Sunday, August 8, 2010

" Author Karen White "

I LOVE discovering the writing of an author NEW to me! I'm not sure how I came across this very talented author, but I've spent quite a few hours lately savouring her books! Meet Karen White.......... Karen has written 13 novels that I can find, four of which I've got, three that I've read and two more that I've got ordered..............
The first one I read is titled: " The Lost Hours" This one is set in one of my very favorite places Savannah, Georgia. Piper Mills was raised in Savannah by her grandparents after her parents died tragically. Her valid hope of becoming an Olympic equestrian dies also after a near fatal fall from a horse. Drowning in her fear of horses and her grief from her loss of both grandparents, Piper is further stressed by being the heir to her grandparents Monterey Square home filled with secrets. A secret room is discovered, the memory of burying a box in the backyard with her grandfather when she was 12years old is remembered filling her with regret that she failed to ask questions which now appear too late for answers. Her search for those answers takes her on a journey that will not only give her the answers to those questions but also makes her face her fears...............and gives her new hope
I then read: " The House On Tradd Street" Melanie Middleton is a young successful real estate agent who sells historic houses in Charleston, South Carolina. She doesn't even like old historic houses. She also hates that she inherited her Mother's gift of " the sixth sense". So when a stranger leaves his entire estate to her including an 1840 haunted old historic Charleston house in need of restoration, she really feels cursed! In steps another stranger to invade her life, writer Jack Trenholm who offers his help in restoring the house if Melanie agrees to let him search for diamonds he believes were hidden in the house by the Confederacy during the Civil War! This was a wonderful read full of ghosts, intrigue, history and romance..........taking you on a delightful journey as Melanie makes lemonade out of her basket of lemons~
My favorite of the 3 I've read is the one I finished yesterday: " On Folly Beach" Set in Folly Beach, South Carolina this book is set in two time frames, 1942 and 2009.
In 2009 Emmy Hamilton is reeling from the loss her young soldier husband in Afghanistan.
Ater much resistence, and seeing some myserious love notes inside some old books her mother has bought from a bookstore in Folly Beach, SC, Emmy is convinced by her mother to leave Indiana and move to her mother's home town of Folly Beach and buy the bookstore store her mother frequented as a child, Folly Finds, site unseen.
In 1942 Folly Beach is front and center of WWII given reports that German Subs are being spotted off it's coast. Maggie O'Shea, the owner of the local bookstore Folly Finds has her hands full trying to raise her nine year old sister Lulu and console her cousin Catherine who has just lost her husband at Pearl Harbor.
Karen did a wonderful job of capturing place during both of these time periods. For anyone who loves books, bookstores, mystery and history, this is a must read! This is a story of love, loss and the power of the written word to tranform lives!
This book will make to want to visit Folly Beach! It will also make you yearn to own your own Bottle Tree as they play an important role in this book. This Bottle Tree was presented to Karen by some of her readers who loved the book!
I have not read "The Girl On Legare Street" yet. I know I will love it though as it is the sequel to " The House On Tradd Street " and I look forward to seeing what Melanie and Jack are up to in Charleston's Historic District! I will get to it............
Right after I read this....................
As you all know NC Author Vicki Lane is one of my VERY FAVORITE AUTHORS........
Well, she has BLESSED me with a galley of her new book " The Day of Small Things "
due for release on September 28, 2010 !!!!!!!!!!!
I'm 50 pages in and LOVING IT!!
A review when I'm through..................... :)
Karen White lives in Atlanta, Ga with her husband and 2 children.
For more on go here For more on Vicki's books go here
For a tour of New Orleans with me go here

Saturday, February 6, 2010

" Coming Soon from WNC "

