The author as a child lived in Lake Charles, near Cameron which is the location of this story, when Hurricane Audrey hit the area in June 1957. She has, through thorough research, and listening to first-hand accounts of the local Cajun-French inhabitants of Cameron, written this heart-rending book. The sheer terror this natural disaster caused could be felt through the pages, as she revealed what it was like to experience first-hand what has been called one of the deadliest tropical cyclones in U.S. history.
Walt LaCour the protagonist, is a twelve years old boy. He lives in Cameron with his mother, younger brother Bobby and baby sister Faye. His father is a drunken fisherman, a man whose dreams have been destroyed, and who enjoys physically and mentally abusing his oldest son, for a reason Walt can’t understand. Avoiding his father, and with recurring drowning nightmares haunting his sleep, Walt’s only true friend and loyal companion is his beloved dog Pooch.
The beach-town of Cameron is located on the Gulf of Mexico, it is a close-knit community, and the village bar is its hub. Like all communities, its inhabitants have lived there for generations, their histories intertwining, memories go way back, and some of the current generations remember the WWII POW Camp nearby, and the impact its inhabitants had on the residents. Walt is to discover that it only takes a photo or a long lost letter to trigger a memory or even reveal a long-buried secret.
It is in the bar that Walt, his family, and friends discover on the news that a tropical storm has formed in the Gulf and is heading straight for them in southwest Louisiana. As the storm is upgraded to Hurricane Audrey, nothing could have prepared the inhabitants of this peaceful beach town for the devastation which was to follow, and the terrible loss of lives. However, it is a fact that community spirit is at its best in an emergency. Cameron’s residents pulled together, saved who they could, grieved, and then, as is human nature moved forward with their separate lives, forever linked by the common bond of the memories they share. For some, moving on is more difficult, and Walt finds himself troubled by regrets, guilt, and unanswered questions. However, one fateful day everything changes when he meets a stranger confronts him, and discovers he isn’t a stranger at all…
Many of us have watched on the television the damage hurricanes cause, however, the true magnitude of the devastation experienced by those who have lived through them is palpable in this incredible story. Walt’s path through life wasn’t an easy one, he suffered tragedy, love, pain, and a myriad of other emotions along the way, however, his and other stories like it deserve to be told, in memory of those who didn’t survive so they too can be remembered.
The author’s descriptive writing brings the swamps of southwest Louisiana, its people, wildlife, and climate to life. From Eli, an idiot savant with an incredible gift for violin playing, to Walt’s mother, a woman whose dream’s and life changed. This fictionalized memoir makes compelling reading and I highly recommend it.
About the Author:
Linda S. Cunningham grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where she experienced firsthand accounts of the 1957 hurricane that killed nearly five hundred people in Cameron, Louisiana. She and her family watched the devastation from their picture window. Her father, who served as Director of Civil Defense for Calcasieu Parish, told her the survival stories and gave her access to the coroner’s pictures that lend authenticity to the novel.
She has a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. She also has a B.S. and M.Ed. in Health and Physical Education from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. She has won awards for screenwriting. She currently resides in Kingwood, Texas.
About the Book:
More than a decade after the end of WWII, the joie de vivre of the Cajun-French culture returns to southwest Louisiana. Spirits are buoyed, and for twelve-year-old Walt LaCour, life is idyllic―except for the caustic relationship with his father. A discovery of a paternity scandal makes Walt wonder if it’s true that a German POW could be his real father. The days before the storm, Walt and his family try to protect his friend’s Stradivarius violin from being stolen until Hurricane Audrey hits taking with her nearly 500 lives and every shred of normalcy Walt had ever called his own.
In this fictionalized memoir, an aged Walt LaCour begins with his childhood desperation to find his roots, firmly believing that knowing his history will bring him a separate kind of peace. As Hurricane Audrey pummels his home town, he braves 20-foot tidal waves and eventually comes face-to-face with his own mortality. Later, as a college student, a mysterious classmate taunts him with knowledge of secrets Walt has never told another living soul, and Walt begins to suspect that there was more to his experience in the hurricane than he ever realized.
An incredible journey back in time to Victorian England.
Readers of this captivating historical novel are taken by
its author, J. L. Crozier, on an incredible journey back in time to Victorian
England. With a fascination with English history, the author as a Masters in
Creative Writing from Melbourne University, and has also won awards for short
stories. Born in Malaya, after having lived in south-east Asia, Burma, Vietnam,
and Australia, she now lives in France with her sons.
