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Welcome Fellow Book Dragons

Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten. G.K. Chesterton

My name is Drakon T. Longwitten. This is my introduction to you, fellow Book Dragons. Like myself, you may also devour books. I will have a Gem each day, a different facet, a bit of a menu if you will, to help you plan your next literary feast, the next Gem in your Treasure Chest.

Because we Dragons lead such busy lives, damsels to capture, knights to roast, villages to terrify….I am going to give the days of the week monikers, then you can follow at your leisure, perhaps while picking a well roasted highwayman from your canines.

We will also have giveaways and contests on my Facebook page, Tales From The Book Dragon.

Mystery Monday: Dedicated to Mysteries, Thrillers, Suspense

Tea Time Tuesday: Dedicated to Cozies, Light Romance, Comfort

Whimsical Wednesday: Dedicated to Oddities, Journals, Art, Music

Throwback Thursday: Dedicated to History, Classics, Memoir

Freakish Friday: Dedicated to the Macabre, Monsters, Magic

Saturdays Child: Dedicated to Faery Tales,Creatures, Pretend

Sacred Sunday: Dedicated to Our Creator, Faith, Hope, Charity

I hope this brief missive has peaked your interest. I hope you drop by at least once a week or more. The best Authors will be here. . .I will also be opening my Treasure Chest and giving away some of the contents at times.

You can drop me a line and let me know how you like the fare, suggest menus for my feasting or if you are an author (my favorite taste in people) please email me at talesfromthebookdragon@gmail.com

See you soon..until then fly high and fan your flames!

Throwback Thursday

2 Flames

Welcome to Throwback Thursday, my Fellow Book Dragons. Tonight is when we go back in time to revisit the past, sometimes the long ago past and sometimes the more recent. Tonight its the more recent. The late 1990’s to be exact.

Tonight we have not a Gem, but a mere stone that wanted to be a Gem but didn’t quite make the grade. I wanted to like this book, I really did. I gave it every chance. Our stone cutter, Saeed Jones however, was young and what should have been an interesting story (I do love a good memoir) became a whining rant about not being accepted for who he was, and that he couldn’t be himself around anyone. In “How We Fight For Our Lives” the person he wanted to be was a homosexual male. Unfortunately, he didn’t know what he really wanted himself. He admitted he wouldn’t let anyone else be themselves, either.

Saeed admits he was very “in your face” about his sex life in college. He was very graphic to the point many of his friends began to avoid him. It has been my experience that most people are reserved when it comes to speaking to this part of their life, except for extremely immature people. Normally, once their friends begin to use a bit of peer pressure they realize it’s not okay and stop. Saeed admits he did not stop and his behavior became more outrageous. Here, his story turns very sad. He engages in extremely dangerous situations and unsafe sexual encounters, to the point that one man tries to kill him.

His family interactions are grievous as well. His mother is not comfortable with discussing this, but he has admitted, she doesn’t talk about much of anything as she is a private person. She gives him as much a blessing (for her) as she can, but he is not satisfied with this and continues to try to engage her, even though she has made it clear she doesn’t want that, but neither does she shun him. She has a serious heart condition and though he says he cares, he must at some point have realized this would cause her great stress.

At this end of the day, it comes down to this for me. It is my belief that we, as adults, be we Dragons or Humans, choose whatever path, habits, lives, and other choices we want. We reap the rewards and the consequences of these choices. We do not have the right nor the ability to make other people accept them, embrace them, want them nor live them for themselves. Only when we accept that they are ours and ours alone, have we become mature, thinking adults and ready to truly accept who we are and live the life we so readily say we are fighting for.

Until tomorrow, I remain, your humble Book Dragon,

Drakon T. Longwitten

I received a copy of this book from Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review.

Whimsical Wednesday

5 Flames

Good Evening Fellow Book Dragons! Tis Whimsical Wednesday, that day of the week when we find the odd, the weird, the magical or the down right different. This evening’s Gem is round, and cut like a disco ball, the light dances off it’s many prisms and it just makes you happy looking at it. Our Gem Maker is Gia Brainerd, whom I admire very much. It must take much patience and skill to create a puzzle Gem.

