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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Stacking The Shelves - May 27, 2012


This meme is hosted by Tynga over at Tynga's Reviews, which she describes as follows:

"Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!"



I won this autographed softcover for Mini-Challenge #2 (Spring Into Horror Read-A-Thon) hosted by Erin at Oh, for the HOOK of a BOOK!:

by Jonathan Janz

Thanks again, Erin & Jonathan!











I received this ARC for review from the publisher:

How Can I Be Your Lover When I'm Too Busy Being Your Mother?
by Sara Dimerman and J.M. Kearns

Thanks again, Simon & Schuster Canada!












I won this paperback in the Children's Book Week Giveaway hosted by Petra at Hazel the Witch

by Roald Dahl

Thanks again, Petra!





I won this e-book in the LDS Authors Giveaway hosted by the author:

Not Quite Zen
by Cindy A. Christiansen

Thanks again, Cindy!











I "won" (I use that term loosely, since everyone won a copy!) this e-book in the LDS Authors Giveaway hosted by the author:

(Into the End, Book #1)
by Bonnie R. Paulson

Thanks again, Bonnie!











I won this e-book in the Autism Awareness Giveaway hosted by the author:

(Elemental Symphony, Book #1)
by Lakisha Spletzer

Thanks again, Lakisha!



A couple more books have trickled in from my last order from The Book Depository:


Afterlight by Elle Jasper (Dark Ink Chronicles, Book #1)
Savage Nature by Christine Feehan (Leopard People, Book #5)



 What books have you added to your shelves this week? If you are also participating in this meme, please leave me the link to your blog post in the comments so that I can come and drool over all your goodies!

If anyone has read any of these books, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway with Linda Weaver Clarke, author of Desert Intrigue

Hi, everyone!


Welcome to another edition of Spotlight Saturday at Darlene's Book Nook, where we feature authors and their books!

We will be joined today by Linda Weaver Clarke.



About Linda:

Linda Weaver Clarke travels throughout the United States, teaching a Family Legacy Workshop, encouraging people to write their family history and autobiography. She is the author of nine novels and two non-fiction e-books. The historical sweet romance series, “A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho,” includes: Melinda and the Wild West - an awarding winning novel. She also has a mystery/adventure series, “The Adventures of John and Julia Evans.” Her non-fiction e-books are Writing Your Family Legacy and Reflections of the Heart.

CONNECT ONLINE WITH LINDA:


Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Linda!

Linda has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to her!


Romance VS Mystery!

I have written five historical romance novels but have changed to mystery. Why? Because of the challenge! The writing process between romance and mystery is quite a change with a completely different mind set. It’s so different from telling a love story. With romance, you plan out the plot around the meeting of a couple. As you write, you develop some sort of charisma between the characters, making the reader feel excited that one day they're going to hit it off and fall in love. You, as the reader, know what the outcome will be. But with a mystery, the reader is in the dark. The author has to come up with a plot that no one knows about until towards the end of the story and hope they haven’t figured it out. In a mystery, you may or may not allow your reader to know who the bad guys are, according to whether it’s just a mystery or mystery suspense. In a mystery, when a knock is heard at the door, the reader doesn't know who's behind it. With mystery suspense, the reader knows who's behind the door and yells to the heroine, "Don't open the door!" This was a fun genre to write.

My mystery adventure series is called “The Adventures of John and Julia Evans.” This series was inspired by one of my favorite TV shows long ago called Hart to Hart, which featured a married couple investigating and solving crimes staring Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers. The couple was madly in love. You laughed at the humor and sighed at the romance. I wanted to create something similar with a little suspense and adventure. In this series Julia is a reporter for a daily newspaper and John is a professional knife maker. Just like Hart to Hart, because of her curiosity, Julia gets herself into a bunch of trouble. Before long, she finds herself and her husband up to their necks in danger and running for their lives. There is one difference. John and Julia Evans have three college age daughters. I feel this makes the couple have more appeal to a larger audience.

