Tag Archives: history

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Evidence is Lacking. Yet I Still Hope. by Joan Enders

11 Nov

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Joshua Henry Bates, a young teacher of a country school, wonders if there will be more to his life. Yes, there are summers away from the farm, attending the University of Utah, dancing at Saltair, watching pictures shows, and eating ice cream on bone dry days. In his journal he questions his future. He finds a young woman to love, but she is an ever-mutating mystery. His job seems to be a dead-end. His parents need his help more all the time. Josh tries to change his life: cooling the relationship with his girlfriend, teaching in a new school, and registering for service in the American Expeditionary Forces. Still, Joshua is filled with self-doubt. Will Josh marry the girl? Will he find a dazzling life mission? Will he be victorious in war? Each chapter contains one to thirty primary sources from the life of this young man drafted as a doughboy in the Meuse-Argonne Campaign.
 Praise for the book:

If you have ever searched for your own history, or a way to bring history to life, this book is a masterpiece.”

Kelly Milner Halls, author of Saving the Baghdad Zoo

 

 

Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ 

Amazon Canada ~ Amazon Australia ~

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Joan Enders lives in Washington State with her husband Jerry, and loves the Pacific Northwest! For 28 years she taught literature and research skills in school libraries to middle and high school students, and advocated for full-time school librarians in every school. She was a recipient of the American Library Association’s Frances Henne Award for library leadership. 
 
She loved her jobs, often to distraction. Once Joan stayed so late at the school library that the  custodians waxed the floors, unaware that she was  still upstairs. She crept out the least sticky exit. Joan now teaches librarians on webinars. When not teaching she administers the local Family History Center for FamilySearch International. She enjoys peeling back the research onion for students and adults. That was the motivation for her first book, which replicates her most popular inquiry lesson for U.S. History students and teachers. Joan speaks in her community, for professional organizations and at genealogy conferences.
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Connect with the Author here: 
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I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Evidence is Lacking. Yet I Still Hope. is an interesting true story about Joshua Henry Bates told through his journal and other documents from his life. Along with the documents are questions and prompts to look for important information (what the author found is listed in the back of the book). It basically teaches you how to be a genealogy detective.

I’ve always been interested in my family history and gathered a lot of information about it years ago. There is a form in Evidence is Lacking. Yet I Still Hope. that is “friendlier” than the form I was using. Also, QR codes are listed throughout the book to resources. I’m hoping that reading this book will help get me motivated to getting back to working on my family history.

This is a great resource for anyone who is interested in researching their family history and I plan on continuing to use it.

 

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To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 
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The First Step

18 Aug

 

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Book Review & Giveaway: Surviving the Fatherland by Annette Oppenlander

8 Aug

 

Historical Fiction

Date Published: March 15, 2017

Publisher: Oppenlander Enterprises LLC

***An IWIC Hall of Fame Novel***

***Winner 2017 National Indie Excellence Award***

“This book needs to join the ranks of the classic survivor stories of WWII such as “Diary of Anne Frank” and “Man’s Search for Meaning”. It is truly that amazing!” InD’taleMagazine

“This family saga is wonderfully written and, aside from the emotional ramifications, very easy to read. I stayed up too late a couple of nights reading it…I highly recommend this book!” Long and Short Reviews

Spanning thirteen years from 1940 to 1953 and set against the epic panorama of WWII, author Annette Oppenlander’s SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND is a sweeping saga of family, love, and betrayal that illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the children’s war.

SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND tells the true and heart-wrenching stories of Lilly and Günter struggling with the terror-filled reality of life in the Third Reich, each embarking on their own dangerous path toward survival, freedom, and ultimately each other. Based on the author’s own family and anchored in historical facts, this story celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the strength of war children. 

When her father goes off to war, seven-year-old Lilly is left with an unkind mother who favors her brother and chooses to ignore the lecherous pedophile next door. A few blocks away, twelve-year-old Günter also loses his father to the draft and quickly takes charge of supplementing his family’s ever-dwindling rations by any means necessary.

As the war escalates and bombs begin to rain, Lilly and Günter’s lives spiral out of control. Every day is a fight for survival. On a quest for firewood, Lilly encounters a dying soldier and steals her father’s last suit to help the man escape. Barely sixteen, Günter ignores his draft call and embarks as a fugitive on a harrowing 47-day ordeal–always just one step away from execution.

When at last the war ends, Günter grapples with his brother’s severe PTSD and the fact that none of his classmates survived. Welcoming denazification, Lilly takes a desperate step to rid herself once and for all of her disgusting neighbor’s grip. When Lilly and Günter meet in 1949, their love affair is like any other. Or so it seems. But old wounds and secrets have a way of rising to the surface once more.

Purchase Links

 Amazon     B&N     Kobo

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Based on the true story of two children growing up in Nazi Germany, Surviving the Fatherland is historical fiction at its best. To see the effects of this war from a German child’s view is a perspective I haven’t read before.

It’s difficult to read parts of this book knowing that these things actually happened. The innocent Germans who just tried to survive are usually forgotten when talking about World War II. What German families had to endure under Hitler’s regime and afterward is unthinkable and it’s hard to think about the fact that it wasn’t that long ago. 

Annette Oppenlander does such a good job at describing what Lilly and Günter go through that I felt like I was sitting there listening to their stories first-hand.

Surviving the Fatherland is a story of courage, love, and hope during a time of war and rebuilding. Knowing that it’s based on the lives of the author’s parents makes it even more compelling.

 

About the Author

Annette Oppenlander is an award-winning writer, literary coach and educator. As a bestselling historical novelist, Oppenlander is known for her authentic characters and stories based on true events, coming alive in well-researched settings. Having lived in Germany the first half of her life and the second half in various parts in the U.S., Oppenlander inspires readers by illuminating story questions as relevant today as they were in the past. Oppenlander’s bestselling true WWII story, Surviving the Fatherland, was elected to IWIC’s Hall of Fame and won the 2017 National Indie Excellence Award. Her historical time-travel trilogy, Escape from the Past, takes readers to the German Middle Ages and the Wild West. Uniquely, Oppenlander weaves actual historical figures and events into her plots, giving readers a flavor of true history while enjoying a good story. Oppenlander shares her knowledge through writing workshops at colleges, libraries and schools. She also offers vivid presentations and author visits. The mother of fraternal twins and a son, she lives with her husband and old mutt, Mocha, in Bloomington, Ind.

 

Contact Information

Website: http://www.annetteoppenlander.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annetteoppenlanderauthor

Twitter: https://twitter/aoppenlander

Blog: http://www.annetteoppenlander.com/blog

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/annoppenlander/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34388334-surviving-the-fatherland?ac=1&from_search=true

 

Giveaway

Two autographed copies of ‘Surviving the Fatherland’

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

The Amazon purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 4 Escape.

Book Review & Giveaway: More Than a Soldier by D.M Annechino

12 Jun

Book Title: More Than a Soldier: One Army Ranger’s Daring Escape From the Nazis
Author: D.M. Annechino
Category: Adult Fiction, 316 pages
Genre: Historical Biography, WWII
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release date: April 2017
Tour dates: May 29 to June 16 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (A few four-letter words and violence associated with war)

 

Description

Feeling a patriotic duty to defend his country after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, seventeen year old Angelo J. DiMarco enlists in the U.S. Army. Severely short of frontline fighters, the Army rushes Angelo through Ranger training and sends him to Italy as part of the 1st Ranger Battalion. Their objective: stop the German invasion.

Fighting on the front lines in Italy, the German’s teach Angelo a sobering lesson on life when they capture him during the bloody battle of Cisterna. Against insurmountable odds, Angelo miraculously escapes in a way that stretches the imagination. He survives behind enemy lines for over five months, hiding from the Germans and trying to outmaneuver them. He begs for food, sleeps in barns and suffers from many ailments, including dehydration, malnutrition, malaria and exposure to the elements.

