Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Unbreakable Child

The Unbreakable Child
by Kim Michele Richardson

Paperback: 218 pages
Publisher: Behler Publications; Second Edition edition (October 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1933016914
ISBN-13: 978-1933016917

"The Unbreakable Child is an act of courage, a book that insists on the primacy of justice, no matter how long the delay. Kim Michele Richardson, an author determined to give traumatic memories a rightful meaning, is one indestructible woman." —Jason Berry, author, Vows of Silence
In a story of incredible cruelty and injustice, Kim and her three older sisters were taken from their neglectful mother by the Commonwealth of Kentucky when Kim was a toddler and placed at the St. Thomas/St. Vincent Orphanage The beatings began almost immediately and lasted until the girls’ mother regained custody again. By this time Kim and her sisters had endured nine years of systematic abuse at the hands of the cruel nuns.

It is sometimes hard to read the unimaginable abuse the children suffered in the care of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. Kim’s honesty will drew you in and her truthfulness oozes from many of the horrific pages. Her voice speaks clear in this page-turner, touching every emotion leaving you drained from the pain and the joy, from the crying and the laughter.

Ms. Richardson also appalauds the courage of one man, William McMurry, the blistering, but empathetic attorney who uncovered and effectively brought to justice, the methodical concealment of decades of orphan abuses. Although you would think this story of cruel and inhuman practices was evil without end, it is an accolade to the flexibility of the human spirit and a victory to see Kim and her sisters overcome their situation with determination and resolution.

BIO: Kim Michele Richardson spent over nine years in the care of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in her native Kentucky in the 1960’s. That grim experience and her subsequent legal action against the nuns are the subjects of her book, The Unbreakable Child.

As the Kentucky spokesperson for SNAP, The Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, Kim is a go-to contact for news media for the endemic clergy abuse crisis and has appeared on national radio, news print, TV news channels, and on PBS stations.

Kim mentors teen and adult writing workshops and has initiated student reading groups and has also implemented and designed successful programs to help homeless shelters - programs that taught students about giving back to their communities.

Kim has been an active community worker doing volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity and a local shelter for the homeless, as well as helping younger students with reading and writing. She works closely with abuse victims and survivors of all types of abuse. Kim is also a contributor to The Huffington Post, writing about societal issues.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bag of Bones

The True Book Addict at Castle Macabre blog is hosting:

One of my favorite Stephen King books, Bag of Bones, has been made into a television mini-series, set to air on December 11 and 12 on A&E (in the U.S.). In honor of this momentous event, I have decided to host a read-a-long!

Here's how it will work:

Each week we will read approximately 125 pages (give or take), beginning on Sunday and posting thoughts/discussion on Saturday. Now, I know weekends are busy so if you're a couple of days late posting, that's absolutely no problem (if you don't have a blog, feel free to post your thoughts in the comments). Please stop by and leave the link to your post in the comments. Also, feel free to comment on my post. I have been known to run behind on read-a-longs so don't worry about being dropped from the list. I understand that life gets in the way. Incidentally, since I am hosting, I will make my best effort to NOT fall behind. Any questions, leave me a comment or email me at truebookaddictATgmailDOTcom.

Here is the schedule:

November 13-19--Chapter 1 - 9
November 20-26--Chapter 10 - 15
November 27-December 3--Chapter 16 - 21
December 4-10--Chapter 22 - End
If you would like to sign-up, please leave a comment with your blog link.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

CARter CAR and His Wild and CARazy Birthday

CARter CAR and His Wild and CARazy Birthday written and illustrated by Debra G. Watts

Pages : 36
Book Format :Square 8.5 x 8.5
Subject :JUVENILE FICTION / Fiction / Childrens Book
ISBN10: 1-4628-4864-8 (Picture Book)
ISBN13: 978-1-4628-4864-5 (Picture Book)

Today is CARter CAR's birthday and he is very excited. He and his friends CARissa, CARmen, CARina, CARly, CARlton, CARlos, CARson, CARol, and CARey celectrate a little too CARazy throughout the day. See how his party gets a bit out of control.

This is a wonderful children's book written by local author Debra G. Watts. Debra wrote the book for her nephew, Carter, and she has also illustrated the book named after him. Children will love the brightly colored pictures and the amusing escapades of Carter and his friends.

Debra G. Watts is a retired educator who presently resides in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. She has authored a teaching guide entitled "Listening Guides of America's Greatest Musicals" and she is currently a University Coordinator mentoring practicum and student teachers for the University of the Cumberlands.

You can contact Debra at The book is published from Xlibris and is available by contacting Debra directly or contacting Xlibris at 1-888-795-4274 ext 7879.

I think this quirky little book is perfect for the little boy or girls who still love to play with cars. It would make a wonderful Christmas gift or stocking stuffer.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

• Reading level: Young Adult
• Hardcover: 256 pages
• Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 0312649614
• ISBN-13: 978-0312649616

Bibliophilic wyverns, enchanted woods, an evil Marquess, a magical talisman, dwarven customs agents, djinns, velocipedes--and that doesn't even take into account what's in the title of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. A fantastical tale that's somewhere between Lewis Carroll and Terry Pratchett, Cathrynne Valente's book follows twelve-year-old September, a girl from Omaha, Nebraska, who finds herself whisked away by a fast-talking gentleman called the Green Wind to the world of Fairyland where she has to retrieve a witch's spoon from the fickle Marquess. Still, Cathrynne Valente's imaginative cast of characters and spirited prose turn what could be a standard heroine-on-a-quest story into something on par with the best (and weirdest) classics. --Darryl Campbell

Precocious and bored, 12 year old September – and no smarty, she was not born in September – is whisked off by the Green Wind into Fairyland. She is cleared through customs – whoever heard of customs in Fairyland? – and is left to fend for herself. This charming and whimsical book is full of imagination and sass, making it hard to put down, even if I am 49 years old.

Being a lover of Young Adult fiction, this book will finally take you away from the vampires, werewolves and zombies that seem to be creeping up all around us. September is a vicious child with a wild imagination, but she is not fool-hearty and takes her time in making decisions. She is not a quitter and she never gives up.

