Looking for a good book?
Published: Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at 1:42 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at 1:42 p.m.
Looking for the perfect reading material for cold winter nights?
Petaluma is home and has been home to many authors, so you might want to consider a locally written read. Here is a small sampling of a few Petaluma-grown authors who have released books in the past year.
The Rampage of Ryan O’Hara
Petaluma author James Pera is a former police officer with the San Francisco Police Department for 30 years.
In his latest novel, “The Rampage of Ryan O’Hara,” he tells the story of an Army Green Beret who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Out on medical leave, O’Hara’s decides to travel around the country to take out former members of a Marxist domestic terrorist organization responsible for the murder of his grandfather, a San Francisco Police Sergeant, four decades earlier. The novel is available at Amazon.com.
Penngrove resident Shelby J. Hotz’ book “Destination: Michigan” delves into the myth and mystery of Bigfoot, Sasquatch, the Alligator Man, El Chupacabra, the Jersey Devil and other creatures of legend. “Destination: Michigan” is about 15-year-old Riley Roswell and a summer vacation that turns out to be anything but ordinary.
Hotz first started writing in sixth grade when her teacher liked the story she wrote so much that she asked her to read it to the principal. Encouraged by this, she spent a good portion of her free time throughout junior high and high school penning plots for short stories. Her first major endeavor was a 17-chapter fan fiction book, a sequel to one of her favorite movies. She began writing “Destination: Michigan during her freshman year and finished it right before her last year of high school. She is working on the sequel and intends to add a third for a three-book series. The book is available through Copperfield’s Books and Amazon.com.
I Heart Sonoma
Daedalus Howell’s “I Heart Sonoma: How to Live & Drink in Wine Country” offers irreverent, but loving verbal snapshots of “Wine Country” depicting the world of vineyards, tasting rooms, and wine aficionados, taken with a dark and comedic zoom lens.
Howell, 40, was born in Santa Rosa and grew up in Petaluma. He credits Petaluma’s Copperfield’s Books Store with providing him his first validation as a writer. In his early teens his writing took the form of homemade pamphlets called “chap” books. They had card-stock covers and were held together with two staples. Copperfield’s allowed Howell and other young authors-in-the-making to display their novice efforts in a professional retail setting. Howell’s “I Heart Sonoma” is available through Copperfield’s Books and in paperback and Internet versions at Amazon.com.
Lipstick and the Leash
Camilla Gray-Nelson, a Petaluma dog trainer and owner of Dairydell Doggie Dude Ranch and Training Center is author of “Lipstick and the Leash: Dog Training a Woman’s Way.” Because the vast majority of the dog-owning families leave dog responsibilities to women, Nelson felt it was time to put together a guide to help women properly train their canine by learning to establish boundaries and be a leader — instead of yelling and becoming upset. Nelson’s book is available through Copperfield’s Books and Amazon.com.
Correct Me If I’m Wrong
For those who need a refresher course in writing, you may want to check out grammarian Arlene Miller’s latest offering, “Correct Me If I’m Wrong.” A Petaluma Junior High School English teacher, Miller is also author of the handy guide, “The Best Little Grammar Book Ever,” which she has used in her classroom. In her second book, “Correct Me If I’m Wrong,” Miller offers an easy-to-use, easy-to-understand guide that contains the most common grammar, punctuation, and word usage problems. It includes a special expanded section on comma rules. Also explained is the difference between “I” and “me,” “who” and “whom,” “lay” and “lie,” “like” and “as if,” “further” and “farther,” “compliment” and “complement,” and many more. The book is available through Copperfield’s Books, Amazon.com and through Miller’s website, www.bigwords101.com.
The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets
Former Petaluman Kathleen Alcott also released her first novel this year, “Dangers of Proximal Alphabets.” Alcott’s novel challenges the definition of family and explores the intricate ties that bind people together. The story is about the relationship between three teens — Ida, James and Jackson — who grow up together, but find maturity and life pulling them apart. Alcott’s book is available on Amazon.com.
I’ve Got Some Lovin’ To Do
Former Penngrove resident Julia Park Tracey released her first book this year, “I’ve Got Some Lovin’ To Do: The Diaries of a Roaring Twenties Teen.” A 1981 Petaluma High School graduate, Tracey got her start in writing with the Petaluma Trojan student newspaper and the Petaluma Argus-Courier. Tracey’s great-aunt Doris Bailey kept a journal of her life, and in this book Tracey shares a portion of the journals, which capture a year in the life of a precocious teenager in the rapidly changing world of the mid-1920s. The book is available through Copperfield’s Books and Amazon.com.
Bluegrass Baseball: A Year in the Minor League Life
Throughout the years, major league baseball has played a huge role in shaping America and its families. Year after year, dedicated fans come together to celebrate the sport, following their favorite teams, discovering new friends and enemies along the way. But what about the minor leagues? Have they played an equal role in America? Journalist and author Katya Cengel chose to delve deeper into the lives of minor league baseball players and see how the minors are so much more than a minor detail in the major game of baseball in her new book “Bluegrass Baseball: A Year in the Minor League Life.” Cengel grew up in Petaluma and worked as a summer intern for the Petaluma Argus-Courier in 1996. She fell in love with journalism and has since gone on to work as a feature and metro reporter for the Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper. It was there that a story ignited her interest in baseball. The book is available through Copperfield’s Books and in a paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon.com.
The Ambush Master
In “The Ambush Master,” Petaluma author Michael Delisi weaves the story of Marco, an American who travels to San Jose, Costa Rica in search of a new life after a painful divorce.
What should be a relaxing time turns dangerous when Marco falls in love with Suzanne, the ex-wife of “El Culebro,” (The Snake) a Panamanian drug lord. When El Culebro comes looking for Suzanne, he is none too happy to find she’s moved on with Marco. To make the situation worse, El Culebro is out to destroy Suzanne’s brother-in-law, who has acted as a whistleblower on a money-laundering scheme involving Colombian politicians and misappropriated U.S. foreign aid.
A building contractor for many years, Delisi’s vacations to Hawaii fueled his desire to explore even more exotic places, such as Central and South America. While the scenery was inspiration in itself, it was a lack of what he felt was good reading material that pushed him to write a novel.
“I met many people on the road that inspired me to create a story,” he said. “And once I had the story, I spent many years fine tuning it. The more I worked on it, the more excited I got. I think after I had the complete story, I realized that maybe it was good enough to share with other people.”
“The Ambush Master” is available for purchase through Copperfield’s Books as a paperback or for download as an e-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Lulu.com and iTunes.
Jane Austen and the Archangel
Petaluma author Pamela Aares has released “Jane Austen and the Archangel,” the first book in the “Angels Come to Earth Series.”
Before becoming a romance novel author, Aares was an award-winning writer, producer, and director of PBS documentaries, including “Your Water, Your Life” featuring actress Susan Sarandon and the NPR radio series “New Voices.”
The novel is about the famed author Jane Austen and how a mysterious man, who turns out to be an angel, offers her inspiration to write about love.
“Jane Austen and the Archangel” is available through Copperfield’s and on Kindle and audibook formats at Amazon.com.
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