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The Powell's Playlist | June 18, 2014

Daniel H. Wilson: IMG The Powell’s Playlist: Daniel H. Wilson



Like many writers, I'm constantly haunting coffee shops with a laptop out and my headphones on. I listen to a lot of music while I write, and songs... Continue »

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Customer Comments

StephenWright has commented on (20) products.

Settling Accounts Trilogy #2: Settling Accounts Drive to the East by Harry Turtledove
Settling Accounts Trilogy #2: Settling Accounts Drive to the East

StephenWright, November 27, 2007

As World War II explodes, the Confederate States of America attack its neighbor to the north the United States of America; General Patton leads his armored divisions towards the Great Lakes in an effort to split the USA in half before driving to the east. Japan launches an assault on the Hawaiian Islands. Finally Occupied Canada and Mormon Utah see an opportunity to toss out the USA and regain their respective independence.

However, the four prong attack that has caused a multi front war for the USA not only fails to break the morale of the Americans, but actually provides a common resolve to repel the invaders. Even the death of President Smith in a Confederacy bombing raid over the capital Philadelphia fails to deter the Americans as Vice Preside Charles Lafollette takes over. In the Confederacy, President Featherstone continues his campaign to dramatically eliminate the freed slaves by making the blacks build concentration camps for their containment and death. USA War Secretary Roosevelt sanctions devastating reprisals against the Mormons and Canadians with the goal to keep themt from the conflict. War is all over North America once again.

Book two in Harry Turtledove's alternate World War II trilogy, Settling Accounts, is an action-packed saga that grips readers from start to finish. As always is the case in a Turtledove novel, fans will try to find the comparative real event that the author brings into his universe. The story line is fast-paced even when the descriptions of past events that were described in book one, RETURN ENGAGEMENT, are provided. The sub-genre audience will appreciate this appealing entry that makes the Turtledove universe seems like the real one.
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The Time of the Uprooted by Elie Wiesel
The Time of the Uprooted

StephenWright, November 27, 2007

In 1939, Germany is cleansing Czechoslovakia of the Jewish problem forcing the Friedmans to flee their home for Hungary. The Nazis soon march into Budapest where they continue to implement the final solution. Hoping to keep their son safe, the Friedmans leave their child Gamaliel with a young Christian cabaret singer Ilonka. She keeps him safe until the war ends. Gamaliel ultimately leaves Hungary and settles in New York.

Though residing in America for decades, Gamaliel feels displaced, a man without a country. Family life failed him as his wife committed suicide and his daughters hate him and he lost all contact with Ilonka years ago when she seems to have vanished. Work is unfair as he ghost writes for others to gain accolades. He has five fellow lost souls, who can tell interchangeable survival tales and only having to substitute names because their stories are identical. His only solace is the manuscript he has written Secret Book; life is miserable as he feels like a drifting refugee with no place to call home until a doctor asks him to talk with an ailing elderly woman who only speaks Hungarian.

Nobel Prize winning Elie Wiesel provides a well written but bleak look at the plight of the nation-less displaced people who once removed from their roots never find homes. Gamaliel is terrific as he reflects back on his melancholy life as a symbolism of all the refugees dislocated and relocated at the whims of the powerful and never knowing when if ever to settle in anticipation of the next dislocation. This is a desolate look at humanity even with a somewhat uplifting climax.
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(10 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)



Match Me If You Can by Susan Eliz Phillips
Match Me If You Can

StephenWright, November 27, 2007

Sports agent Heath "Python" Champion decides he needs a societal acceptable trophy wife to further his career. The agent of football superstar Kevin Tucker (see THIS HEART OF MINE) does not want to go through the motion of finding someone or bother much beyond the superficial when it comes to the courting ritual. He hires Portia Powers of Power Match, but she wants to control his every move.

He then turns around and hires cute but wacky Annabelle Granger, who recently inherited her grandmother's matchmaking business. Between the two companies Heath meets a horde of eligible lovely women, but none of Chicago's finest is good enough for him. Instead he begins thinking of attractive Annabelle who he finds very kissable when they are not arguing and even more kissable when they are. However, Annabelle is the last person a social climber wants by his side so he keeps asking himself why does he want to make a permanent match with the madcap matchmaker?

Heath and Annabelle are a fun couple due to their vigorous spats, their vivacious kisses, and finally their undisputed conclusion that each is wrong for the other's career goals. In other words love is a wonderful irritating nuisance. MATCH ME IF YOU CAN is a fine animated contemporary romance starring a delightful duo.
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(13 of 22 readers found this comment helpful)



Rorey's Secret by Leisha Kelly
Rorey's Secret

StephenWright, November 27, 2007

Though life has been hard during the Depression, Samuel and Julia Wortham have weathered the storms through faith while raising their children. The Worthams believe they are blessed as they and their children have been healthy, they still own their Dearing, Illinois farm, and the two remain very happy with one another and with their children.

However, in 1938, disaster strikes at the farm of their close friend and neighbor George Hammond when a fire destroys much of his property. After the blaze is put out, but not before much damage to the crops and the barn occurs, everyone begins to wonder what caused the inferno. Most people believe Franky Hammond set the fire except teenage Sarah who feels Rorey caused the disaster as they share a secret that both keeps silent about even as their families struggle with a new beginning with only their faith in God keeping them going.

Six years have passed since the Great Depression impacted the Wortham and Hammond families (see KATIE'S DREAM, JULIA'S HOPE AND EMMA'S GIFT) and the children in those tales are now adults or teens. However, the message remains the same though told from new perspectives; that when things seem bleak, hopeless, and darkest salvation and solace is with the Lord. The story line is exciting as readers observe varying viewpoints about the fire and its aftermath. Americana Historical Christian readers will enjoy this fine tale of salvation after the brutal test of fire.
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(12 of 21 readers found this comment helpful)



Giver of Roses (Guardians of Gadiel) by Kathleen Morgan
Giver of Roses (Guardians of Gadiel)

StephenWright, November 27, 2007

The enemy has laid siege on Astara in the Kingdom of Gadiel with only Prince Vartan Karayan standing in the way of conquest. Though physically and mentally exhausted, Vartan continues to lead the counterinsurgency until he is betrayed and subsequently critically wounded in combat left blind to die. A Hylean Lady Danae, who escaped from abusive religious tyranny, saves his life.

When Vartan recovers his health including his sight his outlook has changed as he feels a bond with his nurturer though he still struggles with the truth turning towards Danae's God. When the Dragonmaids invite Danae to join them she believes she has found her life's calling. However the price is high as she has fallen in love with Vartan; he makes her decision harder because he not only reciprocates her feelings but needs her at his side praying to the true God to enable them to save his people.

The queen of romantic fantasy Kathleen Morgan returns to her regal roots with GIVER OF ROSES, a terrific saga filled with religious symbolism and starring two courageous, battle fatigued champions trying to overcome impossible odds to save their people and each other, not necessarily inclusive. The story line is action packed from the moment Vartan falls in battle, but also insures the relationship between the healer and the patient and their beliefs in the true God evolves. The audience sees the dilemmas and choices that the two heroes must face though that insight at times diminishes the epic proportions of the plot. GIVER OF ROSES is a fine tale with strong spiritual parables that sub-genre fans will cherish.
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(10 of 19 readers found this comment helpful)



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