Editing Examples

FINAL EDITED COPY FOR PIECES BY DONALD STIDHAM

 

A breeze moved along the interstate.  Trees and grass bowed in respect while cars and trucks of every size ignored its existence.  The wind flew around and over boulders as animals and critters scurried about.  It found a pond and glided across the glassy surface, disturbing a cluster of dragonflies.

She kneeled in the grass with her hands on her legs.  She bent forward and tried to catch her breath.  A single flower lay by her knees.  Its yellow brightness stood out against a small, white cross that stood beside it.  She ran her fingers down the wooden memorial and dropped her head.

The breeze wafted from the woods and nudged at the yellow flower, rolling it over.  The flower yawned at the touch.  The breeze blew harder until the flower touched the girl’s knee.  She picked up the kingcup and stood it against the cross.

Tears streamed down her cheeks with memories of excitement and love.  She wanted to scream and release all the agony held inside, but could only muster whimpers.  She fell forward and kissed the ground.  She welcomed the loneliness that had become a part of her soul.

~~~

PART ONE

Chapter One

“Mr. Aames?  Hayden, are you with us?”  Mrs. Prescott, the twelfth-grade honors English teacher asked.

“I’m sorry.  Yes.  What was the question?”

The class laughed.  Eric, Hayden’s best friend, nudged him on the shoulder.  Hayden’s face began to glow red, but then he realized he didn’t care what the others thought.  He sat up straight at his desk and folded his hands together.

“Nothing specific—I just wanted to make sure you were paying attention.  You’ve been drifting off lately into a world the rest of us might be interested in.  Is there anything wrong?”

“No, ma’am.  You can continue with your ever so interesting lecture.”

Sarcasm rang in his words.  The class laughed again, which brought a visit to the principal’s office.  Hayden shoved his English book into his backpack and left the room.  He stopped by the bathroom on the long walk.  The boy’s room smelled of urine and bleach.  The camera facing the bathroom entrance was meant to scare off any students who wished to smoke or hide out during classes, but the small device had little effect.  A clean white sink hung below a small water-spotted mirror.  The reflection disgusted Hayden on several levels.

“What’s the point,” he said to himself while shaking his head.

He pulled out a small knife that he kept under his belt.  Bullies in junior high had influenced Hayden to carry a weapon even though he never found the courage to use it.  He opened the three-inch blade and put it to his wrist.

Before sliding the blade, he looked back in the mirror.  His black hair, which wasn’t black enough, hung past his eyes.  His blue eyes were barely seen but didn’t have enough life in them.  His slender frame was complemented by a button-down white shirt and black slacks, but the hidden muscles would never be grand enough.  All imperfections screamed for him to create a river of blood from his palm all the way up his forearm.

A toilet flushed, which startled Hayden.  He frantically closed the knife and shoved it in his pocket.  He turned on the water and silently scolded himself for being so dramatic, just to stir his own emotions.  Hayden would never slice open his own skin.  Principal Kroger stepped from the stall.  He adjusted his belt before seeing the present student.

“Hayden, how are you doing today?”  His deep and friendly voice offered trust.

“Fine, I guess.  I was just on my way to see you, sir.”

“Why?”

“I wasn’t paying attention in English.  I made a derisive comment about Mrs. Prescott’s lecturing methods.  I don’t see why the adults can’t joust in conversation without immediately taking offense and sending the kids to you.  Don’t you get tired of seeing us for such mediocre complaints?”

“Yes, sometimes, but order has to be kept,” he sighed.  “Some teachers are just like kids themselves, and then some students are more mature than teachers.  Take Coach Adams, for instance…that goofball would be out of here if he didn’t know how to coach a three-point shot so well.”

They both laughed.  Kroger thought his joke was authentically funny, but Hayden was laughing to keep the focus off his earlier mistake.  He played psychologist with the principal, hoping it would work in his favor.

“Hayden, your grades seem to be slipping slightly.  Up until this semester, you’ve had straight A’s, but you received B’s in two classes.  Don’t be alarmed, but I like to keep a close eye on students that I believe have great potential.  Is something going on at home that you want to talk about?”

