Quick Tips for Paperback Page Numbering

When numbering the pages of your paperback manuscript, the thing quite a lot of Indies have trouble with is that they use Page Breaks rather than Section Breaks. A Page Break is just that—starting a new page within the same section of a book. With a Section Break you can have totally different numbers and Headers and Footers for each section. The way to ensure that your numbering doesn’t bounce back from the first chapter of your book to the front matter is to get rid of all the Page Breaks in first pages and replace them with Section Breaks.

Section Break after title page, and again after the table of contents, and every other page you have in your front matter.

Then double click into your Headers and Footers up to and including the first page of your first chapter, and unlick Link to Previous. This will ensure that all your previous book “sections” remain separate.

Finally, go to the page where you want your numbering to begin and click on Insert > Page Number. Choose how and where you want your numbers to appear, and then click back out again. Your page numbers will now begin in the first chapter, leaving your front matter lovely and number and header free.

If you choose to use the Different Odd & Even Pages function so that you can have your author name on one page and your book title on the page facing it, sometimes all the numbering on either odd or even numbered pages will disappear. Simply click in to that footer and Insert page numbers again—it will automatically use the correct numbers.

Rather than be nervous when getting stuck into formatting for CreateSpace, make a copy of your manuscript and mess around with these things a little first to build your confidence. Try different things with different sections. Play with your numbers. Put them left or right, or be really daring and use Roman numerals. And remember, once you’ve got it right once, you have a template to use for your next book if the thought of doing it all from scratch is just too daunting.



  • Title:  Resolution: Huck Finn’s Greatest Adventure
  • Author: Andrew Joyce
  • File Size: 724 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  •  Publisher: William Birch & Assoc.
  • Publication Date: April 13, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services, LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B01E83YVJA
  • ISBN-10: 0692670904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692670903
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Action & Adventure, Historical Fiction, Biographical

*The author provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review*

In the Author’s Words:

“It is 1896 in the Yukon Territory, Canada. The largest gold strike in the annals of human history has just been made; however, word of the discovery will not reach the outside world for another year. By happenstance, a fifty-nine-year-old Huck Finn and his lady friend, Molly Lee, are on hand, but they are not interested in gold. They have come to that neck of the woods seeking adventure. Someone should have warned them, “Be careful what you wish for.” When disaster strikes, they volunteer to save the day by making an arduous six hundred mile journey by dog sled in the depths of a Yukon winter. They race against time, nature, and man. With the temperature hovering around seventy degrees below zero, they must fight every day if they are to live to see the next. On the frozen trail, they are put upon by murderers, hungry wolves, and hostile Indians, but those adversaries have nothing over the weather. At seventy below, your spit freezes a foot from your face. Your cheeks burn—your skin turns purple and black as it dies from the cold. You are in constant danger of losing fingers and toes to frostbite. It is into this world that Huck and Molly race. They cannot stop. They cannot turn back. They can only go on. Lives hang in the balance—including theirs.”

My recommendation:

I first met, Molly Lee McMasters in Andrew Joyce’s book entitled Molly Lee, the second volume in his Tom Sawyer-Huckleberry Finn adventure series. I fell in love with her character and style. Click HERE to read my review.

I was excited when Resolution came out and as usual, the author did not disappoint! Molly and Huck are so believable, I expected them to walk off the pages and shake my hand.

Resolution is the third book in the series and in my humble opinion, my favorite. Do you remember reading Call of the Wild, by Jack London when you were a kid? I must have read that book at least ten times. I enjoy a book where an animal becomes an entire piece of the narrative.

Let’s put it this way… A new star was born from the pages of this novel and his name is “Bright,” a Husky, and the lead sled dog. The personality of the dog shines throughout the novel. Huck and Bright share a special bond. This story would not have been the same without Bright leading the path back to civilization.

However, you can’t help but love the characters of Molly and Huck. They are the true heroes we think of staring in American westerns. Both characters are propelled through life by the morality and code of the old West. When they give their word, they mean it and they don’t abandon their friends, no matter who they may be.

One of my favorite things about Andrew Joyce’s writing is his use of rich descriptions. Through his accounts, I was transported back in time to 1896 Alaska. The gold rush had barely begun and trappers abandoned their traps for the lure of easy money. The visuals of the wilderness, the weather, and the people Huck and Molly met along the way were stunning.

Here is an example of a  description which took my breath away:

“…It had stopped snowing by the time twilight crept over the mountain. In gloaming’s grayness, one of the prominences of snow moved slightly. Without warning, as a volcano, it erupted and the man sat upright, throwing off his blanket of snowfall…”

When I read a novel, I want to close my eyes and imagine myself in that setting. Andrew Joyce’s skills in storytelling lead the reader on an amazing adventure where all of your senses come into play. In fact, I have one of those reading hangovers. You know, when the writing touches you and you miss the characters and the story…

Thank goodness, Golden Hair, another Andrew Joyce historical western is soon to be published. To peak your curiosity, I want to share the author’s note about the new book:

“Every death, murder, battle and outrage that I write about in this book actually took place—from the first to the last. The historical figures that play a role in my story were real people and I used their real names. I conjured up my protagonist only to weave together the various events conveyed in this fact-based tale of fiction.

This is American history.

Andrew Joyce”

Stay tuned!❤

My Rating:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars





Author, Andrew Joyce

About Andrew Joyce:

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written five books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and forty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, YELLOW HAIR. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled, MICK REILLY.

You can find Andrew on his blog, called Andrew Joyce.wordpress.com, on Twitter @huckfinn76, and on Facebook at Andrew Joyce


Andrew’s sidekick, Danny the Dog

Don’t forget to follow Andrew’s sidekick, Danny the Dog on Facebook, too. (He wants his share of the attention because he helps do the writing… :D)

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 5.3.16


Indiana Belle #BookReview @JohnHeldt

  • File Size: 743 KBIndiana Belle (American Journey Book 3) by [Heldt, John A.]
  • Print Length: 295 pages
  • Publisher: John A. Heldt
  • Publication Date: April 14, 2016
  • Sold by:Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01E9UB7Z8
  • Genre: Historical Fiction

Summary: Providence, Rhode Island, 2017. When doctoral student Cameron Coelho, 28, opens a package from Indiana, he finds more than private papers that will help him with his dissertation. He finds a photograph of a beautiful society editor murdered in 1925 and clues to a century-old mystery. Within days, he meets Geoffrey Bell, the “time-travel professor,” and begins an unlikely journey through the Roaring Twenties. Filled with history, romance, and intrigue, INDIANA BELLE follows a lonely soul on the adventure of a lifetime as he searches for love and answers in the age of Prohibition, flappers, and jazz.

Review: This is the third book in John Heldt’s American Journey series. I haven’t read the other two but was pleased to find that I didn’t need too. Indiana Belle is a standalone, which takes you back in time to the 1920s. I read each word, amazed at how vivid, imaginative and truthful the scenes were. Heldt obviously did his research in this time period–or did he actually discover a way to go back in time himself?

Cameron Coelho was a very interesting, refreshing character. I liked how he was determined to get answers one way or another, despite being your typical boy next door. The other characters held their own just as well.

The story starts out slow, but it’s to be expected, and after Cameron meets the professor who will ultimately send him back into the 1920s, it picks up and holds your attention. Once I got into reading, I found it extremely difficult to put down.

Heldt’s writing style is clear-cut and tight. He’s definitely a naturally born storyteller.

Indiana Belle is a story of romance, mystery, and history. This masterpiece of a time traveling story comes highly recommended. I look forward to reading more of Heldt’s novels.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5


John A. Heldt

John A. Heldt is the author of the critically acclaimed Northwest Passage and American Journey series. The former reference librarian and award-winning sportswriter has loved getting subjects and verbs to agree since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of Iowa, Heldt is an avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction. When not sending contemporary characters to the not-so-distant past, he weighs in on literature and life at johnheldt.blogspot.com.


Of Bots and Beans #BookReview @ColinSpindler_Author

  • Title: Of Bots and BeansOf Bots and Beans: CULT Group Coffee Sequence A Sci-Fi Comedy in Four Volumes Volume 1 by [Spindler, Colin]
  • Print Length: 26 pages
  • Publication Date: July 28, 2016
  • Sold by:Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Format:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction

It took a while for me to finish this review because I wanted to reread it again, as I had trouble grasping it the first time. However, once I did reread it, I quite enjoyed it. The story is very descriptive and imaginative, and Colin did a wonderful job at getting his humor across.

I would be interested in seeing what other science fiction stories Colin can drum up in the future. I thank him for reaching out to me on Twitter to review his debut short story.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Colin Spindler

Aside from self-publishing coffee-flavored metaphysical space operas via Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and Amazon Kindle Singles, Colin writes articles about video games at smashthegamestate.com and gamemoir.com.


Magic Unveiled: An Anthology available NOW!

Magic UnveiledGotta have them all! 9 stories of the Magical Realism genre now available. You’ll be surprised.



USA Today and Amazon BESTSELLING Authors!



༺Uma༻ rated it it was amazing

( I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to authors Alesha Escobar and Devorah fox for making sure the copy was made available to me on NetGalley.)


Either the wondrous or the perilous awaits us when we play a hand at magic.

A hard boiled detective chases the supernatural, unveiling a frightening world right alongside modern man’s. A mother, able to grant wishes, shows us we must be careful what we wish for. An African Orisha might just pass you in downtown Los Angeles, eager to siphon some of your energy so that he will not fade out of existence.

From heart wrenching, ghostly goodbyes to relatives, to discovering sparks of otherworldly magic permeating contemporary society, these nine tales of magical realism and paranormal fantasy come together to form this enchanting and gripping anthology.


Magic Unveiled is a well put together anthology of, well, magical stories. The stories deal with wishes to witches, all of them crafted beautifully. My favourites were The Black Dagger Gods by Alesha Escobar, Journey to a new home by Jayme Beddingfield , and Gypsum Jane’s Inkscapes by H.M.Jones.

Each story is unique and deals with various topics but the one thing almost all the stories have in common are human emotions. The stories deal with loss, happiness, fear, hope among other emotions. Despite their fantastical character, the stories are highly relatable because of the emotions prevailing in them. The language and writing style of all the stories were beautiful and uncluttered enabling me to read the entire book in one sitting.


A beautiful story to start off the anthology. This story deals with loss, love and hope. The author crafts a story that teaches the reader the tragedy of loss and the need for hope. The descriptions are beautiful and the places described by the author in the story are etched in my mind. I connected with the protagonist and was able to see the story through his eyes.

THE BLACK DAGGER GODS by Alesha Escobar (5/5)

Oh my Gods! I want a sequel to this story! Maybe a whole series would satisfy my appetite for this story. The plot was unique and refreshing. The story starts off with a whole lot of suspense and I loved how the whole thing played out. The writing style was very descriptive and the characters very realistic. Reading about Gods being so human-like was highly enjoyable.

THE ISIS ENIGMA by Samantha LaFantasie (4.5/5)

Once again, I want a whole series!! The author leaves a huge part of the story to the readers imagination. While I liked the end, I don’t just want to have to imagine. I want to know! This story is a different take on witches and is interlaced with emotions. The emotions of the protagonist adds a three dimensional character to the plot that keeps the reader hooked.

UNUSUAL SUSPECT by Ronovan Hester (4.5/5)

The whole premise is different and intriguing. The story left me asking for more. This story deals with hell and evil souls. It was highly interesting and I personally liked Max! I love Kick-ass female characters and Max fits the description to the T.

JOURNEY TO A NEW HOME by Jayme Beddingfield (5/5)

If you thought only long novels about lost love can bring tears to your eyes,..think again. This short and sweet story pulled at my heartstrings and I teared up so much I had to take deep breaths every five sentences or so. Loved the innocence and beauty of the story so much.

THE DARK ONES by Samantha LaFantasie and Keith Goodno (4/5)

Once again,I want a whole series! The premise is exciting. The protagonist’s fear seeps into us and I found myself drawn into the story. The end of the story made me feel all bold and fearless. I felt feminist power surge into me at the end of the story.

THREE WISHES by Alice Marks (4/5)

It is a story about wishes as the title denotes. Being a person who always wishes at 11:11 I totally understand the need to make wishes every chance one gets because who knows! The wish might just come true. It is a light take on wishes with a deeper moral.

BLACKWING by Devorah Fox (4.5/5)

It is a short and sweet story that makes the reader feel good at the end of it. It is the kind of story that puts a smile on readers’ faces. It is a story of lighthearted magic that reaches out to us during the most unexpected of times.

MIRROR ME by Raven Oak (4.5/5)

It is so different from all fantasy stories I’ve read so far. It is an intriguing plot that touches on father-son relationships and human emotions. The protagonist is well rounded and carries the plot forward with ease. For some reason, I really loved the quote below from the story.-

“You try and shut out the world, and the world will swallow you.”


It is an amazing collection of magical stories that are unique and different from each other. A must read!


Its a full 5


Click the link to get it on Amazon!





#Interview with author @ProfKellyOliver.

Kelly Oliver ImageToday’s interview is with the author of a book I reviewed not long ago called WOLF. I won’t say too much about it as she discusses it a bit in the interview, and you can read the review by clicking here. Now on to the interview.

You are very eclectic in your writings over the years. What lead you to writing fiction?

Since I discovered writing, I’ve relied on it to give my life meaning. I live to write.

As a philosopher, in my nonfiction, I write about ethics and ways to make the world a better place.

But, with fiction, I realized I could create a world. I could create a world and then live in it for a few months or years. I could create a world where women and girls come out on top.

How did Jessica James, a cowgirl, come to life? I understand the philosopher part, but I’m trying to get the cowgirl part.

Usually, it’s the other way around.  Folks get the cowgirl part, but scratch their heads at the philosophy part.

Some of Jessica’s story is based on my own experience, a working-class girl who grew up in Montana, Idaho and Washington, going to the big city for the first time to study philosophy, a mongrel amongst pedigreed Ivy Leaguers.

But, there’s a kind of funny story about how I came up with “cowgirl philosophy.” A few years ago, there was a move in the philosophy department to create a “Vanderbilt brand” so everyone would associate the Vanderbilt philosophy department with a special type graduate. I imagined taking a hot iron and branding our students as we handed them their diplomas. I got a bunch of the women philosophers together and joked that our brand should be cowgirl philosophy. One of my students made a logo for us with a really cute blonde long-haired Scottish cow that said “cowgirl philosophy.”  I still have that cowgirl philosophy sticker on my office door.

You have two stories running simultaneously in WOLF, how WOLF cover imagedifficult was it to keep things straight as you went along? By the way, you did a great job. I never got confused, even once.

Jessica James and Dmitry Durchenko are very different. In some ways, the brooding Russian janitor is more of a philosopher than the party-girl philosophy graduate student. So, it was easy to keep their stories straight. The harder part was bringing them together organically. I wanted the stories to become more intertwined as the novel progresses, so they’re intimately connected by the end of the book.

When I was sending out various drafts of the novel to get feedback from other writers, some loved Jessica and others loved Dmitry. At one point, when the Dmitry lovers were ahead in the polls, I had started and ended the novel with his perspective. But, in the end, I realized that the ongoing story is really Jessica’s, so I started and ended the novel with her. It just never felt quite right to start with Dmitry, even though he is an important, and hopefully compelling, character. And, I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of him!

How much of Jessica’s adventures pulled from actual events you’re aware of?

As I said, some of Jessica’s adventures are based on my own experience in graduate school.  But I plead the fifth on what parts.  I like how you asked about events that I’m “aware of”…maybe not being aware could get me off the hook for some of the more incriminating parts of the story. Jessica’s not the only one who drank too much whisky in graduate school.

You have Russian characters in your book, some are very important to the entire storyline. How did you go about getting the language just right? It was a very smooth transition from English to Russian. I thought it seemed very natural and not intruding at all when I was reading.

Thanks. I did a lot research on Russian sayings, culture, food, and drink, and, of course, the Russian mafia. And, I had a native Russian speaker check my use of Russian words and phrases. It was important to make it authentic.

Just before I started writing WOLF there was a huge FBI sting involving Russian mafia in New York that took in over 30 people on charges of illegal gambling, money laundering, and extortion. Some of my characters are inspired by people pinched in that operation, including a beautiful woman running a high stakes poker game for Hollywood movie stars, and the playboy son of a billionaire art dealer. I also learned that the Russian mafia is alive and well, not only in Russia, but in the U.S.. You don’t want to mess with those guys, so I don’t dare say more about my real-life mafia role models.

