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HANNA WHO FELL FROM THE SKY: A Novel with Magic ~Christopher Meades

Monday, October 16th, 2017

HANNA WHO FELL FROM THE SKY is a folk tale about a cultish community with a daughter who is different from all the others.  The community is polygamist centered on a very conservative “Creator” figure.  It is also a community that practices violence against females and denies the female members access to the “other” world.  Hanna is turning 18 and will become the fifth wife of a wealthy older man and she is given no freedom of choice and is bound to the leader’s decisions.

Hanna has always had a mind of her own, but does not wish to make trouble so she complies with the rules up to a point.  Recently she has met a young man who has been a stranger to her, and has now come forth to challenge her thinking and captured her heart.  Her mother shares with Hanna the story of her arrival in the community and there is a realization of some magic, which allows Hanna a new freedom and new choices.

“Beautiful and delicate…a powerful meditation on the gift and cruelty of faith, and the redemptive act of storytelling.  A gorgeous blend of dreamy folklore and gritty reality.”  -Erika Swyler, bestselling author of THE BOOK OF SPECULATION.

The cult and its strange rules and truths made me rather ill at ease to read about their function and actions.   I thought the group unusually cruel to women and girls and the story made me think about the ‘pure race’ cults of Germany and now the white supremacist of our own current events.  There was reference to Mormon culture, which is much more open but based on the hatred of women in the deep down books and heaven forbid if you are a lesbian today or even divorced and the Mormon the reaction is swift and often devastating.  For the Amish the teens are given a choice over their futures that are not the case found in this story.

The name-calling, meanness and the threat of rape was deeply embedded in this tale.  Not a lot of joy or dancing found here.  Violence looms and roams the woods.

I do recommend this book and I think high school students might find it a great read and good storytelling.   The heroine is very smart and figures out what needs to be done.  Not all young women have Hanna’s magic, but almost all have some kind of magic for survival.  Writing good.

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About the author:

Christopher Meades is the author of three previous novels, including THE LAST HICCUP, which won the 2013 Canadian Authors Association Award for Fiction. In addition, Meades’s work has appeared in several literary journals including The Potomac Review and The Fiddlehead. He lives in British Columbia, Canada, with his family.

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THE FURY: A Thriller ~Shane Gericke

Monday, September 14th, 2015

I could not put this book down and there are two reasons why THE FURY held on to me for 8 hours straight.   The first reason the author says someone assisted him in changing the timing of his writing which made the book just zoom in reading speed and flow and the second was this e-book came to me via advanced reading copy and Dropbox and I could find no way to save the PDF file; I had already started reading and I just kept going until I was at the very end.  I was afraid the book would disappear and I had to download it each time I needed to leave the read and do something else.   The book was incredibly good and interesting and I do so love these powerful women who take charge and solve the crisis.

Reassured several times that this is a work of fiction and imagination, there are lots of historic moments in the book, which eventually all tie together and make a complete package.  We begin on an oil rig platform as it is rupturing and falling into the Gulf of Mexico.  The integration of ideas and events indicates the relatedness of current circumstances and how we arrived at such a dire circumstance today.   A real event that pulls the previous events into the story, as we see how greedy fossil fuel guys are losing power and money to the new wealthy and powerful (and violent) drug cartel folks.  The disregard for the environment, humans, governments, most of life is passed on from one group to another, which is vying for control, power and money.  The victims are everyone actually and so many are caught in the crossfire and explosions.  From oil rig explosion to Nazi Chemical Warfare and Japanese Chemical weapons developers, it is a big hurdle back in time and then a leap to the present.  Jump again and we are with the Border Patrol in Arizona attempting to stop a Taliban multi-million dollar drug shipment from arrival and disbursement in Mexico and the USA and the killing keeps going.

There are lots of true events referenced in this story, and it is so interesting how they relate to current events, habits and practices.   WWII comes back and forth and all the mistakes we made as a country when attempting to stop the war and get our own chemical weapons in order.  We hired some of the International experts in Chemical killings into our own program.  I am remembering our torture programs we perfected and were exposed in THE SHOCK DOCTRINE by Naomi Klein.  Several Presidents are mentioned and how their actions affected the whole current drug war and the human dependence on drugs today.  The gun programs which armed the drug cartels in Mexico (fast and furious) and the global knowledge of guerrilla warfare; how to control people and how to make money – greed.

The backstories are good and bring the characters into a fullness of possibility and believability.  I got hooked on the opening quote that was the definition of FURY from storm to a woman’s anger and reaction to that anger.   Wow it was right in my face from that moment on and it all hung together and related.  Superstition Davis was just an amazing character and so true to her part and once again a feisty mother took some action into her own hands to help and remedy a horrid situation.   Yes, I want to believe there are these kinds of powerful woman at work for our behalf.  I felt my own feelings of contempt for those who don’t know history, the ignorant and suffered the fools who ignored what was real.  THE FURY is powerful story telling and I was happy to finish it and let go.

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for asking me to review THE FURY.   I admire these writers who can pull so many events together and still write an amazing story.  I think you will find it hard to put down – THE FURY

About the author

“Shane Gericke is an American novelist living in Naperville, Illinois. Before becoming a published thriller writer, he was a journalist, most recently at the Chicago Sun-Times from 1982 to 1994”

Shane Gericke Facebook 

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THE ROBOT SCIENTIST’S DAUGHTER: Poems ~Jeannine Hall Gailey

Friday, April 24th, 2015

“THE ROBOT SCIENTIST’S DAUGHTER gives us a magnificent voice, at turns ‘happy with the apple blossoms,’ and whip-smart enough to know ‘the beauties of voltmeter and oscilloscope.’ But underneath the beautifully measured sheen and spark of these bright stanzas, is a human who opens up thrilling new worlds by also fearlessly inhabiting poems of sorrow, survival, and identity.” –Aimee Nezhukumatathil.

