyday heroes, such as the husky who escaped his house in order to visit his owner in the hospital, the cat who ministered to stressed-out college students, the gorilla who protected a little boy who fell into his enclosure at the zoo, and the miniature horse who guides a blind teacher….as well as compassionate people who heal, rescue, protect, and care for animals. Faithfully Yours explore “the amazing bond between us and the animals we love” and how that bond mirrors and enhances our relationship with God. For anyone who’s ever experienced the life-altering love of–and for–a furry companion.

“FLOYD THE DOG,” BY DONALD G. FORD

The book focuses on animals the world over. These short stories were accepted for publication by Floydthedog.com out of Portugal with 7,000 book club readers in 62 countries. The purpose of writing was to cause awareness for endangered animals all over the globe.