Friday, November 7, 2014

When you're finished reading my books, try these.

I flog my books via blogs, Facebook, Twitter etc. so I thought it only fair to recommend books I’ve discovered and liked, some, but not all, written by fellow indie authors. Here are my reviews of six books I’ve enjoyed recently. All can be found on Amazon.

The Palaver Tree - My books are partially inspired by my experiences in Africa so this book was a natural for me. Subtle, direct, gentle, and jarring, The Palaver Tree takes the reader on an incredible journey from the safety of small town England to the dangers of Africa. But, for Ellie, Diane, and Tiffany, England isn't safe either as the wily and unscrupulous Gabriel cons them all.
And the Africa Ellie comes to know and love—the friends she makes and the children she teaches—cannot protect her from the dangers of either Gabriel or the rioting as rebels attempt a coup to overturn the government. I've lived and traveled in West Africa and found this book taking me down memory lane. Thankfully, I never had to face the dangers Ellie faced. If you're looking for a good read, that takes "ordinary" people into extraordinary circumstances, this is it. And, the ending is perfect

Night Must Wait - Masterful. Authentic. Gritty. Gripping. Complex characters. Night Must Wait has all the elements to make this novel so much greater than just another war story. Winter's subtleties in depicting the characters, the setting, the basic elements of Africa add depth and dimension much appreciated by this reader.

I lived in Mali at the time and could not visit Nigeria because of the war, but did travel through Niger, Benin (then called Dahomey) and Togo. I saw enough and knew enough about the area to relate to much in Winter's book. I have great admiration for what she has accomplished with Night Must Wait.

The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor - Good books intrigue and keep you turning the pages. Great books draw you in and wrap their soul around you until you feel that you are part of the landscape, and one with the characters of the story. The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor is just such a book. The fact that Charlotte is a historical rather than fictional character makes each aspect of her story that much more poignant. You read the book and immediately wish to reread it for fear you've missed some small detail. When you come to the last page and are forced to admit there is no more, you are left with a bittersweet heartache and know that Charlotte will be with you for a long time to come.

The Winter Pony - Wow! There aren't enough adjectives to describe how wonderful this book is. If I was cranky the next morning, it's Mr. Lawrence's fault because I couldn't stop reading. Who would have thought that a book written from a horse’s point of view could be so engaging? This tale of the trek to the South Pole provides a whole new perspective, one that this reader greatly appreciated.

Domingo’s Angel - A survey of fiction readers showed that the one most important aspect of a novel to readers was what they learned. Domingo's Angel fills the bill perfectly. The reader learns about conditions in Spain during Franco's rule through the lives of villagers in the mountains. The story is beautiful, heartbreaking, and haunting. The characters, depicted so vividly, stay with the reader long after the book is done. This is one I will read and reread. Do pick up a copy. You won't be disappointed.

Grows That Way - I don't like YA. I don't read YA. Caveat - I read (more than once) and loved Skinnybones and the Wrinkle Queen. So why am I writing a review for a YA book? Not just one, but the whole trilogy? Because Ketchen's books are amazingly well written and keep getting better and better. I won't call this a coming of age story as I can't stand that expression. What are they then? A story of a girl dealing with her family and friends at the same time as she is dealing with Turner Syndrome. Ketchen's characterizations are subtle and she informs as well as entertains. Each book can be read as a stand alone, but I urge you to read, in order, all three. You won't be disappointed. And then pass them on to any teen you know who loves horses.

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