This series includes Anasazi Intrigue, Mayan Intrigue, Montezuma Intrigue, and Desert Intrigue. My interest in the ancient American Indians is what got me started with this series. In this series I’m teaching people a little about the ancient American Indians, archaeological thievery, the Mayans, Montezuma’s treasure and the Aztecs. This new book, Desert Intrigue, surrounds the legends of Superstition Mountain, the lost Dutchman’s goldmine, and the Great Thunder God. Second, I’m teaching people that we can still have romance in our lives, even after 20 years of marriage. We must keep our marriage alive with a bit of teasing, playfulness, forgiveness, and romance. In this series, The Adventures of John and Julia Evans, we find out what a marriage can be like if we give and take a little. In fact, I patterned John and Julia’s marriage after my own. I even add a few true experiences in my book that happened to us, just to bring a bit of humor into my story. To read an excerpt from each of my books, you can visit my website called Make Believe.

Why am I having an ebook giveaway? Because I would like to introduce my books to more people. And hopefully, they will spread the word to their friends and write a review about it. Good luck, Everyone!

Thanks so much for joining us today, Linda!


One lucky winner will win a digital copy of Linda's latest mystery adventure, Desert Intrigue











When Julia’s brother announces that his dude ranch is haunted, she believes that someone is trying to sabotage his place and force him to sell. The mysterious happenings have to do with Superstition Mountain, the lost Dutchman’s goldmine, and the great Thunder God. Is it possible that the legend of the Thunder God is actually true? After a terrible thunderstorm, everyone begins to wonder. John and Julia quickly head to Mesa, Arizona and discover a few mysterious events. Will they find out who is behind these disasters before Uncle Kelly’s dude ranch is ruined? While Julia’s daughters, Sharlene and Faith, are busy helping their uncle save the ranch, April and Matthew are planning their wedding but everything seems to go wrong.



To enter the giveaway, you must complete the Rafflecopter entry form below.

This giveaway is open worldwide until 12:01 AM EST on June 2, 2012.
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Friday, May 25, 2012

Early Review: A Blood Seduction by Pamela Palmer

SERIES: Vamp City, Book #1
AUTHOR: Pamela Palmer 
PUBLISHER: Avon
EXPECTED PUBLICATION DATE: May 29, 2012
FORMAT: Paperback, 384 pages
GENRE: Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Romance/Paranormal Romance
ISBN: 9780062107497
Vampires live only for lust and pleasure in the eternal twilight of Vamp City. But the city’s magic is dying. The only person who can restore it? A beautiful woman from the mortal world...one who knows nothing of the power she wields.

Quinn Lennox is searching for a missing friend when she stumbles into a dark otherworld that only she can see—and finds herself at the mercy of Arturo Mazza, a dangerously handsome vampire whose wicked kiss will save her, enslave her, bewitch her, and betray her.

What Arturo can’t do is forget about her—any more than Quinn can control her own feelings for him. Neither one can let desire get in the way of their mission—his to save his people, hers to save herself.

But there is no escape from desire in a city built for seduction, where passion flows hot and blood-red. Welcome to Vamp City...


MY REVIEW:

I received this book for review from the publisher. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own.

A Blood Seduction is the start of a new paranormal series that I have fallen in love with!

Quinn Lennox is a scientist who works for the National Institute of Health in Washington, D.C. Unexplained things have happened to Quinn all her life, but things have been more bizarre than usual lately. As if passing through “shimmers” that change the appearance of her clothes wasn’t bad enough, she sees glimpses of an alternate universe through areas that look like they have been lit by a spotlight in the world around her. Just before she witnesses these other-world breakthroughs, she feels a charge on her skin.

Lately, there have been numerous missing persons reports. When her brother’s friend, Lily, goes missing, Quinn gets a frantic call from her brother. The two of them search for Lily, and Zack spots Lily’s pen lying on the ground. As Zack reaches out to pick up the pen, Quinn sees that his hand is about to go through one of these “spotlights” and she touches his arm to stop him. However, it is too late. The two are sucked into an alternate world run by vampires: Washington, V.C., otherwise known as Vamp City.

A horse-drawn carriage appears, and Quinn and Zack are attacked by vampires. Maybe it was shock or maybe it was weakness at having just been feasted upon or maybe a little of both, but Quinn and Zack are each whisked off separately by different parties. Zack, a 22 year-old computer geek in the real D.C., is worked hard as a slave. His body is not used to hard labour, and he suffers at the hands of his whip-wielding master. Meanwhile, Quinn finds herself being seduced by a charming vampire named Arturo. Initially, she fights her attraction to him. The other female slaves in Arturo’s castle tell her that she is lucky to have been rescued by Arturo, as there are much worse masters that she could have ended up with. All that Quinn cares about is finding a way to escape so that she can find her brother and Lily and return to D.C. Arturo warns her to forget her brother, or it will be her own undoing.

