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Monthly Archives: November 2018

A Light in the Desert by Anne Montgomery

I first want to state I do not always re-post a blog review but in this instance I felt it was necessary. You see the book, A Light in the Desert, seems to have some interesting luck. The book saw it’s previous publisher close and is being republished. I want to say this is not the first time either to be honest, but we won’t get to much into that. I just know that Author Anne Montgomery haw been one of those authors who I have reviewed a few of her books. It is for that willingness on her part to allow me the pleasure of reading her books that I am re-posting this review. I do hope you find it helpful in discovery a new read that you should really enjoy.

I have to admit when I saw the title to author Anne Montgomery’s newest book I had a flashback to the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Why? In the movie Brad and Janet go toward a light to find help after a flat tire and a song plays. The song has a lyric of, “In the velvet darkness of the blackest night, burning bright, there’s a guiding star, no matter what or who you are.” I of course started humming the rest of the song but after reading, A Light in the Desert, I found this lyric to be quite fitting.

I write this as such a light has numerous connotations available to why it may be seen. A religious person would think of the light that led the three wise men to the manger where Jesus was born. Those not of a religious background may think alien, car light, train, or just a plain old light with nothing special to it. The book will introduce the reader to a few potential options but in its core is a story that takes the reader into the lives of many people that are as diverse as the wild of the Arizona Desert they all call home.

A Light in the Desert will introduce the reader to former Vietnam veteran Jason Ramm who has moved into town. He’s been able to settle in and found he’s been welcomed by the locals. As a person reads the book they will get to find much more of his background, including potential mental problems. These problems did not appear till he had a “mission” in Jerusalem and you may wonder what was he doing there. You will of course need to read the book to find out why. They will also find that he finds a dog, near death, and helps bring it back to life.

There are other characters like young teenager, Kelly Garcia, who is very pregnant and living with The Children of Light. The children are a group of Pentecostal zealots who try to live the way of the bible. They try and grow all their own food and help take care of those who cannot help themselves like Kelly. She has found her way to their home after a jealous mother decided she could not live with Kelly in the house any longer. Kelly does have a birth defect in her face, but it appears some man still found her beautiful.

There are other characters within the book such as a malicious gas station owner who has no problem beating his own son. The man’s problem is that the son has reached an age where he is not afraid of his father and is himself quite ruthless. The local store owner is the man all should talk to if they want to find out about their neighbors as he is the local gossip. He hears so much and sees so much as he does operate the only store around. There then is a smart and edgy news reporter who according to her bosses is a bit “past her prime”. She has won several Emmy’s but her age has caught up to her and in the world of TV News that is deadly.

The book will take the reader into a very complex plot filled with many plot lines. Ramm seems to be just another man escaping the big bad world but there is so much more to him. He helps the Children of Light and even takes a liking to Kelly. She needs help and someone to watch over her as she is under educated and the world has not been kind to her.  Ramm even may believe that she may help him with the madness he struggles with all the time.

There then is the gas station owner’s son, Billy, who stole so much from his father before running away. In truth Billy had left a nice package for his father in the bathroom of the gas station but it was found before it could do any damage. Billy has missed that opportunity but for those riding the train that goes through the area will find out, he is not done yet.

The book does have several different plot lines, but there is one thing that runs throughout the book. This is how one should never give up and fight for what they feel is right. Yes, there are those within the pages of, A Light in the Desert, that are misguided but the story unfolds nicely thanks to Montgomery’s writing. People will find some characters larger than life, and others you cannot help but sympathize with. There are even moments when one may feel terrible for Billy, and the next want to him hurt. The one character that caught my eye was that of the “retired” TV Reporter Kate. I felt there may be a bit of Montgomery in this character when one considers her back ground in TV. The simple truth is that each character is well developed and the story eventually will find a point where all the plot lines seem to join and converge on the right track. I have one final note and that is be sure to read the Dedication as the struggles Ramm has may be more real for the reader

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Posted by on November 20, 2018 in Reviews

 

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Help Save Kiki from Cancer (GoFundMe Campaign)

I hope people will read the below as it is the information that was shared in a recent GoFundMe Campaign that my wife and I created for our cat Kiki.  The link to the campaign is below and I wanted to share this posting here in hopes others may read and share.  I thank you all in Advance.