Each one is a different skill level: easy, medium or hard. There are 100 puzzles to solve, including trivia, word search, scrambles, matching games, mazes and more. This book could keep One busy for hours. This particular book is about the music of the 1970’s. It is an era I remember well and I had to sit and puzzle until “my puzzler was sore” to quote Dr. Seuss (an old friend of mine) before I could get a few of the trivia questions. I have been buying puzzle books for quite awhile and with the exception of Penny Press’s England’s Best Logic Puzzles, this is the best one I have experienced in ages!

If you are looking for something to help fill these long Autumn evenings when you are taking a break from feasting upon books, this is a lovely way to do that. And we do have the holidays approaching, this would make a lovely gift for the Puzzle Pack Rat on your list. I know a certain ’70s music aficionado who is getting one of these this year!

This is available at Amazon now! Ms. Brainerd you have done a fine job and I hope to see you do many more!

I received a copy of this from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Tea Time Tuesday

4 Flames

Top o’ Tea Time Tuesday to you, My Feasting Friends. I hope you have found a Gem or two to fill these Autumn nights as they grow longer and longer, I would love for you to leave a note about what you are currently reading. Our Gem this evening is similar to an Opal. It is mainly pastels of blue and pink with dashes of dramatic yellows and greens thrown in here and there. It’s Gem Maker is one who is familiar to us, Erina Bridget Ring. This Gem is Diapers, Drama and Deceit. It does not disappoint for it lives up to it’s name. There is plenty of all three of it’s D’s.

This story starts with Ava, a new mother again after ten years, strolling through a local park with her month old Nestling, after dropping her older ones at school. She meets another new mother and they strike up a conversation over the normal mommy things in common: lack of sleep, feedings, stains and other maternal woes. They instantly like each other and decide to meet again in the same place tomorrow. Then, they run into more mothers and their circle grows, the only constant for awhile being the huge Wedding Ring quilt that Ava inherited from her husband’s aunt, that the babies use as a play mat.

It becomes a Baby Group for several new mothers in the neighborhood, 20-30 somethings who need support, advice and actual adults to talk to and to support each other. As with any group there are the polite, soft-spoken, let’s-take-it-easy-and-get-to-know each other types, but then there are also the odd balls. What I like to call the “pearl makers”, those people who add grit and grime to a group and will irritate the others into becoming their better selves. They will cause the people with negotiation skills, compassion or wit to come out of their shells and break the ice or the tension or stop the group short of murdering the “pearl makers”..lol.

Of course there is Ava, the default coordinator. Janel, the first member and stay at home mom. Sonja, quiet and unassuming, but a stand up gal when push comes to shove. Taylor, whose life is a train wreck and whose sense of boundaries is about as good as a wild Mustang on the open range. Ruthanne, whose little door that tells One when to shut up or not say something it stuck wide open. Yes, prickly Ruthanne of the mini skirts, low cut shirts and as much tact as a 20 year Merchant Marine. And several others.

I liked this book. I don’t like drama in my own life, I avoid it like the Black Plague..but I like reading about it. This was a fun book and amazing how many of these people I knew back when I was actively employed out in the world…brr..happy to be spending tons of time with my books, in my cave, my Mate, my grandnestlings and my nice secretary who comes by on occasion or calls me to get the days entry ready to type for me. It’s so hard to type with claws, you know.

If you like, or even love drama, a good laugh and a bit of fun in awhile, pick up this book. It has all the fun of a good, old-fashioned soap opera with none of the commercials or never ending story lines or melodramatic actors. Until tomorrow, I remain….

Your humble Book Dragon, Drakon T. Longwitten

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Mystery Monday

5 Flames

It’s Mystery Monday my Fellow Book Dragons. Time to shake off the drear of the work day and sink your fangs into something a bit more robust. This Gem is the color of blood stained Blue Grass, moistened with the tears of those who mourn and those who were left in the wake of a gang of ruthless killers.

One of these killers was former prison guard, Sherry Hodge. Another, her former prisoner at Brushy Mountain State Prison in Tennessee, also her husband, Benny. The others were hangers’ on. This group was more dangerous and deadly than the Timber Rattlers’ and Copperheads that live in the hills and hollers of Kentucky. Their lawyer, Lester Burns, a celebrity throughout the mountains, known for his chutzpah and taste for the finer things in life, as well as his corruption, did nothing to stem the tide of crime the gang was bent on.

