Traveller Probo: Traveller Book 2 (Traveller Series) by Rob Shackleford–#BookReview – #TimeTravelScienceFiction

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Traveller Probo

Sunday, Sept 12, I introduced Traveller Probo, Book 2, of the Traveller series and included a quick review of Book 1, Traveller Inceptio along with my first installment of a multi-part review of Book 2.  Please join me as I review the third (and final) installment of this master journey.

Book Blurb:

Would you survive if sent one-thousand years into the past?
Development of the Transporter saw highly trained researchers, called Travellers, successfully sent one-thousand years back in time to early medieval Saxon England.
Traveller Missions now mean enormous national prestige and the recovery of priceless lost artefacts and knowledge, so nations vie for the use of the Transporter and more daring Traveller missions are planned. Politics and power soon come into play.
To study lost peoples and civilisations, Special Forces researchers have to be even better trained, equipped and prepared to put their lives on the line.
While Michael Hunter continues to build a life in Saxon England, the tragically injured Tony Osborne finds his resurgence in a mission to ancient Byzantine Turkey, a mission Professor Adrian Taylor joins to better outmanoeuvre his calculating academic colleagues.
From the misty shores of New Zealand to the shining splendour of the ancient Byzantine Empire, it is proved how sending modern researchers into the past carries enormous rewards and tragedies.

Book 2 – Part 2 – (Redux my review)

Following the explosion of interest from many nations with the bucks to pay for a mission with the Transporter, decisions are made for a mission to be made to the Byzantinium Empire, with back-up missions to the Ukraine/Russia and the Mississippi (near St. Louis, Missouri) in the US.

Still keenly aware of the disastrous mission to New Zealand, new cautions, men, and equipment are set to monitor the safety of the Travellers. Unfortunately, the Ukranians that were fully vetted have managed to steal the Transporter assigned to them along with the kidnap of several of the Travellers amid the outcry of the Russians.

The main characters again shift slightly to those who will be sent to the new locations and periodically reverts to the continuing story of Michael Hunter of the original Traveller mission to Saxon Aengland. He is chafing over the continued invasion of the original purpose of the mission to the shift of military and political goals.

Book 2 – Part 3 (my review)

Traveller Probo by Rob ShacklefordHunter is deeply settled in Giolgrave with his pregnant native wife, Tatae. The traditions and superstitions of her people regarding the process of childbirth is examined in detail, culminating in the birth of their daughter. Separately, it is requested that he lead a training mission in the woods surrounding the village that he deeply opposes.

There is a strong rift of subterfuge in the background with most of the teams’ participants being the unwiser, the professor delighted in the wealth of history and storied leaders seeing little beyond his academic interest. The latter third of the novel discloses the ugly inhumane treatment of persons with stomach-turning descriptions of torture.

As many of the Traveller teams appear to become pawns in a game of monstrous profits, maneuvering, and power, the narrative continues to examine the moral rightness of invading peoples of a millennia in the past. The original goal of no interference, contact, or involvement is thrown out of the window in the rush to gain new objectives.

The conclusion ends with shocking developments in the Byzantium Traveller mission as well as the revelation of an introduction to 1st Century Judaea. It is an obvious cliff-hanger to the next installment. The research and writing style as well as the characters, both loathsome and pleasant, make this a totally immersive novel, one that obviously has more roads to travel. The storyline is engaging, non-stop action, fascinating historical detail combined with hapless but sincere characters. Who is real antagonist? The reader is just beginning to get a glimpse—and it’s not pretty.

I would suggest your starting with Book 1, but if this grabs you (and it should), it could actually work as an immersive standalone. 

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and these are my honest opinions. This is an extended adventure into time-travel you won’t want to miss. Highly Recommended.

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Book Details:

Genre: Time Travel Science Fiction, Time Travel Fiction, Science Fiction Adventure
ASIN: B0938K6MKP
Print Length: 506 pages
Publication Date: April 22, 2021
Source: Direct author request

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Rob Shackleford - authorThe Author: An English-born Australian, Rob Shackleford has lived in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, with a varied career that has included Customs Officer, Scuba Instructor, College Teacher and management roles in too many places.

With degrees in the Arts and Business, he is mad keen on travel, Scuba diving, Family History, martial arts, astronomy, and playing Djembe and Congas. Despite that, he is actually not that boring.