The time is 1860, and young Adelaide Broom is like other
girls of her era, shy, yet dreaming of romance and the handsome young men who she
meets and dances with, whilst being carefully chaperoned. However, she soon discovers
that her fate has already been decided, she is to marry the elderly,
respectable friend of her fathers, George Hadley. In this strict period of
history she does her duty, yet, inside she has a spirit which is expressed in
her secret writing, a pastime which allows her to pour out her feelings, and
It is Mr Collins’s sensational (at the time) novel, The
Woman in White, which is to lead to her husband’s undoing. Arriving home and furious
at finding her reading something he considers so unsuitable he, as husbands had
the right to do at that time, beats her. Ironically, it is this action which
causes him to suffer an apoplectic fit, which results in him becoming comatose.
Suddenly the household is very different, and Adelaide has
to learn to adjust to the changes in her circumstances. Now, with the support
of her Ladies Maid Sobriety, this young wife and mother must manage everything,
and keep up appearances, not only for herself, but also her eight year old son
However, as her horizons expands, she soon discovers the
flip side to the perfect world she has grown up in. This is the one which lies
beneath the silver and damask of the drawing room, and instead lives in the
shadows and tunnels below London. In this world which reeks of deception, greed
and treachery, her naivety is cruelly stripped away from her…
This story is more than a story, it’s a real experience! Through
the authors vividly descriptive writing the reader finds themselves in Adelaide’s
shoes, and the pages just come alive!
Beautifully written, wonderfully detailed and entertaining, I highly recommend this outstanding story to lovers of historical fiction.
About the Author:
My first book was 30 pages long and cunningly reversed all my friends’ names to make the characters sound foreign. It worked quite well, I thought, but then – I was only eleven.
Until that point I had been living in south-east Asia – being born in Malaya during the ‘Emergency’, then living in Burma (where the Burmese army and Karen tribespeople fought their battles in our front garden on moonlit nights) and then in Vietnam in the 60s. You’ll recall the war there. My father was a mining engineer until Vietnam, when he, as someone who had worked in the region much of his life and perhaps because he’d a lot of experience in war zones, was employed as an advisor on aid to the Australian Embassy.
Nowadays, I live in France, having moved here after the necessary decades back in Australia doing a variety of things: lots of politics and work on policy, community work, studying and teaching creative writing (I hold a Masters in Creative Writing from Melbourne University and have won awards for my short stories), singing the blues and teaching singing, proof reading, raising my two boys… Why France? Because I went to a French convent school in Vietnam and it all seemed to make sense.
So how does an Australian who lived in south east Asia come to write a book based in London in 1860? Well, I love history, and Australians in the 60s tended to be anglophiles (my family was no exception). I had read my way through the British Council Library in Saigon from the kids’ section to the adults’, including some Dickens and Thackeray by the time I was nine. And I find that period fascinating still, foreign but deeply familiar, especially at a time when the #MeToo movement has hit with such force.
In 1860s Britain there is nothing unusual in a man beating his wife. When George Hadley’s aggression triggers his own stroke and coma, his wife discovers all she thinks of as hers is to pass to her young son Toby. Adelaide seems as powerless as her ladies’ maid, Sobriety.Beyond the strictures of domestic and social expectation, these two women of different class remake the rules to discover what lies beneath the drapes and tassels of Victorian Britain. Life, they find, is urgent, exciting¿ but cheap. Even as they adventure into alleyways, a tunnel and a séance, their innocence is gone.What Empty Things Are These is about what happens to women who look into the face of this newly industrialized and still patriarchal age. Change is everywhere, exhilarating, corrupt, terrifying. Fraud and farce abound. Spiritualists prey on the confused; women are encased in clothing that imply both modesty and sexuality; the powerful prey upon the weak. Adelaide and Sobriety, in their way, show us that every era has secrets that must be uncovered for real social progress.But the truth of the age is encapsulated for them, in the underlying tale of the vulnerable urchin girl, the nameless victim of this pitiless society.
A life-changing journey in search of a magical elixir.
Avraham Azrieli is a graduate of Columbia Law School in New
York and an award-winning author. In this incredible tale, he takes his readers
back through the centuries into Old Testament times and reveals a story steeped
in mystery and intrigue. It stands alone, however, it is the prequel to ‘Deborah
Rising,’ the first in the author’s epic historical ‘Deborah’ series, which tells
the journey of the biblical prophetess Deborah in her quest to fullfil her
Traditionally, in many countries, your career is dictated by
your family heritage, and this is the case for the protagonist in this story, Sall,
who is an apprentice healer, under the instruction of his father, in Edom.
Although highly respected, and essential, his career is not a glamorous one, yet,
his father assures him, it is his destiny
Sall, on the day this book begins, falls under the spell of the
beautiful but unobtainable daughter of the High Priest, and this fires a desire
to be so much more in the heart of the young man, but how can this happen?
