Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Reading Journeys

I've been traveling lately, but I haven't left home. The last three books I've read have all involved a journey. As a reader, I—of course—went along for the ride.

While the three novels all involved travel, they were very different genres. I think a book's first sentence—or maybe first paragraph—is a good roadmap for what the journey will be, so thanks to the scanner app on my iPad, I've copied the first paragraph from each of the books.

Fingerprints of You, a YA novel by Kristen-Paige Madonia, is narrated by seventeen-year-old Lemon who has never known her father, begins:

I met the author in October 2012 when I journeyed to the Binding Time Bookfest in Martinsville and started the book as soon as I got home. I was a few chapters in when I misplaced it. By the time I found it, I was reading something else, and then something else, etc. However, when I heard Kristen read from her book at the Virginia Writers Club symposium last month, I decided I really wanted to finish it. And I did. Here's a synopsis:

Lemon grew up with Stella, a single mom who wasn’t exactly maternal. Stella always had a drink in her hand and a new boyfriend every few months, and when things got out of hand, she would whisk Lemon off to a new town for a fresh beginning. Now, just as they are moving yet again, Lemon discovers that she is pregnant from a reckless encounter—with a guy Stella had been flirting with. 
On the verge of revisiting her mother’s mistakes, Lemon struggles to cope with the idea of herself as a young unmarried mother, as well as the fact that she’s never met her own father. Determined to have at least one big adventure before she has the baby, Lemon sets off on a cross-country road trip, intending not only to meet her father, but to figure out who she wants to be.

Over Christmas break, Lemon travels by bus from West Virginia to San Francisco with her best friend Emmy. She finds her father, and ultimately finds herself. But she suffers a loss, too. And therein lies the story. While Fingerprints of You is YA, it has a lot to offer adult readers, too.

 I've known Ibby Greer for years and, when she recently wrote and self-published a paranormal novel set in a town where she lived for two decades—a town fifteen miles from where I live, I wanted to read it. Here's how Moonshine Corner: Keys to Rocky Mount begins:

The paranormal novel not only is about a physical journey (from Colorado to Virginia) but it also involves time travel and a spiritual journey. See the my post on the Mountain Spirits blog for more about Moonshine Corner.

I met Pam Newberry last spring when I journeyed to the Wytheville Library to participate in a book-signing and author event. There I acquired her memoir, The Letter: A Page of My Life, about her journey to learn more about her father (note the similar theme to Fingerprints of You). Recently, I won a copy of her novel, The Fire Within, a self-published romantic mystery based on a two-week Caribbean cruise that Pam once took. Here's the opening: 

From her website, the synopsis:

On a cruise to the Caribbean, Marine Letsco is on her first vacation in ten years from her job with Transcontinental Solutions where she works as an assassin. She finds herself entangled in a murder-for-hire, a murder conspiracy, and a fall that results in her losing her memory. Aided by Dr. Chester Henegar, a neuropsychiatrist, Marine begins a danger-filled quest to regain her memory. The deeper she searches, the more she becomes convinced she may not want to know who she was as the fire within her soul demands to be released.

Since The Fire Within is the first book of a trilogy, there's not yet an end to the main character's journey.

All three novels provide interesting—albeit different—journeys. I've already planned my next book itinerary: Sharyn McCrumb's new novel in her ballad series: Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past. If you  travel back to this blog on October 1, you'll see how my journey went.



Blogger hobbitqn said...

Woohoo! Thanks so much for your comments and links to my books - The Fire Within and The Letter! It is wonderful to have readers share their thoughts! Thanks for your support Becky!

11:34 AM  

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