What a year it’s been! The ups and downs of political vicissitudes. The fluctuations in the climate causing major disasters. The year-end frenzy of shopping and gift giving. Sometimes it’s all too much and you just need to sit down with a good or even great book to get you through!
So here are some favorite books of ours that may not be on your radar, but worth a look, not just for gifts but to read in those long winter nights ahead. What’s better than cozying up to a good book, with a cuppa and escaping into a whole new world.
MELISSA & KASHO BY CAMILLA CHANCE
For the young adult and female reader, we’d like to highly recommend Camilla Chance’s spirited (yes, there is a ghost!) Melissa & Kasho - - It’s a girl’s coming-of-age story that takes place in the transitional year of 1959, but still touches upon all the issues that resonate today – bullying, parental abuse, sexual abuse, suicide. It is also a love story that transcends time and space, between Melissa, a shy 17-year-old, and the spirit of Kasho, an indigenous man from another world. Through their eternal connection, Kasho assists Melissa in learning about who she is, and what she wants from life. She feels lost in a transnational high society world that drives her to the depths of despair. But Kasho offers her snippets of philosophy to impart that eventually enable her to develop her own strengths.
Melissa's realistic story traverses class, gender, and power dynamics. She is expected to walk, or is bullied into walking, a certain path required of her class, including marrying a certain man. It's through her love of Kasho that she finds a kindred spirit who truly sees her. The only problem is, he’s worlds and times apart.
In an age of bullying and teen suicide, the resonating lesson throughout the story is "There is always a way of making your life better." But how will she and her best friend, Daisy, find it?
Camilla Chance was born in Reading, England and came to Australia in 1946. She worked as an editor at Faber and Faber, an English teacher and a book reviewer, and now lives in Warrnambool. Her bestselling book “Wisdom Man” was based on her 27-year interview-conversations with Banjo Clarke, an Aboriginal leader convinced that traditional Aboriginal values could help the world counter greed, conceit, and lack of human caring. In Melissa & Kasho, Chance has taken those same Aboriginal values and applied them.
Melissa & Kasho has stood at #1 on Fupping.com’s 9 Books That Every Real Modern Feminist Should Read for several months.
Here is a video by Camilla Chance regarding bullying: https://www.facebook.com/MelissaandKasho/videos/camilla-chance-on-bullying/155230302076893/
Book Review Directory wrote of this excellent YA read:
A coming of age story with a twist, readers looking for a little something different will enjoy Camilla Chance’s own spin on a well-known plotline. It stands out from the run-of-the-mill young adult novels with its depth and insight into the journey that every young girl travels on her way to adulthood. A dash of romance, a hint of fantasy, and a whole lot of entertainment, this book will be welcomed by fans of the genre and by anyone who is simply looking for a good story.
THE COMPANY OF DEMONS BY MICHAEL JORDAN.
Michael Jordan asked, “What if Cleveland’s worst nightmare returned for one final act of vengeance?” And the thrill of those nightmares is back.
The Company of Demons is a tightly-written, escalating thriller that journeys into the affects that Cleveland’s first serial killer — who functioned before the word was even coined — had on the lives of those who tried to bring him to justice. The characters, even minor ones, are well developed and true to life — with all their flaws, foibles, prejudices and talents — and on full display, which helps move the story along through some interesting twists and turns. Cleveland itself becomes a character within the book, as the protagonist, Attorney John Coleman, moves through its environs — from the West Side and its strong Irish tradition to upscale Shaker Heights, and other spots that reveal the strong ethnic and racial diversity of Cleveland.
The brutal murder of a friend by the Butcher not only brings back the terror of his youth, but entangles him with the victim’s daughter, Jennifer, as he tries to settle her father’s estate.
Without providing any spoilers, the story winds through complex and frightening situations as John faces his own demons — and attempts to salvage his marriage and come to grips with his own life.
“The Company of Demons” is a 5-star read, especially for those who like a book that builds to a stunning conclusion with enough suspense and intriguing plot points to satisfy even the most observant reader. Even when you are guessing what’s about to happen, the author takes you in a new direction.
In Jordan’s non-thriller writing life, he is an attorney and arbitrator. His fascination with the Torso Killer began when he returned to Ohio (he attended Ohio Wesleyan University for his undergrad) to practice law. While waiting for a deposition to begin, he was looking at some old photos on the wall. An older attorney told him the image was of Kingsbury Run where the Torso Murderer was known to leave some of his victims. Thereafter he was hooked on the tale, and learned how it destroyed Eliot Ness’ career as Cleveland’s safety director. Detectives even went to California to see if the infamous Black Dahlia murder was related to The Torso Murderer. That’s when he started to ask himself that fateful “what if” question, resulting in “The Company of Demons”.
Book Review Directory Wrote:
Jordan’s natural ability to mimic fear, pain, and death will keep readers on the edge of their seats as his characters discover the dark reality of their city. The Company of Demons is a thrilling ride ridden with gruesome murders that will haunt even those with the strongest stomachs. This crime thriller will remind readers how difficult choices in life can be a wake-up call to the blessings we take for granted, and, for these characters, the gateway to freedom.
