‘Mountain Song’ book giveaway

My Kindle novel Mountain Song will be free on Amazon April 5-April 7, 2018.

Description: David Ward lives in the Montana mountains where his life was impacted by his medicine woman grandmother and his utilitarian grandfather. Anne Hill suffered through childhood abuse and ultimately moved in with her aunt on the edge of a Florida swamp. Their summer romance at a mountain resort hotel surprises both of them. But can they make it last after the initial passion wears off and they return to their college studies far apart from each other especially after an attack on a college street changes Anne forever?

This story begins and ends in the high country of Montana where David and Anne meet as college students working as seasonal employees at a resort hotel. In today’s terms, they would probably call themselves soul mates. Yet  summer romances are usually fragile, almost as though they’re a part of the places where they occur.

Add to that, an attack on a dark street corner while Anne is walking from a movie theater back to her dorm. She won’t let David help her because she believes that to become whole again, she must recover on her own. Both of them make mistakes at an emotional time when there’s no room for making mistakes,

I know this story well because–other than changing names, locations, and moments, it’s true.

Malcolm

Review: Jane Harper’s ‘Force of Nature’

Force of Nature (Aaron Falk, #2)Force of Nature by Jane Harper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When the Bailey Tennants accounting firm takes two employee groups into a rugged Australian mountain forest for an annual weekend of “team building,” the men’s group returns ahead of schedule and the women’s group straggles back to civilization late, injured, scared, and in a fighting mood, indicating that its working together skills need more attention. The group is also missing the bossy, opinionated Alice who apparently wandered off and got lost; statements from Lauren, Beth, Bree and Jill about just how that happened are vague and contradictory.

Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk (who first appeared in Harper’s “The Dry” in 2017) and his partner Carmen are pulled into the investigation because Alice has been providing them with evidence of the company’s illegal activities. Aaron and Carmen can’t help but wonder who, if anyone, discovered there was a whistle blower in their midst. And then, too, a serial killer used to call those mountains home.

Harper deftly handles the storyline by alternating her chapters between the present day investigation and the prior day-to-day troubles of the women’s group on the trail. In the here-and-now-investigation chapters, Falk, the local police, and the rangers find a tangled web of possibilities about what might of happened to Alice. Is she still alive?

In the up-close-and-personal chapters showing a women’s group starting a normal hike into the wilderness and then trying to find its way out alive, readers see that tensions, tempers, and mistakes are worse than police suspect.

Everyone, including Falk, has a past that complicates their reactions to the majestic wilderness. Falk carries memories of his father’s lonely hikes in those isolated mountains and wishes the family’s past had played out differently. Each of the women not only has personal and professional issues with the others in the group, but is distracted by unsettling family problems that keep pulling their focus away from making sensible decisions in a setting where terrain and weather always have the upper hand. So much for creating a cohesive team.

Harper clearly knows how to tell an exciting story and keep her readers guessing about what really happened until the final pages of the aptly titled “Force of Nature.”

Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of contemporary fantasy, paranormal, and magical realism short stories and novels.

View all my reviews

Book Bits: Sherman Alexie, Smoky Zeidel, ‘Freshwater,’ book covers, Amy Tan

According to the social media, people are impatient for Spring. Booker Talk (Item 2), one of my favorite blogs, wishes all of us Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus i chi! (Happy St. David’s Day to You All) with a fine list of Welsh books to consider during inclement weather. It’s raining hard here in Northwest Georgia, so in between furtive trips into the yard to see what the bulbs are doing, I’m doing a lot of reading. If you’ve got stormy weather and don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky, here are a few links to help you wait for Spring.

  1. Wikipedia Photo

    News: Sherman Alexie’s Response to Harassment Accusations – “After a month of online charges that he has been abusive to many women, particularly Native American women, author Sherman Alexie issued a statement yesterday. It’s a mix of admission and denial and, as with to much of the matter, it’s somewhat vague.” Shelf Awareness

  2. Lists: Books to mark Wales’ special day – March 1 is St David’s Day in Wales — “St David being our patron saint — so usually a day for celebration of all things Welsh. The celebrations will be very muted this year however with schools closed and concerts cancelled because of Storm Emma, so I thought I would mark the occasion by highlighting some new books from authors and publishers based in Wales.” BookerTalk
  3. New Title: Garden Metamorphosis: New and Collected Poems of Change and Growth, by Smoky Zeidel (Thomas-Jacob, March 1) – “In the midst of a confusing and frightening world, Smoky Zeidel remains true to form with her poetry, gently reminding us to close out the superfluous and remember that which is sacred. Garden Metamorphosis is both a love song to Mother Earth, and a celebration of the cycle of life Read the complete poems, plus Zeidel’s short story, ‘Transformed.'” Thomas-Jacob Publishing
  4. Ursu

