Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Small Victories In A Great Big War - This Read Is A Win


Small Victories In A Great Big War

By John H. Canfield

Treat yourself to a most memorable conversation with a veteran of “The Greatest Generation”. This impressive, 99 year old author has written a compelling, vibrant description of his experiences in the World War. Small Victories In A Great Big War reads as if you're sitting on a bench in a park with a humble man who relates to you his own part in history. It's a sincere, unique, and sometimes gripping account of such a very intense period. John H. Canfield's account of his service to his country broadens into impacts on his siblings, parents, family life, friends, as well as a wonderful group of people he served with. The author's smooth writing style carries the reader through sometimes poignant, sometimes quite funny scenes. The subtle, and sometimes outright humor is charming. There are also scenes that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Ripples of World War II reached the coast of Connecticut and the author's home town of Bloomfield when he was a senior in high school and Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Just over a year later he was drafted into the military. His experiences and posts are quite varied, and all fascinating to learn about. His start was in a stateside army hospital. He quickly discovers ways to battle mentally the stresses of war, and one of those is finding humor. Part of why Small Victories In A Great Big War is such an interesting and fast read is because the author mastered revealing the humor and sometimes irony in awkward situations, and between people. That humor is laced throughout his memoir.

The author's assignments were varied. After providing vital service at the hospital, he went on to an Engineering appointment. His interest in planes led to training as a paratrooper, and he deployed to France. Scenes of his in the trenches experience you'll read while holding your breath. He was honorably discharged in 1946. High principles and the determination to always rise to the challenge before him propelled John H. Canfield through events and deeds he'd never imagined growing up in Connecticut. His book is how he's sharing priceless experience and emotion with you. Small Victories take big efforts.

“I quickly learned . . . the most important man in the United States Army was not Five-Star General Eisenhower, Supreme commander of Allied Forces in Europe, nor the three- or four-star army commanders, nor the one- or two-star division commanders, nor the colonels who headed regiments, nor the majors who headed the battalions, nor the captains who led the companies, nor the lieutenants who commanded the platoons. The most important man in the United States Army was the three-stripe buck sergeant who led his squad to victory.”

This is a not-to-be-missed memoir that immerses you in an incredible, personal piece of history. After seventy-two years, these adventures jump off the page as vivid as today by a talented author. After his honorable discharge John H. Canfield graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in Civil Engineering. Moving to California where he married his wife Neva Mae Sharp in 1954, settling in Sacramento where they had three children. John had a thirty-six-year career with the California Transportation Department, retiring in 1987. He was very active in his community including his church, local and state government, and veterans organizations. His book is dedicated to his wife. They were married fifty-eight years. Neva Mae Sharp served her country as an Army Nurse and was buried with full military honors.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Joetta's Legacy is a Great Read

Joetta's Legacy

By Kara O'Neal

What surprises are in store for characters who have big plans that do not turn out as they planned? Joetta Berk and Caleb Murray are each in their own way, forces to be reckoned with. When their paths cross, all intentions are tested, and chances for a new life direction appears. Could it be love? Will these two driven souls blaze a new trail, or will the past leave all hope in the dust? Follow the twists and turns to discover in the end, what is Joetta's Legacy.

You'll enjoy this ride back to 1870's Texas, heart of the west. What a treat to get to know each of these characters, Joetta and Caleb, from within their own point of view. The author gave me the opportunity to discover the heart of each, and how their personalities were shaped by their circumstances and the challenges life threw in the way. What do you do when the person you've planned for so long to use as a tool for exacting revenge, is so compelling? What do you do when you are a misfit within society? These two characters seem so very different at the start, yet somehow they are drawn to each other. They don't want to give in to their mutual attraction. The more they fight it, the more poignant the story.

This is Book 5 in the Gamblers and Gunslingers series. I eagerly jumped right into this story, and now I'm excited to explore the other books. Author Kara O'Neal creates such a realistic and intriguing historical setting that I enjoy exploring, especially with the great characters. Just like a wild horse, I never knew which way the plot would twist or jump to next. That unpredictability is refreshing, and the hope for a happy ending remains strong.

Saturday, June 3, 2023

A Wow Read


Lord of Druemarwin

By Helen C. Johannes

Oh how a strong, smart, passionate heroine can draw me immediately into a story, and especially when she's met her match in a man driven by determination to overcome his own obstacles. Lady Rael and Naed fight forces beyond their control, to an almost reckless desire for better lives for themselves, and the innocent of the kingdom. Yet, they are also compelled by a romantic desire, forbidden and yet will not be denied. Lord of Druemarwin, what an exciting, adventurous read by author Helen C. Johannes.

Not only did I enjoy cheering on these incredible characters, the time and setting of their plight became so real to me. The author is skilled at weaving in details that make a vivid landscape and period for this tale. I was immersed completely into the time and place. The action and plot pulled me page after page deeper into a most believable and interesting tale. And then there is the romance! Such well written tension and passion.

