Dead Sure? A Book Review

Dead Sure? Took me on a mind-twisting romp to 1929 and back again. It was a story full of strong characters and plot twists that kept me guessing.  I definitely felt for Tim, a man transported back to 1929 leaving his daughter to grow up without a parent. Especially when he has to face Charles, the antagonist that outsmarts everyone and hurts so many people (including many people in the present).  

This story has a lot of heart and kept me reading right until the end. And like any great story, I will remember these characters long after I put the book back on my book shelf (metaphorically, I got the kindle version).

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Wisconsin Author Profile

A couple of years ago Dixie Jarchow and I began an interview show that premiered on the public access channel in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  Like the name suggests, we wanted to showcase authors that are in our neighborhood. Those authors you will not know. But we wanted to hear their story, find out what they know about writing, and make a pitch for their book.

Earlier this spring, we interviewed Kerri Luksavitz.  (I never thought I would be able to spell that name by heart,) In some ways she is the type of author we had in mind for our show.  Like many of us, she had that story she wanted to tell. She also had the writing bug. However, the publishing industry is tough today.

 

Here is a link to her interview:  https://youtu.be/nYcxHkn6cVo. As I said, she had that story she wanted to tell.  Not only did she write it and write to get better, she went back to school to follow her dream.

The result is a YA novel called  Mystery Horse at Oak Lane stables.  Look for her website and check this book out.  As you might guess, Kerri is a rider and is passionate about horses. Enough so that she has plans for a trilogy.

I have not read the book as of this writing (Dixie has). However, I am intrigued by the way Kerri included the ins and out of horse competition.  It was so realistic that Dixie thought maybe it was nonfiction and to me those details that make a story sound real are crucial. Her future books will follow her main character  Cassie as she grows and progresses in competition. Just read part of this quick amazon review:

What a perfect gift for the horse lover in every family! The author, Kerri Lukasavitz, has created a story that pulled me into the plot right away. It was an engaging story with several twists that kept me guessing as to what would happen.

Cassie, the main character, wants a horse to call her own and to love. As she and her father search for the perfect horse for her, I felt the range of emotions that the protagonist experienced…every hope, every disappointment, every concern, everything. I didn’t want to put down the book.

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Photo by Tim Savage on Pexels.com

I hope you get as much entertainment and information from our interview as we got from talking to Kerri.

Author Profile- David Michael Williams

David Michael Williams

An interview so great we did it twice!

A couple of years ago Dixie Jarchow and I began an interview show that premiered on the public access channel in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  Like the name suggests, we wanted to showcase authors that are in our neighborhood. Those authors you will not know. But we wanted to hear their story, find out what they know about writing, and make a pitch for their book.

David Michael Williams is passionate about his writing and his desire to help other authors.  Our interview with him provides with great advice about being your own publisher as David has his own LLC.

This spring, Author Showcase switched from filming on the station’s camcorder to using some apple products.  Well it didn’t go so well. The main camera switched off and the camera that was focused on David so that we could have some dramatic camera view changes was the only one we got.  So we will put that up at a future point. You will want to hear what David said.

However, as our producer, key grip, and fearless leader Ruth Percey said, “This second interview is better than the first.”   Mr. Williams is a fantasy writer that likes to bend some other genres and he gave an enticing overview of his books in his Soul Cycle Series.  I read his book If Souls Can Sleep. I was drawn into his world and had to keep turning the page to see what happens.

I recommend check out these books and the other series on his website https://david-michael-williams.com/

I also recommend watching our interview with him.  It is located here: https://youtu.be/StKKRd3tumg

David is in marketing, but he devotes one day a week to writing, As you get his story, I think many of us will hear how similar it is to our story of wanting to be a writer. However, David has taken the next step and is writing novels and getting them in the hands of readers.

