Tag Archives: Colleen Chesebro

Analysis of a Book Reviewer

Did you ever wonder what it was like to write about other people’s writing? That is the job of a book reviewer. I always wanted to be a freelance writer, and for me reviewing books is a perfect example of what a freelance writer does. I write book reviews as a public service to readers and authors alike, sharing my opinions of what I read.

Book reviewers are a valuable asset to all writers. I believe all serious writers should write reviews on other author’s books. The lessons learned are invaluable and will benefit your own writing. This process works for me. I see a marked improvement in my own writing skills since I began reading and sharing other writer’s work.

I follow a format designed to bring out the best aspects of any author’s work. The idea is to express my thoughts about a book in as honest a way, as possible. This is not as easy as you think. I want to be fair to the author and the reader. Sometimes book reviewing is a real balancing act of words and emotions. Bottom line, I always follow my gut, and say what I think. The author needs to know how their writing affects readers. I accept that task.

There are certain things I look for in the review process when I first begin reading a book. First impressions are always something I take seriously. Typo’s, or misspelled words, sentences missing words, are the kinds of things that detract from a book’s meaning, which all cause confusion to the reader. I believe the more mistakes a reader spots, the less confidence a reader has in your ability as a writer.

How a book makes me feel is another aspect that is an integral part of the reading/reviewing experience. I like to employ the Ethos, Logos, and Pathos rules to my reviewing. Is the story believable? Do the series of events make sense to the reader? Can I understand the terminology the author uses? Does the story flow?

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(Image credit: TeachersPayTeachers offers this poster as a free-download)

So what is a good book? To me, a good book allows me to see a series of events and descriptions through the author’s eyes. Good books are those where I can feel the internal conflicts of the characters, which gives me an emotional connection. If you form that bond with me as a reader, I have a favorable memory of the story. I will remember the way you made me feel with your words.

One thing, I believe a book reviewer should never do is to impose their own personal belief system on an author. If you are reading a book that upsets your take on the world that much, keep your thoughts to yourself. Send an apology email to the author explaining why you have decided not to review their book. Do not destroy the author’s hard work because you do not hold the same values.

I prefer to be open minded to the possibilities of literature. I like the journey and the review process is part of it. Book reviewing can be one of the most daunting tasks you will ever undertake if you let it. Instead, I find it to be one of the most fulfilling writing tasks I have ever experienced because it lets me share in the joy of writing and reading.

Indie Authors depend on us to share their work. Read a book, and write a review! It’s the best way to thank an author for their hard work.

Colleen 12.22.15

 

 

 

 

 

@ColleenChesebro

www.SilverThreading.com

 

BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “PRAIRIE MOTHS-MEMORIES OF A FARMER’S DAUGHTER,” BY AUTHOR JUDYDYKSTRABROWN.COM

Prairie Moths Memories of a Farmer's Daughter

  • Title:  Prairie Moths – Memories of a Farmer’s Daughter
  • Author: Judy Dykstra-Brown
  • File Size: 2447 KB
  • Print Length: 50 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  •  Publisher: Judy Dykstra-Brown
  • Publication Date: June 13, 2014
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B00KZBJUGY
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Genres: Biographies, Memoirs, Literature, Poetry

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

Join me…

Step back into time and travel on the dusty-white gossamer wings of prairie moths into the childhood memories of Judy Dykstra-Brown where she grew up on the South Dakota plains. Her dramatic prose and photos will sweep you into her sometimes stark rural life as she lived it in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

This was a kinder and gentler time when parents told stories to their children of gray wolves and the perils of being lost in a snowstorm, all the while sparking their young imaginations with their storytelling. Like any child, Judy longed to be free of her home place and to strike out on her own not realizing at the time how amazing her young life truly was.

My Recommendation:

As a child, I spent many summers visiting my grandparents in Central Kansas. I was immediately transported back to that time and could literally hear the sounds of the prairie grasses rustling beneath my feet as I read the hauntingly beautiful words of Judy Dykstra-Brown.

Her writing style is pure poetry, with verses that flow from her memories rich with tales of her home life. Much of her words center on her hardworking father, acquainting the reader with a man who was as strong as the mightiest  cottonwood trees that hugged the girth of their property.

I love this passage Judy shares about her father:

“He was a man who planted—

a man with a hard life

who tried to shield us from this life.”

My favorite of her writings was called, “The Summer House.” This is the story of a shanty her father called the summer house which enchanted Judy with all the possibilities of what this humble cottage was and what it could become. She spent countless summers cleaning that old abandoned shack waiting patiently for her family to move there each summer. At home in her winter house in town, the child named Judy would dream of her summer house, remembering her favorite tale of the three bears and thinking her summer house was just right.

I enjoyed and appreciated Judy’s poetic style. Her words are truly enchanting and I was often moved by the vivid descriptions of her home life.

Young and old alike will enjoy “Prairie Moths,” as it is an evocative and lovely collection of verses that will transport the reader back in time to their own childhood filled with abundant memories of when the vast world stretched before us ripe with all the promises of our own lives ahead of us.

Judy dykstra-Brown

Author, Judy Dykstra-Brown

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

About Judy Dykstra-Brown

Judy Dykstra-Brown grew up in South Dakota and lived in Australia, Ethiopia, Wyoming, and California before finally coming to rest in San Juan Cosala, Mexico––a small pueblo on the shores of Lake Chapala near Guadalajara, Mexico––where she has lived for the past 14 years.

Her work may be found in numerous journals, magazines and anthologies, including New Poets in Los Angeles, the Sculpture Garden ReviewAgave Marias ( an anthology of ten women writers who have broken boundaries and crossed borders); Veils, Halos, and Shackles: International Poetry on the Oppression and Empowerment of Women (an anthology that will be coming out in April of 2016.) and an upcoming anthology of stories and poetry by Alzheimer’s caregivers edited by Kenneth Salzmann.

She was a semifinalist in the Atlantic Journal international poetry competition and first place winner of the Tennessee Writer’s Alliance National Poetry Prize in 2002. She has published over 75 poems, articles and stories in various publications and online magazines including “Living at Lake Chapala,” “Ojo Del Lago” and MexConnect.

Her book of poetry, Prairie Moths: Memories of a Farmer’s Daughter; a nonfiction/memoir book entitled Lessons from a Grief Diary: Reinventing Your Life after the Death of a Loved One, and her children’s picture book Sock Talk are available on Amazon and Kindle. Two more children’s books are completed and will soon be available as well.

She posts daily on her blog at judydykstrabrown.com

Please connect with Judy on Facebook at Judy Dykstra-Brown.

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 10.2015

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “WILL O’ THE WISP,” BY AUTHOR @VIRGILANTE

Will O' the Wisp

  • Title:  Will O’ the Wisp
  • Author: C. S. Boyack
  • File Size: 3536 KB
  • Print Length: 259 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  •  Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Publication Date: March 13, 2015
  • Sold by Amazon, Inc.
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B00UPH6BNS
  • ISBN-10:
  • ISBN-13:
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Genres: YA Fiction, Paranormal, Mystery, and Suspense

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

Have you Seen a Will O’ the Wisp?

Eerie green phosphorescent lights have been seen hovering over Bergamot Holler in Virginia since the beginning of time. What are these lights and why are they there? Speculation is that the lights are just swamp gasses floating harmlessly in the stillness of an autumn evening, even though their appearance has foretold many stories about fairies, ghosts, and witches.

That is until Patty Hall, a not-so-average 15-year-old, witnesses the Will O’ the Wisp first hand in the mid-1970’s during a routine hike in the woods near her house while star gazing one night. Patty witnesses one of the mysterious orbs as it forces its way inside the body of an unsuspecting male college student. Terrified, she flees back to the safety of her home, afraid to share what she has seen for fear her mother will have her committed.

The next day, when Patty’s Uncle turns up dead, the college student is arrested for his murder. Accompanied by her Mother and Step-Father at the jail, Patty sees the murderer who appears to be sick as he spews up copious amounts of liquid from his lungs. The boy has murder in his eyes as he lunges for Patty through the bars of his jail cell yelling, “You’re next!” (Pg. 37).

The Mystery Deepens

In preparation for her Uncle’s funeral Patty helps her mother clean out his house. It is during this process that Patty finds extensive research on the Will O’ the Wisp her uncle had been working on for years. Horrified by what she finds Patty realizes that her family has been targeted for generations by the Will O’ the Wisp.

On top of all this, Patty has her own disabilities to contend with. She is not popular in high school and must wear leg braces to correct a congenital deformity. Tensions with her mother are at an all-time high, and her two best friends are growing away from her. For Patty, life has taken a chilling turn.

With every ounce of courage, she can summon, Patty embarks on a supernatural journey to find the answers she needs to save her own life, and those of her friends, and family.

