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text 2016-10-22 05:52
#5 - Forest - an exploration of wild things, wild places and intimate relationships
FOREST - Love, Loss, Legend - Rod Raglin

How I came to write my fifth novel, Forest - Love, Loss and Legend.

 

My fifth novel was being written in my head even before I put anything on paper (more precisely typed anything into my laptop). It was the residuals of past works.

 

Left over from The Big Picture - A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic was my research into the drug war in Mexico which my heroine Freyja covered as a photo journalist. I'd also done some investigating of failed states and civil wars throughout Africa where she was going on her next assignment. Added to that was my fascination with war correspondents and how they cope with a steady diet of death, destruction, chaos and hopelessness.

 

I also wanted to delve deeper into intimate relationships - what attracts us, what keep us engaged and what are the impediments to long lasting relationships? I'd touch on this in my previous novels with the turbulent romances between Freyja and Marty, and Freyja and Miguel in The Big Picture, and Dieter and Maggie in Not Wonder More - Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients. I wanted to explore further how different values, different cultures, timing and circumstances impact on how, who and when we fall in love - and if it lasts.

 

I set this book in the Pacific Northwest of Canada - perhaps one of the few areas on the planet where there still are vast tracts of wilderness. Where, behind an impenetrable wall of green it was as my hero, Matt Bennett says, “easy to imagine no human had ever set foot a hundred metres on either side of the road. Species could come to life, thrive and die without anyone except God ever knowing they existed.”

 

This land is a place of legend and mystery and if you're born and raised here and take an interest in the wild things and wild places as I have, well, there's no end to fascinating tales with just enough substantiated fact to whet the imagination. Two of which I incorporated into this story.

 

Here's the blurb that introduces the novel.

 

Matthew and Raminder are young, idealistic and in love.

As soon as they can they plan to leave behind the small town and small minds of Pitt Landing. They will embrace life and experience the world, maybe even change it.

Man plans, God laughs. Raminder’s father has a stroke and her commitment to her family means she must postpone her plans and stay in Pitt Lake. It’s just the opposite for Matt. A family tragedy leaves irreconcilable differences between him and his father and forces him to leave.

They promise to reunite, but life happens.

Twelve years later, Matt is an acclaimed war correspondent. He’s seen it all and it’s left him with post-traumatic stress, a gastric ulcer, and an enlarged liver. He’s never been back to Pitt Landing though the memory of Raminder and their love has more than once kept him sane.

He’s at his desk in the newsroom, recuperating from his last assignment and current hangover and reading a letter from his father, the first contact they’ve had in over a decade. It talks about a legendary lost gold mine, a map leading to it, and proof in a safety deposit box back in Pitt Lake. He’s sent it to Matt in case something happens to him and cautions his son to keep it a secret.

Matt is about to dismiss the letter when the telephone rings. It’s Raminder telling him his father has disappeared somewhere in the wilderness that surrounds Pitt Lake.

Lost gold, lost love and lost hope compels Matt to return home to Pitt Landing, a dying town on the edge of the rainforest on the west coast of Canada. Will he find any of these, or does something else await him?

 

This novel also gave me an opportunity to revisit one of my central themes - the environment, specifically the protection of endangered species and forest conservation.

 

Quite inadvertently it also turned out to be a mystery.

 

Forest - Love, Loss, Legend was released in January 2015 with no expectations. Sales have been dismal despite the handful of very flattering reviews it has garnered.

 

Perhaps because it was told from only one point of view, Forest was easy to write. Too easy. I resolved that my next book would be more challenging in format and content.

 

You can check all my published work at my Amazon Author Page at

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

 

30

 

 

 

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review 2015-10-03 04:44
Gotta love a good thought experiment!
The World Without Us - Alan Weisman

Some books that you read make you question everything. Alan Weisman's The World Without Us is definitely one of those books. The book seeks to answer the question 'What would happen to the world if humans were to disappear?' I've read books that look at it from the flip side of the coin where humans have destroyed the planet to such a degree that humanity can no longer be sustained. It was interesting to look at the reverse. Weisman looked at the issue from a variety of viewpoints. He looked at the evolution of humans and their impact on the megafauna and megaflora of the planet. His point there was that although much of the animals and plants were eradicated by us, variations of these have survived into present day. Therefore, if humanity were to disappear nature would find a way to carry on and maybe another kind of humanity would take our place. He also looked at the damage we have done through chemical processes (I'm talking nuclear) and whether or not the planet's remaining inhabitants could survive. He went to a variety of places where it was as close to being primeval as possible (Kingman Reef) and also those places which were irrevocably changed by us (Chernobyl). He spoke to scientists of all disciplines (many of which sound like amazing careers that I need to look into immediately). It was a thoroughly researched and thought provoking read and I encourage anyone interested in conservancy and ecology to go and give this book a shot.