THE HUTONG BOY BY JACK LANKA
All we know about Jack Lanka is that he “is still on the way of his learning on earth, now in Asia area.” Quite the mystery man. What we do know is that he has written a thought-provoking and vibrant science fiction/fantasy tale that delves into the mystical and metaphysical realms, and brings you out the other side still gasping at the wonders of the universe within.
Peter Morgan is a man who is metaphorically drowning. His relationship with Ashley Sandler has foundered, his career as an art expert is sinking and he doesn’t know how to save himself. Enter Sonam, from a small village in Tibet, who offers Peter a priceless object — a Vajra — to sell through his auction house. Convincing Ashley to accompany him to western Tibet, Peter hopes to salvage both his career and his relationship. Little does he know that he is setting in motion a chain of events that will include murder, the sudden guardianship of the Hutong Boy, Jack, secrets revealed and a wild quest that takes Peter and those seeking the Vajra, the Kundra and the Thangka to the furthest reaches of Tibet. The forgotten city of Tsaparang capital of the ancient kingdom of Guge in the Garuda Valley, looms over all, as Peter, Ashley, Jack and the others race to save the world from the forces of evil.
Spanning the world, and multiple times, “The Hutong Boy”, is both an adventure tale as well as a quest for the deepest meanings, filled with mythic revelations that strike deeply into the human conscience, as well as some hair-raising chases and a magnificent dog, Galei. Jack, the Hutong Boy, is a charming character about whom the entire tale evolves and his development from a frightened orphan to embracing his destiny is hinted throughout the book, but culminates in some spectacular scenarios. Parallel to this, the secrets that nearly destroy Peter and Ashley’s relationship are revealed as well, and their own search for love and acceptance deepens as the story unfolds.
From Medium.com review by Paola K Amaras & Paul T Kraly https://medium.com/@paulakamaras/scifi-fantasy-meets-metaphysics-and-mysticism-the-hutong-boy-by-jack-lanka-8870697717aa
COMING SOON!!!!!!! THE STUDENT WITHIN BY MIKE PFAFF
Even though it’s not out yet, we just had to tell you about Hollywood actor Mike Pfaff’s book, “The Student Within”. It will be available as an e-publication as well as audio and printed book beginning in early 2019. The e-book will be available for preorder January 2 through Amazon and Ingram’s distribution network.
Whether you’re a student, parent or teacher, Mike’s approach to easier learning and personal fulfillment is easy enough for you to uncover your own unique intelligence. He provides students and parents with a readable, comprehensive guide to learning as he shares anecdotes from his experiences as a science teacher, athlete, and actor. Inspirational and entertaining, Pfaff will tease out of his readers the secret to finding their own student within.
Mike Pfaff believes that there are many approaches to being a better student in the classroom of life. “The Student Within” helps the reader or listener find his or her own unique learning style, making it easier to understand and retain information, and drawing them closer to a path of endless motivation they ultimately can lead.
It has a teacher/parent guide so that the students and their parents or teachers can discuss Mike Pfaff’s takeaways and important lessons.
It’s an easy read, and suitable for high school students.
We'll let you know when it's out. Meanwhile, visit Mike Pfaff on Goodreads' group Original Voices and check out his videos!
Also visit his YOUTUBE channel for more insights.
AND THIS JUST IN!
EPHALON BY ROBERT EDWARDS
We just got this and think you'll love it!
Ephalon is set in an original fantasy world where humans weren't the first sentient creatures; however, the story itself takes place at a time when humans were just becoming the dominant species.
Author Robert Edwards from The Netherlands, brings an exciting story of epic adventure and romance in a world of werewolves, dragons, and other terrors that go bump in the night. Riptor Stormwolf, a human by appearance, investigates the burned down village of Kuronai. He suspects the reason for its destruction is not what it seems, and travels to Maghuul to find the last survivor, Rhea Loveheart, a female dragon-hybrid. There he learns that she can't recall what happened to her on the night of the fire. But while Rhea questions his motivation for helping, she learns Riptor is on a quest of his own: to find a very special book he's been searching for the last fifteen years, a book that holds within it ancient secrets that will pit the sole survivor of a forgotten race against unspeakable evil.
“Ephalon” can be read either standalone or as the first part of what will be known as the “Ephalon - Medieval Trilogy”. This trilogy will encompass a much more extensive story that follows the events thirty years after the first book. The sequel parts in the trilogy are available for those hungry for more “Ephalon”-related books. Beyond that, there are an additional two trilogies in the works taking place in a modern and sci-fi era respectively. For the eager readers, there's a hidden story arc that is featured throughout all nine planned books.
Edwards’ “Ephalon” has already scored some rave reviews on Amazon, and you can read it for yourself as a paperback or Kindle e-book right now!
Happy Holi-reading- Days!