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THE LONG WAY HOME: Based on the True Story of Slaves Thomas Peters and Murphy Steele ~Kevin Bannister

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

THE LONG WAY HOME is just crackerjack good historic fiction.  I would like to recommend it for schools for Black History Month and any of the folks who love reading about the Revolutionary War and Slavery and Success-World Changers.

Thomas and Murphy are young boys living in the 1700’s who are working on a Southern Plantation and they keep running away.  One has lived all his life on the Plantation and worked in the schoolhouse, the other is a highly educated “prince” from an African tribe recently sold into slavery by his uncle.

The two are always planning and working hard.   They are watching out for the bounty hunters and being captured and sold over and over again, even with all the whippings and branding marks used to torture them.

On one of their runs they discover the British solders have made an offer, they run towards to sign up to receive freedom and land enough to farm.  They are good warriors and workers in the Black Brigade during the War for Independence.

I could not find research information that Kevin Bannister used to collect this story but maybe the mention of Murphy Steele writing down his story at the end of the book is the source of discovery for the author?

TLC Book Tours did send me an advance copy of the book and also shared these reviews on their site:

“The author has written about such a sensitive topic and in a very beautiful way. The reader will become immersed in a reality that may seem too distant, but written in a language that conjures very vivid images, a tale that will speak to the hearts of readers with eloquence. Bannister has successfully combined historical facts with glowing imagination to deliver a masterpiece that will be well received by lovers of historical fiction. His language succinctly portrays the world of a slave and the injustices prevalent in that world.”–Romuald Dzemo, author of Courage To Embrace Yourself and You Can’t Be A Failure

About Kevin Bannister

Kevin Bannister is a rancher and writer living in the beautiful foothills of central Alberta. He would like Thomas Peters and Murphy Steele to be celebrated as the heroes that they were in their lifetimes and to be inspirations to young people everywhere to persevere in the face of bigotry, poverty, government indifference or any other adversity.

“Kevin Bannister’s Long Way Home is a novel that grabs your attention from the start and keeps you riveted to the last word. . It is written around an era where the life of an Indigenous North American, and a person of African roots, were deemed by Caucasians to be easily expendable and not a thing to trouble a conscience. It highlights in great detail the fact that when greed and self- interest came to the forefront during the American Revolution that Caucasian brothers had no compulsion about inflicting unspeakable barbarities upon each other. An unforgettable read!”–Dr. Daniel N. Paul, C.M., O.N.S., LLD, DLIT, Mi’kmaw eldering, author of We Were Not The Savages, Order of Canada recipient, journalist and lecturer, www.danielpaul.com

I truly believe that history fiction is a wonderful way to explore history and learn about life, which came before.

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Related:
A Snug Life Somewhere
The Paper Garden
A Beautiful Poison

THE TALENTED RIBKINS: A Novel ~Ladee Hubbard

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Winner of the 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award

THE TALENTED RIBKINS was, “Inspired by W.E.B. Du Bois’s famous essay “The Talented Tenth” and fuelled by Ladee Hubbard’s marvelously original imagination, The Talented Ribkins is a big-hearted debut novel about race, class, politics, and the unique gifts that, while they may cause some problems from time to time, bind a family together. “

Johnny Ribkin has now reached his 70s and life should be much easier and it is not.  His mobster boss is demanding the return of some money that Johnny has been taking for pay and has hidden in buried important spots all over Florida.  As he follows his map of hidey – holes, he discovers that his brother left a 13-year-old daughter, who has a special talent and her mother cannot pay the mortgage.  Johnny ends up sharing his retrieved cash with Eloise’s Mother and then taking Eloise on his adventure to find his funds and introduce her to her family.  Actually, every descendant in the Rib King’s family tree has a special talent and they find themselves happy to use their talent to their best advantage.  The family has some most unusual talents!

Johnny, his brother and his cousins in their youth formed together to create a Justice Committee.  This group protected and assisted folks who were working on civil rights and political action.  They formed a bond that was difficult to break and yet they needed more funds to keep going, which ultimately broke up the group.  Johnny was still trying to create the perfect map for the future – he just needed more money.  He discovered lots of corruption among politicians and that often their word was not true and he got roped into helping a mobster lawyer steal.

Eloise is a bright young woman working out very carefully how her talent might be useful to her and her future.  She enjoys learning about her family and their talents as she travels with her Uncle Johnny.  Her family is very funny and her curiosity creates a backdrop for the story to unfold.  The duo is on a mission and it is wonder full.

“For sheer reading pleasure Ladee Hubbard’s original and wildly inventive novel is in a class by itself.” —Toni Morrison, Nobel Prize-winning author of The Bluest Eye, Beloved, and Song of Solomon

“Crafty and wistful…Hubbard weaves this narrative with prodigious skill and compelling warmth. You anticipate a movie while wondering if any movie could do this fascinating family…well, justice. To describe this novel, as someone inevitably will, as Song of Solomon reimagined as a Marvel Comics franchise is to shortchange its cleverness and audacity.” —Kirkus, starred review

I enjoyed every page, the interesting writing style and the clever story.  The interesting politics and discoveries were just an added bonus.  Ah the bonds of family – THE TALENTED RIBKINS

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“Ladee Hubbard is the winner of the 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition for the Short Story. She holds a BA from Princeton University, an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University, an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin, and a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles. She lives in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Talented Ribkins is her first novel.”