More Than a Soldier is Angelo DiMarco’s powerful story of survival, resilience and courage.

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I have read several books by DM Annechino, all murder mysteries, all very good. Since I already knew that I like his writing and I like historical fiction, I was looking forward to reading More Than a Soldier.

This story is about Angelo J. DiMarco, an actual soldier in World War II who started out working behind a desk but he didn’t feel like he was contributing to his country as much as he could so he became an Army Ranger. So he went from behind desk to the front lines voluntarily. Talk about a patriot!

More Than a Soldier was difficult to put down. Angelo faced so much in just a couple years, it proves that truth is stranger than fiction. Not only did he have to face the Germans on the front lines but he had malaria, was captured by the Germans, escaped and survived behind enemy lines for several months. He went through so much and still when he came home, all he wanted was a word from his father that he was proud of him. How sad is it that it took a war and near death for Angelo to finally hear the words he craved?

“You enter the Army with honor and a strong feeling of patriotism. You’re an indestructible force and nothing and nobody can stop you. But then you learn just how naive you are, that war is much more than a word that defines a conflict between nations. It’s a living, breathing predator, and its only goal is to devour your mind, body, and spirit.”

I definitely recommend More Than a Soldier. It’s full of war, death, heartbreak, survival, and history. 

 

Buy the Book: 




Praise for More Than a Soldier:

Annechino colorfully draws the actions scenes, and richly brings the supporting cast of characters to life. A moving tale of survival in war-torn Europe.
Kirkus Reviews

Nuanced and eloquently written, More Than a Soldier adds to the body of WWII literature an extraordinary story of survival and a deeply affecting portrait of a soldier’s coming-of-age.
The iRead Review

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Meet the Author

Daniel M. Annechino, a former book editor, wrote his first book, How to Buy the Most Car for the Least Money, while working as a General Manager in the automobile business. But his passion had always been fiction, particularly thrillers. He spent two years researching serial killers before finally penning his gripping and memorable debut novel They Never Die Quietly. He has written and published five novels—all thrillers. But his latest work, More Than a Soldier, is a Historical Biography set in Italy during WWII.

A native of New York, Annechino now lives in San Diego with his wife, Jennifer. He loves to cook, enjoys a glass of vintage wine, and spends lots of leisure time on the warm beaches of Southern California.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

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BOOK REVIEW TOUR:

May 29 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – review / giveaway
May 30 – Gabriel’s Wharf – review
May 30 – Books, Dreams, Life – review / giveaway
May 31 – Working Mommy Journal – review / giveaway
June 1   – Il Mio Tesoro – review
June 2   – NorthernMsw – review
June 5   – Svetlana’s Reads and Views – review
June 6   – Man of la Book – review / giveaway
June 6   – Cheryl’s Book Nook – review / giveaway
June 7   – What Cathy Read Next – review / giveaway
June 8   – Puddletown Reviews – review / giveaway
June 9   – Olio by Marilyn – review / giveaway
June 12 – Bound 4 Escape – review / giveaway
June 13 – Library of Clean Reads – review / giveaway
June 14 – Leels Loves Books – review
June 15 – Nighttime Reading Center – review / giveaway
June 16 – The World As I See It – review / giveaway

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Enter the Giveaway!

 Ends June 24

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The Amazon purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 4 Escape.

Audiobook Review & Giveaway: The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald

9 Dec

Author: Betty MacDonald

Narrator: Heather Henderson

Length: 9 hours

Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press⎮2015

Genre: Humor, Memoir

synopsis

When Betty MacDonald married a marine and moved to a small chicken farm on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, she was largely unprepared for the rigors of life in the wild. With no running water, no electricity, a house in need of constant repair, and days that ran from four in the morning to nine at night, the MacDonalds had barely a moment to put their feet up and relax. And then came the children. Yet through every trial and pitfall – through chaos and catastrophe – this indomitable family somehow, mercifully, never lost its sense of humor.

