Forrest Gump once said, “Life is like a box of chocolates”. Honestly, I don’t know why–never saw the movie in its entirety.
In this blog offering, however, books are like chocolates–or so Kimberly Sentek tells me. My challenge here is to relate how some of my favorite books are like my favorite chocolates. Ummm…’k…
I think today’s hot weather fried my brain enough so that I could actually come up with something to write, and for this I am grateful. There is nothing like watering your yard in the quiet of a warm evening to get your thoughts in order.
But I am veering. I do this a lot. You’ll get used to it; I know I did.
Since I review a lot of indie authors, and I don’t want to choose one over the other, I am going to stick with well-known writers. I love every author I have reviewed, and it would be impossible to keep my choices down to a handful.
So–on with the show…
I used mostly candies from the kitchens of See’s Finest, because I used to work in one of their shops, and I know the various types of chocolates that are sold there. My one exception will be my absolutely, number one, don’t-try-to-talk-me-out-of-it, favorite chocolate candy in the world.
So let’s start with that one, which is M&Ms. All those different colors, but all the same flavor of chocolate wonderfulness. I will liken them to the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. So many different, colorful characters–from witches, to wizards, to Death astride his pale horse (whose name is “Binky”), to a university Librarian who is really an orangutan (but don’t tell him that), Pratchett’s stories are chock full of colorful, crazy, wonderful characters.
Oh, and by the way, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are easily sidetracked by the sight of a pub…
Speaking of nutty–I also love chocolate-covered nuts. Except for the chocolate part, Tamar Myers’ protagonist in the Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery series, Magdalena Yoder, is like that–as nutty as a walnut grove. She runs a bed-and-breakfast in the Amish style, charging extra to “let” her guests do their own chores around the place. She seems to also stumble into a lot of crimes, which gets her into hot water with her Amish relatives and the seedy local police force. Her methods of detection are outlandish, her outlook is wonderfully wacky (“Do shut up, dear, and I mean that with all Christian generosity”), and her relatives (who play a big part in most of the books) are just as nutty as she is.
But now we switch to a different nut confection–California Brittle. I would like to stress the “California” part of the name, as it makes me think of Shirley Rousseau Murphy’s Joe Grey series. The books take place in a small town along the coast of California, which sounds a lot like Carmel. Not the candy, CARmel–it’s pronounced “CarMEL”.
We have at least three cats here with the power to speak to their human companions–sometimes more, depending on the book. To better understand this series, it would be recommended to read Murphy’s “The Catswold Portal” first. It gives a really good history and background concerning sentient cats with this ability.
The three cats in the series speak only with their human counterparts, and the secret must be kept from the law. However, as the books progress, it is more and more likely that the local authorities will have to know soon. After all, they are smarter than they look.
“They”, meaning the police, that is.
Let’s continue with the cat-mystery-solving idea. Years ago, I fell in love with the Midnight Louie series by Carole Nelson Douglas. Another cat sleuth, Louie is sleek, black, lovable, and sure to please. Rather like chocolate fudge.
Living in Las Vegas, among the high and low, the glitter and glamour, of the biggest gambling arena in the United States, he and his housemate, Temple Barr, seem to find themselves embroiled in mysteries and murders from A to Z. And, yes, the titles of the books utilize the letters of the alphabet to go from one story to the next. And in the backdrop, there are many ongoing sub-stories–and many questions that will not be answered until the bitter Z.
Douglas is on “X”–we’ll know all soon enough!
Let’s move on to another country and another flavor–Butterscotch Square. This puts me in mind of all of those “Square”-named areas of London, which in turn leads me to the author Jacqueline Winspear and her Maisie Dobbs series.
Maisie is a woman before her time–a strong-willed, ambitious British woman who fought her way through a man’s world of the early 20th-century to become a detective in her own right. I love that she is capable, strong, and does not put up with any guff from people who consider her “out of her place”. Again and again she proves those naysayers wrong, and it cheers my heart to see her rise above those critics.
And this concludes my choclolate book blog tour. I’d like to add a few words about Kimberly Sentek, whose book, Oh Brother! A Nico and Tugger Tale, is a very charming children’s book. The subject, sibling rivalry, is dealt with so very well, and I enjoyed that tale a lot.
Kimberly Sentek has spent her entire life telling stories—so much so that her parents swear she was born talking. A lifelong New Jersey resident, she is owned by two cockapoos, Nico and Tugger. Her first book, Oh Brother!: A Nico and Tugger Tale, is a story of sibling rivalry that was inspired by her dogs. According to a ForeWord Clarion review, “Many readers—children and adults—will hope there are more Nico and Tugger tales as charming as this one following soon.”
Kimberly plans to continue writing a series of books about her two furry children, where both main characters tell their sides of the same story. The second book in the Nico and Tugger Tale series is tentatively scheduled for release in January 2015.
Kimberly’s website is www.kimberlysentek.com. You can follower her on twitter at @kimberlysentek and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kimberly-Sentek-Author-Page/365737483515252?ref=hl. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.