Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Confrontation: An Axe Of Iron Novel

‘Confrontation: An Axe of Iron Novel’ is J.A. Hunsinger’s second novel that is a continuation of his first Viking adventure, ‘Axe of Iron,’ that takes place in the year 1008. Hunsinger continues the adventures of Norsemen explorers Halfdan Ingolfsson and his second in command, Gudbjartur Einarsson, who have lead an expedition and established a settlement named Halfdansfjord, located along the coast of North America on the east coast of James Bay, at the south end of Hudson Bay.

The Viking adventures continue with the settlers struggling to make a life in Halfdansfjord. The focus of the adventure is the relationship between the settlers and the indigenous people. Readers will not only experience the lives of the Norsemen, but also the lives of the natives that include the Naskapi (Cree), Anishinabeg (Ojibwa), and the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois). The story delves into the confrontations with the natives. Readers will not only experience life and death confrontations, but also the relationships between the settlers and natives. When Gudbjartur is on a scouting trip, he is captured and becomes a prisoner of the Naskapi tribe, and is then taken to their village. Through his eyes, readers will learn about the native peoples’ lives through a chronicling of their practices, customs, burial rituals, execution rituals, hunting methods, and cooking methods. Readers will experience how tough life is in the wilderness and the brutal conditions both the natives and Viking settlers endure.

Despite the harsh conditions and brutal confrontations, a major theme of the story is how the native and Norsemen learn about each others way of life and the friendships and mutual respect that develop. For instance, Gudbjartur becomes a part of the tribe and learns from them. He reflects, “These warriors, I guess they are my warriors too. I have been accepted as one of them.” As well, his son, Ivar Gudbjartarsson, also experiences life as a prisoner of the Haudenosaunee.

Hunsinger successfully builds on his first novel and adds even more action and adventure. As with the first novel, the story is rich in historical details which clearly show the careful attention paid to historical accuracy which allows the reader to peer through a window into the past and experience an important historical period. He incorporates the fictional tale with historical details which makes reading the story not only fun, but also engaging. Readers will root for Gudbjartur as he struggles with his Norsemen fighting spirit and his desire to make peace with the native people.

I highly recommend ‘Confrontation: An Axe of Iron Novel’ as an entertaining addition to the historical fiction genre. Readers will find the story and characters so compelling that they will not realize that they are learning as they read.

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Kate, The Ghost Dog: Coping With The Death Of a Pet

In many instances, a child’s first experience with the death of a loved one is when a pet dies. This can be an emotionally overwhelming time for a child who has to deal with new emotions while coming to terms with such a devastating loss. In his children’s book, ‘Kate, The Ghost Dog,’ author Wayne L. Wilson, tells the story of the emotional journey of a young girl’s grieving process after the death of her dog, and her struggle to overcome her heartache and move forward.

Aleta is a fun loving happy young girl full of energy and a passion for life. One day, she returns home after school with two of her best friends to discover that her dog, Kate, had died at the foot of her bed. After Kate’s death, Aleta’s blissful life changes to that of despair. The story that unfolds chronicles Aleta’s struggle with her deep sadness. She goes through the stages of the grief process – shock, denial, anger, despair that includes withdrawing from life, and finally acceptance.

‘Kate, The Ghost Dog’ is a heartwarming children’s story that reveals important life lessons about helping a child cope with the death of a pet. The writing style is clear, consistent, and written as much like a young child thinks and speaks. It is a story that children will be able to easily follow and understand. The questions Aleta asks are common questions that most children will ask. The thoughts and emotional struggles of a young girl’s traumatic loss are depicted in a thoughtful manner. As well, the charming pictures enhance the story and make it even more enjoyable to read.

‘Kate, The Ghost Dog’ is a heartwarming story that will help children overcome their grief after the loss of a pet. It will also help parents learn how to be a valuable support system during their own child’s grieving process. The story will teach children about grieving, how to understand death, and how to celebrate a life instead of mourning a death. I highly recommend ‘Kate, The Ghost Dog’ as a story parents can read with their children or children can read on their own. It will help children learn how to move forward, but not forget their pet.

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Turn Right for Paradise

Corin Ruth Jasmine Dienes had traveled to Nova Scotia, Canada from her home in West Sussex, England, to explore the province and visit with her brother. While traveling in the province, she came across a road sign that said, “Paradise – Next Right.’ She was so taken with the sign that she was inspired to write the romantic adventure novel, ‘Turn Right for Paradise.’

‘Turn Right for Paradise’ begins in England where the protagonist Isabel (Izzie) Brown learns that the man she is about to marry is not the wonderful guy she believed him to be. Heart broken, Izzie flees to Nova Scotia to make a fresh start. On the plane, she meets Brett Hammond and there is an instant attraction. Brett hires her to work for his business as his personal secretary. As the courtship progresses, Izzie and Brett are confronted with a number of personal and external conflicts and misunderstandings. The result is an emotional roller coaster ride with many unexpected twists and turns.

The novel reads as a romantic adventure with the central plot focusing on Brett and Izzie’s relationship. The story is rich in character development and readers will enjoy Izzie’s many struggles that result in significant personal growth. Both Izzie and Brett must overcome many obstacles and anxieties about each others motives before they can come to terms with their true feelings for each other. The plot contains a variety of personal conflicts and mysteries to be uncovered such as Izzie’s quest to uncover the mystery of her father’s disappearance. Set mostly in Nova Scotia, Dienes details a number of places in a way that enhances the romantic theme of the book.

‘Turn Right for Paradise,’ is written to be enjoyed in one sitting. Readers will identify with Izzie’s and Brett’s insecurities, fears, and intense passion for each other. It a fun and romantic read that is full of surprising revelations. It is a story that will be enjoyed by all fans of the romance genre.

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