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2015-09-18 18:39
The Complete Package - Island Secrets by R T Wolfe
Island Secrets (The Island Escape Series, Book 1) - R.T. Wolfe

Review_TourBanner_IslandSecrets

 

The vibrant yellow color on the cover of Island Secrets by R T Wolfe jumped out at me and made me check this out further. I do judge a book by its cover, at least my first impression. The cover can make me read on or pass it over for the next book.

 

I love stories that have anything to do with the water, so as I read the blurb, I wanted to read it even more.

 

Cover by ebook Prep

 

Island Secrets by R T Wolfe

 

MY REVIEW

 

I recommend this for adults due to the sex scenes. They are not necessarily erotic, but more romantic and important to the story.

 

OMG, a tropical island, treasure, murder, mystery and romance. Island Secrets is the complete package. Once I started, I could not stop until the last sentence was read.

 

Zoe is a boat captain and was a scuba instructor and guide, until she sold out to Dane after the death of her brother. She felt the guilt for letting him dive alone and was determined to find out what happened. She would not rest until she found his body.

 

Zoe can be a bit pushy, lol, which is putting it mildly. She refuses to be kowtowed to and coddled. She is not a hardcore, kickass ninja type, just independent and tough.

 

Dane is a treasure hunter. So why did he buy the business and why isn't he out finding treasure? I think we know. He found Zoe infuriating and, oh so, desirable.

 

The small town cop was lazy and incompetent, but ruled his domain like a king. Ilbis Island is a small community and like all small towns, everyone knew everyone's business. So...what's the big secret?

 

What a job, cruising on the Gulf, watching the dolphins frolicking, checking out the birds at the sanctuary and I sure do wish I was on the tour with Zoe.

 

The dance scene with Dane and Joe was sizzling HOT! When they finally hooked up, I couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief. I won't call this is a spoiler, because we all know it is going to happen. The sexual tension had been so thick you could cut it with a knife.

 

I love that R T Wolfe included all the wonders of Florida, not just the gorgeous turquoise water, but the bird life, loggerhead and green turtles and the need to protect them and the sea oats and dunes that help to save the beaches the casual way they dressed, half naked, the open air bars, the pleas to not on the dunes, use special lights so the turtle don't go the wrong way when they emerge from the sand.... It's as if I am living the life, well I pretty much am. It is all so familiar, except the skull and the murder. When Zoe walked on the beach, I felt the sand between my toes, the water rolling over my feet and the breeze heavy with salt in the air, coating my skin.

 

skyline bridge copyright

 

I have driven over the Skyline Bridge, just to say I did it. It is a beautiful view, with miles of water and I was lucky enough to be there at sunset.

 

I was so engrossed in the book I could not put it down until I found the answers I knew wouldn't come until the end. What a fantastic journey it was. I wanted to sit at the bar with Dane, Zoe and her family. I wanted to lick my wrist, sprinkle the salt, lick the salt, down the shot of tequila and suck the lime wedge, chatting about what we did that day. It brings back such good memories to me. I have been there, done that, all while looking out over the Gulf and enjoying the salty air.

 

I loved this book, the writing was descriptive and detailed, putting gorgeous pictures in my mind. The mystery is still alive for Book II, but Island Secrets story was told. I received a copy of Island Secrets by R T Wolfe in return for an honest and unbiased review.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 5 Stars

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

BLURB

 

When Zoe Clearwater learns that the skull she found in an underwater cave is her missing brother, she sells her scuba diving business, Sun Trips Touring, and dedicates herself to unravelling her brother's mysterious death. Dane Corbin, the new owner of Sun Trips, is determined to prove to Zoe, now his employee, that he is not the womanizer he once was. But it'll take more than profit to turn Zoe's head. Her investigation at a standstill, Zoe unearths letters from a secret lover among her brother's possessions, along with plane tickets, a promise to run away to safety, and the painful realization that she'll need Dane's help. As mercurial clues plunge Zoe and Dane into a life-threatening pursuit and the truth burns brighter and brighter, Zoe recognizes she needs Dane as much as her brother's un-named lover needed him. But Dane will have to make it to safety, first.

 

Amazon / Google Play / B & N / iTunes

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

EXCERPT

 

The muscles in his body reflexively tensed as he recognized the faint shade of dark blue that tinted her fingers and lips.

 

"Hey." His hair dripped water on her face as he maneuvered over her and gave her a shake. "Zoe. What the hell? Are you okay?"

 

Her eyes rolled in his direction. She looked as if she'd seen a body. "Don't call me Babe," she croaked.

 

An unwanted smile spread across his face and, despite himself, he brushed the strands of hair from her smooth cheek. Checking the area, he spotted her pure oxygen tank under the boat dash. As he crawled to it, he noticed the expiration date was months away. At least she followed some rules. Her hand swatted him as he maneuvered the nosepiece under her nostrils.

 

"I feel fine," she whined.

 

"You won't soon. You ascended too quickly. I can tell. Breathe this, or you're going to feel it."