My name is Kiki and I’m hoping other humans will help my humans, Shawn and Jennifer, raise money so I can have cancer surgery. A recent visit to the Vet was scary but when my female human heard the word cancer she did cry.

I have heard my humans discussing finding the money for the surgery and they have talked about this thing called debt. I guess my female human has many student loans, and my male human may have to pay more on his medications for Multiple Sclerosis when the new insurance year starts. I will be honest, being a cat I have no idea what that all is, but money is tight.

So, I am hoping that there are other kind humans that may help us get this surgery done. They have a mass to remove from my cute tail. After the surgery, there will be additional costs for further treatments and why I hope to raise the money to help my humans.

You see, these two humans brought me in to their home and have taken good care of me and their other cats. We have been given much love, toys, and played with often. The vet visit for me came not long after we lost my big sister who died from old age and her organs shutting down. It is for this reason why I do not want to leave my humans now as they need me to fill the hole left by my big sister leaving the family.

So, I thank any and all humans for helping with the funds that I am looking for to help my humans. Please do not tell the secret that I can use this computer thing. My male owner is always working on one, and as he works I will sit on the desk and watch him and how I learned. He’s just not happy when I go after that thing called a mouse.

In all seriousness, Jennifer and I would greatly appreciate any help that people will be able to give us in keep our Kiki in our lives. She is a unique cat who is willing to share her love with us daily. I do hope those who have read the posting get a smile about how I wrote this posting as I wanted to show that although a Cancer diagnosis for anyone is never good, it is by staying positive and finding a way to smile that keeps us going.  Again thank you to all that are able to help. If for some reason we go over the requested amount we will be giving some of those funds to charity

 

https://www.gofundme.com/save-our-kiki-from-cancer

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2018 in Personal, Uncategorized

 

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Water to Water Character Interview Kititit (Weesah)

The below is a character interview from the book Water to Water written by Author Karen A Wyle. Please enjoy the insight into on of the characters minds from her book.

{Note Kititit is a Weesah and a peddler who befriends Terrill and Honnu}

Q. How did you become a peddler

A. Well, now. That’s a ways to think back . . . . When I was a young sprout, we had a neighbor who was a peddler, wagon and all. I thought her wagon was about the prettiest thing I’d ever seen, all painted up as it was. And she used to let me help load the goods in the back – leastways, helping is what she called it. Getting in the way is what I’d call it, remembering. And when she’d been away and came home again, she always had stories to tell about the places she’d been. I’d never been anywhere, and I got to hankering after a life like she had.

 

Q. Your wagon – did it used to be your neighbor’s?

A. Right you are! Though by the time she figured she was ready to stay home and play with her grandchildren and take it easy, the wagon was what you might call used up – the canopy, anyway. My folks gave me a new one, and I picked what to paint on it.

 

Q. You have a mate and children, I hear. How have you managed to strike a balance between traveling and family life?

A. Well, I don’t have just any mate. I made sure to find a lady as liked to hear stories. I promised to always bring back plenty of stories. And she’s an independent sort – doesn’t need someone at her elbow all the time, telling her how to do things. A mate as hung around every day might get annoying for such as her. So we suit each other. And the longer I’m away, the longer I stay home and do my bit with the young ‘uns and the beasts and the garden and all. And now that some of our young ‘uns are grown, she has plenty of help when she needs it.

 

Q. You’re acquainted with Terrill and Honnu, I believe. How did that come about?

A. I’ve known Honnu a good piece of his life, I’d say. I visit a few different fisher villages, and he lives – or lived, I’m not sure which is right just now – in one of ‘em. I was the first Weesah he ever saw, I reckon, and how he would stare! Anyhow, he’s a curious fellow and always likes to hear my traveler’s tales.

 

Q. That brings up an interesting point. Aren’t you somewhat given to exaggeration in those tales of yours? Should Honnu believe everything you say?

A. (laughs) No, I can’t say as he should. But I reckon he knows that. Now, I wouldn’t say he knows just what to believe and what not to. But if he ever asked me, serious-like, I’d tell him.