Well, the answer lies in the advice of a magical dwarf, Sall
must leave his home and take a dangerous journey to find the elixir of love.
The elixir will not only enable him to win her heart but also achieve greatness
as the savior of his people.
So, fired with determination, Sall sets off with his donkey
and dog. Advised by a merchant to talk to the dream reader, the merchant shows
him the way, and her wise words and the secrets she reveals, open his mind and
strengthen his resolve to continue his journey. It is a journey fraught with danger,
he suffers terrible injuries, trickery, and deceit, yet he also makes friends
and alliances and discovers a lot about himself. Over time, these events change
the boy into a man, giving him morals and the kind of wisdom which can only be
gained through experiences. Until ultimately, as the story reaches its climax,
Sall discovers his true destiny and self.
Throughout the story, the characters each have their own vital part and weave their way through his life. It is a true coming-of-age story and wonderfully illustrates how, whatever century or time we are in, every element and person in our lives impacts us in varying degrees. Yet, it also illustrates how, with determination we can make our dreams come true. Highly Recommended!
About the Author:
Avraham Azrieli’s novel Deborah Rising (Harper Collins, 2016) won the 2017 Illumination Book Awards – Gold Medal for Fiction. It portrays the dramatic rise of the first woman to lead a nation in recorded human history. A graduate of Columbia Law School in New York City, Azrieli tried many complex court cases before his first novel, The Masada Complex (a political thriller) was published in 2010. A full-time author since then, his other books include the Israeli spy novels The Jerusalem Inception and The Jerusalem Assassin, as well as Christmas for Joshua (a family drama dealing with interfaith conflicts), The Mormon Candidate (a political thriller), Thump (a courtroom drama featuring sexual harassment and racism) and The Bootstrap Ultimatum (a mystery involving the commercialization of Memorial Day). He also authored Your Lawyer on a Short Leash (a guide to dealing with lawyers) and One Step Ahead – A Mother of Seven Escaping Hitler’s Claws (a WWII biography, which inspired the musical By Wheel and by Wing). Azrieli grew up in Israel, where he received extensive Talmudic education, served as an intelligence officer and, after attending law school, clerked for the Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem. Residing primarily in the United States since 1990, he currently lives near Washington DC with his wife and children. To learn more, visit www.AzrieliBooks.com
Praise for Avraham Azrieli’s books:
The Jerusalem Inception – “Beautifully and superbly narrated.” The Examiner. “Boldly realistic plotlines and genuine, well-developed characters. Highly recommended!” Yahoo News/Politics. “Protagonist Jerusalem Gerster is the quintessential recruit.” NY Daily News. “Among the likes of the Jason Bourne series and Mission: Impossible franchise, The Jerusalem Inception is a daring piece of literature … airtight research and believability … intriguing … never a boring moment!” Shelf Pickings. “A lover’s triangle, complete with the friction, suspense, and human gratification … Azrieli educates as he entertains … the reader introduced to the secret ways of the Mossad. To those unfamiliar of the living history of Israel, this book is a must. For those knowing the facts surrounding the creation of the Jewish State, this book is an absolute must. Extraordinarily impressive!” Pacific Book Review.
The Jerusalem Assassin – “Action-packed escapade … memorable cast of characters … pages turn as fast as the plot twists and locales shift, taking the reader from Paris to Zurich to Amsterdam to Tel Aviv.” Jewish News. “Reviewing The Jerusalem Inception, I wrote that “Avraham Azrieli’s suspenseful action thriller is an engrossing read and compares favorably with the novels by John Le Carre, Tom Clancy, and Lee Child.” This sequel is far more exiting, and is arguably better than the novels of the aforementioned best-selling authors.” The Jewish Eye. “Keeps readers on the edge of their seats as the author navigates through the twists and turns of religious zeal, political missteps, intense human emotions, and complicated personal relationships … the story of human suffering and redemption shines through as the ultimate theme of the novel.” The Authors Den.
The Masada Complex – “A fast-paced thrill ride. Exciting. The complexity of the characters keeps the reader enticed to see what will eventually become of them. Highly recommended to anyone who loves a good story.” Book Review Bin. “An edge of your seat political thriller from start to finish. A fascinating tale. Filled with surprising twists and turns. Not only entertaining, but also believable. A must read. Literary Fetish. “Brims with gritty authenticity … a genuine treat!” David Liss, author of Conspiracy of Paper, winner of Edgar. “Riveting portrayal of global intrigue!” Stella Pope Duarte, author of If I Die in Juaréz, winner of the 2009 American Book Award.