Valente’s writing just flows off the page and I was lapping up every luscious word. She has a way of telling a story that puts her in the category with Neil Gaiman, J. K. Rowling, Brandon Mull and James Dasher. I can’t wait until my granddaughter is old enough so she will sit still for chapter book reading. She is going to love it.

I recommend this book highly, especially to the middle-school crowd. Elementary and middle school teachers are going to love this book and librarians are already giving it rave review. The book was written with an obvious sequel in mind, which I can’t wait to read, and I hope it turns into a series and not just a trilogy. September is a girl I want to learn more and more about and Valente will show it to all those who read.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Etcetera's Mistress

Etcetera’s Mistress
Thom Ward

Accents Publishing

Paperback: 60 pages
Publisher: Accents Publishing (September 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1936628031
ISBN-13: 978-1936628032

Accents Publishing launches its Full-Length World Poetry Series with a daring new collection of poetry by award-winning author Thom Ward, complete with original cover art by acclaimed artist DeLoss McGraw.

From reading the very first poem, the reader realizes Ward has an overabundance of imagination and brilliance. His words rush in and out like the high and low tides slapping against the beach.

In Goldfinch, Cockroach:
Once in a while my soul exits this body,
Goes shopping for another house of flesh.

Reminds me of times when my soul is tired of grieving and goes in search of something more cheery.

In Actually, However:
He fell, and fell hard, like his heart was a mob informant and she was the East River….
This poem brought back visions of The Sopranos, the hit HBO television series.

My favorite part of this book is the section on the Howhatwhywherewhen Bone, a collection of 13 poems all having to do with how, what, why, where, and when. In the Contraband of the Howhatwhywherewhen Bone:
crosses all borders
and disappears
into marrow intelligence

what is to say
bone understands
Thom Ward is sole proprietor of Thom Ward's Poetry Editing and Proofreading Services ( Ward's poetry collections include Small Boat with Oars of Different Size (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2000) and Various Orbits (Carnegie Mellon, 2004). Ward's poetry chapbook, Tumblekid, winner of the 1998 Devil's Millhopper poetry contest, was published by the University of South Carolina-Aiken in 2000. His collection of prose poems, The Matter of the Casket, was published by CustomWords in 2007. Ward teaches creative writing workshops at high schools and colleges around the country, tutors individual poetry students, and edits poetry manuscripts. He is a faculty and advisory board member at Wilkes University's Graduate Creative Writing program in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Thom Ward lives in western New York with his girlfriend Jennifer and their cat Phantom.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Deer at Gethsemani: Eclogues

The Deer at Gethsemani: Eclogues by Frederick Smock
Accents Publishing

"Like Virgil's before him, Frederick Smock's eclogues give us the sense of an earned peace in the clear voice of a man at home in the world. These poems are richly allusive, elemental moments of experience and insight. The Deer at Gethsemani is a well-made house of poetry, and it is a true pleasure to spend time in its rooms." - Greg Pape, Author of American Flamingo

Eclogues are a set of pastoral poems, made most famous by the Roman Virgil, who wrote the Aeneid, one of the greatest epic poems in human history.
In Smock's poem VI Cave Hill, both lyrical and rhyming:
Come to the window, look out and see
the road that leads down to the cemetery …
The swans are lovely and mean.
The peacocks beautiful and vain …
The geese have returned again to campus,
to the roof of the library where they make their nest,
where they can look out over Beargrass Creek
and the elms of Creason Park.
XXII is:
The lamps turned on at four
in the afternoon barely glow,
but as the sun goes down
these rooms slowly fill with light
On the surface, these eclogues may seem simple little poems, but delving into the hidden meanings is a strong and powerful undercurrent of lyrical reality.

Frederick Smock is associate professor of English at Bellarmine University, where he received the 2005 Wyatt Faculty Award. He has published four previous collections of poems with Larkspur Press. He is also the author of Craft-talk: On Writing Poems, and Pax Intrantibus: A Meditation on the Poetry of Thomas Merton. His poems have appeared in The Antioch Review, The Hudson Review, The Louisville Review, The Merton Journal (UK), Poetry East, Trajectory, and other journals.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Of a Bed Frame

Of a Bed Frame
Accents Publishing
Winged Series

• Paperback: 24 pages
• Publisher: Accents Publishing (February 15, 2011)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 0984411895
• ISBN-13: 978-0984411894

"From the coldness of the Nebraska winter to the heat of a lover's bed, Dan Nowak takes the reader on a compelling lyric journey. He shares intimate moments with his audience, crafting his words so that we feel the scratchiness of the seldom worn suit, the skinned knuckles from the loading bays, and the sweat of a lover's skin. There are poems here to savor and reread and then reread again." - P. Andrew Miller, Author of The Legend of The Turquoise Knight
Dan Nowak's first book, Recycle Suburbia, won the 2007 Quercus Review Poetry Series Award. He also has a chapbook, Burning the Arson Dictionary: Poems for Thomas McGrath published by RockSaw Press. Dan is co-founder and co-editor of Imaginary Friend Press and an editor for New Sins Press. Dan lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and enjoys that Lakefront Brewery is less than a mile from his home.

The poem “Dead Center” is full of vivid imagery and works hard to pull you in with potent words.
We drink down Nebraska
In giant starry cups. The dirt
Falls down our throats past
Our primes …
“I Come From Hands” is a list poem that will leave you breathless and raw.
… that refused guns in the house
that packed gunpowder in hungry cannons
that felt a limp and died
that believe more in cutting grass than Jesus …
Another poem that made me look at my life differently was “Worth,” will make you reexamine your life as a factory worker.
Sometimes I try to write something smart, something that sounds
Like I’m worth
The seventy thousand dollars my brain and bill collectors placed
My price tag at,

But then remember I’m a factory-rat sin. I belong in the stall,
next to the man …
This slim blook of outstanding poetry is a must read for anyone who loves poetry.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bee-Coursing Box

Bee-Coursing Box by Matthew Haughton
Accents Publishing
Winged Series - The Winged Series features selections from the Accents Poetry Chapbook contests

Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Accents Publishing
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0984411863
ISB-13: 978-0984411860
"Matthew Haughton's debut collection honors and extends Kentucky's great literary heritage, which stretches from Greenup to Bowling Green, the 18th century to now. In poems that dare 'pray there's a heaven for snakes,' and dare see a man 'growing like a sycamore out of the untamed earth,' he adds his worthy voice to the chorus." - Frederick Smock, Author of Guest House

This is Matthew Haughton’s debut collection of poetry, written with honest and powerful poems. His well-crafted work is tight and straight from the heart.

