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Have You Seen Luis Velez? ~~ Book Review

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6 out of 5 quills  ~~ A Review 

PERFECTION!! A masterpiece of a story. Every word impeccably placed.

I don’t write spoilers, (as my fans already know) so I will write about the universal message of this story. It begins with the improbable friendship between Raymond Jaffe and Mildred Gutermann, two of the most unlikely people to ever meet and develop a bond. But it’s about more than that. This is a story about ‘us’ and ‘them’. About all of ‘us‘ and the kindness that runs deep in every one of us. The instinctual compassion for one another that transcends the differences, the tribalism, the fear, the suspicion. 

“Oh,” you might say to yourself, “who needs another feel good book?” This book is not another feel good book. The story represents us and the unique characteristic in the human species. Empathy. An emotion that bubbles up easily or sometimes unwillingly in spite of ourselves.  The message is so subtly and cleverly woven into such a terrific story-line that you don’t even realize there’s a message until the last few pages.

If I hadn’t read this book and then I discovered how good it was but wouldn’t have an opportunity to read it, I would be profoundly bereft at the loss. Exaggeration? No. It’s that good. You can’t go through life and not read this book.

 

I hope to announce soon that I will be interviewing this special writer…so stay tuned.

Release date: May 20, 2019  To Purchase click here
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning, April: Poet, Joe Albanese and May: Boo Walker 
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Book Review~~The Orchid Sister by Anne D. LeClaire

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5 out of 5 quills        A Review

How do I write a review, for this book, without giving away the twists and turns of the story and end up writing a spoiler? I can’t.  This beautifully written book has plenty of twists and turns. It’s a love story sort of, a story of intrigue sort of, a story of grief, revival and survival in huge doses. The threads of this tale are so tightly woven that to write about the plot is a spoiler x ten.  I just can’t do it. 

The writing is superb.The characters are well drawn and I cared about every one of them. If I had one tiny criticism (and it disappeared within the first six pages) it was that it had too much narrative for my taste. But after page six, I understood how the author constructs her story.   So I was immediately drawn into the story so much so that long descriptions (rather than the dialogue telling the tale) didn’t bother me.  

I highly recommend this book to my readers. 

Available now.Click here to buy

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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning, April: Poet, Joe Albanese and May: Boo Walker 
To receive my posts sign up for my 

 

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Interview with author, Boo Walker

TS. After picking a five-string banjo in Charleston and Nashville and then a few years toying with Wall Street, Boo chased a wine dream across the country to Red Mountain in Washington State with his dog, Tully Mars. They landed in a double-wide trailer on five acres of vines, where Boo grew out a handlebar mustache, bought a horse, and took a job working for the Hedges family, who taught him the art of farming and the old world philosophies of wine. Recently leaving their gentleman’s farm on Red Mountain, Boo and his family are back on the east coast in St. Pete, Florida. No doubt the Sunshine City will serve as a setting for a novel or three soon. Boo’s bestselling page-turners are instilled with the culture of the places he’s lived, the characters he’s encountered, and a passion for unexpected adventure. 

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing? 
Or tell us about your ‘dream’ work space.

BW. I write in my dream space, my mancave in a Spanish-style house built in 1925 by an opera singer in St. Pete, Florida. I’m surrounded by guitars and banjos that constantly try to distract me.

Q. Do you have any special rituals or quirks when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

BW. I have a pretty serious coffee ritual to start my morning and writing day. I always have a bag of single-origin, fresh-roasted beans, which I grind that morning. I measure out an exact amount with my scale, and then brew using a Chemex coffee pour-over. Once the caffeine starts to kick in, I’m sit at my desk. I’ve come to rely so much on this routine that my entire day is shot if I don’t have my perfect cup.
Depending on my mood, I most always write to music without words, be it jazz, classical, or electronic.
I also have a couple less productive rituals that are actually more like procrastinating actions. I’ve somehow come to think I need to restart my computer before ever writing session. It’s totally stalling. And then I’ll grab my guitar for a little warm-up session. Another stalling tactic. Once I’m ready to dive in, though, I use an app called Be Focused, which sets 25-minute intervals where I do writing sprints. I don’t allow myself to surf the net or answer calls or texts. The sprints are writing only. No distractions.

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?

BW. R.D. Blackmore lingers somewhere high up in my family tree on my mother’s side. He wrote a book called Lorna Doone. He was a big inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson, among others.

Q. Do you have a set time each day (or night) to write?

BW. If I haven’t written by noon, I’m in trouble. I’m such a morning person, so only under deadline and at gunpoint can I write much in the later afternoon or at night.

Part II of this fascinating interview posts May 24th.    Click here to read my REVIEW of Red Mountain.
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning, April: Poet, Joe Albanese and May: Boo Walker 
To receive my posts sign up for my 

 

  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!

 

 

Book Review ~~ Red Mountain by Boo Walker

reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing5 out of 5 quills  ~~~  A Review

Once in awhile I troll through bookstores online looking for an interesting author that I have never heard of. I kiss a lot of frogs but it’s worth it when I find an author like Boo Walker.