Recommendation:

Scary reads

I was gripped with tension as I read “The Will O’ the Wisp,” staying up late into the night because I could not put the book down. The next day, I found myself wondering about all the possibilities that Patty had before her in trying to solve the mystery that was stalking and killing her family members. You could say, I was hooked by the story and the characters, even though the book was targeted for a young adult genre.

S. Boyack realistically spins this coming of age tale of a 15-year-old girl with the chilling supernatural happenings in a small town in Virginia, all the while, blending historical elements that draw you further into the mystery. Boyack is clever, though. He reveals the story writing almost as if he were the young girl himself seeing through her eyes. Patty becomes a character who is totally loveable and believable, teenage angst and all.

My hope was to read this story during Halloween. That did not happen, although I was pleasantly surprised at how the story did not need a holiday to reinforce the enigmatic vibes of the story line. This was one of the best young adult novels I have read. If you are looking for something unusual to read bury your head into “The Will O’ the Wisp.” If you dare!

My Rating:

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

CS Boyack

 

 

 

 

 

About C. S. Boyack

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Make certain to connect with C. S. Boyack through his Twitter @virgilante

And his blog at: “Entertaining Stories,” coldhandboyack.wordpress.com

Book Review by: @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 10.2015

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “THE MYSTERY OF THE SOLAR WIND” BY AUTHOR @LYZRUSSO

  • Title: The Mystery of the Solar Wind
  • Author: Lyz Russo
  • File Size: 1570 KB
  • Print Length: 430 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 062046593X
  • Publisher: P’kaboo Publishing (Owned by the author)
  • Publication Date: August 18, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0145T724I
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Genres: Fiction, Romance, Futuristic Fiction, Mystery,

In the year 2116 the Unicate, a conglomerate formed from all the governments in the world, have stopped the wars that ravaged the earth. Peace now reigns supreme – except on the oceans, where Captain Radomiur Lascek and his band of pirates sail upon his ship, the Solar Wind. This unruly band of misfits travel the high seas, seeking out outlaws and fugitives, all the while steering clear of the Unicate and their associates.

On a routine stop in Dublin, the Gypsy chef, Federi takes a chance and hires three teenage Irish musicians, “The Donegal Troubles,” Paean, her older brother Ronan, and her younger brother, Shawn to entertain the crew. The young trio had been searching for work and a safe place to hide from their past and the Unicate, who are hunting for them in connection with a mysterious death that still haunts Paean and her brothers.

Mystery and adventure surround the Donegal’s as they sail aboard the Solar Wind. When the Unicate gained power they outlawed all knowledge and culture that dated back more than thirty years. This is the war the pirates wage against the Unicate. Using current technology and the old ways of sailing, knowledge now forbidden, Captain Lascek and the crew capture and sell enemy craft to the rebellion.

However, all is not what it seems aboard the Solar Wind. The Unicate and bounty hunters are closing in on Captain Lascek and the crew. Time is running out! The only answer must be sabotage from within!

Recommendation:

Do you love pirates? Young adult adventure and mysteries, too? How about if you throw in some gypsy magic and a romance or two? The Mystery of the Solar Wind is all that and then some.

The cast of characters is a motley crew with two things in common, their love of the sea and their hatred for the Unicate. Add in the young Donegal kids who knew nothing of living upon a sea vessel and you learn about life aboard the Solar Wind through their eyes. If you ever wondered what it was like to sail a ship, you will learn all there is to know within these pages.

I was intrigued with the in-depth personality of Paean, a real tom-boy who stuck me as a level headed teenager faced with the difficulties of living under a corrupt world government. The choices she was faced with really made me think about the way our world is today and what our future might hold for all of us. The future presented within these pages might not be too far off in our own future.

Although, for me the real stand out in the novel was Federi, the Gypsy chef, who bewitches you with his smooth talking ways and his undying loyalty to the captain and the crew. The Romany Federi carries dark secrets from his past that seem to surface at exactly the right time, moving the story along in exciting new paths.

There is a great deal of detail presented within the pages of this book. At times, I had to backtrack to make all the connections, even though I was always glad I did. Lyz Russo is a master story weaver and I was drawn into the community of pirates who seemed to be the real good guys in this futuristic world.

I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series. I have to know what happens next!

“The Mystery of the Solar Wind,” is Book 1 in the Solar Wind series. “The Assassin,” is Book 2, “Freedom Fighter,” is Book 3, and “Raider!” is Book 4, all part of the Solar Wind Series.


Author, Lyz Russo

Character Believability: 4
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 4
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 4
Overall Rate: 4

About Lyz Russo:

I’m a South African writer and musician. Between running a violin studio and raising 3 beautiful children, and writing through nights, I also run a maverick indie publishing house in South Africa called, P’kaboo Publishers.  Have a look: http://pkaboonews.blogspot.co.za/

Find me on my blog: “Violin Tricks” https://violintrix.wordpress.com/

My social media links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lyz-Russo/50736424488

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5274509.Lyz_Russo

P’kaboo Book Club (FB): https://www.facebook.com/groups/139271869584780/

The Solar Wind Fan Club (FB): https://www.facebook.com/groups/26966456822/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lyzrusso

Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/lyzrusso

Links to the book “The Mystery of the Solar Wind:”

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lyz-Russo/e/B00I2W7MYK

On P’kaboo: http://www.pkaboo.net/LRusso.html

Lulu.com: http://www.lulu.com/shop/lyz-russo/the-mystery-of-the-solar-wind/paperback/product-22440561.html

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/516535

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12876378-the-mystery-of-the-solar-wind

Book Review by: @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “THE CRATER LAKE SERIES, Box Set One,” BY AUTHOR @FRANCISGUENETTE

The Crater Lake Series

  • Title:  The Crater Lake Series: “Disappearing in Plain Sight,” “The Light Never Lies,” and “Chasing Down the Night”
  • Author: Francis Guenette
  • File Size: 3331 KB
  • Print Length:
  •  Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  •  Publisher: Huckleberry Haven Publishing
  • Publication Date: June 30, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN:  B010QZ12K0
  • ISBN-10:
  • ISBN-13: 9780994066404
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Genres: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Drama,  Young Adult Fiction, Young Adult Romance

The boxed set of The Crater Lake Series is comprised of three full-length novels. I will give a brief review of all three books in sequence order.

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

“Disappearing in Plain Sight” Book One

Sixteen-year-old Lisa Marie has a dark past in Ontario that she would like to get away from, so when she is forced to visit her aunt in Crater Lake on Vancouver Island off the coast of British Columbia for the summer, she jumps at the chance.

Aunt Bethany and her partner, Beulah aren’t sure what to do with a teenager who has emotional issues. The running of their bread business is time consuming enough. In no time, Lisa Marie has her own agenda, and when she meets Justin Roberts, one of the troubled teens who resides at Camp Micah, a refuge for troubled teens who have been in the system, Lisa Marie is forced to grapple with her teenage past.

With the help of Izzy Montgomery, a trauma counsellor at Camp Micah, and owner of the Crater Lake Community, and Liam Collins, an employee of the camp, Lisa Marie attempts to deal with her own secrets and guilt from the past. Unaware that the entire community is dealing with the loss of one of their own, Lisa Marie spirals into adult situations and consequences that come to affect her entire life.

Within the tight-knit community swirl the stories of the troubled teens and the legacy of Caleb Montgomery, the man larger than life, whose dreams became a reality at Crater Lake.

“The Light Never Lies” Book Two

Lisa Marie’s story continues and she finds herself frantic to return to Crater Lake once she knows that Justin will be working at the sawmill for the summer. In typical self-centered teenage fashion, Lisa Marie is worried about herself and her needs only. However, all is not as it seems in this quiet idyllic lakeside community.

During Lisa’s school year, Izzy Montgomery and Liam Collins advanced their relationship once they realized their love and passion for each other. Liam and Izzy find their love tested with the appearance of Lisa Marie as she complicates matters further for the couple with the announcement of her pregnancy.

To add further stress to their relationship, Izzy and Liam find themselves suddenly surrounded by family. Izzy’s elderly father has come for a visit from England. In addition, Liam’s father, Alex appears with a brother named Bobby that Liam has never met. Bobby is a lovable child with a supernatural ability that bodes watching.

At Crater Lake, life is messy and never just black and white. This entire volume is dedicated to relationships, changes, new beginnings, and the realization that family comes from those you choose to let into your life.

“Chasing Down the Night” Book Three

A cougar lurks in the hills surrounding Crater Lake bringing disturbing empathic visions to Bobby Collins that usher in further changes to the residents of this small community. Bobby’s mystical qualities strengthen and he begins to associate with his spirit animal, the cougar, in an unhealthy way.

Izzy and Liam continue to grapple with home life, family, and Izzy’s challenges at work as the administrator of Micah Camp. Lisa Marie deals with the challenges of motherhood and an advancing photographic career, all the while seeking balance in her relationship with Justin.

