I spent Saturday afternoon at the Local Author Showcase here in Denver, Colorado. This event was hosted by Douglas County Libraries and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Of course getting to tell people about my book Sunrises to Santiago, was great, but I particularly enjoyed meeting some other writers who have some truly fascinating books and projects. It is terrifying publishing a creative project, placing your head on the guillotine of criticism and hoping the public will not choose to execute you, but save you with praise. So I enjoyed the bravery of those creative and curious souls who shared their stories and held their “babies” up in front of a crowd.
Do you enjoy locally crafted food? Do you like to support local farmers, artists and the like? Then I might also suggest you support the talented local writers in your state. I challenge you to read something different from everyone else because there really are some talented writers. I remember an interview I heard or read from Paulo Coelho who said when he first published The Alchemest no one noticed. It took years. It was the same book yet people (including myself) tend to read books like sheep that gravitate towards the most popular novels and books, rarely venturing from the New York Times Best Sellers List. I met so many creative writers but I wanted to highlight just a few of those I met on Saturday and their new books:
YA (Young Adult) Novel – The Perfect Blindside by Leslea Wahl. Leslea was literally struck with the idea for this book in the middle of the night and told me that it literally wrote itself. What happens when an Olympic snowboarding phenom, Jake Taylor, moves to a tiny Colorado mining town? An adventurous tale of mystery, romance, humor and faith. After Jake has risen from obscurity and dazzled a nation at the Olympics, his family moves to Sliver Springs and his golden moment turns into the loneliest time of his life, until he meets Sophie Metcalf and they uncover a crime which endangers their lives. http://lesleawahl.com/
Children’s Picture Book – A Colorado Day by Kristin Acker Miller. A mother herself she wanted to create a picture book (which is beautifully illustrated) about all of the animals in Colorado. If you have a child and you live in Colorado, they will certainly love this book. This children’s picture book depicts a day in the lives of Colorado’s wildlife. With vibrant colors and beautifully expressive animal faces, this exquisitely illustrated book delights readers with a melodic, rhyming story featuring the names of Colorado wildlife and vegetation, plus a bonus “Facts About Colorado” page. http://www.oohlalababyboutique.com
Murder Mystery – Murder on the Tracks by Bruce W. Most. Bruce read from his book for the crowd and I was immediately taken by his writing and engrossed in the story. If you like murder mysteries this book deserves a look. On a warm summer evening in 1949 Denver, veteran street cop Joe Stryker and his over-eager rookie partner discover a body on the railroad tracks. The victim’s head is crushed and the hands are missing. Yet homicide dismisses the apparent murder as the accidental death of a drifter who “won’t rate space in the want ads.” Joe would have left it at that but for one disturbing element: the victim may be linked to the murder of Joe’s partner two years before, for which he still blames himself. The body on the tracks is his chance to avenge his partner’s death and banish his nightmares. But as Joe learns, seeking redemption can come at a high price. https://www.goodreads.com
Non-fiction – Escape from Portugal – The Church in Action: The Secret Flight of 60 African Students to France by Bill Nottingham. Bill had an amazing story to tell. He was imprisoned in Spain trying to smuggle students across country borders in 1961. His tale makes for a a great new book. This is the story of the dramatic clandestine escape, in June of 1961, of 60 African students from Portugal, across Spain and into France. Soon after the first anti-colonial armed rebellions broke out in Angola (March, 1961), the student community in Portugal suffered increasing harassment by the Portuguese political police. Passports were confiscated and some arrests of suspected student leaders occurred. Many students decided to flee Portugal illegally. It was risky business. False passports from friendly African countries had to be found, contacts set up for night border crossings into Franco’s Spain, and then overland transportation to France. Some of the students, graduates of North American and British missionary schools in Africa, appealed to the World Council of Churches in Geneva to help them escape. The challenge was accepted by the French Protestant service agency CIMADE. The successful operation makes for exciting reading. Amazon.com