This is the second book in the Crown of Tolem series. It is yet another exciting read from this talented author. Explore the life and times that is driven by honor, and tainted by factors that often feel beyond a person's control, but are they really out of reach?

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Sazerac, Sleuth & Slay Cozy Mystery Travels


Sazerac, Sleuth & Slay

By Mary Cunningham

Planning on a trip to New Orleans? I recommend booking a cozy trip to The Big Easy with mystery travel agent Andi Anna Jones. You'll enjoy yourself with this amateur sleuth's memorable sense of humor. Your tourist tours will include Andi's commitment to following clues. She's driven to solve a mystery. Her least favorite client is threatening to sue her business in a big way when his wife has gone off track on her reserved trip to New Orleans. Andi is concerned for her client, and for her business, and compelled by the intrigue.

Along the way, Andi's confronted with a potential serial killer, five unsolved murders. Savor the gumbo of clues with Andi as she tries to detect and stop this murderer before another person falls. Enjoy the trip as you follow Andi through this magical city, and deep into the bayou. You'll have every opportunity, alongside your wisecracking sleuth, to solve this mystery and catch a killer.

This is the second book in the Andi Anna Jones Mystery Series. Let the good times roll as you enjoy the author's vivid description of this amazing setting. Pack your bags and catch a cozy vacation with great twists, and all that jazz.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Wheels Up For A Great Reading Ride

By Lisa Wilkes

Fasten your seatbelt for a fast take off into the future, and all is not smooth in 2037. Author Lisa Wilkes has skillfully crafted a future world that is reeling from disaster, fear, and tyranny.

Flight attendant Lexi Brennan is heartbroken from the loss of her best friend in a plane accident. Emotionally drained, her introduction to Jason at a training week recharges her, as sparks fly. It's quite a passionate surprise.

Lexi embodies an intriguing spirit, wearing her heart on her sleeve. The author artfully shows Lexi's heartfelt feelings and personal philosophies, and readers fall in love with Lexi, her compassion, and her thoughtfulness. I can't get enough of her, and she inspires.

What can such a character do when she realizes the depth of cruelty and terror threatening the world around her? This soulful character attempts to build alliances to act for change. Can she get through the turbulence unscathed? Can change be made? It's an exciting and gripping emotional journey, skillfully written. Fascinating read and inspiring.

Monday, May 1, 2023

Ripples of Paranormal Romance Delight


Lady of the Mirrored Lake

by Jennifer Ivy Walker

What a magical story that brightens and warms the heart. Tristan and Isolde has always been a favorite legend for me, and this author is masterful and talented in creating her depiction of this magical story. These characters are so embraceable. 

The immersion in paranormal is enchanting, and also action packed. When evil emerges the tension builds. This book is so engaging, I never wanted to put it down. So glad there's a third in the series to come because I didn't want it to end. The writing is compelling, and the steamy romance is soulful. Highly recommended.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Join Incredible Kayak Misadventures


The Misadventures of a

Cross-America Kayaker

By Hank Landau

From deep within yourself, have you ever heard a voice dare you to attempt what may be the wildest, perhaps craziest, perilous, beautiful experience imaginable? Join the author who answered yes. He jumped into a seven year soulful and challenging journey of a lifetime. He paddled over seven years across 4,700 miles on nineteen waterways and rivers, six of them going upstream. He touched seventeen states, starting at the Pacific Ocean and ending at the Atlantic. Reading his epic escapade, his close encounters are sometimes laugh out loud funny, and sometimes dangerous and downright scary misadventures. What began as a question, ended in complete wonder over all that this one kayaker learned.

This book is a beautiful tale of discoveries, now shared with dare devils and dreamers. It's a telling of discoveries from a lone, thoughtful kayaker about his world environment, with an insightful and historical perspective about humanity. Each chapter, and each page reveals your opportunity to taste the great outdoors from one coast to the next. The emotions spill off the pages, and the love and support of his family throughout is also stirring.

The author's writing style is so engaging, you'll feel as if you're riding right along with him. Seize this opportunity. You'll not just read about these travels, you'll experience the beauty, the questions, the solitude, the camping stops, the dangers, the excitement, the humor, and so much more. The large, wide world is full of surprises that need to be faced as they burst upon the scene. It's also full of miles of serenity and beauty prompting creative reflections on life itself.

Woven into this incredible story are references to the history of so many of the locations traveled through. The simplicity and dynamics of seeing life from the kayak as a vehicle, brings historical comparisons filled with meaning. Communicating the impacts of civilization on the environment, and of society on people is truly thought provoking.

Author Hank Landau spent a lifetime messing about in power boats, sail boats, rowboats, canoes and kayaks. He attended the US Coast Guard Academy where he sailed on the Coast Guard square-rigged ship Eagle and served as an Army officer during the war in Viet Nam. Later in his career Dr. Landau, a PhD in Civil Environmental Engineering, worked in the Geo-environmental field.