Many thanks to Pump Up Your Books Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to participate in this blog tour...it has been a fantastic experience!
In the back of a strange used goods store, Josh finds an old Remington typewriter and a fedora with some very mysterious powers. As Josh embarks on his first novel writing adventure, he finds that his new hat has its own story to tell - of a time before history began - and is quite demanding of Josh's attention. As the story consumes him, Josh's life begins to unravel, and he soon finds he is unable to separate himself from the hat and the story. When the last page is written, Josh is left with more questions than answers...both about the story and his own life.
About the Author:
His first novel, Tears in the Dust, is a mystery set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War in 1937. When Alestair Ferguson volunteers to fight in the International Brigade he doesn’t realize the true price he will have to pay. Chuck’s second novel, Remington and the Mysterious Fedora, is a quirky fantasy, a story about what happens when a young man sits at the keyboard of a manual typewriter and puts on an old fedora. When the fedora and its mysterious power begins to whisper a story to him, the young man has a strange adventure indeed. His third novel, Served Cold, spans decades and stretches from the countryside of rural Ontario to a quiet artists’ studio in Tucson, Arizona. With lots of murder and mayhem in between, the story is what happens when a long-standing feud erupts into hot-blooded vengeance.
Chuck wrote over thirty short stories before setting out to write novels that are affordable and entertaining. He has attended writing workshops in Iowa, Florida, Georgia and Ontario, Canada.
“I grew up,” Chuck said, “listening to my grandfather, an Ozark Mountain story teller, spinning tales of the caves on his farm, describing them as hiding places once used by the Jesse & Frank James’ gang. It didn’t matter if the stories were true or not. Those legends set fire to my imagination, creating images that emerged slowly over the years, finally igniting as my short stories and novels.”
Now, thirty-plus short stories and three novels later, ideas keep coming, with more novels under development. Do they share anything in common? Each has its own unique voice and tale to tell, yet, at their heart, his stories tell about the human condition – the good, the bad and the ugly.
Chuck adds, “stored images that echo in my writing include train whistles in the night, Norman Rockwell childhood scenes, U.S. Army memories, blue collar jobs, university, a professonal career, and finally retirement. Many of my images are drawn from this pool of memories: places visited, sights seen, and people met. The rest I filled in with my imagination: dreams of places yet to be visited, sights yet to be seen, and people yet to be met.”
His literary roots were planted in the American Midwest and thrived when transplanted – over thirty-nine years ago – to the rich, cultural soil of Ontario. He and his wife, Suzanne, spend their summers in Kitchener, Ontario and are warmed by a winter sun in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
Another reviewer described this book as a magic carpet ride - that is exactly the description that should be given to this novel.
The idea that a hat and a typewriter could change your life so much, a simple find in an old antique store that transports Josh on a journey he could have never expected.
Josh's journey begins when he decides to write a novel in a month but as he begins on the journey that the hat and typewriter have him on, his own life begins to unravel. As he puts the words on paper, the journey and his own life become even more intertwined until Josh begins to not be able to tell the difference.
This is a novel of journeys - both personal and not. How we navigate through our worlds and learn the lessons that one learns from just living are a huge theme in this work. What is interesting is that the author leaves Josh with so many unanswered questions, perhaps more than when he started his literary journey.
The author really has a unique style, one that I just loved. Writers either write well or they don't, and it literally makes or breaks a book - this author writes well. The storyline captured my attention shortly after the cover and title, being an avid lover of history I was taken with the idea of a story "of a time before history began" and this story delivered.
I also loved the numerous one-liners that were sprinkled throughout this book...those little moments or lines that make you stop mid-read and ponder the meaning or its application to your own life. Those small snippets that you take the time to write down because they are worth reading later. The book started with one, and once I read it I knew I was in for a treat throughout:
Josh turned back around. “Is there any organization to things here?”
“Just start looking,” the man said with a shrug. “Isn’t the best part of a journey the journey itself? Look, discover, take pleasure in the search itself.”
This book is truly a journey...and the old man in the antique store said it best, the best part is the journey itself..look, discover, and take pleasure in the search itself."