Gem Maker, Darcy O’Brien, brings their ten year crime spree to life again. I liked this book mainly because O’Brien does not glorify their crimes. He makes them out to be as wicked, cruel and seedy as they actually were. He lays bare Benny and Sherry for who they were and how they were and lets the reader judge for themselves what happened.

If you love true crime, as I do, get this book. It was listed as one of The Best History Books of 2018. Read it and you will agree. For sale on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other fine book stories.

Until tomorrow, I remain, your humble Book Dragon,

Drakon T. Longwitten

I purchased this book at a library sale.

Sacred Sunday

5 Flames

Salutations on this Sacred Sunday my Fellow Book Dragons. I hope yours has been a blessed day. Our Gem this evening is awe inspiring. it is the deepest blue in color with strains of a brilliant, glittering silver-white running through it. This is a stone that has come from afar. It has traveled long, hard journeys. Hold this Gem and you will feel wisdom, and sadness and compassion. This is Cilka’s Journey and it’s Gem Maker, Heather Morris, is an artisan. You may know her from another Gem called The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

Cilka is an innocent young girl thrust into the bowels of a Hell called Auschwitz. At the mercy of the guards she is made to do the unspeakable by the monstrous guards who run the camp, and yet God uses what they mean for evil to do good. He gives Cilka an opportunity to use her natural compassion and intelligence to help the women in her cell block.

After the liberation, Cilka is sent back to Russia, where, because she is not listened to by the Russian Army Officers nor the NKVD, she is eventually sent to a Gulag, where again, God uses her talents to help others. Cilka is intelligent. She speaks several languages. She is educated. She can read and write and is a quick study. She has self discipline. Cilka is an amazing woman.

I loved this book. Cilka Klein is a new heroine of mine, I admire her very much. My only regret is I never got to meet her. I would love to have. Her grit, determination and intelligence, along with her compassion, make her a woman One cannot help but love. How I wish I could give her a hug and a cup of tea, a medal and do something kind for her. The women she cared for and protected, the women she fought for, oh to have spoken to them.

Please get this book. Cilka is a modern day Esther. Cilka teaches us once again, that we all may very well be born “for such a time as this”. Cilka is on sale now, everywhere fine books are sold. Buy one for yourself and one for a friend. But be warned, buy a box of tissues and put the kettle on, you won’t want to put this down until you are finished.

Until tomorrow, I remain, your humble Book Dragon, Drakon T. Longwitten

I received a copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday’s Child

5 Flames

Salutations on this Sunny Saturday my Fellow Book Dragons, it has been a lovely, crisp Autumn day here. I hope you have had a good day and if you spent it with you Nestlings or Grandnestlings, then I know it was. Our Gem today is a cold stone, black and just holding it gives one a feeling of abject anxiety and misery, this stone should only be held by an adult, no child should draw nigh. So why is it today of all days that this stone is held up to be observed? Because this stone is all too often thrust at a child or children far too long before they are capable of wielding it. And adults must beware and be vigilant at all times to protect these tiny lambs from being hurt. This is a true story, not a Fairy Tale, though there are monsters, evil and heroes and heroines.

This is the story of Sophia and her family. It is laid wide open before us by Gem Cutters Courtnie J. Christensen and Angela E. Powell. Gem Cutters, not Makers, for this Gem had to be cut from The Mountain of Sorrow and Confusion. Sophia is only nine years old when her mother marries a member of a religious militia cult. The family, Sophia, her Mother, her four year old sister, Eva and her 14 year old sister, Sapphira leave their home, their dog and their security behind to follow this man into the dark unknown.

The children are taken on a 10 month quest to find “God’s Kingdom here on this Earth” by the leader of the group. They are subject to neglect, starvation, physical abuse and other tortures that most people would not allow a dog to go through and yet, despite their mother’s protests that she will keep them safe, when push comes to shove, rarely does she come through. But there are moments of respite. There are kind people along the way. People who give them food, succor, a kind word or deed or pat on the back.

I liked this book, it’s raw honesty, the down to earth writing style and Sophia’s spunk make this an endurable read, but be forewarned, you will need a tissue or two at a time and you will probably need a breather now and again. Once upon a time, I worked with abused Nestlings and I must say this book rings true, all too true. This is not a book for children. Older adolescents may get much out of it.. especially those fifteen and up who may be vulnerable to the message around them as an eye opening experience. Parents, Counselors,Teachers, Medical Staff, Law Enforcement, First Responder’s, Prosecuting Attorneys and Social Workers should definitely read this book. It should be a must for anyone working with children in those capacities.

