All posts by Colleen Chesebro

Colleen M. Chesebro is a writer of cross-genre fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Her debut novel, a YA fantasy series called, “The Heart Stone Chronicles - The Swamp Fairy,” was published January 2017. The book reveals the story of Abby Forrester, a 14-year-old orphaned girl who is entrusted with saving a community of fairy nymphs from certain ecological destruction. Along the way, Abby learns about friendship, love, and what it means to actually belong to a family. Colleen’s writing explores ecological situations in the multicultural world of today. She combines real-life historical events into her writing to create experiences that will continue in the hearts and heads of her readers. A veteran of the United States Air Force, Colleen is also a retired bookkeeper. She has an Associates Degree in Business Administration, and another Associates Degree in the Arts, which she uses to combine her love of writing with her passion for all things creative. When she is not writing, Colleen enjoys spending time with her husband, dogs, children, and grandchildren. When time permits, she also loves gardening, cooking, and crocheting old fashioned doilies into works of artistry. She lives in the United States with her husband and her two Pomeranians, Sugar, and Spice. You can learn more about Colleen and her writing on her website colleenchesebro.com.

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Angel Messages: A Wing & a Prayer,” BY AUTHOR @YOUARETHEEXPERT

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  • Title:  Angel Messages: A Wing and a Prayer
  • Author: Annette Rochelle Aben
  • File Size: 1168 KB
  • Print Length: 39 Pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1523901888
  • Publication Date: March 9, 2016
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B01CT5KT4A
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Religion & Spirituality, New Age & Spirituality, Angels & Spirit Guides

In the Author’s Words:

“Angels are real! Some say Angels have saved their lives, comforted them in their darkest moments and even appeared before them in physical form. I am one of those who believes in Angels. My personal testimony is here in Angel Messages, along with prayers that I have used to thank, summon and to send Angels to others when asked. The beautiful photographs of Angels inside, are designed to evoke deep personal connections.

Allow yourself to be inspired by a wing and a prayer by the love of the Angels. Share this book with others. Keep a copy close to you, so you will always have an Angel at the ready. Let it refresh your body, mind and spirit Believe that Angels and Spirit guides are always there for you whenever you call, and so they shall. Love and Angelic blessings, I am Annette Rochelle Aben, a.k.a. Sister Angel.

Annette Rochelle Aben, a.k.a. Sister Angel has spent her life in the company of Angels. Recognizing their presence has been a blessing in her life. Being able to sense an Angel has provided the comfort and support when needed the most. Many people seek her counsel and aid to help them connect with Angels, speak to Angels or merely ask her to send Angels wherever they feel the Angels are needed. For years now, Annette has channeled messages from the Angels which she shares daily on her blog.

You are invited to follow her and receive the messages along with the thousands of others who do the same. There is contact information there when you need to reach out for her help. http://www.annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com.”

My Recommendation:

Do you feel like you need someone to accompany you on this journey in life? If so, you have found it with Annette Rochelle Aben, a.k.a. Sister Angel. Annette has spent her life in the company of Angels. She can recognize their presence and has written about how the Angels have been a blessing in her life.

She shares this collection of prayers and Angel musings with the hope that it will provide comfort and support anytime one feels down and needs a boost. This is the kind of book you will read over and over again, and I have. The photos are her own, and the addition of her poetic words is soothing to the soul.

In fact, the author suggests the following, “This book is a terrific way to share some Angel love with someone who needs a lift, a hug, a smile or that person who loves Angels. It is filled with pictures, prayers, and poems that bring the Angel Messages to you.” What a lovely thought, particularly in this Christmas Season.

One of my favorite Angel Messages in the book was this anagram:

Always

Near

Giving

Eternal

Love

me-time

This tiny book filled with so much inspiration has found its way into my “Me-Time,” collection. Annette’s message touched my heart and gave me faith that I am never alone. ❤

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

5gold-star3

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Author & Poet: Annette Rochelle Aben

About Annette Rochelle Aben:

Because Annette has always been aware of the presence of Angels, she thought everyone else was as well. The creation of this book honors not only her lifelong friends, guides, and guardians, but it introduces their love with the world.  Consider Annette Rochelle Aben a messenger, sharing that which comes directly to her from Angels.

Every picture in this book is an Angel here in my home.  Daily, I am able to have them around me and feel their loving energy.  Since I could not possibly have everyone into my home to meet these Angels, I put their pictures into Angel Messages.

Since the book came out, I tell them, “See, everyone loves your book!” Believe me, when I tell you, they ARE excited to share their energy with you and more than happy about this book finally being written.

My suggestion is that you gift a copy to a friend, a family member or even a place where people visit such as a Doctor’s waiting room.  You never know who may pick it up and receive a hug from an Angel when they need it the most.

Thank you so much for acknowledging the Angels. They merely wait to be invited to be by your side.

You can find Annette on Twitter @YouAreTheExpert, Facebook at Annette Rochelle Aben, and on her blog, Annette Rochelle Aben.

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of colleenchesebro.com

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#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Hashes & Bashes,” BY AUTHOR P J COLANDO

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  • Title:  Hashes and Bashes: Jackie & Steve Book 2
  • Author: P J Colando
  • File Size: 1337 KB
  • Print Length: 225 Pages
  •  Publisher: BookBaby
  • Publication Date: September 13, 2016
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B01LWV02LG
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Genre Fiction, Family Life, Humor, Literature & Fiction

*I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book*

In the Author’s Words:

“FAITH… FAMILY… FRENZY!

Nine months after their comically abbreviated RV road trip, detailed in the award-winning book, STASHES, the Breeden family farm routines have stabilized: Jackie returned to her high school cafeteria job and their only son, Brandon, works alongside his father, Steve, in the family micro-dairy.

But then an outsider arrives, claiming to be kin, and HASHES & BASHES begin.

Steve was already perturbed with the brother he has when Carl Edwards strides onto the farm. David Breeden, who lives nearby, is not a bastard but always acted like one. Carl, a charismatic Californian, may be a bastard but doesn’t act like one…

Yet Carl rocks the entire small Midwestern farming community, including a lively cast of characters who assault Steve’s calm-against-chaos pattern in this humorous family saga:

•his spunky farmwife, Jackie, and her meddlesome church lady friends

•his immature son, Brandon, and his female pursuers

•his pastor, who attempts to foist guilt while grubbing funds

•the lure of edible and spreadable medical marijuana and easy money from natural gas fracking

Only Sparty, Steve’s dog, remains steadfast throughout the hijinks. But then…”

My Recommendation:

I’ve been looking forward to another humorous and heartwarming novel from P J Colando, and let me tell you, “Hashes and Bashes” kept me alternating between laughter and tears. Her first book was called, “Stashes,” and you can read that review by clicking here. Now, grab a seat and let me tell you about this book because you’re going to love it!

What sets P J Colando apart from many others is her ability to draw the reader into the life of her characters. As the reader, you feel like you are her protagonist’s (Jackie) girlfriend and she is sharing with you what is going on in her and Steve’s life while the two of you are drinking tea and eating scones. This makes for some great storytelling. Jackie and Steve are so real to life, you expect to run into them while running errands in town. I know I did at least.

Jackie and Steve represent the perfect Midwest farm couple, hardworking and steadfast. You sense their love for one another seep through the pages. When Carl shows up, Steve’s brother from his mother’s WWII love tryst and given up for adoption, the Breeden family welcomes him into their nest.

Carl and Steve bond through a common acknowledgment of shared genealogy. However, that leaves Steve’s brother David out in the cold. David is the brother you wish you didn’t have, while Carl is likable and real, like Steve. A Prodigal Son triangle develops with impressive results. Once you throw Brandon, Steve and Jackie’s son, into the mix, the results are hilarious.

Years ago I worked on a ranch in Montana. The descriptions of (AI) artificial insemination from Carl’s bull into Steve’s dairy cows by Brandon are not only factually accurate, but they are also hysterical. I laughed so hard, I cried.

Yet, there is more than humor found between these pages. P J Colando breathes and writes life into the pages of her novels. Love, death, friendship, family, all find their way into her stories. Add a touch of pot-laced baking to the mix, and you have a recipe for success.

The end of the book grabbed me by surprise and left me wanting more of this beautiful, and funny family!

