Cherokee America by Margaret Verble (Historical Novel, 2019). Maud’s Line, Margaret Verble’s debut novel, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. I haven’t read that one, but I gather it was, like Cherokee America, a historical novel inspired in part by the novelist’s family history. As Verble explains in a 3-page Author’s Note after the book, Cherokee America‘s plot is entirely […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: Cherokee America"
This week’s coffeehouse coincided with the official opening of Windber’s annual Miner’s Memorial Days, which honors local history and always climaxes on Father’s Day (which is this Sunday). I approached the evening in a very good mood. Having one of my short stories being published (in a hardcover anthology of SF/F for kids) and a […]Read more "Windber Coffeehouse Nights: 13 June 2019"
The second weekly coffeehouse of the season at Windber’s Grand Midway Hotel was in many ways a disappointment. Attendance was well off from the previous week’s promising beginning, despite the presence of a handful of stalwart regulars. Yet there were some positive aspects worthy of mention. In honor of this week’s 50th anniversary of the […]Read more "Windber Coffeehouse Nights: June 6, 2019"
First an apology: I fully intended to post this recap of last Thursday’s coffeehouse within 24 hours of the event. Other factors intervened, some writer related (like the June 1st deadline on my bimonthly column for the PennWriter newsletter) or other more general life issues. Anyway……. The first coffeehouse of 2019 was, on the whole, […]Read more "Windber Coffeehouse Nights: 30 May 2019"
As always, I have a number of projects going at once. Hence this blog is in the nature of a ‘head’s up’ for any and all interested parties. In the next couple days (probably this Thursday), I’ll be posting my review of the 2013 film Lee Daniel’s The Butler here. It’s a somewhat fictionalized account of […]Read more "Various Coming Attractions"
Eggs on Ice by Laura Childs (Cozy Mystery Novel, December 2018). The fatal knifing of a shady (and widely disliked) attorney during a dress rehearsal for an amateur theater group’s upcoming holiday production of A Christmas Carol puts Suzanne, cafe co-owner and amateur detective into investigative mode yet again. its the eighth book in the Cackleberry Club Mystery […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: Eggs on Ice"
The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel by Alyssa Palombo (Historical Fantasy Novel, October 2018). This involving novel takes “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” Washington Irving’s classic short story of love, jealousy and the supernatural, and simultaneously expands and re-imagines it with Katrina as the central character. As in the original, Katrina becomes the unwitting focal point […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel"