Joshua Porter “The Tree of Ruin” and Birke Duncan “Tricky Trivia Party Games“

Joshua Porter has written “The Tree of Ruin,” an adventure into another world. As one reviewer wrote, “This book will provide anyone who loves heroic fantasy yarns with a story that will stick with them for many years.”

In this book the “Masked” run the world and they have a big job. And then there are the listeners, and also the acid sap from some trees that consciously drop it, and the water that seems to either have a master directing its actions to become deadly waterfalls or into shapes to destroy anything in its path. Very scary and fascinating.

When we met, I asked Porter what he liked to read and he said, “Fantasy and science fiction are my two favorite genres, though I have learned that a well-told history can be just as effective at transporting us to strange and wonderful places. Those genres are fertile ground for stories with depth, stories that give you the sense that you’re seeing only a part of a much greater whole and that invite you to imagine what else must be out there.”

This answer from him tells you a lot about this book. Well thought out and written to hold your interest.

I usually ask authors about favorite places to write and Porter said, “I wrote one of the docks scenes in ‘The Tree of Ruin’ while sitting on a bench along the Poulsbo waterfront.”

Now you know how he gets the locations of these characters to be so real, and makes you feel a part of the surroundings.

If you like fantasy and science fiction you will certainly enjoy this well written story. Teens will become involved with the story quickly and so will adults.

This book “The Tree of Ruin” is available on

Birke Duncan is a very serious looking man but this would be misleading if you took him just on face value because his book will show you his wit and happy outlook on life. Trivia nights have become very popular in many restaurants and bars, and of course at family parties, too. Now there is a book for such occasions.

“Tricky Trivia Party Games” is not only packed with questions but also interesting answers. The book is divided into categories such as “Classic Villains & Monsters”. In this section, one of the questions is: Who played the role of “The Bride of Frankenstein”? Do you know the answer? There are three possibilities.

In another section entitled “Interests and Conflicts” a thought provoking question is: “How many Christians in the Nativity Scene?” The answer makes complete sense and it also explains that the three Wise Men were astrologers. I don’t think I knew that, did you?

This book would be of great value for those that play this game that is so popular these days, but it also contains lots of historical information, so it is an interesting and entertaining read for us all and it is available on

A little about the author of “Tricky Trivia Party Games”: Birke works at a toy store in Seattle. He also does magic and sometimes entertains customers in the store. What a fun job that must be, and, what would you think would be interesting for this man to read? Well he likes authors like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Mark Twain, Joseph Conrad, and Quentin Reynolds. Some mystery, some history. He also has written short movies. He says his favorite is “Runaway Imagination”, directed by Kevin Veatch, available on youTube. It’s an anti-horror show. Worth looking up.

Quote for today: You can find magic where ever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book. — Dr. Seuss.

Donna Lee Anderson writes a weekly column on books. She can be reached at