Meanwhile, Liam’s sister, Fiona accepts an internship with Micah Camp’s local physician and arrives carrying the baggage of her Native American heritage and bringing additional upheaval to the family.

The final volume of the Crater Lake series deals with building a family, respect for tradition, and embracing the new things in life. Caleb Montgomery’s legacy at Crater Lake is secure in the community of family that meant the world to him.
Recommendation:

Have you ever read a book or a series where you become emotionally bonded to the characters? This is what I did with Francis Guenette’s Crater Lake series. At the end of the last book, I was heartbroken that I would not encounter the beauty that surrounds Crater Lake and the cast of characters anymore.

Yes, I was going to miss my new friends and their lives. In fact, I had to stop reading for a few days so that I could adjust to my life without them. I had a book hangover, one of which I have not experienced in a long time!

The complexity of the characters and the realistic relationships shared between them are what propel this saga forward. Pair that with the beautiful descriptions of the surrounding area and Crater Lake comes alive in magnificent colors much like a rainbow which spreads hope in the darkest times.

There is something here for everyone. Love, sex, lust, greed, spirituality, sacrifice, death, murder, life… the list goes on and on. Each book in the series leads you on to a different life lesson much like the lessons you learn within your own family unit.

There was a kinship found within these pages where I as the reader was drawn along, all the while given permission to become part of the family. I feel my life has been enriched for having shared their lives. I will reread these books numerous times because it will feel like coming home.

 Frances Guenette

Author, Frances Guenette

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5
About Frances Guenette:

Francis Guenette has spent most of her life on the west coast of British Columbia. She finds inspiration for writing in the beauty and drama of a lakeshore cabin and garden on the Northern end of Vancouver Island. She shares an off-the-grid home that employs a combination of micro-hydro and solar power with her husband Bruce.

Between May and September, Billy Bob the Bear drops over to graze and eat huckleberries and salal. Now and then cougar tracks are spotted meandering across the property. Life is good in the hinterlands, but Francis warns – you have to keep your eyes open and know where you are.

Francis has a daughter and a son – both happily married and pursuing interesting careers. She also has two beautiful and wildly funny granddaughters who provide her with inspiration for writing and living.

For most of her working life, Francis has been an educator. She has worked with special needs children and youth and taught at the undergrad level at the University of Victoria. She has a graduate degree in counselling psychology and very nearly completed her Ph.D. There was that pesky matter of the doctoral dissertation, but enough said on that score! She has worked as a trauma counsellor, a researcher, and a graduate student supervisor.

During her academic life Francis published (on her own and with others) several articles that were accepted to peer-reviewed journals as well as contributing to chapters in two published books.

Please connect with Francis Guenette through her Twitter @FrancisGuenette

Her Blog at: http://disappearinginplainsight.com to learn all you would ever want to know about Francis and her writing life.

And Facebook at Francis Guenette

Colleen 10.21.14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review by: @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

 

 

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “THE POOL BOY’S BEATITUDE,” BY AUTHOR @MAGICMASTRMINDS

The Pool Boy's Beautitude

  • Title:  The Pool Boy’s Beatitude
  • Author: D. J. Swykert
  • File Size:
  • Print Length: 238 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  •  Publisher:  Rebel ePublishers
  • Publication Date: July 23, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN:
  • ISBN-10:  0615824560
  • ISBN-13:  978-0615824567
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Drama, Romance,

* I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review which follows. *

Welcome to Jack Joseph’s World

Jack Joseph is a conundrum. He possesses a Master’s degree in particle physics yet owns his own pool cleaning business. Jack appears to live within the constraints of his mind while pondering the dark matter of the universe. Jack even has high aspirations and would love to find the God particle, even though he dropped out of college when he found physics to be too tedious. You see, Jack just wants to live life his way.

However, all of the brilliance of Jack is dimmed with the way he chooses to perceive the world. Jack thinks that life is governed by random coincidences. To that effect, he lets his life spiral into chaos. With a failing marriage and a wife who wants a divorce, Jack slips into the black hole of alcoholism. Mix in casual sex with multiple clients and drugs to soothe the pain of too much alcohol, Jack continues his descent out of control in a controlled world.

Jack’s Bondage Continues

After Jack’s wife Elle, kicks him out of the house, he finds solace with Rosemary, one of his clients who uses sex, alcohol, and drugs to manipulate him into her version of the perfect man. Jack in his randomness, allows the situation to proceed even though he realizes he has sold out his soul for this pitiful existence. Jack is polarized by his dependencies, unable to break free.

One drunken night, Jack meets Sarah. There is an immediate connection, something that Jack has never experienced before. Jack is smitten and when a DUI lands him in jail, he is forced to face his demons and reconcile his lifestyle to the lovely Sarah.

My Recommendation:

To me, Jack Joseph was a likable guy even though he had enough failings to make any woman run the other way. There was something about him that was intriguing and drew me to him. I found many of Jack’s viewpoints made me uncomfortable and most of his life choices were mind boggling. Although, that is what made me want to read more. I really wanted to figure this guy out and see what made him tick.

D. J. Swykert makes Jack a real person. Written in the first person, Swykert has Jack display credible addict tendencies that sometimes were shocking in their authenticity. I found myself wanting Jack to get better and to find his way through his addictive personality and lifestyle. Sometimes I felt his desperation and pain. Other times I wanted to kick him in the teeth for all of his stupidity. The next thing I knew, I liked the guy again because I finally realized, there is a little bit of Jack Joseph in all of us.

This was an excellent read and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a book that makes you think about the intricacies of life in general. The story moves along quickly and the dialog makes you feel like you are in the room overhearing the characters. You feel this story through Jack’s eyes, flaws and all. Jack really got under my skin!

DJ Swykert

Author, D. J. Swykert

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 4.5
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 4
Overall Rate: 4.5
About D. J. Swykert:

DJ Swykert is a former 911 operator, and wolf expert, living in Northern Kentucky, USA. His short fiction and poetry has been published in: The Tampa Review, Monarch Review, Sand Canyon Review, Zodiac Review, Scissors and Spackle, spittoon, Barbaric Yawp and BULL. His novel, Maggie Elizabeth Harrington, won a literary competition with The LitWest Group in Los Angeles in 2002.

Make certain to connect with D. J. through Twitter @MagicMastrMinds

And Facebook at David J. Swykert

His blog at Magic Master Minds.com

Book Review by: @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 10.21.14

 

 

#BOOK REVIEW BY @ColleenChesebro OF FACES OF A SMALL CITY BY AUTHOR @PaulStearsNews

  • Title:  Faces of a Small City
  • Author:  Paul Stears
  • File Size:  879 KB
  • Print Length:  322 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication Date:  December 11, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00QJI5VL0
  • ISBN-10: 1505349648
  • ISBN-13: 978-1505349641
  • Formats: Paperback  Kindle
    Goodreads
  • Genres:  Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Drama

* I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review which follows. *

Recently graduated from University, James is excited to get on with living the rest of his life. His existence in Canterbury seems to crawl by and his prospects are slim. With no job, no girlfriend, and without a place to call his own James drifts, all the while self-medicating himself with alcohol and women that mean nothing to him. One night, celebrating at a local pub with friends, James has a chance encounter with the elusive and stunningly beautiful Maisie. For James, Maisie is the stuff dreams are made of and he can’t shake her memory from his mind. He can’t wait to see her again, although it seems they are never in the right place at the same time.

Maisie has insurmountable problems of her own to contend with as her mother continues to lose touch with reality. Maisie struggles to live up to the demands her mother places upon her. Much like James, Maisie is floundering in an adult world while desperately trying to get on with the business of living and finding her own identity.

James and Maisie’s stories wrap around each other while both live in the small city of Canterbury. Their lives intertwine through their friends, families, and life circumstances.  Jakes, the narrator of the story leads you into the contemporary lives of Canterbury’s younger population who are filled with hope at the beginning of their adult lives.

Recommendation:

“The Faces of a Small City,” is Paul Stears debut novel. Although, the book starts out slowly, I found myself swept up in the descriptions of Canterbury, the people, and the many life situations that are thrown at the characters of Maisie and James. It was easy to identify with both, James and Maisie as each seemed to be real characters with strengths and weaknesses just like the rest of us.

A true coming of age love story, Stears does a marvelous job depicting and adding depth to the characters featured in this story. Many times I found myself reminiscing about my own first love experiences and how it felt to be that young again. Throughout the novel, a message of hope resounds in the face of formidable life obstacles. I really enjoyed seeing James and Maisie grow up and enter the next stage of their lives.

If you enjoy contemporary love stories with the backdrop of an English city to add culture and ambiance, you will enjoy this book. It is a quick read that will leave you feeling hope that there truly is someone out there for each of us, sometimes found right in the small city we live in.

