Thursday, April 26, 2012

A is for Apple: A Horsey Alphabet by Ellen C Maze

You've never seen an alphabet book like this one. My two-year-old can't put it down. The illustrations are enchanting while the prose teaches the sound of each letter. Your child will fall in love with horses and the alphabet at the same time.
Each page is full of color and every equine illustrates letters in their own special way. This one of the best alphabet books I've ever seen.
Forming Letters with incredible flexibility, 26 distinct horse friends teach not only the alphabet, but also alliteration and a few fun adjectives along the way! From the golden Palomino on page one: "Adorable Annie ate all of the apples with abandon." To the crispy sorrel Clydesdale towards the end: "Victorious Vinnie vamoosed with all of Velma's visible vegetables." All children, young and old, will be charmed by this adorable new book by bestselling Christian Thriller novelist Ellen C. Maze. Written with help of her seven-year-old daughter (now nineteen-year-old novelist/artist) Elizabeth Little.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Opening by Ron Savarese

A story of redemption, forgiveness, and awakening to the healing power of love

 The Opening addresses the age-old question 'what happens when we die?' with a spiritual fantasy of immense charm and imagination. At once an insightful meditation on life's passages and a vision of unearthly realms, it creates its own enchanted worlds where characters connect with one another between here and the hereafter across the thinnest of lines.

"Joe St. John wanders out into a blizzard and falls through an opening that leads him to amazing, sometimes harrowing places where he encounters the major turning points in his life. Along the way, he revisits his missed opportunities, uncovers his life's core trauma, and is given mysterious geometrical symbols that hold the key to his future. As Joe's soul hovers between two worlds he will discover the truth about life and death, and be confronted with the ultimate choice: save his own life, or give it up for someone he loves."

A sparkling, hallucinatory, fast-paced read with unexpected twists of plot, imbued with a
childlike sense of wonder. You'll love floating in the book's magical dreamscape, and may find yourself wanting to read it again and again to uncover its mystical insights and layers of meaning.

Book trailer link:

About the author:
Ron Savarese was born in 1957 in Ashtabula, Ohio. Upon graduating from Kent State University with a degree in Journalism he moved to Atlanta, Georgia to work as a financial advisor for a U.S. investment firm.

He stuffed his passion for writing and storytelling in his briefcase for nearly 30 years while he built a career as a senior executive in the global financial services arena.

After several life-changing events and wake-up calls in the early part of the new millenium he focused his energy on creative writing. "The Opening" is his first novel. He is currently working on his next book, a sequel.

Ron still resides in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife and their two dogs. They have two adult sons. He is a professional financial advisor, executive/life coach, and a certified meditation instructor.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

short story

For some time now I’ve been flirting with the idea to write a short story on this blog; one that continued for several of my own posts. Now, in light of having no book to review and no other bright ideas I’m just going to go for it. It will be a great writing exercise for me and something to work on when I get stuck on my current WIP. So, here goes nothing:
The life of a computer diagnostician is a less than glamorous one but for Benjamin Dunlap it was downright pathetic. He wouldn’t say so if you asked him though. He’d probably tell you how the pay was great and his coworkers are nice and even though the hours are long- which is mostly his own fault- it’s the best job he’s ever had.
What he wouldn’t tell you; what he’d be mortified and ultimately fired if any one knew is that the best thing about his job is the secret lives he finds in the hard drives of the personal computers he spends his days fixing. Letters, collage papers, pictures, any personal thing that can be pulled out of the computers memory he transfers to a memory stick for later reading. Journals entries are a treasured find for Ben giving him weeks of “analysis” as he calls it.
This part of his life is kept well hidden and for good reason, no one would understand. Ben doesn’t see this as a violation of others privacy or the sick habit of a lonely man, though he is lonely. No, he sees himself as a witness to their lives. In studying their strengths, talents, and weaknesses he has come to pride himself as a great proficient in human behavior and personalities. As justified and responsible as a priest receiving confessions; Ben feels like the patron saint of their secrets.
In respect to the lives he pieces together in his humble studio apartment he would never, ever seek out or try to contact one. Because despite his deep sense of camaraderie to his particularly favorite individuals he knew- ironically- it would be simply crossing a line to meet them. That is until he came across the computer belonging to Stacy Atwood.
To be continued…

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Inside Out & Back Again by: Thanha Lai

No on would believe me
but at times
I would choose
wartime in Saigon
peacetime in Alabama

For all the ten years of her life, Ha has only known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, the warmth of her friends close by . . . and the beauty of her very own papaya tree.
But know the Vietnam War has reached her home, Ha and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope. In America, Ha discovers the foreign world of Alabama: the coolness of its strangers, the dullness of its food, the strange shape of its landscape . . . and the strength of her very own family.

This is a moving story of one girl's year of change, dreams, grief, and healing as she journeys from one country to another, one life to the next.
"Open this book, read it slowly to savor the delicious language. Before closing it, go back to the beginning, this time to let the story of ten-year-old Ha and the year she escaped from south Vietnam, 1975, leaving behind the world she knew and loved, sink in. Read it again to notice how perfect the thin line of the prose itself mirrors the thin line that Ha walks that year. This is a book that asks the reader to be careful, to pay attention, to sigh at the end."
~Kathi Appelt
Reading this book was like eating a satisfying and delicious meal. All you do at the end is
get lost in thought and sigh of peace and happiness.
I would recommend this book for ages 8 and up.