Rob is father of two and has made his green escape with his lovely lady into Australia’s Gold Coast hinterland.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Happy Thursday!

Traveller Probo: Traveller Book 2 (Traveller Series) by Rob Shackleford–#BookReview – #TimeTravelScienceFiction

Traveller Probo

Book Blurb:

Would you survive if sent one-thousand years into the past?
Development of the Transporter saw highly trained researchers, called Travellers, successfully sent one-thousand years back in time to early medieval Saxon England.
Traveller Missions now mean enormous national prestige and the recovery of priceless lost artefacts and knowledge, so nations vie for the use of the Transporter and more daring Traveller missions are planned. Politics and power soon come into play.
To study lost peoples and civilisations, Special Forces researchers have to be even better trained, equipped and prepared to put their lives on the line.
While Michael Hunter continues to build a life in Saxon England, the tragically injured Tony Osborne finds his resurgence in a mission to ancient Byzantine Turkey, a mission Professor Adrian Taylor joins to better outmanoeuvre his calculating academic colleagues.
From the misty shores of New Zealand to the shining splendour of the ancient Byzantine Empire, it is proved how sending modern researchers into the past carries enormous rewards and tragedies.

Book 2 – Part 1 – (Redux my review)

New Zealand won the rights to receive the second team but is quickly discovered by the local Maori natives and the New Zealand Traveller mission ends on a tragic note resulting in litigation, public media, and private scrutiny.

After the initial (Saxon) mission, the public became avid voyeurs of historical life through the reality TV show (“Hunter in Saxon England) which spun off an entire industry including licensed merchandise. There are stringent new rules and regs designed to avoid the catastrophic New Zealand mission also sparking new moral arguments of invading the peoples of a millennium ago.

The decision is made that the team of researchers should next go to the Byzantine Empire where it was possible to discover art and architecture, music, and food.

Book 2 – Part 2 (my review)

The demand for the original Transporter explodes as knowledge of the equipment and possibilities spread and the ability to duplicate the original Transporter proceeds. Debate continues regarding the fair use of the machine as well as the extent of the contact with indigenous peoples.

Traveller Probo by Rob ShacklefordThe machine is jointly owned and funded by Helguard Security, Woomera Technologies, Transporter Corp., and the British Military. The decision had been made that the third mission was to be to Byzantinium Empire. However, there are multiple nations now vying for a Traveller slot and the political shift moves strongly to the US with a Mississippi Traveller mission (to the ancient city of Cahokia—near St Louis, Missouri), as well as to the Ukraine/Russia. A duplicate Traveller machine is apparently successful and already in contention.

The POV shifts from main characters and locations to background subterfuge and skips back again to the original Saxon Aengland location and succeeding Traveller mission locations. In addition, separate humanitarian as well as military missions, such as the Project Healthy Giolgrave mission are forming and taking place, the latter against the wishes of the original Saxon Traveller, Michael Hunter, wherein they are bringing modern day medicine to the citizens of 11th Century England. (A huge no-no!)

I would suggest your starting with Book 1, Traveller Inceptio, but if this grabs you (and it should), it could actually work as an immersive standalone. 

Tune in for Part 3 for the wrap up review and my rating on Thursday, Sept 23 as I journey one thousand years into history with the Travellers.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and these are my honest opinions. There is more to come.

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Book Details:

Genre: Time Travel Science Fiction, Time Travel Fiction, Science Fiction Adventure
ASIN: B0938K6MKP
Print Length: 506 pages
Publication Date: April 22, 2021
Source: Author request

 
Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Rob Shackleford - authorThe Author: An English-born Australian, Rob Shackleford has lived in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, with a varied career that has included Customs Officer, Scuba Instructor, College Teacher and management roles in too many places.

With degrees in the Arts and Business, he is mad keen on travel, Scuba diving, Family History, martial arts, astronomy, and playing Djembe and Congas. Despite that, he is actually not that boring.

Rob is father of two and has made his green escape with his lovely lady into Australia’s Gold Coast hinterland.

©2021 V Williams  V Williams

August Rosepoint Reviews Recap—Welcome September!