The title poem “Bee-coursing Box” follows a man as he returns to a bee tree year after year. This could be an author returning to a piece of work again and again trying to get it right.

I mark the tree and return
Year after year
We grow old
Deep into his second life.

“Deer Tongue: A Conversation about Tobacco”reminds me of my times spent in the tobacco fields when I was young.

Crushed leaves
Make smoke,
The senses snap …

I also enjoy “Tracking Seeds” part ii Whirlybirds:

Little pink
spill from
the tree
limbs …

I can vividly see these little whirlybirds flying through the air during the early parts of summer, twirling and swirling.

Haughton writes honestly from nature’s backyard and this is a book worth reading for anyone who is serious about poetry.

Fading into Bolivia

Fading Into Bolivia
Richard Taylor
* Paperback: 30 pages
* Publisher: Accents Publishing
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 1936628058
* ISBN-13: 978-1936628056

Richard Taylor is a professor of English and currently serves as Kenan Visiting Writer at Transylvania University. A former Kentucky poet laureate, he is the author of six collections of poetry, two novels, and several books of non-fiction, mostly relating to Kentucky history. A former dean and teacher in the Governor's Scholars Program, he was selected as Distinguished Professor at Kentucky State University in 1992. He has won two creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and an Al Smith Creative Writing Award from the Kentucky Arts Council. He and his wife Lizz own Poor Richard's Books in Frankfort, Kentucky.

Dr. Richard Taylor has been a writing force in Kentucky for many years and his latest collection of poetry will also stand the strength of time. With minimal, but powerful words, Taylor weaves a poetic journey through a variety of lyrical and narrative poetry.

Writing Slump contains the title of this newest book of poetry:
"... In an act of unwitting collaboration
That describes her state and mine,
My mother calls to say, "Some days
I feel I'm fading into Bolivia."

If you do not know Dr. Richard Taylor, you will learn very quickly he is a college professor from his poem "Grading:"

"Reading term papers ...
I trudge an endless trail of print,
Switchbacking down and across"
Page after page after page."

In "For a Newfoundland Drowned in a Farm Pond," Taylor mourns the loss of a family pet:

"... Missed at feeding time ...
Three days later, I came upon her
Bloated in a siege of flies ...
The pond dried up ... the place
Where I buried Boo Boo."

Richard is a professor English and currently serves as Kenan Visiting Writer at Transylvania University. A former Kentucky Poet Laureate, he is the author of six collections of poetry, two novels, and several books of non-fiction, mostly relating to Kentucky history.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

How Swallowtails Became Dragons

How Swallowtails Become Dragons by Bianca Spriggs

Accents Publishing

Winged Series

• Paperback: 24 pages
• Publisher: Accents Publishing
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 1936628015
• ISBN-13: 978-1936628018

How Swallowtails Become Dragons is one of the Accents Publishing Winged Series, featuring entries from the 2010 poetry chapbook competition. Pushcart Prize winner and National Book Award Finalist Patricia Smith calls Bianca's work "an aggressive signature that is deftly crafted, insightful and often achingly lyrical." Having lived most of her life in Kentucky, Bianca s poems reflect the trials and triumphs of growing up as a woman of color in a border state.

Bianca Spriggs has proved to be a major activest for Affrilchian poetry. She is a force of nature, carefully finding just the right words to talk to the heart.

Black Market reflects on one of America’s weakness from the past – slavery:
When I was sold this time
My new Massa don’t check to see
How many teeth been rotted out my mouth

This powerful poem sheds a new meaning on the debate of who is human and who is not. We are all human beings, cut from the same cloth, with the only difference being our color. I love my country, but it does make me sick to my stomach thing about the way slaves were treated. I feel ashamed at the atrocities slaves endured at their master’s hand.

In Werewolf, you can literally see the changing from man to beast:
At the climax of a lunar cycle
A poem stirs,
Dark tempest in my chest …
… It cracks my rips to get out
I can smell the blood, I can hear the creature devouring its pry, and see the teeth. The moon is high in the sky and the lunar cycle brings on a different kind of terror.

In the poem After Loving a Pretty Man, the line, “I’m not so easy to exchange for another,” lets the reader know a man must be cheating; but now she’s on her own two feet and won’t go down easily.

This collection of poems is brutally honest, shining the light on subjects most people we are not ready to admit to.

Bianca is an Affrilachian poet and a Cave Canem Fellow. She is a freelance instructor of composition, literature and creative writing. Her work has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies.

Numbered Bones

Numbered Bones by Bobby Steve Baker

Accents Publishing

Winged Series

• Paperback: 29 pages
• Publisher: Accents Publishing
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 1936628007
• ISBN-13: 978-1936628001

Numbered Bones is Bobby Steve Bakers debut chapbook of poetry, and one of Accents Publishing's Winged Series, which features entries from the 2010 poetry chapbook contest.

Because of the subject matter of this think chapbook, I could relate to the medically filled poems. This may be Bobby’s first book of poetry, but I think we will soon be seeing more.

The poem, On Purpose, has a line that I love:
Distant, growling thunder wakes me
from the sleep of nothingness…
There is No Medicine for What I’ve Got is such a serious poem that it borderlines on the horrific side, but I had to read it again and again because it spoke to my heart.
Deep cuts, through deep cuts
bright red in the water of the bath …
… The deep swallow.

