Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review of Ado in the Meadow

Review of Ado in the Meadow
Written by Mary Danino

Reviewed by author Roy Murry

In the meadow, there is much going on. Young animals frolicking doing their thing, which is nicely illustrated in Ms. Danino’s story of a youngster who is gathering some fruit for his friends.

He is different from the others because of his natural persona that his friends love. However, the adults have a problem with some of his frequent disruptions to the meadow. And, this is where the Ado begins.

The animal (Child) is placed in a position where doubt festers in as to its existence as to who he is. This produces the child’s reactions. 

Mary's simple prose repeats these reactions with illustrations, which when read out laud will bring a smile to a 3 – 5 year old listening to your voice.  This book, I believe is to be read to a child the first time around or many times.

Ado’s main character redeems himself to the adult animals by saving the day. His friends were not surprised. The adults had to agree that he is a friend indeed and should stay in the meadow.

The combination of sound bites repeated and the illustrations makes this an enjoyable read with your young ones. Also, there are morals within the paragraphs. Christmas is around the corner; and I believe a book with illustrations of animals is always a good choice as a gift for a child.

Try this one, which I have read out laud twice. Cute. 

Mary's links are in her interview below:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Interview with Mary Danino

Interview with Mary Danino, author of
Ado in the Meadow

Questions: R. Murry
Can you tell me a little about yourself?
I’m Mary Danino. I live by the sea side, along the eastern Mediterranean shore in a lovely city called Ashdod in Israel.
I spent all my early childhood in Ashdod, Israel. After my military service in the Israeli Air Force, I went to the university and studied, of all things, Physics & Chemistry. It was fun but apparently not my destiny although I’ll always have a warm spot in my heart for physics (I love it!). When my son Roy was born, we lived in Arad, a small city close to the Dead Sea area. There I worked with people from all over the world for quite a number of years. Meeting all kinds of people from different countries and cultures fascinated me. My second son, Guy, was born shortly before we moved back to Ashdod, in which we still live. What really curious is, that although I always loved to write and was truly hooked on being a writer, I never did it seriously. Just now, this last year, I'm actually writing stories. So you see, it's never too late.
Do you remember the first story you wrote?
Yes, it was in the sixth grade. A young student came to our class and asked if we would like to answer some questions for a research she was doing. One of the questions was, “What would we want to do when we grow up”, I immediately said, “A writer”, so she asked me to write a short story, which I did.  I don’t even remember what the story was about, I just remember her saying, after reading the story, that she was really impressed. 
Were you inspired by someone or something?
Since I remember myself I knew I want to be a writer, I can’t even tell how, or what lead to it. I love reading. As a kid I read up to 6 books a week. I’m always creating stories in my mind. When my sons were young and we would drive long distances, I used to make up stories for them. Many of our outdoor walks would be accompanied with stories I made up about all kind of things that we encountered on our way. The funny thing is that I never actually wrote these stories down, not until recently anyways. 
What do you like about writing a story?
Writing a story, to me, is like creating a “bubble of existence”. As I see it, the space around us is filled with bubbles, every bubble is a story created by someone. In every given moment we can choose to get a peek at one of them, just like watching outside the window of someone we don’t know. When I write a story, I create a new bubble, one that all kind of people that I don’t know, never met and probably will never meet, can look into and while doing so, become part of that story. In a way, all the people that read my stories carry a little bit of me within them, like I carry within me a part of all those authors I read.
Can you tell us about your book?
Ado in the Meadow is a story about a cheerful hedgehog named Poddy. Poddy finds himself, unintentionally, in the center of some unfortunate events taking place in a beautiful green meadow. He tries to transform himself, thinking that becoming someone else might solve his issues... Eventually, he finds out that being true to his nature serves him and his friends, best. It’s all about self esteem and friendship.
The book is most suitable for young children, age 3-6, and naturally for beginner readers.
What genre best fits for the book?
Children’s books.
Are you working on something new at the moment?
Yes, I have several ideas running all together. One of them involves a squirrel and a snail. I think I might pick this one for the next story, though I haven’t made up my mind yet.
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
You just have to look around and be attentive to nature, people, stories you hear. In everything you can find a hidden story that waits to be told. Yet, the most important thing, on my opinion, is to enjoy doing it. When you enjoy doing something, it shows on the outcome.
Where can people go to read your work?
Ado in the meadow” is published as a kindle book on Amazon
Do you have anything to add?
Last, but surely not least, I would like to thank Roy Murry for this interview! I enjoyed doing it, and I hope you’ll find it interesting!
FaceBook: User name- Mary Danino    
Twitter - @MaryDanino.                                 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Review of Thackery's Journal

Review of John Holt’s
The Thackery Journal

Reviewed by Author Roy Murry

Bones and blood humans are the ones that fight wars. The journal is written by one who is convinced that his reasons for fighting a war pitting families, friends and relatives against each other are noble. His future is set because of those convictions; and you read his journey through Mr. Holt’s straight forward account.

This account leads to a show down between two childhood friends whose parting words prior to the American Civil War were not amicable. Through Thackery’s journal, we feel the pain of a young man following orders of his superiors.

These orders put him in a predicament that is in conflict with his core belief system and a face to face deadly situation with his friend who is fighting for the opposition, the Union Army. You’ll be surprised with the way that adventure is concluded.

Mr. Holt writes a genuine tale of human conflict. Through his prose you feel the historical dilemma that this war produced, which carried on many years after the guns and uniforms were put away for good. That being, where do you draw the line when deciding what is worth fighting for to the death.

John Holt’s story is worth the read if one cares for the feelings of other humans. 

I have a web site, although I don’t use it that often -

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Interview with John Holt

Interview with John Holt,
Author of The Thackery Journal

Questions: R. Murry

Can you tell me a little about yourself?

