Torn (The Dothan Chronicles #1) by Charissa Dufour – My Review!!

Torn – My Review!!

Torn Cover

I wanted to get back to fantasy books and picked Torn (The Dothan Chronicles #1) by Charissa Dufour. It’s nice to come back to my favorite genre. Read on for my thoughts! Note that the author advises the following: Due to scenes of intense violence, reader discretion is advised.

Synopsis (from the author):

King Wolfric Eberhand battles the last nation to stand against his raging armies. With help from the deadly knight, Sir Erin Caldry, he hopes to conquer the land of Dothan once and for all. Using his wealth and power, he has formulated the perfect plan to finally take their rich land. What he doesn’t realize, is the youngest Dothan princess is currently a slave within his very own castle walls.
While out visiting the remote estate of a relative, Princess Bethany Kavadh is kidnapped by slavers. Bedraggled and weary, she finds herself sold into slavery. To her horror, she soon discovers that her new owner is none other than her family’s worst enemy, King Wolfric. To fight her rising despair and to keep what little sanity she possess, Princess Bethany begins to fight back, sabotaging the efficient running of the House and function of their Armies.
But what happens when they realize her true identity?
Will they ransom her for the wealth of her nation?
Will they keep her as a slave? Or will they inflict an even crueler punishment?
The only things for certain are: The war between two nations will escalate, and one young princess’s life shall forever be TORN.

What I liked:

I liked Bethany’s toughness, resilience, and her attempts to sabotage her captors. I also liked that her actions had consequences – both good and bad. Caldry was a good character. The family of the King was perfectly despicable in their treatment of each other and others. The story itself intrigued me and kept me involved in the tale. The harsh treatment of the slaves and the indifference of the slaveholders was intense at times, so be prepared. Overall, though, Torn was a good read!

What I didn’t like:

The biggest complaint I have about Torn was that it was much more of a romance than a fantasy novel. Not in a bad way, but it didn’t have the fantasy elements I hoped for in the book.

Overall impression:

Torn (The Dothan Chronicles #1) by Charissa Dufour was a good read! Bethany’s trials as a slave and her efforts to impede the King’s military conquests made for an entertaining novel. I thought it was more romance than fantasy, and the treatment of Bethany was difficult to read at times, but I truly enjoyed it. Read it and let me know what you thought!

My rating:

4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 Stars)

Connect with Charissa Dufour:

Visit Charissa Dufour’s Amazon Author Page or her Goodreads page to find out more about Charissa and her many books! While you’re there, consider leaving a review or a comment (and maybe pick up a book or two).

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New Rock Polishing Toys – What Do You Think?

New Rock Polishing Toys!!

Gemstones fascinate me and are key elements in The Gemstone Chronicles fantasy adventure series I wrote. I’ve been looking for cabochon equipment for a while now and I lucked up upon a vintage Highland Park A-50 and a Rock Rascal Saw. The A-50 is mounted on a rolling cabinet and the saw is firmly installed on a nice little table. Check out the pictures below!

Rock Polishing Toys

Highland Park A-50

 

Rock Polishing Toys

Rock Rascal

 

Given the equipment hadn’t operated in a while, I had a bit of work to do on the machine. First thing I did was to replace the power cord to the A-50 motor. Once I finished that little repair, the motor ran perfectly. I discovered the water pump bucket was rusted through, but that didn’t stop me. I cut a 5 gallon plastic bucket down to size and it fit like a glove inside the original bucket. The pump discharge fitting was cracked and the hose wouldn’t fit properly, so I engineered a fix and it works amazingly well!

The Rock Rascal, as you can see from the picture above, needed a new power cord, too. Luckily, I learned a bit about electrical and electronic stuff back in my Navy days, so, like the cord for the A-50, it was an easy fix. Doesn’t make me want to be an electrician again (like I was right after I left the Navy), but it’s satisfying to make it work. Once complete, I op tested it and everything ran smoothly.

Rock Polishing Toys

I think I might modify the A-50 to add more wheels, but that will be down the road. For now, I’ll pick up various grit belts to use on the expanding drums and use a 6 inch wheel I received for Christmas on the Rock Rascal. Now, I just need a water source and return for the wheel.