I also liked 747 Starboard Window:
… But I am high above the earth with sacred
soda, gin turned ceremonial with rind-thin twists of lime,
watching my sun un-set.
For a man who is a cosmetic surgeon, the chapbook made my numbered bones ache. Bobby made me squirm and hurt as the words hammered on. For a first collection of poetry, it was written with powerful words and painful truths. Excellent!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bloom on a Split Board

Bloom on a Split Board by Nana Lampton
Accents Publishing
Spalding Series

• Paperback
• Publisher: Accents Publishing
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 0984411887
• ISBN-13: 978-0984411887

This is Nana Lampton's third book of poetry. It is part of the Accents Publishing Spalding Series, which features poetry chapbooks by graduates of the Spalding University MFA in writing program.

Nana Lampton has produced a lovely chapbook of nature poetry. With her vivid descriptions and lyrical rhythm pull you right into the poem. An excellent example of this is in her poem, “Rosa Multa Flora:”
Wild roses drape the fence in May,
blooming as they climb …
Also in Dark Energy:
Your inner light,
burning stars from midnight-black
eyelets shining through
One of my favorite poems is Sycamore:
… Hollowed out, its mottled tower leans
Over the river’s rapids and quiet pools.
These poems ring true and resonate the natural tones of the earth. Nana’s other works are: Snowy Owl Gathers in Her Trove and Moon with Sun in Her Eye .

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Original Ruse

Original Ruse

Barbara Sabol


Publisher: Accents Publishing
Language: English

ISBN-10: 0984411879

ISBN-13: 978-0984411870

Part of the Winged Series

Barbara Sabol's poetry and prose has appeared in Public-Republic, Blood Lotus, Poets 350, the Tupelo Press Poetry Project, Tributaries, and on the Akron Art Museum's website. She has an MFA from Spalding University. Barbara is a long-practicing speech therapist, living in northeastern Ohio with her partner and dogs.

This small chapbook of poetry is excellently executed with vivid powerful words. Until I read "Original Ruse," I had never heard of Barbara Sabol, but I will be on the lookout for more of her work.

To give you an example, “Winter” is one of my favorite poems in the book. She has used such rich words to describe how the coldness of winter seeps into your bones.

“Winter is a country

That settles

In your limbs, stir

The joints …”

Just reading this, I can feel the cold of winter stiffening my joints. The imagery is perfect.

“Hula Girls” is another favorite that made me laugh out loud.

“The saleswoman assured me it was fashionable revealing

Just a hint of thigh, white as twice-whipped potatoes …”

Her words are prodigious and stout and her lyrical and narrative approach to poems can’t help but make you thing about the world around you. "Original Ruse" was printed and released by Accents Publishing, “…an independent press for brilliant voices.”

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Blurb on World News

From the World News website:
"Soon to be released from Arcadia Publishing is Images of America: Harrodsburg, written by Harrodsburg’s Bobbi Dawn Rightmyer (writer) and Anna Armstrong.(photography). The book will be released the week of August 8th, but is already up for pre-order on several different websites: Amazon Barnes and Noble Arcadia
As of this moment, we are not sure when the book launch and signing will be, but we will keep you up-to-date. The book will also be for sell in several local
business, as well as Lexington and surrounding areas."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Featured in Danville Advocate

I would like to give a big shout out to Jennifer Brummett at the Danville Advocate for doing such a nice job with the release of our new book. All information in this article is copyright Danville Advocate and Jennifer Brummett.

Bobbi Dawn Rightmyer and Anna Armstrong traveled a circuitous route to get to the publication of their first book together, “Images of America: Harrodsburg.” The pictorial history of Harrodsburg will be released Monday from Arcadia Publishing, which is based out of Mount Pleasant, S.C., outside of Charleston.

Rightmyer’s daughter was friends with the acquisitions editor for Arcadia Publishing, who approached Rightmyer for a book about Owen County. Rightmyer said she didn’t know anything about Owen County but she knew Harrodsburg. That started her on the path to developing a book about Harrodsburg.

Rightmyer said she’d known Armstrong all her life and was aware of her extensive collection of photos of Harrodsburg that date from the 1930s, with some older ones, as well. She sent an e-mail to Armstrong — an e-mail Armstrong never received. So Rightmyer went ahead and signed a contract with Arcadia to do the historical book, figuring she’d get photos from the local historical society. “I signed the contract with no idea of how to write a history book,” Rightmyer explained. In the meantime, Armstrong had been in contact with Arcadia about a postcard she was interested in creating.

“I have a huge archive of photos from my father (Andrew Armstrong), my aunt (Jesta Bell Armstrong Matherly, who also was an artist) and my work,” Armstrong said. She found out about Rightmyer’s work on a book about Harrodsburg, and wondered what she was using for the photographic element, since her own collection of Harrodsburg photos is unparalleled. Rightmyer said she was thrilled when Armstrong called, and the two got together to discuss the book, which was when they figured out Rightmyer’s e-mail hadn’t made it to its recipient.

“I decided to offer the photographs in order for the book to happen,” Armstrong said. She also had experience with writing historical descriptions, as she’d provided the text for a number of historical markers. Rightmyer said she found that experience invaluable, as she considers herself to be more of a “long writer,” focusing more on essays and longer written works.

Armstrong described “Images of America: Harrodsburg” as a “show-andtell” type of a book. The co-authors indicated such a work was needed in Harrodsburg, since the city lacked a recent, updated history-type book. Armstrong said the tome will be a good companion for people who are touring the city.

“It’s one of the first things I look for (when visiting a new place),” Rightmyer added. “It gives me an idea of where I’m at and what I’m doing.”

She added she hopes “Images of America: Harrodsburg” will inspire others “to get this history out there.”

Armstrong said the postcard pictorial history of Harrodsburg and Mercer County should be released about this time next year. The vintage postcards she will use will date through the 1960s.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Taming Clancy by Dori

Taming Clancy by Dori

Perfect Paperback, Kindle and Nook
Publisher: Weisiger PublishingLanguage: English
ISBN-10: 0615399215
ISBN-13: 978-0615399218

This debut novel by Dori validates her as an up and coming part of the next generation of new authors from Kentucky. Although many of us remember the awkwardness of our adolescent years, Dori gives us an exquisite look at youth and its explosive passions.

