William L Stuart
William Stuart is a ten-year veteran of the US Navy Submarine Force, works in the animal health field, and is the proud father of his daughter Laura and grandfather of two wonderful grandchildren, Aidan and Maggie,. When he isn’t working, he enjoys rock-hunting, playing softball, gold prospecting, playing golf, and dabbling in woodworking. He lives in the Greater Atlanta area with Lana, his lovely and adorable wife of over twenty-five years
The Gemstone Chronicles
by William L Stuart
Elves, magic, stolen gemstones, and a quest to restore the balance between good and evil. And who is the mysterious Keeper?
Follow the adventures of Aidan, Maggie, Nana, and Beebop in the magical world of Celahir as they help their elven friends restore the gemstones to the Elven Bow!
The Gemstone Chronicles Book Four: The Ruby
by William L Stuart
The Dark Elves march, the Spider Queen consolidates power, and the barrier between Celahir and the human world has almost vanished. After being attacked by a dragon and rescued by the Elven Scouts and the Arien, Aidan, Maggie, Nana, and Beebop return to Celahir to battle a lava monster and restore the stolen gemstones to the Elven Bow.
The Gemstone Chronicles Book Three: The Emerald
by William L Stuart
The Carnelian and the Amethyst, two of the four gemstones stolen from the Elven Bow have been recovered. Now, Aidan and Maggie face their most difficult challenge. After the witch, Maeva, turns their friends and family into stone statues, the siblings must use all of their wits and courage to defeat the witch and find the missing Emerald - if they can overcome a cockatrice!
The Gemstone Chronicles Book Two: The Amethyst
by William L Stuart
Aidan and Maggie’s father kidnapped, a giant guards the Amethyst, and the human world and Celahir tip ever closer to evil!
In Celahir, the magical land where the Light Elves and the Dark Elves live, the four gemstones of the Elven Bow have been stolen by the Dark Elves.
The Gemstone Chronicles Book One: The Carnelian
by William L Stuart
(3.80 from 5 reviews)
When Aidan and Maggie find a fairy cross while rock-hunting with their grandfather, it's just an oddity. But when they discover an elf imprisoned in the stone and set him free, they and their grandparents, Nana and Beebop, are attacked by Dark Elves and have to flee to the magical world of Celahir where they join the quest to recover the gemstones stolen from the Elven Bow.
on April 08, 2013
I found this book to be absolutely fascinating. Having spent some time floating around on a submarine, I could easily relate to the repetitive training and excruciating boredom that often accompanies military service. But even more compelling to me was the matter-of-fact and humble account of the horrors of war. Not a blood and guts narrative, Lt. William Sirmon's diary of that last year (January through November 1918) of the War to End All Wars, chronicles the dreadful conditions that the doughboys faced and their perseverance and determination to defeat the Germans and restore peace to the world.
The narrative, at times, seems almost lighthearted and irreverent - especially while Lt. Sirmon's brigade was training at Ft. Gordon, Georgia. He laments the need to get up so early in the morning, how cold it is, how miserable the weather is, and many other common complaints among soldiers, airmen, and sailors everywhere. Yet, throughout, there was an overwhelming optimism about America, America's role in the world, and the hope that they would get to war and strike a blow against Germany. This was never more evident than during the transit across the Atlantic Ocean when many of the soldiers were seasick. They did not bemoan their circumstances but instead vowed to make the Kaiser pay for their discomfort!
The book was not, however, a celebration of war. There were horrors enough in it, but Lt. Sirmon chose not to dwell on those. Written in the style of the times, there is little in the way of foul language, no graphic description of horrible injuries, and the descriptions of the beautiful French countryside and the brave people displaced by the tragedy of the war are haunting.
Lt. Sirmon's account gives a great historical perspective to the conditions on the front and the fears that all soldiers who have been in combat can relate to. I particularly appreciated the patriotic and heartfelt love of country that he showed - even at the worst of times.
I can't say that the book was enjoyable in the way a war novel can be, but I think it opened my eyes to the harsh realities of war, albeit told in a gentle humble way. I would recommend it for anyone who wants to get a taste of war or see WWI through the eyes of a front line participant. Give it a try, and remember to thank those who served for the freedoms you enjoy! Thank you Brannon Sirmon for bringing your great grandfather's words and experiences to us!