Vamp City, a city where the sun never shines, was created for vampires in 1870 through the magic of a powerful sorcerer. Vampires used to be able to travel between the worlds as they pleased. Now, the magic is dying which is why there are incidents of sunbeams breaking through from the real world. It was through one of these sunbeams that Quinn and Zack travelled. There are many other humans in V.C. who are working as slaves for the vampires, and they presumably ended up there in the same manner. If a human remains in Vamp City for too long, they become immortal and are known as Slavas.

Most of the vampires in Vamp City are Emoras, which means that they feed off the emotions of humans. They cannot survive off blood alone. Some feed off fear, others feed off pain.

When another sunbeam breaks through, Quinn takes advantage of the opportunity to escape the clutches of Arturo and get back to her world. Unfortunately, her brother was not so lucky. Heartbroken, Quinn realizes that she must go back and find Zack and Lily and bring them home. Nearly a week passes before another sunbeam appears in D.C. Armed with a few supplies in her backpack, she bravely goes back and hopes to find Zack before the vampires find her!

Palmer is a new-to-me author, and I absolutely loved this book! Quinn is a woman who loves her brother so much that she is willing to risk her own life to save him. She is a wonderful heroine, and she pushes her own fears aside to get the job done. Arturo is charming but cunning, a dangerous combination. I didn't know whether to love him or hate him! My own pulse pounded at their dalliances! Arturo makes Quinn feel so desirable that she can hardly control herself, even if she wanted to. I have no doubt that his attraction to Quinn is very real, but he also lies and betrays her at any chance he get! He definitely is not to be trusted. The ending left me hungry for more, and I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

While I am waiting for the next installment in the Vamp City series which is not expected to be published until June 2013, I have already bought the first two books in Palmer's Feral Warriors series!

Guest Post from Mayra Calvani, author of Dark Lullaby

Hi, everyone!


I am pleased to participate in Mayra Calvani's Dark Lullaby Virtual Book Tour hosted by Bewitching Book Tours.


About Mayra:

Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications such as The Writer, Writer’s Journal, Multicultural Review, and Bloomsbury Review, among many others. A reviewer for over a decade, she now offers online reviewing workshops. When she’s not writing, reading, editing or reviewing, she enjoys walking her dog, traveling, and spending time with her family.

Visit her website at the link below to join her mailing list and receive the first two lessons of her book reviewing workshop, as well as her free ebook, Reviewers Talk About Their Craft.

CONNECT ONLINE WITH MAYRA: 
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Mayra!

Mayra has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to her.


The Myth Behind my Novel, Dark Lullaby
by Mayra Calvani

First of all, thanks to Darlene for having me as a guest on her cool blog! Today, as part of my Dark Lullaby Virtual Book Tour, I’d like to talk about the myth behind my novel.

During my early to mid twenties, I lived in Turkey. It was an incredible experience. Not only did I learn to speak Turkish, but I also made wonderful friends and learned a ton about their customs and folklore.

In Turkey, a lot of people, especially in the villages, believe in the cin (pronounced ‘jiin’). However, this isn’t the jinn as westerners know it, like the genie that comes out of magic lamps. It is a much darker creature that could better be compared to the fairy. In Turkish myth, it is a being that lives in the forests. It can be good or evil. It is of spirit form but can shapeshift into an animal or human. Like the western fairy, it is often volatile, mischievous and prone to pranks, some of which can be deadly. It loves milk products.

Want me to get creepier? It has a bizarre taste for live human liver and, when in human form, its feet are set backwards!

Oh, and those little lights that you often see in the woods on warm summer nights, otherwise known as fireflies? They aren’t fireflies. They’re cin.

I was fascinated with the accounts I heard, fascinated enough to write a novel. Thus, Dark Lullaby was born.

If you want to try something different, I hope you’ll check out Dark Lullaby. You can read the first chapters free on Kindle and Smashwords.


Thanks for your support!

Thanks so much for joining us today, Mayra! 








At a trendy Turkish tavern one Friday night, astrophysicist Gabriel Diaz meets a mysterious young woman. Captivated by her beauty as well as her views on good and evil, he spends the next several days with her. Soon, however, he begins to notice a strangeness in her–her skin’s abnormally high temperature, her obsession with milk products, her child-like and bizarre behavior as she seems to take pleasure in toying with his conscience.