Rosepoint Reviews-August Recap

The hunt for a house for our daughter continued through July and after several offers and two failed home inspections exhausted the inventory in Missouri. The hunt for a home then progressed into Michigan. The available homes in the southern area of Michigan and slightly more temperate winters than the extremes of the Upper Penisula was very narrow and also quickly exhausted. Then, last week, the kids found a home in the southern area of Illinois.

Definitely NOT where I’d ever expected they would find the home that checked off most of their boxes. Still, it’s a cute little “dollhouse,” (real estate speak for LITTLE house) with some acreage, perfect for the two of them and their needs. The home just passed the home inspection with flying colors. Hopefully we’ll be in moving mode within weeks (even given the current crazy real estate climate which is apparently nationwide and now spreading into the rental market as well).

I’ve been trying to keep a somewhat regular posting review schedule, but social media and my graphics have suffered with little attention to either. Shamefully, I’ve resorted to shortcuts. 

We posted seventeen book reviews for August that included ARCs from NetGalley, author requests, and audiobooks from our local library.  

Funny Farm by Lauri Zaleski The long Call by Ann Cleeves Love in a Time of Hate by Matthew Langdon Cost The Ghost Camper's Tall Tales Striking Range by Margaret Mizushima The Good Guy by Dean Koontz Landscape of a Marriage by Gail Ward Olmsted Murder on Honky-Tonk Row The Secret Staircase by Sheila Connolly The Final Days of Abbot Montrose by Sven elvestad Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connolly The Sea Bandits by Amanda Hughes The Harp and the Rose by Jean Grainger Frigate by John Wingate The Necklace by Matt Witten Sometimes I lie by Alice Feeney Target Churchill by Warren Adler

Funny Farm by Laurie Zaleski
The Long Call by Ann Cleeves – audiobook
Love in a Time of Hate by Matthew Langdon Cost
The Ghost Campers Tall Tales by Elizabeth Pantley–Paranormal–blog tour
Striking Range by Margaret Mizushima
The Good Guy by Dean Koontz – audiobook
Landscape of a Marriage by Gail Ward Olmsted
Murder on Honky Tonk Row by Rita Morea
The Secret Staircase by Sheila Connelly
Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly – audiobook
Target Churchill by Warren Adler
The Final Days of Abbot Montrose by Sven Elvestad
The Sea Bandits by Amanda Hughes
Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney – audiobook
The Harp and the Rose by Jean Grainger
Frigate by John Wingate
The Necklace by Matt Witten

Reading Challenges

I still haven’t been able to keep up with my challenges. At a 127 count on Goodreads, I am well ahead of the game on that one. And my Historical Challenge has been met, anything now is gravy. Don’t forget to check them out at #histficreadingchallenge. You can check out my challenges progress (however far behind it is) by clicking on my Reading Challenges page.

In the meantime, WordPress did another number on their free bloggers and suddenly I was unable to update any of my widgets. I have several dynamic widgets, the most active being #comingsoon and totally locked out of it, frantically wrote the “happiness engineers” a number of times before one of them finally realized what I was asking.

I don’t WANT to do block widgets but seems they are bound and determined to force the block editor. Finally, managed to get in and update the top widgit a couple days ago. Have you experienced the same problem? Finally succumbed to using blocks for everything? Am I the last holdout?

Welcome to my new followers and thank you again to all my active followers, I so appreciate your continued participation and hope this new wave of Covid and all it’s variants are not impacting you and yours.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

 

June Rosepoint Reviews Recap—Steamy July is Upon Us

Rosepoint Reviews-June Recap

The hunt for the house for our daughter continues amid fits and starts, the last being cancelled as she loads a truck ready to drive east. It’s been nerve wracking not to mention expensive and time consuming. However, we’ve switched plans and now she’ll come here while we continue the house search. In the meantime, the garden has suffered as the wildlife has made short work of our sweet peas, eggplant, and beans. The rain this last week has everything thoroughly soggy and the weeds are competing for space. My blog schedule has changed, then changed again, and no doubt will be on a reduced schedule into July until this is all resolved. I hope you noticed I’ve been missing!

It’s good the CE continues to read, though even getting his reviews posted has been a problem. We posted fourteen book reviews for June that included ARCs from NetGalley, author requests, and audiobooks from our local library. They included family fiction, cozy mysteries, historical fiction, crime fiction, and sci-fi technothrillers.

