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First round of reviews
Here are a list of book reviews that I have received on my just released historical novel, Good Endeavour. For more detail visit Amazon.com or my webpage.
Liz Bobo – In reading the historical novel, Good Endeavour, by Ned Tillman, I am reminded of the tale of my Mom’s family from France, “The Monnett’s of Ancient Poiteau”. Her written account of their Maryland family’s history is on file in the Maryland historical society in downtown Baltimore.
Ned’s description of his “family’s, turbulent history” conjures up very clear images of what life was like during those times in our nation here, just west of the Chesapeake Bay.
I highly recommend this book as an enjoyable and enlightening read.
Lys Fulda – The ghosts of our past are trapped in the earth beneath our feet. This book explores just that. One homestead’s history reveals things both sweet and scary. But by looking at a history we can break cycles. A well-crafted story.
Tracey Manning – Reminiscent of Edward Rutherford’s or James Michener’s books but on a shorter, more accessible scale, Good Endeavour brings American history to life from colonial to modern times. Through the eyes, actions, and reactions of engaging characters and their Maryland land, Tillman vividly captures how the United States has been shaped by regional challenges, national experiences, and world events – and by the individuals living through them.
I enjoyed so much about Good Endeavour by Ned Tillman, a fast-moving story of how well-developed characters set in a vividly described landscape/environment experience and react to the cultural/political events of their times. His protagonists deal so plausibly with their settings, whether untamed wilderness, burgeoning industry, or racial tensions, and with the moral issues of their day, that they felt real.
Good Endeavour is a great read, hard to put down, drawing the reader in to care about the characters and be intrigued and educated by the issues they deal with. I highly recommend it.
John Caughey – In this original, well written, and important book, Tillman offers one version of American History by telling the lives of his Maryland ancestors on their family farm, one generation after another, from 1695-2002. Using an engaging mix of historical sources, family stories, and creative fiction, he brings the individuals of each generation vividly to life in ways unavailable in conventional history. The ancestors he recreates are interesting and believable as portrays them reflecting about and struggling with the contemporary concerns and moral issues they had to deal with. The book is inspiring as well as informative because it encourages us to reconsider what we know about our own family ancestors and how they – and now we – are caught up in responding to the issues of the time.
I would like to give a big thank you to these reviewers for all the time and thought they put into their contributions to the rest of us. Other Reviews will show up on the book’s Amazon and Goodreads pages and in future blogs.
First Book Reviews are Coming in
Readers are finishing Good Endeavour and sending in their reviews. Here is a sample of what we have received so far:
“I am enjoying the hell out of your book!” B. Muller
“I’m loving reading the book! Ned’s style really shines in the history telling, and it is also full of good information about the natural world.” A. Suhr
“The ghosts of our past are trapped in the Earth beneath our feet. This book explores just that. One homesteads history reveals things both sweet and scary. But by looking at a history we can break cycles. A well crafted story.” E. Fulda
“I’m really enjoying your new book.” B. England
“The stories are not just entertaining but are beautifully told and very informative, the product of significant research and deep interest in the area. Good Endeavor is a YA/Adult book that can be enjoyed by several generations. I know I would have loved it when I was 13, and I certainly enjoyed reading it now.” A. Boyter
I want to thank everyone who has bought the book. And even more thanks to those who have taken the time to comment, rate, and review it. Reviews on Amazon and other sites really do help readers find books that they want to read – which really helps get the message out there.
To order Good Endeavour – Click Here
Howard County Historical Society Video
Howard County Historical Society Video of Ned Tillman Talk on April 7, 2023
This is a talk modified to meet the interests of the Historical Society. The house was full and there were many great questions before and after my talk. I always seem to learn something at these presentations.
Readers Respond to Ned’s New Novel – Good Endeavour
After the initial excitement of having a copy of the book in my hands, there has been a slew of thoughts that have passed through my brain as I await word back from the reading public. There is always that period of time when a book is first released, that the author is sitting on his hands waiting for feedback. Of course, it’s not the first feedback that I have received. There were alpha and beta readers as well as the editorial team. All sorts of help and suggestions came my way over the past three years and they all helped make the book better and more exciting to read.
I will let you all in on what I hear. So far its been rewarding. Some people love the history, others love the feisty characters and their lives, loves and losses. Others like the perspective they gained as to how the past can inform the present. The book is full of examples of how we have been dealing with many of the same issues today as our ancestors did over the past three centuries.