The Mormon Candidate – “Plotted like a cinematic thriller … a very powerful novel … making his readers as eager as his protagonist in uncovering the truth … sure to keep you up late against your better judgment. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” The Examiner. “A thoroughly entertaining mystery … twists surprise the reader without seeming out of place. A well-written page-turner. San Jose Mercury. “Excellent mystery … will likely draw some Mormons to defensive protestations reminiscent of stormy Catholic reactions to The Da Vinci’s Code. Ben Teller is witty and intractable–you’ll want to stay with him for every flare-up of action and shocking discovery. Timely and provocative novel you don’t want to miss. Dad of Divas Reviews. “New and interesting … unique setting … pushes you forward!” City Book Review. “Tying together church intrigue, electoral politics and Mormon practice. Even-handed, even as [it] deals with the delicate issue of posthumous baptism, anathema to many Jews and a controversial practice in the LDS church. An exciting chase … well-conceived and timely.” The Jewish News. “This thriller gives chilling insight into the lengths that politicians go … fast paced, full of facts, and provides a detailed bibliography. Do you like books like The Bourne Identity or The DaVinci Code? This is a book for you.” Bubblews.com “Part thriller, part mystery, part love story, part religious interrogation … maintains an excellent balance, keeping the reader engaged not only with the current mystery, but the life and progression of the protagonist’s life as well. Never a dull moment!” San Francisco Book Review.
Thump – “A light-hearted romp through sexual proclivities … the characters are lovable … the irreverence is delightful. Thought-provoking. Interesting. Unconventional. Recommended!” U.S. Review of Books. “There is something captivating when we mix spicy sex, lust, greed, and a protagonist that acts with such abandon as long as the end justifies the means. Well-paced plot … a thoughtful and gripping narrative … never a dull moment … highly entertaining.” The Examiner. “Stirring and dramatic…unique look at sexual harassment. Unflinching and unapologetic. Delves into the gritty reality of inner office liaisons. “Thump” is thought provoking and poignant long after the last page turns. I highly recommend it!” Penn Book Review. “Balanced yet thrilling example of racism and sexual harassment in a very realistic work environment. [Not] the classic “young beautiful woman who falls victim,” [but] a young man in his prime. A legal thriller with plot twists that can make your head spinning…this is definitely a book you will enjoy!” Hollywood Book Reviews. “A well-written, attention-grabbing courtroom room drama. Engaging. Realistic. Honest. Provocative. Builds to a climax that rivals other mainstream authors in this genre. A book you cannot put down until you figure out the resolution.” Pacific Book Review. “Thump’s various bold personalities collide over socially fraught questions with stimulating results. A taut courtroom drama that blends issues of race and sexual harassment. Blunt dialogue, a quick pace, and pressing social questions make Thump an engrossing read.” Foreword. “A striking social commentary that will draw readers in. Diverse, timely and thoughtful.” Portland Book Review.
Christmas for Joshua – “In its own gentle way, the book is as much a page-turner as Azrieli’s thrillers – pulling the reader into complex personal and familial conflicts.” The Jewish Journal. Christmas for Joshua is a sensational novel […] filled with religious paradoxes, sure to test any faith. [It is] a wonderful five-star spiritual fiction. Avraham Azrieli proves himself, time and again, to be a popular contemporary writer for our troubled times, as his plots often expose attitudes, beliefs, and actions that contribute to human suffering. Christmas for Joshua is no exception. – Pacific Book Review. “Have you ever been given a gift and unwrapped it, slowly, enjoying the moment, and then discovering yourself deeply touched by what you found inside? Christmas for Joshua is that gift. Through superbly developed characters and a delightfully creative plot, Avraham Azrieli weaves a gentle yet powerful story that closes with yet another gift – the gift of hope. – The Examiner. “This book is the perfect eye-opener. A beautifully written, heartfelt novel.” Bee’s Knees Reviews.
The Bootstrap Ultimatum – “Riveting. It doesn’t get any better than this, folks!!” Sun Francisco Book Review. “The real magic here is Azrieli’s incredible ability to create well-developed characters. The Examiner. “Fast-paced, action thriller … full of heart. An entertaining, thought provoking read … sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats.” Hollywood Book Reviews. “Thought-provoking. Plenty of action make this book difficult to put down. Fans won’t be disappointed. Entertaining.” U.S. Review of Books. “Much more than a fun read. Azrieli’s latest work will appeal to a wide range of readers in its accessibility, fast-paced action, and intelligent storyline.” Pacific Book Review.
A young man’s dangerous quest for a mythical elixir of love wins him not only a girl’s heart, but also immortal greatness as savior of his people. The Elixirist is an exciting adventure that evokes an unforgettable testament to the priceless rewards bestowed on those who follow their dreams. The novel has been compared with such inspiring books as The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield, Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig, and Wild by Cheryl Strayed.