Kroger finally started washing his hands.  Hayden made a point to notice and did the same.  He hoped Kroger would see that he followed by example and would assume the good trait outweighed any bad ones.

“My seemingly melancholy demeanor does not start at home.  Nothing starts at home.  Dad is always away on business, and Mom is doing the usual juggling of responsibilities.  Xbox online keeps me company most of the time when I’m not studying the arts of life.  Most of the time, I feel like I’m stuck in neutral.  The world is certainly not pushing me into drive like you guys promised it would.”

“Well, I can see why Prescott sent you to me.  You have an underlying sarcastic tone, but nothing too rude.  One might even consider it humorous.  Just promise me, you will try to bring those B’s up to A’s.  You have potential.  When you get out of this sheltered world of public education, you’ll need all the options you can get your hands on.  As far as the world is concerned, it pushes us all.  You have to find the right current and dive in.”

He patted Hayden on the shoulder and left the restroom.  Hayden heard the words that were spoken, but only a few hit their intended mark.  The metaphor of a surging river stuck with him.  He splashed water in his hair and slicked it back—glancing in the mirror.  Hayden brought his hair back down to cover his eyes.

“Suck it up, coward.  You’re acting like a girl.”

In his mind, his reflection made an obscene gesture as he sauntered back to the classroom.  He opened the door and rejoined the class by taking his seat.  The other students wanted to know if he had gotten in trouble.  Eric nudged at him, but he kept his focus on the teacher until the end of class.

   The dismissal bell rang.  Hayden and Eric started their usual walk home.  They watched different students gear up on their methods of transportation.  Skateboards flipped through the air, Rollerblades slid across the concrete, trick bikes rode on one wheel, and sneakers danced around bouncing basketballs.  Hayden classified each group in his mind and placed himself outside of them all.  He was one of those who liked solitude while choosing not to own a vehicle.

Eric’s two-story brick house came first.  His mom moved in a stooping position by the flowerbed and waved at Hayden when she noticed them walking up.  She greeted him, but all Hayden saw were the tops of her large breasts peeking out of her tight pink shirt.  He mumbled to himself and walked off.  After fifteen seconds, sure that Eric was inside the house and his mom was gardening again, he glanced back to see if she was bending over.  She was, which brought a smile to his face.  He felt the ridiculous grin and immediately stopped.

 

ORIGINAL COPY FOR PIECES BY DONALD STIDHAM

A breeze moved along the interstate.  Trees and grass bowed in respect while cars and trucks of every size ignored its existence.  It darted off into the woods where it found boulders and critters scurrying about.  The breeze found a pond and glided across its surface, disturbing a cluster of dragonflies.

She kneeled in the grass with her hands on her legs.  She bent forward and tried to catch her breath.  A single flower lay by her knees.  Its yellow brightness stood out against the white cross.  She ran her fingers down the wood and dropped her head.

The breeze crept from the woods and nudged at the yellow flower.  It rolled over and yawned at the wind’s touch.  The breeze blew harder until the flower touched the girl’s knee.  She picked up the Kingcup and stood it against the cross.

Tears streamed down her cheeks with memories of excitement and love.  She wanted to scream and release all the agony held inside, but could only muster whimpers.  She fell forward and kissed the ground.  She welcomed the loneliness that had become a part of her soul.

~~~

PART ONE

Chapter One

 “Mr. Aames?  Hayden, are you with us?”  Mrs. Prescott, the twelfth grade Honors English teacher asked.

“I’m sorry.  Yes.  What was the question?”

The class laughed.  Eric, Hayden’s best friend, nudged him on the shoulder.  Hayden’s face began to glow red, but then he realized he didn’t care what the others thought.  He sat up straight at his desk and folded his hands together.

“Nothing specific.  I just wanted to make sure you were paying attention.  You’ve been drifting off lately into a world the rest of us might be interested in.  Is there anything wrong?”

“No, ma’am.  You can continue with your ever so interesting lecture.”

