Books In Bloom 2015

BooksInBloomEurekaSprings

My home state of Arkansas boasts many wonderful events for authors and artists. Among all, one of my favorites is Books In Bloom Literary Festival held on the grounds of the historic 1886 Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs.

I’m pleased that my friend and fellow author, Nancy Hartney, is among those selected to attend the prestigious event.  

Books in Bloom, an event for writers and readers, was established in 2005 by the Carroll and Madison Public Library Foundation to promote the value of books and reading. The Festival provides an opportunity for the public to meet authors and to hear them speak about their work and various aspects of writing and publishing.

For a complete list of events and all invited authors please visit the Books In Bloom web page.

More information about Nancy Hartney can be found here at http://nancyhartney.com/

My review of Nancy’s book “Washed In The Water: Tales from the South” is here.

Congratulations, Nancy!

Book Review: Coronado’s Children

J Frank Dobie

I finished my first read-through of storyteller and folklorist J. Frank Dobie’s Coronado’s Children around mid-February and enjoyed it. I posted a review on another site but began a re-read of the first fourteen stories covering the Lost San Saba Mine to facilitate an on-going discussion relating to the historical James ‘Jim’ Bowie, his search for the San Saba, and the subsequent, and some say same find that came to also be known as the Bowie treasure mine.

Bowie, it seems, was quite the character and consummate adventurer.

Of Bowie, Dobie writes, “Flaming above all the other searchers {for treasure} is the figure of James Bowie. It is a great pity that we have no biography of him such as we have of Davy Crockett. This biography would tell—often with only legend for authority—how he rode alligators in Louisiana; how, like Plains Indians chasing buffalo, he speared wild cattle; how, with the deadly bowie knife, he fought fearful duels in dark rooms; how he trafficked for black ivory with the pirate Laffite on Galveston Island; and then how he came to San Antonio and married the lovely Ursula de Veramendi, daughter of the vice-governor of Texas. Bowie was a master of men and slave to fortune. He was willing to pawn his life for a chance at a chimerical mine, and he asked no odds. Out on the Nueces and Frio rivers, far beyond the last outpost of settlement, he prospected for gold and silver. In his burning quest for the fabled Spanish mines on the San Saba he engaged in one of the most sanguinary and brilliant fights of frontier history.”

The book, published in 1930, does a wonderful job of capturing old tales and legends of lost mines and undiscovered treasures in a style and voice of those who lived and died in and before Dobie’s time. Many, it seems, perished in vain searches for wealth in the deserts, mountains, and vast terrain of the American Southwest. Many more of these reputed treasures, legend and folklore claim, are guarded by spirits and ghosts. The book includes some treasure maps and extensive, colorful, and sometimes humorous narrative relating stories of treasure hunters, suspected lost mine locations and clues to other valuable, lost treasure. I have no doubt it is a must-have reference for anyone interested in writing historical fiction related to Texas history, treasure hunting in Texas, and the legends and stories of treasure and treasure hunting in the American Southwest.

Book Review: Washed in the Water-Tales from the South

Washed_FrontCover_250
Nancy Hartney’s book Washed In The Water-Tales From The South provides poignant, vivid snapshots in time and place of people and events in the South. Narrative is wonderfully crisp and memorable. The characters, their stories—moments of joy, suffering and perseverance—leave you wanting more. Great read.

About Nancy from her bio: Nancy Hartney writes about the Deep South of today wrapped in yesterday’s cloths. Her roots dig into the piney woods that she rode through on horseback into the sweat-soaked, hard scrabble farms, and into humid passionate nights. Her slice-of-life tales chronicle a time past that is poignant, vivid and sometimes brutal. The reader stares into the eyes of people struggling with living, grasping for understanding, doing the best they know how. Nancy makes her home in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Learn more about Nancy from her website at nancyhartney.com

Book Review: Conor Kelly And The Four Treasures Of Eirean

Conor Kelly Book 1
Just finished reading “Conor Kelly And The Four Treasures Of Eirean.”

In this book, Ali Isaac has created a fascinating, imaginative tale spun between two worlds: present-day Ireland and an enchanted four-thousand-year-old realm of Irish mystical gods, kings, villains, and heroes. The author successfully brought the two domains together, painting both present-day and ancient Irish landscapes with vivid, beautiful descriptions.

She gave voice and clarity to the ancient characters of Irish history and mythology all the while providing a modern, positive message of hope and accomplishment through a young boy’s quest to find and secure the coveted, magical Four Treasures Of Eirean.

Wheelchair-bound Conor, the fourteen-year-old protagonist, transitions between the two worlds with the aid of magical realm friends, learns a vital truth about his heritage, and eventually overcomes his doubts and limitations to emerge as the most improbable of heroes. A wonderfully interesting, entertaining story for adults and young adults alike.

Learn more about the author, Ali Isaac, from her website at http://www.aliisaacstoryteller.com.