The equipment package included a new 6 inch diamond blade for the Rock Rascal, a dopping pot, dopping wax, and cabochon templates. I’m all set now (or will be as soon as the new belts come in)!

What do you think about my new rock polishing toys? Personally, I can’t wait to see if I can make a cab or two and do something with all the rocks I found during my gemstone hunting trips. I might even be able to polish a sapphire or ruby once I get diamond belts for the expanding drums.

Connect with me: Like my new toys? Have advice for a novice rock polisher? I appreciate any comments and emails with tips and hints. I’m on social media, too. Find me at Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest, so don’t be shy! Say hello!

 

The Ghost Chronicles 2 by Marlo Berliner – My Review!!

The Ghost Chronicles 2 – My Review!!

Ghost Chronicles 2

 

I read the first The Ghost Chronicles by Marlo Berliner recently (and gave it 5 Stars in my review) and immediately added The Ghost Chronicles 2 to my TBR list. I wasn’t disappointed!

Synopsis (from the author): What’s there to fear if you’re already dead?
Plenty.
Michael and Sarah now know for certain, there is a destination after death.
They also know they better find their way out of the afterlife fast, before the devil claims Michael’s soul.
What they don’t know?
Before they can get to heaven…
they may just have to go through hell. 

What I liked: As with the first book, we join Michael as he and Sara try to find their way and their individual purposes so they can move on from their ghostly existence. We learn more about each and Tom’s role begins to take shape, although his frequent unexplained disappearances got to be annoying. I enjoyed the characters’ development, the story, and how they reacted to different trials. Will Michael and Sara move on or will they discover why they are still here? Will they give in to their passion? You’ll have to read The Ghost Chronicles 2 to find out!

What I didn’t like: In spite of the elements listed above, the story dragged in places, with a few repetitive scenes. The slow spots didn’t detract from the book much, but it made it a little less enjoyable and I found myself skimming through a few of the battles.

Overall impression: I liked the book and I was quickly drawn into Michael and Sara’s limbo world. The Ghost Chronicles 2 kept me guessing how it would evolve and the roles Michael, Sara, and Tom would play. If you enjoy paranormal romance and ghostly shadow worlds, read this one!

My rating: 4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 Stars)

Do you have your copy of The Ghost Chronicles 2 by Marlo Berliner? If not, what are you waiting for? Once you read it, please consider leaving a review and share it with your friends. I know the author will appreciate it! Surf on over to her site or Amazon Author page to her book and learn more about her!

While you are surfing around, why not leave me a comment on this review (or any others)? I appreciate it too! I also look forward to connecting with new friends on social media. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Stop by and say hi!

Super Secret Submarines and the Jolly Roger Flag!!

I recently read a story about the submarine USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23) returning to its home port in Bremerton, Washington flying the Jolly Roger. Being a former submarine sailor, I took a measure of pride in seeing the picture, and it made me wonder about a couple of things. First, what did the boat do to fly that flag, and, secondly, what happened to its clandestine predecessor USS Parche (SSN 683). Before I go into that, here’s the picture of the Jimmy Carter flying the flag (courtesy of Lt. Cmdr. Michael Smith via DVIDS):

 

What did USS Jimmy Carter do to fly the pirate flag? We probably won’t know for years (if ever). We can speculate based on some of the submarine capabilities. For instance, we know the Seawolf class submarine is incredibly quiet (by some estimates 70 times quieter than the Los Angeles class). We know it has an extra hundred foot section in the hull (called the Multi Mission Platform) and can dive deeper than the Los Angeles or Sturgeon class boats. It can allegedly transport Seal teams and their equipment, tap into underwater communication cables, and much more – none of which can be confirmed.

How does that help us guess at the boat’s mission. Given that the Jimmy Carter is a West Coast submarine, we can speculate that its successful mission involved North Korea.What exactly, we will likely never know as it will be shrouded in secrecy for decades to come. They could have landed SEAL teams for intelligence gathering, retrieved missile fragments from North Korea’s recent launches, or any number of other operations. Whatever they did, in keeping with the submarine force’s legendary silence, we won’t know.

Why the Jolly Roger, though? The practice of flying the pirate flag is a navy tradition signifying a successful mission. According to the Washington Post, the practice began in WWII with the Royal Navy. The article tells us symbols often adorn the flags to reflect what the mission accomplished. Jimmy Carter‘s flag had one or possibly two unidentified symbols on it, which only adds to the mystery. Whatever the mission, Bravo Zulu to the crew for a job well done!

