Tag Archives: books

The Hawk, Part Thirteen

Usually when another piece of this saga has been published, an accompanying entry is brief; it’s up and you can find it here.  But while I plan to release this tale in a formal manner, more needs to be acknowledged.  Making the conclusion available closes a large circle that I couldn’t have dreamed when first starting this book over four years ago.

I wasn’t a grandmother then, my familial role that of supporting my parents while Dad battled cancer, occasionally helping out my offspring when the need arose.  This tale started humbly, but quickly I sensed a wider scope emerging.  At the same time, my father underwent chemotherapy while quilts knocked on my door.  Writing fell by the wayside; it was difficult concentrating and sewing required less brain power.  Then my youngest became pregnant, followed by her elder sister and….

Suddenly my existence as an author seemed to have vanished on a stiff wind.  Now I wonder if not for The Hawk, might I have eschewed writing altogether?  Yet there was a story to tell, at times bigger than I thought I could tackle.  In bits and chunks I wrote, then decided to simultaneously publish what had accumulated.  That too kept me writing, although the more I fashioned, the longer this tale grew.

In the interim, babies were born, my dad passed.  Eric, Lynne, and the rest became an extension of my own clan; when not writing, I wondered when I might return to their realm, and when I was working, I pondered how blessed was my life with The Burrito, Little Miss, and Miss Em.  My father would find their antics amusing, perhaps how he views my foray into fiction.  How I see my novelistic endeavors has altered, and this story stands like a demarcation; closing my eyes, I easily recall my previous life as an author, but in taking a good look, that woman appears half formed.

Maybe that is simply indicative of life’s changes, but how often do we get a guidebook or pamphlet in the middle of such transitions?  For me, that is what The Hawk has become, a Life Echo minus the sound.  Yet melodic memories waft right over my head, laying their healing beauty within my ears as I read Eric’s laments, Lynne’s dreams, Stanford’s hesitations, Laurie’s joy, Sam’s eagerness, Renee’s hopes, Marek’s wisdom, Seth’s fears, Klaudia’s wariness.  My goodness, that’s quite a collection, but The Hawk isn’t a small novel, lol.  It’s many love stories, a few tragedies.  It’s fact and fantasy set in the 1960s and thank the Lord it’s finally finished.  The entire collection is available on Smashwords, and will be released in full on various other online retailers soon.

The Hawk, Part Twelve

While my clan awaits a new arrival, I’ve released another section of The HawkPart Twelve is available on Smashwords in a variety of formats, and I’m very pleased to have published one more piece of this large literary puzzle.  If you are searching for plenty to read over the upcoming holiday, The Hawk certainly fits the bill.  Check out the latest installment on Smashwords!

The Lie, A Review

A novella that gripped me from the start, The Lie, by Elizabeth Rowan Keith, is part historical fiction, part heartwarming drama, and very much related to our present, even if the action is set amid the Second World War.  A young woman is suddenly thrust into difficult circumstances, with a child to care for as well, however not all facts are as they seem.

Several themes are explored within this story, that of truth vs fabrication, helping one’s neighbor, as well as personal responsibility.  Yet in Rowan Keith’s tender prose, lessons are subtly weaved as years are stripped away to a time that almost seems antiquated, but for me the message of The Lie is firmly rooted in how these characters support one another.  The lie itself becomes a force for good in an era when honesty was often touted as the best option, but how many falsehoods lingered below the surface?

Profound truths are revealed in this eloquent yet gripping novella, compelling the reader to examine what is most necessary in all facets of existence.  I highly recommend this story, available both in paperback and as an ebook.  I’ll be ordering the print version to accompany my digital copy, so thank you Elizabeth for publishing this intriguing tale in two formats!

The Hawk, Part Eleven

At times over the last few months, I wondered when I would release Part Eleven; I still haven’t managed any writing, but I have read through this part, and today it’s out for all to view.  I’m pretty pleased with it, also surprised at how long it is, compared to the rest of what has been published in this series.  It’s nearly novel-length, but what remains is going to be even more involved.

What I like about this particular slice of the pie, ha ha, is that finally someone is where he belongs.  That’s all I will say, don’t want to spoil too much of the tale.  The Hawk: Part Eleven is available on all formats at Smashwords, hope you enjoy it!

The Todd Lambert Special

Four years ago I wrote a short story for Top Writers Block, that month’s theme being meringue.  The tale was an epilogue to my Alvin’s Farm series, although it could be read as a standalone yarn.  Having recently revisited that set of books, I decided to separately publish “The Todd Lambert Special”, adding it to the Alvin’s Farm series on Smashwords, although I have already released it as a part of my Chips Off the Block anthology.  Why now, you might ask?  Well, I’ve been taking a brief break from The Hawk, and having penned this little tale, it seemed silly to exclude it from the rest concerning the Cassel and Smith families.  I’m up to my eyeteeth with various life projects, but sometimes it’s good to sneak in a little literary fun.

Enjoy this story for either its brevity or if you’ve read the Alvin’s Farm books, a lovely way to wrap up Jenny, Sam, Tommie, and Rae’s exploits.  And the next time you eat a piece of pie, don’t discount how blessed it just might be, hehehe.

The Hawk, Part Ten

A quick break in the sabbatical to announce the latest segment within this series.  This installment is apt for the season, as it starts off right after Christmas.  But more appropriate is its theme, that of love, reconciliation, and forgiveness.  Part Ten is available in all formats exclusively on Smashwords.  Happy Christmas and Hanukkah to all!

Dido’s Crown, A Review

Action and intrigue meet head on in Julie K. Rose’s third novel, Dido’s Crown.  Set in 1935 Tunisia, this story cleverly blends adventure, history, and family drama, leaving this reader turning page after page to find out what happens next.  But like in any Julie Rose novel, there’s a desire to savor each paragraph for the extensive attention to detail.  Tunisia is vividly brought to life, sights and scents sending me back nearly one hundred years.  I was captured both by the plot’s mystery and where it took me, beyond Northern Africa to France, then back again.

Mary, Tom, and Will are longtime friends, but their histories are linked by sorrow as well as affection.  Reunited by a mysterious package which Mary is supposed to deliver to her husband, two more are drawn into their clique, altering the dynamics forever.  What I especially loved was the well-balanced tension between the action and the characters’ personal exploits.  This isn’t an ordinary spy thriller, nor is it typical historical fiction.  It’s a scintillating and at times searing view into pre-war Europe and Africa spiced by heroism and tragedy.

Taut and entertaining, Dido’s Crown sheds historical light on an often overlooked part of the world, but Julie K. Rose does Tunisia justice, as well as her characters.  I highly recommend this novel, which is available both in print and as an ebook.   If you’re looking for more information about Dido’s Crown, check out Julie’s You Tube channel.  While this story takes place in early spring, something about it feels ideal for autumnal enjoyment.  Pick up a copy and see where Julie K. Rose takes you.