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Don't Rush Me

The soul of a woman is dead locked

Local authors shine.

May 11, 2011 - Over the years I have been asked what types of books I like to read. I am honest when I answer. I like pulp fiction. I like cheap dime store novels. I like good guys (or gals) and bad guys (and gals). I enjoy good versus evil and I prefer the good to be tested, pushed the end and then, prevail over evil.

In other words, I am a simple man, with simple tastes.

I stopped reading works of literary genius after two "Lit" classes during my years of education at Clarkston High School. After that, I reckon I was done reading Upton Sinclair, T.S. Elliot, John Steinbeck and the like. (Though, I still like Mark Twain and Edgar Allen Poe.) I enjoy tales of monsters, cowboys, detectives, police, journalists and intrigue. Basically, escapism. Nothing heavy or too thought provoking. I don't want to expand my mind anymore than my skull can contain.

You can call me the White Trash Reader. I do. And, one of these days when I grow up I am gonna write some cheap pulp fiction.

So, with all the writing I do for newspapers, I also enjoy reading works of local authors. I like to ask them questions, not about their book, but the process. One question I asked Independence Township resident and book writer, B. David Warner was, "Do you get to write off all travel expenses when you research a book?"

The answer was, "Yes." (So, all you folks wanting to save money on next year's taxes, start researching your own book and save your receipts.)

Two weeks ago, I read two local books . . . one, by Warner was right up my alley, called Dead Lock. The other, was down a road I rarely travel – this one by Oxford Township resident E. Tomarke is called, Soul of a Woman . . . Soul of the Land. I actually enjoyed both books but for different reasons.

* * *

Soul of a Woman . . . Soul of the Land, contains a message, wrapped up in novel form. It's 538 pages long and follows the life of a woman named Lina. Lina makes interesting choices as she matures and the story follows her growth as a woman, mother and American citizen. I don't want to give away the plot, so here's what is on the back cover: "Her life is a microcosm of a greater ordeal, a lesson she learns when the words of a man named Bear manifest: What one does the the soul of a woman, ones does to the soul of the land . . . a truth that becomes crucial when the economy crashes."

I started this book and read a little each night until I finished. It wasn't something I could zip through. So, if you want a book to take your time and soak with, give it a whirl.

* * *

Dead Lock, is just under 240 pages and I read it in two nights (in between starting and completing Tomarke's Soul book). I guess you can say that makes it a fast read. It also is about a woman – a good-looking, tough Detroit Times reporter, Kate Brennan. The story is set during World War 2, and in two locations, Detroit and Sault St. Marie.

Here's what the back cover says: "Reporter Kate Brennan narrowly avoids a mob hit and travels to Sault Ste. Marie to work for her uncle's newspaper. Investigating a murder, she runs headlong into a Nazi plot to destroy the Soo Locks and stop Allied war production cold.

This is Warner's second book, and a third is on its way – another Kate Brennan story. Said Warner, "They always say, 'a writer has to find his or her voice.' I found mine and it's the voice of 30-year-old woman."

Take that for what you will. It's a good read.

* * *

What I liked about both, is that in both, Michigan plays a major roll. In Soul, Michigan's current economic conditions; in Dead Lock, the state's historic past is the backdrop (the Soo was the most heavily guarded place on the continent during the war, as the raw metal ore used to construct the arsenal of democracy passed through those locks.)

* * *

I will let you all know when I publish my book, so you all can take pot shots at it! Send your comments to, don@shermanpublications.og

Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: don@dontrushmedon.com
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