||Star Publish LLC
||November 1, 2008
The Anna Mae Mysteries: The Golden Treasure
Three tween sneaker-toe sleuths find Jefferson Davis' lost gold with help from a disembodied Black fist and divining rods.
Three 'tween sneaker-toe sleuths: 12 year-old Anna Mae Botts, her eight year-old brother, Malcolm, and Anna Mae's best friend, 12 year-old Raul Garcia are prevented from entering school the first day by a disembodied Black fist. The Black fist parallels their movements until it suddenly releases paper scraps that fall to the ground.
Anna Mae and Raul pick up the scraps and read words that don't mean anything to them. FIND THE GOLD, CHENNAULT PLANTATION, BEWARE OF BURNING BUILDINGS. The mystery continues as the tweens experience paranormal events and situations that go way beyond their experience and knowledge.
Anna Mae's grandmother, Zora Kingsley, comes to spend the winter with Anna Mae and her brother, Malcolm. Together with hauntings, haints, alphabet soup noodle soup, and divining rods made from wire coat hangers, the three 'tweens find themselves involved in situations at school and at home that test their resolve, challanges their mind, and pits them one against the other.
I shuddered as we tramped through the hallway. Bleak, green water-stained walls greeted us as if we were old friends. Warped metal locker doors creaked on rusty hinges as they popped opened. The mismatched green-tinted cracked floor tiles held firm beneath our sneakered feet. Water dripped down the concrete walls. The building smelled like a garbage dump; an obnoxious blend of stale cigarette smoke, marijuana, and unwashed bodies.
Breathing through parted lips, I tried not to inhale the foul sulfur blend. Raul clapped his hands over his mouth. He snorted. It sounded like a cross between a dry cough and a gag.
The stench followed us down the hall to Ms. Yolanda's homeroom, our sanctuary for the next nine months. Raul reached out and opened the classroom door. It moaned as it opened. I trudged into the room, clutching my chest...
Multi-cultural Adventure for Young Adults
Lillian Cauldwell has written an imaginative, multi-cultural, adventurous mystery with a riveting twist. The young and inquisitive heroine, Anna-Mae, along with her brother Malcom and their best friend Raul want to change the status quo at school and so they stir the pot with their curious antics and with grandmother's sage advice. In her endless quest to be understood, Anna-Mae teaches us courage, acceptance and resolve through her paranormal interactions with a mysterious ghost with a message. This coming of age story allows us to understand how fear and struggle with school friends are resolved by tapping into the available energy of supernatural forces. Lillian breathes life into this heartfelt mystery through her creativity and intelligent metaphors. It fills up our senses and guides us through an emotional roller coaster that we cannot ignore. If Harry Potter read this book he would want to take a class from Anna-Mae. --Anna Maria Prezio, Ph.D., Author of "Confessions of a Feng Shui Ghost-Buster"
The Black Gauntlet and Ghostly Apparaitions
When I sent you my Escaping Reality for your review, you sent me your Anna Mae Mystery. I was too busy to read through it then but I have had time in the last couple of days. When I realized it was not adult fiction I didn’t think I would enjoy it but I was wrong.
Although the editing work I do is for all genres for adult readers, I was very impressed with your work, The Anna Mae Mysteries: The Golden Treasure. I was caught up admirably by the spectre of the black gauntlet and its timely apparitions.
As a high school teacher (11 to 18) for thirty years I know plenty of pupils in the young teens who would be gripped by the antics of Anna Mae. Mover over Harry Potter and Shadowmancer! You might think their Britishness would hinder their appreciation of your American novel but although I had to look up Whippoorwill, kids over here adore American lifestyles, even those that flit randomly to Civil War Times!
Much of my criticism of writers focuses on their insufficient show instead of tell, but wow, Lillian, you demonstrate how it’s done! You use olfactory sense particularly well that poor Anna Mae had so many aromas spreading, creeping up and filling her poor nostrils. I loved it!
Youngsters rarely want very serious literature, nor characters that are too ridiculously comic for a whole book, but you grab the correct yet difficult balance.
Good luck with it.
Parents and Teachers Will Love It
Parents and teachers will love.... The Anna Mae Mysteries by Elizabeth Cauldwell Lillian Cauldwell writes with a voice that speaks to the rich imagination of a child. A ten year old child's mind plays tricks. She fears dark places in buildings where the grown-ups are not, because she believes in ghosts and apparitions, and squeaking, creaking things that could be a monster spider's joints. Yet, she yearns to find buried treasure, or to make headlines in a good way, or to improvise and solve a mystery. One example of masterly "childlike" problem solving is the use of coat hangers as divining rods.... Dowsing is such a cool thing for children! Vivid images strike a chord in my memory, and linger in my mind of the phantom fist, the schoolyard bully, the horror in the air ducts, the dusty, thirsty hard work of digging in the fruit cellar... for buried gold. It's "real", it's delightfully scary in the way of all good and gripping page-turners, but it's not frightening. Perhaps Lillian's writing is so believable, and so immediate because Lillian pays attention to details - such as the ring on fourth finger of ghostly black fist. Parents and teachers will love Lillian's writing, too, not only because the children will be immediately engaged by the mystery, but because of the tie-in with history, including Jefferson Davis and Georgia's exciting past. Lillian Cauldwell is a splendid storyteller, and my child and I are eagerly looking forward to the next gripping tale in the series! Rowena Cherry http://www.rowenacherry.com INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL Winner of the N.O.R. Awards, Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi Romance: http://www.youtube.com/v/RNnX5dyfzmQ
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