This is a book festival I always look forward to attending. Wonderful people, beautiful surroundings, and supporting a charity that serves literacy... what's not to love? Karen is an amazing organizer. She is truly a kind soul, and understands the importance of books and authors - most especially - local authors. We always have a warm welcome in her shop.
I had a fabulous day. The atmosphere at Leon & Lulu is calm and exciting, simultaneously. The energy of the place makes it easy to have conversations with readers and other authors, making for comfortable connectivity. The areas they give us are like miniature living rooms. Super comfy couches, exquisite tables, and enough space in between to get up and stretch. The environment is so comfortable, I feel more like I'm visiting with friends than working a festival.
This time, they offered readings from authors every fifteen minutes throughout the day. My reading time was at 12:30pm, which was perfect. For those of you who know me, afternoons are more brain-friendly for me. :-) I read from Drake's collection of short stories, "A Duck Quacks". It was fun to share his work with visitors. It was also wonderful that the reading space was so close to my table that I could support other authors when my time slot was over.
Spending the day hanging out with author friends, meeting readers, selling and signing books, and spending my day in such an energetically artistic place... The day was comfortable and easy going. I just love being a part of this festival. I look forward to attending again in Autumn.
I've been selecting psychological thrillers a lot lately, and this one didn't disappoint. This was an interesting read. A story of a young woman recalling the horrific events that led up to the deaths of her entire family when she was just eight years old juxtaposed with some films of the horror genre added for comparison. It's spine-tingling and extremely visual. Written from the point of view of the main character, it was easy to drop myself into the events and imagine that I was the storyteller. The family's characters and most of the supporting characters were well designed, and the twist ending caught me completely off-guard. It was a quick read, and difficult to put down.
The only criticism I have is that although the author did a spectacular job crafting a creepy story with strong characters both easy to like and dislike, two were missing some depth. The first was the character of the writer/journalist. I would have liked to know more about who she is and how she came to take on this project. She seems to be in the story simply to allow the main character to narrate her story and not much else. More depth to this character would have made the twisty ending even more difficult to see coming.
The second character that seemed either unnecessary or underdeveloped was that of the blogger. Her story seemed a rich part of this creepy tapestry, only then to be left in the dust and incomplete. I think there could have been more development here, too, again adding more "slight of hand" distraction away from the ending.
I enjoyed this book, one that I actually listened to as an audiobook. The narrator for the project was easy to listen to and added just enough variation to her voice to allow us to experience all of the characters individually. There is absolutely no concern about this one putting you to sleep on long drives - it accomplished the exact opposite effect!
I met Ted at a recent book festival and he asked me to read his book. "It's a mid-grade," he said, "about two kids doing normal kid things in the trailer park where they live." Ted lied.
Yes, this book is indeed about two kids who live in a trailer park. But they don't do normal things. When one introduces the other to the power of books and story... well, that's when the adventures really begin.
This book is wonderment. I've always loved books about books, and this one hits the mark. It does two things that are exemplary; first, it proves to kids who may not yet have been exposed to books just how fascinating a few good pages can be. And second, it gives us two unlikely heroes in the form of these two young boys - brave enough to use their imaginations to be entertained, and to seek revenge - in a way where they rise above, and no one gets hurt.
This story has tremendous compassion and allows boys to be boys, while learning that there's a better way to enjoy life... using brain power rather than just brainless brawn.
I've given this book four and a half stars only because the publisher/printer didn't take into consideration the reader audience and formatted the book with a font size far too small for mid-grade readers.
Congratulations to Ted Lemon, he has created stories for boys! I eagerly await his next installment (I'm told it's a trilogy in progress.)
Highly recommended! Four and a half stars!
I was honored to have access to a preview copy of this wonderful children's book from Indie Author, Jordan J. Scavone. I was so utterly impressed with this book... the story, the characters, the art... it's a complete package of storytelling mastery.
Let's begin with the illustrations, masterfully drawn by C.N. Zing... they're beautiful. Gentle, simple, warm, and inviting. These are pictures of children and teachers we all know and love... easily. The color pallet compliments the story, reminding us that even difficult topics can be illuminatingly tender.
The best part about this book is Jordan's courage in storytelling. In today's society, it is often times difficult to discuss fragile topics within adult circles, let alone with children. Jordan takes the challenge head on and succeeds beyond measure. He presents the real-world reality of children who understand themselves not as others identify them, but as strong, self-aware individuals with sensitivity and celebration. The characters in this book are multi-generational, and multi-faceted. The layers of truth in the story are astoundingly beautiful precisely because there is no spotlight of "differentness". We understand through Addie, Adam, and Annie that being who we are is valuable and lovable, without limitation or expectation, and without need of emotional segregation
I hope this book finds its way onto the shelves of every reader in America, no matter their age or gender identity. It reminds us of what humanity should strive to be, and how we should emulate our children as they quickly learn to accept and understand.
Highly Recommended! Five Stars!
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