Now for USS Parche (SSN 683), the super secret Sturgeon class submarine whose mantle USS Jimmy Carter inherited. According to Wikipedia, the Parche is, as of 2007, the most decorated ship in the history of the US Navy. Recipient of 9 Presidential Unit Citations (PUC), 10 Navy Unit Commendations (NUC), and 13 Navy Expeditionary Medals, Parche remains a mystery. Decommissioned in 2004, her sail resides in Bremerton Washington. Note the interesting hull appendage. I wonder what purpose it served…

Flag

040920-N-6497N-014
Naval Base Kitsap, Wash. (Sept. 20, 2004) Ð The attack submarine USS Parche (SSN 683) returns to port for the final time at the Marginal pier at Naval Base Kitsap, Wash. Parche, the last active Sturgeon-class attack submarine, is due to be decommissioned on October 19, 2004 after serving the fleet since 1973. Parche was configured for research and development from 1987-1991 and was used primary for intelligence gathering and underwater salvage. U.S. Navy photo by Brian Nokell (RELEASED)

The Parche‘s preserved sail in Bremerton:

Again, according to Wikipedia, Parche recovered Soviet missile fragments and was thought of as a key component of the National Underwater Reconnaissance Office. The book Blind Man’s Bluff claims the submarine tapped into Soviet communications cables during Operation Ivy Bells. Because most of USS Parche‘s missions remain highly classified, these claims remain unsubstantiated. One of my instructors at prototype in Idaho Falls, Idaho, served on Parche. He wore a few of the PUCs and NUCs, but claimed he didn’t know why the boat received the awards.

Based on her decorations alone, Parche deserved to fly the pirate flag, although I don’t know if she did. Regardless, I think it’s only fitting to give USS Parche (SSN 683) a Bravo Zulu as well!

Connect with me:

What do you think earned USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23) the right to fly the Jolly Roger? Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts. If you’d rather, drop me an email at bill@williamlstuart.com. Connect with me on social media, too! I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Say hi and let’s talk submarines (or books, nuclear power, writing, etc.)! I always enjoy meeting new friends!

The Lazarus Succession by Ken Fry – My Review!!

The Lazarus Succession – My Review!!

Lazarus Succession Cover

I love a good thriller with religious conspiracy connections. Ken Fry’s novel The Lazarus Succession fits the bill perfectly! Read on to discover my thoughts.

Synopsis (from the author): The Lazarus Succession takes readers to the ancient scene of Christ’s greatest miracle, to medieval Spain, and back to modern-day Europe. In typical Ken Fry style, nothing is as it seems and a surprise awaits at every turn of the page.

According to legend, Annas Zevi, an artist who witnessed the raising of Lazarus, was told by Christ to paint what he saw. Over the centuries, his completed works has vanished, along with every other painting depicting Lazarus’ resurrection. They were rumoured to be sacred icons with miraculous powers.

International Art Recovery Experts, Broderick Ladro and Ulla Stuart, are hired by a disgraced High Court judge, Sir Maxwell Throgmorton, to locate a long lost medieval painting by Spanish artist Francisco Cortez. Like Zevi, his work is said to be divinely inspired.

Throgmorton’s client, a wealthy Spanish Condesa, is terminally ill and the icon is her last hope. She will pay and do whatever it takes to find the missing work of Cortez.

Unbeknown to the Condesa, Throgmorton seeks to make a vast personal fortune from the discovery of the paintings, and use it to reclaim his place in society.

Ladro and Stuart learns of Throgmorton’s deceit and attempts to thwart his plans. As they delve deeper into the mystery of the missing Cortez painting, they discover a secret that changes their lives forever.

Just as it changed the lives of everyone it touched across the centuries. 

What I liked: This story drew me in immediately! The story started with a bang and kept up a great pace throughout. Brody and Ulla were great, Throgmorton was an excellent though odious player, and the Condesa was the perfect sympathetic character. All told, I thoroughly enjoyed The Lazarus Succession! Full of religious symbolism, action, and a mystical end, the book entertained me!

