Search This Blog

Google+ Badge

Thursday, April 23, 2015

From personal tragedy comes a powerful story. If you are a reader of realistic fiction, check out Kathryn Craft's The Far End Of Happy which releases May 5th.

The Far End of Happy is a powerful new novel based on author Kathryn Craft’s personal experience with a stand-off involving her husband.  Here Craft delivers “real, raw emotion” (Library Journal) exploring a marriage unraveled by mental illness; and one man’s spiral towards a violent conclusion that tests the courage, love, and hope of the three women he leaves behind.
When the emotionally troubled Jeff engages police in a deadly stand-off, his wife, mother-in-law, and mother struggle to understand why the man they love has turned his back on the life they have given him, the one they all believe is still worth living.
“Framing the novel within a 12-hour period keeps the pages turning (Library Journal).” Narrating from the alternating perspectives of three women, whose lives will be forever altered by Jeff Farnham, gives an intimate look at the steps a woman will take to get the help her husband so urgently needs while desperately trying to keep her children safe.
A former dance critic who wrote for The Morning Call daily newspaper in Allentown, Pennsylvania, for nineteen years. Craft wrote exclusively nonfiction until she was plunged in the kind of real-life drama that demands attention. In 1997, after fifteen years of marriage, her husband committed suicide in a police standoff, leaving her and their two young sons.
The Far End of Happy was born from Craft’s need to make sense of what her husband had done. Kathryn has been a leader in the southeastern Pennsylvania writing scene for more than a decade and is also the author of The Art of Falling. She lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Website:

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Fall through time with Anna Belfrage's A Rip in the Veil. A delightful beginning to a series.

A Rip in the Veil is Anna Belfrage's introductory novel for her series of eight novels of the Graham Saga. This first book introduces us to Alex and Matthew. Matthew is three hundred years older than Alex, but in time travel or time slips, this does not matter, nor should it.

Alex leaves the present century through a thunderstorm and awakens in Matthew's century three hundred years previously. She leaves left behind some very real, very loving people, including her father and her young son. Confusion and dismay grip her. At first she fights, but as she gets to know the Scottish Matthew, and as she accepts that she may not return to life as she knew it, she comes to accept what has happened to her. She also learns to love Matthew as the strong, loving, albeit stubborn, man that he is.

This plotline seems simple and possibly short lived. There is a major complication, however. Alex learns that her mother has traveled through time, and when Alex was born, her mom  was indeed a time traveler to a future century, Alex's century. Just where did her mother belong?  Learning her mother's history and a mystery that it brings, Alex comes face to face with witch hunts, accusations of heresy, and burnings at the stake. And her mother's mysterious, malevolent  art.  All of that is Alex's past.

What is her future? Luckily for us, Anna has given us seven more novels to travel through time with Alex. Thus, there are many questions: will she have another time slip? If so, where and to what time will she go? Will her son, who possibly has some time travel genes, ever experience a time slip, and could he and Alex find each other? Will she again see her mother? And what about poor earth and time bound Matthew? Will he be around for long?

I don't know the answer to any of these questions for I have only read the first book, but you can rest assured I will read others. I have to learn the answers to my own questions.

If you like time travel or time slip novels, I highly recommend Anna's series.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A gentle book of family, friends, and forgiveness completes Adrian Fogelin's Tallahassee middle grades series.

Some Kind of Magic by Adrian Fogelin, set for April publication, follows the lives of characters we met earlier in Adrian's series. Now, those young characters are spending their last summer together before high school. They know changes are coming. Some welcome the approaching changes, others do not.

As the book opens, we see the core group of friends, Cass, Jemmie, Ben, and Justin, shooting hoops on this second day of summer break. The personalities of the characters tell us that the friends are approaching this summer with different interests and feelings. Can they stay together for one last summer before the approaching year of change?

They can, and they do, but with one big difference. Shooting hoops and spending time at each other's houses suddenly are not the all encompassing activities. Change, expected in the fall, arrives in early summer from unexpected sources---a kid brother, a missing uncle, a secret hideout in the nearby woods, and a hat. A magic hat?

Ben's kid brother Cody wants desperately to hang out with his brother's friends for he has often been on the fringes of their activities and feels they are his friends as well as Ben's friends. They tolerate him, sometimes more so than others, but will he really fit in in any way during this special summer?

Yes, he will for it is Cody who find's Uncle Paul's old hat, a hat that he immediately proclaims is magic. Is it? Well, Cody certainly thinks so, and through him and the hat the group experiences a summer that helps them grow and learn; that helps them understand the past and see, for a moment,  the magic.

And was it the magic of the hat that brought Uncle Paul, with his haunting memory, home after so many years? Perhaps. Whatever the reason, he is back and with him a mystery and some personal demons that have had him running for years.

Uncle Paul and the group of friends must come to terms with events from Paul's past and must turn and face the future. Doing so becomes a challenge for all of them, but it must be done for them to move forward. Can they do it? Can they bury the past, literally?

Read this gentle yet compelling book of childhood's last summer, growth toward acceptance of things that cannot be changed, and sustained friendship. It is a fitting end to the series that began with the award winning Crossing Jordon. Check out all the books in the series and get to know these young friends as they face life's problems during their growing years. The series is generally aimed at grades 5-8, or late elementary and middle grades.

Adrian Fogelin lives and writes in Tallahassee, Fl. She encourages the children in her neighborhood to find the joy in reading and in life through her Front Porch Library. Read about Adrian's project at

Published by Peachtree Publishing. Available on line and at major outlets.