A beloved literary treasure for more than half a century, Betty MacDonald’s The Egg and I is a heartwarming and uproarious account of adventure and survival on the American frontier.

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Buy on AudibleAmazon

author-bio

Betty Bard MacDonald (1907–1958), the best-selling author of The Egg and I and the classic Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle children’s books, burst onto the literary scene shortly after the end of World War II. Readers embraced her memoir of her years as a young bride operating a chicken ranch on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, andThe Egg and I sold its first million copies in less than a year. The public was drawn to MacDonald’s vivacity, her offbeat humor, and her irreverent take on life. In 1947, the book was made into a movie starring Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert, and spawned a series of films featuring MacDonald’s Ma and Pa Kettle characters.

MacDonald followed up the success of The Egg and I with the creation of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, a magical woman who cures children of their bad habits, and with three additional memoirs: The Plague and I (chronicling her time in a tuberculosis sanitarium just outside Seattle), Anybody Can Do Anything (recounting her madcap attempts to find work during the Great Depression), and Onions in the Stew (about her life raising two teenage daughters on Vashon Island).

Author Paula Becker was granted full access to Betty MacDonald’s archives, including materials never before seen by any researcher. Looking for Betty MacDonald, the first official biography of this endearing Northwest storyteller, reveals the story behind the memoirs and the difference between the real Betty MacDonald and her literary persona.

narrator-bio

Heather Henderson is a voice actress and audiobook narrator with a 20-year career in literary and performing arts. Her narrations include the NYT bestseller (now also a feature film) Brain on Fire; and Sharon Creech’s The Boy on the Porch, which won her an Earphones award and was named one of the Best Children’s Audiobooks for 2013 by Audiofile Magazine. She earned her Doctor of Fine Arts degree at the Yale School of Drama, and is co-curator of AudioEloquence.com, a pronunciation research site for the audiobook industry. In 2015, Heather was a finalist for a Voice Arts Award (Outstanding Narration, Audiobook Classics), for her narration of Betty MacDonald’s The Egg and I.

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review

I chose to listen to the audiobook after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

The Egg and I is a delightful memoir about the first couple of years of Betty MacDonald’s marriage. Despite her misgivings, they bought a remote ranch on a mountain and started a chicken farm.

Even though the work was grueling and it was lonely, Betty kept her sense of humor and her husband loved the life they were living.

Readers nowadays may be offended by the way she talks about Indians but they need to keep in mind that this book was written in the 1940’s, and her view was accepted back then. She actually wrote that she hated the Indians. I’m not sure why she wrote that since she talked nicely about a couple of them later in the book. But I suggest not reading or listening to The Egg and I if you can’t get past that. It did rub me the wrong way but I know people talked like that 70 years ago and it was considered “okay,” so I looked past those comments and was still able to enjoy the book.

Another thing that stuck out as something that wouldn’t be accepted today was when they went to the fair and she put her baby in the truck to sleep and left her there to look at some things at the fair. Or when she left the baby lying with the dog when she went to care for the farm animals. Times sure have changed!

Betty MacDonald’s description of her neighbors, the Kettles tickled me. We lived in northeast Tennessee when I was a teenager and we often drove in the mountains and saw farms that looked like she described the Kettle’s home. My dad always commented how funny it was that there’d be a farm like that next to one that was really nice.

The narrator, Heather Henderson, has a pleasant voice and I enjoyed listening to her. She did a great job of using different voices for different characters. I especially liked Pa Kettle’s voice.

I enjoyed listening to the Egg and I and I hope to see the movie sometime.  Continue reading

Book Review & Giveaway: David Travels to the Past by Gonzalo Martínez de Antoñana & María José Mosquera

17 Nov

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David is a young and restless apprentice painter who wants to know everything about painting. His intelligent teacher, the Master Messina, invents a way of transporting David through time to prehistory. They go there looking for the origins of art, but once they are there nothing will be as they thought.