What I didn’t like: My only complaint was Throgmorton’s end. A little more mysticism would have played better to me given the way the story ended. I would say more, but then I’d have a spoiler and I don’t do that!

Overall impression: The Lazarus Succession was everything I wanted in a religious-themed thriller. Great characters, plenty of action, mystical happenings, and great pace made it a most enjoyable read! Well done Ken Fry!!

My rating: 5 Stars

Connect with the author:

When do you plan to read The Lazarus Succession? Soon, I hope! If you do read it, please consider leaving a review and let Ken Fry know your thoughts. I’m sure he will appreciate it. If you want to check out Ken Fry’s other books, you can find them on his Amazon Author page or his website. Visit and maybe buy a book or three!

Connect with me:

If you want to comment on my review, leave a comment on the site, email me at bill@williamlstuart.com, of find me on the socials! I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Shares, likes, and feedback are always welcome and appreciated!

 

The Dark Levy by Alaric Longward – My Review!!

The Dark Levy by Alaric Longward – My Review!

The Dark Levy Cover

The Dark Levy by Alaric Longward caught my eye as a recommendation on my Amazon feed. It’s definitely dark fantasy, but with an intriguing twist that grabbed me immediately. Read on for more!

Synopsis (from the author): In this epic dark fantasy adventure story, Shannon and Dana visit their wise, old grandmother in Wales, and finally learn why their lives have been strangely tormented and cursed. There is a family secret, old as time itself, and that secret might kill them if they try to ignore their destiny. They also learn that there is a dangerous way to embrace that secret, because on that day, a harrowing creature of an alien world calls out for the few and the special, talented humans of the Tenth world. Our world.

Dana performs an irreversible murderous deed that opens the gate to the Jewel of the Nine, the world of Aldheim, and they meet the strange creature calling for them. In this world they find their true calling, their special talents, the truth of the gods and also a world of mystery, danger, and adversity. Shannon and Dana struggle with their previous relationship as one grows cruel and power-driven, while the other learns to value friendship. Much is demanded of Shannon, who struggles with her loyalties.

Despite the many dangers and their apparently hopeless situation in the brutal, mage-filled world of monsters and dragons, there is hope, for Shannon has special, coveted powers of healing, reserved for the chosen of the gods. If she perseveres, she can change the past and bring back even the gods.

But the price will be great.

What I liked: The Dark Levy is a great dark fantasy read! Shannon is the vulnerable yet strong and unlikely heroine. Dana repeatedly shows her dark side and is ruthless. The supporting cast plays the important background role, providing conflict and shifting loyalties to enhance the story. And the gorgons are great antagonists. Norse mythology elements add  an extra layer  to the tale. All in all, an excellent fantasy read!

What I didn’t like: My only complaints about the book are some parts seem repetitive and I found myself rushing through them.

Overall impression: Despite my criticism above, Alaric Longward’s The Dark Levy combines all the elements of a great dark fantasy book. Action, conflict, impossible choices, and fantastic villains blend together to take the reader on an epic journey. If you read fantasy, put this one on your TBR!

My rating: 5 Stars

Connect with the author:

Have you read The Dark Levy? What about any of Alaric Longward’s other books? Find out more about them on his Amazon Author page or his website. Visit, look around, and leave him a comment. Please consider leaving a review, too, since reviews let authors know what reader’s think of their work.

Connect with me:

What did you think of my review? Love it? Hate it? Leave me a comment and let me know! And, so you don’t miss a review, subscribe to the blog. I’d love to connect with you on the socials, too! Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest and say hi!

 

The Guardian’s Angel by Lorrie Farrelly – My Review!!

The Guardian’s Angel – My Review!

Angel

 

Recently, a friend challenged me to read outside my normal favorite genres. Having read a couple of Lorrie Farrelly’s books, I accepted the challenge and picked up The Guardian’s Angel. Read on for my thoughts!

Synopsis (from the author): When nobody knows what to do with a troubled, damaged kid, it’s time to call Elizabeth Driscoll. A wary, vulnerable, unusually intuitive young woman, Libby has a knack for helping children that others have given up on.

Certainly nobody knows what to do with Tommy Madden, least of all his fiercely devoted guardian, Seattle Police Detective J.D. McCammon. McCammon believes the autistic little boy witnessed a double murder: his mother and his father, the city’s District Attorney. J.D. is determined to help and protect Tommy at all costs, and somehow, find a way to communicate with him.