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

 5gold-star3

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Author, P J Colando

About PJ Colando:

PJ Colando was born and raised in the Midwest, yet unabashedly aspired for adventure elsewhere, following her parents’ model. She lives in southern California with her husband, whose name is not Steve or Carl, the prime male characters in the ‘Jackie and Steve’ series.

PJ is the author of three novels, with short stories, personal essays, and articles published in journals, magazines, and anthologies. She’s earned an Erma Bombeck Humor Award, Reader’s Favorite Silver Award, and Southern California Writers Conference fiction award.

PJ writes contemporary women’s fiction and has drawn praise for her singular voice, humor and satire on contentious current affairs, and insights into human life. PJ writes funny!

Join her on her Boomer humor blog on her author site: http://www.pjcolando.com and on Facebook at PJ Colando.

PJ is having a blast and you will, too.

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of colleenchesebro.com

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#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920’s Story,” BY AUTHOR @TEAGANGENEVIENE

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  • Title:  The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920’s Story
  • Author: Teagan Geneviene
  • File Size: 507 KB
  • Print Length: 95 Pages
  • Publication Date: November 28, 2016
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services, LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B01MRRC0B2
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Amateur Sleuths

In the Author’s Words:

“The Three Things Serial Story was a spontaneously written (“pantser”) story. Everything in it — characters, setting, plot, was driven by “things” left by readers of the blog Teagan’s Books, episode by episode.

It quickly became a 1920s Mystery with armature sleuth, Pip, telling the story. Pip is determined to be a modern woman, a flapper.

Each week readers left three more things. The story evolved according to what those random things inspired. The serial began with an oscillating fan, which brought me the vision of the 1920s setting. The era and narrator continued in two more serials that followed.

While it was not great literature, it sure was a fun ride! Many readers asked me to provide the serial as a book, and that’s what I’ve done with this novella. So, sit back and enjoy the Three Things Serial.”

My Recommendation:

Are you ready to step back into the 1920’s to join Paisley Idelle Peabody, in solving a mystery? Hurry up and dig your best suit out of the attic and grab your sequined flapper dress because you are in for a fun time. It’s the real cat’s meow!

This was my first time reading a Teagan Geneviene serial novella. What a unique and novel idea! What I enjoyed most was the randomness of the words chosen at the beginning of each chapter. This required some writing skill because she had to structure each chapter in such a way as to use the selected words provided by her readers. And, the author had no idea how the story was going to evolve. I found some insight into the writing of the story on her blog, Teagan’s Books. Here’s what she had to say:

“Everything about this story was determined by the random “things” readers sent.  Absolutely nothing was pre-planned.  First came the narrator, Pip, aka Paisley Idelle Peabody.  I imagined the voice of Lucille Ball as Pip, telling a story of her youth.  Then came the 1920s setting, inspired by an oscillating fan. Next, the “things” brought characters, particularly Andy who came back for another serial. Eventually, a thing gave me the Florida setting.  I think you get the idea of how this worked.

Pip, a modern woman — a flapper, begins the first of several adventures.  In this story, a mysterious white-haired woman is kidnapped.  Pip finds a bent key, a scrap from a special quilt, strange tattoos, and other “things.”  Later, Pip and her friends find themselves on a luxurious yacht where they encounter figures from history and celebrities of the era. The mystery comes to the forefront when they reach the destination, the gilded mansion, Cà d’Zan.”

The tale unfolds quickly, much like the old black and white movies from the period. You get right into the story and meet the characters, who are likable and believable as they comfortably fit into the Roaring Twenties time frame with their language and mannerisms. There is a mystery to be solved, and I liked the way the story evolved. There were even some surprises along the way.

At first, I read a couple chapters a night. Finally, I couldn’t wait any longer, so I finished the book off. I had to find out what became of the little old white-haired lady!

This was a fun and engaging trip back into the flapper era, and I loved it!

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Author, Teagan Geneviene

About Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene:

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, a southerner by birth, was “enchanted” by the desert southwest of the USA when she moved there. She had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since. Her work is colored by her experiences in both the southern states and the southwest. Teagan writes many types of fantasy, from what she likes to call “quest type” fantasy, to urban fantasy, to fantasies with a dash of mystery. Her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to contributions from viewers. Major influences include Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris.

To watch a trailer for the book, click the link below:

You can find Teagan on Twitter @teagangeneviene, Facebook at Teagan Geneviene, and her blog, Teagan’s Books.

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of colleenchesebro.com

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#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Genteel Secrets,” BY AUTHOR @SARAHMALLERY1

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  • Title:  Genteel Secrets
  • Author: S. R. Mallery
  • File Size: 4027 KB
  • Print Length: 118 Pages
  • Publication Date: November 27, 2016
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B01MTU6KNE
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Historical Romance, Victorian, Military

In the Author’s Words:

“What do a well-bred Southern Belle and a Northern working class Pinkerton detective have in common? Espionage . . . And romance. At the start of the U.S. Civil War, while young men begin dying on American battlefields and slavery is headed toward its end, behind the scenes, female undercover work and Pinkerton intelligence are alive and well. But in the end, can this unlikely Romeo and Juliet couple’s love survive, or will they be just another casualty of war?”

My Recommendation:

Anytime S. R. Mallery releases a new book is a great day for the enthusiasts who follow her historical romances. So, you can imagine my excitement when she released, Genteel Secrets, a Civil War romance with a unique twist – Alan Pinkerton, who served as head of the Union Intelligence Service, and who created the famous Pinkerton Detective Agency.

Set in 1861 in Washington, D.C., we are introduced to James Neely, an Irish immigrant who has worked his way out of the slums to become a doctor. In a chance encounter in a city park, he meets Hannah Mayfield, an educated woman from the Confederate South. In addition to their irresistible attraction, is a mutual admiration in the way they both express the politics of the day. Most Southern women do not engage in such things, and James is clearly smitten.

A series of life events interrupts their blossoming love affair. James finds his calling by joining the Pinkerton’s, where he is thrust into the middle of an investigation into that of a notorious spy ring, running out in the open within the capital. Little does he know, the elusive Hannah, has been blackmailed into taking part in the political intrigue by members of her own family. The challenge is whether their love can stand the test of time and win out in the end.

However, this story is bigger than James and Hannah’s love affair. It is also a political commentary on America’s Civil War and the treatment of slaves. It is about loyalty and friendship and the choices people made to hold close their personal freedom and beliefs.

At the beginning of each chapter, the author inserted quotations that shared the political climate of the times. I enjoyed these passages because it added a sense of credibility to the story. I’ve added this book to my “Me-Time,” category because I loved it so much. I could not turn the pages fast enough to find out what happened next. The ending was unexpected and restored my faith in humanity.

If you like fast-paced historical drama, this is one book you will not want to miss. I loved it!
me-time

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

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Author, Sarah Mallery

About Sarah Mallery:

S.R. Mallery, Gold Medalist winner of the 2016 READER’S FAVORITE Book Awards for Anthologies, has been labeled nothing short of ‘eclectic.’ She has been a singer, a calligrapher, a quilt designer, and an ESL teacher. As a writer, History is her focus and is woven into her stories with a delicate thread. When people talk about the news of the day or listen to music, Sarah’s imagination likens the story to a similar kind of news in the past and is conjuring up scenes between characters she has yet to meet.

What readers are saying about S. R. Mallery’s books:

“A master storyteller has been at work, and this marvelous piece of writing is the result.” ~ Thomas Baker Thomas on Unexpected Gifts.

“Honestly, I haven’t read a book this unique in quite some time.” ~ John H. Byk on Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads

“Mallery is an extremely talented writer. Her style lures the reader; you actually become a part of her tapestry of expression.” ~ Melinda Hines on Tales to Count On.

The Dolan Girls “was so enjoyable. At times rollicking, at times poignant, but always authentic, well researched and a beautifully told story. Highest recommendation. Five stars.” – B. Nelson

Sarah loves to hear from fans and readers.
Find Sarah on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1abYVyP
Follow Sarah on Twitter: @SarahMallery1
Visit her on http://srmallery.wordpress.com/home/
Follow Sarah and other award-winning authors on http://enovelauthorsatwork.com
Catch Sarah’s history/vintage clothing/old flicks Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sarahmallery1/

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of colleenchesebro.com

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#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Yellow Hair,” BY AUTHOR @HUCKFINN76

  • Title:  Yellow Hair
  • Author: Andrew Joyce
  • File Size: 1092 KB
  • Print Length: 498 Pages
  • Publisher: William Birch & Assoc.
  • Publication Date: September 28, 2016
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN:  B01LXOXHBI
  • ISBN-10: 0998119318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0998119311
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Biographical

*I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book*


“Through no fault of his own, a young man is thrust into a new culture just at the time that culture is undergoing massive changes. It is losing its identity, its lands, and its dignity. He not only adapts, he perseveres and, over time, becomes a leader–and on occasion, the hand of vengeance against those who would destroy his adopted people.

