Tag Archives: angels

#Bookreview AS WINGS UNFURL by Arthur M. Doweyko (@aweyken) A book for readers who enjoy science-fiction that asks big questions, with religious undertones, and lots of action

As Wings Unfurl by Arthur M. Doweyko

Title:   As Wings Unfurl
Author:   Arthur M. Doweyko
ISBN13:  978-1940215778
ASIN:  B01HY589FG
Published: 19th  July  2016
Pages:  234
Genre:  Science-Fiction & Fantasy (I’ve found it classed under Alien Invasion and Military, Space Marine)

Description:

“… captures the reader’s attention with kick-butt action in a video game storytelling format.” ~ Publishers Weekly

“Apple Bogdanski, a disabled Vietnam veteran, worked in a secondhand books store. When a private detective takes incriminating photos of shape-shifting aliens in the act of transformation and sends the negatives to the owner of the bookstore hidden in a book among a shipment of books, Apple is caught between two groups of aliens-one of which studies mankind’s development and the other who wants to terminate mankind and claim the Earth for their own purposes. Apple has a helper, Angela, who appears just in time to save his life and make him appear to be a hero. Angela has a beef with the bad guys and she and Apple unite with a few good guys to take on the bad guys.

As Wings Unfurl is an entertaining science fiction novel based on the premise that an alien race planted the seed of the human race of Earth millennia ago and now watches quietly as we evolve. Apple is a fairly well developed protagonist who just wants to be left alone to deal with the hand life has dealt him on his terms. Angela is a member of the alien oversight group dedicated to observation. Strangely attracted to Apple, she must deal with a conflict between her duties, her sense of right and wrong, and her feelings. Dane, as the bad alien, has a single side; the discrediting and destruction of the human race for her own purposes. Yowl and Shilog are Tibetans who are caught up in the war between factions and who provide a notable twist to the ending. Both are far out of the world that they know, but both adapt amazingly fast to the developed world.

This book is entertaining reading for readers who love science fiction “what if” scenarios and readers who love action adventures in any form.” ~ Midwest Book Review

Applegate Bogdanski returns from Vietnam with a missing leg, a Purple Heart, and an addiction to morphine. He stumbles through each day, looking forward to nothing and hoping it will arrive soon. When he attempts to thwart a crime, he is knocked unconscious and wakes up to discover that people are once again calling him a hero, though he feels undeserving of the praise.

Apple returns to work and meets Angela, a mysterious woman who claims to be his guardian. Immediately, he feels a connection to her, which morphs into an attraction. But he soon discovers that Angela is much more than she seems.

Apple and Angela are swept up in a conspiracy that stretches through time and space. Together, they must fight to save everything they hold dear from an alien race bent on destroying humanity. 

Body of review:

I thank the author who contacted me thanks to Lit World Interviews for offering me an ARC copy of his novel that I freely chose to review.

I am not a big reader of science-fiction (perhaps because I don’t seem to have much patience these days for lengthy descriptions and world building and I’m more interested in books that focus on complex characters) so I was doubtful when the author suggested I review it, but the angel plot and the peculiarities of the story won me over. There are many things I enjoyed in this book but I’m not sure that it was the book for me.

As I’ve included the description and it is quite detailed (I was worried about how I could write about the book without revealing any spoilers but, many of the things I was worried about are already included in the description) I won’t go into the ins and outs of the story. The novel starts as a thriller, set in 1975. A private detective has taken a compromising photo and that puts him in harm’s way. Apple, the main character, seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, although later events make us question this and wonder if perhaps what happens was preordained. One of the interesting points in the novel, for me, was that the main character was a Vietnam War veteran, amputee (he lost a leg) and now addicted to Morphine. He also experiences symptoms of PTSD. Although his vivid dreams and flashbacks slowly offer us some background information, and the whole adventure gives him a new perspective on life and a love interest, I found it difficult to fully connect with the character. It was perhaps due to the fast action and the changes in setting and point of view that make it difficult to fully settle one’s attention on the main protagonists. One of the premises of the story is that Angela, the mysterious character who is his ersatz guardian angel, has known him all his life. She is oddly familiar to him, and she decides to give up her privileges and her life mission because of him, but as Angela’s interest in him precedes the story, there is no true development of a relationship and readers don’t necessarily understand why they are attracted to each other from the start.

The story, written in the third person, is told mostly from Apple’s point of view but there are also two other characters, from Tibet, Shilog, a farmer, and Yowl, what most of us would think of as a Yeti, but that we later learn is a member of a native Earth species. In my opinion, these two characters are more fully realised, as we don’t have any previous knowledge or any expectations of who they are, and they work well as a new pair of eyes (two pairs of eyes) for the readers, as they start their adventure truly clueless as to what is going on, and the situation is as baffling to them as it is to us. They are also warm and genuinely amusing and they offer much welcome comic relief. They are less bogged down by conventions and less worried about their own selves.