Character Believability: 4
Flow and Pace: 3.5
Reader Engagement: 4
Reader Enrichment: 3.5
Reader Enjoyment: 4
Overall Rate: 4

About Paul Stears:

PAUL STEARS has recently released his debut novel, “Faces of a Small City.” Graduating from Canterbury University in 2010, he spent his time working and writing. Born and bred in Kent, UK, he lives to write. You can follow him and find out more information about him at his blog: paulstearsauth.wordpress.com.

Please make certain to connect with Paul Stears through his Twitter @PaulStearsNews.

Book Review by: @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 10.21.14

 

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF HOSTAGES OF VERA CRUZ BY AUTHOR @GRADYMILLER

Hostages of Vera Cruz

  • Title:  Hostages of Vera Cruz
  • Author:  Grady Miller
  • File Size: 599 KB
  • Print Length: 113 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:  1499545320
  •  Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Publication Date: August 27, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B00N49QBN4
  • ISBN-10: 1499545320
  • ISBN-13: 9781499545326
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Genres: Mystery, Mystery/Suspense, Thriller, Romantic Mystery

* I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review which follows. *

And so it began…

Peter Vandervoort, a wealthy photographer living in Mexico with his girlfriend, Xochitl, take part in a photography exhibit presenting some of Peter’s photos from around Vera Cruz. One of the photos Peter includes in the show, reveals a grainy image of a child being abducted which lends credence to the rumors circulating that organ trafficking is happening in the city. The photography exhibit fails and Peter falls into a deep depression over the rejection of his work; unaware that there are ulterior motives to the failure of his show. He has no idea what he has stirred up with that photo of the child abduction.

To bring Peter out of his depression, Xochitl suggests a trip to the local carnival. While they are getting ready to go to the carnival, Peter receives a telephone call demanding the photo of the child, including the photo negative. Visibly shaken, Peter keeps the negative with him and the couple attends the carnival. In all the gaiety of the carnival atmosphere, Peter and Xochitl end up getting separated. Peter becomes a victim of foul play, although Xochitl has no idea of what has actually transpired. She searches for Peter for days and is unable to locate him.

The suspense builds!

While Xochitl is searching for him, a drugged Peter awakens in the midst of the real organ harvesters where he witnesses the horrors taking place amongst Vera Cruz’s children. Realizing that he is next in line to have his organs taken from him, Peter escapes and makes his way back to Xochitl.

Traumatized by the kidnapping, Peter blocks the experience. He just cannot deal with the abduction and the fact that no one cares what is happening to the children of Vera Cruz.  Xochitl and Peter drift apart as the experience overwhelms him and their relationship. Troubled, Peter returns to Holland and the comfort of his parents.

Slowly, Peter regains control over his life.  He travels to France on vacation where a chance encounter brings him face to face with his old girlfriend, Michelle, a journalist struggling to give her career a much-needed reboot. Peter divulges his experiences to Michelle and together the two embark on a chilling investigation of what is really happening to the children of Vera Cruz.

Part mystery and suspense, part love story, the Hostages of Vera Cruz will keep you guessing until the very end.

Recommendation:

If you are drawn to romantic mysteries or thrillers you will love this novella. I found myself marveling at all the layers of romantic and suspenseful intrigue that surrounded the characters and their experiences. Grady Miller gives them breath with real situations that mimic life in a meaningful way. A novella at only 113 pages, I was mesmerized and could not put it down until all was revealed in the end!

Grady Miller

Author, Grady Miller

Character Believability: 4.5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 4.5
Reader Enjoyment: 4.5
Overall Rate: 4.5

About Grady Miller:

Grady Miller’s humor appears frequently in numerous publications, including the LA Times and his popular blog at www.canyon-news.com. In “Lighten up Now: The Grady Diet,” Grady urges people to ‘count the laughs, not calories.’ He is the author of a nail-biting thriller, “The Hostages of Veracruz.”

Make certain to connect with Grady through his Twitter @GradyMiller

And Facebook at www.facebook.com/grady.miller.58

Book Review by: @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

 

BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “IN THE BEGINNING” @AUTHORABBYVANDIVER

In the Beginning

Title:  In the Beginning, (Mars Origin I – Series Book 1)

Author:  Abby L. Vandiver

Blog: Abby L. Vandiver.com

Twitter

Facebook

ISBN: 0989546306

ISBN13: 9780989546300

ASIN:  B00DPOF6IE

Published:  December 16, 2013

Pages:  332

Genre:  Science Fiction, Religious and Inspirational Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

A Biblical Archaeologist named Justin Dickerson decides that she needs a change to her dull academic lifestyle. She accepts an invitation to attend the 50th Jubilee of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and participates in the last of the translation process regarding the ancient writings. While working on the interpretations of these writings, she stumbles upon a journal that one of the original translators compiled. This amazing artifact propels her to search for humankind’s true beginnings in our world.

The original translator, Dr. Amos Sabir was assigned to translate four manuscripts found in Cave #4 at Qumran in the Judean Desert in 1949. A total of seven scrolls were unearthed and translated. What this group of original translators discover, is evidence so earth-shattering that they hide the findings from the world; burying the secret in plain sight hoping it will not be detected. Until 1997, when Justin finds the notebooks and realizes the hidden translations clarify the true beginnings of our species and our existence on earth.

I love science fiction, history, and mystery novels, so when I stumbled upon this book as a “free” Kindle download I was excited. After the first few pages I knew I had scored an excellent read. I did a bit of my own research and found a great site called Bibleplaces.com which helped to fill in some of the questions I had about the Dead Sea Scrolls, the location of the caves, and the actual condition of the authentic manuscripts. The more I read, the more excited I got. I felt like a researcher too!

However, be prepared. This is not a Dan Brown novel that introduces you to religious conspiracy theories. Instead, Abby Vandriver takes a more realistic course. She tells the tale through the eyes of a woman who has deep religious convictions rooted in the traditions of her tight knit family. The whole concept of the hidden translation is thought provoking and will leave you thinking about the origins of man for a long time to come.

Abby L. Vandiver

 

Author, Abby L. Vandiver

The writing was so well done, that I had a hard time separating fact from fiction. This story was so believable that many times I had to remind myself that this was creative writing at its best, and it was not true. Although, I still cannot help wondering if it could it be true…

If you love books that deal with history, biblical history, The Gnostic Texts, aliens, and the unknown, you will love this rendition on the theme of man’s origins. There are two additional books available in the trilogy: “Irrefutable Proof – Book II” and “Incarnate – Book III.” You can bet that I have both of them on my summer must read list!

RATINGS
Realistic Characterization: 5/5
Made Me Think: 5/5
Overall enjoyment: 5/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5.0

Goodreads

Buy it at: Amazon
Format & Pricing
Paperback: $12.95 US
Kindle: $2.99 US

Colleen 10.21.14

 

 

 

 

 

@ColleenChesebro

www.SilverThreading.com

 

 

An @COLLEENCHESEBRO BOOK REVIEW OF “A Love Story for a Nation” @SASSEVN

A Love Story for a Nation

Title:  A Love Story for a Nation

Author:  Mark W. Sasse

Website: mwsasse.com

ISBN 10:  1514131978

ISBN 13:  978-1514131978

Pages: 232 pages

Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction

** This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. **

Slip into the pages of history as you step into another place and time where order exists by the totalitarian rule of a dictator. It is a struggle to live with such a meager existence until Gerald Sanpatri, an ex-writer meets Rosia, the love of his life. It is Rosia’s devotion and love that enables him to begin writing again. Gerald pours all of his pain and heartache into his tales, writing stories of a brave child who was not afraid to stand up for what he believed in to save the people of his land from the terrible despot that ruled over them.

After the last regime change, Gerald Sanpatri stopped writing because the dictator forbade it. Instead, he performed the duties required of him while sinking into oblivion, burying his past behind him. Little by little, as his past begins to resurface, Gerald is thrust to the forefront of a stealthy movement to overthrow the dictator of which he is not even aware.


markw_sasse.jpg

Author: Mark W. Sasse

In my mind’s eye, I kept searching for a country to place these horrific events into. Several came to mind and I questioned why the author did not specify a country in the writing of this novel. Finally, I realized that the place was not the main concern. It was the message that events like these occur all over our world today that finally resonated deep within me. It wasn’t the place, it wasn’t the dictator. It was Gerald’s peaceful response that motivated a country to change.

Lovers of historical literature and fiction will lose themselves in the events that Mark Sasse has woven around these characters. I finished reading this novel on the Fourth of July while, outside my window, fireworks were exploding celebrating the freedoms of all Americans. It was a poignant moment.

