Oh Peter Pan…
Originally posted on burning oceans:
Our fingertips carelessly knitted
to the fermented bone-rifts, bone-strings
of my shy, shy hands to yours –
to the harmonica of your words
strung within whispers, saying,
“I wanted our hands intertwined, like this.”
You tugged the heartstrings of my own,
little world to yours.
Just like that.
You set off fountain oceans into
enkindled adventures against
strong currents, and downpour of
dumb, dumb dreams
we chase off.
And so we chase those teeny-tattered smiles
burying within the middle-mist joy,
terra cotta tiles
You tugged, and
tagged me along to somewhere,
somewhere I might not know.
But this might be the way
to the tunnel and high-waters
where the skies are infinite.
Infinite in my own, little
naive tea-time party.
And if I was chasing for something,
for something nothing
that I do not know,
lead me still.
Lead me still, and hold me close
to you, Peter…
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PRESENTS. . .
A Cover Reveal
by Kris Thompson
A Weekly Low Down on Kids Books
Title: Colors of the Wind
Author: J.L. Powers
Publisher: Purple House Press
Genre: Picture Book/ Children’s
“J.L. Powers! I love that guy!” Kiddo shouts when she hears me telling my husband that we got a new picture book to review in the mail today. Never mind that J.L. Powers is a woman and that we’ve never read her work before. Kiddo just loves getting new books in the mail, loves discovering new authors as much as I do.
Colors of the Wind is the story of George Mendoza, two time blind Olympian runner who sees the world like a kaleidoscope and has become a painter. The picture book is visually stimulating and intentionally motivational to do your best and pursue your dreams, no matter what trials you may face.
“That book is beautiful, like Grandmother’s Cabin,” she says when we’re done. Artistically speaking, Grandmother’s Cabin is the picture book by which all others are now measured in my three year old’s eyes. Colors of the Wind gets her art stamp of approval and she was particularly intrigued by the tribute to other paintings at the back that were not included in the story. She’s officially asking when we can meet George and we can’t wait to share this story with the cousins, our friends, and the homeschooling groups we are a part of.
“An illumination of the persistent power of art. Colors of the Wind reminds us all that our biggest burdens are often our greatest gifts,” Kathi Appelt is quoted on the marketing packet. I couldn’t say it better.
Author: E. Michael Helms
Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 265 pages
“I swallowed the last of my coffee, reached for the pot and poured another cup.”
Cup after coffee cup, I drank and read the second installment of E. Michael Helms Civil War series.
When life is hard, it’s nice to escape into another century’s problems. I suppose that’s the root of the issue when it comes to historical and science fiction lovers. We like to flee into other eras when humans are the same, but the world is so different.
My favorite tidbit about Helms series is that he was inspired by two elderly brothers he once knew as a boy, who had a Confederate veteran father. On his acknowledgements page he tells them, though they are long gone, that “It was your voices that gave rise to the voices of Daniel and Elijah Malburn.” As a fiction writer myself, those tiny details make my heart swoon, because so often we writers are asked where our ideas come from, and so often we are unable to precisely pinpoint it. Ideas sort of sprout and grow from nothing more than a vibe or a passing fancy, very rarely rooted in much of substance other than things our subconscious has gathered and created from nearly thin air. That Helms remembers these gentleman who told him stories as a boy is marvelous to my scattered mind.
This is a great piece of fiction to add to a high schooler’s American Civil War studies. The mind wraps itself around facts and truths of an era so much better when the facts are rooted in a riveting story. My favorite thing to do when I study any time in history is to read a biography or political piece side by side with a bit of fiction.
Well done, Helms! Looking forward to reading Deadly Catch, one of another series by Helms that I can’t wait to get my teeth into.
Title:A Fancy Dinner Party
Editor: Hilary Comfort
Publisher: Grey Gecko Press
Genre: Thriller/ Horror
Length: 184 pages
For nearly two years now, I have had the joy of being acquainted with a small, local publishing company called Grey Gecko Press. As a whole, they are fun and spunky, and I enjoy both hosting events for them and attending ones where they are present.
At one of the more recent signings, Jason Kristopher handed me a copy of A Fancy Dinner Party. I was warned not to read it too late at night – or when I was alone.
I took my time with it, limiting myself to only one or two stories per sitting. The anthology features ten different authors, a fantastic forward by Jonathan Maberry, all neatly packaged and edited by Hilary Comfort and the folks at Grey Gecko Press.
I did read it at night. But I did not read it alone!
These stories are a lot like the group who wrote them, spunky and fun – even when they’re scaring the crap out of you. I enjoyed the anthology, I love that I have a copy signed by all the contributors and would highly recommend it to short story lovers…
and science fiction lovers… and readers of fantasy, and horror, and thrillers…
As the back jacket says, there’s even a bit of Americana and Japanese folklore. The book has so much to offer and is a prime example of Grey Gecko Press, yet again, putting their best foot forward. I especially liked the dedication at the front: “For all the new and still-struggling authors whose stories have yet to be told.”