Sarcasms rang in his words.  The class laughed again which brought a visit to the Principal’s office.  Hayden shoved his English book into his backpack and left the room.  He stopped by the bathroom on the long walk.  The boy’s room smelled of urine and bleach.  The camera facing the bathroom entrance was meant to scare off any students that wished to smoke or hide out during classes, but the small device had little effect.  A clean white sink hung below the small water spotted mirror.  The reflection disgusted Hayden on several levels.

“What’s the point,” he said to himself while shaking his head.

He pulled out a small knife that he kept under his belt.  Bullies in junior high had influenced Hayden to carry a weapon even though he never used it in high school.  He opened the three inch blade and put it to his wrist.  Before sliding the blade he looked back in the mirror.  His black hair hung past his eyes, but wasn’t black enough.  His blue eyes were barely seen, but didn’t have enough life in them.  His small frame was complimented by a button down white shirt and black slacks, but the hidden muscles would never be grand enough.  All imperfections screamed for him to create a river of blood from his palm all the way up his forearm.

A toilet flushed which startled Hayden.  He frantically closed the knife and shoved it in his pocket.  He turned on the water and silently scolded himself for being so dramatic just to stir his own emotions.  Hayden would never slice open his own skin.  Principal Kroger stepped from the stall.  He adjusted his belt before seeing the present student.

“Hayden, how are you doing today?”  His deep and friendly voice offered trust.

“Fine, I guess.  I was just on my way to see you, Sir.”

“Why?”

“I wasn’t paying attention in English and I made a derisive comment about Mrs. Prescott’s lecturing methods.  I don’t see why the adults can’t joust in conversation without immediately taking offense and sending the kids to you.  Don’t you get tired of seeing us for such mediocre complaints?”

“Yes, sometimes, but order has to be kept,” he sighed.  “Some teachers are just like kids themselves and then some students are more mature than teachers.  Take Coach Adams for instance.  That goofball would be out of here if he didn’t know how to coach a three point shot so well.”

They both laughed.  Kroger thought his joke was authentically funny, but Hayden was laughing to keep the focus off his earlier mistake.  He played psychologist with the principal; hoping it would work in his favor.

“Hayden, your grades seem to be slipping slightly.  Up until this semester you’ve had straight A’s, but you received Bs in two classes.  Don’t be alarmed, but I like to keep a close eye on students that I believe have great potential.  Is something going on at home that you want to talk about?”

Kroger finally started washing his hands.  Hayden made a point to notice and do the same.  He hoped Kroger would see that he followed by example and would assume the good trait outweighed any bad ones.

“My seemingly melancholy demeanor does not start at home.  Nothing starts at home.  Dad is always away on business and mom is doing the usual juggling of responsibilities.  XBOX online keeps me company most of the time when I’m not studying the arts of life.  Most of the time, I feel like I’m stuck in neutral.  The world is not pushing me into drive like you guys promised it would.”

“Well, I can see why Prescott sent you to me.  You have an underlying sarcastic tone, but nothing too rude.  One might even consider it humorous.  Just promise me you will try to bring those Bs up to As.  You have potential and when you get out of this sheltered world of public education you need all the options you can get your hands on.  As far as the world is concerned, it pushes us all.  You have to find the right current and dive in.”

He patted Hayden on the shoulder and left the restroom.  Hayden heard the words that were spoken, but only few hit their intended mark.      The metaphor of a surging river stuck with him.  He splashed water in his hair and slicked it back.  He saw his eyes in the mirror and decided to bring his hair back down to cover them.

“Suck it up, coward.  You’re acting like a girl.”

In his mind, his reflection made an obscene gesture as he walked away and back to the classroom.  He opened rejoined the class and took his seat.  The other students wanted to know if he had gotten in trouble.  Eric nudged at him, but he kept his focus on the teacher until the end of class.

            The dismissal bell rang.  Hayden and Eric started their usual walk home.  Hayden watched different students gear up on their methods of transportation.  Skateboards flipped through the air, skates slid across the concrete, trick bikes rode on one wheel, and sneakers danced around bouncing basketballs.  Hayden classified each group in his mind and placed himself outside of them all.  He was one of those who liked solitude while choosing not to own a vehicle.