"Taming Clancy" takes place in Bethlehem, Kentucky in 1979. Hollison Hope Fairchild is haunted by the memories of her mother and the misunderstandings of why her mother did not love her. During the winter of 1979, in her hometown of Bethlehem, Kentucky, Holly lives through her 17th year with sheer determination and the help of best friends, Fern, and her twin brother, Alex Troublefield.

Thomas, her father and an expert gardener, was becoming more withdrawn after the death of his wife, Susanna, Holly’s mother. Worried about the emotional state of his only child, he invites Caleb (Jay-Jay), Susanna’s brother, to come and stay with them over Christmas holiday. Holly is upset because she doesn’t know who this person is and she certainly doesn’t want him invading their lives during the holidays.

Caleb and Holly get along like quarreling siblings vying for all the attention. He picks on her endlessly and Holly hates every minute of it. Already in a major depressive state, agony and fear over her mother fill her up and begins to spew out on her family and friends, making everyone miserable.

Abigail, Fern and Alex’s cousin, is the little scene stealer in this book. Her independence and innocence bubble off the page. Her only problem is a monster living in her closet, a girl monster named Clancy who scares Abby at night on a regular basis. Holly seems to do the best job and she loves the child with her whole heart.

It is when Holly discovers a journal written by her mother that the story takes a different turn. Reading and learning about her mother gave her a sense of peace and sadness, especially when she learns her mother lived with a life-threatening illness all her life.

This book is a beautiful work of literature, even though marketed as a Young Adult novel. Dori’s style of writing pulls you into the story and holds you on a bumpy ride until you reach the end. Although I didn’t understand the title of the book, even with all the mentions of Clancy, all is revealed in the end.

I am looking forward to more work by this inspiring young writer. She lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky and attends a university in Virginia.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Blood Red Road (Dustlands #1)

Blood Red Road (Dustlands #1)

Moira Young

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1442429984
ISBN-13: 978-1442429987

Nancy Farmer, author of The House of the Scorpion:
“I absolutely loved Blood Red Road. What a great read! Moira Young goes over the top with a most engaging heroine. Saba is a crusty, foul-tempered warrior woman who must be covered in scar tissue by the end of the book, but men still follow her around like starving wolves. The dialogue is fast and often humorous, the pace never lets up. No situation is so bad that it can't get worse in the next couple of pages. I especially liked the awakening of the hellwurms as they emerge to feed. Well done, Ms. Young!”

This dystopian novel, by Moira Young, is her first novel and she hits the ball out of the park. The pace of this book is intense. It has a lyrical, minimalist style of writing, with no quotation marks throughout the book. The book is written in first person from Saba’s point of view and the lack of quotations marks is very easy to get adjusted to. The book is full of violent action and an epic love story.

Saba and her twin brother Lugh have spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland subjected to constant sandstorms. Along with the twins are a younger sister, Emmi, and their father. A tsunami sandstorm arrives in Silverlake along with four cloaked horsemen. Their father was killed in the raid and Lugh was captured for, as yet unknown reason.

Saba sets out on an epic quest to get him back. After leaving Emmi with a friend three days ride from their home, Saba must backtrack and then head out alone on her quest. She is introduced to the unpleasantness of the desolate world outside of Silverlake.

We know that Saba is strong in the beginning of the book, but she is always in the shadow of her brother. The twins have an unusually strong bond, which gives Saba the strength to go rescue her brother. Saba is stubborn and hard headed, making her the quintessence heroine in this series of books. She faces everything head-on with the same strength and stubbornness, but she learns and grows because of the other people she meets along her journey.

It goes without saying that Saba is an unbeatable survivor, a ferocious fighter and had the power to take down a corrupt society trying to rule what is left of the world. She teams up with a daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl rebels called the Free Hawks, in order to help change the course of her own civilization.

I will give no spoilers to the end of this book because it is much too good not to read yourself. At 450 pages, this book is the first in the Dustlands series and I think it will keep young adults – and even adults like me – eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.

Monday, August 1, 2011

UFO: Unidentified Feathered Object

UFO: Unidentified Feathered Object
Marie Mitchell and Mason Smith
Ryan Lanigan (Illustrator)

Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: The Clark Group
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0983263930
ISBN-13: 978-0983263937

Product Description:
Tim Dixon wants to be home playing video games like most teens. Instead, he's paddling a boat, through the swamp, at night, searching for a bird that's been extinct for years. Tim's cousin, Abby, insists they prove that a Cape May Woodpecker is still alive, and living in their small Kentucky county. Felix Wilson recently spotted the distinctive bird-right where a road is to be built. But Felix has also witnessed UFOs: the flying saucer kind. Still, the publicity has attracted a shady businessman, bizarre birdwatchers, and a whacky weatherman, not to mention a scary Bog Monster-and aliens. Surrounded by such chaos, can the cousins locate the cagey bird before bulldozers level its home?

I think the concept for this book makes it a fun read, but also educational. Children will enjoy reading or hearing about the Cape May bird, but it will make them think about the extinction of animals in their own areas.

Tim Dixon and his cousin, Abby Thomas, have lived next-door to each other all their lives. Their mothers were sisters and they didn’t want to be split up, so Tim and Abby grew up more like brother and sister instead of cousins, especially being the same age.

Felix Wilson an amateur bird watcher, but the town people think he is crazy because he believes in UFO – like in alien - outer space life. Felix comes back from a boating adventure in the Slough yelling about his sighting of the Cap May Woodpecker. The problem with this statement was the Cape May had been extinct since 1937, but that didn’t stop hundreds of bird watchers from running to Buckner County, Kentucky. All these birders had one thing in common – adding the Cape May Woodpecker to their live-list of birds seen and identified.