David has learned a lot and is continuing to learn.  We are thankful he is willing to share that knowledge

if souls can sleep

A Fan in Barn Boots

I recently bought The book Montaigne in Barn Boots By Michael Perry.  I buy every book Mr. Perry puts out as well as his musical CDs.  Here is my review:

In Montaigne in Barn Boots, Mike Perry reflects on the writings of Montaigne as he compares it to his own personal philosophy. For me, I dipped my toes in Montaigne’s essays and they quickly went numb. However, Mr. Perry made those essays with his down-home folksy similes and metaphors easy to understand . I fear that comes off less than a compliment, but it is a compliment. Those comparisons were dead-on and unique.

Even Mr. Perry questions presenting another memoir from him. Do we want to hear more of Mike’s life and his beliefs? Do we want him to get more personal? This books gives a resounding yes. He writes about his own life to investigate what being human means. He is so effective that he can write a whole book discussing himself without over-indulging and getting over personal.

Yes, Mr. Perry, we want more.  We want to know about the man off-stage and those subjects you have not broached. And Mr, Perry we want you to get very personal without going to far and being respectful of our tender sensibilities.

That was his undertaking and he was successful. He does both. For example, he lets us know that his marriage is more than just love poems to her. He reveals that he does have a marriage like ours with its ups and downs while still being as reverential to his wife as our wives wish we would be.

My God-Given Right

 

Photo by Lechon Kirb on Unsplash

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Here is a statement from a gun wacko-

it is my god fearing right to own a gun. My children will know how to handle and operate guns at a young age. I also believe that teachers if they want to should be able to carry at school. Guns are not they problem, there is been a loaded gun in my house that hasn’t shot anyone and won’t. media, movies, games, tv shows have glorified shootings and make the shooter famous. also where do most of the shootings take place?? “Gun Free Zones” finally there are just bat shit crazy people out there. you can try and make all the gun rules you want but people are going to find ways around it….Arm teachers and pubic office workers

My first response was yep I agree with you.  I like to drink and I like to drive. I do it all the time and I’ve never killed anyone.  That is why I don’t think there should be laws against drinking and driving.

People on both sides need to get away from I think it therefore it is true, such as arming teachers.  From my awesome aunts caring post, here are some other craziness:

We own an AR and I can guarantee that it will Never be used in a mass shooting. It’s fun to target shoot but for us it also incredibly useful for coyotes. Guns have changed but so has our human compassion, accountability for our actions, and the guiding principles behind our actions.

Work on aim and you shouldn’t need one.

 

As a certified trap coach my students bring and store their guns at school, in our safe, during season. Not once had it resulted in an incident because they follow procedures and have respect for laws and each other. As to my weapon of choice for coyotes it had nothing to do with my shooting ability.

NRA is holding a Gun

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The Bill of Rights has been modified and updated as the times changed. I believe we could change it so that we are safer and most gun owners are happy. Gun owners are rightfully worried that people will continue to work until they no longer have guns. However, if we could make reasonable changes and then go no further, I think the culture of our nation would also change just enough to make us as safe as other nations.

Background checks, greater oversight in who has guns and sells them, mental fitness requirements are things that most gun owners would be willing to go through, but would stop the glorification of militia type thinking.

The problem is the NRA needs to keep fighting and stirring up fears that we will outlaw guns. If they don’t, their membership would would be decimated. (Both liberals and conservatives have rhetoric that goes too far). Again though, I understand the fear that people will not stop making laws until guns are outlawed.

Then we free up resources to attack violence in other ways. However, there seems little in the way of great ideas on both sides. Restrictions and oversight to guns has stopped shooters. We just don’t know about it. It would be worth it to stop a few more.

 

The above is a response to someone on Facebook that lives in Rural Wisconsin #SharonWisconsin who responded to a post by stating she needed an AK-47 to shoot Coyoytes.  Her husbands response to this was yawn.