You discuss the date rape culture that is so prevalent on college campuses. I’m not sure how much goes on at Vanderbilt but I know cases happen where I’m from. So many even go unreported. What made you think of including that in your book? Did you do any particular research into it with victims? I mean you don’t go too much into details but there are some instances where research seems evident.

As I was writing WOLF, a high profile Vanderbilt rape case was making national headlines. It involved a woman who may have been drugged by something slipped into her blue cocktail, taken back to a dorm room, and then gang raped by a group of football players, instigated by her boyfriend. Because she was unconscious, she didn’t know she’d been raped until the police showed her video recordings the perpetrators had taken “for fun” and sent off to their friends. This case was so stunning, so mind-boggling, and so egregious, I couldn’t imagine what it must be like to find out something like that about yourself from a video.

That lead me to write my latest nonfiction book, HUNTING GIRLS: SEXUAL VIOLENCE FROM THE HUNGER GAMES TO CAMPUS RAPE. I was writing that book at the same time as WOLF. It was important to include the issue of party rape in the novel since it has become an epidemic on campus.

You did a great job of hiding in plain sight who the killer of the titular character was. Which is always the way with a great mystery. There were so many possibilities that when it was finally revealed, there was a bit of surprise, unless you were really following all closely. Writing a mystery, do you worry about revealing too much? How do you balance the hidden and the revealed?

Thanks. Yeah, it was a bit like Jessica who had the evidence proving the identity of the killer all along in the bottom of her backpack. The killer is there all the way through, and signs point to him, too. But, he’s not your usual sort of killer.

I was actually surprised to find out from some of my friends and COYOTE book imagereaders who they suspected. I was floored that lots of them suspected Jessica’s love interest, since I never intended him to be a suspect.  So, that was cool.

In my second Jessica James Mystery, COYOTE (out in August), the mystery is not so much who are the killers, but what happened in a highway accident eleven years ago that binds all of the main characters together in mysterious ways.

How important are beta readers or test readers for a book like yours? Do you have a target reader who reads your book and you ask, “How soon do you figure things out?”

I have an amazing developmental editor, Lisa Walsh, who reads everything and gives me very detailed feedback. I also have a trusted group of friends whose opinions I trust, and if they tell me something’s gotta go, it’s gone.

A lot of my friends are actually professional literary critics, so they are a tough crowd!

What’s been the reaction of your peers who’ve read the book? Are any of them worried they are the model for WOLF?

Hmmmm….given the continued headlines about sexual harassment by male professors, I don’t think there is too much danger of finding that needle in this haystack.

So far, all of my academic friends who’ve read WOLF tell me they love it!  Of course, they get the inside jokes.

How does Tennessee differ from having been a native of Washington State? I’ve been in the South my entire life so all I know is the laid back life.

As I mentioned, I grew up in the Northwest. I go back as often as I can. I miss the mountains. So, I usually spend part of the summer in Idaho near my folks, who live in Sandpoint. And, every winter, I make an x-country ski trip with my brother and sister-in-law to Glacier Park, Montana. Actually, my second novel, COYOTE, is set in Glacier Park. I love it there, especially in the winter when the park is deserted.

To me, the West is dusty brown, with wispy clouds racing across a Robin’s egg blue sky. It’s that sunburnt blister on my nose when I was a teenager dancing til dark at the street dance on the fourth of July. It’s huckleberry milkshakes and stopping in your tracks for a giant moose.

The South is sticky green, with thunderheads sending me into my moldy basement looking for flashlight batteries. It’s soggy turnip greens, deep fried pies, and painting chigger bites with nail polish. It’s the thickening of my waistline, my corneas, and my resume. And, now it’s home.

Get Books by Kelly Oliver @:

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Connect with Kelly Oliver @:

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Give Your eBook as Much Love as Your Paperback

WHEN formatting your paperback manuscript for CreateSpace you can get away with a fair amount of fancy formatting. Fancy fonts, dropcaps, inserted widgets, bullets, tables, and all sorts of other things can be used. Pretty much if it’s locked into your PDF it will appear in your book. If you can’t lock it into your PDF then it won’t appear in your paperback. A Kindle eBook on the other hand should be rather thought of as an HTML page – just like a web page. The same way that when you set up a post on your WordPress blog various HTML codes are used for different things, when your eBook gets translated into HTML for publishing it will take anything that would normally be written as code and try to use that, often with disastrous results – rather than the gorgeous bullet list or laboriously tabbed lists that took you ages to get just right.

Word will insert all sorts of hidden formatting as you type, and if you ever try to convert a manuscript already formatted with all sorts of lovely things for CreateSpace you could (very probably will) end up with a nasty hot mess, especially on older Kindles. We do want our eBooks to look good rather than being merely the containers for our stories and non-fiction. Traditional publishers drop the ball with this a lot more than Indie publishers. Their print books look great, but often the corresponding eBooks seem like afterthoughts. Conformity is the way to go and maybe putting in a little extra work is worth it to make sure that both versions are a pleasure to look at as well as to read.

Just a quick by the way. Writers are surprisingly different with the way they want their books set out. For instance, among many other personal choices, some like to use an em-dash for unfinished sentences, while others prefer to use an ellipse. (Remember for modern publishing, if you do use ellipses for half sentences, to insert a space between each dot.)
bullets-4 Some are absolute sticklers for what is “wrong” or “right”. Very few readers are going to even notice which one you use, but they WILL notice if you use both in the same story. They’ll wonder what the difference is, and possibly get irritated at not being able to figure that out. So stick to the same things as you type, even if that means sitting down and writing out a list. That might sound a little weird, but if you’re in two minds about some of the smaller issues you could often find yourself banging away and then coming to an abrupt halt wondering what you used before. If this is the case, you can use the Find function to look for both options and change them later, but it will make your life easier in the long run to pick a horse and run with it from the beginning.

Let’s have a look at a couple of other things we can safely use in our Kindle books.

Dropcaps are lovely to use in your paper book, but not possible as yet to use for MOBI conversion. You can still pretty them up a little though. For some of the newer Kindles you can make your first words in chapters or paragraphs stand out using Small caps. Older Kindles will just convert to normal text rather than making a mess of these, so they’re quite safe. All you do is highlight the word or words you’d like to appear this way, and then click on the arrow to the right of the Font box. Select Small caps and click OK.

The highlighted word or words will than appear in the Small caps format.

Word lists (bulleted or numbered) might convert very well for the newer Kindles, but not for the older ones. Always remember that there are a LOT of people who use older, bottom of the range Kindles, so never leave them out of your publishing decisions – put them first. Type out numbered lists rather than use the Word auto format feature. If you want a bulleted list, simply use the Insert function, type out item one, and then insert again for each item on your list.


Use your Kindle Previewer to see how they translate across Kindle devices.

For scene breaks you could once again use the Insert function and use three bullet points, or asterisks. You could think outside the box too and Insert a small design as a picture between each break. Get the better of boring fonts on your title page by using design software such as paint.net or an online one such as Canva to design a nice title page “image” using any fancy fonts and images you like, and once again insert as an image.

Finally, I think that there is a lot of scope for using bright full colour pictures in fiction eBooks. The cost is too small to be really noticeable, such as it is in paperback publishing, but the effect can be fabulous. Insert custom sketches or images from sites such as Pixabay between each chapter. You’re bound to find relevant and beautiful pictures there – they have piles available to use for free.
Never try to rush your eBook along by trying to “double format”. Always work on completely different manuscripts taking into consideration each publishing format, and you’re bound to have great Kindle books as well as beautiful paperbacks.

The Snow Queen – Cloth Bound and Beautiful

Here there Be Dragons!

This cloth bound, silver foiled, illustrated edition of Hans Christian Anderson’s timeless tale is even more beautiful than I expected it to be. The tall, skinny hardback feels gorgeous in your hand and the illustrations by Finnish illustrator Sanna Annukka create an atmosphere that combines with the beloved words into something that will stick with you. 41zbzfrlyul-_sx282_bo1204203200_

Published by Ten Speed Press, translated by Odense City Museums, this book brings to life the classic story of The Snow Queen with imagery that makes me feel a part of the story, and reminds me of the ancient picture book edition my mother no longer allows me to play with. Five out of five Dragons to this gorgeous book.