WNC is in my opinion one of the most beautiful places on earth with her Appalachian Mountains, gorgeous streams and rivers............... With Spring approaching, her beautiful flowers will be putting on a show soon..... It's her writers that keep me coming back though............they are some of the very best storytellers in print !!
Writers like Asheville's Wayne Caldwell ...................
Whose first novel " Cataloochee" took me back to one of my favorite places in the GSMNP,
Cataloochee Valley. Most people are familiar with Cades Cove but few have discovered Cataloochie Valley with its old homesteads, churches and herds of Elk and much less traffic to fight! I loved Wayne's book which gave me a realistic insight of life in this beautiful place before and after the Civil War. Its a book you are so sad to see end.................
On February 23, 2010 I will get to travel back to Cataloochee and revisit the Carter,Banks and Wright families again in the pages of Wayne's new novel " requiem by fire " a sequel to Cataloochee. I'm really looking forward to this! If you haven't read "Cataloochee", get going so you can enjoy "requiem " along with me!! :)
Next we have Maggie Valley's beautiful and very talented Kathryn Magendie...........
Whose first novel " Tender Graces" introduced us to Virgina Kate who made us cry, smile and won our hearts. We wanted her to stay with us forever..............
In April 2010.........We will once again welcome Virgina Kate back into our lives when the sequel " Secret Graces " is released! So if you haven't met Virginia Kate in " Tender Graces " you'll be way behind when Kathryn Magendie stops by The Writers Porch for an interview! Get to turning them pages now, you hear? :)
Also notice the cover has a blurb from Wayne Caldwell !!
HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND EVERYONE and LOOK FOR THE BIG REVEAL AT THE PORCH LATER TODAY !!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Discovering New Authors

This week I "got wind " of some authors and books that caught my interest. Pat, a blog follower from East Tennessee wrote me about a new first novel from author Dolen Perkins-Valdez titled " WENCH". She said it was being compared to " The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. Since "The Help" is my favorite read of 2009, I had to check this book out. I googled it and read the reviews. It has gotten rave reviews! The author who lives in Seattle was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee so that means Southern Author in my book and you all know how I Love our southern writers! This book is fact based on a pre-Civil War Ohio summer resort where slave owners took their African-American mistresses to spend summer vacations. The story is told from the voices of four of these women who meet up there every summer for 4 weeks. I started the book last night and read three chapters. So far it is wonderful! I'll do a review when I'm finished..........for more on this book go here I got a e-mail from a friend in Tennessee who had just finished this book " Mudbound"by Hillary Jordan and she said it was terrific! This is also a first novel that was published in 2008. Its setting is post WWII in the Mississippi Delta. The story of a white family and a a black family who work together in a struggle to survive on a ramshackle farm. It is a winner of the Bellwether Prize for fiction. Hillary Jordan grew up in both Oklahoma and Texas....for more on this book go HERE
Author Vicki Lane had a comment in her newsletter about another author I'd never heard of who writes books about my favorite place, Appalachia. A North Carolina Author!! You know how partial I am to those wonderful NC writers! So I googled Peggy Poe Stern and was just awe struck by the books she's written! I had a wonderful phone conversation with Peggy yesterday and I'll be getting five of her novels in the mail this week! I'm really excited about discovering Peggy Poe Stern! Thanks Vicki !! This book is her first novel and it also has a sequel titled
" Above All" and she told me she has two more sequels to this book in the works!
" Tamarack" was her second and one of the five I ordered from her. Her books are set in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina and have gotten wonderful reviews! For more on Peggy Poe Stern and her books go HERE.
I hope you will check out these books and their authors and add them to your list of must read books!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