When Tommy’s life is threatened by the corrupt organization that killed his parents, J.D. and Libby take him on a desperate and dangerous flight to safety. They must place their trust in one another to escape a relentless evil that threatens not only their lives, but that of the child they’ve both come to love.

On the run, Libby and J.D. are tested to the limits of their courage and resolve. They discover an intimate and mystifying bond that will either drive them apart, or become their greatest source of strength and passion.

What I liked: The Guardian’s Angel drew me in from the start. Libby’s trauma from an attack and the unexpected mental interaction between her and JD sets the tone for the story. With Tommy’s safety at risk, Libby and JD embark on a dangerous mission to save him. But enough, no spoilers from me. The ending is satisfying and the sacrifices made by all tie the tale together nicely. This book has romance, intrigue, suspense, and enough action to keep the pages turning.

What I didn’t like: About my only criticism of the book is the constant indecision of both Libby and JD to accept their feelings about each other. It frustrated me a reader for the characters to vacillate as long as they did.

Overall Impression: The Guardian’s Angel is well written, full of compelling characters with plenty of angst to go around, suspense, intrigue, and sacrifice. I recommend this book to romance and chick-lit aficionados. I would also recommend it to anyone who simply likes a good read!

My Rating: 5 Stars

Connect with the author:

Have you read The Guardian’s Angel? What about any of Lorrie Farrelly’s books? If so, please consider leaving a review. Reviews mean the world to authors as it lets them know what readers like or dislike about their work! Want to know more about Lorrie and her work, find them on her Amazon Author Page or her website.

Speaking of like (or dislike), please consider leaving a comment about this review. It’s always nice to know whether I helped someone find something new to read.

Connect with me:

Connect with me on the socials, too. I can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, and Tumblr. You can also email me at bill@williamlstuart.com. Don’t miss a post either. Subscribe to the blog! I’m happy to meet new friends!

Submarines in Idaho!?!?!?!?… Yep, It’s True!!

When you think of Idaho, what is your first impression? For me, prototype training in Idaho Falls as a US Navy Nuclear Reactor operator is first thought. For others, skiing, hiking, and amazing vistas come to mind. Still others think of potatoes. Many conspiracy theorists believe the US moon landing was actually filmed at Craters of the Moon National Park and we never set foot on the moon. All those things make Idaho uniquely Idaho. Today I want to tell you about a  Navy facility in the Idaho wilderness. At the facility, engineers experiment with the latest in submarine hull design! Yep, submarines in Idaho!

What? Submarines in Idaho? Hey, we once trained to run submarine nuclear power plants in Idaho, so why not? And, it makes sense when you think about the facility. Called the Acoustic Research Detachment (ARD) in Bayview, Idaho, the site, located on the southern end of Lake Pend Orielle, performs research, development, test and evaluation of submarine acoustic stealth technology. Cool, you might say, but why Idaho?

According to Wikipedia, the lake, located in the Northern Idaho Panhandle, and fed by the Clark Fork and Pack Rivers is 43 miles long and 1150 feet deep in places (like near the test facility). At depths below 100 feet, the water is a constant 39F. The lake has a flat muddy bottom, and coupled with little boat traffic at night, makes it a perfect acoustic test location.

Why is this important? Well, as a former submarine sailor, I appreciate the need for silence on boats (yes, submarines are boats and surface ships are ships). While surface ships can operate quietly, stealth is especially crucial for submarines. The ARD helps in the mission.

ARD has its own fleet of submarines. An article by the LA Times says the subs are up to 88 feet long (roughly 1/4 size of a real submarine). The latest model, LSV-2 (large scale vehicle), is about 120 feet.  Cutthroat (LSV-2 modeled on the Virginia class), and Kokanee  (LSV-1 modeled on the Seawolf class) comprise part of the fleet. Rumors say at least 5 others call the site home. I read another article that named the boats. In addition to the boats listed above, the Dolly Varden, Pike, Whitefish, and Steelhead round out the fleet.

Submarines Kokanee LSV-1

Kokanee LSV -1

Officially, and according to the Naval Sea Systems Command website, the purpose of ARD is as follows.