*I received the book in exchange for an honest review from blogging for books*

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#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Better Blogging with Photography: How to Maximize Your Blog Using Your Own Images,” BY AUTHOR @windigenredhead

    • Title:  Better Blogging With Photography
    • Author: Terri Webster Schrandt
    • File Size: 551 KB
    • Print Length: 50 pages
    •  Publisher: Second Wind Leisure Publishing
    • Publication Date: July 6, 2016
    • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
    •  Language: English
    • ASIN: B01I2NNLRU
    • Formats:  Kindle
    • Goodreads
    • Genres: Blogging & Blogs, Computer & Technology, Digital Photography



**The author provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review which follows**

In the Author’s Words:

“There is truth to the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. As a blogger, are you weary of constantly hunting for images to illustrate the subject of your blog posts? Perhaps you are a new blogger struggling to get more readers. Or a seasoned blogger continually seeking inspiration for quality blog posts. This guidebook is designed to help you utilize your own images on your blog or website. While free image sites abound, there are limitations to using so-called “free” images. Gone are the days when bloggers can innocently copy and paste an image from the web and paste it into their blog post. What will you get out of this guide? In each chapter, I give easy but important tips for maximizing the use of images on your blog’s website and within each blog post. Seven informative chapters walk you through– -the importance of using images; -the real dangers of using others’ copyrighted images; -easy ways to edit your images using free programs and apps; -building unending inspiration and content around your own images; -attracting readers with images used in quotations, blog link-ups, and other tools; -how social media sites link your images, and why you need them; -a list of image resources available. After reading this short guidebook, you will want to grab your smart phone or inexpensive digital camera and start taking photos!”

My Recommendation:

It was with great joy that I was introduced to Terri Webster Schrandt’s book, “Better Blogging with Photography.” The best part was that someone finally wrote a book which spelled out in detail how and where to find photos bloggers could use on their blogs without violating copyright laws. Not only does the author give you credible links, she also teaches you how to edit your own images. She concentrates on the WordPress blogging platform, however, all of the information can be applied to any site a blogger chooses.

If you are a beginning blogger or even a well-seasoned blogger, you will find each page jam-packed with information you will be able to immediately put to use on your own blog. Do you struggle with blog and header design? Guess what? That’s covered too!

In Chapter Four, the author discusses how your photos tell your stories. The emphasis here is how to gain inspiration from your own images by highlighting your written content with attention grabbing photos that draw readers to your posts. Everyone loves a great photo, so why not use your own to create interesting content on your blog?

This book would also be a handy reference guide for setting up your own blog.

hello-from-silverWhat are you waiting for? Grab your copy today! Terri has a free offer running from 9/29/16 – 10/3/16!

My Rating:

Character Believability: N/A

Flow and Pace: 4.5

Reader Engagement: 5

Reader Enrichment: 4.5

Reader Enjoyment: 4.5

Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 4 stars


Author, Terri Webster Schrandt

About Terri Webster Schrandt:

Terri is a non-fiction writer and retired recreation and parks practitioner living in Northern California. As a university lecturer teaching leisure education in the recreation and parks major, Terri takes leisure very seriously because it involves one-third of our lives…really! Obtaining a Master’s Degree at age 50, Terri wrote her thesis on the Four Generations in the Workplace, sparking her love of writing at midlife. In addition to writing and blogging, she offers consultation services and conducts and presents workshops for a variety of organizations. Second Wind Leisure Perspectives is her blog about living a leisure lifestyle. Her active lifestyle involves windsurfing, stand-up paddling, camping, reading, writing, walking the dogs, traveling, and…

You can find Terri on Twitter @windigenredhead, on Facebook at Terri Webster Schrandt. And, if she’s not out taking photographs and having fun you can find her on her blog, Second Wind Leisure.com.

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 5.3.16


#Bookreview THE BLACK NOTEBOOK by Patrick Modiano. Memory, fiction, writing and we’ll always have Paris

The Black Notebook by Patrick Modiano
The Black Notebook by Patrick Modiano

The Black Notebook by Patrick Modiano

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Mariner Books

Literary Fiction


A writer’s notebook becomes the key that unlocks memories of a love formed and lost in 1960s Paris.

In the aftermath of Algeria’s war of independence, Paris was a city rife with suspicion and barely suppressed violence. Amid this tension, Jean, a young writer adrift, met and fell for Dannie, an enigmatic woman fleeing a troubled past. A half century later, with his old black notebook as a guide, he retraces this fateful period in his life, recounting how, through Dannie, he became mixed up with a group of unsavory characters connected by a shadowy crime. Soon Jean, too, was a person of interest to the detective pursuing their case–a detective who would prove instrumental in revealing Dannie’s darkest secret.  The Black Notebook bears all the hallmarks of this Nobel Prize–winning literary master’s unsettling and intensely atmospheric style, rendered in English by acclaimed translator Mark Polizzotti (Suspended Sentences). Once again, Modiano invites us into his unique world, a Paris infused with melancholy, uncertain danger, and the fading echoes of lost love.

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

“1960s Paris, a mysterious girl, a group of shady characters, danger . . . Modiano’s folklore is set out from the beginning . . . and sheer magic follows once more.” — Vogue

“The prose — elliptical, muted, eloquent — falls on the reader like an enchantment . . . No one is currently writing such beautiful tales of loss, melancholy, and remembrance.” —Independent

“Sublime . . . [A] magnificent novel that reawakens days long past, illuminating them with a dazzling light.” — Elle (France)

In the aftermath of Algeria’s war of independence, Paris was a city rife with suspicion and barely suppressed violence. Amid this tension, Jean, a young writer adrift, met and fell for Dannie, an enigmatic woman fleeing a troubled past. A half century later, with his old black notebook as a guide, he retraces this fateful period in his life, recounting how, through Dannie, he became mixed up with a group of unsavory characters connected by a shadowy crime. Soon Jean, too, was a person of interest to the detective pursuing their case — a detective who would prove instrumental in revealing Dannie’s darkest secret.

The Black Notebook bears all the hallmarks of this Nobel Prize–winning literary master’s unsettling and intensely atmospheric style. Once again, Patrick Modiano invites us into his unique world, a Paris infused with melancholy, uncertain danger, and the fading echoes of lost love.

“Never before has Modiano written a novel as lyrical as this . . . Both carefully wrought and superbly fluid, sustained by pure poetry.” — Le Monde

Patrick Modiano is the author of more than twenty novels, including several bestsellers. He has won the Prix Goncourt, the Grand Prix National des Lettres, and many other honors. In 2014 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature. He lives in Paris.

Mark Polizzotti has translated more than forty books from the French, including Modiano’s Suspended Sentences. He is director of the publications program at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
About the Author

PATRICK MODIANO was born in 1945 in a suburb of Paris and grew up in various locations throughout France. In 1967, he published his first novel, La Place de l’étoile, to great acclaim. Since then, he has published over twenty novels—including the Goncourt Prize−winning Rue des boutiques obscures (translated as Missing Person), Dora Bruder, and Les Boulevards des ceintures(translated as Ring Roads)—as well as the memoir Un Pedigree and a children’s book, Catherine Certitude. He collaborated with Louis Malle on the screenplay for the film Lacombe Lucien. In 2014, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. The Swedish Academy cited “the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the Occupation,” calling him “a Marcel Proust of our time.”


MARK POLIZZOTTI has translated more than forty books from the French, including Patrick Modiano’s Suspended Sentences, and is director of the publications program at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

The Black Notebook
The Black Notebook

My review:

Thanks to Net Galley and to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Mariner Books for providing me with a free ARC copy of this novel that I gladly reviewed.

This is the first of Patrick Modiano’s novels I read, so I can’t comment on its similarities or differences with the rest of his oeuvre or how well it fits in with his usual concerns.

