Read an E-book Week

Welcome to the 10th annual Read an E-book Week. The Smashwords site is offering A Place in the World ( set in the Colombian cloud forest) for $1  this week only. (As of last night Amazon was also matching the price on their Kindle books – let me know if you have trouble with that).

You will find thousands of other e-books that are free or deep-discounted this week through March 9. These include multi-formats (Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Apple users, Kobo and more) in their e-catalog. If you find books you recommend on this site  please let others know by commenting below.

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Wikipedia says “The main reasons more people are buying e-books online are  lower prices, increased comfort (as they can buy from home or on the go with mobile devices) and a larger selection of titles…In the space that a comparably sized physical book takes up, an e-reader can contain thousands of e-books, limited only by its memory capacity. Depending on the device, an e-book may be readable in low light or even total darkness.”

The last two sentences are the reasons I take my e-reader when I travel, but then, I confess, I often prefer to hold a”real” book (unless it is more than 300 pages or so!).

What about you: e-books or print?

Belize Wildlife, Part 1 of 2

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Resplendant Quetzal

I remember seeing some of these wonderful birds on a hike in Belize. Also in Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama – the rainforest is a treasure trove I had to write about. I have to reblog Jet Eliot’s post ( click link below)!

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Motmot

 

reblogging from Jet Eliot via Belize Wildlife, Part 1 of 2

Love of Rainforests – growing up global

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Waterfall in a Rainforest

I grew up overseas, first as an “air force brat” and then as an (embassy) attache’s daughter. We lived in Europe and Latin America and after college I moved to New Zealand.  So you can see why I am attracted to various cultures and settings.  These places have beautiful natural scenery and fostered my love of nature and inclination for conservation.

When I was a kid, my father told me  “they will never conquer the jungle.”  He was a pilot and this was after yet another fruitless search and rescue mission for a plane that went down somewhere in the tropical forests between Costa Rica and Panama. I wish they had found the plane, but I also wish he had been wrong about de-forestation.

Resplendant Quetzal

The rare Resplendant Quetzal ( lives only isolated jungle spots between Guatemala and Colombia)

I remember flying over emerald forests in the 1960’ and 70’s that looked like endless crumpled velvet. Thankfully half of Costa Rica’s existing forest cover today is under the protection of national parks or biological reserves, but 80% of their original rainforest was already gone over 15 years ago.  The primary cause of deforestation was cattle ranching. (You’ve heard of the “hamburger connection”?)

Brazil and Colombia are the two most biologically diverse countries on Earth due to the Amazon rainforest.  The Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world covering over a billion acres (stretching into parts of Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela as well).

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Colombia lost 30% of their forests to diverse causes – ranging from logging, mining, development of hydro-electricity,  agriculture to cocaine production. The primary cause of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazonas – like in Costa Rica – was cattle ranching.

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Most of the pictures in the slide show above( unless they have my initials) come from people who share their wonderful photos on Pinterest (for more see www.pinterest.com/CindaMac/ ). This is a rehash of a post I wrote over two years ago when I first started this blog. I figure I can do this as most of you who now follow this blog didn’t “know” me  back then. (And I hope those of you who did and do won’t mind – at least there are new pictures!)   Still valid today.

Only two more days to Win the Book Giveaway: A Place in the World

Are you a member of Goodreads (GR)? GR is a large site for readers to review and/or find book recommendations. They are sponsoring a giveaway of A Place in the World ….. “an award-winning, multicultural-literary novel laced with romance and adventure.”

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Alicia, a young American expat, marries Colombian Jorge Carvallo and they settle on his family’s remote coffee finca  in the Andes Mountains. Educated as a biologist, she revels in the surrounding cloud-forest. However, following an idyllic year, calamities strike one after another……

For more information or to win a softcover copy (several are being offered so 3 chances!) here:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/104600-a-place-in-the-world

 

 

KIRKUS Reviews – A Place in the World

In this novel set in the ’70s and early ’80s, a free-spirited American girl struggles to fit in on a coffee plantation in the Colombian Andes.

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Debut novelist MacKinnon tells the story of Alicia Collier, a young woman with no particular home and little connection to her family… Alicia has lived all over the world, especially South America … By the time she begins college in Virginia, she has spent more time outside the U.S. than in it, so it’s no surprise when she decides to follow her Colombian boyfriend, Jorge, to his country for the summer…  Alicia rapidly becomes a part of the Carvallo coffee farm and, after a series of calamities, ends up running it alone… That is, until Peter Shalmers arrives from America. .. As he accepts hospitality from the Carvallo family, he and Alicia gravitate toward each other. An aspiring botanist, Alicia (takes) Peter on tours of the forest, and her affection for him grows beyond her control. In the midst of this familial and romantic drama are many compelling, detailed descriptions of the rain forest. MacKinnon brings to life the forest’s flora and fauna, the ominous and ever-present wildlife, and the tribal people hiding in the forest. The author’s meticulous detail and knowledge of the locale bring a unique richness to the novel…through the glory of the surroundings she describes.

A quiet romantic adventure well-suited for those who enjoy travelogues.

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Kirkus Reviews is a well-respected book review magazine that has been around for at least 80 years. Librarians and bookstores rely on their critiques and getting a positive review is coveted by writers so I am delighted to receive this  review.  I also received a review on Goodreads from a Canadian writer that has me glowing:

(excerpted) This well-written, riveting plot captures strong elements of friendship, love, freedom, perseverance and endurance amid all the physical and emotional challenges, heartache and pain. The pages of this novel are filled with the beauty, the grandeur, the sights and sounds of nature in the Andean cloud forest.  whitefaces www.rainforesteducation.com
The characters are well-developed, their personalities adding depth and dimension to a story that’s heartwarming and emotionally-riveting. Alicia is an educated, lovely young woman with a soft-heart, who’s determined, capable and stubborn. She befriends Carmen, the Carvallo’s housekeeper, an illiterate, earthy Colombian woman with strong maternal instincts . Together they form an unshakeable bond that transcends class and nationality…The strength of this story not only lies in a well-developed plot and characters but in the sense of historical, political and economic change that affects Colombia and its people in the late 1900’s. It’s a fascinating and moving story…see the full review on Goodreads.com review.

I feel like here is a reader that really understands what the book is about and nothing is more rewarding to an author – but she went the extra mile and wrote so eloquently.  Thank you Wendy from Ontario.  It has been a good week!

“Growing up global” – and a digression on rainforests.

wfall Hana Rd_840ps

I grew up overseas, first as an “air force brat” and then as an (embassy) attache’s daughter. We lived in Europe as well as Latin America and after college I moved to New Zealand.  So you can see why I am attracted to other cultures and languages.  These places were beautiful natural settings and perhaps hence my love of nature and inclination for conservation.

Decades ago, I my father told me  “they will never conquer the jungle.”  He was a pilot and this was after a fruitless search and rescue mission for a plane that went down somewhere in the tropical forests between Costa Rica and Panama. I wish they had found the plane, but I also wish he had been wrong about de-forestation.

I remember flying over emerald forests in the 1960’ and 70’s that looked like endless crumpled velvet.  Although half of Costa Rica’s existing forest cover today is under the protection of national parks or biological reserves, 80% of their rainforest was already lost over 15 years ago.  The primary cause of deforestation was cattle ranching

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