" In the Sanctuary of Outcasts" by Neil White

I pride myself on being a reader who reads many different genres. It keeps me from missing out on many great reads being published in the reading world. I love memoirs that read like novels! A couple of months ago one such book was recommended to me....... " In the Sanctuary of Outcasts" by Neil White. This is an incredible book!! I met Neil White this past week at my local bookstore. He is as incredible as his book! I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with him and I encouraged him to continue to write as he really has talent.
This is a picture of "Carville" in Carville, Louisiana which is the setting of the book.
Rather than write a review...... I'm adding this scripture that I think fits.....
ROMANS 8:28 " and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.
And letting Neil tell you in his own words...............
In His Own Words.........by Neil White
In 1993, I pled guilty to one count of bank fraud. My publishing business was running short on cash, so I kited checks as a form of bridge financing. When the FBI called, I invited them to my house, put on a pot of coffee and told them exactly what I'd been doing. " It was just business," I explained, certain they would understand.
Two weeks later, I ran into one of the FBI agents at a cocktail reception at our country club. He told me that during his 20 year career, I was one of only two criminal suspects who had not lied to him. He added that I'd still do time in federal prison.
I was never arrested, never handcuffed,never indicted and never posted bond. I signed a document accepting responsibility for my actions. Then, the judge gave me several months to get my affairs in order before I packed my bag and self surrendered at the federal prison at Carville, Louisiana. I had no idea it was an experimental prison that also housed the last leprosy patients in America.
From my first day inside, I recognized that this odd coupling- housing leprosy patients and convicts - would make a great story. In fact, as a journalist, I couldn't have dreamed up a more sensational setting. Within a week of my arrival at the colony, I made a pact with myself. I would not buy into all that inmate stuff. I would be an undercover reporter.
I carried a notebook with me at all times. I recorded events as they occurred. I had every intention of publishing an expose' on this strange government experiment upon my release.
However, as the year progressed, I learned about the plight of the leprosy patients - the very last 130 Americans to be forcibly quarantined by the government. In the most unlikely of places and among the some of the most unusual people in the world,I rediscovered the pleasures of simplicity and surrender, friendship and gratitude. Among these secret people, I found a new best friend in Ella Brown-an eighty year old, African-American, double amputee who had contracted leprosy at the age of twelve. Though not formally educated, Ella was a woman of great wisdom. As I fumed about my incarceration, struggled with my wife's decision to leave me and planned for a grand comeback, Ella guided me: sometimes directly, sometimes with story and metaphor, but mostly by how she lived. She, along with Harry and Jimmy(two life-long leprosy patients) and Doc, Link and Jefferson (inmates with provocative views), helped me to re-discover values I had ignored in my drive to succeed all all costs.
So, I simply couldn't bring myself to write the story as I'd initially intended. But I continued to take detailed notes for my entire incarceration....so I would never forget.
The story of my year in Carville was an extraordinary journey. I was grateful for the time I lived with the leprosy patients; appreciative of how it altered the course of my life; indebted to this group of men and women who were the last of their kind. I felt an obligation to get this story perfect.
I spent a decade reviewing my journals and re-living the mental images I captured during my imprisonment. I searched for meaning in every scene and event. I tried to identify why Ella and Harry and Doc and Link meant so much to me. And I spent twelve years with top creative writers to hone my writing skills and this story. (Neil White 2009)
In The Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil White
Hardcover 2009 313 pp.
ISBN # 978-0-06-135160-0

Thursday, December 10, 2009

" The Writers Porch Celebrates"

My eclectic blog THE WRITERS PORCH celebrated its ONE YEAR Blogerversary yesterday with an on-line interview with Author Jessica James............ Jessica is the author of the Award Winning Civil War Novel " Shades of Gray" ..........
Miss Kitty chose to celebrate by sleeping in The Porch Reading Chair..........
Click HERE to go to "The Porch" and read Jessica's Interview !!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

" The Winner Is "

First, let me say Thank You for your response to my new book blog! There were 23 comments and 12 followers in 1 day! For the book giveaway you got 1 point each for a comment ( a couple left 2) 1 point for following. Kat Magendie joined and left 2 comments so she had 3 points. For each point I put your name on an list. I would show this list like I did last time but my scanner is acting up and won't scan! So, there were 37 numbers for Hubby to choose from! He chose # 7 ! AND....... The Winner Is.... PAT, from East Tennessee! Congratulations Pat!! Send me your snail mail address and I'll get it out to you!! ENJOY!
HAVE A GREAT WEEK EVERYONE !!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

" ALEX STEWART "

I can hear you guys right now saying; " What ? Where will she find the time? " I have been planning this for awhile now. When I started The Writers Porch I had in mind to post about my LOVE for BOOKS.............. Well, I had so much fun going eclectic that I felt my original intention to promote THE WRITTEN WORD got lost, so I've created THE BOOK HOUSE, where I will post occasionally (probably once a week) on books and authors. For my first post I want to talk about one of my VERY favorite reads, "Alex Stewart Portrait of A Pioneer " by John Rice Irwin..........ISBN # 0-88740-053-1 : Paperback : 293 pages If you don't like reading about the Appalachian Pioneers and their hardships, you won't like this book. If you do, this is one of the VERY BEST ever written on the subject!! I absolutely fell in love with the man Alex Stewart and with John Irwin's writing! This is not a work of fiction. John started visiting Alex in the 1970's and taping their conversations. He went so often that he became a honorable member of the Stewart family. He then turned 20 years of tapes into one of the best books I've ever read. A book I HATED to see end !! To learn more about John Rice Irwin, who is the founder of the very famous Museum of Appalachia please click on the name. You can also click this to see a YouTube Video of him talking about M of A. Below is a picture of Alex on the books back cover. He reminds me so much of my maternal grandfather who passed away when I was 17 years old.
These are books I received in the past week. I have a few more coming but have promised myself that I will BUY no more until the TBR Stack shows signs of shrinkage!
The above books and these are some of the books I will be talking about on this new blog!!!
HAPPY READING YOU GUYS !!!!!!!!!!