RATINGS
Realistic Characterization: 4/5
Made Me Think: 5/5
Overall enjoyment: 4/5
Readability: 5/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5

Buy it at Amazon
Format & Pricing
Paperback: $11.99 US
Kindle: $3.99 US

Goodreads

Colleen_Silver_Threading

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

@ColleenChesebro

www.SilverThreading.com

An @COLLEENCHESEBRO INTERVIEW WITH @READEANDWRITE

Grab a cup of coffee or tea, and come on in and get comfortable. I am excited to share that I have Amy M. Reade, the author of, “Secrets of Hallstead House,” here with us this morning. First, let me share a bit about Amy so that you can get to know her. Amy reveals:

“I am an author of women’s fiction with strong elements of suspense and setting. A former lawyer, I now write in New Jersey. I have a husband and three kids, as well as two cats and a great Bouvier des Flandres (that’s a dog, for those of you who may be unfamiliar).

When I’m not writing, you will find me in the kitchen or the laundry room, but I much prefer the kitchen. I love to cook and share the things I make. I blog about writing and wine at http://amreade.wordpress.com. My website is http://www.amymreade.com.”

As many of you know, I love looking for free books on Amazon. Not to save money, but instead because many times the author is brand new and undiscovered. I love to read debut novels, and that is exactly how I found Amy Reade, through a free download on BookBub. She volunteered to write a guest post for me a few weeks back and I shared with her that I had just started reading her book. One thing led to another and here you have it, my interview with Amy Reade! Click here to read my book review of, “Secrets of Hallstead House.”

Author, Amy M. Reade

Colleen: Amy, please give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline.

Amy:
Secrets of Hallstead House is women’s fiction with a gothic feel to it.

Tagline: After moving to a private island in upstate New York to provide nursing care for an elderly widow, Macy must uncover secrets from her past before they destroy her future.

Colleen: How did you come up with the title of your book?

Amy: The working title was The Leaning Tree, and my editor and I felt the book needed a spookier feel to it. We discussed several options and decided that Secrets of Hallstead House had just the right amount of mystery.

Colleen: Amy, tell us about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?

Amy: The cover art came from the Kensington Art Department. I like it because it contains elements of several of the homes in the Thousand Islands. It also has a darkness to it, and the churning water looks just like the Saint Lawrence River on a stormy day.

Colleen: So, what else have you written?

Amy:
The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, which is also women’s fiction in a gothic style, was released in April, 2015. It is the story of Carleigh Warner, a restoration specialist who moves from Chicago to South Carolina when she is hired to restore an antebellum manor house, the family home of an old friend. The family disagrees over the future of the property and Carleigh is quickly swept into the tensions, which escalate to violence that threatens Carleigh and her young daughter.

I am also in the edits stage of my third novel, which is in the same genre, this time set on the Island of Hawaii (sometimes called the Big Island). Kailani, a sous chef, leaves Washington, D.C., to return to the Big Island, where she grew up. She lands a job working as a personal chef and is soon called on to deal with more than the job description called for, with a family in desperate turmoil and an unexpected and unwanted visitor from her past. Before long the secrets and the tensions in the home begin to build and Kailani must find the courage to stay and follow her heart.

In addition, I blog most Tuesdays at
http://amreade.wordpress.com.

Colleen: Where can we buy or see your books?

Amy: Readers can find both my books on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, books.google.com, kensingtonbooks.com, amazon.co.uk, amazon.ca, and kobobooks.com.

Colleen: Please give us an insight into your main character. What does she do that is so special?

Amy: Macy Stoddard, the main character in Secrets of Hallstead House, is quite young when the story begins. She has suffered a personal tragedy that leads her to seek employment away from New York City. She has her own demons to face as she tries to help her patient come to grips with the deaths of her husband and daughter.

Colleen: What are you working on at the minute?

Amy: I’m plotting out a new series right now, and I’m working on the research for that.

Amy, thank you so much for letting us into the workings of your books. I always feel like I get to know an author better after learning more about the motivations behind their work. It has been a pleasure getting to know you.

Don’t forget, I love a good book! Oh yeah, guess what?

Amy loves to connect with readers!

Website: http://www.amymreade.com

Blog: http://amreade.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/amreadeauthor

A @ColleenChesebro Interview with Children’s Author Deanie Humphrys-Dunne @hollyssis

 

I have the best news! I would like to introduce you all to Deanie Humphrys Dunne, author of five children’s books: “Tails of Sweetbrier,” “Charlie the Horse,” “Charlene the Star,” “Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes,” and “Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog.”

The Tails of Sweetbrier has won several awards.
It was the winner of the Silver Medal in the Feathered Quill Book Awards (2014) and was selected as a finalist for the CLIPPA book awards.

The other books written by Deanie are entertaining children’s tales told from the animals’ points of view. All of these books are filled with valuable life lessons. They are beautifully illustrated by her sister, Holly Humphrys-Bajaj.

When Deanie isn’t writing, she loves spending time with her family and their dog, Elliott. She enjoys watching equestrian competitions and figure skating shows.

Author, Deanie Humphrys Dunne, photograph – courtesy of Bob Moseder

Colleen: So Deanie, tell me something about yourself. Where do you live? Are you a full-time writer?

Yes, I am a full-time writer, along with being a Mom and wife. We live in Connecticut.

Colleen: What inspired you to write children’s books?  Have you written other books?

My career as an author began rather unexpectedly. I had been anticipating employment as a medical coding specialist, but no one was interested in hiring me without experience. Silly, isn’t it?

One day I had a strong intuition to write a story about growing up on our family farm called Sweetbrier. Remembering my Dad’s advice to consider the worst thing that could happen when I was worried about a new venture, I figured if the story wasn’t published, I wouldn’t likely pass away.

Consequently, I wrote my first book, the award-winning “Tails of
Sweetbrier.” This story involves overcoming obstacles to realize your dreams, against the odds. It’s an autobiography of the journey I took with my Dad after he made a decision that changed my life. This book proves all things are possible if you persevere.

My other books, “Charlie the Horse,” “Charlene the Star,” “Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes,” and “Charlene the
Star and Bentley Bulldog,” are fictional tales told by the animal characters. They’re all beautifully illustrated by my sister, Holly Humphrys-Bajaj. She is an incredible talent. She creates adorable illustrations, as well as book covers for our books. Nothing would be the same without her talents! All of my books are available on Kindle.

Find on Amazon

You can find a free chapter here. After you read it, make sure and tell Deanie what you think on her blog!

Find on Amazon

Find on Amazon

Find on Amazon

Find on Amazon

Colleen: What messages do you want your young readers to get from your writing?

My books are all filled with subtle life lessons that I hope will inspire and entertain children. For example, Charlie the Horse learns he must work hard and set goals if he wants to become a famous racehorse. Charlene the Star is a beautiful red horse who has different skills than anyone in her family. She proves it is okay to be an individual. She also shows it’s important to work hard to develop your natural talents.

Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes is a humorous story about a group of animals who look for an exciting new career. They start their own business to help their friends overcome training problems. It highlights friendship and teamwork. Finally, my new book, Charlene the Star and Bentley
Bulldog, addresses bullying. It also shows you can change if you realize the need to do so. Readers learn about the animals’ comical thoughts and actions in these stories.

Colleen: Who is your favorite author and explain what really inspires you about their work.

If I’m reading romance novels, I like Danielle Steel because she is not predictable, and her books are always engaging, in my view. I have many children’s authors, whom I admire.

Janice Spina, Sarah Mazor, Yael Rosenberg, and Kathleen Andrews Davis are a few of my favorites. Their books are always entertaining and educational. They also highlight good character.

Colleen: Where do you get the ideas for your books from? What inspires you the most in your life?

Sometimes I get them from life experiences, as in Tails of Sweetbrier. But I would say most often, I decide what kind of theme I want and then craft a story around that.

Deanie Humphrys Dunne ancestral home – “Sweetbrier.” Photographer Unknown.

I would say my family is responsible for encouraging me. My parents used to tell me I should write books. Of course, I thought the idea was ridiculous. But once I started, it was fun. My sister, Holly, and my husband, Francis, always encourage me and give me new ideas when I need them, as do our sons.

***

I would like to thank Deanie for letting us get to know more about her and for sharing the information about these delightful books she writes for children. If you have young children or grandchildren you will enjoy reading these books together. The artwork is fabulous and the colors are inviting to kids.

Did you enjoy meeting Deanie? If so, here are some other places you can find her:

The Authors Show.com (contains an audio and video of another interview with Deanie)

deanieblog

Children’s Books with Life Lessons.com

Dhdunneblogspot.com

Facebook

Twitter

 

 

@ColleenChesebro

SilverThreading.com

An @COLLEENCHESEBRO BOOK REVIEW OF “Trails in the Sand,” by @PC ZICK

Trails in the Sand

Title: Trails in the Sand

Author: P. C. Zick

ISBN: 1481255797 (ISBN13: 9781481255790)

ASIN:  B00ANVD6DE

Published:  January 10th 2013 by Createspace

Pages: 410

Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Family Drama

Author Website: pczick.com

Do you like to travel? Then jump aboard, because “Trails in the Sand,” immediately propelled me into the Deep South to the state of Florida where mangrove swamps and the Gulf of Mexico beckoned and lured me into their mystique. Grab a fan, it might get hot!

