Book Review: ‘Sketches of a Black Cat: Story of a WWII Night Flying Pilot and Artist’ by Ron Miner

Fantastic WWII history in a personal story.

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Ron Miner Sketches of a Black Cat

Ron Miner’s collection of stories and art by his father, combined with the story of his own experiences of gathering those accounts together, provides a rare opportunity for detailed insight into the experiences of an American serviceman during World War II. The stories are told in a conversational and personal way, so that the reader begins to feel connected to both narrators as their stories develop.

The artwork by Miner’s father is incredible, presenting an extraordinary level of detail. The book also offers a range of photographs of planes, servicemen, news clippings and personal letters pertaining to America’s involvement in the war. The images alone are worth the price of the book.

As a history teacher, I really appreciated the straightforward manner in which these stories are told, and the level of detail given about events which are generally only relayed factually in textbooks. I plan to share some of these stories and pictures from the book with my own students when we study WWII.

This is a fantastic book for anyone who enjoys reading biography, adventure and war stories and for history enthusiasts.Acorn Award I Golden

Book Squirrel has awarded ‘Sketches of a Black Cat’ a Gold Acorn for overall excellence.

Readers can buy a copy at Amazon.

Book Review: ‘100 Wild Mushrooms’ by Eva Pasco

Eva Pasco 100 Wild Mushrooms

‘100 Wild Mushrooms’ presents readers with one hundred chapters of nostalgia and memoir from the 1960s. Food, music, TV shows, comic books, toys, fashion, crazes, world events, celebrities and recollections of personal experience combine to form a most enjoyable trip down memory lane.

I really enjoyed the diversity and range of the topics in this book. Not content to merely entertain me, these memories carried me away to a different time where life seemed much more straightforward than it often seems to be today.

Written with good humour and warmth, This is a delightful collection that will appeal to a wide audience, especially those who were there but may not always remember much!

In Eva Pasco’s own words, “simply remembering a few of our favourite things meandering along Memory Lane is a trip worth taking.”

Golden Acorns
I’ve given this book a lovely Golden Acorn Award.

‘100 Wild Mushrooms’ is available on Amazon.

New Release: The Passing Of The Night by Joanne Van Leerdam

People experience all kinds of night: loneliness, grief, depression, anxiety, fear, pain, and countless other darknesses. 

This newly released collection of profound lyrical poems explores the poet’s own experiences and observations of both dark and light, revealing her determination to not only survive, but to conquer whatever tries to overcome her. 

At the end of it all, the poet demonstrates that the smallest sign of light is enough to help a wandering soul find hope in the passing of the night. 

The Passing Of The Night is available on Amazon and all other major digital stores.

Author Interview: Nancy Quinn

Today I’m interviewing Nancy Quinn, author of ‘Go West, Young Woman’.

Interview Red

Nancy Quinn Go West

 

Hi, booklovers! It’s great to be back!

Today I’m interviewing Nancy Quinn, author of ‘Go West, Young Woman’. 

Hi Nancy, it’s great to have you here.

Hi, uh… Book Squirrel? Squirrel?
What should I call you?

Sure. You can call me anything except late for dinner.

Haha , okay!

Tell us, Nancy, what inspired you to write?  

Books have always been such an influence in my life; I secretly wondered if I would ever write one. I had greatly admired the books written by James Herriot, and being a wildlife artist and having a love for animals, I enjoyed the stories of his encounters and relationships with dogs, cats, and livestock.  As I grew older and began to have my own experiences with both domestic and exotic wildlife, I often thought my own true stories might make an interesting read.  When my husband and I moved our family from Washington, D.C., to a rural mountain in Montana, I felt I finally had a story worth sharing in written word.  My debut book, Go West, Young Woman! tells of our adventures living with our new neighbors – wolves, cougars, and grizzly bears.

Wow. Scary! Any squirrels over there that haven’t been eaten yet?
You bet there are.
Phew! Okay, sorry for the distraction. Next question…

What are you working on writing now?

I am currently writing the sequel to our story.  It covers the next five years of our western experience.

What’s your favourite thing that someone else has written?

I still adore the pioneer stories like Little House on the Prairie and the Nancy Drew mystery series, so much so that I read them with my daughters.

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?  

I enjoy writing about nature and the behavior of animals, so I try “painting” a picture with my words.   I think some of my best writing describes the weather and climate here in Montana – thunderous summer hailstorms, water-colored sunsets of ever changing hues, and autumn frost twinkling on golden brown leaves.  Other favorite topics include my “conversations” with animals, and their discussions with each other.  It’s fun to describe their unique personalities by expressing their thoughts in words.

What’s your favorite season? Why?

Summer!  Summer in Montana is warm and dry.  We don’t have much humidity here, and I can stay outside for longer periods of time.  The rolling mountains have shed their blankets of snow, the green grass is cool underfoot, and we can pick wildflowers throughout the meadows.  After the morning rain passes over the mountains, we can see a rainbow or two.  I get to spend more time with the horses, enjoy a different sunset every evening, and marvel at the night skies so intense with stars.

What’s the best vacation you’ve had?

Prior my husband retiring from the United States Air Force, we were investigating where we wanted to live, so we decided to take a trip out west and see a part of the country unknown to me.  We rented a mini-van for a month, and spent that time exploring Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado.  We traveled at our own pace and explored countless towns, looking for one to call home.  The feeling of freedom from not having a schedule, combined with the scenery of the wide-open spaces and the self-reliant and self-assured people we met along the way, are memories I hold very dear.

What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

Spy Handler, a Memoir of a KGB Officer. I enjoy true stories and this book is a fascinating memoir by the Soviet agent who recruited Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames, two of America’s’ most infamous traitors.  I also am a fan of Sherlock Holmes, so any story, book, or movie involving the fictional sleuth is a must read or see for me.  Did you know there’s a recent book about Holmes and Watson visiting Montana?

Really? That’s quite a fascinating idea!

I know! That’s why I mentioned it.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

I love the movie Overboard with Goldie Hawn.  It has some hysterical one-liners and situations that make me laugh every time.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a vocalist and win a Grammy Award!  As a young woman I studied voice and learned opera with a retired instructor from Julliard.  I used those skills to sing in night clubs, much to her chagrin.  I sang professionally for a few years and even generated some mild interest from MCA records.  Since I was never offered a contract, and it was hard juggling music with a job in law enforcement, I decided to pursue my art, and later my writing, as a career.

 Name two things in life that you wish were easier. 

I wish marketing my book was easier!  I also wish I didn’t have to be so careful with my diet; I used to be able to eat anything without gaining weight.  Now, I find myself passing up some of my favorite foods (is chocolate a food group?) for the sake of my health.

I’d love to know more about your book…

You could watch my book trailer!

Great! Where’s it hiding?

It’s on Youtube!

It’s on SquirrelTube?

Uh… I’ve never heard of that.

Oh. Awkward….
I’m keen to read your book, Nancy. Where can I get a copy? 

It’s available on Amazon or at Hellgate Press, where it’s currently on sale!
Or, you can get personalized autographed copies at www.quinnwildlifeart.com .

Hellgate Press… is that a fire sale?

Haha, no!

Okay. Where can we find you online?Social Media Logos Cutout

My Website: https://nancy442.wixsite.com/quinn

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nancyquinn0/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nancyQauthor

Thanks for being here with me today, Nancy.
See you soon!

Bye for now, Book Squirrel!