Mastodon The Writing Desk: Spotlight: The Magician (The Donora Story Collection Book 3) by Kathleen Shoop

27 April 2021

Spotlight: The Magician (The Donora Story Collection Book 3) by Kathleen Shoop

Available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

Donora 2019: Ninety-two year old Patryk Rusek is on the run, bath-towel flying off, with nothing but his new Nikes to carry him to freedom. His plan to escape from Blue Horizon Retirement Community is in motion. Except his great-grandson Owen isn’t at the pickup point. Resigned to his fate, Patryk returns to his room and reads from his incredible hand-drawn chronicle of Donora, luring half the nursing home’s employees and residents into the room, mesmerizing them with childhood tales of Stan F. Musial, beloved baseball hall of famer.

Donora 1920: Mary Musial is expecting again. After four daughters, her husband Lukasz is losing hope for a son. But Jupiter is rising when Stanisław Franciszek Musiał is born on November 21, 1920, and the midwife predicts he will live an extraordinary life. Young Stanley’s physical talents show themselves at the Polish Falcons and on the baseball field. But rather than pride, Lukasz’s spirits plummet after mill injuries turn his American dream into a living nightmare.

When the Depression hits and the mills close, tension grips every Donora household. Meanwhile as Stan matures, he draws attention from the press, college coaches, and professional baseball scouts. Suddenly his singular dream is set against options he’d never imagined. Every choice threatens to disappoint coaches, teachers, his girlfriend, and most of all his parents. Even with the talent to achieve his goals, doubt creeps in. Can he find the courage to leave everything he knows and all the people he loves to fulfil his destiny? Or will he wait too long and risk it all?

Beautifully written and the pages fly by. If you are a baseball nut, this is required reading, in my opinion, but, if like me, baseball is a foreign language, it is still an absorbing and telling tale of familial love, determination, courage, and the ability to see the best in even the worst situations. I loved this story and can highly recommend it.--Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
The prose is tender and insightful, and the true strength of the book lies in the characters, whose combined merits beautifully offset[human] weaknesses. --Heather Brooks for US Review of Books
Five stars over and over again! The word "Magician" in the title hints at the magical experience adroitly encased in this rich and exquisite book. Fully packed with brilliant metaphors, smooth storytelling, deeply portrayed and complex characters, and an elaborate, vividly described world. --Foluso Falaye for Readers' Favorite
Readers who believe that a prior interest in baseball or Donora history is a requirement for enjoying The Magician will be in for a surprise. All that's required is an open mind and heart. The magic embedded in the tale will do the rest.--Diane Donovan for California Bookwatch and Midwest Book Review
You fall deep into Stanley's beginning, thanks to the author's exquisite attention to detail and descriptions. The dialogue is fantastic. History, along with the Musials, comes to life, and you get more than a slice-of-life perspective--you get the whole Musial pie. The Magician(The Donora Story Collection Book 3) by Kathleen Shoop is a Musial fan's dream.--Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Following Stan as he navigates the world will take you on an emotional journey that will have you laughing and crying... --K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
It grabs you from the first page at the unusual sight of Patryk trying to run away in his towel. It kept me reading as I wanted to learn more about him and when he starts telling the story of Donora, I was hooked. --Samantha Gregory for Readers' Favorite

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About the Author

Bestselling author Kathleen Shoop holds a PhD in reading education and has more than 20 years of experience in the classroom. Her third novel, Love and Other Subjects, earned a Silver medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention from the San Francisco Book Festival. Her second novel, After the Fog (Silver IPPY), was a category finalist in the 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Awards. Her debut novel, The Last Letter, is a multiple award-winner, including a Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards. Kathleen has been featured in USA Today and the Writer’s Guide to 2013. Her work has appeared in The Tribune-Review, four Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and Pittsburgh Parent magazine. She lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. Find out more at Kathleen's website  and find her on Facebook and Twitter @kathieshoop 

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