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Local teen writes magical adventure novel

Reviewing books by local authors who have generously donated a copy to your library is always a joy, because we are reminded of how much writing talent exists in our little community. But when that author is a 15-year-old teen in the ninth grade, the WOW Factor comes into play.

An action and adventure story called “The Daughter of Ernesta” by Teeka Murphy has just been published in hard cover. It features a 10-year-old heroine named Brea who gets herself into trouble after listening to — and believing — fairy stories told to her by an old hermit named Jacob. Her mother is annoyed when Brea said she believes in fantasy creatures like Pegasus. More seriously, the King has a law forbidding magical songs and stories, so Brea has to run away to escape his troops who are searching for her.

Brea meets all sorts of mythical creatures including a hunter who turns out to be Jacob’s long-lost son, a water spirit, a giant wolf, a fire nymph, an immortal horse, a white falcon, and a red hawk named Connect’– and she also fights bravely in a war. Telling any more would ruin the story for you.

Like all well-written books for teens, this is an enchanting read for adults as well. (Remember that several successful current movies — “War Horse,” “Hugo,” the “Twilight” series and “Hunger Games” — are based on young-adult fiction.) And Teeka’s talent with words, phrasing, plot and pacing are sophisticated beyond her years.

Teeka is the daughter of Tasha and Dale Murphy. She lives near Square Top with her parents, sister Keena and a host of pets including 11 cows, 11 quail, eight horses, six cats, three dogs, two parakeets and a pigeon. Indeed, the book is a family affair in that Teeka’s sister was the inspiration for its heroine and her mother created the cover art.

Her desire to write began at age 11 with a poetry book. Teeka says she “started writing this book and took it as it went.” Interestingly, early on she knew how it would end and “I just had to fill in the details.” In addition to writing, her interests include history, horseback riding, reading, singing and soccer.

“The Daughter of Ernesta” is available at the library. If you want your own copy, you can purchase it on the Internet at amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.

Lifelong Learning

There are three more Lifelong Learning lectures in our highly popular free spring Lifelong Learning lecture series:

• This evening (Thursday, May 10) we feature “Pueblo Architecture” from 6–7:15 p.m.with Dr. Charles Riggs, chair of the Department of Anthropology at Fort Lewis College. He will discuss his experience and research on the ancient Pueblo culture and architecture of the Southwest.

• Thursday, May 17, brings us “Ghost Ranch in New Mexico: A Sacred Sense of Place” from 6–7:15 p.m. with Dr. Andrew Gulliford, professor of history and environmental studies at Fort Lewis College, and Debra M. Hepler, executive director of Ghost Ranch. He will talk about the history of Ghost Ranch through slides while she will speak about the present and future of this unique place.

• Eight men and women gathered back in 1995 to exchange stories of their early lives in Pagosa as pioneers and homesteaders. The result is a two-hour documentary DVD called “An Afternoon with the Natives” that will be shown on Thursday, May 31, from 4–7 p.m. along with a Q and A session.

LEGO Club

Join kids aged 6–13 from 10:30–11:45 a.m. for this free fun monthly gathering. LEGOs are provided.

Free technology programs

• Tech Tuesday is 3-5 p.m. May 15 and 29 and 10 a.m.-noon May 22.

• Power Point 2010 Basics will be taught May 18 from 10 a.m.-noon.

• Uploading and Organizing Digital Photos will be taught May 24 from 10 a.m.-noon.

Free adult films

We’ll show two more films in our Classic Hollywood Film series at 1 p.m. Fridays, both silent movies. “City Lights” with Charlie Chaplin will be tomorrow (May 11), and “The General” with Buster Keaton will be May 25.

E-books

If you are not aware of how to access the free e-book opportunities available for our patrons through your library, please go to http://pagosa.colibraries.org/technology or you can pick up a paper copy at the library.

Books on CD

“The Technologists” by Matthew Pearl is set in Boston in 1868 as MIT is being built.

“The Dressmaker” by Kate Alcott follows the lives of survivors, rich and poor, of the Titanic disaster. “The Dog Who Danced” by Susan Wilson tells of the power of love from Mack, a gray and black Sheltie. “The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection” by Alexander McCall Smith is the latest in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. “Stories from the Golden Age” by L. Ron Hubbard is volume 11 in this series.

Mysteries and thrillers

“Death Comes Silently” by Carolyn Hart is the latest in the Death on Demand bookstore mystery series. “The Lost Years” by Mary Higgins Clark tells of a hunt for what may be the most precious religious and archaeological treasure of all time. “Capitol Murder” by Philip Margolin is another thriller set in Washington, D.C. “Miss Julia to the Rescue” by Ann B. Ross is the latest in the Miss Julia mystery series. “The Big Cat Nap” by Rita Mae Brown & her feline coauthor Sneaky Pie Brown celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Mrs. Murphy mystery series. “Deep Zone” by James M. Tabor is a debut thriller about a mysterious epidemic that is killing American soldiers in Afghanistan.

Other new novels

“The Beginner’s Goodbye” by Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Tyler explores how a middle-aged man is gradually restores by his dead wife’s unexpected appearances. “More Than You Know” by Penny Vincenzi is a romantic drama set against the chic backdrop of 1960s-‘70s London. “Kingdom Come” by J. G. Ballard is this cult novelist’s final novel. “The Shoemaker’s Wife” by Adriana Trigiani is a love story that starts in the Italian Alps.

Thanks to our donors

We are grateful for generous donations in memory of Kent Davis from Bruce and Nettie Trenk, and in memory of Jerry Dermody from Gil and Lenore Bright For books and materials this week we thank Lyn Rogers, Carol Sheets and, of course, our anonymous donors.

Quotable quote

“Let us remember that the great human advances have not been brought about by mediocre men and women. They were brought about by distinctly uncommon people with vital sparks of leadership.” — Herbert Hoover, 31st President of the U.S.

Website

For more information on library books, services and programs — and to reserve books from the comfort of your home — please visit our website at http://pagosa.colibraries.org/.

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