In a second adventure, they travel towards the unknown art of Mesopotamia. This time they won´t go alone. The sympathetic and intelligent Angela will travel to the past with them bringing her particular point of view.
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Buy the Book:

USA:  Amazon ~  Kindle ~  Barnes & Noble
UK: Amazon  ~ Kindle
Australia: Fishpond  ~  Booktopia ~ Kindle
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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.
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I used to read the occasional comic book when I was young but graphic novels hadn’t been thought of at that time. David Travels to the Past is a graphic novel that teaches children about some of the history of art. What middle school age child wouldn’t want to read a graphic novel instead of a novel with just a picture here and there? I love this concept and hope to see more books like this in the future.
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The story is fun because it involves time travel. First, David’s instructor takes him to the Upper Paleolithic Period to see rock painting first hand. They learn a lot about the people and how they survived. The trip is informative but it also turns out to be a real adventure, and quite dangerous! When they get back, David is able to show what they learned with art.
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In the second story, David and his instructor go to Mesopotamia. Angela is there, too, and is able to give her point of view on that era as well. The Babylonians had some magnificent masterpieces and showed them that art can be in many different forms.
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David Travels to the Past is definitely a good book for middle school age children to read, enjoy, and learn.
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About the Author and Illustrator

maria-jose-mosquera

María José is a teacher. She won international illustrations awards.

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Gonzalo has a degree in art history. He works in museums and as a tourist guide.

 

Connect with them: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook ~ Pinterest

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Giveaway

Prizes:

Win a print copy of the graphic novel David Travels to the Past (open int’l / 5 winners)

Ends Dec 10

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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The History of Halloween

31 Oct

 

I found this interesting and wanted to share. I had no idea Halloween had been around so long! If you like all things Halloween, I found this website, ThingsThatGoBoo, that has everything you ever wanted to know about Halloween including monsters, poems, songs, books, and more.

 

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Guest Post: The Origin of the Dakota by Andrew Joyce

30 Oct

I have one more guest post from Andrew Joyce. I’ve learned a lot from these posts and I can’t wait until I have time to read his latest novel, Yellow Hair.

 

My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. I would like to thank The Dawn for allowing me to be here today to promote my latest, Yellow Hair, which documents the injustices done to the Sioux Nation from their first treaty with the United States in 1805 through Wounded Knee in 1890. Every death, murder, battle, and outrage I write about actually took place. The historical figures that play a role in my fact-based tale of fiction were real people and I use their real names. Yellow Hair is an epic tale of adventure, family, love, and hate that spans most of the 19th century.

Now that the commercial is out of the way, we can get down to what I really came here to talk about: the Sioux people. The people we know as the Sioux were originally known as the Dakota, which means ally. The name Sioux came from the Chippewa and the French. The Chippewa called them Nadonessiou, which means adder, or enemy, and then the French shortened the name to Sioux.

 

Every culture has an origin myth. We in the West have Adam and Eve. The Ancient Greeks had Gaia. According to the Norse people, Odin and Ymir founded the earth. If you will allow me, I’d like to tell you the creation story of the Dakota.

In the beginning, before the creation of the earth, the gods resided in the sky and humans lived in darkness. Chief among the gods was Ta՜kuwakaŋ, the Sun, who was married to Haŋyetuwi, the Moon. He had one daughter, Wohpe. And there was Old Man and Old Woman, whose daughter, Ite, was wife to Wind, to whom she gave four sons, the Four Winds.

Of the other spirits, the most important was Iŋktomi, the devious trickster. Iŋktomi conspired with Old Man and Old Woman to increase their daughter’s status by arranging an affair between the Sun and Ite. His wife’s discovery of the affair led Ta՜kuwakaŋ to give the Moon her own domain, and by separating her from himself, created time.

Old Man, Old Woman and Itewho was separated from Wind, her husband—were banished to Earth. Ite, along with her children, the Four Winds, and a fifth wind—the child of Ite but not of Wind—established space. The daughter of the Sun and the Moon, Wohpe, also fell to earth and later resided with the South Wind. The two adopted the fifth wind, who was called Wamŋiomŋi.

