Sunday, July 1, 2012

1st Edition, July 1, 2012

Madam Librarian Recommendation
Trish Hull /Manager Magna Library

Liver Let Die 
by Liz LippermanThe title almost put me off at first, because I hate liver. Rest easy, the book has nothing to do with liver. (Well maybe foie gras does play a prominent role). Anyway, this gem of a mystery had me laughing and confused the whole way through. This first novel has lots of twists and turns with a thoroughly engaging heroine who you can’t help but root for. This is a great variation on the chef as detective cozy. I may actually try these recipes, especially Rosie’s potato chip chicken.

Author Spotlight Liz Lipperman

Canyonland: Liz can you tell our readers a bit about yourself, please.

Liz:  A retired nurse, I began writing as a hobby over twenty years ago. Until recently, I thought I was a romance writer despite the fact that my stories all had bad guys and murders. When my agent broke it to me that I was a mystery writer, I argued, but in the end I knew she was right. I was born and raised in the Midwest, but I’ve lived in Dallas for enough years to call myself a Texan. When I’m not writing I spend my time with family and grandchildren and anything that even resembles sports. Read the rest of the interview...
Check out the book nominations to the right! Read them and be prepared to vote for your favorite. Canyonland Press will be having their first annual Readers Choice Awards. So read up!
Setting – The Canvas of the Story
By Amy Durham

Obviously, I read. A lot. And since you’re here, you probably do too!

My family and I just returned from a two-week vacation out west. We drove from our home in Kentucky to San Diego, California, and took time to enjoy several really amazing places in between, such as the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas (If you don’t know what it is, Google it! It’s SO cool!), the Grand Canyon, and several other Route 66 attractions. In San Diego, we saw the Pacific Ocean in all it’s glory… the flat, sandy beaches of Coronado, the rocky cliffs of La Jolla, and the simple beauty of the Silver Strand. During the trip, we saw farmland, desert, mountains, coastal areas, cities, small towns, Native American reservations, and many different walks of life.

As a reader and a writer, it made me really think about the importance of the setting in a story. I love such a variety of settings in the stories I read, but what makes the story come alive is when the setting becomes such a part of the story that it’s a character itself.  Perhaps is a story set in New Orleans, and the descriptions of the food and the quirky phrases used by the characters make the setting such a strong presence. Or maybe it’s a book set on the coast, and the sounds of the ocean waves and the smell of the salty air transport me to another place for a while. Or maybe the green fields and craggy cliffs of Scotland give me a glimpse of what life is like there.

Whatever the setting of a book, it has the power not only to drive the story, but also to offer readers an escape. It imbues the story with its personality, creates an atmosphere in which the characters can interact, react, grow, and overcome. It becomes the canvas on which the rest of the action comes to life in brilliant color. It creates for the reader a space to “crawl into” in which to experience the story along with the characters.

My trip across the country, where I experienced such different landscapes and ways of life than I’m used to in my every day life, gave me the opportunity to think about the books whose settings have truly captured me and the authors who’ve so skillfully integrated the settings into their stories. It made me appreciate the fact that although I haven’t traveled extensively, reading books in various settings can take me to exotic and amazing places. And it made me even more aware of the way the setting of a story can truly become another character.

If you have a favorite type of setting, or even a particular book that used setting in a beautiful way, we’d love to hear about it!

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