These state-of-the-art facilities support a wide variety of research and technology development programs ranging from submarine propulsor development to the calibration of full-scale acoustic transducers. Detachment personnel supporting the experiments form a highly capable and versatile workforce providing ARD customers a timely and quality outcome. They work closely with project scientists, engineers and technicians throughout the Carderock Division and other Navy and private organizations, to plan and conduct operations and experiments on the lake.

The results obtained during past experiments have been extremely valuable to the Navy, especially in the area of submarine propulsor design, sonar dome development, submarine construction cost avoidance, and the development of several critical submarine design features. Future plans include critical support of current and future Navy submarine design in the area of structural acoustics, hydroacoustics, propulsor development, target strength reduction, and related experiments using the unique capabilities of the ARD.  The Large Scale Vehicle-2 (LSV-2), a large model of the VIRGINIA Class submarine, is being used extensively in the area of propulsor research. Large scale buoyant submarine models support testing in the area of submarine structural acoustic and hydroacoustic technology.  Target strength testing is conducted using the Intermediate Scale Measurement System (ISMS), which provides a unique acoustic test capability unsurpassed by any other available facility.

The ARD also houses a model of the Zumwalt class of destroyers. Officially the Advanced Electric Ship Demonstrator (AESD), they call the ship Sea Jet. As I mentioned before, surface ships like to be quiet, too, and this facility helps make that a reality.  As every submariner knows, there are only 2 types of ships – submarines and targets. If you are a target rider, quiet can help you, too!

Submarines AESD photo

Sea Jet

Idaho and submarines seems an odd combination, until you look at why they exist. Then it makes perfect sense. Although almost 400 miles from the ocean, ARD makes great contributions to the submarine community. The improvements enhance the safety and effectiveness of US Navy boats. For that, and on behalf of submarine sailors former, current and future, thanks ARD!!

Have you been to Idaho? Maybe visited ARD or Lake Pend Orielle? Maybe prototype like me?  Are you a former submarine sailor? Despite the brutal winters, did you enjoy Idaho? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Connect with me:

Want to connect on social media? Please feel free to contact me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, and Tumblr or just email me at bill@williamlstuart.com!

 

Craftsmanship in Colonial Williamsburg

In my second post about the trip to the Williamsburg, VA area, I wanted to focus on the beautiful woodwork and craftsmanship, and highlight some of my favorite images from the visit. I do a bit of woodworking myself, so I can appreciate the workmanship and skill of the people who did the work. Now, I realize that much of the woodwork, blacksmithing, and other crafts weren’t original, but it was still gorgeous!

The first example I wanted to share is a dovetail joint found in the magazine. I would guess this one was hand cut, but I think it is a beautiful bit of joinery. What do you think?

Craftsmanship at Colonial Williamsburg

Guns lined the walls of the magazine on the upper floor. Some of the weapons were original to the period (not reproductions), and they still fired! Though not woodworking directly, they are impressive nonetheless.

Craftsmanship Muskets-in-the-Magazine

I included a picture of swords, too, since they also show great craftsmanship. My favorite (being of Scot descent) was the Basket Cage Claymore! The Claymore is second from the left in the picture.

Craftsmanship Swords

We visited the blacksmith’s shop and I came away with the impression that is was way too much work! Seriously, it was hot and brutally hard work, but necessary to produce the tools and implements used at the time.

Craftsmanship Blacksmith-Furnace-at-Colonial-Williamsburg

The bellows for getting the fire burning hot enough for the work was an impressive device.

Craftsmanship Blacksmith-Bellows-Colonial-Williamsburg

I loved the pegged mortise and tenon joinery in the blacksmith shop, too.

Craftsmanship Mortise-and-Tenon-Joinery

Jumping over to the Capitol building, most of which is reproduction work, I still got to see beautiful woodwork and craftsmanship. Take the judges panels and molding in the courtroom. Gorgeous!

Craftsmanship Judges-Panels-Colonial-Williamsburg-Capitol

 

Craftsmanship Dentil-Molding-Colonial-Williasmburg-Capitol

The last set of pictures I want to show are from the Governor’s Palace. This building, also a reproduction, is pretty amazing. It demonstrates the power and influence Colonial Williamsburg enjoyed for many years before the capitol moved to Richmond.