Yellow Hair documents the injustices done to the Sioux Nation from their first treaty with the United States in 1805 through Wounded Knee in 1890. Every death, murder, battle, and outrage written about actually took place. The historical figures that play a role in this fact-based tale of fiction were real people, and the author uses their real names. Yellow Hair is an epic tale of adventure, family, love, and hate that spans most of the 19th century. This is American history.”

Yellow Hair is an action-packed epic saga telling the life story of a man coming to grips with his destiny. From the first page of this book, the reader is thrust inside the life journey of Jacob Ariesen, a young man whose family was looking for a better way of life in California. Leaving Massachusetts behind, and heading west on the Oregon Trail, the Arisen’s meet up with a wagon train headed to California in the mid-1800’s and set out toward gold country.

Most of the travelers were Eastern businesspeople, and they weren’t prepared to face the hardships on the trail. Careless errors of judgment by the pioneers results in the deaths of many family members. The people were greenhorns and had no clear idea what they had gotten themselves into. Throw in a crippling bout of cholera, and you have a clear picture of the tribulations suffered by the brave folks who traveled West looking for a better way of life. In the blink of an eye, Jacob’s entire family is wiped out, and he becomes the sole survivor.

With the dead and dying all around him, Jacob Ariesen becomes infected with cholera, and his days are numbered. Help is at hand, when a prophetic Native American woman, named Suni, finds her destiny with the fair-haired Jacob. Suni nurses him back to health, and she calls him, “Yellow Hair.” With no family of his own, Yellow Hair embraces the Dakota tribe who adopts him. He learns to speak the native languages of the Great Plains Indians and lives his life as a member of the Dakota tribe.

Jacob Ariesen, a.k.a. Yellow Hair takes his place in history framed by the U.S. government’s policy of placing the Dakota Sioux Indian tribes onto reservations after breaking treaty after treaty with the native peoples. The rest of the story belongs to Yellow Hair, told from his point of view.

I felt both sides (Native American and Whites) were portrayed as accurately as history could allow. The difference is in perspective, when you the reader, has the chance to witnesses the historical events through the eyes of a white man who considers himself to be an Indian.

I thought the author, Andrew Joyce, was entirely fair in his depiction of all the events. I never felt one side was glorified over another. The historical facts are woven in between the author’s interpretation of the events making history come alive.

History has a way of repeating itself, and I was quite moved with the parallels between the novel, and real life events unfolding at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and the Dakota Access Pipeline. I must admit I shed a few tears at the brutality of humanity on both sides of the spectrum.

I enjoyed this book from start to finish and could not put it down. And, as the author reminds us, “This is history,” which means many of these happenings are hard to swallow from a humanitarian point of view.

This is one of my favorite books from my expanding library of Andrew Joyce novels. If you love historical fiction set in the American West, you will love Yellow Hair.


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

5gold-star3

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 Twitter @HuckFinn76 and on Facebook at Andrew Joyce (Yellowhair1850)

You can also connect with Andrew on his author blog at andrewjoyce.wordpress.com

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of colleenchesebro.com

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#BOOK #REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Rapture in the City,” BY AUTHOR @CHANNELINGLOVE

  • Title:  Rapture in the City (Sequel to Catching Feathers in the Wind)
  • Author: Diane Hall
  • File Size: 1025 KB
  • Print Length: 231 Pages
  • Publisher: http://www.dianehallauthor.com
  • Publication Date: August 18, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0145J0U8S
  • ISBN-10:  0955973392
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955973390
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Magical Realism, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Angels & Spirit Guides

    *I voluntarily reviewed an Author’s Copy of this book*


“This sequel to Catching Feathers in the Wind begins when Stephen, Jayna and the other non-physical members of their soul group assemble on a distant star, fully awakened and aware of their connection with each other as a soul group consciousness. A large meeting is called, in which they are charged with returning to Earth in various forms, in order to trigger the inhabitants of the Earth into a spontaneous co-creation of Utopia. It seems straightforward enough, until they begin to encounter strange, invisible electromagnetic fields, stubborn twin flames who refuse to re-unite and carry out their joint mission, and a mysterious figure who holds all of their dreams by a thread… Who is the enigmatic leader of the Utopian Resistance Movement, and what does he really want? Will Heaven on Earth ever be allowed to birth itself, and will Natalie ever allow herself to be united with the one man she should never, ever want…”

Diane Hall has written this fantastic novel as a sequel to “Catching Feathers in the Wind,” which I reviewed some time ago. You can find that review here. I loved the first novel and was excited to see what the author had up her sleeve for the sequel.

When “The One,” gathers the soul group consciousness together, their hearts swell with the brightness of a flame. God has a mission for these entities, and the intent is to institute “The Divine Plan,” by returning the ‘All’ back into a state of harmonious and unified consciousness, or a Heaven on Earth.

A negative vibrational field covers the earth preventing God’s love from penetrating the hearts of mankind. The light-workers have been busy, though, and the loving energy surrounds the earth, seeking a path to touch humanity. As you can imagine, angels coming back to earth causes major chaos, sometimes with hilarious consequences and sometimes not so much as their antics mimic real life.

The thing I like best about Diane Hall’s writing is her intuitive way of portraying humanity. Her characters always come across as real, not contrived. She reprises the roles of Stephen and Jayna, from the first novel to work their magic and love behind the scenes once again back on earth. Two other couples figure prominently in the book. Their journey to finding true love is entertaining and engaging.

I also enjoyed the author’s use of incarnated fairy-folk in her story. This was a concept I have been dabbling with myself, so I was intrigued, to say the least.

The theme of the novel is love and the evolution of love on the wheel of life. There is one holdout, one person who resists the love fest by blocking all thought transference between himself and outside sources. The question is if we have heaven on earth, do we then give up our freedom of choice? Does humanity desire to live in a constant state of harmony between all sentient beings?

All I can say is that I am a fan of Diane Hall’s eternity. If you enjoy love stories with a twist of magic, you are going to love this book.


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

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Author, Diane Hall

About Diane Hall:

Diane Hall is an author and channel who writes novels, non-fiction, magazine features, comedy scripts, and songs about love, spirituality, and the joyful challenges of communication between dimensions.

She is inspired by her guides and the angelic realm to create books that touch the heart with memories of Heaven. She is also a drama postgraduate with a passion for Shakespeare and Rumi, and a desire to bring a sense of fun to the genre of spiritual fiction. She is a singer/songwriter, a meditation and intuitive development teacher, and a recovering chocoholic.

As a freelance writer, she has contributed to a number of new thought publications and websites, including Soul & Spirit and Kindred Spirit magazines.

“My dream is to create a life-changing body of work  –  literary, musical and lyrical  –  that reaches many hearts and minds and brings peace, awakenings, love, learning, joy and ultimately, a Heaven on Earth.”

You can find Diane Hall through Twitter @Channellinglove and Facebook at Diane Hall, and on her author blog, dianehallauthor.com

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of colleenchesebro.com
2016-11-17-11-25-08

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#BOOK #REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Gateway to Magic,” BY AUTHOR @ANABEL1FRANKLIN

  • Title:  Gateway to Magic
  • Author: Annabelle Franklin
  • File Size: 1600 KB
  • Print Length: 316 Pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1530767083
  • Publisher: Pearlswood Publishing; 4th Edition
  • Publication Date: January 20, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN:  B00B3T3QGW
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Children’s books, Fantasy and Magic, Sword & Sorcery, Science Fiction – Fantasy & Scary Stories


STEVEN IS A BOY WHO PLAYS TO WIN – BUT THIS IS NO GAME.


THIS IS AN ADVENTURE HE CAN’T CONTROL.

“Steven Topcliff loves gaming but doesn’t believe in fairies or magic – until tricky cousin Tracy drags him away from his game console and gets him to press a red button on a mysterious stone they find in the local park. The stone turns out to be a one-way gateway to Fairyland, where nature rules supreme and technology is banned by law.

