Time for more gift ideas from the Cafe and Bookstore and today novels that I have read and reviewed this year, that I can highly recommend. The first author is Claire Fullerton, and her latest release Mourning Dove.
About Mourning Dove
“An accurate and heart-wrenching picture of the sensibilities of the American South.” Kirkus Book Reviews
The heart has a home when it has an ally.
If Millie Crossan doesn’t know anything else, she knows this one truth simply because her brother Finley grew up beside her. Charismatic Finley, eighteen months her senior, becomes Millie’s guide when their mother Posey leaves their father and moves her children from Minnesota to Memphis shortly after Millie’s tenth birthday.
Memphis is a world foreign to Millie and Finley. This is the 1970s Memphis, the genteel world of their mother’s upbringing and vastly different from anything they’ve ever known. Here they are the outsiders. Here, they only have each other. And here, as the years fold over themselves, they mature in a manicured Southern culture where they learn firsthand that much of what glitters isn’t gold. Nuance, tradition, and Southern eccentrics flavor Millie and Finley’s world as they find their way to belonging.
But what hidden variables take their shared history to leave both brother and sister at such disparate ends?
One of the recent reviews for the book
Mourning Dove is an epic mid-century recounting of a family, a lifestyle, a simpler but dignified time, providing a reminder that behind the gilded societal walls, hardships exist and life goes on. Claire Fullerton’s development of these dear to her heart characters, makes the reader consider them family members within the opening chapters. Set against the backdrop of a real life Gone With the Wind, Claire’s mother brings about images of Jackie O, Audrey, Bacall, complete with her own resident Warhol. But behind perfection, often hides dysfunction. Is it dysfunction, or is it what we all live through – our best efforts to make it through this often difficult life? In this sense, Millie and Finley take decidedly different paths of working through it all.
A masterful use of description, often providing a bouquet of the very scent being described, the subtle facial tells one can relate to, and the constant feeling of “what if”. This book flows like a gathering avalanche, and never ceases to disappoint. I dreaded the end, as I felt something ominous on the horizon. A must read for those with a deep sentimental side – I’m left with a sense of longing, wistfulness, yearning. Or is it all out melancholy? Yes, that’s it…melancholy.
My thanks to the author for having the strength to pen this novel and bare her soul.
Read some of the 100 other reviews and buy the book : https://www.amazon.com/Mourning-Dove-Claire-Fullerton/dp/1946016527
Also by Claire Fullerton
Read the reviews and buy the books : https://www.amazon.com/Claire-Fullerton/e/B00HRJEUJ4
and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Claire-Fullerton/e/B00HRJEUJ4
Read other reviews and follow Claire on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7388895.Claire_Fullerton
Connect to Claire via her website: https://www.clairefullerton.com/
The next novel that I read earlier in the year is Welcome to Saint Angel by William Luvaas.
Following on from the book release William Luvaas and Lucinda Luvaas, won a prestigious award. The short film adapted from William’s novel Welcome to Saint Angel has just won the “Best Adapted Screenplay” award at the Golden State Film Festival in L.A. It started out as a book trailer and evolved into a short film. You can watch the film on Vimeo – Welcome to Saint Angel
About Welcome to Saint Angel.
Iconoclastic inventor, Al Sharpe, loves his canyon home in Southern California’s Saint Angel Valley. He builds his teenage daughter a tree house in a giant oak and invents the Sharpe Smoke Scrubber to detoxify wood smoke. When wealthy developer Ches Noonan, a fellow member of the Desert Green Lawn Association, sets out to fill the valley with houses and appropriate its precious water supply to fill swimming pools during California’s worst drought, Al and his quixotic pals rebel. In the Realty Revenge, they halt development through madcap high jinks and the help of local Indians, ancient demon Tahquitz, and mother nature.
Welcome to Saint Angel is a dead-serious comedy about development gone mad and townsfolk’s attempts to protect their rural Arcadia from bulldozers and climate change deniers. Part environmental fiction, part social satire, it speaks to exurban sprawl and the heedless development of fragile natural areas and to the power of communal resistance in the face of calamity.