Land of Wolves by Craig Johnson The Forever Home - Sue Watson Aftermath by Terri Blackstock The Memory Stones by Lewis Pennington Vicious Circle by C J Box Keeping Guard by Sandra Owens Wolfe Trap by Matt Cost Safe Harbour by Mike Martin Bad Moon Rising by John Galligan Dog Eat Dog by David Rosenfelt Draw and Order by Cheryl Hollon Net Force: Kill Chain by Jerome Preisler Destroyer Angel by Nevada Barr

  1. Vicious Circle by C J Box
  2. Land of Wolves by Craig Johnson
  3. Destroyer Angel by Nevada Barr
  4. The Forever Home by Sue Watson
  5. Aftermath by Terri Blackstock
  6. Keeping Guard by Sandra Owens
  7. Wolfe Trap by Matt Cost
  8. Bad Moon Rising by John Galligan
  9. Safe Harbour by Mike Martin
  10. Dog Eat Dog by David Rosenfelt
  11. Draw and Order by Cheryl Hollon
  12. Net Force: Kill Chain by Jerome Preisler
  13. Flea Market Felony by Tricia L Sanders
  14. The Memory Stones by Lewis Pennington

Reading Challenges

NetGalley – Maintaining 95-96% on NG, now at 52 towards a goal of 75.

Goodreads has me at 96 towards my challenge of 175.

Only three books in June for the Audiobook challenge bringing the total to 24 but still no problem to reach the goal of between 20-30.

Historical Fiction – One historical fiction book in June, but this goal is completed.

You can check out my challenges progress by clicking on my Reading Challenges page.

As always, welcome to my new followers—and thank you to all my active followers, your likes and comments are appreciated. Hopefully your July won’t be stifling hot and your area has opened back up to a quick and easy  maskless trip to the store.

©2021 V Williams – The CE and I

Vagabond Wind (Bold Women of the 19th Century Series Book 2) by Amanda Hughes – #BookReview – #historicalfiction – #TBT

“…a vagabond wind—a wind that brings change.”

Book Blurb:

Vagabond Wind by Amanda HughesWild and hard-hearted, Zya Lazar is reckless with her life. Raised by the Romani, she rides with gypsy marauders terrorizing settlers across Virginia. Relishing the violence, the young woman seems hell-bent on destruction until a series of events opens her eyes. Retreating to the mountains, Zya finds a more peaceful existence, but it does not last. Another vortex of violence is brewing, and it is the American Civil War. Joining a group of Confederate partisans on the fringe of the fight, Zya and eight men wage their own kind of war in the mountains of Virginia. Captain Davis Wyndham has a dangerous plan, and Zya finds herself putting not only her life but her heart on the line for the enigmatic commander.
Once again Amanda Hughes splashes the pages with gritty adventure and love stories about audacious women in the past. Her page-turning tales will keep you on the edge of your seat as you take wild rides through dramatic and dazzling periods of history.

My Review:

In a radical change of pace, one of my favorite authors, Amanda Hughes, develops a strong and exotic woman in this novel about the civil war. It is the fleshing of a five year old abducted from her “Melungeon” family (Indian, African, and Portuguese) and raised with a band of Romani. By the time she is fourteen, her Romani uncle has married her to one of his sons and trained her in the art of raiding and stealing. The gypsy band ranges over western Virginia until Zya knows the mountains like the back of her hand.

Vagabond Wind by Amanda HughesZya is capable and independent and when her husband is killed in a skirmish, simply carries on. She enjoys the raids, the excitement, until one ends in the violent death of a young girl that has her reassessing the role her uncle has given her and eventually ends in her flight from the band.

She survives on her own in the mountains until defending herself lands her in jail.

Avoiding a lengthy sentence in prison, she agrees to scout for Captain Davis Wyndham. All the experience of traveling the mountains, survival, and independence serves both she and the band of eight that includes Wyndham when they progress to hit and runs in the war between the North and South. The special missions are accomplished with a group of eclectic men each harboring a highly specialized talent.

Her irregular tactical soldiers build quite the reputation for themselves against the railroad with their interruption of payroll, supplies, and materiel destined for the Yankees. The setting of movement, conditions, and spies is immersive in detail and draws you into the war. Whether you initially liked Zya or not, you are gradually drawn to the character as she progresses through the well-plotted and paced storyline.