Lost without his video games, Steven struggles to survive in this scary new world. The inhabitants are dangerous, sometimes deadly. The Land itself is a living being that deals out instant magical punishments to lawbreakers. And the truth about Tracy is terrible indeed. Homesick and horrified, Steven is desperate to escape.

Ignorant of the rules, it’s not long before he breaks them and ends up in the custody of the ruthless Fairy Queen. He learns she’s the living power behind the Land and its creatures, and she has no intention of setting him free. He also suspects she’s not telling him her true reason for keeping him prisoner.

Whatever her game is, Steven isn’t about to play it her way. His only chance of escape is to magic his own gateway home, so he attempts to build up some psychic muscle. The Queen uses all her guile to distract and torment him, and he lives in dread of being eaten alive by gruesome snake-like monsters that live in her garden, but the biggest block to his concentration is his own lack of faith. He still doesn’t believe it’s possible for a human being to do magic.

Can he believe in himself enough to forge the new gateway? And can he rely on the few friends he’s made to help him outwit the Queen?”


*I voluntarily reviewed a Reader’s Copy of this book*

The Gateway to Magic is a delightful fairytale filled with secrecy and intrigue that is sure to delight young and old.

Steven is a young boy who loves playing video games. When his cousin, Tracy, tricks him into pressing a hidden red button found on a stone they discover in the forest, the gates to fairyland are flung open. Steven is thrust into a realm filled with goblins, shapeshifters, and other scary beings. Hang on kids, we’re in for a wild ride.

One of the first entities Steven meets is Nigel, the shapeshifter, who seems to change into different figures that he can’t seem to control. I got many laughs out of the unusual things he changed himself into. However, Nigel’s character has a role. He becomes a friend and confidant of Steven and is instrumental in helping him to find a way out of fairyland. Nigel was my favorite character. Steven treated him badly, and still the little shapeshifter remained loyal.

All Steven wanted to do was to return home. Being a human in fairyland is a foreign experience. He is ridiculed and made fun of by the fairies and the rest of the elemental beings. At one point, Steven is starving because he doesn’t have a job. He steals some sweets to eat, and the Fairy Queen relegates him to the Forest of Pointy Fingers where he must bear his punishment. The only way out is to face up to the error of his ways.

It is when Steven realizes that it was wrong to steal that he leaves the forest of Pointy Fingers and meets Mr. Fildew, the Queen’s Dungeon Master. He is an organic type of creature who suffers from the power of suggestion. Finally, Steven meets the Fairy Queen, and she makes him her consultant. The three characters, Steven, Nigel, and Mr. Fildew have lessons they must learn to proceed in their lives in their fantasy world and beyond.

I guess that’s what I enjoyed most about this tale. You could read it with your younger children, and it would prompt great discussions on values and deep thoughts about growing up. Annabelle Franklin is a children’s writer, and I believe she throws the proper elements in her fantasy novel to encourage imagination in all kids.

If you love fairytales like I do, you will enjoy this sweet and imaginative tale. Take your time, and by all means, read it with your children. They will love it!


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

Author, Annabelle Franklin

About Annabelle Franklin:

“I live on the South Gower coast, in an area of outstanding natural beauty that gives me plenty of inspiration. I hate housework and often wonder if there’s a breed of gruesomely grubby goblin whose sole purpose is to mess up people’s homes. My new book The Slapstyx explores this idea.

I like to think the fabric of material reality is riddled with holes leading to magical dimensions. When my nephew had a phase of video game addiction, I wondered how he would manage in a dimension where technology was banned: would he embrace the adventure or suffer withdrawal symptoms? This is how I came to write Gateway to Magic.

I spent most of my time in school writing stories, whether I was meant to be doing it or not. Since then I’ve had various jobs, played in two bands, taught children to play keyboards, written and performed in plays and made a short film. One of my scripts was shortlisted in a BBC scriptwriting contest, with positive feedback from Tony Jordan.

I share my home with Millie and Pearl, two beautiful rescue dogs who allow me to see the world through their eyes. They are also responsible for a lot of the mess.”

CAN YOU FIND ANNABELLE?

You can connect with Annabelle Franklin through her Twitter @Anabel1Franklin, Facebook at Annabelle Franklin, Author, and her blog at Annabelle Franklin Author.

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of colleenchesebro.com

Colleen 5.3.16

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#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “A Merry Mountain Christmas, BY AUTHOR @PCZick

a-merry-mountain-christmas-p-c-zick

  • Title:  A Merry Mountain Christmas: Sweet Romance (Smoky Mountain Romance, Volume 4)
  • Author: P. C. Zick
  • Print Length: 102 Pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication Date: August 31, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon, LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1537152130
  • ISBN-13: 978-1537152134
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Romance, Clean & Wholesome,

*I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book*

In the author’s words:

“Fran is adjusting after her husband’s death when her first love comes back to town upsetting her family and leading her to inspiration. Fran first fell in love with Michael as a teenager. When he broke her heart, she married Carl and lived a happy life for more than thirty years until Carl died tragically. Just when she’s becoming fed up with the well-meaning, yet tiresome comments about Carl’s death, her first love returns, and stirs long-forgotten emotions. Rescue dogs and a love resurrected bring a sweet Christmas celebration to the Smoky Mountains.”

My Recommendation:

I like nothing better than finding a character from a previous book starring in their own book! That is exactly what P. C. Zick did. I read and reviewed Mountain Miracles (click here to read the review) and the character of Fran, was a real standout! This novel is a continuation of Mountain Miracles and one of the sweetest romances. Not only that, but the characters leap off the page as if you already know them.

Fran does the baking for Beanery Joe’s, a local coffee shop owned by Cecelia Jones. Fran’s husband, Carl, is recently deceased. Life has dealt a blow to Fran, and she isn’t sure how to cope.

The one shining light that helps to keep Fran moving forward is the impending marriage of her friends, Cecelia Jones and David Bellwood. When David’s father, Michael shows up to attend the wedding, Fran realizes he is her long lost boyfriend from high school. It doesn’t take long for the old sparks to ignite feelings that Fran and Michael had hidden for years.

The fact that Michael betrayed her and married someone else complicates their friendship. To make matters worse, Fran’s son Nick, and Michael’s son, David, struggle with their parents new found relationship. Fran’s memories of Carl and their life together muddle things further ensuing in plenty of fireworks.

Fran is one of the most endearing characters I have read in a long time. I really connected with her and felt the pain of her loss, and the joy of her new love. P. C. Zick deftly spins a love story that is poignant and real. If I met Fran today, I would want her as my friend.

This story is more a journey of healing for both families. It centers on dealing with life and the choices we made in the past and learning how to forgive, and move on. The theme of getting a second chance at love resonates through the entire story.

I read quickly to find out what happened next. I could not put the book down. If you love a romance where the characters walk off the page to meet you, this is the book for you. It was a “me time” read and I loved it! ❤

me-time

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

5gold-star3

 

 

 

p-c-zick

Author, P. C. Zick

About P. C. Zick:

P.C. Zick describes herself as a storyteller no matter what she writes. And she writes in a variety of genres, including romance, contemporary fiction, and nonfiction. She’s won various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction.

The three novels in her Florida Fiction Series contain stories of Florida and its people and environment, which she credits as giving her a rich base for her storytelling. “Florida’s quirky and abundant wildlife—both human and animal—supply my fiction with tales almost too weird to be believable.”

Her contemporary romances in the Behind the Love trilogy are also set in Florida. Her most recent works are set in the Smoky Mountains. All of her books are stand-alone reads, even if they appear in a series.

Her novels contain elements of romance with strong female characters, handsome heroes, and descriptive settings. She believes in living lightly upon this earth with love, laughter, and passion, and through her fiction, she imparts this philosophy in an entertaining manner with an obvious love for her characters, plot, and themes.

You can keep track of P.C. Zick’s new releases and special promotions by signing up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/0o6-D. Visit her website to find out more about her writing life at http://www.pczick.com.