Eric’s two story brick house came first.  His mom moved in a bent position by the flower bed and waved at Hayden when she noticed them walking up.  She greeted him, but all Hayden saw were the tops of her large breasts peeking out of her tight pink shirt.  He mumbled to himself and walked off.  After fifteen seconds, sure Eric was inside the house and his mom gardening again, he glanced back to see if she was bending over.  She was which brought a smile to his face.  He felt the ridiculous grin and immediately stopped.  Two thousand and fifty more steps to torment.

 

 

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The Owl Wrangler by William Vaughn

The Owl Wrangler Front Cover

Seldith Chronicles–Book I

Tiny elves, a ‘uman’ mouse, and a wicked wizard overpowering all—this book will grab your interest and your heart.  It has all the magic of a good fantasy read.  So, sit back, grab a cuppa tea and a plate of cookies and follow Hisbil, the young forest elf, on his adventures to find his father–the owl wrangler, who disappeared days ago on one of his missions, and was never heard from again.

Young Hisbil is caught up in a tangle of emotions at this time in his young life.  Family and friends are pushing him to make an important decision on whether or not he is going to follow in his father’s footsteps.  He had planned to do this one day, but he never had expected that today would be “that” day.  He was too young, too innocent, too scared, too insecure—well . . . just “too everything.”  Granted, he was the only one who knew the spells that his father taught him, but he had no idea if he could remember everything.  It was a very scary and lonely time for this young Seldith.  If he declined, the village would end in ruins.

As many experiences in life happen (as we all know), one thing led to another and before Hisbil had any more time to think about his options he was off on the adventure of his life. There was no other choice but to keep moving forward—one step in front of the other.  His sweetheart Kassie, and his little sister Anasta, both, were mixed up in this mess, and he knew that he had to not only protect them but find his father, too. The further along they travelled the more unusual the characters became, and each tagged along, until there became a small posse of unlikely friends.

For me (an old forgetful curmudgeon), with all the minute detail that a good trilogy will start with, the beginning was hard to snag a catch.  It was slow going, and I had my doubts.  After a while, though, I started to be sucked into the storyline without knowing it.  Then, I realized that I was thinking of Hisbil during the day and all the trouble he was getting into.  I was thinking of Kassie, his girlfriend, and was worrying about her mother.  And, I was hoping that Hisbil’s father wasn’t dead, after all, as I turned page after page.  So, my closing thoughts are . . . don’t give up, because this story is well worth the effort of learning about the first few chapters in this new world.  It has all the intrigue and magic and fantasy and even a touch of romance that every really good story has, and you won’t be disappointed.  By the end of the book, I am sure you will be in love with all the characters as I am.

My thanks to the author for this lovely copy of The Owl Wrangler, and to Review the Book for allowing me to do just that!

 

THE OWL WRANGLER–AT AMAZON

  • File Size: 1627 KB
  • Print Length: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Beta V; 4 edition (April 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004UVQ7M0

Tales of Tremora–The Shimmering by William Westwood Jr.

THE SHIMMERING–FUN!  The Best Fantasy Book I’ve Read This Year!

Shimmering6coverI nominate this as my “Book of the Year!”

“The Shimmering” is a wonderful fantasy story of fourteen year old Michael who, on his birthday, strikes out into the forests of the Cascades to search for his father who has been lost for a year.  By accident, Michael wanders into a “ripple of time,” which is called a shimmering, and lands into the magical world of Tremora.  People have compared this to “Harry Potter” and “The Chronicles of Narnia.”  I say, “Phooey! And, Phooey again!”  There is no comparison—because, this story is delightfully unique in its own right.  And, I just can’t wait for the movie!  (Hollywood?  Are you listening?)

Michael’s free-loving, gypsy-type mother slips a note into his backpack the day he leaves.  When he finds the note he learns that his mother has been to Tremora many times.  She isn’t at all the normal housewife Michael thought she was.  She’s been an important figure in Tremora . . . actually, she’s been many, many important figures in Tremora—for a long, long time.  She also knows that this is exactly where her husband is.  She just hopes that Michael doesn’t accidentally kill him.

