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Three Novels: The Old Mermaid's Tale, Each Angel Burns, Depraved Heart Kindle Edition

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Length: 1205 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Praise for The Old Mermaid's Tale:
If we are fortunate, sometimes a novel interrupts our lives with its grandeur, superlative writing, its memorable, heroic characters. THE OLD MERMAID'S TALE is such a book. Instantly intriguing, wildly imaginative and informative, it swept me into the Great Lakes region of the United States, bodies of water I had always thought of as mysterious, even mythical. With the Great Lakes as background, Kathleen Valentine has created a tale of Everywoman who has ever been drawn to the unknown, even the forbidden, in search of her destiny.

In the 1960's, Claire Wagner, from rural Ohio, enrolls in college in Western Pennsylvania on the shores of Lake Erie and as we follow her life-journey we forget her youth, as she is drawn into the dark, seedy edges of the waterfront town of Port Presque Isle, a seaman's town abounding in history, legends, dark secrets. As each year passes, Claire inevitably wanders from the safe academic path into the lives of the town's seafarers and their women - their passions and tragedies - in a way that will alter her life forever as she becomes part of their history, their lore.

It is in the minutely detailed and beautiful writing that the legends of the Great Lakes, their maritime history, comes stunningly alive. And in that same way the characters come alive, rich and vivid, each offering their personal epic so that they become memorable, and resonate long after the novel ends. People move in and out of Claire's life, each on their own existential errand, but it is Pio, the handsome seaman who first awakens her to sexual passion, and Baptiste, the magnificent, heartbreaking Breton, who will guide her, transform her and become the enduring love of her life. These are seafarers whose lives have been defined by the cruel obliquities of mighty lakes and oceans, and in that sense they represent Man, his human fragility against the forces of Nature. On a second reading of this novel, I saw them in a broader, Biblical sense and the book took on a new depth of meaning.

Some readers might call this an historical-romance novel. But for me, THE OLD MERMAID'S TALE transcends mere genre. It is writing on a epic scale, addressing tales of grand proportions -life, death, joy, sorrow, love, and always the quest for the meaning of existence. And it is accomplished with superbly-crafted writing, a joyous and lavish exuberance of descriptions, an appreciation of folk music and classical music, and of languages. There is so much to love here.

Let me also applaud indelible scenes of poetry that summon up the senses. The intoxicating smell and stickiness and crimson stains on a mother's fingers as she pits bowls of cherries. The rhapsodic sounds and smells and flavours of a homemade Italian dinner. And the visual beauty of that Italian family. The rusty, mildewed smell of old seamen, and the briny, ancient odors of their taverns. The smell of unwashed women, and of loneliness. And the blinding and near-deafening of a massive ice-storm, that leaves the town as if buried under shattered glass, "a world encrusted in diamonds." And, most memorable, the sensuous tastes and textures and scents of Baptiste's body as Claire maps his wondrous geography.

Near the end of the novel, a characters asks, "How can we know if what we remember is truly ours to remember and not some fragment that has claimed us? Even in the face of what seems real, to whose version of reality is it bound?" This, too is poetry, a philosophical musing not meant to be answered, only posed. For such questions give the reader pause, and add to our depth as thinking humans.

At the end of THE OLD MERMAID'S TALE I bowed my head in wonder at what Kathleen Valentine has accomplished, a novel that is a treasure-house of the Great Lakes maritime history and lore. But more importantly, a magnificent story of obsession and redemption, of finding one's destiny, then finding one's way home. Here is an old-fashioned story that transports us and educates us as epic novels do, a story that reminds us of the power of unconditional love, and of the miracle and brevity of our human existence.

I want to reiterate what another reviewer has said: 'THE OLD MERMAID'S TALE raises the bar for those publishing independently. It casts adrift the myth that indie-published novels are inferior to novels published traditionally.' Amen. This is a great novel. Like great novels, it engaged all my emotions, and I wept at the end. I feel privileged to have read it. Thank you, Kathleen Valentine

- Kiana Davenport, author of CANNIBAL NIGHTS, PACIFIC STORIES, Volume II 

About the Author

Kathleen Valentine was born and grew up in the Allegheny highlands of Pennsylvania. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in The Arts and worked for over twenty years in the art/marketing departments of high-tech corporations. Since 2003 she has run her own design business, Valentine-Design.com. She is the author of "Fry Bacon. Add Onions", a cookbook/memoir of growing up Pennsylvania Dutch, as well as 3 novels, several novelettes and short story collections, and knitting instruction books. Her blog at KathleenValentine.com has been read by thousands of readers since its beginning in July 2005.
She currently lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts, America's oldest seaport, and is writing every day.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3379 KB
  • Print Length: 1205 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Parlez-Moi Press (December 15, 2013)
  • Publication Date: December 15, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009XHNWR4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #949,783 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Kathleen Valentine is the award-winning author of four novels, many novellas & short stories, books of knitting patterns, & a cookbook/memoir about growing up Pennsylvania Dutch. She has been listed as an Amazon Top Selling Author in Horror and in Mystery/Suspense. As a writer her primary interest is delving into the psychology of her characters. Her stories are sometimes mysterious, sometimes funny, usually romantic, and frequently frightening. Her characters range from lost children and grumpy old folks, to mysterious men and women who are not to be trifled with.

She lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts, America's oldest seaport.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rosanne Hilliker on May 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love her books. They are a treat to cuddle up with. Interesting stories and quick page turners. Don't miss out!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Walls on February 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love this author, and Old Mermaid's Tale is, I think, her best book. The characters were believable, the plot beautifully done and the writing superb. Made me cry, but I never wanted it to end :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DamselflyStudio on October 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Kathleen Valentine's books are among the few that continue to live on once the last page is finished. Each story is a journey of discovery for the characters and the reader. When I read Each Angel Burns a second time, it was like I was reading a different mood of book, just as wonderful, but with a different insight of one of the primary characters.

Kathleen's characters are drawn on real people, thus when you read her work you feel like you are reading about people you know or have met along the way.

This set is a great gift, to yourself as a reader. So grab your coffee, tea or hot chocolate, snuggle in your comfy chair and enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jane Templeton on December 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Amazing writing, beautiful, so rich & enthralling. I didn't want any of them to end especially The Old Mermaid's Tale
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Claudia Trommer on December 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
They were decent but not long enough. When I buy them I'm thinking it's 3 Novels..not 3 little Novels..You get into it then it ends dumb.
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