 

Q. And Terrill? How did you meet him?

A. That was luck, if luck is something that happens, as to which I’ve no firm opinion. His da took ill, and Terrill was one of the funeral party as took him to the sea. I left Honnu’s village about the time they left to head home again, and we got to talking on the road. A nice young fellow. On the serious side, and tending to worry more than is comfortable for a youngster his age. I did my bit to cheer him up, when I could.

 

Q. And how did Terrill and Honnu meet each other?

A. (chuckles) Well, I’ll maybe let you ask one of them about that. I’d best be packing up and heading on, pretty soon. Any last questions? Or might you be wanting something from the wagon before I go? I’ve got some good knives I picked up a few towns back. Or if you’ve little ones at home, I have toys — balls for juggling, and these dolls. See the bits of shell that make up the armor? And of course, I have fish. Always plenty of fish.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2018 in Interview

 

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Water to Water Character Interview Terrill (Vushu)

The below is a character interview from the book Water to Water written by Author Karen A Wyle. Please enjoy the insight into on of the characters minds from her book.

 

[NOTE: Terrill is a Vushlu. He would have become an adult next year by taking a ritual first journey to the ocean with other Vushla his age. Instead, he attained adult status prematurely, accompanying his dying father to the ocean, where his father went into the water to be dissolved.

 

Interviewing Terrill is a tricky task. As the book begins, he is understandably morose. Later, when he is less so, he has good reasons not to reveal his activities and concerns. I’ve dealt with this dilemma by splitting his interview into two, and working within the limitations Terrill sets.

 

The first interview takes place at a rest stop during the funeral party’s return trip. Terrill speaks in a quiet monotone most of the time.]

Q. I’m very sorry about your father.

A. Thank you.

 

Q. It will take you quite a while to get home. How are you occupying yourself along the way?

A. I’m trying to remember as much as I can about Da. [a pause; he clenches and armors his fists] But the things I remember keep reminding me of things I don’t know. Questions I never asked, and never can, now. [long pause]

 

Q. Have you found any ways to keep your spirits up?

A. There’s a Weesah peddler who’s been traveling alongside us. He likes to tell stories. When I listen to them, it takes my mind off . . . other things. I’ve even laughed a few times. [glances to the side] Not that my uncle approves. Of the listening or the laughing.

[An older Vushlu approaches; the interview concludes]

———–

[The second interview takes place around three months (or the equivalent) later. Terrill is now traveling in the peddler’s wagon, as is Honnu, another Vushlu about his age.]

Q. Is this where you expected to be, at this time?

A. No. Nothing about what I’m doing these days is as I expected. One unpredictable event has led to another.

 

Q. What can you tell me about these events?

A. [a slight smile – which for Vushla means a rounded mouth] Very little, I’m afraid. Except that one of our funeral party, my aunt, became very ill on the way home. The others returned to the sea with her. I [a short pause] chose not to. That led to my becoming better acquainted with Honnu. And that led to everything else.

 

Q. So do you think you’ll become a peddler?

A. [another smile] I don’t think so. But for now, I’m a peddler’s assistant and have my duties. I’d better go.

 

Q. Perhaps we’ll meet again along the road.

A. I . . . don’t think that is very likely. But stranger things have happened. [a quiet chuckle] Indeed they have.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2018 in Interview

 

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Water to Water Character Interview Honnu (Vushu)

The below is a character interview from the book Water to Water written by Author Karen A Wyle. Please enjoy the insight into on of the characters minds from her book.

 

[NOTE: Honnu is a young Vushlu. His family are fisher folk and live by the sea. This interview takes place around the time the story begins, on the beach, in late afternoon. Honnu is cleaning a fishing boat.]

 

Q. Hello. I hope I’m not disturbing –

A. Watch out! I’m using seawater here.

 

Q. It’s splashing all over you. Isn’t that a problem?

A. Not with this suit on. [He gestures along his body.] It’ll keep the water out for years and years yet.

 

Q. Do you have such suits for visitors? For rent, perhaps?

A. Sorry, no. They take a long time to make. We only get them when we’re done growing, and then we keep them for a long time. Let me just finish up here, and we can talk.

[a few minutes later]

All done! I have a few minutes before I go do chores.