The Cape May Woodpecker is a very large woodpecker with a red topknot, nearly all white wings, black tail feathers and a long black bill. Before extinction it was considered the largest woodpecker at 20 inches long. It has a distinct call – kik-kik-kik-kik. In order to confirm the sighting, Dr. Goldie Finch, the State Ornithologist (bird expert) is sent to Buckner County, but unfortunately she cannot confirm the presence of the Cap May with only one sighting from an unstable man.

The race is on to find evidence of the Cap May before a road is built through the Slough, completely destroying the bird’s habitat. It all comes down the Tim and Abby’s grandmother, who has suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for one year. She was an avid sketcher and would sketch anything in sight. The children find a sketch of the Cap May and shorthand notes describing what the grandmother saw.
Will this be enough to halt construction on the road? Or will the supposedly extinct Cape May be lost again, never to come back?

UFO – Unidentified Feathered Object is a fast read and very educational when it comes to teaching extinction to middle school students. I will be anxious to read the next book in the series and I plan on finding the first books of the series. According to the authors: "This is the newest book in the series. Teachers will find the "green" aspects of the book provide many teaching moments. The book discusses loss of wetland habitat, species loss and extinction, and some of the techniques of birding."

Info about authors:
"Marie Mitchell of Richmond, Kentucky, has two series of books available for young readers of middle school age. The first series currently has three books: "The Lost Dispatch" about a Civil War re-enactment in Perryville, KY; "48 Hours," about a family that takes part in the national "48-Hour Film Project," and finally, "UFO: Unidentified Feathered Object," about a long-extinct bird spotted in Kentucky. These were written with her husband, Mason Smith. The second series both are historical novels for young readers set at the Shaker Village in Kentucky in the 1830s, "The Road to Pleasant Hill," and "'Tis A Gift." These were written with her sister Rebecca Mitchell Turney."

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Death by Drowning

Abigail Keam

Perfect Paperback: 268 pages
Publisher: Worker Bee Press
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0615429084
ISBN-13: 978-0615429083

In this second installment of the Josiah Reynolds Mysteries – DEATH BY DROWNING - beekeeper-turned-detective Josiah Reynolds is back from the brink of death just in time to solve another Bluegrass murder mystery.

In this brilliant follow-up to DEATH BY A HONEYBEE, Josiah Reynolds' character is increasingly brave as she copes with the pain of recovery, anger, fear and optimism. When she finally returns home to Lexington after a long recovery in Florida, she is determined to solve the mysterious death of a friend’s son. She is living through several sub-plots while still living in fear for her own life because her attacker is found to be alive.

To keep Josiah’s out of harm's way, her daughter hires two personal bodyguards. As Josiah works at healing her body and soul, her nurse Jack and her boarder Matt all rally around her to keep up the beekeeping activities until she can take over again. But they also are looking out for the rogue cop O’Nan, the man responsible for Josiah’s injuries.

Kentucky Author Abigail Keam is also an excellent beekeeper from the Bluegrass Region, having won sixteen honey awards at the Kentucky State Fair. In her spare time, she has started writing books and is quickly becoming well-known outside of Kentucky.

Mrs. Keam has written a fun, exciting and humorous book. The feel of this book allows you to visualize the Kentucky Palisades, even if you have never seen them. She throws in locally known areas like the Lexington Farmers’ Market and Al’s Bar. All the characters are well developed, each rich with his or her own eccentricities. Ms. Keam writing is more like lyrical prose, leaving the readers wanting to know more of Josiah's life and clamoring for the next book.

**This can be read as a stand-alone book, but I highly recommend reading the first book - DEATH BY A HONEYBEE.**

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Magic of Finkleton

The world of Finkleton is a fun new world for children to love. What is the secret of the room of hour glasses and why are there strings attached to each one? Does the lever in the General Store really have an effect on the weather?
Mr. Henry Finkle is the owner of the General Store in the town of Finkleton. It seems that people came to Finkle's General Store not just to buy goods, but also to inquire about the weather.

When Mr. Finkle died, he left his house and store to his nephew, William Finkle. William has a wife, Emma, and three children - Jack, Elizabeth and Robert. Was it a strange coincidence that William and Emma's home had burned to the ground the same day Uncle Henry died?

The Finkle family moved from their former home in Bath, England across the countryside to the town of Finkleton. Work on the home and store began immediately with Emma cleaning, William buying supplies, Jack working on the store's bookkeeping, and Elizabeth cleaning Uncle Henry's library, which she has fallen head over heels in love with. Robert, on the other hand, was doing what Robert did best - snooping and looking for undiscovered treasured.

It is these mysterious and magical features that pull the reader into the world. Hilton is great as pulling elements together so you feel like you are right there. Warning, this book ends as a cliff—hanger, but you don’t have to wait long, because The Return to Finkleton will be released very soon.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Images of America: Harrodsburg

Soon to be released from Arcadia Publishing is Images of America: Harrodsburg, written by Harrodsburg’s Bobbi Dawn Rightmyer (writer) and Anna Armstrong (photography). The book will be released the week of August 8th, but is already up for pre-order on several different websites:

Barnes and Noble

As of this moment, we are not sure when the book launch and signing will be, but we will keep you up-to-date.

Here is an excerpt from Images of America: Harrodsburg:
“Harrodsburg is the oldest permanent settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains and was founded in 1774 by James Harrod. Images of America: Harrodsburg covers the city limits from the late 1770s to the early 1960s and provides over 220 images from the Armstrong Collection, the Harrodsburg Historical Society, the Mercer County Public Library and the Kentucky Historical Society. Within these pages, experience and explore Harrodsburg during the pivotal era at the beginning of the great commonwealth – from the settlement of Old Fort Harrod to the “Saratoga of the West” mineral springs and spas. Follow the growth, hard times, and recovery of Harrodsburg, including government and growing businesses, advancements in education, the rise of religious institutions, and local and visiting celebrities. These well-preserved photographs from the entrepreneurs, grand openings, and expert news reporting all the reader to step back in time.”