Make certain to connect with P. C. Zick through Twitter at @PCZick

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of colleenchesebro.com

Colleen 5.3.16

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#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Eleven Miles,” BY AUTHOR @LANCEGMITCHELL

eleven-miles

  • Title:  Eleven Miles
  • Author: Lance Greenfield Mitchell
  • Print Length: 254 Pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publisher: lulu.com
  • Publication Date: September 25, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00QH0EDGE
  • ISBN-10: 1326108034
  • ISBN-13: 978-1326108038
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Literature and Fiction, Contemporary


“How far would you have walked to gain your high school education?

From an early age, the greatest passion in Boitumelo Tumelo’s life is learning. Boi, as she is known to her friends and family, just loves going to school. Her primary school is in the local village, but when she graduates to secondary school, two obstacles stand in the path to her further education. Firstly, there are fees to be paid. Secondly, it is eleven miles to the nearest secondary school. She would have to get up very early, and walk that long distance to school every day, and walk home after school. There are many potential dangers along the remote African track between her village and her school.

This is the inspiring story of how Boi overcomes the obstacles and dangers to gain the education that she so desires. Not only does she achieve her ambitions, but she manages to make life better for the children of her village who wish to follow in her footsteps.

Eleven Miles is a fictional story based upon a true-life situation in Botswana. Until the target of Princess Boikanyo’s School Bus Project is achieved, 50% of all profits from the sales of this book will go into the project funds.”


Open the pages of this book and slip inside the existence of Boitumelo Tumelo, a young girl from Botswana, who leads the reader on an incredible journey from her childhood into adulthood in a world fraught with difficulty and strife. Boi’s life humbled me with her compelling story and the bravery and determination she exhibited to achieve her dreams.

Boi is a gifted child who lives in abject poverty. She faces cruelty and stares down social injustices. Food is scarce, and many mornings she begins the laborious eleven-mile walk to school on a breakfast fueled by a crust of bread. Life is not comfortable in her village, and it is a struggle just to survive.

Her parents, grandparents, and her older brothers contribute their hard-earned cash to send her and her brother to school. Not only is this considered an honor, but it is also a calling. Boi realizes early, that if she is to succeed in life, she must get an education.

Like the proverbial sponge, Boi soaks up one academic challenge after another, and her hard work and determination finally pay off. But it is her commitment to change that grabs the reader. Boi realizes that if she runs the miles to school and back, she will have more time to dedicate to her studies. Her ingenuity is stunning.

Boi turns the daily obstacle of the eleven-mile walk to school into an active endeavor. After running twenty-two miles a day, Boi discovers her real gift, that of becoming a long distance runner.

I had this book in my “To be read,” pile for quite some time and couldn’t wait to read it. The story did not disappoint. I loved Boi’s story from start to finish, and I enjoyed the cultural elements the story provided. Lance Greenfield Mitchell takes you on a journey to a place far away from our western philosophy. I wish Boi’s story became mandatory reading for young people everywhere so they could appreciate their advantages. I know it made me appreciate the many opportunities I have enjoyed.


Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars


Author, Lance Greenfield Mitchell

My name is Lance Greenfield Mitchell.

Before you ask, my natural father’s name is Greenfield. My Step-dad’s name was Mitchell. So, I changed my name by deed poll when I left school, from Lance Greenfield to Lance Mitchell, to avoid confusion. My Step-dad, whom I loved, died. I eventually got back in touch with my real Dad, who, unbeknownst to me, had been banned by the courts from contacting me. I didn’t know that till I tracked him down. To avoid confusion, I added the Greenfield back in as a middle name.

Confused? So am I!!!

I live in Andover, Hampshire, Southern England, but I sometimes wonder where I am or where I come from! I have visited about eighty countries in my life. I just love traveling and immersing myself in different languages, cuisines, and cultures.

Because of family complexity, I attended ten schools, the last of which was HMS Conway, a Naval school in North Wales.

I was in the military for 22 years, Royal Navy AND Army (Royal Engineers) before going into technology as a second career in civvie street. I am now a VP of an international software company, and I fly around the planet a lot. What time is it?!

I started writing reviews as part of the BBC RAW (Read and Write) campaign a few years ago. There was huge enthusiasm for my reviews, so I resolved to publish a review for every book that I read. I publish my reviews on amazon.co.uk, amazon.com, goodreads.com and waterstones.com.

In my spare time, I started writing a couple of novels about eight years ago. They are still not finished!

Two years ago, I was part of a group read for a book from the erotica genre, which I wouldn’t normally have read. Not only did I enjoy it, but I thought that I could maybe do better.

I like erotica for the double-A. That is AROUSAL and AMUSEMENT. There are very good authors in this genre. One of my favourites is Chloe Thurlow. She’s great!

I got so into it that I wrote a couple of short stories and shared them with a select few friends who loved them. They encouraged me to write an anthology, which I have now completed.

Two publishers rejected my stories, so I have now self-published on Amazon. I don’t know if my work is any good. I like to think so, but that is for others to judge.

The title is “When Pleasure Blooms.”

If you do take the time to read it, please leave a review. Receiving criticism, good or bad, is the only way that I can hope to improve.

My all-time favorite book of any genre has to be “Skallagrigg” by William Horwood.

I have three grown up children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Hence my comment about being too busy in the opening paragraph.

My eldest son is a tattoo artist, and he recently persuaded me to have some artwork on my skin. It only took him ten years to get me into his studio! I now have two tattoos and will have two more very soon. Take a look at the photos on my GR profile if you want to see them.

Eleven Miles is a fictional story based upon a true-life situation in Botswana. Until the target of Princess Boikanyo’s School Bus Project is achieved, 50% of all profits from the sales of this book will go into the project funds. In the meantime, please feel free to make additional contributions to this worthy cause by clicking on the project link.

You can find Lance Greenfield Mitchell on Twitter @lancegmitchell and Facebook Lance Greenfield Mitchell. You can also find Lance on his blog at lancegreenfield.wordpress.com

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of colleenchesebro.com

Colleen 5.3.16

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#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “The Agben School,” BY AUTHOR @SPARKES777

the-agben-school-by-jo-sparkes

  • Title:  The Agben School, Book 2 of the Legend of the Gamesmen
  • Author: Jo Sparkes
  • File Size: 2569 KB
  • Print Length: 384 Pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  •  Publisher: Oscar Press
  • Publication Date: July 19, 2014
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN:  B00LYO1VFE
  • ISBN-10: 978-0-9853318-5-6
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Sword & Sorcery, Sports, Fantasy, Teen & Young Adult

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

In the Author’s Words:

“Agben had stood for a thousand years. A mysterious school housing more than students, it was the seat of the powerful Women of Agben and the center for harnessing the potency of herbs. Few knew all that transpired within the walls.

And now Marra stood at its gate.

With friends and support stripped from her, the fragile life she’d built for herself now lays in tatters. And the source of this evil hunted her like a deer culled from the herd. The gateway before her was her only hope.

For as the city itself crumbled, all depended not on a prince trying to save his people, nor the valiant men who’d brought them this far. Everything depended on finding a magic powder in the vaults of Agben itself.

Everything depended on her.”

The second book in the series takes place in Missea. The third book, “The Dim Continent,” is in the works, and will be the last in the series. However, I’ll probably write more stories in this world because I won’t be able to resist.

From the Inside Flap: Hiding from an evil that stripped away friends and support, a young woman discovers the future of her race depends not on a prince trying to save his people, nor the heroic men who’d brought them this far. Everything depends on her.

 My Recommendation:

The Agben School is the exciting sequel to The Birr Elixir which I read and reviewed here.

The story resumes with Marra and the Truemen team finally arriving in the land of Missea, where Tryst is a Skullan prince, although nobody knows his real identity. The Skullan and the Trumen are the gamesmen. The Trumen are the smaller, weaker race, while the Skullan is the physically superior race which rules the kingdom.

New to the city, Marra looks for a shop where she can buy herbs for her elixir for the team. The boy running the shop presents her with a mysterious box. She keeps it hidden, not knowing its actual use, or who it was meant for. As a Truemen, Marra is required to be subservient to the Skullan, so she keeps her secret.

Marra’s herbalist skills out surpass many other Bristas. It is revealed that she possesses an acute sense of smell, a gift so rare, it earns her a coveted place as a student at the school. Once there, she learns the Women of Agben are the most powerful in Missea. There is a mystical magic found in the potions and elixirs created and taught at the institution. However, there is a dark magic that hangs over the palace. Soon it becomes apparent that only Marra can rid Missea of the evil malignancy growing within the castle walls and possibly within the Agben school.

