I say this because in traditional writing it is the author who must initiate
the creative process and drive the text. When writing about animals, the author
is free to disengage and allow the critter to dictate the terms.
diminutive, six pound Siamese who has developed a fascination with the
electronic letters and darting cursor that appear on the computer screen. And
she has come to the conclusion that they need to be killed.
efficiency, although it does solve the long-term problem of what to write
about. Writers make deals with the devil all the time, and if no devil is handy
a cat will make a plausible facsimile.
goat. To a goat, acting out is sport, a way to grab attention and pass the
time. That’s another love-hate situation for a writer, who wags his finger
sternly at the bad behavior before going inside and putting it into print. So
when a goat, for example, walks up to a section of fence I am repairing,
reaches up and knocks a hammer off of a fence post just for spite with that
“what are you going to do about it” look, it is simultaneously maddening and
circumstance. A cow, for example, may blunder her way into an entertaining
situation, although she clearly does not realize she has done anything funny. A
couple of years ago, I brought a young bull to our hobby farm to service the
ladies, but he made a poor effort of it. The youngster kept trying to mount the
wrong end of the cow and it wasn’t long before the cows decided they wanted no
children out of a male that stupid. I told the bull not to feel bad, I’d been
in that situation myself.
humor. Every equestrian has been the butt of a horse joke at one time or
another. To illustrate, horses will stand at the far end of the pasture and
refuse to come when called. Se we will walk all the way across the pasture to
get them, at which point they will gallop past us and stand at the gate. They
think this hilarious.
outlets that others do not. For on our homestead, no animal atrocity ever goes
award-winning columnist at Herald-Mail Media in Hagerstown, Maryland. He has
written for numerous history and outdoor magazines and news syndicates
nationwide. He has also authored several books, most recently Strange and
Obscure Stories of the Civil War.
earlier book of his animal essays, ALL PETS ARE OFF, was published, readers
immediately clamored for more. Their preference for animal stories over the
political columns Tim’s also known for is understandable: animals are way more
fun to read about than politicians. Especially now. So here’s a new volume of
over 75 columns, from the introduction to the farm of bovines Cleopatra and
Heifertiti, the Belted Galloway beauties, to the further antics of Hannah the
English Bulldog and Juliet the tiny Siames – and of course, more of the joyful
bouvier des Flandres named Opie – that’s sure to provide loads of smiles and
even outright guffaws.
hilarious. Being an animal lover, I was looking forward to reading this book.
But at the same time, I’ve read many non-fiction / fiction accounts of animals,
which were too personified and didn’t seem real; so I wasn’t sure what to
expect from the book. My first thought as I read the book was: wow, he really gets animals.
Every creature has a quirky, characteristic personality, very different from a
human’s but very striking. Considering I was only ever acquainted with the
various personalities of cats and dogs, I found these essays about all sorts of
farm animals full of surprises.
started at any random point in the middle, and the tales don’t have to be read
in order. It’s the perfect book to take along on a holiday, quick, breezy and
funny. Of course, all the fun aside, it’s also informative, touching and insightful. The only thing that freaked me out is
the idea that all the anonymous animals, whose curious eccentricities we never
get to know, are sent off to the slaughterhouse – it has a strange morbidity to
it, that you just need to be ready to overlook.
on the farm are endlessly entertaining. I found myself constantly chuckling and
copying down things that I wanted to share with my fellow animal lovers.
Halfway into the book I realized I had literally copied down almost everything
I’d read, so I scrapped the idea and decided to tell everyone and anyone who
has ever known an animal: You would love the book! I could guarantee a pet-owner
a lot of fun and the pet a huge “I love you soo much.” and a bowlful
of treats, which mine received once I was done reading this.
I have received this book in exchange for an honest review.
To visit the rest of the virtual book tour stops, visit the Partners in Crime Tours page.
Genre: Suspense, Thriller, Mystery
Published by: Silverhawk Books
Publication on: September 8th, 2011
To win an e-copy of this fabulous book, scroll down.
About the author: A. F. Ebbers, a journalism graduate of Ohio University was a reporter/writer for major newspapers, ad agencies, and in public relations for Cessna Aircraft Company. He also graduated from Army Flight School and flew for the Ohio and Kansas Army National Guards. Later he was called to active duty and served two flying tours in Vietnam. After retirement from the military, he flew for corporations and for regional airlines. A dual rated ATP pilot, he has written for numerous national magazines, Sunday supplements and trade and travel magazines and has written screenplays and short stories. Today he lives with his wife in the Austin, Texas area and, when not writing, enjoys tennis, golf, flying and piano. Dangerous Past is his debut novel.
Summary: Airline Captain Frank Braden and his wife Nicole are suddenly stalked by professional assassins who have a deadline to make their deaths look like an accident or a suicide. And the couple doesn’t know why they are being targeted. They don’t realize that they stand in the way of a deadly conspiracy. Little by little they are pulled into a dangerous web of intrigue by a murderous criminal network that deceptively offers the pilot his wife’s life if he will concede to their demands. This is a thriller that rocks the highest levels of Washington.
Dangerous Past is a story of a man who must choose between doing what ought to be done or keeping his family alive by allowing a murderous and powerful VIP to escape his past.
My thoughts: I think it was Spider Robinson, who said (in Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon) that people should write about things that they know, irrespective of what those things are. I have paraphrased it, of course, what he said was definitely much funnier. I realized how true that was as I read this book. The author’s confidence with his own material is striking throughout the book and that makes it unlike most debut novels. The book is a page turner and can be read in one, exciting sitting.
The suspense is well maintained and quite frustrating (in a good way.) I could never figure out what was going to happen next and the author kept me well on the edge of my seat throughout the book. I loved the climax and the shocking revelations it brought. The theme of the book is also haunting and the title perfectly suits the story. The idea that someone can be so thoroughly framed is scary. The setting is very visual, and I liked the descriptions of Vietnam. The characters are convincing and not overly stereotypical. I liked the dialogue, I think very few authors can write good, realistic conversations.
My only problem with the book might have been the jumps in time and point of view and the confusion caused by them. Another thing was that the plot and action was at times a bit cliched and it felt too much like watching a movie. But in a combo of mystery, suspense, thriller, that is to be expected of most books.
Rating: 3/5 – I liked it!
Giveaway: Answer a simple question right HERE.
One randomly chosen winner gets a free copy of the book. Provide your e-mail address within the answer and I will send one lucky entrant an eBook (format of your choice)!