Sorry for the shameless promotion, but this is a wonderful book about Harrodsburg - the oldest permanent settlement in Kentucky. Please try to buy a copy! This will also be great for tourist who will be visiting our area on vacations.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


ENCLAVE by Ann Aquirre

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312650086
ISBN-13: 978-0312650087

“In her first young adult novel, Aguirre (the Sirantha Jax series) has created a gritty and highly competent heroine, an equally deadly sidekick/love interest, and a fascinating if unpleasant civilization. This series is likely to hold considerable appeal for fans of The Hunger Games.” — Publishers Weekly

Ann Aguirre is an author with a great way of writing in a tone that adults and young adults will both enjoy. Her transitioning each chapter smoothly and without and bumps, keeps the readers hanging on each word and waiting for more.

Through the first portion of this dystopian book, we do not know why enclaves are underground. The underground enclave the main characters live in full of horrors and survival instincts I never wish to experience in in real life. I don't want to spoil the surprise, but these descriptions remind me of a cross between "Beneath the Planet of the Apes" and "The Stand."

Zombies seem be be on the rise in many YA books, but the Freaks in this book feel much more terrifying. This post-catastrophe world is full of good and evil, killers and saviors, and the weak and strong.

I could not put this book down, reading it the day I received my copy in the mail. (This book was an ARC from the publisher, but I receive no compensation for this review.)

I certainly hope this is the beginning of a series because I want to know more about Deuce (Huntress and lead heroine), Fade (Hunter), Tegan and Stalker (both topsiders).

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


CHINABERRY Manuscript by James Still and Edited by Silas House

• Hardcover: 172 pages
• Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 0813133726
• ISBN-13: 978-0813133720

From Publishers Weekly:
A classic story of adolescence by the late Still (1906–2001; River of Earth) pursues migrant workers from Alabama to an East Texas ranch. The 13-year-old narrator has accompanied his father's friend, Ernest, and two young men to Texas looking for work; the barefoot boy is small for his age, and as they pass through an East Texas town, he attracts the attention of a wealthy farmer, Anson Winters, who invites the four of them back to his Chinaberry ranch to stay and work for the summer. Anson lost his son several years before and has not gotten over it; also a widower, he has remarried the lovely Lurie, though in three years of marriage they still have no children of their own. The narrator is installed in Anson and Lurie's bedroom and otherwise spoiled, evidence of Anson's transference of affection to the boy, while Lurie intimates that she and the boy are mere substitutes. The reader is never quite certain where Still is leading—editor House wonders about this in his helpful intro—which leaves a heavy feeling of unfinished-ness about the project, but there are small nostalgic pleasures to be found in reading this simple story of Americana, directly told.

James Still (1906-2001) was and remains a Kentucky icon, also known as the “Heart of Appalachian literature.” Still left a legacy for the coming generations with his rich collections of novels, short stories and poetry. He also left a mysterious manuscript in an older leather briefcase. Still's literary advisers and adopted daughter, Teresa Reynolds, wanted to see this book published, so they asked Silas House to edit the manuscript.

Although Chinaberry is a slim book, it takes us on the journey of a 13-year-old boy, who leaves Alabama and his family to spend a summer picking cotton in Texas. Many people think this young boy was actually Still reliving three months of his life, but this question remains unanswered.

House tried to stay as authentic as possible to Still’s manuscript by providing transitional sentences. He also rearranged the chapters to make them flow with consistency. House did an amazing job in taking on this difficult challenge.
Without giving away too much of the story, the main relationship is between the boy, who goes to Texas and the Chinaberry ranch's owner, Anson Winters and his second wife, Lurie. Anson virtually adopts the boy, treating him as a replacement for the young, handicapped son whose death he still grieves.

This book ranks up highly with Still’s best written book, River of Earth, published in 1940. Chinaberry is the best book I have read this year and I hope everyone will be able to see two masters at work.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kentucky Writers' Day 2011

Here is a Press Release that writers from the Bluegrass Region should find enjoyable

The Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet

Kentucky Arts Council

Sent out by:

Steven L. Beshear ..... Marcheta Sparrow
Governor .............. Secretary

Lori Meadows ......... Lindy Casebier
Executive Director ... Deputy Secretary

Kentucky Writers’ Day will include: the Poet Laureate Induction Ceremony; recognition of 2011 Literary Fellowship recipients; poetry recitations by the Kentucky state champion and runner-up in the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest; and readings by past poets laureate Richard Taylor, Joe Survant, Sena Jeter Naslund, Jane Gentry Vance and Gurney Norman.

The event will start at 11am EDT, April 25, 2011 at the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort, followed by a reception on the mezzanine level. This will be an excellent opportunity to congratulate Maureen Morehead and to meet fellow writers.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Tiger, Tiger

TIGER, TIGER by Margaux Fragoso

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (March 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780374277628
ISBN-13: 978-0374277628

Starred Review from Publishers Weekly. In this gut-wrenching memoir of sexual abuse, Fragoso, who has written short stories for various literary magazines, explores with unflinching honesty the ways in which pedophiles can manipulate their way into the lives of children. Fragoso met Peter Curran at a public pool in Union City, N.J., in 1985 when she was seven and he was 51. He seemed harmless, and invited Fragoso and her mother back to his house. This marked the beginning of Curran and Fragoso's 15-year relationship, which ended when Curran committed suicide at age 66. Fragoso's home life was strained—her mother was in and out of psychiatric wards and her father was an alcoholic—and Curran's home, with its myriad pets and lack of rules, became her refuge. The sexual abuse began slowly, progressing to oral sex in Curran's basement, an act that he requested as a "birthday present." Fragoso's sense of alienation—Curran controlled her world for more than half her life—is palpable in her telling. Using her own diaries and the myriad letters, diaries, and photographs Curran left behind, Fragoso eloquently depicts psychological and sexual abuse in disturbing detail.