Weaving throughout the story is the game of Comet. The “game” is played in an arena with two opposing teams. At an inner circle in the field, a line is drawn in the sand by a judge. It is forbidden for the teams to cross the line until the judge allows it. There is much jockeying for the balls by both team members. Four leather balls need to be dropped into a cone shaped area to score points, which are determined by the judge. Each ball contains distinctive markings which ascertain the number of points each ball is worth. As contact sports go, I envisioned the game to be a combination of football and hockey with players participating in a competition to the death to win, if necessary.

The author, Jo Sparkes, skillfully weaves a story within a fantasy kingdom that leaves you wanting more. The detail about the Agben School and the study of herbs was excellent. There is quite the mystery here, and I am sure all will be revealed in the final book of the series, The Dim Continent.

I must add that this book could stand alone because the main details from The Birr Elixir are intertwined within the pages of the story. Even so, I loved the first book and would encourage everyone to read it. The rich descriptions put you right into the action, and you feel like you are peeking over Marra’s shoulder waiting to learn her fate.

If you love epic fantasy with the added excitement of tournament games, you will love this book and the series.

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars

4-5-stars

 

 

jo-sparkes

Author, Jo Sparks

 

About Jo Sparks:

From television shows to articles for Arizona Sports Fans Network, Jo’s been writing for years. She’s taught screenwriting at the Film School at SCC, interviewed Emmit Smith and Anquan Boldin (as Arizona Cardinals), and went on camera to make “Stepping Above Criticism.”

Her fantasy ‘The Birr Elixir’ was awarded a Silver Ippy; her script ‘Frank Retrieval’ won the Kay Snow Award.

She’s probably most recognized as the lady walking her dog in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

You can connect with Jo Sparkes through her Twitter at https://twitter.com/Sparkes777

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 5.3.16

 

 

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#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Enscribing the Heavens from This Side,” BY AUTHOR, Ina Hamilton Hart

enscribing-the-heavens-from-this-side

  • Title:  Enscribing the Heavens from This Side
  • Author: Ina Hamilton Hart
  • Print Length: 186 Pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication Date: September 3, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon, LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1530407133
  • ISBN-13: 978-1530407132
  • Formats: Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Memoirs, Biographies, Poetry

*I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book*

In the author’s words:

“Calling words her legacy, Ms. Hart has compiled a collection of posts from her Cronechronicler blog. The collection is a celebration of embracing change, aging gracefully, and the elegance of small moments of a life well-lived. Sprinkled with haiku and serendipitous meanderings, this book is for curious and delighted readers. This compilation covers almost two years of daily posts and chronicles past journeys to Europe, Cuba, Mexico, and Ghana.”

My Recommendation:

I was captivated by the name of this novel because of the unique spelling of the word “Enscribing.” I was interested to find out if this was a purposeful change or an accident as the usual spelling of the word is “Inscribing.” I pondered what exactly could it mean. When I questioned the author, she said, “Enscribe” is a technical term for code writing and actually fits writing across the broad sky.”

And, that is the essence of Ms. Hart’s writing. At the beginning of Chapter One, she includes a quote from David Whyte:

“Sometimes everything has to be enscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you.

Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that small, bright, and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart.”

What follows is the joyful celebration of a life well-lived. This is the journey of a woman finding herself and understanding her purpose in our amazing universe. She shares that at the age of fifty-five, she made the decision to be known as an “original.” No longer does she want to only do what everyone expects of her. Instead, she intends to discover the person she has become.

So, in the summer of 2014, with the help of her grandson, Ms. Hart began her own blog called Crone Chronicler. She set out on a writing journey to discover her inner muse. Discover she did!

Ms. Hart skillfully weaves a unique blend of humor and wisdom throughout this novel. She writes in the style of a memoir, chronicling her many travels to England, France, Cuba, Mexico, and Ghana. Between these glimpses into the past, she sprinkles Haiku and poetry reflecting her interpretation of the present.

This was the perfect evening read. I loved her reminisces which were filled with love, self-discovery, and family. This collection is also an official celebration of a woman who has found herself and rediscovered her writing talent. It just goes to show that we can recreate ourselves at any age. I can relate to that, and I bet you will too.

hugs-from-silver

 

 

 

 

My Rating:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 4
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars

4-5-stars

 

 

ina-hart

Author, Ina Hamilton Hart

About Ina Hamilton Hart:

At age seventy-five I moved to be near two of my three sons and their families. I intended to spend time getting to know and enjoying my grandchildren who live here. I didn’t expect to create a new life for myself as well. For the first time, I have space and time to let my old gift of writing flower and to make new friends with whom I share the absurdity of aging.

You can find Ina Hart on her blog, Crone Chronicler, at cronechronicler.wordpress.com

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 5.3.16

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#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “The Murder of Manny Grimes,” BY AUTHOR @ANGELAKAYSBOOKS

the-murder-of-manny-grimes

  • Title:  The Murder of Manny Grimes
  • Author: Angela Kay
  • File Size: 683 KB
  • Print Length: 279 Pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  •  Publisher: ThomasMax Publishing
  • Publication Date: September 20, 2016
  • Sold by:  Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B01LZ829WF
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Crime, Murder, Mystery & Suspense

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

In the Author’s Words:

“When three young boys stumble into Lieutenant Jim DeLong’s life one night during a winter storm, they claim they’ve seen a dead body by the swing sets of the Columbia County Elementary School. After he investigates, DeLong sees no evidence, not even a body. But were the boys telling the truth?

With the help of his oldest friend and mentor, former Naval investigator Russ Calhoun, DeLong sets out to find whether Manny Grimes is alive or dead. The further away he gets to the bottom of the mystery, the closer he comes to realize that his own life is falling apart.

Delving deeper into the murder of Manny Grimes, Lieutenant DeLong begins to unravel, losing his sense of control, falling into old temptations he spent years to overcome. Will he be able to move past his own demons and untangle the web of lies before it’s too late? “

My Recommendation:

The Murder of Manny Grimes is Angela Kay’s debut novel and it is a good one! I like strong characters in a novel and both Lieutenant Jim DeLong and former Naval investigator Russ Calhoun fit this bill.

The murder is complicated. After the three boys find the bloody body of Manny Grimes in the snow at their school, they decide to do the right thing and head for the police department to report the crime. When Lt. DeLong investigates the scene, he finds nothing. Either the body has been moved or the boys made up the story. It is an interesting dilemma.

For me, the star of the book is Jim DeLong. His journey to solve the murder of Manny Grimes takes him down a dark path. He is a truly troubled soul dealing with the demons he has allowed to torment him. His marriage is in a shambles, and he is forced to choose between his wife and daughter or to solve this murder. Manny Grimes’ death has become his compulsion. He can’t turn away from the problem.

On top of that, people he has known for years aren’t who they seem to be anymore. This forces DeLong to grapple with issues of betrayal and to face up to his own problems. The mystery actually forces DeLong to become a better man.

If you like the kind of mystery that takes you through some twists and turns, you will enjoy this story. I was even surprised by the ending, although there were a few clues along the way that led me to the killer. I would say it was an entertaining and satisfying novel to read.

hmmmm

 

 

 

 

A true Who Done It?

 

My Rating:

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

4_stars_gold

 

 

 

angela-kay

Author, Angela Kay

About Angela Kay:

Equipped with a professional writing degree from Augusta State University, Angela Kay is a southern lady who spends her days and nights dreaming up new ways to solve dark murders of normal people.

Angela Kay is one of 23 across the United States to win a 2009 playwright contest for her one-act entitled “Digging Deeper.” Because of this, she was able to spend a week in Atlanta at the Horizon Theater Company.

She lives in Augusta, Georgia with her crazy calico, Maggie.

To watch a trailer for “The Murder of Manny Grimes,” click the link below.