    Feature: Sexual Harassment in the Children’s Book Industry, by Anne Ursu – “These are the sort of events we’re told to brush off — they’re jokes, they’re flattering, no big deal. But when you believe you are a professional and someone informs you they see you as a sex object, it can shatter your sense of self and your sense of safety.” Medium

  5. Quotation: “The future of publishing lies with the small and medium-sized presses, because the big publishers in New York are all part of huge conglomerates.” Lawrence Ferlinghetti
  6. Review: Freshwater, by Akwaeke Emezi, reviewed by Tariro Mzezewa – “In her remarkable and daring debut novel, “Freshwater,” Akwaeke Emezi draws in part from her own life to tell the story of Ada, a young Igbo and Tamil woman haunted by the ogbanje — the ‘godly parasite with many heads, roaring inside the marble room of her mind.’” New York Times
  7. Feature: Meet the Designers behind Your Favorite Book Covers, by Alexxa Gotthardt – “We talk with five designers whose book jackets are routinely hailed as crowd favorites. Their designs blanket young adult bestsellers like John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down (2017), literary classics like Vladimir Nabokov’s The Eye (1930), and tomes that rethink the form of a book (one comes with a remote control, and drives like a toy car).” Artsy
  8. Interview Amy Tan on Writing and the Secrets of Her Past, with Nicole Chung – “In ‘Where the Past Begins: A Writer’s Memoir,’ Amy Tan recalls the time a relative told her mother that she shouldn’t fill her daughter’s head with ‘all these useless stories.’ Why should Amy know so much, visit her mother’s painful memories, when it was beyond her power to change the past? Her mother replied: ‘I tell her so she can tell everyone, tell the whole world . . . That’s how it can be changed.’ As she writes in her memoir, ‘My mother gave me permission to tell the truth.’” Shondaland

Book Bits is compiled randomly by author Malcolm R. Campbell.

Free Amazon Kindle Book – ‘Mountain Song’

My Kindle novel Mountain Song will be free on Amazon February 12 through February 14, 2018. Let’s call it a special for Valentine’s Day.

DescriptionDavid Ward lives in the Montana mountains where his life was impacted by his medicine woman grandmother and his utilitarian grandfather. Anne Hill suffered through childhood abuse and ultimately moved in with her aunt on the edge of a Florida swamp. Their summer romance at a mountain resort hotel surprises both of them. But can they make it last after the initial passion wears off and they return to their college studies far apart from each other especially after an attack on a college street changes Anne forever?

Summer romances get a lot of attention in fiction. Our parents, teachers and those who’ve been swept up in them before used to warn us about them. Naturally, we didn’t listen because we thought that if we got involved with somebody, nobody would get hurt. Especially us.

Almost everyone I knew who worked at a summer resort hotel during the two years I spent at Glacier National Park fell into the clutches of a summer romance. A few ended up marrying each other and having wonderful long-term relationships. Most of us didn’t. This story didn’t happen the way I told it because we’re supposed to be discrete about such things. But she knows the real story.

I hope you enjoy the book and consider it a warning.

Malcolm

 

 

Book Bits: Ryan Anderson, Haim Gouri, ‘Jefferon’s Daughters,’ Film Noir, Anca Szilágyi

I once asked my ophthalmologist if he felt blurry. “No,” he said. “Darn,” I said, “it must be my eyes.” Well now things are getting blurry again and that means that on Valentine’s Day, I have to go back to the outpatient surgical center for a laser procedure to make the world clear again. Meanwhile, I just bought stronger glasses because I’m not going without books. For those of you who feel the same way about your reading, here are a few links:

  1. News: Ryan Anderson’s book on transgender people is creating an uproar, by Ariana Eunjung Cha – “Ryan T. Anderson’s new book isn’t even out yet, but it has already hit Amazon bestseller lists.” Washington Post
  2. New Title: Tree Story and Other Poems by Douglas G. Campbell. Melanie Springer Mock writes, “Tree Story and Other Poems challenges us to see through a different lens, one that clarifies and sharpens the natural world, and that places humans as supporting actors in the grand drama nature gives us. It beautifully traces the centuries-old life of a Douglas Fir, the tree itself narrating an epic journey with the action occurring at the tree’s roots and around its trunk.”  Oblique Voices Press
  3. Feature:What’s the future of books? by Agatha French – “We ask a psychic at Mystic Journey Bookstore in Venice to tell us straight, by – “As a books reporter in the Digital Age, I’m often asked: What’s the future of books? Although I can honestly say that I believe books are as vital and significant now as they ever have been, the truth is that I can’t predict the future.” Los Angeles Times
  4. Gouri – Wikipedia photo