 

Q. I gather you fish for a living.

A. That’s right.

 

Q. Do you like it?

A. [a slight pause] Pretty well. I like working with other people. More when they appreciate my help, which they mostly do. Of course, I like it better some days than others. In hot season, it’s cooler out on the water than on land – though the suit does make me warmer than I’d be otherwise. Cold season, that can get, well, cold, suit or no suit. And I get pretty tired by the end of the day. But it’s better than being bored. [another pause] Not that I’m never bored.

 

Q. Do you picture yourself doing anything different, later in your life?

A. [scuffs a hind foot in the sand] I’d like to see more of the world, someday, somehow. I hear stories – mainly from the Weesah peddler who comes here – and I want to see for myself whether they’re true, and what other stories might be out there waiting to be found.

[someone calls Honnu’s name from a nearby dwelling]

I’d better go. Chores, like I said. It was nice talking to you. If you want to come with me, you could maybe stay for dinner. The peddler brought sausages, and we’ll be having a campfire.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2018 in Interview

 

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Ten +1 Questions with Author Karen A Wyle

I first wish to thank Author Karen A Wyle for taking time to answer the Ten +1 Questions regarding her recent release, “Water to Water“.  You will find information below on her world building, to her writing process and inspirations. I do hope you enjoy her responses as much as I did.

 

Question 1: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

–I don’t know for sure, but I know it happened by the time I was 10 years old. At that age, it was my ambition to be the youngest published novelist ever. I was quite irked to find out that a 9-year-old girl in the UK had beaten me to it.

 

Question 2: What inspired you to write Water to Water?

–It was almost November 2017, and therefore time to get ready for the 2017 National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo or NaNo for short). I had various possible ideas saved in a folder — and then I had a dream with the image that opens the book, a Vushlu meeting the sea in its final moments. The idea grabbed me by the imagination, and I went with it.

 

Question 3: During the initial writing process where did you get the idea for the book and its characters? 

–I spent the first few days before NaNo 2017, and the first few days of NaNo, brainstorming ideas for scenes and characters. My husband contributed a key plot point.

 

Question 4: Where do you get the ideas for the worlds you find yourself creating?

–I’ve been reading science fiction for decades, which has no doubt fertilized my world building faculties. A great deal of the writing, whether world building or any other aspect of it, happens on a subconscious level.

 

Question 5: Who were some of the authors that inspired you as a child growing up and their books? 

–I’m glad you asked for some, since I can’t possibly remember them all: C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia; Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess and A Secret Garden; Edward Eager’s Half Magic, Knight’s Castle, Magic by the Lake, and Magic or Not?; Walter Farley’s Black Stallion series; P. L. Travers’s Mary Poppins series; Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series; and Hilda Lewis’s The Ship That Flew.

 

Question 6: What was the feeling like when you saw the first completed version of your book?

–It’s a thrill every time. I grin ear to ear and bounce on my toes.

 

Question 7: Do you continue to write and in what genre? 

For NaNo 2018, I’m heading in quite a different direction, or rather, two of ’em. I’m about to start the rough draft of a romance novel set in the 19th century American West.

 

Question 8: Who do you imagine being the people reading your book?

–For my novels up until now, I imagine most of them being people who love to read in general and also know and love science fiction.

 

Question 9: Any good suggestions for those who want to try writing their own book?

While it isn’t the right process for everyone, NaNo can be a terrific way to get over hesitation and self-doubt and just get started. It’s also ideal for finishing a rough draft, as opposed to constantly editing and re-editing the beginning of one. The supportive online community at https://nanowrimo.org/ can help a new author make it through.

 

Question 10: When not writing how does you like to spend your time?

–Reading! I read whenever I’m not doing something that makes it impossible. I also like taking photographs, but haven’t done as much of that in recent years. I also like walking in pretty places and watching a few (not many) TV series. I don’t get to travel very much, but enjoy it when the logistics aren’t too annoying.

 

The + 1 Question

If you had any one place in the world you could travel to for a book tour, where would that place be, and why? 

  –At the moment, it would be Boston, MA, because my younger daughter lives there. More generally: London. I’d want the tour to include Hatchards, Primrose Hill Books, and Lutyens & Rubinstein.

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2018 in Interview

 

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