Powerful is one of the first words which comes to mind when I think of THE ROBOT SCIENTIST’S DAUGHTER.  I was so happy to have this book early so I could read a poem each day and come back to it with my mind often to savor the images and recall my own feelings about nuclear families and nuclear reactors of my history and knowledge.

My own family ate the green weeds and flowers of the ground in hopes of growing healthy and cleansing the pesticides and chemicals of the past progresses.  We worshiped the apple blossoms and witnessed the testing of the bombs and the growing cancers right within our core.  There is a tender childhood memoir wrapped within an environmental beauty that we know as our home until it is paved over and rendered dead.

As I live in the State with the most MS anywhere in the world.  As the fossil fuel fogies attempt to destroy the sound waters daily  (oil and water do not mix – I thought everyone knew that?). I pounced on these words and knew them with joy and intimacy wanting to shout out about this experience expressed and the insights shared in each phrase and precise capture; share them with my world and those people of my neighborhood.

This poetry is a positive use of punctuation with readable stop points and a rhythm, which strengthens its form and readability- Intelligent!  It is not so free form as to loose focus and poignancy.

I want to introduce my daughters to this eco-feminism and her fearless words right at this moment as we celebrate Poetry Month and our drought is making known its energy and as we combine to celebrate Earth Day and the Procession of The Species parade and Arts Walk.   The book is an art form – not to be missed.

From Amazon:

Jeannine Hall Gailey recently served as the Poet Laureate of Redmond, Washington. She is the author of four books of poetry: Becoming the Villainess, She Returns to the Floating World, Unexplained Fevers and The Robot Scientist’s Daughter. Her poems have been featured on NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac and on Verse Daily; two were included in 2007’s The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. She was awarded a 2007 and 2011 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize for Poetry and a 2007 Washington State Artist Trust GAP grant. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, The Iowa Review, and Prairie Schooner.

I feel privileged to have been given this book for review by Serena at  Poetic Book Tours

I apologize to Jeannine Hall Gailey for being a day late on posting this review of her magnificent book, but I too have spent a lifetime of working on health and living with a Downwinder of the Hanford Nuclear Release!  Some days are just impossible to manage.   We’re here now and so thankful for knowing of your book and wisdom.
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THE LANDGRAMM AFFAIR: A Novel of Politics, Crime, Literature and a Taste of Romance ~Wendy Marech

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

While reading THE LANDGRAMM AFFAIR, I was constantly reminded of Rupert Murdoch, the Koch Brothers and Michael Powell.  Those were all big names of wealthy folks trying to control media around the world and of course, Powell was the FCC commissioner working to deregulate the rules of the commission. All people hungry for control and power.


Landgramm is a large fictional German Corporation which is now controlled by one man, who had a huge hold on the world of Plastics.  The sole owner of the corporation could see that plastics were doomed and began seeing that the power was shifting to media and controlling information, so he began purchasing into these areas, while inflating the markets so that they could get top dollar when they sold the plastics businesses.  The primary character Mia James is an editor in a small publishing house which has just been purchased by the Landgramm Group.  Her whole world is turned around and instead of good writing and story; they are now into celebrity, tell all books, and big selling properties.

THE LANDGRAMM AFFAIR is much more interesting than living through the events of the parallel figures in this story.  Money is still the most important factor and keeping the public uninformed and out of the loop so that the most control can be achieved.  The strategies; cover ups, and the misinformation creates a very stimulating read.  The reader is constantly wondering how they might have been duped by these words and the media that they count on for understanding.   And then the murders begin!

It is very hard to tell who the good guys are and who is law enforcement and who is actually pulling the strings and making all these different facets emerge as a powerful whole?   The story would be much easier to understand if you started at the end and unraveled, instead the reader must knit it together from the casting on of the first character.  Great plot twists!

I so enjoyed Mia’s book group meetings interpreting their group reads and their quotes, discoveries, and findings added dimensions of knowledge for Mia to interpret into her new life.   Actually, there were so many characters in this book, I started to keep a note card to keep them straight and free up the minor players from the read.  Yet again, some of those bit players were very helpful to keep the story moving forward and the reader wondering.

Mia James is a quick and smart problem-solver; I think you will enjoy her character very much.

The writer kept everything moving and emotionally energy high, I liked that THE LANDGRAMM AFFAIR was about the world of publishing and media; it was a great study of all that has been happening in our rapidly changing world and a warning about the undercurrents of politics working only for the corporations.  The manipulation and the lies, of course, added a steamy quality.  The little romance made it nearly the perfect read.   What distracts you?

Chuck Loesner of Marloe Press sent me a copy of the book for review.  It was a great read – THE LANDGRAMM AFFAIR

Wendy Marech Online

“I started out in Hollywood, which is a good place to learn a thing or two about storytelling. When I realized I couldn’t live without snow, I moved back to New York, where I worked on books for HarperCollins and Penguin Press. Somewhere in there I also wrote a nationally syndicated newspaper column and a handful of freelance articles. In my free time, which is limited, I like to walk around Prospect Park and daydream.”

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