On Michael’s arrival to this special place he is greeted by a little green man named Tracker.  (No, he’s not from Mars.) This Tracker fellow was sent by high order of the king to escort and protect Michael on his journey.  From the very beginning, Michael is warned to “Be careful—there is danger everywhere.”  He wants to know why, but Tracker tells him he will find out when they get to the wizard’s meeting.  It’s driving Michael nuts that he doesn’t understand all this.  He doesn’t want to go to the wizard’s meeting—he just wants to find his dad!  Tracker presses on and tells the kid that before they can do anything about his father Michael has a serious job he has to perform.  He’s got to save Tremora.  And, of course, like you or me . . . the boy is thinking, ‘Me? Yah, right!  This guy has some serious mental problems.’ But, he has to humor Tracker so that he can find out more about this land and where his father might be.

The characters in this book are alive, exciting, and just plain fun.  There are no copycats here.  (To my knowledge there aren’t.)  I mean, who has ever heard of camelops, wazalops, shape-shifting friendly trolls, or fluster birds. Speaking of fluster birds, Michael actually gets to meet one, and that is special because they are believed to be extinct in most parts of Tremora.  Now, check this out—even the prose is creative and fun.  “The bird went berserk. It waved its wings wildly, turned summersaults, blustered, and sputtered—feathers flew everywhere as it chirped, whistled, and spun like a spinning wheel firecracker. It then plopped down with a thud on Michael’s upturned hand, legs splayed, eyes crossed, and small tongue hanging to the side. Even so, in the midst of it all, it still managed to grab the twig with one small foot (p. 131).”

I say, “Bravo, William Westwood! Bravo!”  This book should be in every home and school library in America. And, I can’t wait for the movie. . . . (Are you listening, Hollywood?)

Although, I do read books for the purpose of review–that in no way has any bearing on my opinion about this story.  I, like the fluster bird, am spinning and wildly waving as I run through the streets screaming, “Hey?  Have you read this one yet?  You gotta read it!  It’s really, really good!”

My thanks to the author for this lovely copy of “The Shimmering,” and to Review the Book.com for this opportunity to share my thoughts on what I believe is the best fantasy book of the year.

P.S. On the latest news . . . “The Shimmering” has won the Mom’s Choice award for friendly-family content and has been chosen for recording by the National Library Service audio books division and by Audible.com.  (Psst.–Hollywood . . . any takers?)

 

Bill Westwood Word Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE SHIMMERING–AT AMAZON

  • File Size: 894 KB
  • Print Length: 343 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1935359797
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Book Publishers Network; 1 edition (May 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005C2CLYO

Time and Again by Deborah Heal

Time AND Again Kindle

 

“Time and Again”–Charming!  Quaint!  Clever!

Time and Again is a good, wholesome, old-fashioned story with a modern twist.  This charming tale touches upon many of the hard issues that kids have to face today—depression, bullying, weight issues, absentee parents, abandonment, self-esteem, and young love.  It is written in such a way that these issues, which seem so momentous at first, gently blend into the background and simply melt away as the relationship between Abby and Meredith develops and they become fast friends.

Both girls are embarking on new adventures in their lives.  Abby just graduated from college, has taken a summer job—her first job, as a live-in tutor.  Meredith recently moved to the lonely, empty little town of Miles Station with her mother to an old historic home she inherited.  Determined to make a new life for them, her mother must work all sorts of crazy hours, which leaves Meredith with nothing to do.  She is feeling angry and dejected, and the last thing she wants is a babysitter hanging around, pestering, her all day long.

Naturally, the story does not end there . . . the old house promises some mysterious, quirky surprises for the two as they delve into its history and of the presently defunct town of Miles Station.

Ms. Heal did a marvelous job in addressing some of the confusion that children have in growing up while trying to understand the adult world.  In this, the book turns an enjoyable story into a chapter by chapter mini life-lessons book for teenagers.  Her teaching style is crafted in such a way to make you think you are just reading a fun story.  She offers so much in the way of learning history, relationships, people, and in surviving the turbulent teenage years, that you will want to read it time and again.