Craftsmanship Governor's-Palace-Colonial-Williamsburg

As if the entrance to the palace wasn’t impressive enough, the foyer emphasizes the importance and prestige of the Governor. Filled with weapons, the entry was meant to intimidate and remind visitors they were in the presence of the ultimate colonial power.

Craftsmanship Governor'-Palace-Foyer-1

 

Craftsmanship Governor's-Palace-Foyer-2

Quite an impressive display, don’t you think? In addition to the weaponry, the craftsmanship of the woodwork was amazing!

Craftsmanship Governor's-Palace-Molding

The photo above is a shot of some of the moldings found throughout the palace. Beautiful work!

Not only were the moldings and walls gorgeous, but the furniture was, too. Here are a few examples.

Craftsmanship Governor'-s-Palace-Armoir

Armoir

 

Craftsmanship Chest-on-Chest

Chest-on-Chest

Craftsmanship Secretary

Secretary

Of the three pieces shown above, the secretary is my favorite. Which is yours?

One last piece of molding to show, and I think it might just be my favorite of all. I usually go for a simpler design, but this one is stunning.

Craftsmanship Intricate Molding

Intricate Molding

We also visited a silversmith and a book binder, but I didn’t take any pictures at either location. The silversmith, in particular, had some spectacular pieces on display.

I try to notice the details of the sights we visit, and I found many more at Colonial Williamsburg that I could show, but the post would take hours to read. I hope this small sampling will encourage you to visit the site or take a close look at the craftsmanship and skills of the people who started this country (or whatever country you like to visit)!

Connect with me:

Let me know what you think! Leave me a comment, or connect with me on social media. I can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, and Tumblr. Or, if you prefer, email me at bill@williamlstuart.com. If you don’t want to miss a post, please subscribe to the blog!

Avery Washington – Get to Know the Author!

Tonight, I have the privilege of promoting Avery Washington and his book Letters To My Daughters: Poetic Affirmations of Love from A Father. Before you learn more about Avery Washington, let’s learn a little more about the book. Below is a brief description.

Letters Cover Avery Washington

A beautiful relationship of love from their father here on earth combined with the love from our Heavenly Father God, Avery shares his love and support for his daughters. He shows how instrumental the love of not only their father here on earth is, but also accepting the love of our Father God. This book is full of poetic affirmations of love and inspirational quotes. These words will give daughters of all ages’ strength, encouragement and inspiration which will give them good mental health to become strong women in the future.

I haven’t read the book, but the description tells me that the encouraging words and support of fathers is important to our children. Thanks Mr. Washington for giving it to us to read!

More about Avery Washington!

Bestselling Author / Poet Avery Washington is one of the most respected authors in the world today. He is a passionate author who has combined his great gift of storytelling and poetry into powerful collections of heartfelt writings in which we all can relate to daily. Mr. Washington allows the reader to experience every emotion. He intellectually stimulates minds with rhythm and rhyme telling stories of great inspiration, love and awareness. His first book “JUST SPEAKING MY MIND, Spoken Word Poetry Vol.1″ has maintained a five star rating from the readers. It continues to touch lives all across the country. He has performed poems from this great book at many venues.

Different Last Names” is a poem from the book which has brought tears of joy and comfort as the author describes the pain and heartache many children who are raised in households today experience by having a different last name from the rest of the family. He also has tantalizing poems such as “Poetic Love Making,” in which the author compares his passion for writing poetry to love making. Mr. Washington has a great new book promoting self love and self respect for young women of all ages. Entitled “LETTERS TO MY DAUGHTERS, Poetic Affirmations of Love From A Father,” the book will be released in summer 2011. He is a father of three daughters. Mr. Washington feels that affirmations of love from a father can be very instrumental in building good emotional, mental and social health for daughters of all ages.

If this sounds like a poetry volume for you, give it a try! And share the book with your family and friends. Recommend it to co-workers and colleagues. Discover more about the author and his work at the links below.

Connect with Avery Washington:

Take a few minutes to stop by these links. Explore what promises to be a touching, poignant, and beautiful expression of a father’s love! In addition, check out his other books and pick one of them to read today. In addition, consider leaving a review when you’re finished. It doesn’t have to be long. Just a few words describing your thoughts is all it takes. I know Avery Washington will appreciate it!

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