The novel, translated into English by Mark Polizzotti, is a wander through his memories and the city of Paris by Jean, a writer who fifty years ago, when he was very young, kept a black notebook where he wrote all kinds of things: streets and people’s names, references to writers he admired and events he experienced, sentences people said, rumours, he recorded information about buildings that were about to disappear, dates, visits to places, locations…

The story can be read as a mystery novel, as there are clues referring to false identities, strange men who meet in underground hotels, breaking and entering, robberies and even a serious crime is hinted at. There’s a police interrogation and suggestions of political conspiracy/terrorism, as the original events take place shortly after Algeria’s War of Independence, and a few of the characters are Moroccan and have a reputation for being secretive and dangerous. There is also Dannie, a woman a few years older than Jean, who has a central role in all the intrigues, or at least that’s how it seemed to him at the time. What did he really feel for her? Is he revisiting a love story? Although it is possible to try a conventional reading of the novel, the joy of what French theorist Roland Barthes would call a readerly approach to it, is in making up your own meaning, in accompanying Jean in his walks not only around the real Paris, but also the Paris of his memory, those moments when he feels that he can almost recapture the past, through reading his notes, and relive the moment when he was knocking at a door, or observing outside of a café. Sometimes, more than recapturing the past he feels as if he could bridge the gap of time and go back: to recover a manuscript he forgot years ago, turn off a light that could give them away, or ask questions and clarifications about events he wasn’t aware of at the time.

The narration, in first person, puts the reader firmly inside of Jean’s head, observing and trying to make sense of the same clues he has access to, although in our case without the possible benefit of having lived the real events (if there is such a thing) at the time. But he insists he did not pay enough attention to things as they were happening, and acknowledges that often we can only evaluate the importance of events and people we come across in hindsight when we can revisit them with a different perspective.

The writing is beautiful, fluid, nostalgic, understated and intriguing at times. The book is also very short and it provides a good introduction to Modiano’s writing. But this is not a novel for readers who love the conventions and familiarity provided by specific genres and who want to know what to expect when they start reading, or those who like to have a clear plot and story, and need solid characters to connect with. Here, even the protagonist, Jean, remains a cypher or a stand-in for both, the reader and the writer.

I enjoyed the experience of reading this book, although as mentioned it is not a book for everyone. But, if you love Paris, enjoy a walk down memory lane, like books that make you work and think, have an open mind and are curious about Modiano’s work, I recommend it.


Kindle version: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B010R3862I/

Hardcover: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0857054899/

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0544779827/

Thanks for reading

Olga Núñez Miret


Portraits of the Dead #BookReview

  • Title: Portraits of the DeadPortraits of the Dead: A gripping serial killer thriller by [Nicholl, John]
  • Print Length: 324 pages
  • Publication Date: September 1, 2016
  • Sold by:Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Format:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Psychological Thriller

I love reading books where you find yourself in the minds of the characters, whether they are the protagonist or the antagonist. So far, John Nicholl’s first two novels do just that, and now Portraits of the Dead is no exception.

When the story opens, we witness the kidnapping of nineteen-year-old Emma. She’s taken to a place where time has no meaning and she has only the voice of her captor to keep her company. Emma’s captor sees everything that she does. He rejoices in her pain, her fears. He makes her do certain things that delight him. To her, his name is Master. To him, Emma’s new name is Venus 6.

Emma wants to give up and die so that her misery is over with, however, her will to survive is too strong to allow her. Her captor has already eliminated five girls that look like Emma and wonders if she is finally the one he’s been searching for.

Portraits of the Dead is a dark psychological thriller that throws twists and turns at you at every corner. The characters are very well-rounded and believable in what they do and how they speak. The interactions the main detectives (Grav and Rankin) had with their suspects or witnesses were fun and entertaining to read. It was easy to imagine watching their exchanges rather than simply reading, which is one quality I require in a great book.

My only issue would be that the point of view would switch in a single paragraph, which at times threw me off; however, the storytelling was tight, so I paid little attention to the POV shifts as I moved through the plot line.

The ending has a twist that left my jaw clenched and my eyes raced across each line to see what would happen next…that’s as far as I am willing to go without giving anything away. I could not put this book down. it was fast-paced, riveting, dark, creepy, tense. Everything I love in a book.

Over the past few months, I’ve been reading several serial killer thrillers as a kind of research for my own work in progress, and I have to say that Portraits of the Dead is one of my favorites. As always, I look forward to more of Mr. Nicholls’ brilliant writing and recommend him for fans of psychological thrillers that grips you with no intention of letting go.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


John Nicholl

John Nicholl’s debut novel: White is the coldest colour, a chilling dark psychological suspense thriller, draws on the author’s experiences as a police officer and child protection social worker. The novel entered the Amazon UK top 100 bestsellers chart after just 15 days, and became one of the 25 most read books on Kindle, reaching # 1 in British Detectives and Vigilante Justice. It also reached # 1 in British Detectives and Psychological Thrillers in France, # 1 in British Detectives and Psychological & Suspense in Spain, and # 1 in British Detectives and International Mysteries and Crime in Australia, where it reached # 10 of all books in the Kindle store. The gripping sequel: When evil calls your name, was published on the 31st of December 2015, and quickly reached # 1 in Biographies and Memoirs of Women in the UK, # 1 in Biographies and Memoirs of Criminals and International Mysteries and Crime in Australia, and # 1 in Violence in Society in the USA. Portraits of the dead, a gripping serial killer thriller, is available for pre-order from the 14, August 2016, with a 1st of September release date.


#BookReview of A Perfect Square by @IBlackthorn

A perfect square book coverA Perfect Square

by Isobel Blackthorne

Fiction: Literary Fiction/Metaphysical & Visionary. 242 Pages (KINDLE). Odyssey Books (August 27, 2016)


Author Biography

A Londoner originally, Isobel Blackthorn currently resides in Melbourne, Australia. She received her BA in Social Studies from the Open University, and has a PhD in Western Esotericism. She has worked as a high school teacher, market trader and PA to a literary agent. Her writing has appeared in Backhand Stories, The Mused Literary Review, On Line Opinion and Paranoia Magazine online. She is the author of the novels, Asylum, A Perfect Square and The Drago Tree, and the short story collection, All Because of You.

Book Description

When pianist Ginny Smith moves back to her mother’s house in Sassafras after her breakup with the degenerate Garth, synaesthetic and eccentric artist Harriet Brassington-Smythe is beside herself and contrives a creative collaboration to lift her daughter’s spirits: an exhibition of paintings and songs. Ginny reluctantly agrees.

Mother and daughter struggle to agree on the elements of the collaborative effort, and as Ginny tries to prise the truth of her father’s disappearance from a tight-lipped Harriet, both are launched into their own inner worlds of dreams, speculations and remembering.

Meanwhile, another mother and artist, Judith, alone in a house on the moors, reflects on her own troubled past and that of her wayward daughter, Madeleine.

Set amid the fern glades and towering forests of the Dandenong ranges east of Melbourne, and on England’s Devon moors, A Perfect Square is a work of remarkable depth and insight.


Book Review

A Perfect Square combines two mother-daughter stories into one book. Are their similarities? Yes, but not as many as you might think. Both mothers are artists and accustomed to living alone when the daughters decide it’s time to move back home due to the ending of relationships. There ends the similarities.

My favorite storyline was that of mother Judith and the young somewhat rebellious daughter Madeleine. The Judith/Madeleine story flowed well in the alternating structure the author chose. One chapter you have Judith and Madeleine, the next is Ginny and talented pianist daughter Harriet.

The two stories are linked by a mystery that is revealed in the final chapters. It was a surprise to me, although I think I should have realized if I had only known to look for it. The Ginny/Harriet story is obviously well researched from the various subjects discussed and how the author weaves them together to unite mother and daughter.

Review by: Ronovan Hester

Get A Perfect Square @:

barnes & noble logoamazon logo

Connect With Isobel @:

Author Site Image with Link     twitter logo


How Politically Correct Should Writers Be?

A while ago a well-known author published a book about a rich, handsome man who pretty much had anything anyone could wish for becoming paralyzed in an accident. He and the woman hired to care for him then fell in love, but at the end he chose to commit suicide rather than carry on. This caused quite a few disabled people to be deeply offended, and this was pretty obvious in the reviews. Several suggested that she hadn’t done her research properly, or she would have realized that it was very insulting to those in similar circumstances in that it suggested that living in that way was so unbearable that death was preferable. Most of those real, live people strive for the best lives that they can. They don’t generally give up, and I’m sure that they have just as much joy during the course of their lives as anyone else, even though they have such huge challenges. I can see why they wouldn’t want to be seen as so broken that there was no point in being alive anymore. The book was a bestseller anyway, and most of the reviewers loved it.

The thing with fiction is that within reasonable boundaries almost anything is possible, and writers shouldn’t have to write while worrying about being politically correct. Without purposely being insulting to any particular group, our characters should be allowed to be as good or as bad as we want them to be. They can be weak. So weak that they get up nostrils. Or strong, crazy, opinionated, nasty, murderous, or prone to poetry. Our characters should be what we decide they will be. That’s what being a writer is all about.