I look forward to sharing it all with you. My website has been updated – check out the home page and the Good Endeavour book page. http://www.SavingThePlaces.com
Feel free to go there as well as on my social media accounts. I also have a couple of talks coming up, so I will share those videos with you too.
I will be at the Howard Community College’s GreenFest this Saturday, April 15, from 10 to 3 at table 77 – so stop by and see me. Always happy to sign a copy of the book for you. Bring your friends.
Patapsco Heritage Greenway Video
So the rodeo has begun! Most writers dont like to think about what happens after the book is published. They hate to admit that there is just as much effort ‘getting the book out there” than there is in writing the book. Much of this effort deals with social media, which is not my favorite way to communicate – but I am learning. Much of my effort goes into giving talks, which is a lot more fun because you get to meet and talk with your readers. And no matter how big the audience may be, I always do my best to try to reach, engage, and inspire as many people as possible to care about the past and our environment, no matter if they buy my book or not. After all, I don’t keep any of the revenues from the sales of my books – it all goes to non profits who share my ideals. I just want to empower people.
My first talk was at the Miller Branch of the HOCO Library System. I was hosted by the Patapsco Heritage Greenway which is doing a wonderful job trying to preserve the history and the natural setting of the River and its surroundings. They would love your interest and your support. This video is an hour long so watch as little or as much as you wish. Please let me know if you woud like me to present to a group that you are affiliated with.
Ned’s new book has arrived! Another journey has begun.
- During the pandemic, Ned hunkered down, collected a slew of family stories, conducted extensive research on Central Maryland, and created an engaging historical novel of the lives, loves, and losses of five generations of a family living on a Maryland farm first built in 1695.
- Good Endeavour is a great addition to the Saving the Places We Love Campaign. This novel expands our preservation efforts from just natural places to family homesteads and surrounding lands. We encourage you to read it and share it with others. We think you will be inspired to take even more steps to save or preserve the places you love.
- Click on any of the book covers on this page to go to more detailed descriptions of the book or click directly on Amazon.com when you are ready to buy it.
Heartwarming Review of Saving the Places We Love
It is always helpful and interesting to receive a review of a book you have written. I have found that I often learn something reading the reviews. Occasionally, I get one that makes my day and makes me realize it is worth all the effort to write and get something published. Here is a recent review that made my day.
“Thank you for writing Saving the Places We Love. It is a book that has transformed my life, inspiring me to make changes that are more caring of the Earth. After reading it, I became more aware of my footprint on the planet and how can I reduce it. But more importantly, I appreciate how you weaved your own experiences into the book, adding a personal urgency to doing so.
Ramsey Hanhan – Author of the memoir, Fugitive Dreams: Chronicles of Occupation and Resistance. 2022
Why I Joined the Little Patuxent Review
I was just voted onto the board of The Little Patuxent Review (LPR), a literary journal based in Howard County, Maryland. I thought that some of you might want to know why, since I spend so much of my time on Climate Change and environmental issues. So, I am taking this opportunity to write down my reasons and then see where this experience takes me.
The LPR journal is named for a small river that flows from the Piedmont of Maryland, through the planned city of Columbia, and then joins the Middle Patuxent. Eventually, these waters flow into the Patuxent River and the Chesapeake Bay.
I have lived on this river since moving to Howard County in the 1970s, and I have waded, fished, and written about it over the years. So, it’s home to me – it is my watershed. It’s also the collector of all that washes off my land.
The LPR is an arts and literary journal, that publishes: poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction, and artwork from up-and-coming and well-seasoned artists and writers. It currently is open for submissions and will produce two issues this year. I suggest you contact them for current and past editions and to subscribe, if you are interested. https://littlepatuxentreview.org/
So, why am I excited about joining this board? This is a good question. I have served on a variety of boards and find it to be a wonderful way to cross-pollinate ideas and opportunities, between boards, so they can each be more effective.
And not all my time is devoted to environmental issues. My wife, Kathy, and I have been involved in a number of art shows and have hosted a story-telling series at the HoCo Conservancy. The arts make everything more worthwhile and help us to better understand complex issues like climate change and environmental justice in an intimate way that enhances our understanding of the challenges we face.
I am looking forward to learning and helping this organization blossom for the sake of our community and artists everywhere.