Note: I would like to thank Deborah Heal for this lovely copy of her book, and to Review the Book.com for the opportunity to review it.

 

TIME AND AGAIN–AT AMAZON

  • File Size: 1044 KB
  • Print Length: 264 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BMUQAR4

 

Unclaimed Legacy by Deborah Heal

Another Great Book by Ms. Heal!

Unclaimed Legacy_Kindle_v1


“Time and Again”
was a great introduction to Abby, Merri, John, and all the others living about in the Miles Station’s neighborhood.  By the time I had turned to that last page I felt like I had made some new friends.  “Unclaimed Legacy’s” genuine warmth and down home spirit turned those new friends into my old friends–people I’d grown up with in my old neighborhood. You know . . . the ones who make you feel like you were a part of their family.  And, what is more fun than having a summer adventure with your pals from the old neighborhood?  This time, Eulah and Beulah need to solve a long-time mystery in their family tree and there is only one way that Abby, Merri, and John can help them.  Of course, by now . . . you know what that is from reading “Time and Again.”

“Unclaimed Legacy” really has great character development and character interaction. There is a little love-play tension between Abby and John throughout the book.  The history of Eulah and Beulah’s bloodline dances around a great mysterious tale that only can be solved through the odd and quirky computer program that has intrigued our three friends from the beginning.  Adding the new characters gives a bit of depth and suspense to the mystery.

But, I really appreciated the way this author weaves all the history of the area into the story.  I’m not a great history lover but in this book there is nothing glaring or boring with dull facts that will cause you to nod off.  I was almost through reading the whole book before I realized how many historical tidbits were presented.  With the little I know of the third story and my experience with the first two, I am really excited to get into the last one of the trilogy.

It is so refreshing to just have a good story to kick back, relax, and unwind from a trying day.  Every night I read it before hitting the hay and the worst part of that is the book is done. It was really something to look forward to in ending my day. The good news is I have the last book of the trilogy left to read.  And, I can’t wait!

I’d like to thank Deborah Heal for this beautiful copy of “Unclaimed Legacy” in exchange for an honest review.

 

UNCLAIMED LEGACY — AT AMAZON

  • File Size: 1485 KB
  • Print Length: 284 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0092GZ0WG

Every Hill and Mountain by Deborah Heal

Every HIll and MountainAn Entertaining Mystery!

 

Deborah Heal considers herself a Christian fiction author.  Right there, for a lot of people, that would wave the red flag: “Stop!  Do not enter!” “This will contain over-zealous subject matter meant to weave a certain message into the story in which to enlighten or prescribe the author’s beliefs.”  I almost passed up the chance to read this fun trilogy because of this worry.  Through the first book, I turned every page with much trepidation that a preacher would jump out of page 25, 137, or 192 to scream at me about his way to see the light.  In certain times and places I find this acceptable, but not when I am reading for enjoyment and to relax.

I was so wrong!  In all three books–nothing like that happened at all.  As a matter of fact, Ms. Heal did an excellent job of writing a great three-part story that young adults on up can enjoy.  The first book was an introduction to Merri, Abby, and John and the Beautiful Home computer program.  The second book took us on another adventure with the cheerful trio and their neighbors to seek out a puzzle of heritage.  This last book delved further into Illinois history as Merri, Abby, and John used their unique computer program to help Kate, (Abby’s roommate from college) find an ancestor by the name of Ned Greenfield from Equality, Illinois.

Their arrival to Equality gave them an unexpected surprise.  Everyone they met was hometown friendly in a down-home sort of way.  The streets were crowded; and it wasn’t until they met the local sheriff that they learned it was the annual Salt Days celebration to commemorate when the village was founded in 1735.  The area was the hub for salt mining in the United States after the Indians surrendered the “Great Salt Springs” to the US government by treaty way back when (Wikipedia).  The story continues with little tidbits of local history to amuse and entertain as is the author’s penchant for sneaking in lessons without our being consciously aware we’re being taught.

