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New Reads for November/December 2014
The Horse That Looked Different (Create Space, 2014)
by Stacy Einfalt
Children's stories can be many things — sweet or scary, funny or sad — but behind each flavor there is an intent to educate a child dealing with the challenges of life. Such tales can be traced back to Aesop and his famous fables. Remember the tortoise and the hare?
Stacy's charming book follows this model with the tale of a horse of a different color, or better stated, colors. It is a good things she illustrated her work, because words would fail to explain this odd being. But the, Appaloosa's just look that way.
Focusing on little Lexi, the youngest of two, also is a wise choice as there is a special connection between girls and horses. When Lexi finally reaches the age when she can have her very own horse, she names him, Starlit, for the markings on his rump.
Unfortunately, horses are not as forgiving as little girls and the other chestnut-colored horses wanted nothing to do with this odd creature. But when Starlit comes to their aid, the lesson is learned — bullying is the wrong thing to do, whether by horses or humans.
An Appaloosa was very prominent in Stacy's young life. "Gotcha and I really grew up together," she says. In fact, while she was writing and illustrating the book she would look out the window and watch him grazing in the pasture. Sadly, Gotcha passed away while she was finishing the book; a picture and dedication to him is in the front of the book.
"My father was an oil painter and I have always enjoyed drawing and art," Stacy explains. "And getting my art work before the public has always been a dream of mine."
Since the book came out, Stacy has been busy with readings for children at libraries and schools. "This past summer when I was doing a reading at a camp a woman came up to me with her daughter. They related to the book as the girl was being bullied." Stacy was not subject to bullying as a child, but her older brother was and saw what he went through. For her work in this field, Stacy received the Toyota Tribute to Working Women held in cooperation with ABC News, Channel 7, Washington, D.C.
She has another story within her, but will not be able to work on it until she finishes illustrating a book for the Texas-based imbullyfree.org.
Available at: amazon.com, createspace.com, and Turn The Page Bookstore in Boonsboro.
Senate Magic (High Street Press, 2013)
by Jeanne Mozier
Whew! Get ready for 600 pages packed with everything from a down-to-the-wire political campaign, to Rhode Island history, fashion, a psychic, both Cuban and Italian Mafia-like organizations, and tantric sex (those curious about the latter can Goggle it). To say that this book will keep you reading to the end is no understatement.
There is so much going on in this novel, yet it is easy to keep track of these well-defined characters. It follows the year-long campaign of Kiley (Kat) Tomasso who is running for a Senate seat in her native Rhode Island (sometimes known as Rogue's Island). The storyline draws in a cast of characters from her closest friend Roxy — who hasn't seen a man she won't head to bed with — to Max, whose magic influences her personal and political decisions. There is also an array of aides who accompany a candidate on the campaign trail, each with their own agenda. Throw in a love story hidden until the climax is reached, a mobster or two threatening bodily-harm, and you have all the makings for a captivating read.
Whether Kat achieves her goal is up to you, dear reader, to find out.
The campaign is based to a certain extant, on reality, according to Jeanne. She worked on a Senate campaign in Rhode Island, and without naming names, moved to the state to work for her candidate. "This was my first book, originally written in 1990," says Jeanne. "I would drive to Washington, D.C. to pick up movies for the Star Theater in Berkeley Springs, W.VA.," she recalls, "and as I was driving I would outline a chapter, pulling off the highway to make notes."
However, she was then unable to find a publisher and became "bored with the difficulty." So she decided if she couldn't move the book, she would take another tack and become famous enough that a publisher would respond. Following that path, she has been active at the local and state levels in West Virginia, and organized many events that have put Berkeley Springs high on the list of destinations, and produced a number of travel and historic books, including "Way Out in West Virginia," now in its fourth edition.
The "magic" comes from her background as an astrologist; "I own some 30 different decks of tarot cards,": she adds.
Jeanne is now working on a definitive history of the Berkeley Springs Castle, is a founder of the Museum of Berkeley Springs, and a local historian. She and her husband still run the Star Theater.
Available at: Turn the Page Bookstore in Boonsboro, amazon.com, senatemagic.com, and stores in Berkeley Springs.