So, considering all the things we already have to take into account when we’re creating our worlds and the people in them, I don’t think that we should be attacked for our character’s behaviour. One of the books that I’ll be publishing next year has a matricide at its centre. Already published books of mine have racists and pot smoking pensioners in them. I don’t see any point in writing at all if I’m going to have to sugar coat my plots and have all my characters be “normal”. If you’re going to read fiction you have to expect the unexpected. Look at Stephen King’s characters. I’m pretty sure that quite a few of them could be construed as insulting to all sorts of people. His “country folk” for instance.

I suggest, within reason, throwing the political correctness right out of the window when you’re writing, and make your characters just as weird, whacky, or whiny as you want them to be, or you’ll just end up stifling your own creativity.


Image Courtesy Pixabay



  • Title:  Dancing With Air (Still Life with Memories – Book 4)
  • Author: Uvi Poznansky
  • File Size: 2011 KB
  • Print Length: 214 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1536896535
  •  Publisher: Uvi Poznansky
  • Publication Date: August 8, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Drama

In the Author’s Words:

“Serving on the European front, Lenny longs for Natasha, the girl who captured his heart back home. He writes bogus reports, designed to fall into the hands of Nazi Intelligence. To fool the enemy, these reports are disguised as love letters to another woman. This task must remain confidential, even at the risk of Natasha becoming suspicious of him.

Once she arrives in London, Lenny takes her for a ride on his Harley throughout England, from the White Cliffs of Dover to a village near an underground ammunition depot in Staffordshire. When he is wounded in a horrific explosion, Natasha brings him back to safety, only to discover the other woman’s letter to him. He wonders, will she trust him again, even though as a soldier, he must keep his mission a secret? Will their love survive the test of war?

In the past Natasha wrote, with girlish infatuation, “He will be running his fingers down, all the way down to the small of my back, touching his lips to my ear, breathing his name, breathing mine. Here I am, dancing with air.” In years to come, she will begin to lose her memory, which will make Lenny see her as delicate. “I gather her gently into my arms, holding her like a breath.” But right now, during the months leading up to D-Day, she is at her peak. With solid resolve, she is ready to take charge of the course of their story.

Dancing with Air is a standalone WWII historical fiction novel, as well as the fourth volume of a family saga series titled Still Life with Memories, one of family sagas best sellers of all time. If you like family saga romance, wounded warrior romance books, military romantic suspense, or strong female lead romance, you will find that this love story is a unique melding of them all.”

*The author provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review which follows*

My Recommendation:

This was my first introduction to the writings of Uvi Poznansky and I must say I was delighted. Dancing With Air is a poignant tale of love which begins during World War II between Lenny and Natasha. Most of the story covers their life in England, East Anglia, which held significance to me as I had been stationed there myself in the early 1980’s. The descriptions were superb and in my mind’s eye, I saw the white cliffs of Dover through the words on the page.

What I liked most about the book is the retelling of their memories, mostly by Lenny. The entire story is shadowed by a tragic illness that has Natasha in its grips. The reader feels Lenny’s pain at the possibility of losing his beloved wife. Seldom have I read such a depth of emotion portrayed by both characters. I found it easy to become wrapped up in the events that happened in the past and the present. I shed many tears, some in joy, and some in sorrow.

The fact that this book was the fourth in the series did not matter, other than the fact that I now want to read the complete series. I must add another feature of the story I really enjoyed. Uvi Poznansky threaded the lyrics of songs throughout the novel, which given the time frame, was a huge part of life during World War II. We’re so used to our world of immediate social media connections that we forget how people really bonded back then. For me, the songs added the “ring of truth,” to their romantic memories. Those songs connected both characters and allowed the reader a peek into their romance and the love that blossomed from it.

I read this novel quickly because it was the kind of story that drew me into the lives of the characters. Lenny’s story of his time in the Marines is filled with mystery and intrigue. Natasha leads the life of a concert pianist on tour in Europe. Their joining as partners in life is what will touch you the most. If you love romance novels with a touch of history and realism, you will love Dancing With Air. I know I did.


My Rating:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars





Author, Uvi Poznansky

About Uvi Poznansky

Uvi Poznansky is a bestselling, award-winning author, poet, and artist. “I paint with my pen,” she says, “and write with my paintbrush.” Her romance boxed set, A Touch of Passion, is the 2016 WINNER of The Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice Awards.

Education and work:
Uvi earned her B. A. in Architecture and Town Planning from the Technion in Haifa, Israel and practiced with an innovative Architectural firm, taking a major part in the large-scale project, called Home for the Soldier.

Having moved to Troy, N.Y. with her husband and two children, Uvi received a Fellowship grant and a Teaching Assistantship from the Architecture department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. There, she guided teams in a variety of design projects and earned her M.A. in Architecture. Then, taking a sharp turn in her education, she earned her M.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Michigan.

She worked first as an architect, and later as a software engineer, software team leader, software manager and a software consultant (with an emphasis on user interface for medical instruments devices.) All the while, she wrote and painted constantly, and exhibited in Israel and California. In addition, she taught art appreciation classes. Her versatile body of work includes bronze and ceramic sculptures, oil and watercolor paintings, charcoal, pen and pencil drawings, and mixed media.

Books and Genres:
Her two series won great acclaim. Still Life with Memories is a family saga series with touches of romance. It includes Apart From Love, My Own Voice, The White Piano, The Music of Us, and Dancing with Air. The David Chronicles is a historical fiction series. It includes Rise to Power, A Peek at Bathsheba, and The Edge of Revolt.

Her poetry book, Home, is in tribute to her father. Her collection of dark tales, Twisted, and her Historical Fiction book, A Favorite Son, are both new age, biblically inspired books. In addition, Uvi wrote and illustrated two children books, Jess and Wiggle and Now I Am Paper. For each one of these books, she created an animation video (find them on YouTube and on her Goodreads page.)

I’ve included a video of the introduction to her “Still Life With Memories Series,” to whet your appetite for more!

Make certain to connect with Uvi through her Twitter @Uvi Poznansky and Facebook at Uvi Poznansky

You can find her on her blog Uvi Poznansky.com

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 5.3.16


#Bookreview TRULY, MADLY, GUILTY by Liane Moriarty (@Flatironbooks) What does it take to shatter a life?

Title:   Truly, Madly, Guilty
Author:   Liane Moriarty
ISBN13:  978-1250069795
Published:  26th July 2016
Pages:  432
Genre:  Contemporary (Thriller and suspense although I wouldn’t say it is either)

Body of review:

Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty
Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Entertainment Weekly’s “Best Beach Bet”

USA Today Hot Books for Summer Selection

Miami Herald Summer Reads Pick

The new novel from Liane Moriarty, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Husband’s Secret, Big Little Lies, and What Alice Forgot, about how sometimes we don’t appreciate how extraordinary our ordinary lives are until it’s too late. 

“What a wonderful writer―smart, wise, funny.” ―Anne Lamott

Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One small dog. It’s just a normal weekend. What could possibly go wrong?

In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty turns her unique, razor-sharp eye towards three seemingly happy families.

Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job, and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there’s anything they can count on, it’s each other.

Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends. A single look between them can convey an entire conversation. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don’t hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid’s larger than life personalities there will be a welcome respite.

Two months later, it won’t stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can’t stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn’t gone?

In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty takes on the foundations of our lives: marriage, sex, parenthood, and friendship. She shows how guilt can expose the fault lines in the most seemingly strong relationships, how what we don’t say can be more powerful than what we do, and how sometimes it is the most innocent of moments that can do the greatest harm.

Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty
Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Here, my review:

Thanks to Net Galley and to Penguin UK- Michael Joseph for providing me with a free copy of the novel in exchange for an unbiased review.

I confess to having checked some of the reviews of the book and noticed that many of the comments compared this novel to some of this Australian writer’s previous work, particularly The Husband’s Secret and Big Little Lies. This is the first of Moriarty’s novels I read and therefore I don’t know if this might be a disappointing read for those who have read the others.

The novel is clearly set from the beginning around something that happened at a barbeque (this being Australia, I guess it’s to be expected). The chapters alternate between the aftermath of the said barbeque (weeks later) and events that happened at the time, although we’re not told exactly what that was until half way through. It is evident that it was an event that affected everybody involved, but the author cleverly (although perhaps annoyingly for some readers) circles around the details and the circumstances of what happened without quite revealing it (and no, I won’t either).