An explosive and brilliant battle scene at the climax—satisfying conclusion. The reversal of the protagonist from unlikable to respected is an interesting and unique departure from the norm. A history buff, Civil War buff or not, you’ll appreciate learning more of the conditions, the strategies, the area, and the people. Thoroughly engaging and entertaining. Highly recommended.

Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Military Romance, Historical Fiction

  • ASIN : B015NGF8E8
  • ISBN : 1517077842

Print Length: 345 pages
Publication Date: September 19, 2015
Source:
Request to author

Title Link: Vagabond Wind [Amazon]  

Amanda Hughes - authorThe Author: Bestselling and award-winning author, Amanda Hughes is a “Walter Mitty”, spending more time in heroic daydreams than the real world. At last, she found an outlet writing adventures about bold women through the centuries. Well known for her genre-busting books, she is the winner of the Gems National Medal for Writing, featured in USA Today and is nominated for the 2017 Minnesota Book Award. Amanda is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, and when she isn’t off tilting windmills, she lives and writes in Minnesota. Don’t miss these page-turning novels for readers who like historical fiction with a just bit of a love story. All of her books are stand-alone and can be read in any order.

The Bold Women of the 17th Century: The Firefly Witch Book 1

The Bold Women Series of the 18th Century: Beyond the Cliffs of Kerry Book 1 The Pride of the King Book 2 The Sword of the Banshee Book 3

The Bold Women Series of the 19th Century: The Grand Masquerade Book 1 Vagabond Wind Book 2 The House of Five Fortunes Book 3

The Bold Women Series of the 20th Century: The Looking Glass Goddess Book 1

Interested in her new books or a free novelette? Go to http://www.amandahughesauthor.com

©2021 V Williams

Hunting the Hangman by Howard Linskey – A #BookReview – #warfiction – #TBT

Rosepoint Publishing:  Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Hunting the Hangman by Howard LinskeyWith a plot that echoes The Day of the Jackal and The Eagle Has Landed, Hunting the Hangman is a thrilling tale of courage, resilience and betrayal that reads like a classic World War II thriller. In 1942 two men, trained by the British SOE, parachuted back into their native Czechoslovakia with one sole objective: to kill the man ruling their homeland. Jan Kubis and Josef Gabcik risked everything for their country. Their attempt on Reinhard Heydrich’s life was one of the single most dramatic events of World War II, and had horrific consequences for thousands of innocent people. Heydrich was a man so evil even fellow SS officers referred to him as the “Blond Beast.” In Prague, he was known as the Hangman. Hitler, who dubbed him “The Man with the Iron Heart,” considered Heydrich his heir, and entrusted him with the implementation of the “Final Solution” to the Jewish “problem:” the systematic murder of 11 million people.

His Review:

The Third Reich is in control of the majority of Europe. Nazi general Reinhard Heydrich is the Reich’s Protector of Prague and all of Czechoslovakia; a cold -blooded killer who considers every Czech to be a sub-human. He is considered directly in line to govern if Hitler is killed.

Members of the Czech army in exile, Josef Gabcik and Jan Kubis are being trained to go back into their country and wipe out this menace. Early in 1942 this is a very dangerous mission and is calculated to be almost a suicide endeavor. The odds of returning from the mission are extremely low. These brave men volunteer to give something back to their home country.

Hunting the Hangman by Howard LinskeyThis book shows the efficiency of the German SS and security forces.  The killing and destruction of entire villages is one of their fear tactics. Adapted from some of the tactics of the Romans, the object is to completely remove the village leaving no stone or brick upon another. Follow this up with plowing and removing any detritus and the end result is a bare field where once a thriving village stood.

Training Strategic Operation agents was a brutal and unforgiving exercise. The object was to create someone who would accomplish his/her mission or die trying. There is no excuse when the price of failure is complete physical suffering and then death. Many of the captured were so savagely mutilated that their identity was difficult to establish.

General Heydrich was a methodical, sadistic and egocentric commander. He had no patience for those who could not complete his commands. When Germans were killed by foreign operatives the retribution was sometimes a hundred to one. In some areas entire villages were taken out and killed; men, women and children! No one was left to relate the reason for the entire destruction of the village!

