My thanks to NetGalley for this opportunity to read and to review Underground to Palestine, by I. F. Stone.
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Having read much about WWII-era history, I found a lack in my understanding when it came to the years immediately following, and in particular, to the rebirth of the nation of Israel. I F. Stone’s accounts, written at the time, and now collected in Underground to Palestine, helpfully filled in some of those blanks. To my delight, the author did not tell his stories in the typical journalist’s fashion of providing simple conclusory responses to the questions: Who? What? Where? When? Rather, Stone, in his creative nonfiction style, painted pictures of the personalities he met along his way as he accompanied Holocaust survivors voyaging to the Promised Land. As a result, these characters came “alive” for me, complete with their physical characteristics, their unique histories, and their visions for the future.
The New Year has arrived! Here's to all things wonderful for 2016!
This month, we Quills are posting about our most exciting book events of 2015 and/or about our plans and expectations for 2016. We may cover things we've written, reviewed, published, or otherwise!
First up is Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies.
Here is what Robin has to say:
I can't help thinking "Wow! 2015 went by WAY too fast." It really did. But ready or not, it's 2016 now—I feel like I need to fasten my seatbelt for another speedy ride!
Thanks to Leeland Artra and the Fantasy Sci-Fi Network Writing Challenges, I (finally) finished . . .
Read more here.
I am up next. At the outset, I am happy to report that 2015 went a bit better for me that 2014 had. That was the year from . . . Well, enough about that. For 2015, there were a few interesting events that I'd like to share with you . . .
I wrapped up Select: The Oathtaker Series, Book Two, in late May. To write the final scenes of a story is to reach a true milestone. One cannot compare the feeling to any other. (Starting the work is a bit akin to bearing a child. Publishing it is like setting that child free to live its life. It is scary but necessary . . .)
I submitted Select to Readers’ Favorite for reviews and was delighted when they awarded the book their 5-Star seal. I was pleased to know that I could put the emblem on the cover when I was ready to publish the work.
Next, I submitted Oathtaker—Book One—to Literary Classics (at www.LiteraryClassics.org) for a review and entered it in their 2015 International Book Award Contest. In September, I learned that the book earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval. I felt like dancing! It got even better though when, on October 1, I found an email awaiting my perusal. It was Literary Classics, informing me that Oathtaker was a contest finalist.
I think I sat on the edge of my seat for two weeks as I awaited the Literary Classics final results. In any case, I’d be able to say that it had been a contest finalist, and that was a great thing. I couldn’t even imagine being able to say that it was, once again, a winner . . . That was a prospect I could only hope for! So, you can imagine my delight when, two weeks later, Literary Classics awarded Oathtaker a GOLD medal in their contest. I felt like celebrating! Right off, I started making plans to go to L.A. for the awards ceremony in April 2016. I look forward to meeting other contest winners there and hopefully, some readers as well.
After finally completing my edits and preparing my new cover, I published Select on November 21, 2015. I’ve no idea as yet how the work will do, but it is free now to “live its life” as it must. So, time will tell . . .
Did I say “finally” above? Actually, that wasn’t the last thing. There is one more: I started writing book three of The Oathtaker Series. I believe it will be entitled “Flits,” but that’s still up in the air. Another option might be “Ephemeral and Fleeting.” That would be a great title, but it would be quite different from those that came before it in the series. To date, I’m only about 20,000 words in, but the pieces of the story are beginning to take real shape in my mind. (I’m anxious to see how it progresses.)
What were your most exciting book-related events of 2015? Did you read any winners? Write any winners? Please, do share the details!