You can find Angela Kay on Twitter @AngelaKaysBooks  Facebook at Angela Kay’s Books and her blog Angela Kay’s Books.com

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 5.3.16

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#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Resolution,” BY AUTHOR @HUCKFINN76

resolution

  • 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

5gold-star3

 

 

andrew-joyce

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

danny-on-couch

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

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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

better-blogging-with-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

terri-webster-schrandt

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

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#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Dancing With Air,” BY AUTHOR @UVIPOZNANSKY

dancing-with-air

  • 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
  • ASIN:  B01I4ENROY
  • 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.

 love-it

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

5gold-star3

 

 

uvi-poznansky

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

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#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “The Automation,” BY AUTHOR @CircoFootnotes

the-automation

  • 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.

thumbs-up-again

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

3-5-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

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#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Mountain Miracles,” BY AUTHOR @PCZICK

mountain-miracles

  • Title:  Mountain Miracles
  • Author: P. C. Zick
  • File Size: 713 KB
  • Print Length: 170 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publication Date: September 13, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services, LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B01JMJDZ06
  • ISBN-10: 1536850705
  • ISBN-13: 9781536850703
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Multicultural & Interracial Romance, Native American Romance

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

In the author’s words:

When Sissy Jones moves to the Smoky Mountains, she’s determined to follow her dream of owning a business by opening a coffee shop, right next door to a new paper starting up at the same time. The handsome publisher, David Bellwood, and Sissy discover an irresistible attraction to one another, but first, they must deal with mothers who aren’t always as they seem. After her mother has a stroke, Sissy must take care of her, and David must find out the truth behind his Cherokee mother’s disappearance when he was five. When Sissy tries to help David, he views her assistance as interference as he fights for his legacy. As both of them seek the comfort of family they’ve never known, they struggle to forgive, allowing the attraction to turn into something more.

My Recommendation:

When you first meet Sissy Jones you find her at a crossroads in her life. Starting over is never easy. The Smoky Mountains beckon and so does a new career. She opens a coffee shop in the small town of Murphy where Sissy meets David Bellwood, a new business owner himself. David begins a small newspaper in town, hoping to be near his boyhood cabin, where memories of his mother haunt him.

Both David and Sissy are smitten with each other and friendship blossoms into love. Each character has issues with a parent. Sissy has a controlling mother and David has a father who is hiding a deep secret from him. As their family lives spiral out of control they find solace in each other’s arms.

This is my favorite kind of romance – You know, the kind where there is a mystery involved. David was told his mother died when he was young. Hungry for the truth, he hires a private investigator who finds out what really happened. Sissy tries to help but seems to make matters worse. Can their love survive?

I enjoyed this story as much as all of P. C. Zick’s novels. Somehow, she writes characters that seem to sneak their way into my heart. I always enjoy when there is a life lesson intertwined into a romance novel, and Mountain Miracles doesn’t disappoint.

This sweet story is filled with the feelings and desires of a first true love relationship. Add some family drama and mystery and you have a recipe for a story that reminds you of your own first love.

This is the perfect novel for a Sunday afternoon or for a vacation. Short, sweet, and oh, so good!

love

My Rating:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 4
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars

4.5 stars

p-c-zick

Author, P. C. Zick

About P. C. Zick

P.C. Zick describes herself as a storyteller no matter what she writes. And she writes in a variety of genres, including romance, contemporary fiction, and nonfiction. She’s won various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction.

The three novels in her Florida Fiction Series contain stories of Florida and its people and environment, which she credits as giving her a rich base for her storytelling. “Florida’s quirky and abundant wildlife—both human and animal—supply my fiction with tales almost too weird to be believable.”

Her contemporary romances in the Behind the Love trilogy are also set in Florida. Her most recent works are set in the Smoky Mountains. All of her books are stand-alone reads, even if they appear in a series.

Her novels contain elements of romance with strong female characters, handsome heroes, and descriptive settings. She believes in living lightly upon this earth with love, laughter, and passion, and through her fiction, she imparts this philosophy in an entertaining manner with an obvious love for her characters, plot, and themes.

You can keep track of P.C. Zick’s new releases and special promotions by signing up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/0o6-D. Visit her website to find out more about her writing life at http://www.pczick.com.

Make certain to connect with P. C. Zick through her Twitter @PCZick

And Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PCZick

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 5.3.16

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#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Which Half David,” BY AUTHOR Mark W. Sasse

Which Half David

  • Title:  Which Half David
  • Author: Mark W. Sasse
  • File Size:  1929 KB
  • Print Length: 347 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  •  Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Publication Date: September 15, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B01KG3ZHJE
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Religious & Inspirational Fiction, Christian Fiction, Drama, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

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

In the author’s words:

“Is your obsession worth killing for?

American mission worker Tobin Matthews becomes a local hero and celebrity in the Sulu Republic when he inadvertently foils a gang of human traffickers. But the heroism cannot mask his desperate soul, which wrestles with a broken marriage and a crippling set of doubts. As he sinks to a new low, his brazen ex-lover arrives in Sulu with her own agenda. The Asian beauty quickly becomes the greatest temptation of his life, and he must decide how far he is willing to go to have her.

Which Half David is a modern twist on the centuries old tale of King David. Set against the lush backdrop of the fictitious Southeast Asian island nation of Sulu, it is the story of one man’s dramatic fall from grace, and his struggle to come to grips with both halves of who he really is.”

My Recommendation:

Imagine if you found yourself in a situation where you had to fight to the death in order to protect yourself and survive. Would you be able to take on the challenge? When Tobin Matthews is faced with this exact situation he follows his instincts and survives. The price is high, and he wrestles with his choices much as King David did in the Bible narrative.

Mark Sasse triumphs in the reciting of this spectacular tale of Tobin’s fall from good will. A beloved missionary to the Sulu people, Tobin makes a stand in the defense of the small village. The killing weighs heavy on his mind and acts as the catalyst which sets the rest of the story in motion.

What follows is a story of a man conflicted by his choices and how he must reconcile his deeds with his religious beliefs. Through the author’s careful depiction, the reader steps inside the heart and the mind of Tobin Matthews. Each situation in the story builds off of the last. Tobin soars to fresh heights of depravity which catapult him back to the reality of his deeds. In the end, he is driven to confront the truth about himself and the type of man he has become.

However, from the beginning, Tobin is portrayed as the guy who does no wrong. He almost seems too good to be true. As the narrative progresses and he is confronted with one decision after another, you start to see his armor crack.

Tobin is not actually a hero. He just happened to be in the wrong place at the right time, and then it was doing something self-destructive – getting drunk. But that is what I most liked about the character. He was human. He didn’t arrive at the right decision all the time. He had a good inside that he didn’t realize he even possessed.

This battle, between the good and bad halves of Tobin Matthews, is what made this story shine. The conflict is real, and anyone who reads this story will recognize facing some of the exact trials in their own lifetimes. It all comes down to choices.

I have been a reader of Mark Sasse’s books for a couple years now. “Which Half David,” is by far my favorite of all of his novels. I loved the fact that the story took place in Asia. It gave it a different personality from that of the Bible story, without changing the message.

This is one book you will not want to miss!

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

5gold-star3

 

 

Mark Sasse

Author, Mark W. Sasse

About Mark W. Sasse:

Mark is a proud Western PA native but has lived most of the last twenty years in Vietnam and Malaysia. His experiences in Asia have redefined everything including his palate, his outlook on life, and naturally his writing. You can find him most days cruising around Penang Island, eating the local delicacies and taking in the sun and exotic breezes as he looks for interesting places to write.

He has authored four novels with number five and six already somewhere on the horizon. His interests cast a wide net – from politics to literature – to culture and language – to history and religion – making his writing infused with the unexpected as he seeks to tell authentic and engaging stories about people from all walks of life. His writing is straightforward and accessible to all, especially those who enjoy writing injected with doses of Asian culture, history, adventure, and delightful humor. You never know what you might get when you pick up a Sasse novel.

Besides novel-writing, Sasse is a prolific dramatist, having written and produced more than a dozen full-length dramatic productions. He especially is fond of the short play format and has won the Best Script award three consecutive years at the Short & Sweet Theatre Festival Penang. His play, “Words to Say at the End of the World” won five awards this year including Best Overall Performance and Best Director. His plays and short musicals have also been produced in Kuala Lumpur and Sydney, Australia. Performances of his scripts also won Gold and Bronze medals at the Southeast Asian Forensics Competition 2014.

His professional background is as diverse as his writing. He holds Master’s degrees from California State University Dominquez Hills and Azusa Pacific University in Humanities and TESOL respectively. His undergraduate degree was in English, which helped him develop his passion for creative writing. He has extensive experience in teaching English, history, and drama.

On top of all of this, he loves to cook everything from gourmet pizzas to Mexican, to various Asian dishes. Flavor is the key to both his cooking and his writing. He very much hopes you enjoy the taste.