With all the information they try to find out about this Greenfield relative of Kate’s, the farther down the family tree he seems to slip.  These friendly villagers start to clam up and the true hunt begins.  This tale tells of a salt baron’s ruthless rise to success, slavery—the likes of which you’ve never heard before, a spooky third floor in a mansion, and a ditzy old woman who has the answers, but takes to having “spells” when questioned too much.

On the social scene, John and Abby’s crush deepens as Abby (figuratively) pulls the petals off the daisy one-by-one “He loves me. . . . He loves me not.”  This couple prefers to follow the old-fashion values of genteel courtship until marriage; whereas, Abby’s friend, Kate, was lured into a more complicated, serious relationship with her boyfriend, Ryan. The subject of sex is mentioned in the book, but it is handled with intelligence and decorum.

Now that the trilogy is over, I look back and shake my head when I think I almost missed a great opportunity to learn so much about our history and the history of Illinois.  The information was presented in a unique mystery story that was fully entertaining and enjoyable.  I liked the books so much that if I had my druthers, I’d like Ms. Heal to drop the trilogy and just continue the storyline into a lengthy series.  I enjoyed the characters so much that I could imagine them on more adventures of this kind, and as long as the program is willing—why not?  If more of us hungry readers are so inclined to persuade her, perhaps we can change her mind about this being the last book.  I’m certain that the state of Illinois has many more hidden tales to tell that the Beautiful Home computer program could bring to light.

I’d like to thank author Deborah Heal for this lovely copy of Every Hill and Mountain in exchange for my honest review.

 

EVERY HILL AND MOUNTAIN–AT AMAZON

  • File Size: 2276 KB
  • Print Length: 276 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1482609169
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BUQ1NGI

I Remember My Circus by Tom S. Figueiredo

I Remember My Circus CoverIllustrations by Sidney Falcão

I have known a few people in my lifetime who have turned into various animals from time to time.  Some have even been in my own family.  Who hasn’t heard these expressions . . . “He was surly as a bear!  She was a little minx. The women got into a cat fight last night. He’s just an ugly old toad. (With a kiss he may turn into a prince, however.  Oh, wait! That’s a frog that does that.)”  These are all metaphors that are all too common in our society relating people to animals.  So, when the circus came to town and the little ten-year-old boy was waiting to see the woman turn into a six-foot gorilla—I waited with him.

What a fun, quirky, engaging little story this was!  My day was not all that great, but after a few pages I was really giggling with some of the absurdities of this odd little circus that appears and disappears without a sound. The art work is great.  The brightly colored cartoons look like they were painted with pastel watercolors.  And, the tale was so masterfully crafted that to an adult it seems quirky and odd; but to a child, I am certain, the allusions would make perfect sense in their little world filled with mysteries and giants.

Despite the frivolity and light-hearted nature of this short, simple story there is a much deeper meaning that small children might be able to relate to if they have been a part of a separation of some type within their family. The parent becomes enraged and turns into a monster/animal (which sometimes does draw a crowd). The other parent leaves home, thus relinquishing their partner of the power to change into a giant animal, and what is left is an empty shell of sadness.  When the fighting is over one of the parents packs up in the middle of the night and disappears.  Afterwards, it is so painful that no one talks about it; they keep it to themselves. The story is so cleverly disguised that I really did not catch on right away to what the meaning was behind all the cute expressive drawings of the circus and animal acts.

In this, I think the book has great merit.  Along with being a cute, funny, and a colorful little children’s book I think this might be something that a child could connect with and make sense of during a bad situation that really does not make any sense at all to them (or anyone else for that matter).  Think about it . . . we have all heard people comment about someone, when going through a break-up, in their neighborhood or family, “It is a circus over there!”

I give this book 5-stars!  This author is brilliant!

My thanks to authors Tom S. Figueiredo, Antonio Cedraz and Sidney Falcão for providing this delightful story; and to Review the Book.comfor the opportunity to review such a fun read.

 

I REMEMBER MY CIRCUS

  • File Size: 1640 KB
  • Print Length: 53 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Editora Cedraz; 2 edition (July 16, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005EZ0W0Y