The young woman, Kamilah, invites him to Rize, Turkey, where she claims her family owns a cottage in the woods. In spite of his heavy workload and the disturbing visions and nightmares about his sister’s baby that is due to be born soon, Gabriel agrees to go with her.

But nothing, not even the stunning splendor of the Black Sea, can disguise the horror of her nature. In a place where death dwells and illusion and reality seem as one, Gabriel must now come to terms with his own demons in order to save his sister’s unborn child, and ultimately, his own soul…

*Dream Realm Awards Finalist!

What readers are saying…

“Mayra Calvani is a masterful storyteller… Dark Lullaby is complex and compelling…” –Habitual Reader

“Dark Lullaby is an atmospheric paranormal horror that grips you from page one and refuses to let go until you’ve raced, breathless, to the end.” –ePinions

“Dark Lullaby is a page-turner. A horror story from the top shelf! You’ll love it.” –5 stars from Euro-Reviews

“This is a terrific horror…” –Harriet Klausner

“Dark Lullaby will capture you with its rich descriptions, its exotic location, and the need to uncover the dark secrets hidden within its pages.” –Cheryl Malandrinos, The Book Connection



Notes from the author...

"Dark Lullaby is about a young astrophysicist who is lured into the Turkish countryside by a mysterious young woman, of course, she ends up being something totally unexpected. In the end, he has to face his own demons in order to save his twin sister’s unborn child.

I’ve always been very interested in moral dilemmas and in the concept of a higher good. For instance, is it okay for a man to steal in order to have money to save his little girl, who is dying? In the case of Dark Lullaby, I went a step further: is it okay for a man to kill for the higher good? More than horror, it is a bizarre, suspenseful tale. It is based on Turkish lore. I lived in Turkey for five years and the culture, the people, the stories I heard there had a big influence on my writing."


Why I decided to use Turkey as my setting...

"The first part of Dark Lullaby takes place in Baltimore, but it was inevitable for the setting to move to Turkey. This has to do with the nature of the anti-heroine which I will not reveal here, of course.  I also wanted to add a primitive, exotic flavor to the story, and what could be more primitive and exotic than a small village in the Black Sea coast, a place surrounded by woods and influenced by strange lore? I don’t think there are many scary stories out there connected to Turkish lore, so I thought: hey, this is something different, something readers may find unusual and original. So for this novel, I felt the setting was very important for the plot."


What appeals to me about the supernatural...

"I detest gore. What appeals to me are the unknown, the unexplainable, and a good story with good characterization and a lot of dark atmosphere. Paranormal is probably my favorite of all genres, but I hesitate to say I like horror because horror has turned to trash these days. I like the classic, traditional ‘horror’ à la Edgar Allan Poe, very different from the average horror being written these days. I can think of a novel I read a couple of years ago, a ghost story with stunning writing: The Ghost Writer, by John Hartwood. I guess what I like falls more under paranormal or supernatural suspense, but the lines are so thin between genres and subgenres these days, sometimes it’s hard to categorize a book."



Tour Participants

May 2 Promo and review
Kindred Dreamheart 
 
May 3 Guest Blog (have)
Fang-tastic Books
 
May 4 Guest Blog (have)
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom
 
May 5 Promo 
Books, books the magical fruit
 
May 6 Review
Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer
 
May 8 Interview and Promo
Carly Fall - Where Fantasy Meets Romance
 
May 9 Promo and review
Picked by Poison
 
May 14 Guest blog
J.D. Brown's Book Blog   
 
May 15 Guest Blog
Soliloquy 
 
May 20 Excerpt/Promo
Read2Review.com 
 
May 23 Review
Reviews By Molly
 
May 25 Guest blog
Darlene’s Book Nook
 
May 27 Review
Books, Books, and More Books 
 
May 28 Interview and review
Froggarita
 
May 30 Interview and review
Storm Goddess Book Reviews & More- 
 
May 30 Guest Blog 
Paranormal Romantic Suspense,

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway with Nancy Stewart, author of Katrina and Winter: Partners in Courage

Hi, everyone!




I am pleased to participate in Nancy Stewart's Katrina and Winter: Partners in Courage Virtual Book Publicity Tour hosted by Pump Up Your Book.