Alone on the newly formed Earth, some of the gods became bored. Ite prevailed upon Iŋktomi to find her people, the Buffalo Nation. In the form of a wolf, Iŋktomi went beneath the earth and discovered a village of humans. Iŋktomi told them about the wonders of the Earth and convinced one man, Tokahe, to accompany him through a cave to the surface. Tokahe did so and, upon reaching the surface, saw the green grass and blue sky for the first time. Iŋktomi and Ite introduced Tokahe to buffalo meat and showed him tipis, clothing, hunting clubs, and bows and arrows. Tokahe returned to the underworld village and appealed to six other men and their families to go with him to the Earth’s surface.

When they arrived, they discovered that Iŋktomi had deceived Tokahe. The buffalo were scarce; the weather had turned bad, and they found themselves starving. Unable to return to their home, but armed with a new knowledge about the world, they survived to become the founders of the Seven Council Fires.

The Seven Council Fires . . . or Oćeti Šakowiŋ . . .  are the Mdewakanton, the Wahpeton, the Wahpekute, the Sisseton, the Yankton, the Yanktonai, and the Lakota.

After Tokahe led the six families to the surface of the earth, they wandered for many winters. Sons were born and sons died. Winters passed, more winters than could be counted. That was before Oćeti Šakowiŋ. But not until White Buffalo Calf Woman did the humans become Dakota.

Two scouts were hunting the buffalo when they came to the top of a small hill. A long way off, they observed the figure of a woman. As she approached, they saw that she was beautiful. She was young and carried a wakiŋ. One of the scouts had lustful thoughts and told the other. His friend told him that she was sacred and to banish such thoughts.

The woman came up to them and said to the one with the lustful thoughts, “If you would do what you are thinking, come forward.” The scout moved and stood before her and a white cloud covered them from sight.

When the woman stepped from the cloud, it blew away. There on the ground, at the beautiful woman’s feet, lay a pile of bones with worms crawling in and among them.

The woman told the other scout to go to his village and tell his people that she was coming, for them to build a medicine tipi large enough to hold all the chiefs of the nation. She said, “I bring a great gift to your people.”

When the people heard the scout’s story, they constructed the lodge, and put on their finest clothing, then stood about the lodge and waited.

As the woman entered the village, she sang:

 

‘With visible breath I am walking.

A voice I am sending as I walk.

In a sacred manner I am walking.

With visible tracks I am walking.

In a sacred manner I walk.’

 

She handed the wakiŋ to the head chief and he withdrew a pipe from the bundle. On one side of the pipe was carved a bison calf. “The bison represents the earth, which will house and feed you,” she said.

Thirteen eagle feathers hung from the wooden stem. White Buffalo Calf Woman told the chiefs, “The feathers represent the sky and the thirteen moons. With this pipe, you shall prosper. With this pipe, you shall speak with Wakaŋ Taŋ՜ka (God). With this pipe, you shall become The People. With this pipe, you shall be bound with the Earth for She is your mother. She is sacred. With this pipe, you shall be bound to your relatives.”

Having given the pipe to the People, and having said what she had to say, she turned and walked four paces from the lodge and sat down.

When she arose, she was a red-and-brown buffalo calf. She walked on, lay down and came up as a black buffalo calf. Walking still farther, she turned into a white buffalo and stood upon a hill. She turned to bow in the four directions of the four winds and then she vanished.

Because of White Buffalo Calf Woman, the Dakota honor our mother the Earth; they honor their parents and their grandparents. They honor the birds of the sky; they honor the beasts of the earth. They know that Wakaŋ Taŋ՜ka resides in all animals, in all trees and plants and rocks and stones. Wakaŋ Taŋ՜ka is in all. They know that Wakaŋ Taŋ՜ka lives in each of us.

Because of White Buffalo Calf Woman, they have become Dakota.

 

About the Author

andrew-llAndrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written five books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and fifty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, YELLOW HAIR. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled, MICK REILLY.

 

Links

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iTunes

Kobo

Smashwords

http://andrewjoyce76.com

Facebook

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Andrew’s newest book is Yellow Hair.

