Carol Anita Ryan
Carol always wanted to be an anthropologist and/or a travel writer, but to actually earn a living she had a career in Information Technology. She pursued her other interests by traveling extensively between positions. Her last traveling adventure is the basis for her memoir, Right Now Is Perfect. This story concludes with the unexpected diagnosis of Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, and the impact of progressing disability. She lives in northern California with her faithful companion, Napoleon.
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Smashwords book reviews by Carol Anita Ryan
- Own Your Niche: Hype-Free Internet Marketing Tactics to Establish Authority in Your Field and Promote Your Service-Based Business
on Sep. 15, 2012
Own Your Niche by Stephanie Chandler gives the reader the latest information about marketing. Ms. Chandler is a nationally respected expert in the field of marketing—she regularly contributes to Forbes, for example.
Her latest book is about how a person can (and should) focus efforts on becoming the authority on whatever his or her expertise and product is about. This book gives more than generic advice; it is specific enough to actually be useful. After reading and applying the information in the book—as the title suggests— the rest will follow!
- A Tale of Survival: From War-Ravaged Europe to the Promise of America
on Feb. 19, 2013
Memory, history, and demographics all play a role in a person’s understanding of the world. For the first years of the baby boomer generation, only a few years separate history from memory in the case of World War II. I am such an early baby boomer. Although born in California and raised during the 1950s in the greater Washington D. C. area, I never heard my dad or any of his peers (virtually all the males of which were veterans) talk about the then- recent war.
As a child, even as a young adult, World War II seemed ancient history to me: not something having an influence on my life. That is a fluke of my childhood memory. To get a very different perspective on memory and history of the war, you can’t do better than to read, A Tale of Survival: From War-Ravaged Europe To The Promise of America by Tom Kando.
Tom was born in Hungary in 1941. As such his earliest memories occurred right in the middle of the conflict. He and his family experienced German and Russian invasions before fleeing to France. Thus Tom spent the 1950s in post-war-torn France (a far cry from my suburban D.C. world). Tom later moved to Holland before coming alone to this country as a Fulbright Scholar.
Kando has had an amazing life according to his book which straddles the line between memoir and historical fiction. Whether true or imagined, the first portion of the book does an amazing job of bringing to light the sensibilities of a bright child in that time and place. Kando shows how a young boy idealized his beautiful and talented parents, how he resented his younger siblings, and how a child experienced the reality of foreign soldiers occupying his home (not just his country). I’d never thought about the difficulties of growing up in Europe right after the war. Kando does a wonderful job of revealing events though the eyes of a gifted and insightful child.
The story continues in America during the 1960s nearly to the present. Perhaps because some of that time and place is familiar territory, I found it less compelling. But, for me, the insight into Europe during and after the war seen by someone fairly close to my age was priceless.
on Aug. 27, 2013
In Tenderfoot Corrie Stephens, a writer researching rural life in 1980 happens to wind up—because of a dismal sense of direction --on a cattle ranch northeast of Mount St. Helens. As luck would have it, she arrives shortly before the explosive, deadly volcanic eruption. Her research brings her into contact with J, a hunky widower who owns the cabin she’s renting. While you might think two good looking, single main characters might get together right away; not so fast! The story expands on those real-life impediments to mid-life romance: children and emotional baggage.
We get to know the characters while learning about life on a cattle ranch. But that's not all! While Corrie and J's emotions are heating up, Mount St. Helens is simmering too. A newspaper writer and a photographer's coverage of the awakening mountain is an important subplot. Corrie is on the mountain with her friends when the massive eruption occurs. The story gives you a visceral feeling of what it must have been like to barely escape alive from the eruption.
The author's earlier books have been coming-of-age novels set in eastern Washington. Tenderfoot features a mid-life divorcee as the main character. Even though Corrie has been married for years and has a grown daughter, she experiences falling in love again like a school girl! Mary E. Trimble is unmatched when it comes to portraying the emotional journey of a pure-hearted female (of any age) falling in love.
Tenderfoot is a good story. It's full of well-researched fascinating facts about ranching and the eruption of Mount St. Helens. It's a book anyone can enjoy since the language and themes are as wholesome as a John Wayne movie.