The arrogance and personal feeling of invincibility of General Heydrich was his ultimate undoing. But can the SOE assassins complete the mission and survive? This author has done an excellent job of supplying the answer. The weakest link in any capture of a clandestine operator will often become the undoing of the entire group. This superbly written novel shows the lengths that patriots will go to in order to help attain freedom for their countrymen. I couldn’t stop reading! 5 stars – CE Willliams

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from NetGalley. These are my honest opinions.

Book Details:

Genre: Military Historical Fiction, War Fiction
Publisher: No Exit; First Edition
ISBN : 1843449501
ASIN : B088F26YSF
Print Length: 321 pages
Publication Date: May 25, 2017
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Hunting the Hangman [Amazon]

Also find the book at these locations:

Barnes and Noble
Kobo

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Howard Linskey - authorThe Author: [Howard Linskey-Goodreads] A bit about me and my books. I am an author with Penguin Random House. My latest book, ‘Alice Teale Is Missing’ features detectives Beth Winter and Lucas Black, as they work together to investigate the mysterious disappearance of seventeen-year-old-Alice.

I am also the author of a series of books set in the north east of England, featuring journalists Tom Carney & Helen Norton with detective Ian Bradshaw, who all appear in ‘The Chosen Ones’, ‘The Search’, ‘Behind Dead Eyes’ and ‘No Name Lane’.

I don’t only write crime fiction though. My two historical novels are set in WW2. ‘Hunting the Hangman’ tells the true story of the assassination of Nazi General, Reinhard Heydrich, and ‘Ungentlemanly Warfare’ is a novel featuring SOE agents, Harry Walsh and Emma Stirling and OSS agent, Sam Cooper. They are published in the UK (No Exit) and are coming to the US thanks to Kensington Books.

My earlier novels, the David Blake books, have been optioned for TV by Harry Potter producer, David Barron. The Times newspaper voted ‘The Drop’ one of its Top Five Thrillers of the Year and ‘The Damage’ one of its Top Summer Reads. Both books broke into the top five Amazon Kindle chart.

I’m honoured to be the ghost writer of ‘Surviving Hell’ which tells the true story of former Para, Nick Dunn, one of the Chennai Six, who were wrongfully imprisoned in India for years, having committed no crime.

On a far lighter note, I am also the writer behind ‘The Little Book Of Pintfulness’ a mindfulness spoof, which comprehensively proves that life is just better with beer. Please read responsibly.

Prior to becoming a full-time author, I led a series of different lives with a number of jobs, including barman, journalist, catering manager and marketing manager for a celebrity chef, as well as in a variety of sales and account management roles. I can confirm that writing books definitely beats working for a living.

I started writing many moons ago and was first published in the Newcastle United football fanzine, ‘The Mag’. I then became a journalist and wrote for regional newspapers. I have also written for magazines and web sites and was once the English Premier League football correspondent for a Malaysian magazine. I’ve stopped all of that nonsense now, preferring to make up stuff instead and call myself an author.

I’m originally from Ferryhill in County Durham but, like most of the people I grew up with, I left the north east in search of work and never quite made it back. I am now settled in Hertfordshire with my lovely wife Alison and wonderful daughter Erin.

I’m still a long-suffering Newcastle United fan and can only assume that Mike Ashley is a punishment inflicted upon us for all of the crimes we committed in our past lives.

I am represented by the best Literary Agent in the UK, Phil Patterson at Marjacq. Sandra Sawicka looks after my foreign rights there. If you are Brad Pitt and you wish to play David Blake in a movie then Leah Middleton takes care of Film and TV rights:

Marjacq Scripts Ltd
The Space
235 High Holborn
London WC1V 7LE

+44 (0) 20 7935 9499
F +44 (0) 20 7935 9115
enquiries@marjacq.com

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams the CE and I

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek: A Novel by Kim Michele Richardson – A #BookReview #historicalfiction

A book club of the month selection. But do I agree with their assessment?

Do I agree with the Book Club?

Book Blurb:

The New York Times and USA Today bestseller!