About Nancy:

Nancy is the bestselling and award winning author of the four Bella and Britt Series books for children: One Pelican at a Time (eighteen weeks on Amazon Bestselling List), Sea Turtle Summer, Bella Saves the Beach and Mystery at Manatee Key. All are published by Guardian Angel Publishing.

One Pelican at a Time and Nancy were featured in the PBS Tampa special, GulfWatch. Pelican has won the Literary Classics Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite Five Star Award and was nominated for a Global eBook Award.

Her travels take her extensively throughout the world, most particularly Africa. She is US chair of a charity in Lamu, Kenya, that places girls in intermediate schools to allow them to further their education. Nancy is a frequent speaker at conferences, including the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

She and her husband live in Tampa and St. Louis.

CONNECT WITH NANCY ONLINE:

Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Nancy! 

Nancy has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to her.



What in the World do You Authors Do All Day?

I am asked this question more times that one could imagine. For those of us who write full-time, the answer is simple and complex: We work all day long!

My day has become, by fiat really, divided into three segments. The first begins about 6:15 in the morning. Still dark. House quiet. Coffee brewing. Cat ready to jump into my lap for a hard day’s writing.

My attention turns to housekeeping issues. Emails from two accounts, facebook, Twitter, Google Circles and my blog. Several years ago, none of this existed for me but email. Today social networking has big teeth and is crucial to an author’s professional life. If I’m lucky and efficient, all this can be finished by around 8 AM—unless it’s a gym day, when things get pushed back by an hour.

The second segment of time focuses on actual writing. I am best at “being an author” if I’ve warmed up with other tasks but am not too tired. This is when being in the flow occurs. When nothing is in my mind but the story at hand. When I am squarely in my protagonist’s (or antagonist’s) head. When nothing else matters but moving the story from here to there. What a good time of day it is when the magic works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Mercifully, most of the time it does.

The third part of my professional day is decidedly not my favorite, and sometimes I skip it. That would be marketing. There was a time not long ago when authors didn’t have to do such things. Not anymore! Today one must talk with bookstores, visit schools (which actually I love), do signings at various locales (fun, too, come to think of it). Hmm. Maybe I dislike the idea more than doing it…

The evenings will find me with my laptop in front of the TV, which I usually zone out. It’s then that I’ll be sure my next blog is ready to post later that evening, my calendar is up to date and coffee’s ready to brew. Everything at the ready for 6:15, quiet, coffee, cat…You get the drift.

I can be brought out of the flow at:

Web Site
Blog Site (Love new followers)
Twitter
Facebook (Love new friends)

Thanks so much for joining us today, Nancy!


One lucky winner will win a paperback copy of children's novel, Katrina and Winter: Partners in Courage.









All Katrina Simpkins longs to be is a normal girl. Because she must wear prosthesis as a leg, she feels anything but. When she meets and befriends Winter, the tailless dolphin, at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, everything changes, including Katrina’s whole life.



To enter the giveaway, please fill out the Rafflecopter entry form below. 

This giveaway is open to Canada/US addresses only until 12:01 AM EST on May 31, 2012.
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Tour Participants

Monday, May 14th
Book review at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection

Tuesday, May 15th
Book review at BookZone

Thursday, May 17th
Guest blog at Writing and other ways into the heart

Friday, May 18th
Book review at The Crypto-Capers Review
Radio interview at Stories from Unknown Authors at 1 PM Eastern

Monday, May 21st
Book review at This Little Book of Mine

Wednesday, May 23rd
Book review at Reviews by Molly
Book review at A Year of Jubilee Reviews

Thursday, May 24th
Guest blog and giveaway at Darlene’s Book Nook

Friday, May 25th
Book review at 4 the Love of Books

Friday, June 1st
Book review at Thoughts in Progress

Monday, June 4th
Guest blog and giveaway at Thoughts in Progress

Tuesday, June 5th
Guest blog at The Hot Author Report

Wednesday, June 6th
Book spotlight at Broowaha

Thursday, June 7th
Book trailer feature at If Books Could Talk

Friday, June 8th
Guest blog at Acting Balanced

Monday, June 11th
Book review In the Hammock Book Reviews

Tuesday, June 12th
Interview at Blogcritics

Wednesday, June 13th
Book review at The Once and Future Librarian

Friday, June 15th
Book spotlight and giveaway at The Book Loving Busy Mom’s Daily
Book review at Home School Book Review