Yellow Hair documents the injustices done to the Sioux Nation from their first treaty with the United States in 1805 through Wounded Knee in 1890. Every death, murder, battle, and outrage written about actually took place. The historical figures that play a role in this fact-based tale of fiction were real people and the author uses their real names. Yellow Hair is an epic tale of adventure, family, love, and hate that spans most of the 19th century.
This is American history.

Book Review: The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles

27 Jul

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The Kingdom of Oceana is the first book in a new Young Adult fantasy adventure series by Mitchell Charles.

 

Five centuries ago, on the island now called Hawaii, there was a kingdom filled with adventure, beauty, and magic.  When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise.

As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt–just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki’s spell. Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana? Two brothers, but only one can rule.

“While the book is fiction, it is heavily influenced by the rich and beautiful Hawaiian myths, legends, locales, and culture.  Many locations in the story are inspired by real places in Hawaii,” says Mitchell.

The Kingdom of Oceana takes readers on a fun and exciting adventure, with big wave surfing, fire walking, and shark taming, while also being educational and bringing to light many environmental and social issues, like ocean conservation.

 

The Kingdom of Oceana is currently available for sale on Amazon.

 

 

My Review

I received a free copy of the audiobook for an honest review.

The Kingdom of Oceana is based on the Hawaiian Islands five centuries ago. Prince Ailani is the second born to the king of the Big Island and Ailani has always assumed that his older brother, Nohoa, will become the next king. The brothers are typical brothers with the older one picking on the younger one.

It is easy to envision the beautiful Hawaiian setting as this story unfolds. The author does a great job of describing it. There are also Hawaiian myths and legends included which makes it more interesting.

The Kingdom of Oceana begins with Ailani and Nohoa unleashing a centuries old curse but there are also tensions building between the island kingdoms, as well as odd occurrences in the ocean. With so much happening, and the kingdom needing all the warriors they can get, the princes are sent on a vision quest to find their spirit animals. The brothers help each other but there is even more tension between them now that there is a princess whom they both like. There’s adventure, adversity, legend, love, and suspense and it all builds up to a surprising ending.

The narrator choice was a good one. The story is told from Ailani’s POV and the narrator has the perfect accent for it (whether it’s real or not, it’s perfect).

I definitely recommend this book for middle school readers and older. I think adults will like it as much as the younger readers.

Just a couple of days ago, I was sent study guides that go along with this book. They are great! One is titled Earth Science and the other Humanities. Both contain a lot of information about the Hawaiian Islands, discussion questions for classes, and even some multiple choice questions. These would make great resources for a class studying Hawaii and the book could be tied into the studies as well. Below is a satellite photo of Hawaii from one of the study guides.

 

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About the Author

Mitch Hookipa fixed croppedMitchell Charles’ love of the ocean and its miraculous creatures began at the age of 12 when his father taught him to SCUBA dive. From his first adventure 50 feet (15 meters) beneath the Caribbean Sea he was hooked.  He has been involved in the Oceanic Society, America’s first non-profit organization dedicated to ocean conservation, established in 1969.

Mitchell’s inspiration for The Kingdom of Oceana was born of exploring the spectacular coastline, lush valleys, and vibrant coral reefs of the Hawaiian Islands. On these excursions, he imagined what Hawaii was like hundreds of years ago. Before Captain Cook arrived from England. Before the golf courses and hotels. Before the ukulele and the Mai Tai became icons of Hawaiian culture. He dreamed of a time when the islands were an undiscovered magical paradise.

These days, Mitchell divides his time between Southern California and Hawaii. He has two teenage children and a dog named Magic.

Mitchell is currently working on the second book in the Kingdom of Oceana series, The Legend of the Nine Sacred Pearls. For more information, visit http://kingdomofoceana.com/

Readers can connect with Mitchell on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

 

Foyles Bookshop in London 1939

12 Jul

Foyles Bookshop. 1939. A London institution: 113 Charing Cross Road

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