“…a hauntingly atmospheric love letter to the first mobile library in Kentucky and the fierce, brave packhorse librarians who wove their way from shack to shack dispensing literacy, hope, and — just as importantly — a compassionate human connection.”—Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants

The hardscrabble folks of Troublesome Creek have to scrap for everything—everything except books, that is. Thanks to Roosevelt’s Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, Troublesome’s got its very own traveling librarian, Cussy Mary Carter.

Cussy’s not only a book woman, however, she’s also the last of her kind, her skin a shade of blue unlike most anyone else. Not everyone is keen on Cussy’s family or the Library Project, and a Blue is often blamed for any whiff of trouble. If Cussy wants to bring the joy of books to the hill folks, she’s going to have to confront prejudice as old as the Appalachias and suspicion as deep as the holler.

Inspired by the true blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service of the 1930s, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman’s belief that books can carry us anywhere—even back home.

My Review:

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

In an effort to find a local book club that I could actually attend (preferably during daylight hours), I went back to the one that sets out a book of the month that everyone would read and then hold a discussion. The February read was The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson, released May of last year. The popular book club has met for twenty years.

This was a doozy of a book for my introduction to a live book group. I love it when I learn new things, and this a story in my own country and a state I know little about, except for riding through a portion of it in 2004. Add to boot, a historical fiction–and you know I love those–about the WPA project endorsed by Roosevelt during the depression. The Pack Horse Library Project delivered books to families in the remote areas of the Appalachians between 1935 and 1943, mostly by women. It was isolating and dangerous.

Closed off, desperately poor, with little hope for better times, the families welcomed even the normally shunned blue-skinned Pack House Librarian receiving books, magazines, and old newspapers that had been donated and brought to a central location there to be redistributed among those on her routes, sometimes covering as much as twenty miles. Cussy lived with her father, a miner, with black lung disease. There were many times, failing a family member who could read, she stayed to read to them.

A strongly patriarchal society, her father didn’t like her working, but beginning to fail himself and both of them starving, grudgingly allowed her the job. The book in first person tells the story of herself as well as those on her routes, desperate for any news and help. Those who could, contributed recipes or patterns, items that were added to scrapbooks divided into areas of interest–gardening, maintenance, quilting, etc. Mountain, home-grown remedies. These were extremely remote areas and winter only added to the burden.

So many issues in this book besides prejudice, illiteracy, backwoods justice, starvation, abuse, folklore, and illness. It’s a different culture steeped in tradition. The vernacular puts you on the mule behind Cussy as she winds through narrow canyon trails and heavily wooded landscapes to visit her patrons. There are politics and societal issues and the author deals with many of these through the experience of her own harsh childhood. Her prose strikes more than one cord, “…wailing for Henry and all the Henrys in these dark hollows who’d never be a common grown-up. Stuck forever as Peter Pans.”

“You tell a horse and ask a donkey.”

The conclusion comes rather abruptly after suffering some heartbreaking and brutal scenes, failing to explain a few threads, things I didn’t understand and would have loved an explanation. Extremely well researched, there are scenes drawn in a raw and descriptive manner and I can heartily recommend this unique, compelling novel.

There appears to be an interesting schedule on tap at this location into July and I will be returning in March to share Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan. If you’ve read that, I’d love a heads up on your view. In the meantime, I found another group just starting this month in my area, also an afternoon meeting and I’m currently reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Bet you haven’t read that one either! What have I gotten myself into? I’ll be reviewing that book on Thursday, February 27.

Book Details:

Genre: Southern Fiction, Small Town and Rural Fiction, US Historical Fiction
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN: 1492671525
ASIN: B07LGD67ZZ
Print Length: 322 pages
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Source: Third Monday Book Club, Crown Point IN
Title Link: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
 
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Kim Michele Richardson - authorThe Author: Kim Michele Richardson lives in Kentucky and resides part-time in Western North Carolina. She has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, building houses, and is an advocate for the prevention of child abuse and domestic violence, partnering with the U.S. Navy globally to bring awareness and education to the prevention of domestic violence. She is the author of the bestselling memoir The Unbreakable Child, and a book critic for the New York Journal of Books. Her novels include, Liar’s Bench, GodPretty in the Tobacco Field and The Sisters of Glass Ferry. Kim Michele currently finished her fourth novel, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek about the fierce and brave Kentucky Packhorse librarians. Coming Spring, 2019.

You can visit her websites and learn more at: http://www.kimmichelerichardson.com

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