I enjoyed also the background story and the underlying reasoning behind the presence of the “angels” (aliens) in the world. It does allow for interesting debates as to what makes us human and what our role on Earth is. How this all fits in with traditional religions and beliefs is well thought out and it works as a plot element. It definitely had me thinking.

I said before that one of the problems I had with some fantasy and science-fiction is my lack of patience with world building and detailed descriptions. In this case, though, other than some descriptions about the Tibetan forest and mountains, I missed having a greater sense of location. The characters moved a lot from one place to the next and, even if you were paying attention, sometimes it was difficult to follow where exactly the action was taking place (especially because some of the episodes depended heavily on secret passages, doors, locked rooms…) and I had to go back a few times to check, in case I had missed some change of location inadvertently. (This might not be a problem for people who are used to reading more frantically paced action stories.) I guess there are two possible reading modes I’d recommend for this story; either pay very close attention or go with the flow and enjoy the ride.

I really enjoyed the baddie. Dane is awesome. I don’t mind the bad characters that are victims of their circumstances or really conflicted about what they do, but every so often I like a convinced baddie, who takes no prisoners and goes all the way. She is not without justification either, and later we learn something that puts a different spin on her behaviour (I didn’t find it necessary but it does fit in with the overall story arc). The irony of her character and how she uses human institutions and religions to subvert the given order is one of my favourite plot points and she is another source of humour, although darker in this case.

All in all, this is a book for readers who enjoy science-fiction that asks big questions, with religious undertones, lots of action and not too worried about the psychological makeup of the main characters. Ah, and if you love stories about Bigfoot or the Yeti, you’ll love this one.

What the book is about: On the surface, aliens, angels, and a battle of good and evil. At heart it deals with metaphysical issues (like the best science-fiction does) and questions of identity, and where humanity comes from.

 Book Highlights: The whole premise of the story, and the two Tibetan characters, Shilog and Yowl, that are a true joy. And Dane, the baddie.

 Challenges of the book: There are many quick changes of location and different points of view that might disorient readers. The story is set in the 1970s but there are a couple of anachronisms. There are some beautiful passages about Tibet and Shilog observes everything he sees with new eyes, but there is a paucity of description otherwise, even when discussing major plot points (the devices used to travel or the locations of their scape).

 What do you get from it: A challenge to preconceived notions and an interesting story with plenty of action. I also really liked the baddie, Dane. There’s more to her than meets the eye.

 What I would have changed if anything: Perhaps I would have tried to build up more the main characters, as for me, Apple comes across as quite disjointed and as if readers should know the type (perhaps so, but who is he?). We slowly learn a few things about him but the frantic pace of the action does not give readers much chance to delve on that. It is easier to empathise with Yowl and Shilog, perhaps because we feel as lost as they are. A stronger sense of place and time might also help.

 Who Would I recommend this book to?: People who enjoy plot over character, and who like science-fiction that makes you think. Also lovers of action and Yetis.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 3/5
Made Me Think: 4/5
Overall enjoyment: 3.5/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5 

Buy it at:  
Format & Pricing:
Paperback $12.99
Kindle: $6.09

Thanks so much for reading and don’t forget to like, share, comment and CLICK!

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

 

#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

4_stars_gold

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

Save

Writers, what do you think and what is your experience of paid promotions for your books? Readers, what do you think of book advertising?

Hi all:

A few weeks ago I published a post in my blog asking for opinions and advice on paid promotions (everything, from blog tours, promos in well-known sites, to click per ads in social media sites, or places like Goodreads and now Amazon). I’m working on my next book (well, a series, but I explain more later) and I’ve never gone down the paid promotion route, but I wanted to give it a thought. Although I’ve read plenty about the subject, it’s not the same as having somebody you know or you have some connection with, sharing their first hand experience of giving you their opinion. I promised that if I got a sizeable amount of replies I’d collect them and produce another post sharing the comments and collective wisdom. The original post can be accessed here. It got quite a few comments, and it is one of the few posts where I got replies in other places I shared (Facebook, Twitter…). I was thinking about starting to compile the results soon and producing the promised post, and it occurred to me that sharing the post here, with so many authors from all walks of life, with completely different experiences, might add a fair amount of information that could be very useful. And, of course, I’d share the resulting post with all of you again.

And don’t worry, I fully understand what works for one person and one book doesn’t work for another, but we all have some “eureka” moments and some “Do’h” moments and they might be of use to somebody else.