    Obituary: Haim Gouri, Poetic Voice of a Rising Israel, Is Dead at 94, by Isabel Kershner – “Haim Gouri wrote of the terrible sacrifice of war, and of memory and camaraderie. A celebrated and often critical voice of Israel’s founding generation and its conscience, he also wrote of the wrenching inner dilemmas, complexities and contradictions of the Zionist enterprise that tormented him.” The New York Times

  5. Quotation: ““Please, no matter how we advance technologically, please don’t abandon the book. There is nothing in our material world more beautiful than the book.” – Patti Smith
  6. ReviewJefferson’s Daughters’ tells the story of three of Thomas Jefferson’s daughters – white and black, by Barbara Spindel – “Like all great histories do, Jefferson’s Daughters brings its period vividly to life, a credit to Kerrison’s exhaustive research, her passion for her subject, and her elegant writing. It is unfortunate that so much remains a mystery.” Christian Science Monitor
  7. Film:  Darkly Beautiful Film Noir-Inspired Paintings; Femme fatales and hardboiled detectives get the fine-art treatment, by Allison Nastasi – “If you have an affection for shadowy film fiends and femme fatales, let us introduce you to the work of artist Gina Higgins. The figure painter’s most popular series, called American-Noir, pays homage to the film noir genre. We first spotted the artist’s work on Instagram and Ego – AlterEgo.” Flavorwire
  8. Dialogue: Elastic Realism and Political Fiction; or, A Conversation Between Anca Szilágyi and Susan DeFreitas, by Anca Szilágyi and Susan DeFreitas – “While our novels are very different in style and setting, we’re both writers who grapple with how to engage with current events and past atrocities in fiction, and we both blend realism with fantasy. In anticipation of our “in conversation” event at Powell’s on February 19, 2018, Anca and I have been corresponding via email about writing political fiction in these fraught times.” – Powell’s
  9. Feature: I Spent 24 Hours Reading Last Weekend and I Didn’t Lose My Mind – Actually, I kind of found it, by Jamie Green -“I didn’t come up with this stunt on my own. It’s called 24 in 48, which is really straightforward — you read for 24 hours within 48 hours, from 12:01am Saturday to 11:59pm Sunday. I’d seen the hashtag flitting around Twitter, intermittently, for years. (It took me an oddly long time to figure out what it meant.) This year was the first time that I heard about the scheduled weekend far enough in advance. I blocked it out on my calendar, a two-day event: READATHON.” Electric Lit
  10. Event: Celeste Ng, author of Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere, will be the official Author Ambassador for Independent Bookstore Day 2018. Scheduled for Saturday, April 28, the fourth annual Indie Bookstore Day will be celebrated by more than 490 independent bookstores around the country. – Shelf Awareness

“Book Bits” is compiled randomly by author Malcolm R. Campbell. Disclaimer: Douglas G. Campbell is my brother.

Malcolm

 

Ur ye ready tae reid Harry Potter in th’ Scots leid?

Noo we hae:

Dumbledore = Dumbiedykes
Quidditch = Bizzumbaw
You Know Who = Ye ken wha
Sorting Hat = Blithering bonnet
Diagon Alley = Squinty Gate

Th’ story begins loch thes:

Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, o nummer fower, Privet Loan, were prood tae say that they were gey normal, thank ye awfie muckle. They were the lest fowk ye wid jalouse wid be taigled up wi onythin unco or ferlie, because they jist widnae hae onythin tae dae wi joukery packery like yon.

Description (Amazon UK): 

HARRY POTTER doesnae ken the first thing aboot Hogwarts when the LETTERS stert drappin ontae the doormat at nummer fower, Privet Loan. The letters, scrievit in GREEN ink on YELLA pairchment wi a PURPIE seal, are taen aff him by his AWFIE aunt and CRABBIT uncle. Then, on Harry’s eleeventh birthday, a muckle GIANT wi tousie hair cawed RUBEUS HAGRID breenges in tae his life wi some ASTOONDIN news: Harry Potter is a warlock, and he has a place at HOGWARTS SCHUIL O CARLINECRAFT AND WARLOCKRY.

It’s abit time, Ah say. (Scots is spoken in th’ coontry’s lowlands.)

Ye can buy th’ book oan March 1.

–Malcolm

Mah lang-ago ancestors spoke Gaelic, but they will loch thes.

 

End-of-January Book Give-Away

My paranormal Kindle short story, “The Lady of the Blue Hour,” will be free on Amazon from January 30th through February 3rd.

Description: When Kenneth arrives home from a high school band trip with exciting news, he finds the house empty. His parents appear to gone to a hospital in a hurry. At twilight, a strange woman appears on the street, and she might be looking for him. No doubt, there’s magic afoot.

Goodness knows, I rode enough rickety school buses on band trips to remember endlessly riding through the night, looking forward to being welcomed home. As a fan of spooky movies and TV shows, I often wondered if the house would be empty with no way to tell what had happened.

Malcolm