My rating - 4.5 Stars!!!
on Sep. 16, 2013
Disclaimer: I was given this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Synopsis: Silas is a 13 year old Carillian held in a Cartiam waiting for his emotions to be harvested to provide energy for the planet. As part of a rigid caste society, Carillians are non-entities deemed worthless except for the energy harvested from their minds. Silas wants to escape to protect his sister, who is also held at the Cartiam. Together, they plot their escape.
Jamar is a member of the Tirean caste, the upper crust of society and son of the owner of the Cartiam that holds Silas and his sister Malina. Jamar picks Silas to be his plaything and companion to stave off the boredom of staying at the Cartiam with his father. The relationship between Jamar and Silas becomes a central theme to the book. No spoilers, though!
What I liked: This was an interesting plot concept. Harvesting the emotions of a lower caste to support the rest of society was a chilling and disturbing idea, but the author handled it quite well. I liked the Jamar character, and his journey through the relationship with Silas was very well done. Real life things like bullies, emotional manipulation, and dreams of all types of people were hallmarks of the book.
What I didn’t like: There could have been a little more explanation of how the caste system came into being. There were references to it, but it was never quite explained enough for me. Malina’s character seemed a little flat. The story flowed a little unevenly and there were a few grammatical errors (very few). Lastly, the ending seemed geared more toward a sequel than the conclusion of this story.
Overall impression: Despite the things I listed above, I liked this book a lot. Silas’ story was one of heartbreak and triumph and I look forward to the next installment!
A Tale of Two Worlds
on Jan. 17, 2014
I read the first book by Susan Waterwyk, Lantamyra; A Tapestry of Fantasy, a while back and gave it 4.5 stars. When Susan released the second book A Tale of Two Worlds, I knew I had to read it to find out what happens! I was not disappointed.
Synopsis (from the author): The Earth, once asleep, has awakened, from deep in her belly come cries; her mountains and valleys are shaken and seas rise up to the skies.”
The ancient Keepers of Akosh can do nothing to prevent the catastrophes. They have known since the sinking of Atlantis that the living world of Earth would awaken. Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis threaten the people of the Earth so the Keepers spent thousands of years terraforming the primitive world of Lantamyra to serve as a sanctuary for the refugees from Earth. Now the Gathering begins.
The dragons that rule the three Great Houses of Lantamyra need the giant myra crystals from Atlantis to strengthen the large array in the House of Gaia Jade to be able to return to their homeworld, Lanluong. The Keepers of Akosh authorize a mission to Earth to locate and retrieve the crystals before the earthquakes bury them deeper in the abysmal depths of the Atlantic Ocean.
Recently arrived from Earth, Tylya Lansing has been trained in the Secrets of the Ways and knows how to use the powerful myra crystals. She is now a keeper of dragons in the House of Gaia Jade, and her first-hand knowledge of modern Earth makes her the best candidate to command the mission to find and retrieve the lost crystals of Atlantis.
Tylya’s lover, Josh Hamilton is also from Earth and trained in the Ways but chose not to serve the dragons. He is a crystalseeker working in the mine at Queen’s Heart located near an active volcano. The job is extremely dangerous since long exposure to myra crystals causes crystal sickness, and worst of all, ghosts of seekers are hungry for living energy and they wait in the myra crystals to feed on him.
What I liked: Susan Waterwyk continues to develop her characters in a meaningful way. You can empathize with the losses and hardships they endure and the sacrifices each of the characters has made in order to allow someone else to follow their chosen path. The role of the dragons tantalizes the reader and allows the imagination to run with possibilities. Well-paced and easy to read, the book will appeal to those who like to think a little while they read.
What I didn’t like: There was very little about the book I didn’t like. Perhaps the only issue I had was that I would have liked the pace to be a little faster. I understand (as mentioned above about thinking while reading) why Susan Waterwyk wrote it as she did, but I personally still prefer more action and a quicker story.
Overall impression: Susan Waterwyk has crafted an excellent story. A Tale of Two Worlds is an excellent read and I look forward to the third book! I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy a little bit of fantasy, romance, and upheaval in two worlds!