“A painful, redemptive belly laugh and well worth it.” —Doug Peacock, Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness
One of the reviews for the book on Goodreads
Besides being one of our best storytellers, Bill Luvaas, with the writing of Welcome to Saint Angel, must also be acknowledged as one of our most enlightened, if somewhat excentric, radicals.
From the outset, Welcome . . . bristles with the rollicking, ribald wit reminiscent of Rabelais as well as the caustic social & personal satire of Voltaire. When the desolate little desert hamlet of Saint Angel comes under attack from uncompromising, money-grubbing developers & unprincipled water-snatchers, an uncommon & often mind-boggling array of cast-offs, misfits, ornery & none-too-subtle humanity rise up to attempt to save their terrible paradise: what’s one person’s hell is another’s heaven – I guess & so does Bill Luvaas who teases us with serious arguments against over-development & miss-use of nature’s bounty while at the same time interrupting the ‘lecture’ with quips & currents of lawless madness & random mayhem.
From the likes of the peculiarly complicated character Tinkerspoon, the sometime wacky genius, who can hack any & all computers from the U S Government to the local bank, to the town of Saint Angel itself that speaks the facts that keep the plot alive & moving ever forward, Luvaas packs his pages with nudies, gunfighters, street brawlers, trackers tracking humans over hot & unrelenting desert, a swamp that devours all & any in its proximity & just to keep the romantic reader engrossed, a saga of father-daughter-love lost & found & the nourishing spirit of Tahquitz, a Native Demon, who keeps tabs on the merciless marauders while cheering-on the downtrodden but relentless protectors of Saint Angel. Bill Luvass has done us a favor with the creation of this book – do yourself one & read it!!
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Welcome-Saint-Angel-William-Luvaas-ebook/dp/B07BN936MJ
Also by William Luvaas
Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/William-Luvaas/e/B000APB892
And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/William-Luvaas/e/B000APB892
Read more reviews and follow William on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/300702.William_Luvaas
Connect to William via his Website: http://www.williamluvaas.com
And another book that I read and enjoyed more recently is Born in a Treacherous Time by Jacqui Murray. To walk in the footsteps of one of our earliest female ancestors is quite an experience and humbling.
About the book
‘The book’s plot is similar in key ways to … Jean M. Auel’s The Clan of the Cave Bear–Kirkus Reviews
Born in the harsh world of East Africa 1.8 million years ago, where hunger, death, and predation are a normal part of daily life, Lucy and her band of early humans struggle to survive. It is a time in history when they are relentlessly annihilated by predators, nature, their own people, and the next iteration of man. To make it worse, Lucy’s band hates her. She is their leader’s new mate and they don’t understand her odd actions, don’t like her strange looks, and don’t trust her past. To survive, she cobbles together an unusual alliance with an orphaned child, a beleaguered protodog who’s lost his pack, and a man who was supposed to be dead.
Born in a Treacherous Time is prehistoric fiction written in the spirit of Jean Auel. Lucy is tenacious and inventive no matter the danger, unrelenting in her stubbornness to provide a future for her child, with a foresight you wouldn’t think existed in earliest man. You’ll close this book understanding why man not only survived our wild beginnings but thrived, ultimately to become who we are today.
My recent review for Born in a Treacherous Time.
Firstly, respect to the author for the amount of research needed to create this amazing story of early man born into a world still going through its growing pains. Combined with vividly created characters who you instantly relate to, this is a book you won’t want to put down.
Secondly, I now have a much greater respect for our early ancestors for whom life is brutal, with the earth still spewing lava and ash and changing the landscape continuously. Food and water is scarce; game is eaten when opportunity presents itself, and there is a hierarchy which places man way behind some of the dominant predators of the day. Some of those predators are next generation humans such as man-who-preys and they hover on the horizon menacingly.
Lucy is a female, wise beyond her years and her species, who leaves her clan following a tragedy, to bring new blood to a devastated group. She is an early healer with a knowledge of plants that is invaluable to those she comes to care for, and an ability to track and hunt as well as a man. This does not endear her to other females in the group, but as the story evolves you understand that even in this brutal time, tenderness and friendship are still possible.