Ned is the author of The Big Melt, The Chesapeake Watershed, and Saving the Places we Love
New York Times Hiding Vital News
Guest Blog by Robert Bell
(Note from Ned – thought you might be interested in this article by Bob Bell who lives in Medford, Oregon. Worth stopping and thinking about the climate news we do get. Is it too little/too much/ how is it filtered…and who gets to see it.)
Have you heard that the planet’s third largest river has turned into a trickle along some of its stretches, causing cities like Sichuan, which get 80% of their electricity from hydropower, to close factories and ration power? I learned of it last Monday, August 22nd, through the reporters and their editors from The Guardian (1). After eleven weeks of drought during the rainy season, the 400 million people who use the Yangtze for drinking water are faced with a crisis. On Thursday, August 25th, Greta Thunberg tweeted pictures from BBC’s Al Jazeera showing the bare riverbed of the Yangtze River in a Chinese city (2). By Friday, as a reader of climate news, I was really curious about what was happening to the largest nation. I thought “Is there a story in the New York Times about this? I want to know more.”
I have been hesitant about relying on the Times for climate news since 2003. Al Gore had stated then that “the only news is climate news,” yet the Times only printed 11 climate articles that year. The European press seemed furious that the largest newspaper of the world’s greatest emitter was not reporting to its readership critical events about climate change. European papers had dozens of articles that year. Since then, I have checked the Times last in the list of papers that I read. Two years ago, 70 members of the Extinction Rebellion were arrested for blocking the entrance to the New York Times building (620 Eighth Avenue in NY); they were protesting the Times’ lack of climate coverage (3).
Since then, however, I have been heartened by seeing some climate coverage in the Times, particularly a story on the coming California megastorms (4). I decided on Friday, to check and see if the Times had decided to change policy and report climate news. So at noon, I typed “news.google.com yangtze” and, sure enough, I found comprehensive coverage of the dry Yangtze in a very well-written article. But when I looked at the digital front page: no mention, no success in searches for “yangtze”, “china”, or “climate”. I checked again at 8pm. No mention. Large picture of a Chinese endangered sea urchin. That was it. Again Saturday morning, a fruitless search. Top headlines were about Trump’s affidavit, college football, and the Ukraine. Later that morning, I went to my climate activist’s meeting with eight other people. “How many of you know that the planet’s third largest river is now a trickle?” Five of the nine of us had heard about it.
Later on Saturday, I found out the answer. Searching for “climate”, I found the Times’ Climate Forward newsletter box. It was way down the digital front page and very small. It contained a somewhat useless article about the shortage of lithium for electric cars, which I have known about for months. At the very end, “Essential News of the Times” had the vital news about the Yangtze (5).
Another business article explained that the Times has eight million digital subscribers (6). It also has 15 million people reading one of the many newsletters it publishes. Its goal is to get these non-subscribing readers to subscribe and boost its readership to 10 million by 2025. The vital news about the third largest river is for newsletter readers only. How many? Probably a tenth of a million, not eight million. Why are eight million people deprived of vital world news? Given that dark money from fossil fuels has paralyzed Congress for the last few years, isn’t it likely that the same dark money is paralyzing vital media knowledge? Advertizing policy rules editorial policy. Not “fake” news, just hiding it so deeply that hardly anyone will find it. Anyone except the Extinction Rebellion and climate activist readers who subscribe to Climate Forward and become satisfied that the Times does fair coverage. Is this ecologically ethical?
A Request for Reviews
I’m learning about Amazon’s algorithms. I now know my books would get wider exposure if they had more Ratings on their Amazon book pages. For example, The Big Melt has been well received by the critics and students, young adults, teachers, and book clubs, but most people have not heard about it. And it has been a finalist in two book awards – I just need to bump up my marketing game a notch or two so more people check it out.
With that in mind, would you do me a big favor and take a few moments and help me inspire more people to care about the environment and the climate? If you have read The Big Melt (or one of my other books), would you please RATE (+/- provide a REVIEW) one of my book(s) on Amazon. It’s easy – just click below on one of the book titles, click sign in and the review page is right there. Once its open, all you need to do is click on one of the STAR ratings.
Thank you so much… and if you haven’t read them all, they might be good for Spring Break or Summer reading. Enjoy and thank you again. It takes a village!
Let me know if you have any questions – firstname.lastname@example.org