Monday, May 23, 2016

Hangtown Creek - A Tale of the #California Gold Rush - First Paragraph / First Chapter / Tuesday Intros and #TeaserTuesday

    In this epic saga, John Rose Putnam paints a real and gritty picture of life in the Gold Rush era through the stories of each of his characters. A red-haired woman, her husband and son dead from cholera; two army veterans; a widowed man and three sons; three ruthless killers - all of them heading for California. Their quests make for a gripping tale.
    My reading tastes are eclectic, and a good book will keep me up late at night, reading when I should be asleep. That was definitely the case with Hangtown Creek. Putnam drew me into the world of gold panning, saloons, traveling by horseback, and much more with his excellent storytelling, filled with memorable characters, vivid description, and historical detail. I'll be reading more books by this talented author.   

Genre: Historical Fiction / Western
Length: 288 Pages
Amazon Link: Hangtown Creek
Author Website: John Rose Putnam

First Paragraph:
Fall 1846
    The earth, rutted deep from hundreds of wheels, churned raw by thousands of hooves, bore witness to the recent passing of a large immigrant party - all save one battered wagon that sat alone and untended, a loose pot clanking in the cold north wind. Here the trail followed the Truckee River, strangled by a long, dry summer into a trickle of shallow pools, and looking as pitiable as the forlorn wagon.
[Read the rest of Chapter One on John Putnam's website: HERE]

Teaser from 13% on my Kindle:
    All week she had watched them as they mined along the creek. The older one, gray showing in his hair and beard, reminded her of her father, but it was the other one, the tall one with the broad shoulders, who had brought her hope, the same slim hope she carried week after week.

Synopsis:
The majestic landscapes of Brett Harte's California unite with Larry McMurtry's epic old west realism in an explosion of love, lust, murder and betrayal that comes to a powerful climax along a beautiful stream, home to the largest strike in the mines, where a burning barn ignites the passion of a gold rush boomtown and, in one dark night of revenge, earns that stream the name it bears to this day—HANGTOWN CREEK.


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Jenn of Books and A Beat. Post two sentences from somewhere in a book you're reading. No spoilers, please!

First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile By The Sea. To participate, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you're reading or thinking about reading soon.



Twitter: @SandyNachlinger
Facebook: sandy.nachlinger

Friday, May 20, 2016

Little Library - Saturday Snapshots

While hiking in the Seattle area, I came across a nice surprise. A Little Free Library! Looks like this one has a good selection.


I posted a photo of another Little Library located in Woodinville on an earlier Saturday Snapshots (HERE) Have you seen these around your neighborhood?


Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.
To enjoy a variety of beautiful pictures from around the world, 
click HERE or on the box below.  

West Metro Mommy Reads
To participate in Saturday Snapshots: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) 
have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on the host blogsite. 
Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Lie That Tells A Truth - The Friday 56 and Book Beginnings on Friday

   When my husband and I lived in Miami, I attended the Miami International Book Fair every year, and more than once I heard John Dufresne speak. What a great teacher he is! I wish I could have taken his classes at Florida International University. But at least I have a copy (autographed) of his book on writing. 
   Not only do I enjoy Dufresne's laid-back writing style, I appreciate the exercises he includes. At the end of the book is a chapter dealing with grammar, usage, punctuation, and mechanics - the craft of writing. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to write.
Genre: Nonfiction / Writing
Book Length: 298 Pages
Author Website: John Dufresne, Author

Book Beginning:

[There's an introduction, but I'm beginning with the first chapter]
Getting in Shape
     You wouldn't be here if you didn't want to write, so let's write. We'll chat later. Get out your pen and paper or fire up the computer. Pour yourself a coffee. Unplug the phone. Once you start, you can't stop. Give yourself a half hour. Relax. Don't think too much. You're starting a journey, and you don't know where you're going. But you do know you're going someplace you haven't been before. Take ten minutes for each exercise. Here we go.

The Friday 56 (from Page 56 in my hardback book):
Remember that our figures of speech, our metaphors, our way of looking at the world all come to some degree from our jobs. What a farmer thinks of the landscape may be different from what a miner thinks, a developer, a factory worker.

Synopsis (from Amazon):
     Finally, a truly creative―and hilarious―guide to creative writing, full of encouragement and sound advice. Provocative and reassuring, nurturing and wise, The Lie That Tells a Truth is essential to writers in general, fiction writers in particular, beginning writers, serious writers, and anyone facing a blank page.
     John Dufresne, teacher and the acclaimed author of Love Warps the Mind a Little and Deep in the Shade of Paradise, demystifies the writing process. Drawing upon the wisdom of literature's great craftsmen, Dufresne's lucid essays and diverse exercises initiate the reader into the tools, processes, and techniques of writing: inventing compelling characters, developing a voice, creating a sense of place, editing your own words. Where do great ideas come from? How do we recognize them? How can language capture them? In his signature comic voice, Dufresne answers these questions and more in chapters such as "Writing Around the Block," "Plottery," and "The Art of Abbreviation." Dufresne demystifies the writing process, showing that while the idea of writing may be overwhelming, the act of writing is simplicity itself.



Want more? Here's a TED talk by John Dufresne.


                


Anyone can participate in Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56.
Click HERE to connect to other Book Beginnings posts (sponsored by Rose City Reads) 
Click HERE to join other Friday 56 bloggers (sponsored by Freda's Voice)


Twitter: @SandyNachlinger
Facebook: sandy.nachlinger

Friday, April 29, 2016

Cougar Mountain #Hike - #SaturdaySnapshots

Another hike - this one in Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park near Newcastle, Washington. My FitBit says I walked 8.36 miles during that 24-hour period (which also includes walking the dog around our neighborhood), and my legs believe it! On this hike, the trail was lined with blooms - bleeding heart, trillium, and fern just starting to unfurl.
[Click on photos to enlarge.]
Western trillium (trillium ovatum)
Bleeding heart (Dicenta formosa)
Western sword fern (Polystichum munitum)


New spring leaves created a bright green canopy overhead. 
They really were that green! Trails are well-marked and 
maintained by volunteers.


Though most of the trails took us through forest, this one overlooked an open area that was once a clay pit.

We crossed this narrow plank over a creek in single file. 
Thank heavens for the sturdy railing!

Lunch break at Coal Creek Falls.


Here's our route.
Here's a little history of the park and a reminder of the Cold War years:
In the 1950s and early 60s, two active Nike missile sites were located within the park’s current boundaries, in order to protect the Puget Sound region from potential air attacks. Eventually, these sites were decommissioned, and in the late 1960s, King County took over ownership of the land that would later become Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park.

More info about this park (a colorful brochure) HERE


Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.
To enjoy a variety of beautiful pictures from around the world, 
click HERE or on the box below.  

West Metro Mommy Reads
To participate in Saturday Snapshots: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) 
have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on the host blogsite. 
Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you.