This is an amazing world that Jacquie Murray has carved out of an alien landscape.There is danger, adventure, tragedy and sacrifice. There is also humanity between species and the beginnings of an understanding of the symbiotic relationship with non-humans.
I came away with a sense of kinship with Lucy and the rest of the characters. So many of their traits were recognisable even two million years later. It is only recently that they have established that most of us who are Caucasian have a very small percentage of Neanderthal DNA. That makes this story all the more fascinating knowing that there is still a connection to those who lived through this treacherous time.
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Born-Treacherous-Time-Nature-Book-ebook/dp/B07CTCR944
Also by Jacqui Murray
Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon Author Page US
And: Amazon UK
Read more reviews and follow Jacqui on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/84832.Jacqui_Murray
Connect to Jacqui via her blog: Worddreams,
And last but not least my latest review which was for Terry Tyler and Legacy: Book Four Project Renova Series... I have read and reviewed the previous books in the series and I can recommend that you read all of them
Out of all the death and destruction has come the freedom to be who we really are.’
A hundred years after the world was devastated by the bat fever virus, the UK is a country of agricultural communities where motherhood is seen as the ideal state for a woman, new beliefs have taken over from old religions, and the city of Blackthorn casts a threatening shadow over the north of England. Legacy travels backwards in time to link up with the characters from Tipping Point, Lindisfarne and UK2.
Seventeen-year-old Bree feels stifled by the restrictions of her village community, but finds a kindred spirit in Silas, a lone traveller searching for his roots. She, too, is looking for answers: the truth behind the mysterious death, forty years earlier, of her grandmother.
In 2050, Phoenix Northam’s one wish is to follow in the footsteps of his father, a great leader respected by all who knew him…or so his mother tells him.
In 2029, on a Danish island, Lottie is homesick for Lindisfarne; two years earlier, Alex Verlander and the kingpins of the Renova group believe they have escaped the second outbreak of bat fever just in time…
Book 4 of the Project Renova series rebuilds a broken country with no central government or law, where life is dangerous and people can simply disappear…but the post-Fall world is also one of possibility, of freedom and hope for the future.
My recent review for the book..
A fitting end to an amazing series.
It is difficult not to give away spoilers when you are excited about a book you have just read. Particularly when it is the final book in a series, and all the loose ends have been gathered up into one satisfying bundle.
If you have already read the other books in the series, then you will be as eager as I was to catch up with the previous characters as they dispersed to Denmark or escaped the new outbreak in UK Central. You won’t be disappointed, as their continuing stories are action packed, heartwarming and sometimes downright scary.
The author takes us forward, beyond these characters, to 100 years after the Bat Fever. We discover that many of the residents of the new UK have reverted back to the days of small settlements. They are self-sustaining and make an effort to bring children into a better world, although interestingly the gains made by women for independence have taken more than a few steps backwards.
However, there are still women taking control of their lives and in some cases being responsible for settlements such as Lindisfarne. However, being human there are still those that have a craving for power at any cost. In the main population hubs and in the North, 100 years after the epidemic the veneer of civilization is very thin with violence a part of everyday life.
What is clear, having read the entire series, is that following an apocalyptic event, the majority of the population are completely unprepared without the infrastructure that provides shelter, food and medicines. They have little or no knowledge of how to sustain themselves and only those with resolve and bravery will survive. Those that do bring a glimmer of hope that mankind will survive and thrive in the aftermath of a devastating event and that is a thread that runs through this final story.
A brilliant end to the series, and I do suggest that you begin with the previous three books Tipping Point, Lindisfarne and UK2 so that you are fully primed before reading Legacy.
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Legacy-Project-Renova-Book-4-ebook/dp/B07JNC9K6Z
And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Project-Renova-Book-4-ebook/dp/B07JNC9K6Z
A selection of other books by Terry Tyler
Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Terry-Tyler/e/B00693EGKM
And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Terry-Tyler/e/B00693EGKM
Read more reviews and follow Terry Tyler on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5821157.Terry_Tyler
Connect to Terry via her blog: https://terrytyler59.blogspot.ie/
I hope you have enjoyed this selection of just some of the books that I have read an enjoyed this year.. more to come later in the Christmas promotions. They would all make great gifts.