RSS

Tag Archives: History

Nothing But Echoes by Anne Montgomery

NOTHING BUT ECHOES Cover ArtI do not normally re-post too many reviews, but sometimes one must just make an exception. In this case the closure of a publisher is a good reason to re-post a review. Author Anne Montgomery had such a problem and her book, The Magician, has found a new home and a new publisher in Sarah Book Publishing;. The book also has found itself renamed and is now titled, Nothing but Echoes. The book is still intact from its form I originally reviewed and due to this I am re-posting the review to bring attention to its new name. I do this as no matter what the book is called it is a great read.

The one thing any reporter loves is a mystery. The ability to cover secrets others have not been able to find will bring a reporter to the edge when it comes to getting the story. It’s what entices Kate Butler to her current assignment of uncovering information about the magician.  This mysterious man was found with more than your common funerary items around him when found in 1939. He was also found to be taller than most for the period, which raised questions about his heritage. The Hopi tribe that was helping with the dig almost knew immediately how important this man must have been when the Moochiwimi sticks were found.  Those sticks meant only one thing; this man had been a magician. This is the story that will be uncovered in author Anne Montgomery’s book aptly titled, Nothing but Echoes.

Who was the magician? Where did he come from? Why was he so important?

These are questions Kate will try to uncover as she searches into the man’s past. Her only problem is her main source of information, Dr. Perkins, suddenly will not work with her. Dr. Perkins had been a great asset on her story of the Native American ball courts but now he was nowhere to be found. There had been requests for a DNA source have been routinely turned down by those who wish to protect Native American remains. The Hopi tribe had refused her request as they wished to protect the remains not see any part destroyed for a DNA test. It is possible Dr. Perkins had received pressure not to help Kate, and thus she had to find other sources.

Her friend Jack Cooper had come along with her on this trip and it’s possible his skills as a police officer would come in handy.  She will also be assisted on her quest by Dr. Jerrod Crane and colleagues of his that will help point her in other directions. There is one problem, as Kate visits the museum for the first time another takes interest in her, and her quest to find out about the magician. This man may be up to something and able to get information she cannot.

Along with the quest to find out who the magician was, there are other elements weaved into the book. These elements take us back to the life of the magician. The way the people of the era lived is explained, and they actually come to life.  We will also get to see who this magician was and his impact on the people of that area.

Names such as Woodrat, Deer Runner, Mul, and others will be discovered to belong to those who are central characters in that second feature of the book. The book will intertwine the two stories in such a way that they will complement each story contained within the book.  Montgomery uses as much realistic facts and content as she can during the writing of the book that helps bring the story to greater life.

There is drama, secretive plans, and subterfuge in both stories in the book.  The book reads in such a manner that you will not find yourself confused over the facts in the story. You will instead find yourself holding your breath at periods as the story switches from one period to another. You wonder should I skip a chapter and read a head. The answer is simply NO! Nothing but Echoes is a book meant to be read and enjoyed by those who are fans of History and I have to add Mystery. The elements add up to a great book that tells not one but two great stories. As a bonus the article that Kate is writing even toward the end of the book. So you will see Kate gets her story, but the events to get there are not easy as most reporters will tell you.

Where to find Anne Montgomery Online

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 8, 2016 in Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ten +1 Questions with Author John Hazen

John HazenJohn Hazen is the author behind the book Dear Dad. He took time to answer the new set of Ten +1 Questions that I have put together. So without more comment please check out John’s answers to the questions.

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

I can’t remember when I didn’t want to write novels, but it was always one of those things I “never got around to do”. I put forward a couple of efforts earlier in my life but they never went anywhere. Every time I did it all seemed so daunting and overwhelming, but it still didn’t dampen my dream of writing a book, someday. It wasn’t until I got myself my first laptop that I started to get serious about it and began to put my ideas down and fashion them into stories. The result is that I’ve now written four novels, one of which I self-published (Dear Dad) and two that have been published by a small independent publisher, Black Rose Writing (Fava and Journey of an American Son).

Question 2: How did your friends/family take the loss of your time as you wrote the book?

Most of my writing is done on the train back and forth from work or early in the morning hours so there hasn’t been a lot of lost time away from friends and family.

Question 3: What inspired you to write Dear Dad? 

I’ve always been a bit of a history buff and have especially been fascinated by the Civil War. Many people at the time viewed the Civil War as a just war that needed to be fought. Juxtaposed with this is the fact that I grew up in the Vietnam War era with the nightly televised antiwar protest images being pumped into my brain. I thought it would make for a great novel to somehow contrast the two wars (with a nod being given to World War II in the process), but I’m a novelist and I didn’t want it to come off as a dry history lesson. That’s when it occurred to me that what better way to compare the wars than to have to same person participate in both wars?

Question 4: During the initial writing process where did you get the idea for the book and its characters?