The story is narrated in the third person from the various characters’ points of view, mostly those who were present at the barbeque (that includes Dakota, the young daughter of the couple who had invited the rest to their house), but also some that we only later realise were either involved in the incident or know something about it others don’t. I know some readers don’t like too many changes in viewpoint, although in this case the characters and their voices are sufficiently distinct to avoid confusion.

The three couples present at the incident are very different from each other. Erika and Oliver are a perfectly matched couple. Both grew up with difficult parents and survived disrupted childhoods, although not unscathed. They are organised and methodical and they do everything by the book (or so it seems). Clementine and Sam are the ‘opposites attract’ kind of couple. She is a musician, a cellist, and he doesn’t even like classical music. She is the artist and he is more down to earth. They have two daughters and they are impulsive, free for all and relaxed (although perhaps not as much as they seem). Camilla and Erika are childhood friends, although their friendship was instigated by Camilla’s mother, who became Erika’s heroine and role model, perfect motherhood personified.  Camilla feels guilty for resenting Erika’s interference in her childhood because she’s aware of her family circumstances. But she still feels put upon. Erika’s feelings towards her friend are also complicated, mixing envy, disdain and some true affection.

The third couple, Vid and Tiffany, are Erika and Oliver’s neighbours, very rich, very loud, and seemingly perfect for each other. They enjoy life to the full and don’t mind bending the rules for fun or to get their own way. Although on the surface they seem harmless and good fun, they represent temptation and we later discover they might be darker than they appear. They don’t know the others very well but even they are affected by what happens.

The novel shows how a seemingly unimportant oversight can have an impact on many people’s lives, putting an end to innocence and burdening all with guilt, and how we all keep secrets, sometimes even from ourselves. The guilt we carry, justified or not, can put a terrible strain on relationships and lives and can affect people’s mental health.  The story builds up slowly and perhaps because of the emphasis on the event (that is not easy to guess and is kept under wraps for very long) it might result somewhat anticlimactic once it is revealed. For me, it works like a puzzle where the pieces are being fitted together slowly, with an insistence on fitting first the outskirts of the picture rather than the centre of it. How much of the detail is necessary is debatable, and it also depends on how much you care for the characters, that are interesting but perhaps not that easy to identify with. There were flashes of humour, but very few and I understand from comments that the author’s previous books were funnier.

I enjoyed the ending that I found unexpectedly positive, although it is not earth-shattering. Some of the couples learn from the event and move on, but not all, although we get to understand the microcosms and all the characters much better by the end of the novel as they have grown more rounded and human . Although I don’t think this is a novel for everybody and it is not a page-turner, I hope to get to check the author’s previous work and I appreciate the quality of her writing, which is descriptive and precious.

Realistic Characterization: 3.5/5
Made Me Think: 4/5 
Overall enjoyment: 3.5/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

Buy it at:  
Format & Pricing:
Paperback:  $16.99
Kindle: Not available in  Kindle format on Amazon. com yet
Audible: $39.54
Hardcover: $ 16.19

I shared this review on my own website and there was plenty of interest. I must admit the style of the writer interested me more, as a writer, than the story itself, but…

Thanks so much for reading. Remember to like, share, comment and CLICK!

Haunted Visions #BookReview

  • Title: Haunted VisionsPacific Cove: Haunted Visions (Pacific Cove Short Read Series Book 1) by [Grace, J.E]
  • Print Length: 93 pages
  • Publication Date: August 13, 2016
  • Sold by:Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Format:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Fantasy

A few months after Naomi is devastated when her sister is killed by a car walking to a friend’s house, she graduates college with an art degree and marries the man of her dreams, Jason. They embark on their newly romantic life together in Pacific Cove. However, life is less than happy when Naomi begins experiencing visions that keep her on edge.

Haunted Visions is a very light, quick read. My only issues is that the narrative tend to switch from past to present tense and back again, which can be confusing. The characters were two dimensional and their dialogue can be mediocre at times, but the story itself was very enjoyable. I read it in one sitting, eager to find out what was going to happen.

Haunted Visions is recommended to those who enjoy stories that include faith, love and has supernatural elements entwined. It is one that I wouldn’t mind reading again, and I’d be interested in seeing what other stories Ms. Grace will come up with.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


J.E. Grace

J.E. Grace was born in California and has a background in Retail Management.

She now resides in the Midwest and retired from a career in real estate in 2012 to pursue her passion-writing. Her interests include poetry, painting in traditional oils/pastels, digital art and photography. Her work can be viewed on Society 6, Zazzle, and Fine Art America.

This is her debut science fiction novel. She tries to make her characters interesting and believable so that her readers can relate to them. Her writing has spiritual overtones due to her deep roots in her faith.

She is currently writing a fantasy novel with relationships to Christian values and is in the planning stages for a sequel to “The Zarion-Saving Mankind. Her new Pacific Cove Series Short Reads; Haunted Visions-Book 1 and Testament of Faith-Book 2, are due to be published Aug-Sept. 2016. There will also be a Book 3, entitled, “Love’s Enduring Legacy,” which she is currently working on.

Website: http://jegrace.webs.com


#BookReview of Cluster of Lies by @SamMarquisBooks

cluster-of-liesCluster of Lies

by Samuel Marquis

Fiction: Thriller/Suspense/Environmental/Action. 326 Pages (PRINT). Mount Sopris Publishing (September 15, 2016)

five gold stars image

Author Biography

Samuel Marquis is a bestselling, award-winning suspense author. His books include “The Slush Pile Brigade,” “Blind Thrust,” “The Coalition,” and “Bodyguard of Deception.” He works by day as a VP–Hydrogeologist with an environmental firm in Boulder, Colorado, and by night as a spinner of historical and modern suspense yarns. He holds a Master of Science degree in Geology, is a Registered Professional Geologist in eleven states, and is a recognized expert in groundwater contaminant hydrogeology, having served as a hydrogeologic expert witness in several class-action litigation cases.

Book Description

In this second thriller in the Joe Higheagle Environmental Sleuth Series, mysterious deaths are taking place in the Rocky Mountain region outside Denver, Colorado. Joe Higheagle–a full-blooded Cheyenne geologist who has recently become an overnight celebrity for bringing down a billionaire corporate polluter–is hired to investigate Dakota Ranch, where four boys have recently died from a rare form of brain cancer, and Silverado Knolls, a glitzy soon-to-be-built development. He quickly finds himself entangled in an environmental cancer cluster investigation as well as a murderous conspiracy in which friend and foe are indistinguishable and a series of seemingly impenetrable roadblocks are thrown in his path.

Book Review

Cluster of Lies is a well plotted, fast paced, story of conscious versus greed. Marquis brings back Environmental Geologist Joseph Higheagle in what seems to be a simple case of reading reports and giving a high paying client his professional opinion, but if it were that simple, I wouldn’t be talking about it. Higheagle has to deal with some deep moments during the book that involve a lot of people. Keep quiet, go public, threaten, what should he do? The problems he faces involves a woman he’s falling for and her son that has developed cancer, most likely due to illegal dumping on the planned community they live in. Another problem is the man apparently responsible for it is the woman’s ex-lover.

Marquis gives us a great supporting cast with the telling of five main stories all linked together through Higheagle and the illegal waste dumping.

I liked Higheagles romantic interest and her son. It was a well used plot tool to discuss issues that one would want to know about while reading the book.

The antagonist of the book is more complex and disturbed than you think at first. Marquis surprised me with this one.

I read this one in about a day. It’s that fast paced and I think you’ll enjoy it.

Review by: Ronovan Hester

Get Cluster of Lies @:

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Connect With Sam @:

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Publishing New Paperback Editions

If you’re planning major changes to your book that will warrant a brand new paperback edition, or if you’ve acquired your own ISBN number and want to use that instead of the free issue CreateSpace ISBN, it’s not a complicated process. Unless you unpublish your Kindle book and start from scratch with that too, you won’t even lose your reviews.

So, assuming you will simply upload your updated eBook file to the currently published Kindle book keeping its Amazon assigned ASIN number, what you need to do is prepare your paperback with its new ISBN number in the front matter, the edition number, and also the new Published By information – don’t use your own name unless you really, really, really want to. Think about this before you buy your ISBN’s and call your publishing business something different. As a self-publishing author you are a publisher, and there’s no reason not to give your business a nice professional name.