I blame mike perry

1/25/14

I blame Michael Perry

Michael Perry is an author.
His writing reminded me of driving tractor. Sitting on the metal seat of a Farmall and holding the spindly, hand-blackening steering wheel. I would stand and steer like it was a ship. After all the steering wheel was vertical. The exhaust would roar which was good because there was nothing else to do but think or sing and I sometimes did both at the top of my voice. At the end of the day, my hands would vibrate from the pull of the terrain and the churning of the engine. The big tractor was a different ride. The seat had a cushion, the steering wheel adjusted (I think). One had a cab and a radio. Yet the main difference I think was that these tractors had fenders over the wheels. Something you could rest your hand on or a rider could sit on. It was just more substantial. Yet looking back, I miss the small tractors. Seeing the v-shaped tread go past like a water mill. You got on the platform between the two turning giants wheels and you were as basic as the transmission box.

We had our trees. There was the big pine near the house. The dogs laid under it, the perfect location of coolness and closeness to a bone thrown out the door. We had the tree down the yard. Convenient, especially as a brake when theyoungest put a car in neutral and went for a ride. There was the trees in the back, one forked and the canopy for the sandbox. Then there was the rows of pines for a windbreak that was close to the house and yet it was possible to go to a different world as we scrambled among the branches. We cleared a path. There was a sunny world just beyond it. Weedy graveyard of used up farm equipment and the fields beyond that. I suspect beyond that was the world, but I never found out.

The trees of my dreams, however, are the two trees between the barn and the house. Along the walkway but set back on the lawn. That was where the lawn chairs were setup. Whether it was a party or grandpa and grandma or just us kids, it was our patio, our visitors center.

 

 

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My Brother Has Cancer

My brother has cancer. And he is a prime example of why health care reform is important. Universal Healthcare is not some sort of socialist conspiracy. It is a solution to a problem.  Our government used to see something that needed to happen and then fixed it. Whether it was a transcontinental railroad, interstates, or segregation. Now we are a nation and government of squabbling.  We blame the politicians, but they respond to us.

My brother does not have healthcare because he did not work for a place that helped him get it. On his own, it was too expensive. Conservatives, I suppose, think that’s his problem. Well, it is a problem you could just have easily been in. So he could not go to the doctor. In the same situation, I would have done the same thing.

He is receiving care. That’s not the point. The point is, he would have been better off and healthcare would be cheaper if people like him had access to regular checkup and the ability to go in and catch the cancer early.

In the end, only the government can help.  That is the role of government. To step in. I do not see any religious organizations stepping up to take the burden from government (Many, many, religious organizations though do wonderful things).

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Stories of Grandpa

Saturday, dad and I traded songs via youtube.  He showed me who put the overalls in mrs ___ chowder.  We also listened to Nellie Jack and my blue heaven.  Dad talked about how his dad would come out of his bedroom dancing and singing these two songs.  My dad was emotional as he remembered this. He said Grandpa must have been a romantic.  Other men didn’t want to get married, but he always wanted a family.  Dad said he did too.

I replied that’s what I always wanted as well.

What a gift my father gave to me.  To share and to be vulnerable. And to be emotional.

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Drunk In the Warm Glow

I definitely heard echoes of Holden Caulfield as I read this book. Tyler is a modern young person with some issues trying to make sense of the world. He tries portray himself as normal by mimicking the characters in movies and TV shows that he is obsessed with.

He also uses chemicals to help him do that.

Anderson’s main character tell us his story. It’s a unique one while hitting the anxiety that we felt as young people (not that you will not identify if you are not so young). Tyler feels like he is a fraud and is more comfortable with failure due to his childhood. He finds himself doing terrible things to continue his failure. I found the way Anderson let us into Tyler’s head through first person and then had him be a reliable narrator well done.

Anderson also did well with his dialogue and inner monologue. The language and the events of family time with the girlfriend’s family was dead on.

Tyler cynicism reveals the craziness that our modern society has become- from casual sex to foreign policy. To me a literary novel searches the depth of human experience while revealing the condition of society as it truly exists. Anderson does both well.

Drunk In the Warm Glow on Amazon-