When I get an initial idea for a book, I can’t say that there is very much in the way of specifics. I have a general concept of what the book is about (e.g., comparing two very dissimilar wars or what would happen if a person who lost someone on 9/11 was suddenly able to extract ultimate revenge), where I ultimately want to end up and perhaps the lead characters but beyond that, the rest comes to me as I write. I have great admiration for those authors who can outline their books ahead of time. Me, I make it up as I go along. I always tell people that some of my favorite characters are minor characters that I originally introduce to help move the plot along but then as I’m writing they grow in importance and become pivotal characters in the book. In Dear Dad, Doc and Jon were that way. I just love the way these characters develop before my very eyes.

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

Would it be going back a little too far to cite Virginia Lee Burton who wrote Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel as a profound influence? It’s the first book I recall reading. Seriously, my favorite all-time book is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I read it first in either Junior High or High School and I’ve re-read it a number of times since then. In high school and for years afterward I would latch onto an author and read everything I could by him or her one after the other. I did that with John Steinbeck, James Mitchener and Robert Ludlum. As you can see, my tastes are rather eclectic.

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

It was quite a rush, I must say; quite a feeling of accomplishment and pride. I must say that even now I look back at my books and say to myself: ‘Wow, I did that?’

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

Oh yes, I’m still writing. I write in the suspense/thriller genre. All my books have some sort of historical component but I like to have some sort of twist. Dear Dad, for example, has a time travel component to it. Presently, I’m working on revamping the first novel I ever wrote but was never released. It’s called Aceldama and has a fantasy aspect to it, asking the question: What if someone were to stumble across one of the thirty pieces of silver given to Judas to betray Christ?

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

I’m hoping that Dear Dad has an appeal to a broad spectrum of people. I could see history buffs liking it. I could see the time travel crowd having an interest. I can the family-values set taking a look at it because of the father-son bond you mention in your review. Most importantly (and I want this to apply to all my books), I see people being attracted to the book because they just plain like to read a good story.

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

Perseverance. You can’t let yourself be overwhelmed at the outset but construct it as you would if you’re building a house. Just like you wouldn’t start doing your interior decorating until you got the structure and plumbing and electrical in place, neither should you rush the building of your story. Don’t get ahead of yourself but put the book together bit by bit and scene by scene. You also need to have a thick skin and accept constructive criticism gracefully. In Dear Dad, for example, an early draft had a whole family that one of my readers said really did not add much to the story and in fact distracted the reader from the main plotline. I really liked the family and I miss those kids, but I had to agree and they were expunged from the final version of the book. Lastly there’s an old writer adage that I think writers should always keep in mind: ‘Show, don’t tell’. The example I remember is instead of saying ‘Ted was filthy rich’ say ‘Ted glanced at his Rolex’. It gets the same point across but in a more descriptive way that helps the reader paint a picture in his mind

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

I just like spending time with my wife of 35 years, my best friend, Lynn. We love to travel and play tennis but more likely than not we’ll just enjoy each other’s company doing about anything.

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?

I’d love to retrace the trip my grandfather made in 1920 when he was sent on a business trip from Boston to Calcutta, India. He wrote a diary of that trip which I subsequently used as the setting into which I wrote my most recent novel, Journey of an American Son (how’s that for a shameless plug for one of my other books?) As you can imagine, a trip that today would take less than a day at that time took months as he took a train across Canada, then steamers to Tokyo, Singapore and ultimately Calcutta. Along the way he also rode on rickshaws, dinghies and Model Ts. After he concluded his business, he got back on trains and steamers but headed west to go through the Suez Canal up through Europe and then across the Atlantic back to Boston. Now that would be a book tour!

Connect witih John Hazen:

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 1, 2015 in Interview

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Magician by Anne Montgomery

MagicianThe one thing any reporter loves is a mystery. The ability to cover secrets others have not been able to find will bring a reporter to the edge when it comes to getting the story. It’s what entices Kate Butler to her current assignment of uncovering information about the magician.  This mysterious man was found with more than your common funerary items around him when found in 1939. He was also found to be taller than most for the period, which raised questions about his heritage. The Hopi tribe that was helping with the dig almost knew immediately how important this man must have been when the Moochiwimi sticks were found.  Those sticks meant only one thing; this man had been a magician. This is the story that will be uncovered in author Anne Montgomery’s book aptly titled, The Magician.

Who was the magician? Where did he come from? Why was he so important?

These are questions Kate will try to uncover as she searches into the man’s past. Her only problem is her main source of information, Dr. Perkins, suddenly will not work with her. Dr. Perkins had been a great asset on her story of the Native American ball courts but now he was nowhere to be found. There had been requests for a DNA source have been routinely turned down by those who wish to protect Native American remains. The Hopi tribe had refused her request as they wished to protect the remains not see any part destroyed for a DNA test. It is possible Dr. Perkins had received pressure not to help Kate, and thus she had to find other sources.

Her friend Jack Cooper had come along with her on this trip and it’s possible his skills as a police officer would come in handy.  She will also be assisted on her quest by Dr. Jerrod Crane and colleagues of his that will help point her in other directions. There is one problem, as Kate visits the museum for the first time another takes interest in her, and her quest to find out about the magician. This man may be up to something and able to get information she cannot.

Along with the quest to find out who the magician was, there are other elements weaved into the book. These elements take us back to the life of the magician. The way the people of the era lived is explained, and they actually come to life.  We will also get to see who this magician was and his impact on the people of that area.

