Welcome to Feathered Quill Book Reviews, a place for readers to find their next treasure.
Along with reviews of many well-known titles, this site also searches out unique books
from small, independent presses.
Feathered Quill Book Reviews prides itself on giving the reader an honest, unbiased critique of each and every book on its website.
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and discover many wonderful gems in the world of books.
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By: Henry Mosquera
Publisher: Oddity Media
Publication Date: March 18, 2014
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date:" March 4, 2015
Henry Mosquera has set pen to paper and ignited a fire of fantastic reading in his latest novel, Status Quo.
Lemat is more than a brilliant story teller. He knows how to spin his thoughts onto paper and captivate his audience while doing so. Sadly, Lemat is no different than the thousands of other first time authors in the world. His long road of ‘not yet’ ahead of him before he would be blessed with the Holy Grail of getting published was a road paved with more than a fair share of challenge. This didn’t deter Lemat from taking his personal leap of faith with a decision to leave his native South American roots and migrate to America—America...his land of opportunity. How is it he found himself in such a golden and opportunistic place, yet he settled into the drone of office work and mundane existence? Perhaps it’s what authors endure in order to land the sweet deal via the next Great American Novel about to be birthed. Lemat’s plan was to take the graphic design job for a few months. It would pay the bills and ease financial pressures while he penned his masterpiece.
The life of a successful writer wasn’t ramping up quite as quickly as Lemat had envisioned. This is to say until he met the stranger in the grey suit at his favorite watering hole one non-particular evening after yet another less-than-stellar day at work. Lemat’s life as the writer he was destined to be was about to unfold. It never occurred to him that the sublime suggestions the stranger offered up would give more than cause for pause in launching his career. How unfortunate for Lemat he would not realize the full brunt of his writing compromises until he reached his point of no return.
With the myriad of writers on our planet today, how glorious it is when I have the great fortune of receiving a diamond in the rough. Such was the case when I drew the lottery and received this winning title: Status Quo by Henry Mosque. This is not his first novel and while I have yet to read any of Mr. Mosque’s previous work, upon finishing Status Quo, I absolutely will take the time to immerse myself in Sleeper’s Run (also by Mr. Mosquera). I did not have a mindset of comparing this author with known writing royalty, but have to say throughout my read of Status Quo, I often found myself comparing his style with one of the great writers of our time: Gabriel Marquez. Akin to Marquez’ style, Mosque has an innate way of placing words that deposit his reader into a cocoon of absolute reading bliss. There is passage upon passage of prose that creates a sense of sailing along the ocean on a perfect and cloudless day—the wind propelling the reader along and the reader simply enjoying the ride. The dialogue is fantastically crisp and unquestionably real. The characters are everyday people with everyday issues and their cohesive element is they were all destined to play a role in Mr. Mosquera’s story and play it well they did. Bravo Mr. Mosquera. A truly interesting and thoroughly enjoyable read!
Quill says: Status Quo is a must read for any writer who has embarked upon his or her journey toward publication and refuses to give up because eventually, great writing does find its way into the reader’s hands.
Shirley, I Jest!: A Storied Life
By: Cindy Williams (with Dave Smitherman)
Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing
Publication Date: May 2015
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: February 24, 2015
Cindy Williams of the famed Laverne and Shirley late 70’s sitcom, teams with Dave Smitherman and delivers a bittersweet recollection of when her life and Hollywood joined forces.
Coming from all-American, traditional, middle-class American values, it’s no wonder Cindy Williams would find her comfort zone in Hollywood some day. Before the birth of Laverne and Shirley in the late 70’s, however, Cindy got her taste of stardom in the iconic George Lucas film American Graffiti; surrounded by many up and coming Hollywood icons like Ron Howard and Harrison Ford.
With the assistance of her co-author, Dave Smitherman, the two set out to deconstruct Cindy’s acting life and step it forward to how she arrived at where she is today. Through a series of chapters that play out like a succession of one memorable moment after another, Ms. Williams takes the reader on an enviable trip down memory lane. There aren’t many people from a generation past who can relay a story of one particular night while waiting tables at the Whiskey a Go Go where she was punk’d by the late, great "Rider of the Storm," Jim Morrison. To take the light fantastic even more unbelievable, quite the experience to pen on one’s resume to tout she shared the stage with Gene Kelly; singing a duet of “You Wonderful You” at the Pasadena Playhouse (even if she was standing on his foot while sliding and gliding along to his lead).