Red Mountain is a special place. It has the perfect soil and weather for growing wine grapes.  And growing people too, who gravitate to the mountain, often to hide or to find themselves. Besides the interesting characters that Boo Walker has drawn, I felt as if the wine was a character unto itself. The growing, the nurturing, the fermenting, the aging and sampling the final product. Resembling what life is all about. 

Boo Walker weaves a wonderful story with rich, flawed characters that you can love or love to hate. I can’t wait to read the sequel, Red Mountain Rising. And don’t miss my interview with Boo later this month. 

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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning, April: Poet, Joe Albanese and May: Boo Walker 
To receive my posts sign up for my 

 

  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!

Book Review ~ Little Teashop on Main

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5 out of 5 quills  ~~ A Review

The Little Teashop on  Main by Jodi Thomas is a lovely story about three best friends (from cradle to grave) brought together when a play-date turns into a tea party. Their friendship is not without troubles but the light of these women’s love for each other shines through every page.  Forging careers, finding love and finally the ultimate test of their friendship. 

Jodi Thomas’ writing is flawless. Her stories are interesting. The characters are well drawn and the reader cares about what happens to them. The highest praise I can give a writer. This is a good summer read and I highly recommend it.

 

Did you miss my Interview with Jodi Thomas?

Release date: May 7th. Pre-order now!
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning, April: Poet, Joe Albanese and May: Boo Walker 
To receive my posts sign up for my 

  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!

My Letter to Charles Bukowski

A buffoon for a leader
Gauche, socially inept, dangerous
Waving his arms around trying to find words
In his non-existent vocabulary

A little yellow man waits, with a warhead,
To blow our west coast into the sea

The Russian bear awakes from a
decades long sleep
Sniffs around the buffoon and his
weak spots
Where to strike first?

Muslims take the rap for all the violence against the fat, over-indulgent, rich country and its infidels

A country known for taking in ‘your tired, your poor, your huddled masses’ locks its doors
Goes from house to house, plucking out the illegals, leaving families decimated
Children in cages
Has Hitler finally reincarnated?

Meanwhile the planet warms so that one can hardly recognize it

Dear Hank,
Nothing new here

TS: I found a letter Bukowski wrote back in 1993 which inspired me to answer him in 2017.
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning, April: Poet, Joe Albanese and May: Boo Walker 
To receive my posts sign up for my   On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

 

In Honor of National Poetry Month

I’m a humble poet, a rambling rhymester, a free verse fanatic, a Haiku sycophant. I love other poets and their scribbles and I worship at the altar of Charles Bukowski. For the month of April I celebrate National Poetry month with some of my own scribbles. 

Fragrance of Life © Trisha Sugarek

Cool rain drums on blistering
asphalt, the scent streams into
the nostrils–hot, grassy smell of
summer, freshly cut-smoky
cedar lingers on the air

Fresh popcorn drenched in
butter, I sit in the dark, musty
movie house. Childhood
memories of Tom Mix dashing
across the screen

A breath, deep of rain-damp wool,
heady peat of whiskey
neat. Old butt-imprinted leather
and the dusty, pulpy smell of a
well thumbed book as the page
is turned

The mule drawn plough turns the
rich, boggy earth beneath an
autumn sky. With luck and some
rain the larder is full at harvest
time

Wrapped in strong arms, nose
pressed to warm skin smelling of
soap and outdoors. Drinking the
heat in with the smell of the
man, your man

Sweet puppy breath. Pure
doggy conviction that you will
love him as much as he loves
you

Candles and incense in the
great cathedral… the heart fills
with faith, hope, and
expectation

Soft curls, sweet skin, the babe
squirms closer… powdery
newness, innocence, and trust

Briny, sharp tang of the northern
sea. Balmy, yielding, essence
under the Southern Cross
Green aftertaste, fishy decay
and salty fresh scent of the
clean-swept beach

Sultry air twines itself through the
Quarter, crushed sugar, wet
pavement, yeasty bouquet of
hot beignet. Warm beer,
praline sweet, heady grape
Old river water slugs along

Stifling, coppery smell of blood
be it the battle field, hospital,
crime scene, butcher shop, or
birthing room…

Cloys in the nostrils sticks in the
back of the throat like old
mucus,

Icy sweetness of winter air,
frigid sting of snow to come…
sharp pine tantalizes the senses,
as harsh breath smokes the air

Steaming manure in fresh straw,
roasted peanuts, pink spun
sugary sweet…
the pungent animals stalk the
cage. Sawdust under old
canvas glows like old gold in a
shaft of sun light.
The Big Top!
Childhood rushes back

The smell of her on your
mustache… you don’t want to
wash your face… lose the
intoxicating scent of her love

New trees struggle to rise above
a sea of old petroleum.
Pine sol lies still on the cold tiles,
stale baloney on old bread.
Rancid tired clothes reek of
cheap cologne
The truck belches halitosis