The story begins with a mysterious death in 1956. It is that one single event which brings to the forefront long buried family secrets with roots deep in the sands of time, and laid to rest in the true southern tradition. These secrets reveal a pivotal connection to past and future events.

Caroline is the protagonist, an environmental journalist who left home as a young woman to pursue her dream of writing. Caroline’s sister focuses on betrayal with the love of Caroline’s life, Simon. The sister manages to marry Simon, instead of Caroline, who vows to never return because of her broken heart.

Years later after Caroline’s sister dies, Caroline and Simon are reunited in their friendship and love for each other. They marry, and revel in their new found happiness. Their lives are finally complete.

To complicate matters, Simon’s adopted daughter is resentful of her Aunt Caroline marrying her father. This leads to family strife and disagreements. However, nothing is as it seems in this tale of family intrigue. Those family secrets haunt the family and eventually lead them on a journey to discover the truth and to find acceptance from the past.

Throughout the family struggles that ensue, Caroline the journalist, is embroiled in the reporting of the BP oil spill in the Gulf. Her skill in writing about environmental disasters shows firsthand the death and destruction that was forced upon the wildlife in the Gulf area. At immediate risk are the endangered sea turtles whose existence is paramount to the survival of the species.


Author: P. C. Zick

I absolutely enjoyed how the author was able to weave current events into the story. The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, and the events surrounding the Massey Mine accident were integral parts to the telling of this story.

The survival of the sea turtles is a vital issue where I live in Pensacola, Florida. The rich descriptions and explanations of their plight renewed my interest in environment concerns along the Gulf Coast. Our own Gulf Islands National Seashore offer volunteer opportunities that I now wish to explore since my awareness of the issues that affect native wildlife.

The family struggle that was at the central heart of the book endeared me to the characters. I was able to identify with the crippling family treachery and how it almost destroyed them all. Beyond that, I found that I wanted these characters to succeed and heal from the toll the deception had on all of them.

I found that I could not put this book down. I wanted to keep reading until I reached the last page. I was woven into a web of deceit and scheming from the portrayal of the characters. I found it hard to pull away, I was so drawn in. It seemed as if the characters haunted me from afar. I literally read this book in about three nights.

“Trails in the Sand,” is part of P. C. Zick’s “Florida Series,” which includes the following books: “Tortoise Stew,” and “Native Lands.” I read all three books at the same time, and this was my absolute favorite.

RATINGS
Realistic Characterization: 5/5
Made Me Think: 4/5
Overall enjoyment: 4/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5

Format & Pricing

Buy it at: Amazon
Paperback: $11.22 US
Kindle: $.99 US

Goodreads

 


 

 

 

@ColleenChesebro

www.SilverThreading.com

 

Lit World Interview Week In Review Apr. 13-18.

lit world interview with ronovan writes

Here are the articles for the week, if you missed one, go and check it out today.

FEATURES

What Does a Proofreader Actually Do With Your Book? by Wendy Janes

Some great reaction to this post. People have been shocked at what all a proofreader does.

Fiction Writers Can Write Great Non-Fiction Books Too by Jo Robinson

Do you need an explanation?

 

BOOK REVIEWS

Chaos Is Come Again by John Dolan and Fiona Quinn by Olga Núñez Miret

Olga knew about the writing process of the book before hand and went into the story wondering how it could work. Once in, she no longer cared about the process. Check out the review.

 

The Legacy of Fear by Vanessa A. Ryan by Ronovan

Vampires, mysteries, and Egyptian artifacts? What more do you need.

 

The Fictional Woman by @Tara_Moss by Florence Thum

People were surprised that after reading the review they now wanted to read the book themselves.

BOOK RELEASE NOTICES

Make some noise with a Thunderclap. For me and @PSBartlett

Our very own PS Bartlett has a book coming on Tuesday, April 14. The Thunderclap is for the 21st. Read the article to find out where I come into the picture. It’s free to help her out. Go do it. NOW! Oh, and she’s gone Indie, in case any of you hadn’t heard.

RONOVAN’S WHATEVER

Welcome @JERoyle Newest LWI Team Member.

Our newest member and a little about him.

 

It’s Thunderclap Time for Author @AlienoraTaylor

An author with a need. Part of our sister site Authors Supporting Authors efforts to help authors get noticed.

 

 Authors, be what authors need to be.

More of my thoughts about the future of Authors Supporting Authors and what Indie Authors need to do in order to be successful.

What can you expect next from the LWI Team?

Olga will likely have something great, as usual out Monday, as well as an interview by Colleen of Lisa Tetting of The Mistreatment of Zora Langston, which she reviewed here. You know Jo likely has something great coming up on Thursday. You have no idea what I might come up with, but be on the look out for authors needing help from https://authorssupportingauthors.wordpress.com/. What will the other team members have? Who knows? I don’t assign things or force anyone to write. I see things in the dashboard or get an email and go look.

If you are an author and have a guest post in mind, email me the idea at ronovanwrites@gmail.com. People love informative posts that help them with their careers and to make their novels better.

Follow us, Bookmark Us, do whatever you need to do in order to come back every day for something new. Share this post with your friends.

lit world interviews

 

Lit World Interview Week In Review Apr. 6-10.

lit world interview with ronovan writes

Here are the articles for the week, if you missed one, go and check it out today.

Author Interview with Ronovan Writes

I Love Anger the truth by @isaacdrowe The interview.

I read the book and asked the questions. It’s the real thing form the real guy. Isaac doesn’t sugar coat life in order to make things pretty for people wanting to find a way to a better place. You have to go through ugly to get out of ugly.

FEATURES

Publishing Your First Book on Amazon for New Indies by @JoRobinson176 by Jo Robinson

Great advice for formatting your book for Amazon. Seriously. There are some things you likely didn’t think of. She even includes images to help walk you through the steps.

Paid book promotions and other ideas to sell your book. The feedback. by Olga Núñez Miret

Olga got feedback from authors about where to and how to promote your book. If you missed it, it’s a MUST READ.

 

New Site: AuthorsSupportingAuthor by Ronovan

I just created a new site last week, more details soon. This is a sister site to LWI. ASA is just as the name says, Authors Supporting Authors.

A Diary of Writing Wisdom (and other nonsense) by Jason Royle

New Team Member, Jason Royle brings us his first article. It’s published under my name only because he had an emergency he had to take care of. Fortunately he had emailed me the article and the image to use. Nice responses for our new kid on the block. His wife took his picture, just so you know. And picked out his clothes to wear. Make sure to check out his profile in the Black Box on the left with the white text.

 

 

BOOK REVIEWS

Sword of Air by RJ Madigan by Florence Thum

We were asked to review this YA book, primarily because of its new format. It’s a multi-touch iBook. Not only did Florence review the book, but her children tried it as well. Read the results. (Too bad I couldn’t make it work for me, but I knew Florence would have an i Something. Well actually her son did. Hey, we get the job done, right?)

BOOK RELEASE NOTICES

Make some noise with a Thunderclap. For me and @PSBartlett

Our very own PS Bartlett has a book coming on Tuesday, April 14. The Thunderclap is for the 21st. Read the article to find out where I come into the picture. It’s free to help her out. Go do it. NOW! Oh, and she’s gone Indie, in case any of you hadn’t heard.

RONOVAN’S WHATEVER

Hear the author of Order of Seven @beth_teliho with @MandiCLBT

A great find this week. Many of you probably know Beth Teliho, well go listen to her. And you get to hear how to say her name the RIGHT way.

 

What can you expect next from the LWI Team?

It’s Monday, so Olga has a Book Review, likely out by the time you read this. On Mondahy I have a great post from our very popular Guest Author Wendy Janes. It is the first of three that will be put out the second Monday of each month starting this month. I’ve heard that Florence has a Book Review for us. You know Jo likely has something great coming up on Thursday. As for me? You never know  what I might do, but expect a formal introduction of our new Team Member Jason Royle, and further details about https://authorssupportingauthors.wordpress.com/. I can say this, our first go at getting some results worked.

Be on the look out for interviews coming from the other LWI team members. That’s right, due to illness and recovery time being indeterminate I’ve had to step back a little in some areas. If you haven’t wanted to approach me for an interview, you now might approach another person you might be more comfortable with. Also, with my amnesia and short term memory problems I’m having difficulties keeping some things straight. I love this site, but it’s not my site, it’s every author’s site.