It goes on sale in three days on Amazon and Apple, remember to get yours and maybe an extra copy or two for your school, church or office.

Until tomorrow, I remain, Drakon T. Longwitten, Your Humble Book Dragon

I received this book from the authors in exchange for an honest review.

Freakish Friday

4 Flames

Finally Friday my Fellow Book Dragons, I hope the week has been kind to you. I want to give you a friendly reminder that today is my birthday and I hope you have entered the contest for my birthday on my Tales From The Book Dragon Facebook Page. There are two winners this month in honor of my 555th birthday. Ah, now let us get to the task at hand, this little Gem. When we first look at it, it’s fiery green and it sparkles, yes? It shimmers and glows, enticing One to pick it up and caress it, it gives off an aura as though it is the answer to a prayer. But the longer One holds it, the dimmer it grows as the green fades to the color of a tattered dollar bill, washed out and not very brilliant and heavy, a wearisome heaviness. It’s name is Verity and the Gem Maker is Colleen Hoover.

Imagine you are alone in New York City. You are financially adrift, you’re about to lose your apartment, your career prospects are not very promising and things are not exactly all sunshine and roses by any stretch of the imagination. And along comes a man who offers to make all that go away by offering, not a hand out, but a real job and a dream job at that.

He is handsome, wealthy and the husband of a famous author. He needs someone to take over a series of books she was writing when she became injured and too ill to finish. He is willing to pay handsomely for this someone. And that someone is you. You jump at the chance, of course you do, you are not stupid, who wouldn’t? Off you go to fortune and the chance of a lifetime.

But once in the Crawford home you realize that all is not as it appeared to be when you so willingly took on this task. One by one, as you go through Verity’s office you begin to find clues, and a journal and horrible secrets that could be devastating to the man you are falling slowly, surely, inevitably in love with….what do you do?

I liked this book tremendously. It was the first of Ms. Hoover’s books I have been privileged to read. It will not be the last. If you are searching for a thriller, and a romantic thriller at that, I highly suggest this one. You will be in for a long night. Keep the kettle on. You’re going to need it. And for you Kindle Unlimited folks.. it’s free right now… until tomorrow I remain,

Your humble Book Dragon, Drakon T. Longwitten

I won this book in a contest. I am very glad I did.

Throwback Thursday

5 Flames

Welcome My Fellow Book Dragons to Throwback Thursday. Our Gem tonight may make you feel as though you are on the ocean, the waves pulling you back in time. It is crusted with sea salt and sand, dull and dim, as though it is not much to look at, but break away the crust and the light glints amazingly. The sea glass, thrown up from some long ago rum bottle or wine bottle, or window pane of a long forgotten pirated ship it now in your hand, and you are just off the coast of Cape Cod, looking out to sea. You can smell the dank, taste the salt in the air, feel the sand sticking to you.

Our Gem Maker, Ms. Adrienne Brodeur has given greatly of herself to bring us this Gem, Wild Game. She has exposed her childhood and her parents as a gull exposes a baby sea turtles soft underside and strips away propriety, secrecy and delicacy to bring us the rather indelicate, inappropriate bearing of a mother who could not mother, only suffocate, only use her daughter for a best friend, an equal, a peer, even though she was not ready. What 14 year old is ready to hear all the tawdry details of a 40 year old woman’s affairs?

I liked this book. I loved Adrienne’s pluck and courage to tell it. I loved the fact that she takes us back to those days of the 1970’s and 80’s, when even then life seemed simpler without computers and cellphones and all manner of gadgets. But most of all I love Adrienne, who, despite being misused and abused by her mother and her mother’s lover, learns to live. Learns to nurture and break the cycle of selfishness and puts in the hard work to do so. “Bravo”, I say, “Bravo”!

And so I encourage you, if you know someone, anyone, who needs some oomph to get out of a bad situation. Anyone who thinks they cannot turn things around. Who needs encouragement. Anyone who loves a good, old fashioned “pick yourself up and turn this ship around” story, get this one. It’s lovely, and feisty and you’ll be cheering Adrienne, too! This goes on sale 10/15/19 everywhere fine books are sold.

