Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Day of Small Things

Vicki Lane's lyrical The Day of Small Things is the perfect book to curl up with at anytime, a hammock in summer or by the fire when winds are brisk. This reader is delighted that Ms. Lane took the time from her outstanding Elizabeth Goodweather series to explore in depth the engaging character of "Miss Birdie."
Fan's of the Goodweather series demanded more of Miss Birdie because in the brief sketches a real person shown through who was worth every moment they spent exploring her character.
The Day of Small Things is not a small story, but a saga of a young woman who against all odds learns to love and comes to grips with the divergent aspects of her own heritage. Least was her given name and her expectations did not exist until her aging Cherokee grandmother gave her five years of undivided love and the teachings of her people.
Her mother's bitterness and anger fueled a devastating revenge against her youngest child, Least. The mother's death gave the young woman a chance to explore the outside world if she can stay ahead of the sheriff. Her mother had signed papers committing her to a institution to be sterilized.
Each obstacle Least encounters on her journey to become "Miss Birdie" will keep you turning the pages, reading every word for the story, the customs, the atmosphere, and the charm that shines through some dark days.
This is a book you will not want to miss and it is one you will want to keep on your shelf to dip into when you need a glimpse of the perseverance of the human soul.
Visit with Vicki Lane at Vicki's books are available in the paperback book section of book stores and on line from
Nash Black, author of Indie finalists Writing as a Small Business and Haints.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree

Susan Wittig Albert's The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree transports the reader directly to the 1930s and a woman's gardening group.
The country is in the midst of the Great Depression, but the ladies of Darling, Alabama have their hands deep in the soil and the lives of each inhabitant of this southern community.
Life isn't easy as their pennies are tight, but they are determined to restore Mrs. Blackstone's family home and the gardens that she left in their care. The work is hard because the old place was sadly neglected during Mrs. Blackstone's declining years.
Everyone is talking about the escaped convict and it isn't a surprise when reports of a ghost digging the gardens near the cucumber trees are reported. Nothing is ever what it seems in a good cozy mystery and the ladies are not about to put up with any nonsense from a ghost.
Mrs. Albert is an established writer with two successful cosy mystery series under her belt, but The Darling Dahlias may be her best yet. Her work reminds me of another great cozy writer Charlotte MacLeod. Mrs. MacLeod wrote an exceptional funny gardening series as Alisa Craig, an example is The Grub and Stakers House a Haunt.
If you enjoy a break from horrific murder and mayhem with a yen for gardening either of these two authors will give you hours of pleasure.
Susan Wittig Albert's books are available at bookstores everywhere and on
Nash Black, author of Indie finalists Writing as a Small Business and Haints.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Spookiest Stories Ever

Roberta S. and Lonnie E. Brown have spent a lifetime collecting stories of actual experiences with ghosts. They have complied these stories from family and friends in Spookiest Stories Ever: Four Seasons of Kentucky Ghosts published by The University Press of Kentucky.
Encounters with the paranormal does not occur just at Hallowe'en, but at any time when the veil to the world beyond has a window in time. Roberta and Lonnie recognizes this and have arranged their tales of phychic phenomena as to when they occurred.
Lonnie tells of his first encounter with something beyond the grave in The Cold Touch when the newly dead left a flower to indicate their presence.
Roberta tells of her experience at the Tab in Ghost of Berea College. I recognized the old theater building; it was there when I was a member of the library staff and teacher at Berea. A young boy could see the ghost, but Roberta could only hear his footsteps.
A suicide that keeps on dying is the subject Ghost Chains. No one has been able to live in the house in south Central Kentucky since the death occurred. It is a dripping, dripping, chilling tale of death; a perfect story to read on a warm summer's night.
When an event is of extreme importance to two individuals it isn't unusual for the dead to visit the living. From the winter section Roberta retells a story of the bond that existed between a young woman graduating from college and her father.
I've cited a sampling of these eerie true stories for each season. This is a book to savor and put down, pickup and reread as you visit with some very spooky haints.
Roberta Simpson Brown is a noted folklorist, oral story teller, and author. Other books by her are Queen of the Cold-Blooded Tales and The Walking Trees and Other Scary Stories. Her husband Lonnie E. Brown is a musician and author of Stories You Won't Believe. They currently live outside of Louisville, but were born in Russell County, KY.
Look for their books in bookstores and on as they are a perfect gift at any time of the year.
Nash Black, author of Indie finalists Writing as a Small Business and Haints.