Ms. Williams sets a positive tone early on with a heartfelt Forward written by Ed Begley, Jr. This book is a mere 163 pages, yet has a multitude of engaging accounts. Ms. Williams has shared what are clearly many fond memories she has gleaned from her Hollywood life. With the added input from Mr. Smitherman, the two work in beautiful tandem throughout Shirley, I Jest! The chapters have a natural transition from one to the next and there is no drag from one story as it lends way to the next account. The matter-of-fact tone can be heard—heard so clearly at times, one can feel the smile on Ms. Williams face when recounting certain periods of her acting career. As an added treat, there are a handful of photos from Laverne and Shirley days gone by that will take the reader back to that time when two girls who worked at a brewery in small town Wisconsin were just making their way and Americana was eating every second of the innocence up. Thanks for the memories Ms. Williams and I too have a special place in my memories for Boo Boo Kitty.
Quill says: Even if you don’t know who Laverne and Shirley are, Shirley, I Jest! will find its way into that part of you where melancholy lives and capture your interest throughout this read.
The Man I Love
By: Suanne Laqueur
Publisher: Cathedral Rock Press
Publication Date: June 2014
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: February 17, 2015
Suanne Laqueur delivers a 579-page, can’t put down, don’t want to put down, sparks flying from fingertips with the turn of each page, delicious body of work in her debut novel, The Man I Love.
Erik Fiskare (‘Fish’) was a guarded boy. He had every reason to be; especially after his dad went out one night never to return home again. Did I mention Fish was five at the time? That alone could have been the defining moment for Fish to make the decision to never amount to much. The thing is, however, his mother was still there. Perhaps it was her kind and creative soul that nurtured Fish into young adulthood without too many ‘isms.’ Little did he know that Daisy Bianco was waiting in his future. Side-by-side, they would weather life’s lessons and perhaps what wouldn’t nearly kill them, could possibly make them stronger.
Fish didn’t have big college dreams. Rather, he flew just enough under the radar to keep moving forward. It is when his grandfather dies in his junior year of high school and leaves him and his brother a windfall of money, in the fall of 1989, that Fish finds himself stepping onto the campus of Lancaster University. The stars were aligned in near perfect order and he was in pursuit of a technical theater minor in the University’s conservatory program… and along comes the lithe and mystical beauty with the perfect dancer’s body: Daisy Bianco.
I believe the very essence of a blockbuster story happens before the author has put pen to paper. The premise percolates as a memory and its calling haunts the subconscious. When the plot finally rises above the subconscious, so has the time come to write and a gifted writer knows the moment. This is who Ms. Laqueur is; a truly gifted writer connected to the words she writes. Laqueur has a precise and specific command with her word placement. Her fluid development of character Erik (Fish) Fiskare convincingly beckons the reader to latch on and a natural familiarity takes over: “I know this guy...” Laqueur is patient. She allows generous amounts of real estate (pages) to showcase Fish and once she is certain her audience has connected with him, the page is turned and the scene is set for the introduction of someone new. Enter, stage left, Daisy Bianco. The entire process is sprinkled with the perfect balance of sublime nuance for the reader to relish in his or her ‘aha moment’—the moment of clarity and knowing that these two anchored beings were more than a destiny when it came to meeting each other. There is nothing cheeky, predictable or cliché about The Man I Love. Rather, it is a story that speaks to its audience and masters the art of the purpose of a great book. Laqueur’s endless flow of prolific prose, dialogue and rich character development simply translates to: she has nailed this story. I would like to be so bold as to say: ‘Nicholas Sparks! Meet Suanne Laqueur. She’s coming like a steamroller and her engine is: The Man I Love!’ Well done Ms. Laqueur. Please tell us you are working on your next novel!
Quill says: The Man I Love boasts raw writing talent and is a tremendous example of what a great read is supposed to be: the perfect escape!