With the chapters arranged like a menu and a forward urging us to “Sit back, tuck in your napkin [...] and dig into this bizarre feat,” the book keeps the menu theme alive from start to finish. Well done.
As a reviewer of an anthology, I can’t just stop there and fail to mention one crucial point – my favorite course, of course!
GGP managed to save the best for last: George Wright Padgett
I loved his story The Arrangement and it was truly the cherry on top of a very disturbing dessert!
The ebook of A Fancy Dinner Party is $2.99, well worth the download. Good luck reading alone.
I love this man. Check out the Interviews tab to find my own interview with George Wright Padgett.
Originally posted on authorsinterviews:
Name: George Wright Padgett
Age: Acts like: 9 1/2 Actual: Middle-aged
Where are you from:
A little about yourself; ie your education Family life etc:
I’m a husband (25+ years) and father of two children (13 year old girl/10 year old boy) a jazz piano player, a graphic artist, and sometimes a playwright. I also live with a mini dachshund that goes by Jenny.
Tell us your latest news?
My first horror novel, Cruel Devices is in the hands of the editor and is due out this winter. I also just signed a contract for a 2016 release of a steampunk detective novel entitled Addleton Heights. Both are being released by a small press publisher in Katy, Texas known as Grey Gecko Press.
When and why did you begin writing?
Looking back over the years I’ve always enjoyed telling stories. Only recently did I realize that I’ve unofficially…
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Title: His Texas Forever Family
Author: Amy Woods
Genre: Home & Family Romance
Length: 216 pages
I’ve read a few romance novels in my day, but as far as I can recall this is my first Harlequin. Though I’m not a new die hard Harlequin customer, I am pretty ecstatic about this particular title… since my brother’s wife wrote it!
I’m a little more than biased and absurdly proud. It’s exciting to be a first time author, and even more exciting that her first time out the gates she’ll be hitting the shelf of every Wal-Mart in America and more. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m a little bit jealous she’s getting such amazing exposure, but I’m so happy for her – she’s earned it!
I enjoyed my brief 216 page stay in Peach Leaf, Texas. Woods had me wondering if Peach Leaf were real and when I could visit. It’s apparently one of the safest places on earth and the people are awfully nice. Everyone needs a place where the lady at the grocery store will order your favorite coffee when they discover they don’t already have it in stock. Favorite coffees are important!
The main characters, of course, are intriguing… a sexy art teacher recently divorced, a widowed and emotionally guarded assistant principal, and a kid that won’t talk sets the perfect stage for a romance about matters of hearts in need of healing. Woods is a great writer (a fantastic copyeditor too, if you’re in the market for one) and draws you into a seemingly simple plot with every carefully placed sentence and word.
This debut novel will be available September 1st, 2014. Take note, mark your calendar, set aside a few bucks for a new book! And once you’ve read it, be sure to leave a review for our favorite Harlequin author.
Title:Of Blood and Brothers
Author: E. Michael Helms
Publisher: Koehler Books
Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 269 pages
“It was war, I said, and war makes people do bad things.”
Historical fiction that involves research and spans time within a story is always my favorite. Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale, any of Kate Morton’s novels, A.S. Byatt’s Possession… these are among my must own forever books.
So, of course, I was pleased to discover E. Michael Helms’ Of Blood and Brothers series, which follows reporter Calvin Hogue (from 1927) as he researches the story of the Malburn Brothers (who fought in the Civil War).
As a child from the South, I adored Civil War tales. I didn’t care whether they were written from our perspective or the Yanks, I just couldn’t get enough of it. Gentle Annie and Red Badge of Courage were both beloved titles during my elementary school years. I played Colonel Shaw in the school play of Glory. Part of my obsession with Little Women was the mid-to-post war setting.
E. Michael Helms took me back in time to Elijah Malburn, and I got to experience being stolen from by the Confederates, being interrogated by the Union soldiers, and working at the saltworks. I traveled with Jefferson, the Malburn’s slave and found it oddly appropriate that the rift that doomed the brothers wasn’t just a political one, but one that included a girl.
I could easily turn this review into a political debate – there’s plenty to talk about, especially with me being from the south and having all sorts of views on the Confederacy. But that wouldn’t do Helms’ work justice.
Of Blood and Brothers is about people and homes being torn apart by circumstances outside of their control. It’s about being a soldier and not always being one because it’s what you believe in, but because it’s what saves your backside. It’s about protecting your loved ones and lamenting their departure from this world…
It’s a darn good book and I’m looking forward to the sequel.