Now I reproduce the original post (ah, the angel thing is because the series is called ‘Angelic Business’ and in pursuing ideas for covers I decided to take pictures of angels. So if you have any fantastic pictures on the subjects, or great ideas for covers, I’d be more than grateful. Oh, there are demons too, but not in the pictures, in the books.)

 

Hi all:

As all of you who read my blog every so often will know, I try to regularly write and publish books. I’ve also mentioned that my next W.I.P. is a series of NA novels Angelic Business. The three novels are now written and I’m in the process of translating them and revising (and let’s not forget the issues of finding covers, descriptions, blurbs…) them. By the way, if closer to the time when the project is ready people are interested in reading the first one of the novels ahead of publication, just let me know and I’ll happily send it to you in exchange for a comment (unless you hate it, then I might have to…not sure what. I’ll ask one of my friends who write horror novels for suggestions).

Angel in Montjuic cemetery, Barcelona
Angel in Montjuic cemetery, Barcelona

Those of you who are authors I’m sure have read tonnes of advice on having a marketing plan ahead of any publishing, the importance of having an author platform, building your presence in social media and all that blah, blah, blah. For what I see most of us try and follow that advice adapting it to our own abilities and personal style.

Although I’ve done quite a few of the things I’ve read about, there are some I have resisted to and I’m wondering about giving them a try (you know, so I can say I’ve tried it). I haven’t really tried paid advertising (I got my first book listed in a book club site and had an ad for a promo, both very low cost, with no results to speak of, and yes, now I know advertising your first book is unlikely to have much of an effect, but one lives and learns. Also tried a very low cost listing of my audio…not much to tell there either) or blog tours, and I was interested in knowing what you, my author friends who have tried them think of them. I’ve read about analytics and all that, so if you want to give me hard data, it will be welcome, but I’m more interested in personal experiences, gut feelings, and the ins and outs of things that only somebody who has tried can give. (I’m also fully aware that book genre, timing, style, and personal circumstances influence results, probably together with the phase of the moon, the energy of the pyramids and the leprechauns at work on that particular day). I have only participated in blog hops as a host, and I guess there will be differences between those the authors organise themselves, more or less informally, and those organised by a tried and tested company (or perhaps not…what is your experience?).

Another angel in Montjuic
Another angel in Montjuic

I know some sites like Bookbub are supposed to be the bees-knees, but I’m also aware of the difficulties in getting into it, the amount of reviews required, the price, and the fact that now big publishing companies are also using the service, so there are even fewer chances for the rest of us. But anything, anecdotal evidence, amazing discoveries, bitter disappointments, so-so results, will be welcome.

And I also would like to hear from readers who aren’t writers. How likely are you to buy books based on advertisements on book sites, blog tour posts or any other marketing strategies by authors not known to you? (And the offer about the book is also open to readers, of course).

If I get a “decent” amount of replies, I will collect them and do a follow-up post to share the collective “wisdom”. That’s a deal.

He's lost his wings. I wonder...
She’s lost her wings. I wonder…

And I thought I’d leave you with a bit of the beginning of the third book in my trilogy (Pink, Angel or Demon?), where the main character, Pink, is wondering why everything that’s going on is happening to her:

All this is very well and good (not really, but you know what I mean), but nobody had bothered to answer why me. There was some kind of prophecy (or what passes for it in celestial and demonic circles) and I fitted in. One had to wonder where would prophecies come from in such spheres. (Or at least I did. I’ve been known to think far too much, and obeying De Bono, to think sideways. Look how far it’s got me!) I imagine somebody must fit in (and they were very insistent that I was the only one) but again, why me? No false modesty, but there isn’t anything that special about me. This is not one of these paranormal young adult books where the protagonist discovers that there’s a long history going back to the Middle-Ages of witches and special powers in her family. There’s no fay blood in my line, nobody I know regularly becomes a wolf or a dog or shifts shapes as far as I’m aware. And although the world is full of bloodsuckers, I’ve met no official vampires yet. I’ve never seen a ghost, and I don’t live in a haunted mansion. And although recently demons and angels wander around as if they were in season, to the best of my knowledge there’s no portal to the other world open in Hope Springs.

 

This one is a beauty
This one is a beauty

The draft of the first novel in the series Pink Matters is currently available in Wattpad, here. As mentioned in the body of the post, if you fancy getting the ready-to-publish version in a few weeks, just let me know and I’ll send it to you.

Thank you all for reading, and don’t forget to like, share, especially comment, and spread the word. And if you fancy clicking, don’t let me stop you!

I’ve carried on taking pictures of angels and other interesting things in cemeteries, so if you like any of them in particular, let me know. I’m after ideas for the covers!

Not an angel but she's so beautiful
Not an angel but she’s so beautiful

Thanks to all the readers in Lit World Interviews and if you’ve already contributed to the original post, many thanks!