Firstly let me say a big thank you Roy, for giving me this opportunity. I hope that you and anyone reading this enjoy it, and hopefully gain something from it.
I was born in 1943 in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire. I currently live in Essex with my wife, Margaret, and my daughter Elizabeth. 

For many years I was a Chartered Surveyor in local government. I was a Senior Project Manager with the Greater London Council until it was closed down in 1986. I then set up my own surveying practice, preparing architectural plans for extensions, and new houses. I had a heart attack in 2004, and vastly reduced my work load, and eventually retired in 2008.
I had always wanted to write a novel but could never think of a good enough plot. My first novel, The Kammersee Affair, published in 2006, was inspired by a holiday in Austria. 

We were staying in Grundlsee. The next lake, Toplitzsee, was used by the Germans during the war to test rockets, and torpedoes. There were rumours of gold hidden in that lake. Despite extensive searches the gold was never found. In my book, however, it is found, only in the next lake, Kammersee.
The books that followed, The Mackenzie File, The Marinski Affair, Epidemic, and A Killing In The City. all feature Tom Kendall, a down to earth private detective. In August 2012 I decided to go down the self-published route, and formed my own publishing brand PHOENIX..

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

I suppose it must have been whilst at school. I wrote a story about a small settlement in Australia, and how it developed into a town. The story covered a period of about 100 years, and was told in a half a dozen hand written pages. 

Needless to say it was never published. I wonder what happened to that manuscript. In the early sixties I used to write articles, and reviews for a couple of magazines specializing in Negro Blues. Both magazines no longer exist, and with their demise gone to are my articles.

Were you inspired by someone or something?

I was brought up on Enid Blyton. Every week my father would bring home the latest copy of the Enid Blyton magazine. Sadly not very fashionable now, but the Famous Five and the Secret Seven, would keep me occupied and entertained for hours. 

Later it was Alastair Maclean, and Hammond Innes, who provided the excitement. Then Agatha Christie, the Queen of Crime. But did any of these fine authors inspire me? Maybe, but I certainly have never tried to copy their style.

What do you like about writing a story?

I got a lot of enjoyment out of readers the novels of the people mentioned above. To enter into a different world and meet exciting people, and encounter dangerous adventures whilst in the safety of your own home. 

I get that same kind of enjoyment from creating my own works. I hope that others get that same enjoyment.

Can you tell us about your book?

I normally write Private Detective novels, and so far I have four self published.
My latest novel "The Thackery Journal" is quite a departure, and a long way outside my comfort zone. It is an Historical Fiction novel set during the American Civil war. It is a "What If" novel regarding the assassination of Lincoln. 

I have been working on it, on and off for about four or five years. During that time it has gone through a few changes. My first book, “The Kammersee Affair” is about the search for Nazi gold. Whilst researching I found an article about some Confederate gold that went missing as the Civil war came to an end. 

I thought that could be the basis of a fairly good story, and that was the start of “The Thackery Journal.” So I had the missing god, and I knew that somebody had taken it. I wondered how that person would feel as his pursuers closed in. So the final chapter of “Thackery” was written. That chapter, written many years ago, has basically remained unchanged, even though the rest of the story has.

What genre best fits for the book?

Historical Fiction

Are you working on something new at the moment?

I am currently working on two more Tom Kendall novels and I have made a tentative start on an Adventure novel. I also have some ideas for another American Civil War novel. I’m rethinking the missing gold item.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

The main tip I can give is write for nobody but you. There will be a lot of people who will like your work (we hope), but there will be a lot of people who hate it. 

You cannot please everyone all of the time, so don’t even try. As long as you like what you have written, that’s good enough, if someone else likes it that’s a bonus.

Where can people go to read your work?

I have a few chapters from my novels over on Wattpad - My latest novel "The Thackery Journal" is a "What If" novel regarding the assassination of Lincoln.

I have a web site, although I don’t use it that often -

Do you have anything to add?

I realized pretty quickly that the chances of being published by one of the traditional publishers was pretty remote. I wasn’t a celebrity chef, or a footballer, or a TV personality. Eventually I was published by Raider Publishing International in New York. Sounds impressive yes? 

Well Raider is a vanity publisher, and I paid them to get published. Nonetheless it was a good feeling to have my work in print. The contracts were very short, and when they ran out I did not renew. I decided to take the Self-Publishing route. With the likes of, Createspace, and KDP, it is now so easy, and at no cost. With the help of friends on Facebook, and Twitter, it has worked out reasonably well, and I wish I had done it a lot sooner.

So thank you once again Roy. It is very much appreciated.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Review of The Dragonfly Door

Review of The Dragonfly Door
Written by Margaret A. Millmore  

Reviewed by Author Roy Murry

The story told by Ms. Millmore, in her novel The Dragonfly door, is one of true fiction. She has stretched the reader’s imagination, bringing them to the edge of reality with a thrilling story that keeps you reading on, and on.

Each time the door is opened or closed a new twist is brought to light. Traveling with the speed of light in and out of the door, the main character learns more about why he was placed on earth and how his life has an effect on those that follow him after he makes a decision.

A conundrum, we all try to solve on a daily basis is how what we say to our children will affect their lives and our future with them, is placed in question. In her tale of the unknown, that gap is bridge and revealed somewhat.

This revelation presents eventful situations for the main characters where they meet the future. One of their own, in the present, has contaminated the world with a virus, leading to why one of the doors was opened in the first place.

You may be confused at first, but Margaret brings it all together with exciting prose, beginning with a man who is put in a psychiatric ward to the acceptance that that man and his mission is needed to save the world in the future. But, he is a lunatic. Or is he? You’ll have to read The Dragonfly Door to find out.

This novel hits all the right buttons: entertaining and gripping. A fine read over three or four sittings.