Follow us, Bookmark Us, do whatever you need to do in order to come back every day for something new. Share this post with your friends.

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A @COLLEENCHESEBRO #BOOK #REVIEW “THE MISTREATMENT OF ZORA LANGSTON” by @REBIRTHOFLISA

Mistreatment of Zora Langston

Title:  The Mistreatment of Zora Langston

Author:  Lisa W. Tetting

Website: https://rebirthoflisa.wordpress.com/

ASIN:  B00URD7AKI

ISBN 13: 9780996142908

Published:  1 edition (March 15, 2015)

Pages:  163 pages

Genre:  Young Adult, Drama, Black Fiction, Coming of Age,

*A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review, which follows.

At the tender age of nine years old, Zora Langston loses the most important person in her life, her father.  This one event, sets off a chain of events that is mind-boggling.  Zora is left with a mother who despises her, a sister who hates her, and a brother who does not even acknowledge her presence.  The death of Zora’s father is further exacerbated when her mother’s boyfriend moves in and takes his place as the head of the household.

Zora struggles to cope with the harsh treatment she receives, as the youngest child in the family.  Naïve as she is, Zora is forced to cope with adult situations that propel her into a new path in her life.  Through all of this, Zora remembers the love and the many lessons from her father, while relying on her faith to help her survive.

Eventually Zora finds the love and understanding she deserves from her Aunt and Uncle, who embrace her into their family.  Haunted by her past, Zora is forced to face old abusers, and new abusers.  Nevertheless, life goes on, and through love and trust Zora is lead to the truth of what it means to be part of a family.

Zora Langston tells this story with all the wisdom a nine-year-old girl can share.  The reader lives through her, and experiences what the child goes through on a daily basis.  I was visually shaken after the confrontation with her mother’s boyfriend.  Zora handles her circumstances with the grace and dignity of a true survivor.  I was drawn into Zora’s world.  I felt her pain and neglect, and her joy and sorrow.  All I wanted to do, was grab this child, hug her, and never let her go!

Lisa Tetting

Author, Lisa Tetting

There is sexual abuse and violence portrayed in the book.  However, it is my opinion that the author portrays this abuse realistically through the words of young Zora.  This is Lisa Tetting’s debut novel, and I believe she achieves her goal of showing how prevalent this type of abuse is in our society.

I was moved beyond words at the treatment Zora endured.  However, I found Zora’s courage and motivation to move forward and heal from her wounds, the most important message in the story.  If you love family drama, young adult literature, and stories that give you hope about life, look no further.  Zora Langston will fill your heart.

RATINGS
Realistic Characterization: 5/5
Made Me Think: 5/5
Overall enjoyment: 5/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5

Buy it at: Amazon
Format & Pricing:
Create Space – Paperback: $10.95 US
Kindle: $3.99 US

Goodreads

 

 Colleen_Silver_Threading

 

 

 

 

@ColleenChesebro

www.SilverThreading.com

Lit World Interview Week In Review Feb. 23-27.

lit world interview with ronovan writes

Here are the articles for the week, if you missed one, go and check it out today.

Author Interview with Ronovan Writes

The Tower’s Alchemist Q&A Alesha L. Escobar @The_GrayTower

I reviewed her book last week, now here is the interview. Coffee, Tacos, bribery? Is she into espionage herself like her character? Does she have some kind of magical powers over the men in her life? Find out.

 

If Only Interview with Author @NormaBudden

 

I reviewed Norma’s book not long ago and it was a very personal one. Her book hit me deep for various reasons. Now I have a very in depth interview of how the book came to be. Well worth the read.

FEATURES

Make the Back Cover of your Paper Book Work for You Jo Robinson

It’s the part we hate to do but it’s the part that makes the reader want to buy it. Jo gives you a bit more information than that, of course. I mean it is Jo, right?

Erotica: Sex Sells. Ronovan Writes

Read my first editorial here on LitWorldInterviews with Ronovan Writes. With the recent release of the movie Fifty Shades of Grey I took a look at the Erotica genre to see what it’s all about. I found some information that was surprising and in all honesty some that made me rethink a lot of things. As my first editorial here, let me know your feedback in the comments of the editorial.

BOOK REVIEWS

‘The Fallen Angels of Karnataka’ by Hans Hirschi Olga Núñez Miret

A surprise for me in reading the review. Not because it was so well done. I have to say Olga’s review really was very well put together and written. Very impressive. She really put something into this one. A subject worth reading about.

“IF ONLY” @NORMABUDDEN  Colleen Chesebro

You get the female take on the book I reviewed before. Plus Norma was one of the interviews this week. I like the idea of getting a man’s view and a woman’s view of a book. I think it allows for a well rounded way of looking at it.

BOOK RELEASE NOTICES

New Release Crazy On You by @JanelleKahele & @jduncwriter Five Star #MustRead

J. Kahele has been interviewed here on LWI and in truth, she’s one of the most intelligent women I’ve had the honor of questioning. I honestly wish I had been able to read a book before asking her questions. I think this may just be the book I give a try. Brand new release. Buy it and help make it a hit.

RONOVAN’S WHATEVER

Author @MichaelPhelps3 talks about David Janssen & more with @YouAreTheExpert OnBlogTalkRadio

LitWorldInterviews author Michael Phelps was interviewed by our friend Annette Rochelle Aben on her show Tell Me A Story. I’ve been interviewed by her as well thus I tuned in for this one. Get the voice behind the interviews I did, the voice of David Janssen non-Hollywood friend. The man he trusted with everything.

Finds-The 10 REAL Reasons Your Book Was Rejected: A Big 5 Editor Tells All by @RuthHarrisBooks

A Web Find this week. Truth, humor, and a whole lot more. Some you know and some you never thought of.

#MentalFloss 43 Words Invented by Authors 

A Word Nerd Web Find this week. I HAD to share here on LWI.

 

What can you expect next from the LWI Team?

On Monday we have Olga talking about Canva and I have an interview with Elaine Jeremiah from the UK who writes about . . . come back and find out. We have a Book Review by Florence on Adultery by Paulo Coelho. I never ask Jo what she’s doing. I like to be surprised along with everyone else. As for me and anything else? I will be primarily sticking to interviews, book reviews, and an editorial every now and then along with web finds, unless I just really feel moved to share some type of feature article with you that I think will be of benefit.

Follow us, Bookmark Us, do whatever you need to do in order to come back every day for something new. Share this post with your friends.

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BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “IF ONLY” @NORMABUDDEN

Title:  “If Only”if-only-norma-budden-review-colleen-cheseboro

Author:  Norma Budden

ASIN:  B00S4GV7OU

Website:  normasbooks.com

Published:  February 14th 2015 by Smashwords Edition

Pages:  204 pages

Genre:  Romance, Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance,

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review, which follows.

Demi and David first meet in high school, where they fell in love at a young age.  In no time, Demi is pregnant and decides to hide the truth from David about their child, because she does not want to influence his decision to go to college to become a private investigator.  Instead, Demi takes it upon herself to have the child and give her up for adoption.  This decision comes at a price to Demi’s psyche.  Years later, she begins to have visions of her daughter, and feels an unexplainable need to find her child now, at any cost.

Compromising matters further, Demi is married to another man and has two children with him.  Searching for her daughter has brought no leads from the current investigators, so Demi turns to the only man she knows will help her find their daughter – David, her lost love from long ago, who is now a successful private investigator.

Demi finally tells David about their daughter.  David is also married to someone else with two children of his own.  Breaking the news to their spouses creates a story of intrigue and suspense with more twists and turns along the way.

Sharing in the story, is the child herself, Renee who feels she cannot connect with her parents, and never has.  Always the outsider, Renee wonders as an only child, if she was adopted.  Before long, Rene starts having dreams and experiences an uncontrollable urge to meet a strange man – her father, David.  As events unravel, Demi and David tumble through a maze of second chances, reconciliations, and realize many losses along the way.  Eventually they find the love of a real family.

Norma Budden

Image credit: Norma Budden

I felt great empathy for Demi and David, as they longed for the child they never knew.  It was important that each character felt the pull of Renee, the missing link to their family unit, and the author was able to convey that message to the reader.  I was drawn to the paranormal aspect of the dreams that Demi, David and Renee shared.  I felt like there was an unforeseen force willing them all to find each other to complete their family.

“If Only,” tugs at your heart, and I found myself rooting for them all to find each other and become the family they were meant to be.  Even though some of the events were predictable, and much time was spent inside the heads of the characters; I found myself caught up in the over powering human desire of ‘belonging’ that the author conveyed in her telling of the story.

This was an uplifting story of change and growth between two adults who felt the need to atone for decisions made as young adults.  Our past always follows us, and Norma Budden leads her readers on a journey of love and acceptance one will not soon forget.