Names such as Woodrat, Deer Runner, Mul, and others will be discovered to belong to those who are central characters in that second feature of the book. The book will intertwine the two stories in such a way that they will complement each story contained within the book.  Montgomery uses as much realistic facts and content as she can during the writing of the book that helps bring the story to greater life.

There is drama, secretive plans, and subterfuge in both stories in the book.  The book reads in such a manner that you will not find yourself confused over the facts in the story. You will instead find yourself holding your breath at periods as the story switches from one period to another. You wonder should I skip a chapter and read a head. The answer is simply NO! The Magician is a book meant to be read and enjoyed by those who are fans of History and I have to add Mystery. The elements add up to a great book that tells not one but two great stories. As a bonus the article that Kate is writing even toward the end of the book. So you will see Kate gets her story, but the events to get there are not easy as most reporters will tell you.

As an additional note on this great book it was selected as an Editor’s Top Pick by Musa Publishing.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 14, 2014 in Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Guiamo (The Chronicles of Guiamo Durmius Stolo) by Marshall Best

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00074]The period of the Roman Empire was found to have many new inventions come to the world. The Romans were master architects and used much of their knowledge to make their empire greater. Their empire only grew through a well-disciplined army that was conscripted when Roman needed them it was an army for peace, and an army for war.

The eventual outcome of all the battles fought is that good men died. Men that were someone’s brother, uncle, best friend and many cases some young boy’s father. This will take us to the main character of authors Marshall Best’s book, Guiamo (The Chronicles of Guiamo Durmius Stolo).

The book starts with just what can happen to a young man that is orphaned by the death of his father, while at war. The unfortunate death of his mother and other family from a disease sets him to live with his uncle. A man who cares a bit more about his drink, and his wife who has no real love for the young Guiamo. So it should come as no shock he is left at the side of the road after awakening from a short nap on the back of a car. The young boy only questions what has happened to him and in a show of great will walks up to a fisherman and asks for a job. This simple request will start a live for the young boy that will lead him on many new discoveries.

This brief opening should show a potential reader of the type of character you are about to read about. The book is a taste of life of what Guiamo goes through to earn his right to be a man of Rome. A man that by the appropriate age will have created some great inventions and used a love of learning to make a nice amount of money for himself, and others. His inventions may turn up helping the fisherman and those he calls friends.  He will also learn some basic life skills as he lives with the fisherman and he grows older and a bit wiser.

The story will continue on and the reader is introduced to many great characters that immediately see the greatness in this young boy. The fisherman who gives him his first job, to the steel smith who teaches him a career and helps him earn this fortune. It’s a story with vast characters that in some way will touch Guiamo, but at the same time he touches their lives. A life that will have him travel part of the empire and meet a long lost family member.

The story not only takes the reader into the boy’s world, but a world that has been lost for centuries. You get an introduction into the lives that were lead during the period and how people lived. There are those who enjoyed the simple life, to those who lived in splendor in a proper villa. There is also a look at the perils of war and what comes of the victors, and the losers.  A view of what land ownership could bring those with influence along with how not all slave owners in the period mistreated their slaves.

Guiamo (The Chronicles of Guiamo Durmius Stolo) is a great entry into what appears to be a great series of books. The one thing that the reader will find throughout the book is how people call the boy special. As you read you get an idea of just “how” special he may be. There will be introductions to the different Gods of the era and a different religion. The most important thing is as you read the book you grow with the young man and those around him. It’s a book that engages the reader on many levels and should leave you asking, “What’s Next”.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on March 25, 2014 in Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Boudicca: Her Story by T. Jerome Baker

BoudiccaIt’s not rare to hear the mantra of “Girl Power” in today’s world and this actually helped to propel the Spice Girls to fame when the band hit it big. You may be asking why I am mentioning a British all girl group for this review. It’s simple the story deals with a Welsh woman from the period around 60 AD.

Her name is one that many in the England will recognize and fans of history, specifically Roman, history will also know. It is stated in the book that she had a look that could terrorize those who saw her. Her hair was flaming red hair that fell to her waste and tall for a woman, and she was known by one name. Her name was Boudicca.

T. Jerome Baker takes the reader into a part of history many will know or have heard before. It’s a story from a very unique woman from history. A woman who defied the Romans and led a revolt that killed thousands for a cause she felt was just.

The short novella is called Boudicca: Warrior Queen (Her-Story).

The novella will take the high points of her life and help give the reader a reason for the revolt. The story will also point out how “His-tory” is written by the winners, or the survivors. The novella does its best to give you an insight into Boudicca’s side of events.

Boudicca: Warrior Queen (Her-Story) may be a very quick read but as a fan of history this was a nice telling of her life. Some of the highlights from the story are what drives the revolt to happen. It began due to greed and power. The result was rape, murder and death on a large scale that saw both sides suffer. 

I cannot say what there is to take away from the story other than a history lesson. It’s a lesson that sheds more light on a reader may have learned. You will learn about some of the motives behind the different battles and the mindset of the Warrior Queen. If nothing else you may learn the reason why Boudicca is a name that still is heard in today’s culture and her importance in British History.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 20, 2014 in Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,