Settling the Wind, Mountain Tack Publishing an e-book copyright and written by Kari August.
This is a novel “Based on True Stories in Frontier Colorado” and is the tale of a young woman who has just lost her husband and moved to the Colorado territory in 1875. Her family are concerned because she seemingly had been relatively sheltered, but having sufficient means, she had purchased a cabin, decided never again to become attached to another after loss of her great love, and decided to be an entirely independent woman. The story evolves as she encounters the hardships of attempting even to survive on a developing frontier. However, along the way she gathers a collection of stray and misfit animals as well as of a motley crew of individuals whom she forms into a formidable group of helpers; forges close bonds with other settlers and reencounters a childhood friend who is able to replace the lost husband. Her greatest problems stem from an Englishman who is attempting to claim all of the land she has, as well as that of some other settlers, a sneak attack by the drunken husband of a Cheyenne woman she has taken in, and birth of a child in most formidable circumstances.
Discussion: The author has set forth, in a quite pleasant manner, numerous amusing bits and charming stories based on the lives of some historic western settlers and their activities. Her depiction also of the protagonist as a’ nice’ person doing nice things and reaping the awards of such action is an additional enjoyable feature of the book. Her depiction of the harsh life faced by settlers of frontier country, as well as some of the protagonist’s activities, regrettably from this reviewer’s perspective, is another matter. Granted she has alluded to the never ending work required simply to live and to the rare occasion when sufficient time could be found to spend a few hours for a pleasant ‘get together’. Generally speaking however, the realities faced by early western territorial settlers are quite superficially presented.
Summary: Description of settlement in the ‘old west’ with a quite superficial presentation of the hardships but with abundant accompanying humorous scenes and an unusual romance.
4* For readers who enjoy historic romance minimizing harsher reality.
Accidents Happen, first published 2017, an e-book copyright and written by Sharon Karaa.
Plot: Tabitha Brownlee, last minute shopping for her upcoming wedding, witnesses a horrible automobile accident where one of the boys is thrown through the windshield. She runs to his aid but is struck on the head by a huge sign whose support has been weakened in the accident. Mort, a ‘collector-of-souls’ (formerly referred to as a ‘grim reaper’) delivers the coup d’grâce so she won’t feel the blow. Unfortunately, she is not due to ‘crossover’ for a long time. She arises from her body, argues with him while he is trying to replace her (her soul) back into the body. She is a martial arts black belt, pushes him, he lands in her body, it is zipped-up and that’s it. She is directed to the counter that handles distribution of collected souls and referred to Death (a heavy drinking old man who doesn’t like to be disturbed), to plead her case. She is assigned to work with another collector Cooper, a handsome hulk, who is a seemingly more or less permanent collector because of a story of his own. From here the reader is taken on a journey following Tabitha as she functions in her role, all of the while awaiting her call to be returned to her body that now contains Mort, the overanxious collector who messed up to begin with. Numerous other zany situations occur during soul collecting assignments and with her mother, who seemingly is hopeless mentally incompetent but loves to ride her motorcycle although not licensed, and the mother’s attempted clandestine interrelationship with Mort, who now is in her daughter’s body. Through it all, a mutual physical attraction gradually develops between Tabitha and Cooper, although hampered by her expected marriage to John as soon as she is restored to her own body. Further understanding of the situations only can be gained by working one’s way through the complicated case.
Discussion: The basic theme of and approach to, this fascinating tale, as well as its presentation, is quite engaging. Regrettably for this reader, the tale began to ‘bog down’ somewhere a little beyond mid-story, a situation that judicious editing, and especially of the extended interplay between Tabitha and Coop, would easily have corrected. However and parenthetically, an end note by the author offers intriguing insight to the author’s thought processes and adds a rather delightful touch to the story. She tells of how elevating she finds it to be by simply looking at the many good ‘little things’ that happen during a day. She then concludes “Because it’s all about perspective. It’s all about the little things. And so to close, I’d like to wish you all a hundred little things. May your day be filled with them, and may they infect you with happiness.”
3* 5* amusingly engaging tale; judicious editing needed to enhance enjoyment.