RATINGSIf Only Norma Budden Book Cover
Realistic Characterization: 4/5
Made Me Think: 3/5
Overall enjoyment: 4/5
Readability: 3/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.0

Buy it at: Amazon
Format & Pricing:
Paperback: $9.99 US
Kindle: $2.99 US

Goodreads

 

Colleen_Silver_Threading

 

 

 

 

@ColleenChesebro

www.SilverThreading.com

 

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Lit World Interview Week In Review Feb. 16-20.

lit world interview with ronovan writes

Here are the articles for the week, if you missed one, go and check it out today.

Author Interview with Ronovan Writes

The Owl Interview with the Owl Lady herself @VivDrewa

If you are around WordPress blog world then you now Viv. She speaks about three books she has out, one about her Grandfather who escaped Poland.

FEATURES

Time Management for Writers Jo Robinson

Jo gives some great advice about how to manage all those demands on a writer’s time. Remember, these days it’s not just writing we have to worry about. There is so much more and then there is that things called life.

50 Shades – Storm in a Teacup a Woman’s Thoughts Florence Thum

Florence has read the books and seen the film. After discussing it I asked her to do an article. You’ll find this in our Feature section as well. Florence gives an intelligent and very different take on the subject at hand and I feel it is a must read for all of us. Both men and women.

 

BOOK REVIEWS

“Fireworks” by Aimer Boyz @boyzbooks  Hugh Roberts

Aimer specifically emailed me and asked for Hugh to review this book. Hugh took his time and did it right. Romance and more run through this book and Hugh tells you what he thinks the only way Hugh knows how. I was tempted to ask if I could review the book as well, but Aimer asked for Hugh and who the author asks for is who they get, if possible that is.

The Judas Apocalypse by @DanMcNeil888 Guest Book Reviewer author N.A. Granger

Based on historical facts and a whole lot of imagination Dan McNeil’s The Judas Apocalypse gets Grangered. What do you think she’ll say? When I find the time I will be reviewing this book along with Dan’s other book Can’t Buy Me Love.

February Farmer’s Market by @MLaSarre  Monica LaSarre welcome to our newest member.

Monica’s specialty is with younger readers, as we all know since she wrote Jasper Penzey: International Boy Detective: The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis. She is starting what I think will be a monthly article about young reader finds from Independent Authors that are in case for February similar in nature or theme to those instantly recognized titles every kid can throw out at us. And I have to say, she did a great job this month. (If you want to get acquainted with Monica you can read my interview with her here. Also you can read her guest feature article How to Get Published: Five Tips No One Ever Told You here.)

50 Shades – Storm in a Teacup a Woman’s Thoughts Florence Thum

Florence has read the books and seen the film. After discussing it I asked her to do an article. You’ll find this in our Feature section as well. Florence gives an intelligent and very different take on the subject at hand and I feel it is a must read for all of us. Both men and women.

The Tower’s Alchemist The Gray Tower Trilogy Book 1 by Alesha Escobar @The_GrayTower Ronovan

Read this today in preparation for the Interview author Alesha L. Escobar on Monday. I read the book on my own without prompting. At first I was just going to interview Alesha without having read the book but when I saw for one the book was free and then it was historical and had wizards and sort of vampires and Nazis. Well, having been a History teacher and having met and spoken with Jim Butcher at great length at one point early in his career, yes, I talked him into going up to James Marsters who had been doing his audio books for the Dresden Files. GUILTY! Alesha doesn’t know that. She’ll be jelly if she reads this. Oh, and I got his autograph on one of his early Dresden books. Well, there went a post I could have written. No one reads these anyway, so maybe I’ll do it.

As for The Tower’s Alchemist? How did I rate it? Well if you’ve read the review or been on Twitter the past couple of days you know. If not, go find out.

 

BOOK RELEASE NOTICES

None that have been thrown in my direction this week. If you are an LWI author, let me know. And if you are an Indie author and want to be mentioned here or have a post created for your book release here on LWI and have it tweeted to all our followers, email me at ronovanwrites (at) gmail (dot) com. Yeah, I’m cool like dat. Word. (People say I don’t know how to use Word right. I don’t know but I gonna keep doing it.)

RONOVAN’S WHATEVER

You lucked out people. No whatevers from me this week.

 

What can you expect next from the LWI Team?

We have Olga with a Book Review. I have a Book Deal announcement from LWI author Sourabh Mukherjee. (His Loves Lost goes FREE starting Monday. Don’t let him know I told you early.) I have an interview with Alesha L. Escobar. But you might know that already. I have an interview with author Norma Budden. She wrote If Only that I reviewed here on LWI. You can click here in preparation of that. She also was the editor for author Michael Phelps’ books David Janssen: Our Conversations. I interviewed Mike and reviewed book 1 of that two book set. I haven’t been able to get to the other one yet. Too many promises made on the schedule, but I’m working on it. I’m sure there will be something from Colleen, I believe a timely Book Review. Jo will more than likely have something Thursday, unless she would like the day off. That’s a hint Jo! You work too hard as it is. And maybe something else from me on the Whatever side of things.

So Follow us, Bookmark Us, do whatever you need to do in order to come back every day for something new.

lit world interviews

 

Lit World Interview Week In Review Feb. 9-14.

lit world interview with ronovan writes

Here are the articles for the week, if you missed one, go and check it out today.

Author Interview with Ronovan Writes

The Godling Chronicles Q&A with Brian D. Anderson.

This guy knows what he is doing. One series out. Another just waiting for the word print, and a sequel to the first series being outlined. This man has you set for years to come.

Silver Lightning Q&A with @AuthorWDarling

Do you believe in magic, or whatever it is? Author and Audio Book Voice specialist Wendy Anne Darling talks about her work.

FEATURES

Protection Jo Robinson

Write for a year, 5, 10, and then the computer virus hits, the lightning strikes. What do you do then? Cry. Yeah. Cry. Well do something before it happens.

The Author’s Role in Representation  by Guest Author Natacha Guyot @NatachaGuyot

A highly intelligent look at the world of writing and what our part in it as authors is when it comes to representation of characters of gender and diversity. All from one of my favorite people and favorite interviews.

BOOK REVIEWS

Ales Haley’s Roots. An Author’s Odyssey by Adam Henig  Olga Núñez Miret

Olga reviews this account of Haley’s life after Root’s aired on TV. As an author and research fiend herself she was looking forward to this one. See what she thought of it.

“OUTSOURCED” by Eric J. Gates @ETHRILLERWRITER Colleen Chesebro

It sounds like an interesting book with some unique twists. Read to see what she thinks though.

 Grá mo Chroí Love Stories from Irish Myth Ali Isaac @aliisaac_ & Jane Dougherty @MJDougherty33 Ronovan

Irish or Scottish? What am I? Who knows? But these short stories tell a tale. Check out the review to see exactly what I thought.

Review of Letters of Note by Shaun Usher @LettersOfNote Florence Thum

This is an anthology of letters from the 17th century to present day written by a myriad of personalities including the likes of Zelda Fitzgerald, Albert Einstein, Mick Jagger and Roald Dahl. Florence is a professor of Law, Attorney, Therapist, and writer. See what her take on this one is.

If Only by @NormaBudden Ronovan

A very personal and somewhat emotional review of a book that hit me in so many ways that I wanted to hide for days and did.

 

BOOK RELEASE NOTICES

ROMANCE SHORTS by Sourabh Mukherjee

LWI author Sourabh releases a book of romance for the month of Love.

A Galaxy of Possibilities: Representation and Storytelling in Star Wars @NatachaGuyot

Love Star Wars? Love highly intelligent and in depth looks into that universe? Natacha has the book for you that was a long time in the making.

RONOVAN’S WHATEVER

#Authors #Marketing Yourself and Your Work Part ONE This was a reblog from our furry friend Chris Graham the Story Reading Ape Blog. I got lazy this week with Two Interviews and Two Book Reviews and Two Book Release Notices.

 

What can you expect next from the LWI Team?

Should be an interesting week. Monday I have an interview with one of our author friends Viv Drewa. Olga usually has something for us on Mondays, although I never hold anyone to anything because life does happen. She’s been beyond a rock though. You guys have no idea how dedicated this lady has been. Florence has something timely and special coming up, hopefully by Tuesday at the latest. I do believe I see a Book Review in there from our man Hugh Roberts! You know you’ve all missed his entertaining reviews. Jo will no doubt have something on Thursday. And I will have at least one Book Review this week. And I’ll be reblogging a guest post I did on another site I hope you will all enjoy. It’s getting busy around here. And to think, I’m only supposed to do anything thinky no more than 30 minutes at a time then rest for a few hours. But there are books! And Authors! And stuff! Oh My!

So Follow us, Bookmark Us, do whatever you need to do in order to come back every day for something new.

lit world interviews