 

Of all things, she lifted her arm like she was checking for her frigging camera. Her lids closed when she spotted it on her arm. He hoped it was a sign of defeat as he slipped the oxygen tube around her head.

 

He glanced over his shoulder to make sure all was well with his boat, then searched for her cell in her bag. He couldn't leave his divers, and he couldn't leave Zoe. Knowing what he was doing, she grabbed his hand and shook her head. Cats' eyes the color of the green water pleaded with him.

 

"I've got a boat out, Zoe. How do you think I found you? I have six divers in the water. I can't leave them there with only my assistant."

 

She let go and her eyes drifted closed again. Life was much easier before she talked him into buying out her business, before she started working for him.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

ABOUT R T WOLFE

 

AuthorPhoto_IslandSecrets

R.T. was born and raised in the beautiful Midwest, the youngest of six ornery children. She married at a young age and began her family short after With three amazing small boys, life was a whirlwind of flipping houses and working two jobs in between swim lessons and Candyland. Now that her boys are nearly grown, R.T. spends much of her time on the road traveling from one sporting event to another serving as mom and cheerleader. She works to assist the several non-profit organizations that have supported her books and promote the work they do for those who cannot help themselves. Website / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

GIVEAWAY

 

R.T. Wolfe will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 

ENTER THE RAFFLECOPTER HERE

 

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found HERE.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~

To see all my Reviews, go HERE.
To see all my Giveaways, go HERE.

If you like what you see, why don’t you follow me?

animated smilies photo: animated animated.gifLet’s talk.

~~~~~~~~~~~~


Thanks for visiting!

Source: www.fundinmental.com/the-complete-package-island-secrets-by-r-t-wolfe
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review 2015-06-29 21:49
Bees, butterflies, and being a better human being
A Buzz in the Meadow: The Natural History of a French Farm - Dave Goulson

A Buzz in the Meadow: The Natural History of a French Farm was a logical choice. (Its predecessor, A Sting in the Tale, which focused on bees exclusively has now been added to the list.) This book focused on Goulson's quest to recreate a meadow with biodiversity of fauna and flora on a plot of land (used to harvest cereal before his purchase) he bought in France. Not only was he hoping to play his part in conservation by starting this project but he was discouraged by the limited resources of his university for conducting wildlife experiments over extended periods of time and hoped this would remedy that problem. He has gone to great lengths to learn as much as he can about the creatures and plants that inhabit his small paradise. Each chapter begins with a small journal excerpt  from the summer months when he and his family live on the property. (These are typically humorous or wistful in turns.) The book was divided into parts which covered his cultivation of the meadow, different plant and animal species and their behavior, his work with bees which was covered in his first book extensively, and ecological conservation. It wasn't written in dry, academic jargon so the layperson should feel comfortable enough to give this book a shot. If you're curious about the mysteries of the natural world or want to dip your toe into conservation/environmental sciences  then I definitely recommend this book to you. (Also, I think we should all read A Sting in the Tale together.)

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2014-12-04 00:10
For the Animals
For the Love of Lemurs: My Life in the Wilds of Madagascar - Patricia Chapple Wright

A natural storyteller, Wright brings the geography and culture of the island of Madagascar to life, through anecdotes.

 

Celebrated primatologist Dr. Patricia Chapple Wright returns with part 2 of her heartening memoirs. The owl monkeys that changed her life’s direction in High Moon over the Amazon: My Quest to Understand the Monkeys of the Night have been succeeded by leaping lemurs of all stripes. With For the Love of Lemurs: My Life in the Wilds of Madagascar, Wright takes us on the mother of all field trips, deep into the Madagascar rain forests, where she starts out looking for evidence of a possibly extinct species and ends up advocating for the protection of an entire ecosystem.

 

Wright’s initial mission, at the behest of her employers at the Duke University Primate Center, is to find evidence of the greater bamboo lemur, which hasn’t been spotted in decades. She wastes no time in getting started and sets the lively tone of her journey in the first few pages by quickly whisking us off to Madagascar. Finding the elusive lemur becomes only a small part of Wright’s activities on behalf of the animals, the land, and the people of the island.

 

Though organized chronologically, covering Wright’s work from 1981 to 2008, this is not a dry history of the region but a first-person account of trials and triumphs. When Wright accepts the choice meal offered to her as an honorary elder, for instance—zebu liver, heart, hump, and testes—we learn about the community and Wright’s boundless respect for the culture. When Wright’s daughter, Amanda, interacts with a lemur called Pale Male at an intimate distance of only one meter, we witness the exhilaration that can follow the hours of mind-numbing tracking and watching that the scientific team endures.

 

Wright’s work ultimately led to the establishment of the Madagascar Ranomafama National Park, which spared 160 square miles of rain forest from being cut. For the Love of Lemurs offers an honest and hopeful example of how scientists, governments, and regular people can join together to make a real difference for the planet and all of its inhabitants.

 

For Foreword Reviews, November 27, 2014

Source: www.forewordreviews.com/reviews/for-the-love-of-lemurs
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