One summer day, Margaux Fragoso swam up to Peter Curran at a public swimming pool and asked him to play. She was seven; he was fifty-one. When Curran invited her and her mom to see his house, the little girl found a child’s dream world, full of odd pets and books and music and magical toys. Margaux’s mother was devoted, but beset by mental illness and frightened of her abusive husband; she was only too ready to take advantage of an escape for the daughter she felt incapable of taking care of on her own. Soon Margaux was spending all her time with Peter.

In time, he insidiously took on the role of Margaux’s playmate, father, lover, and captor. Charming and repulsive, warm and violent, loving and manipulative, Peter burrowed into every aspect of Margaux’s life and transformed her from a girl fizzing with imagination and affection into a deadened, young-old woman on the brink of suicide. But when she was twenty-two, it was Peter—ill, and terrified at the thought of losing her—who killed himself, at the age of sixty-six.

With lyricism and mesmerizing clarity, Margaux Fragoso has unflinchingly explored the darkest episodes of her life, helping us see how pedophiles work hidden away in the open to steal childhood. In writing Tiger, Tiger, she has healed herself of a wound that was fourteen years in the making. This extraordinary memoir is an unprecedented glimpse into the heart and mind of a monster; but more than this, it illustrates the power of memory and truth-telling to mend.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pretty Little Liars

PRETTY LITTLE LIARS by Sara Shepard Paperback Publisher: Unknown (2009) Language: English ISBN-10: 9780061801310 ISBN-13: 978-0061801310 I must admit this is my cheap little bubble gum reading, but I only started reading the series after seeing the TV series on ABC Family. This was a delicious book to spend a cold afternoon. YA girls will truly enjoy this series - there are currently 8 books published so far. The story centers around a group of "in" girls with Allison being the leader. Spencer is the intellect, winning all the awards, plus she comes from rich family. Aria is a high school teacher in love with one of her teachers - a recipe for trouble. Hanna is the girl who used to be fat, but over one summer lost a huge amount of weight and was pulled into the "in" group. Emily is the lesbian of the group, only recently out of the closet. After a night of tragedy, the girls will never be the same. For one thing, Allison has disappeared. I will not give out the ending because it should be a surprise. I am definitely looking forward to reading the next books in the series. I must admit this is my cheap little bubble gum reading, but I only started reading the series after see the TV series on ABC Family. This was a delicious book to spend a cold afternoon.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Slow Talk of Stones

Sheri L. Wright

Publisher: Finishing Line Press; 1st edition (2010)
ISBN-10: 1599246880
ISBN-13: 978-1599246888

Sheri L. Wright will make you feel a communion with Mother Nature; only to hear nature’s painful cries as the earth is slowly destroyed.
Her words are deep and dripping with visualization as she recalls mountain top removal in “Hollow Folk” and the westward movement towards their homes, “… things that will ooze themselves onto your comfort.”
The titled poem will bring tears to your eyes as Wright compares the bones of the Earth to the skin we stand on. The Slow Talk of Stones tells the truth of earth’s destruction and makes us pray for an alternative solution.
I think my favorite poem is “Mama” – the struggle and sorrow a woman goes through to hold a family together, but not conforming to typical ways. Honoring God in her own way with nature and faith, but no church and socializing. The way she feels after receiving a bushel of beans on her front porch, not as charity, but as a kindness, “I don’t hide those give-aways from the girls. I want them to know kindness.”
Wright is the author of one full length book of poetry, Nuns Shooting Guns, and three poetry chapbooks. She currently the host of “From the Inkwell,” a one hour radio show dedicated to all thins literary on CHRadio 1650, live-streaming at

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Angel Sister

ANGEL SISTER by Ann H. Gabhart

Product Details
• Paperback: 416 pages
• Publisher: Revell (February 1, 2011)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 0800733819
• ISBN-13: 978-0800733810
• Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches

Ann H. Gabhart has seamlessly woven three generations of a family into one heartwarming, cohesive story that will keep you reading late into the night. Taking place during the depression years of the late 1930s, this story tells about the many secrets each family tries to hide. The story starts with Kate Merritt, the middle daughter of Victor and Nadine Merritt, who feels the needs to protect her family and clean up all the messes and takes the burden of caring for her family, even though she is only 12 years old. Victor and Nadine were madly in love, but several months after their marriage, Victor volunteered for the war and although Nadine begged him not to go, Victor felt it was his duty to serve his country. Victor was never the same after the war, nor was Nadine after losing their first child, but they managed to hold onto their immense love, ever though life was hard.

Victor Merritt was the son of Preston Merritt, the most powerful man in town. He ran the local store, extending miserly credit to his neighbors so they could survive during wartime. Mr. Merritt had never shown any love toward his youngest son, especially after the death of his favorite son in a drowning accident. Although we learn Mr. Merritt is actually the cause of the oldest son’s death, he must find someone else to blame, and that blame fell on Victor. From that day forward, Victor could do nothing right in the eyes of his father, from buying his own blacksmith job to raising his family. And then when the war dreams started again, Victor began drinking more and more, affecting every aspect of his life.

Nadine was the daughter of Rev. Orrin Reece, the preacher of the house on the hill. Although there have been some difficulties in the relationship between Nadine and her father, Nadine was always in church on Sunday, bearing up under the glare of her father and the sermons he seemed directed straight to her.

While all this turmoil is swirling about like a whirlwind with Kate being the center magnet trying to hold the family together, an abandoned six-year-old girl named Lorena Birdsong is thrown into the mix and Kate immediately feels protective of this girl. Even though the Merritt family can hardly support three daughters, they embrace the child as if she was always a member of the family, and try to keep one of the richest families in town from claiming the child as their own.

This book is layered with forgiveness, love and strength to keep marching through troubled waters and a growing and renewed faith in God. All the book characters face real problems as they try to hold onto what is left of their families. Even the supporting characters – Aunt Hattie, Graham and Fern – gave great consistency to this novel. I think rural Americans as well as big city readers will enjoy this book, based in a real rural area of Kentucky, although Gabhart has changed the name. This story was drawn into the imagination after Gabhart listened to the stories told by her family of years gone by. Many events are actual occurrences, but the author has taken liberties in embellishing this superb story.