TBD: Interview and giveaway at Café of Dreams

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Book Review: Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham

AUTHOR: Jean Lee Latham 
PUBLISHER: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
PUBLICATION DATE: May 19, 2003 (first published 1955)
FORMAT: Paperback, 256 pages
GENRE: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Classics
ISBN: 9780618250745
Readers today are still fascinated by “Nat,” an eighteenth-century nautical wonder and mathematical wizard. Nathaniel Bowditch grew up in a sailor’s world—Salem in the early days, when tall-masted ships from foreign ports crowded the wharves. But Nat didn’t promise to have the makings of a sailor; he was too physically small. Nat may have been slight of build, but no one guessed that he had the persistence and determination to master sea navigation in the days when men sailed only by “log, lead, and lookout.” Nat’s long hours of study and observation, collected in his famous work, The American Practical Navigator (also known as the “Sailors’ Bible”), stunned the sailing community and made him a New England hero.

MY REVIEW:

I read this classic aloud to my children. It was the winner of the 1956 Newbery Medal.

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch is the historical fiction novel that is based on the real Nathaniel Bowditch, an amazing mathematician whose brilliance changed the nautical world. Although he dreamed of pursuing his academic dreams, his father could barely afford to feed him and arranged for his nine-year apprenticeship as a bookkeeper to Ropes and Hodges, a ship chandlery. Determined to make the most of it, he spent every spare minute with his nose in a book, often long into the night. When he came across a topic that he didn’t know, he studied everything about it and then wrote his own books. Some of the books that he wrote were about rope-making, sail production, caulking, and navigation. At the age of 16 years, he wrote an almanac that covered the period of 34 years from 1789 to 1823 and included “the regular things,” such as: The sun’s rising, setting, declination, and amplitude. He did not think it was a big deal, saying it was “just mathematics.” He was brilliant, to say the least.

Because all of the great scientific books were written in Latin, he decided to teach himself Latin by using both Latin and English bibles as guides to painstakingly translate word by word. He then translated Isaac Newton’s Principia from Latin to English, which was the best book for studying astronomy.

A man named Dr. Bentley often visited Nat, presumably because he could see Nat’s genius and offered membership into The Salem Philosophical Library. It was a private library started by a group of men, which housed only the best scientific works. They were so impressed with Nat’s intellect that they waived the usual membership fee of 50 pounds. As a member, he would be able to borrow these scientific books for study.

When word came that Ropes and Hodges was to be sold, Nat could hardly contain his excitement. He thought that his time had finally come to be free of his apprenticeship so that he could go to Harvard, but his spirit was dampened when he found out that his apprenticeship was transferred to the new owner.

After his apprenticeship was completed, Nat was offered a position as a Ship’s Clerk aboard a sailing vessel. He took along his books so that he could still study. When he found an error in one of the calculation tables in Moore’s Practical Navigator, he became angry and disgusted because sailors depended on the accuracy of those calculations. He took it upon himself to work each mathematical table in Moore’s book and found over 8,000 errors!

Nat discovered a way to calculate a lunar reading, and he taught all of his shipmates. He felt that they all had the potential to become first mate if only they knew how to navigate! Although the Captain was puzzled as to why Nat would take the effort to do so, he said that never had a crew been less trouble, so he told him to, “Carry on, Mr. Bowditch!” Because not everyone possesses the same academic strengths, he often had to adapt his methods to teach different people. He decided, then, to write his own nautical manual that would: Have the correct calculations so that sailors would not have to rely on Moore’s Practical Navigator, define all nautical terms so that even a layperson could learn, and contain logarithmic tables of all the trigonometric functions so that all a sailor would need to navigate would be a knowledge of addition and subtraction.

Nat’s book, The American Practical Navigator, was first published in 1802. The book has been updated a number of times over the years, but it still is carried on board of every commissioned U.S. Naval vessel!

My children and I really enjoyed this book! Nat possesses such persistence and perseverance, two admirable qualities that I want for my own children. Even though he was not formally educated, it did not make him any less intelligent. He was passionate about his studies, and you would have to be to teach oneself different languages and advanced mathematics! There is quite a bit of sadness throughout the book, as a number of people in Nat’s life die. It seemed that someone died in nearly every chapter! Still, our spirits were buoyed by Nat’s resolve to achieve his goals despite the tragedies that befell him.

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