When you look at the various editions of the same book from traditionally published authors they generally have a totally revamped look for each of them, so you might want to update your cover – even if only with a tweak or two, that will make it distinguishable from the first edition. Publish this from scratch with CreateSpace as a totally new project.

Contact CreateSpace and let them know that you wish to retire the first edition. This will result in an out of print notice on its Amazon page, which means that new print versions of it can’t be ordered, but that page won’t be taken down due to Amazon’s policy on the sale of used books. CreateSpace will however unlink this from the Kindle book product detail page, and the link the new edition to that instead, and all reviews already received for the eBook will remain right there. Easy as pie.

There’s no harm in revamping some of your backlist this way once you have more readers than you did when you published them. Add details, chapters, images, maps, tweak, modernise your covers and start an old book on a wonderful fresh journey. Obviously if your updates don’t include new ISBN numbers you can update without starting a new project, but sometimes especially if your first paperback didn’t do very well then beginning again could very well be the way to go.





  • Title:  The Automation, Vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series
  • Author: Anonymous and GB Gabbler
  • File Size: 5253 KB
  • Print Length: 364 pages
  •  Publisher: SOBPublishing
  • Publication Date: 1 edition (July 7, 2014)
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B00LLI4XT4
  • ISBN-10: 0692259716
  • ISBN-13: 9780692259719
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Mythology, Folk Tales, Fantasy

In the Words of the Author:

“The capital-A Automatons of Greco-Roman myth aren’t clockwork. Their design is much more divine. They’re more intricate than robots or androids or anything else mortal humans could invent. Their windup keys are their human Masters. They aren’t mindless; they have infinite storage space. And, because they have more than one form, they’re more versatile and portable than, say, your cell phone—and much more useful too. The only thing these god-forged beings share in common with those Lowercase-A automatons is their pre-programmed existence. They have a function—a function Hephaestus put into place—a function that was questionable from the start…”

*The author provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review*

My Recommendation:

I have read some really interesting books before, but never one like The Automation. The beginning of the book was a mishmash of ideas and thoughts. My understanding is that the book is written in a style paralleling an epic Greek poem. There are footnotes throughout the text. At times, the narrator speaks directly to the reader. Frankly, I felt the style was confusing. I did read a number of the footnotes and did chuckle at the comments. I am deliberating on whether the author was clever or simply straining to fill in the back narrative. I still can’t decide.

I had to soldier through because I had agreed to read the book. Normally, if I can’t get through the start of the book, I am finished. But I felt like there was something here, I just had to find it.

The Automation is based on a great idea. I enjoyed the fantasy element of the automaton being an inanimate object that takes human shape. So, when you meet the protagonist, Odys Odelyn, it is on the street where he meets an unusual man. Pepin Pound gives Odys a coin and then commits suicide in front of Odys. Understandably, Odys is upset by the incident. Later, when he awakens in his apartment, a strange woman named Maud, has appeared. Maud is an automaton who has possessed his soul. Many pages later, it is discovered that all of them are controlled by Vulcan, one of the Greek Gods from mythology.

The story spirals into twists, turns, too many subplots, and eccentrics who are unusual and strange. But you only find this out if you can plow through the slow pace of the book. It took me seven days to read this novel. Many times I had to backtrack to make sure I understood the plot. It is a pity because I felt the novel could have been a fun and interesting fantasy read. Some of the writing was engaging, but there was just too much of it!

All in all, the book was just too long. The author spent too much time wanting the readers to notice how clever he was. I was put off with the author remaining “anonymous.” GB Gabbler is billed as the “editor.” Even the blog, called “Further Annotations,” is strange and unusual. You know what? Some people actually like that. You will want to check it out and decide for yourself.

In my humble opinion, finishing the book with a cliff-hanger did not do it any justice. There were some strange sexual nuances going on with the characters that I am still puzzling over. This is definitely an adult book.

So here’s the bottom line, guys. Do you like strange and unusual books? Then, The Automation is for you.


My Rating:

Character Believability: 4
Flow and Pace: 3.5
Reader Engagement: 3.5
Reader Enrichment: 3.5
Reader Enjoyment: 3.5
Overall Rate: 3.5 out of 5 stars

About Anonymous and GB Gabbler

G.B. Gabbler is the other half to the pen name of “The Author” of the indie novel THE AUTOMATION, Vol. 1 of the CIRCO DEL HERRERO series – now out in print and eBook formats.

The official website for G.B. Gabbler and B.L.A. is: www.circodelherreroseries.com

Contact, Links, & Etc.

Tumblr: The Editor and Narrator’s Etc.

Twitter: @CircoFootnotes.

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/GBGabbler

Goodreads: Gabbler (B.L.A. can’t be bothered).

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 5.3.16


#Interviewsintranslation Estrella Cardona Gamio (@EstrellaCG ) and LETTER TO CHARO. Small is beautiful

Hi all:

I’d been promising you more interviews and here is a very special one for me. I loved the novel Carta a Charo when I first read it in Spanish and I was lucky enough to be asked to translate it. Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to a Spanish writer, Estrella Cardona Gamio, and her novel Letter to Charo.

First, the author tells us a bit about herself.

Author Estrella Cardona Gamio
Author Estrella Cardona Gamio

I have a BA in Fine Arts and I’m an author of novels, stories and children’s tales, I have also been a member of the Spanish Association of Journalists and Correspondents, and I’ve contributed editorials and short tales to different publications. I have also collaborated in radio with my own featured programmes. My first novel was self-published in paper years back, El otro jardín (The Other Garden). In March 2006, I published a book of short stories, La dependienta (The Shop Girl), with a publishing company in Madrid, hybrid publishing. In 1999, my sister, María Concepción, registered the publishing company C. CARDONA GAMIO EDICIONES (that started as an online publishing company that same year). From 2006 we started publishing books in paperback format and from the 28th April 2012 we are on Amazon, in Kindle format, broadening our horizons.

Letter to Charo by Estrella Cardona Gamio. Translated by Olga Núñez Miret
Letter to Charo by Estrella Cardona Gamio. Translated by Olga Núñez Miret

Here are the questions:

  • When and how did you start writing? I started writing novels when I was eight years old, instinctively copying others. I was an avid reader and wanted to imitate the writers I read. It was a game to start with but with time it stopped being one.
  • Describe for us your experience as an independent (self-published) writer: Very satisfying. Like many first-time writers, I went through the litany of sending inquiries to publishing companies and finally when Amazon reached Spain, I found what I was looking for, a serious and honest company. My official baptism of fire in the indie world couldn’t have been better.
  • Is there a moment that you remember with particular affection from your career as a writer, up to now? For me, the experience of writing is already the best of all moments.
  • What made you decide to translate your novel Carta a Charo (now available in English as Letter to Charo)? The fact that the action of this novel, now Letter to Charo, develops through the exchange of letters, between London and Barcelona, and I thought it would be very appropriate to translate it, and as you are an excellent translator (her words, not mine) I approached you with the project.
  • Tell us a bit more about your novel. It’s a novel written with plenty of love and I enjoyed the possibilities the interaction between the protagonists all immersed in the same novel, but so different between them, gave me, as they progressively share with us their thoughts and their personality. Charo’s character is a jewel, a true finding, as without her there would be no novel.
  • Do you have any advice for your writer colleagues (and especially for new writers)? Not to feel disappointed if they are not successful from the very beginning. Writing is a beautiful but thankless profession. We shouldn’t look for millions of sales, or for becoming one of the top ten writers, we should try to write well and not lose our patience in the process. All the writers who persevered triumphed in the end and that’s the important thing.

Here a review, written by a publisher, Marlene Moleon:

“Epistolary novels allow us to get close and personal with the intimacy of a character in a way not possible through any other narrative form. It is like entering the world of a person as she is, without embellishments or interpretations on behalf of the narrator. Estrella Cardona Gamio shows us her mastery of the genre with LETTER TO CHARO.

A short novel where rich human feelings and passions fit perfectly in the short number of pages given.”

Link to Letter to Charo:



Follow Estrella Cardona Gamio:






Thanks so much to Estrella for her interview and on my behalf for her words and to her and her sister Concha for the opportunity to translate this great novel, thanks to all of you for reading and don’t forget to like, share, comment and CLICK!

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