Move on down the highway

Sharp fall gusts through the
quaking aspen,
pitchy sap barks in the
crackling fire,
snowy air assaults the senses

The loon sings, warming and
plucking at the heart.
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning, April: Poet, Joe Albanese and May: Boo Walker 
To receive my posts sign up for my   On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

‘Windstill’ ~~~In Honor of National Poetry Month

Windstill © by Trisha Sugarek

Subtle silence
Windstill
trees await the next
message on the air

Windstill
not a whisper of birdsong
not a leaf-rustle intrudes
as it falls
fluttering to the ground

The wind has departed
beyond the next hill
leaving in its wake
Windstill

Will it return? The breeze
dancing amongst the leaves
to the tune of the forest

Shall the still wind haunt
amongst the trees?
or come roaring back, shrieking?
Windstill
                                                         ********

There isn’t anything lovelier than receiving reviews from my fellow poets as I celebrate Nat’l Poetry Month.  My free verse, “Dear John” was featured on the home page of Poetrysoup.com and received these: 

‘Trisha,this poem spoke to my heart. Very raw with emotions and beautifully written, Keep that fire burning,it will light up the pathway for your John.’ Chinwe Igbozurike

and

Trisha, I really enjoyed stepping behind your eyes for a brief eclipse with your heart! Wondrous writing!’  red barchettadrive
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning, April: Poet, Joe Albanese and May: Boo Walker 
To receive my posts sign up for my   On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

Publishers…What’s in Your Wallet?

Traditional Publishers used to own the whole game. Indie authors, like you and me, spent most of our time chasing an agent so we could chase a publisher.  Back in the day, ‘self-publishing‘ was a dirty word. You were putting out a ‘vanity book’. You were looked down upon. 

This post is about three categories of Publishers in today’s writing world:

  1. Traditional Publisher: Who, for the most part do not accept ‘unsolicited manuscripts’. By that they mean that you have to have a literary agent representing your work and hawking it to the publishers. Don’t get me wrong, there is a small percentage of writers out there that are able to get an agent and ultimately a publisher. They pay on a royalty only basis. If you are very good and very lucky the publisher will pay you an advance to support you while your writing the book. 

2. The Publisher who asks the author to ‘invest’ in their own book : In my opinion (and it’s only my opinion), AVOID these. For the most part, these are internet publishers who expect you to pay them to publisher your book. You pay them at the front end and then if your book sells they get a percentage at the backend.  They don’t do much in the way of marketing your book, outside their own website, and it ends up still being a crapshoot for the author. There is no team of editors, publicists, and publisher that you can only get with a traditional publisher. 

3. You, the Publisher: Indie-publishing is, today, a respected and practical way for you to publish. There are many platforms out there that you can go on, for FREE, and build your book with the end result being that your book appears on all the major book store websites and can be ordered in a ‘stick and mortar’ bookstore. But as an indie-author you have to be your own team: marketing, editing, and publishing. You can hire out the first two services but it gets spendy. You get paid (usually) around 60% royalty for each book sold. 

  I know, through my interviews with best-selling authors (and friendships that have developed out of those), many best selling authors’ new books are rejected by their publisher, not because the writing is bad, but because the book doesn’t fit with their idea of what’s ‘hot’ right now. You see, it’s all about the $$$$. These best selling authors go right out and self-publish the rejected book. 

Get off the hamster wheel of trying to get a publisher to look at your book, trying to get an agent to sign you so a publisher will look at your work. Trying to get an agent to sign you…being rejected by the publisher because you don’t have an agent, trying to get an agent to sign you so a publisher will look at your work…well, you get the idea. Fine, chase the agent/publisher but while you’re doing that, publish your own work. Don’t let anyone stop you. Go for it!  Yes, you can self-publish while you are waiting around the for coveted agent/publisher gig!

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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning, April: Poet, Joe Albanese and May: Boo Walker 
To receive my posts sign up for my 

  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!

Haiku ~ In Honor of National Poetry Month

Haiku and Renku Poetry © by Trisha Sugarek

Haiku

to write haiku is
to distill to perfection
with only three lines

 

Memories of the South 

spanish moss shimmers
slave ghosts of days long gone by
hanging from the trees

stain on Old Glory
dark time of subjugation
when man enslaved man

memories forever
then bodies, now gray moss hangs
tears, blood-darken roots

Samurai Song

delicate blossom
rests in the still gnarled hand
bruised petals weep tears

weary eyes open
tiny cuts, the body bleeds
peace still years away

sun rise breaks the hill
heralds another battle
draw your sword and charge

Life after Death

Dark, cold days of grief
think you can no longer breathe
great loss, emptiness

Summer woods
a single leaf floats
deer creep along well worn paths
fish leap with delight

rings spread on the pond
katydids shout their presence
goslings paddle near

breezes stir the trees
the forest floor perfumes rise
a lone bird exults
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning, April: Poet, Joe Albanese and May: Boo Walker 
To receive my posts sign up for my   On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!