Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Straight Reading from the Library: Bekka of Thorns by Steve Shilstone

A special thanks to Goddess Fish Promotions for giving me a chance to read and review Bekka of Thorns.  And, you lovely readers, have a chance to win a $10 gift certificate to Wild Child Publishing--just leave a comment here or on one of the other stops of the tour. You can see the complete list here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/05/virtual-review-tour-bekka-of-thorns-by.html


On the fantasy world of Boad, Bekka and Karro of Thorns, a pair of 10-year-old bramble hedge-dwelling maidens, dare to leave the tunnels and bowers of home to seek adventure, a rare occurrence among members of their clan, who stick close to the hedge and fear open spaces.  Bekka and Karro consider themselves to be misfits and are bonded as dearest friends.  They speculate about the identity of their parents, a piece of knowledge kept hidden from all hedge-dwellers.  Karro is known throughout the hedge as a silly clown.  Bekka, ever watchful, never chatty, is called Silent Bekka by all.  Bekka, who narrates the story, is determined to find the lost underground city of Rumin and to meet her share of mythical creatures, but she is afraid to go alone.  She talks Karro into accompanying her.  When they step outside the hedge, they have no idea that their adventure traveling through the Woeful Wanderers’ Wasteland will uncover a wonderful secret about one of them.


Grer drollek, once upon a time, a man named Steve created a wonderful world filled with hedge-dwellers, greenwings, shapeshifters, racketous garls, and all manner of interesting creatures--and, I am so glad this is the first book of the series!  I absolutely love the two main characters and am excited to know that there are more books ahead for me to enjoy.

The author does a grand job of describing the world that Bekka and Karro live in--and it seems beautiful.  The adventure that the two of them embark on has some wonderful results at the end--and the promise of more mystery to come.

Kudos on a job well done!


Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Steve moved as a toddler with his family to Denver, Colorado, where his passion for books was sparked early by such titles as McElligot’s Pool, The Little House, Little Toot, and more. His father’s employment with the Pennsylvania Railroad had the family moving to Seattle, Washington when Steve was 10. There he dragged home an armload of books every week from the library. He plowed through the Oz books, the horse books, and the dog books while maintaining vast stacks of comic books, mainly Little Lulu and Scrooge McDuck. It was at this time that he wrote his first piece, something called ‘Art Ant Off To War’.

Lo, the teenage years raged in and found Steve’s family – an older brother, a younger brother, a father and a mother – plunked down for good in Redwood City, California on the San Francisco peninsula. Now Steve’s reading frenzy really kicked into high gear. He buzzsawed through all of Dickens and all of Tolstoy in addition to his regular mound of scifi and fantasy and Moby Dick on the side. Trapped in the tentacles of teenageritis, he wrote stories with titles like ‘The Coffin’ and ‘The Guillotine’. Anguished poetry was a given.

Steve eventually attended and graduated from UCLA with a degree in Anthropology, and following that, gave thanks for the asthma which exempted him from a trip to Vietnam. From then until on, he painted and wrote, observed hippiedom with interest from the sidelines, distributed mail for the United States Postal Service, unloaded trucks and worked in the stockrooms of various Mervyn’s department stores, coached youth baseball for a quarter of a century, and became parental. He also finally got around to reading Ulysses by James Joyce, thereby freeing his writing self from the shackles of convention.

His baseball novel, Chance, debuted in 1996. His middle grade fantasy e-book series, The Bekka Chronicles, began appearing in 2010. He lives sometimes in Redwood City, sometimes at South Lake Tahoe. He continues to play with words. His child of hippies novel, CHILDREN OF VINEYARD, is due out in 2014 from Livingston Press.

Email: steve@steveshilstone.com


  1. Thanks for the kind words, Librarian Judith. My mother was Librarian Suzanne and my cousin was Librarian Marian (yes, Marian the librarian), so libraries and librarians are special to me. Books 2 - 6 in the series are available even as we speak, and number 7 looms on the horizon.