Until tomorrow, your humble Book Dragon, Drakon T. Longwitten

I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from HMH Books for an honest review.

Whimsical Wednesday

Something A Bit Different

Good Evening My Wonderful Wandering Wyverns. I come to you this evening with not one Gem but many, Seed Pearls, perfect in every way strung on a ribbon of black velvet like the night with a sheen like a cat’s eyes caught in a fleeting ray of moonlight. This is Whimsical Wednesday and we are off with some wonderful, frightening tales from the most Halloween-ish of Gem Makers, Mr. Edgar Allen Poe.

We do know of his most famous poem, The Raven, that black bird who’s never ending Nevermore drives the sorrow of the mourner of dearest Lenore to despair, but have you ever heard it read? Really read the way it is supposed to be? I say you probably have not. Perhaps a teacher attempted it, mayhaps even a family, good at doing scary voices or a bit of theater may have tried, but to really experience this poem, you must have a professional. Which leads to this evening’s Whimsy.

On YouTube, on CD and other media you can find some of the great old voices reading Poe and not just the Raven. Vincent Price reading the Raven, Christopher Lee reading The Fall of The House of Usher, James Mason reading the Tale Tell Heart..and there are others: Boris Karloff, Peter Lorry and more. And not only Poe, goodness, no, no, NO…it goes on. This evening I listened as these great voices from the past read these great tales and then moved on to other creepy writers.

Christopher Lee reading Robert Louis Stephenson’s The Body Snatchers. James Mason reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. And oh, some of the animation that goes with these or just seeing the one man act of Vincent Price as he recites The Raven.

Yes, my Fellows, go, on some lonely Autumn night, with a mug of something hot to fortify you, perhaps you and your companions and listen to these wonderful Gems. If your Nestlings are old enough let them sit in. These voices do great justice to the writers and the two together are food for the soul.

Until tomorrow, I remain, Drakon T. Longwitten, you humble Book Dragon.

Tea Time Tuesday

5 Flames

Hello My Fellow Book Dragons. Tea Time Tuesday and tonight our Gem is smooth and blood red with flecks of grey, Heliotrope. In various folklore and tradition this crystal can do many, many things. It has powers to heal, to make one charismatic, talented, to give a person strength or courage, even vitality. In Gem Maker Jennifer Buckley’s Death in a Budapest Butterfly, it figures greatly.

Buckley’s heroine is Hana Keller. She and her mother and grandmother run Maggie’s Tea House in a largely Hungarian populated suburb of Chicago called Riverwood. A quiet community. Not much in the way of crime seems to happen here. One afternoon during an event for a local ladies church society, a woman dies while drinking from a special tea cup that had been on display.

Enter Erik Wolf, Homicide Detective, and single male. He is very serious and all brass tacks when it comes to the investigation. This is not what the Hungarian Ladies want. They want a love interest for Hana. But Hana want’s someone to find out why a woman died in the ladies room in her mother’s tea house.

I loved this book. It was refreshing. All the Hungarian words and phrases that were then explained very naturally in the course of conversation. I don’t think we see that enough these days. All too often, it is as though authors are almost afraid to try it. I remember reading the great Mystery Writers of yesteryear when I was a Nestling (there were not many mysteries written just for youngsters then) and so One would often run across phrases in French or German or Russian, sometimes Latin or Greek. And this was before the Internet mind, so we had to look those words up using dictionaries and encyclopedias or our elders who might have a smattering of language. It is good for us to use our ‘little grey cells, n’est pas’?

Hana is a wonderful heroine, she is not wishy-washy, she forgives quickly, is intelligent and apologetically so. She loves her heritage and accepts that the women in her family have a ‘gift’ and doesn’t make it out to be something spooky or weird, she just accepts and then follows her instincts. Detective Wolf is delightful, serious about his work, he knows what he wants and understands himself. He is not apologetic either until an actual circumstance calls for it. Grandparents and parents are treated as people to be respected and cherished, not old, stupid and embarrassments.

The twists and turns kept me guessing. A myriad of suspects was helpful and several seemed plausible. The conversations were realistic and no one seemed over the top. Excellent job, Ms. Buckley! Bravo!If you love a cozy mystery, do not miss this one..and with all the folklore and second sight it’s perfect for October!

Until tomorrow I remain, your humble Book Dragon, Drakon T. Longwitten

I purchased this book for my personal library.

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