Welcome to the first of the author updates this week featuring news and recent reviews for authors in the Cafe and Bookstore.
The first author with news is William Luvaas and Lucinda Luvaas, who have 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
I read and reviewed the book earlier in the year and the film is under 13 minutes and I am sure you will enjoy.
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 recent reviews for the book
If this were just a novel about these odd and interesting characters living in a strange and haunting high desert place, with the lovely language and descriptions, I would have enjoyed it. But this is also a frequently funny book about serious environmental and social issues that are impacting California — overdevelopment, suburban sprawl into previously wild landscapes, overuse of water in a dry place, and the pushing out of low-income folks by the rich.
The novel is told in two voices, that of the main character, Albert Sharpe, and that of the town of Saint Angel. Alternating between the two works well and gives a full picture of the place and the story. Although there were lots of characters, they were so well-drawn and unique that it wasn’t hard to keep track of them. A character list was also provided in the back. There were many things I loved about this book but I especially enjoyed the parts where the writer dwells on the place itself — the plants and animals, what things looked like. I felt as if I’d gone there every time I opened the book. Also, one of the overriding threads running through the book is how much the long-time residents love Saint Angel and the descriptions of the environment make that love seem real.
In addition to the main story, there are many side stories, most of which deal with relationships between people. These are both poignant at times, especially Al Sharpe’s relationship with his daughter, Finley, as well as funny, as with Al’s relationship with Penny Noonan. The book reminded me in some ways of other novels I’ve loved by Richard Russo and T.C. Boyle, but was also very much its own unique work.
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
The next author with great recent reviews is Sacha Black for Victor: The Eden East YA Fantasy Novels
About the book
When Eden East kills someone, she expects them to stay dead. It’s only polite, after all.
Exhausted from battle and finally bound to her soulmate, all Eden wants to do is attend university and spend time with Trey. When her demon-ex, Victor, suddenly returns from the afterlife, Eden’s convinced he’s out for revenge. The last thing she expects is for him to ask for help, especially when he’s being controlled by evil forces.
But when an enchanted lock and key go missing, she’s no longer sure who she can trust. If Eden can’t find them in time, not only will her life, and her heart, be torn apart, the very world she lives in could be destroyed – forever.
Victor will transport fans of The Red Queen, The Young Elites, and The Lunar Chronicles to a world unlike any other…
The Eden East Novels: Book 0 – Sirens (coming soon) Book 1 – Keepers Book 2 – Victor
One of the recent reviews for the book
I’m an avid fan of this author and the Eden East Series. I’ve also read and reviewed the first book in this series, Keepers, which you can find on colleenchesebro.com.
Victor is the second book in the series and starts out with a bang! After crashing Eden’s coronation it becomes apparent that Victor is very much alive, even though Eden stabbed a poisoned knife through his heart. It’s as if Victor can’t die!
And if that it isn’t enough to grab your attention, Eden finds that she must rule as the “Fallon of the East” and as the head-girl in Keeper school. She also becomes part of a conspiracy to overthrow the First Fallon and joins in the rebellion.
Meanwhile, Eden is still reeling from the deaths of her parents. Those feelings comingle into her life with Trey, her balancer, and soul mate. Look for some steamy scenes between these two! Whew! Their relationship is all consuming. These two are so twisted up together that the reader knows one cannot live without the other.
Yet, a sense of uneasiness hangs over Eden’s world. For all the happiness she shares with Trey, she is plagued with horrible nightmares about the fate of Trutinor and her beloved. She finds herself consumed by these dreams terrified they are prophetic in nature.
Eden turns to two friends, Sheridan, and Charlie who is able to provide some interpretation to her dream sequences. Charlie travels within her dreams searching for the answers that Eden needs to save Trutinor and Trey.
In my humble opinion, Victor surpasses the first book, not in storytelling, but in the detail given to the worldbuilding of Truitnor. This novel could almost stand alone, it is so powerful. However, from the skillful words of this author, the reader learns more about the dryads and the shifters, and the role they play in this realm of existence.
By the end of Victor, I found myself fully vested in the characters and in the mystery that envelopes Trutinor. This is an action-packed novel that transmits just the right amount of tension so the reader will beg for more. I’m begging! I can’t wait to find out what happens next!