Published Novels and Short Stories of Mark W. Sasse
2016 Which Half David (release date TBD)
2015 A Love Story for a Nation – Kindle & Paperback
2014 If Love is a Crime: A Christmas Story – Kindle only
2014 The Reach of the Banyan Tree – Kindle & Paperback
2013 The Recluse Storyteller – Kindle & Paperback
2012 Beauty Rising – Kindle & Paperback

Make certain to connect with Mark through Facebook at Author Mark W. Sasse and his blog at MW Sasse.com.

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 5.3.16

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“The Truth She Knew,” An Interview with the Author, Jennifer Owenby

Did you ever read a book and wonder what the motivation was behind the author who wrote it? Me too!

So, I decided to contact the author, Jennifer Owenby to find more about why she wrote “The Truth She Knew.” Please click HERE to read my review of this book.

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Here’s what Jennifer Owenby had to say:

What’s The Truth She Knew about?

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Here is the back cover verbiage:

“A bittersweet story of young love independence, and soul-crushing manipulation. J.A. Owenby shines a light on the impact that mental illness can have on a family.” —Dr. Sheri Kaye Hoff, Ph.D., Professional Life Coach

Mama didn’t want me. In fact, she would’ve traded my soul back for someone different if God would’ve let her, but he didn’t, so she was stuck with me.

For eighteen-year-old Lacey, life at home is a rollercoaster. She doesn’t think she’ll ever be good enough to truly deserve Mama’s love.

But when Lacey enters college and meets Walker, everything starts to change. Suddenly, Lacey is face to face with the realization that maybe what she’s always seen as normal really isn’t. Her entire life—and everything she’s ever believed about herself and her family—is abruptly hanging in midair.

Lacey is left facing two paths, and she has to make a choice. The first means walking away from everything she’s ever known. The other means never really knowing the truth.”

The Truth She Knew offers an honest and powerful glimpse into mental illness, the meaning of true love, and the psychological waltz that a daughter dances as she endures her mother’s unpredictable emotions, manipulation, and abuse.

Why did you write The Truth She Knew?

I wanted to bring awareness to issues that are typically discussed behind closed doors. I wrote about several including mental illness and abuse from a daughter’s perspective. I have a soft place in my heart for teens and young adults in their early 20’s. I’ve found through talking to many kids in this age group that they are confused by things they experienced at home and sometimes blamed themselves when it shouldn’t have fallen on their shoulders. Mental illness is real and can show up in many forms. In Mama’s case, there was a religious and manipulative element.

How did it feel to write about someone with mental illness? How did you “get inside their head”?

It was tough. Thankfully, I had access to a few amazing mental health therapists that answered questions and directed me to good reading material. Mental illness is very complex and not a one size fits all.

I also love psychology so it was something I was interested in learning about.

Do you have a message with this book series?

Yes, that was the motivation behind the books. There is hope and help if you’re in an abusive situation or have a loved one that is mentally ill.

Did you draw from personal experience?

I am a survivor of domestic violence. My life is so beautifully and wonderfully different than those years I spent running and hiding. I went through some very dark times and lost hope more than once. It was my two kids who kept me going when I thought things would never get better. And as I begin visualizing what I wanted my life to be, to look like, and taking steps in that direction things began to change. I’m so very blessed today. There is hope and help.

You mentioned this is a series? What can we expect for Lacey, your main character, in book 2?

The Truth She Knew is about so many important issues, but book 2 focuses on Lacey’s journey and how the cycle of abuse continues. Her path to find safety lands her in an unimaginable situation and she experiences a real wake up call. My main message─there is a cycle, and unless you reach out for help, people will continue to make poor choices and find themselves in the same situations over and over.

What do you say to people who have read the Truth She Knew and reached out to you for help?

I can listen to them, empathize, and direct them to the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233, and NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-NAMI (6264). In fact, those helplines will be listed on my new website and in book 2.

Where can readers find out more about you?


Author, Jennifer Owenby

If you’re interested in upcoming giveaways including gift cards and signed copies, please follow my Facebook author page at https://www.facebook.com/JAOwenby/.

Also, my website is in progress atwww.jaowenby.com

Twitter @jaowenby

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/jaowenby1/

Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com/jenniferowenby9/

You can also search The Truth She Knew and read the 5-star early reviews here http://bit.ly/28LFell

Thanks for stopping by to learn more about “The Truth She Knew.” This is one of those books that haunts you with the realities of dealing with mental illness. You won’t be able to put it down!

Interview by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 5.3.16

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#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “The Heart of Annie – The Strength of God,” BY AUTHOR MARIANNE COYNE

The Heart of Annie

  • Title: The Heart of Annie… The Strength of God
  • Author: Maryanne Coyne
  • File Size: 655 KB
  • Print Length: 88 pages
  •  Publisher: Maryanne Coyne, 1st Edition
  • Publication Date: March 30, 2015
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B00VGNP8UC
  • Formats: Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Literature & Fiction, Romance, Religious & Inspirational, Christian Literature

In the Author’s Words:

“Fifteen-year-old Annie Salvatore loves the opportunities and excitement of growing up in early twentieth century America. Her dream of falling in love and escaping the tradition of an arranged marriage, much as her mother did years ago in Italy, is her future hope. But sometimes life doesn’t give us what we want in the package we had envisioned. As the year’s pass, Annie discovers that the love in her heart is not enough without strength.

Through life’s joys and woes, Annie’s faith presses her closer toward God. He gently teaches her heart to forgive and to love more deeply, as her spiritual journey unfolds. In surrendering her heart to His strength, Annie discovers the ability to conquer. Step back in time into Annie’s shoes and walk her journey, as it leads her to make one of the most important decisions in her life and the life of another.

Based on a true story of faith, courage, sadness and joy, The Heart of Annie…The Strength of God will uplift, encourage, and entertain you from the first page to the last.”

My Recommendation:

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

You know, sometimes I just want to read a book that is inspiring and uplifting. Believe me, this is one of those books! The Heart of Annie… The Strength of God will make you feel like you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Prepare to be awakened to the joys and sorrows of one woman’s life and how your own life journey can be renewed through love and compassion.

So much of our news today centers on immigration and the plight of immigrants across the world. It was important for me, to step back in time and remember that most of us in America would not be here but for our brave immigrant ancestors that started their lives anew in a foreign country. As the child and grandchild of immigrant parents and grandparents from Russia, I was deeply touched by Annie’s journey. Her story is one that will resonate with many women.

The novel is set in West Orange, New Jersey. It is the early 1920’s. Born in Italy, Annie balances between the two cultures, Italian and American, in a society that desperately clings to their Italian heritage. At the same time, she wants to embrace the language and customs of her new country. It appeared the younger generation of men and women were excited to embrace the new land, while the older men and women struggled to maintain their way of life from the old country.

Annie’s story is unique because of how she learns to deal with life. When fate deals some harsh blows to Annie and her husband, she rises to the occasion. Through her faith in God, she finds the strength to change and grow. What she finds is a gift of the purest kind, love, and compassion.

I read this book in one night. I loved this family and how they stuck together through thick and thin. The fact that the story is based on true incidents and people made it all the more special to me. No matter what your belief system is, you will love this story. Annie shows that through faith and compassion, we can overcome anything!

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

5gold-star3

 

 

 

Maryanne Coyne

Author, Maryanne Coyne

About Marianne Coyne:

Marianne Coyne is a licensed artist, an author, independent publisher, a published writer with Blue Mountain Arts, and an occasional public speaker. She finds immense joy in creating and affecting others in a positive way with her work. Marianne’s unique ability to inspire and encourage others is admired and respected by many.

She shares:

“I started as an artist.  When I painted a picture it told a story. Presently I tell stories that paint pictures.  As an artist and writer, I find immense joy in creating. Sharing what I create is the icing on the delectable cupcake of life. Painting and writing have impacted my journey in a remarkable and positive way, and I hope what I share with you will impact your journey in a positive way, too. I am a published writer with Blue Mountain Arts and have self-published two novellas and short stories, now offered as ebooks in Amazon Kindle. I have written children’s stories and songs, fairy tales, poetry, and much more. Many of these are being prepared to share with the public.”

Make certain to connect with Maryanne through her blog, Leisurelane.wordpress.com.

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 5.3.16

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