Review: Moonlight on the Nantahala

Moonlight on the Nantahala
by Micheal Rivers

Product Description (from
His life began deep within the mountains of North Carolina. Edward Caulfield was a dedicated craftsman who appreciated the finer things in his life. As a young man he fell deeply in love and married a beautiful young woman he did not want to live without. Fate took her from him early in his marriage and he lived the rest of his life as a shrine to her. In the twilight of his years he met a troubled young woman and their relationship turned the tide for them both. In his efforts to help her, their lives were changed forever learning from each other. In a world filled with romance, deceit, and sorrow Edward left her a legacy fulfilled with the promise of finding, “The Perfect Rose.”

I have to confess: this book was really difficult for me, not because of the book itself but because I read it around the first anniversary of the death of my nephew, and all those emotions, Edward’s loss of his wife – our family’s loss of a delightful young boy – became intertwined. It made it hard for me to separate the story from my own head, at times.

That said, Rivers has created a really lovely mood with Moonlight on the Nantahala, and the slower pace of a simpler time really brings the reader into his space. The story was compelling, and not so much sad as poignant, and ending on a hopeful note. The level of detail was amazing, and the characters all seemed three dimensional.

Lovely work, well crafted, and I want to see more from this author.

Goes well with a mug of herbal tea and a perfect sunset.

Review: Flight of the Stone

Flight of the Stone
by Chris Thompson

Product Description (from
Flight of the Stone is a fantasy tale full of drama, humour and action along with a little romance.

A desperate Elliot throws a stone to frighten off his pursuers. His actions ignite an alarming chain of events. Witnessing far more than they bargained for, Elliot’s teenage friends Miles and Abbi become drawn into a parallel world laden with excitement, adventure and horror.

As they gradually unlock the hidden secrets of leylines, the three youngsters learn how to travel vast distances in seconds, are terrorised by Fuddles, held captive by the menacing Larc while guided by their virtual mentor, Dylan.

In this other world they discover fascinating things about themselves, the people they live with as well as the world around them. So intense is their journey together they become far more emotionally attached than they ever thought likely.

Much of the story is set in and around the historic town of Christchurch, Dorset, UK and the reader can discover more about the actual places described in the book at Facebook, Flight of the Stone.

My Thoughts:
The WLC provided me with a free pdf review-copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review. It’s worth noting that “Brandon” in the PDF has become “Elliot” in the Kindle edition, which I bought because the Kindle format is prettier. There are a few other differences between the pdf (which is essentially a proof) and the finished book, but they don’t detract from reading either.

I have to confess that I had a difficult time getting into this book, even though I generally like YA fantasy, because we’re introduced to SO many characters (Elliot, Abbi, the Johnson Brothers, Sam, etc.) in just the first few pages. At first it was difficult for me to differentiate them, but within a few pages I was more comfortable with the cast of kids and young adults, and really enjoying the story.

And it’s an epic story. Invisible fields that transport you from place to place (and time), horrible monsters, swords and sorcery, technology, and human guile and wit all combine in various forms to take you into this mad alternate version of the area around Christchurch. At times, I was reminded of the fantasy land in Bridge to Terabithia, and, in truth, there are some similar themes explored in Flight of the Stone, although it’s only in tone and theme that I found them similar.

Overall? An entertaining read, perfect for an imaginative reader of any age.

Goes well with a strawberry cornet (ice cream cone), obviously..