MY RATING: Character Believability: 5 Flow and Pace: 5 Reader Engagement: 5 Reader Enrichment: 5 Reader Enjoyment: 5 Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Stars
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Victor-Eden-Novels-Sacha-Black/dp/1999722523/
and on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07C2LV7MV
Also by Sacha Black
Buy the books separately or combined: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sacha-Black/e/B072BQ2MP7
and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Sacha-Black/e/B072BQ2MP7
And find more reviews and follow Sacha on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16173650.Sacha_Black
Connect to Sacha via her blog: http://sachablack.co.uk/about/
Colleen Chesebro is also an author in the Cafe and Bookstore.
Colleen Chesebro, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Stone-Chronicles-Swamp-Fairy/dp/1541015967
My next author with a recent review is Pamela S. Wight with her fast-paced The Right Wrong Man.
About The Right Wrong Man
Meredith Powers’ career as a medical editor seems safe enough as she searches for love with the right man. But she is pulled suddenly from her serene world in Boston to one of intrigue, kidnapping, and murder in the Caribbean.
Meredith’s simple life becomes terribly complicated when she works with an author who drags her into a drug heist. The reappearance of her ex-boyfriend, the D.E.A. agent, and the stunning response from her current accountant boyfriend all lead to complications, danger, and more than a few questions.
Meredith wonders if she really knows the people who surround her in her daily life. Her parents, her best friends, her boss, even her lover. She discovers that almost everyone holds secrets, and the unearthing of those cover-ups lead to mystery and danger that changes everything, and everyone, she thought she knew.
One of the recent reviews for the book
In Pamela Wight’s The Right Wrong Man (2013), Meredith Powers is accustomed to spending her days helping authors turn out polished manuscripts. She’s good at it, one of the best, but not so much at running her love life. She falls body and spirit for a man named Parker Webb who disappears frequently for job-related work that takes him to dangerous parts of the world doing dangerous things. Finally, she can’t stand the idea that she might lose him, that he would disappear in some foreign country and she’d never again hear from him, so she dumps.
To recover from his unpredictability, she moves in with a handsome and dependable accountant. Parker reappears, filled with warnings of her safety telling her not to trust anyone, telling her his cover was blown and he isn now running for his life, and within days, she is kidnapped. The handsome FBI agent who holds her captive tells her a different story about Parker, of a rogue agent who fell to the dark side and that the US government needs her help capturing him. It is at this point she realizes she really does love Parker, doesn’t believe this man who claims to be FBI, and commits herself to discovering the truth and saving Parker.
Highly recommended for those who need to escape their lives for at least a few hours.
Read more of the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Right-Wrong-Man-Pamela-Wight-ebook/dp/B00AYNQ7EG
Also by Pamela S.Wight
Read the reviews and buy all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Pamela-S.-Wight/e/B00AYXT6R6
And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pamela-S.-Wight/e/B00AYXT6R6
Read more reviews and follow Pamela on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7042822.Pamela_Wight
Connect to Pamela via her website: https://roughwighting.net/
Jacqui Murray is also an author in the Cafe and Bookstore
The final author today with a recent review is Christy D. Birmingham for her collection of poetry, Versions of the Self.
About Versions of the Self
Imagine a shift to the way you see the world that arises through poetic narration. Imagine the world, at its base level, is a collection of selves. These selves collide, disperse, intermingle, and share themselves in lines of free verse. Such is the premise of Versions of the Self, poetry that assumes multiple types of selves exist and relate in ways that alter them. Each of the eight chapters looks at a different type of self, including the singular “I” and romantic interactions. These unique 80 poems definitely color themselves outside of the lines.
An extract from one of the recent reviews for Versions of the Self
Versions of the self is quite an extraordinary book of poetry. The poet, Christy Birmingham, has a very unique style of writing which I found very intriguing. I also thought this style worked exceptionally well for the content of this book which is all about different versions of self. It imitates the flow of thought but in an easy to read and fascinating way.
I felt I would like to get to know the poet as I read her poems. While she does write about a mixture of various emotions, there is a thread of sadness or melancholy that runs through many of them and I felt that the writer had suffered pain in her past relationships. The poems become lighter and happier as you move through the book and I found myself hoping that this is a reflection of Christy’s life.
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Versions-Self-Christy-Birmingham/dp/0994094906
Read more reviews and follow Christy on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7177834.Christy_Birmingham
Also by Christy Birmingham.
Connect to Christy via her website: https://poeticparfait.com/
Robbie Cheadle is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore
Robbie and Michael Cheadle, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ
Blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/ – Goodreads: Robbie Goodreads
Thank you for visiting today and I hope you will explore these authors and their books further. Thanks Sally.
You will find over 500 books on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore with links to buy from Amazon: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-free-author-promotion/