Ladee Hubbard Facebook

Related:
Gypsy Mother Summer
A Tale For The Time Being
Language Arts

LAW AND DISORDER: A Thriller – or A Harlequin Intrigue Novel ~Heather Graham

Friday, February 17th, 2017

LAW AND DISORDER is the newest book by Heather Graham. “New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Heather Graham has written more than a hundred novels. She’s a winner of the RWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the International Thrillers Writers’ Silver Bullet. She is an active member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America. For More information, check out her website or Facebook.” (Book cover)

Dakota Cameron’s family has inherited a stunning house on Biscayne Bay in Florida, near the Everglades. The house has become a small resort/hotel and a Mob Figure, who was into many levels of crime and bootlegging, originally built it as his retreat. He left a message about a buried treasure and Dakota is the most knowledgeable person about the history of the building and maybe she knows the location of the treasure that no one has been able to find.

Another despicable crime figure has decided to locate the treasure and after numerous crime sprees he has amassed a team to help him succeed. In the beginning, he overtakes the resort holding people hostage and making his demands. Dakota is home from New York City, where she is an actress and is held for ransom until she reveals the treasure to Nathan Appleby. What no one knows it that one of Appleby’s team is an undercover FBI agent. The tension to resolution theme is set and the action moves forward as a very assertive Dakota leads the villains to what they want.

I thought the information sharing about Florida was fabulous in this story. I read it over a weekend and as I finished I hopped on the computer and Googled The COE Visitors Center, Royal Palm Visitors Center, The Everglades and Miccosukee Tribal information. I wasn’t very interesting in the alligators or the crocodiles, but I did get caught up on two sights about the bird songs and snakes of the Everglades. I was glad for the introduction of these things in the story. Graham dedicated the book to a number of people and to her State of Florida. I can tell that she likes her State very much.

A week later when I was writing this review, I could not remember what the book was about. I thought it was one theme and then I knew that was not correct so I went back and re-read several sections to remind myself of the story line. This is usually not a problem for me and after some evaluation; I have decided that the title, a very good one, does not fit the story. I could not even remember it was a romance. For me the title and the story did not fit together. It was a good quick read and I liked the Dakota character and her employee Vance and how they set the stage for all my research on Florida. I think it was a good romance but I could not connect because I have never met a man from Florida, who I thought was a good person or treated women well. Dave Berry, the journalist/writer, does make me laugh, but I am not thinking romantically about him! I totally lost interest in the love object in the story as soon as I discovered he was from Florida.

This is a TLC Book Tours book and was a good read LAW AND DISORDER

Related
Where We Fall 
Once Upon A Lie
The Alligator Man 

THE UNFORGIVEABLE FIX: A Justice Novel, Book #3 ~T. E. Woods

Monday, October 6th, 2014

“She looked across the broad boardwalk of Percival Landing to the narrow harbor filled with sailboats and tugs. Olympia’s west side climbed up a gentle hill of middle-class homes with million-dollar views.”

THE UNFORGIVEABLE FIX is the third book in the trilogy by T.E. Woods.  When TLC Book Tours asked me to review this book and sent me an advanced copy e-book, I was thrilled and full of suspense because I had reviewed book I – THE FIXER – and I just loved the book and the writing.    I had not read book II – THE RED HOT FIX so TLC Book Tours arranged a copy of that book for me to review on October 13th! I did read and review book II before I read book III, just for the record.  THE UNFORGIVEABLE FIX with be released on October 14, 2014.  One can pre – order it now.

T.E. Woods is a Psychologist and I follow her on Facebook where she has lots of fun things to share.  The first scene of THE UNFORGIVEABLE FIX begins in Olympia and once again I know just exactly where Dr. Lydia Corriger is sitting in downtown and looking up at my house!  Now if that were not enough of a hook for this reader, my counseling career has been centered around domestic violence and child sexual abuse, which are the center group of clients an intern, a memory researcher, is working with as Dr. Lydia Corriger supervises his practicum for licensing.   Lydia is just returning to her practice after recovering from a gunshot wound to the head in book one.  She had been helping Mort Grant a Seattle Police Detective track down a vigilante assassin.

The book is well paced and keeps the pages turning with all the interesting ideas and possibilities.  Then we fly to Barbados and into the world of drug dealing and international supply and demand routes.  There is plenty of wealth and ruthless activity going on in this scene.  A Russian drug mobster kills guards and robs a drug storage facility in Florida and a mutilating retaliation is ordered; the favorite girlfriend of the drug boss realizes she will be next if she doesn’t disappear – she heads home to Seattle.

Child sexual abuse is a running theme in all three books, as Lydia Corriger was repeated abused as a child in the foster care system.  She is working to fix the problems and figure out protection and recovery for all the girls.  She is very professional but this work arouses many feelings for her and these hold her back from having a relationship with others.  She has built a safe and well equipped home hidden in the woods and looking out onto the Sound.  What a story- I know nearly everyone will enjoy – THE UNFORGIVEABLE FIX

The series is being described as a “run-away success”  and I would agree.

T. E. Woods Facebook
T. E. Woods Website
T. E. Woods Blog

“T.E.Woods is a clinical psychologist and author living in Madison, Wisconsin.  For random insight into how her strange mind works, follow her” (from publicity material)

Related:
The Fixer
The Red Hot Fix ( review posted on 10/13/2014)
Supreme Justice 
A Magnificent Crime