July 10, 2011 in Features

Book Notes: Cheney author moves into fiction

By The Spokesman-Review

Cheney author John R. Soennichsen has had plenty of success with his nonfiction books, including “Bretz’s Flood: The Remarkable Story of a Rebel Geologist and the World’s Greatest Flood” and “Live From Death Valley: Dispatches from America’s Low Point.”

Now, he’s moving into fiction with his just-released novel, “Westward Journey: The Incredible Adventures of an American Boy” (CreateSpace, $14.95), which Soennichsen calls “simultaneously a coming-of-age story, romance and Western adventure.”

It’s the story of a young farm boy who treks cross-country in a wagon train in 1849. The narrator, young Will Barlow, experiences plenty of hardships and adventures, as well as young love.

Soennichsen said he was inspired by 19th century masters such as Mark Twain and Charles Dickens, as well as the era’s serialized Western adventure stories.

He will read from “Westward Journey” on Wednesday, 7 p.m. at Auntie’s Bookstore, 402 W. Main Ave.

Idaho’s brewing heritage

Idaho author Herman Wiley Ronnenberg returns with another book about the region’s early brewers with “The Disciples of King Gambrinus: Vol. 1, Twenty-Five Unfortunate Lives” (Heritage Witness Reflections Publishing, $22.95).

King Gambrinus is the medieval king who, according to European lore, invented beer (although beer actually dates further into antiquity).

Ronnenberg’s book is about the men, mostly of German heritage, who were involved in the early breweries in Idaho.

Among its 25 profiles, you’ll find a number from our region, including Christian Bernhardt, who opened the magnificent brick Coeur d’Alene Brewing Co. in 1908, on a site now occupied by North Idaho College.

There’s also a chapter on Paul Graf of the Sunset Brewery in Wallace, Otto Fries of Moscow and James Smith of Elk City.

This volume deals with the more unfortunate stories of brewing and brewers, thus the subtitle. The next volume, coming soon, will deal with brewing success stories.

‘The Creed Legacy’

Spokane’s best-selling writer of Western romances, Linda Lael Miller, last week released the third part of the Creed family trilogy, “The Creed Legacy” (HQN Books, $7.99).

It wraps up the saga of rodeo star Brody Creed and the women who love him.

If it seems like just yesterday that she released part two of the saga, “Creed’s Honor,” well, it practically was. That came out a month ago and is still on the New York Times best-seller list (No. 20) among paperback mass-market fiction.

Miller is a prolific writer who clearly knows how to make a deadline. She has written at least 20 novels, by rough count.

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