Over the summer I will be updating author’s details in the Cafe and Bookstore and also sharing their bios, books and recent reviews with you in this series…
Meet. D.Wallace Peach
Best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked. Diana lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two dogs, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.
For book descriptions, excerpts, maps, and behind the scenes info, please visit:
D.Wallace Peach Books
A selection of books by D.Wallace Peach
An early review for The Ferryman and the Sea Witch
The sea witch Panmar is not a mermaid and definitely nothing like Disney’s Ariel from “The Little Mermaid”. Panmar is an unusual blend of fish and human called a merrow:
“The sea witch surfaced. Urchin’s spines fanned from her temples and forehead in a prickly crown. Muscle threaded her arms, her body slim but bold-boned, skin drawn tight across her cheeks and throat. Her hair glimmered with pearls and beads of abalone, bewitching if not for the malevolence in her hooded eyes … blood-red hair slick against her skull, spectral eyes black as jet.”
As her kingdom’s ruler, Panmar is not given to kindness or leniency but when a human sailor named Callum almost loses his life trying to save Panmar’s daughter, she offers him a trade: He will be the only ferryman who can cross the Sea Witch’s waters but he can never set foot on land again AND he must provide a royal sacrifice to assuage the Witch. Until he finds one, he must offer a human sacrifice as the price of crossing her watery realm.
“The sea-witch required royal blood, and until her vengeance was satisfied, each crossing of the Deep required a sacrifice. The task fell to him [Callum]. To the ferryman.”
Two warring nations, one on either side of the Sea Witch’s oceans, commit to this arrangement by trading royal infants, allowing their sworn enemy to raise their child. The day finally comes when the children must return to their rightful family but what trust there once was has melted away over the years to be replaced by lies, deceit, and treachery. Hidden secrets must now come out as the intertwined fates of the two royal houses unravel. If even family can’t be trusted, how can Callum find a way to save what is most important to him?
Highly recommended for those who love fantasy, dark sea shanties, and anything written by Diana Peach.
Meet Mary Smith
Mary Smith has always loved writing. As a child she wrote stories in homemade books made from wallpaper trimmings – but she never thought people could grow up and become real writers. She spent a year working in a bank, which she hated – all numbers, very few words – ten years with Oxfam in the UK, followed by ten years working in Pakistan and Afghanistan. She wanted others to share her amazing, life-changing experiences so she wrote about them – fiction, non-fiction, poetry and journalism. And she discovered the little girl who wrote stories had become a real writer after all.
Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan Women is an account of her time in Afghanistan and her debut novel No More Mulberries is also set in Afghanistan.
Mary loves interacting with her readers Mary Smith Website
Books by Mary Smith
One of the recent reviews Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni
Mary Smith’s Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real stories of Afghan women surprised me. Going into it, I expected the memoir to be interesting, as its focus is on a part of the world I know very little about. What I did not expect was that it would be so compelling.
For three years in the 1990s, Smith and her partner Jon worked in Afghanistan for a nonprofit to provide healthcare and health education for women in Mazar-i-Sharif. Poverty, hygiene practices that led to disease, cultural myths, and reluctance to discuss gynecological problems with male doctors were all challenges Smith was faced with addressing.
She did it by establishing the Female Health Volunteer training project, whereby Afghan women would be trained to provide health education to the women in their villages, focusing on
antenatal care, safe childbirth and postpartum care, and the care of babies and young children who failed to thrive due to diarrhea.
The details of the volunteer training project and the story of each woman who participated in it were the highlight of the book for me and the reason I looked forward to picking it up again to read after a long day. The women were so proud of their ability to learn new concepts and practices, pass the required testing, and go back to their villages to use what they had learned to improve the health and wellbeing of others.
One of the most striking aspects of the book is how Smith describes the deprivation and unsanitary conditions in which she worked and lived. These conditions are described matter-of-factly and without the judgemental lens of squeamish first-world privilege. Along similar lines, Smith’s goal to help improve the health and living conditions of Afghan women and their children has none of the zeal of the missionary to proselytize and convert them to a Western way of life.
Threaded throughout the book is contextual information about the traditional role of women in Afghan society, marital relationships, changes in Afghan society toward modernization, and the political situation, which ultimately led to the takeover by the Taliban.
The last section of the book is devoted to what happened to the women I came to know and care about after the Taliban took over the country. Their stories of horrific tragedy and, ultimately, resilience are one more reason I highly recommend Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni.
Meet Frank Prem
Frank Prem has been a storytelling poet since his teenage years. He has been a psychiatric nurse through all of his professional career, which now exceeds forty years.
He has been published in magazines, online zines and anthologies in Australia, and in a number of other countries, and has both performed and recorded his work as spoken word.
He lives with his wife in the beautiful township of Beechworth in North East Victoria, Australia.
Also by Frank Prem
One of the recent reviews for Voices in the Trash
Frank Prem lends his photographic talent to this picture poetry book by featuring photographs from the trash and treasure markets from around Australia. The author asks us, “What if these items could talk?”
What follows is a unique poetic perspective as he listens to the plaintive voices in the trash. He pens his poetry accordingly. All objects are worthy of a voice, in his eyes.
This was a lovely and creative endeavor. If you’re looking for something different to read and inspire, this is the book for you.