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Transgression

Transgression: Hitler, Mirka, Mireille and Me by Ben Stoltzfus is an captivating autofiction written in first person narrative. In this fascinating story, the author presents his journey from the city of Sofia to America. The Nazi rule and the conditions of German-occupied places have been described in vivid detail by the author. The story is continuously moving from one place to another while the author explores the conundrum of youthful wishes and religious preaching’s.

This is a thought-provoking book that is very descriptive. The author has described everything around himself in detail. It is autofiction, which means it is a mixture of two different genres, i.e., autobiography and fiction. While reading this book, I also felt like I was reading a candid memoir. The protagonist of the book is the author himself. Readers have a limited point of view, and through this point of view we see the intriguing development of the author’s mind.

This book explores romance and youthful pleasures in Nazi Germany. Through subtle hints and indirect narration the author explains the political, economic, and social conditions of the world at that time. There was a constant battle between good and evil in the author’s mind and this gives readers an interesting peek into the author’s thinking. This book is much more than just an autobiography; it has a huge part of history infused in it. The author has done a brilliant job in relaying small details and facts in subtle ways throughout the book that make the story feel authentic.

This is an eloquent portrayal of the people living and leaving Germany during Nazi-occupation. The instances of hiding and bombings are excruciatingly realistic. The fear of survival yet the normalcy of buying food items from the market, studying, and thoughts of settling in the future shows readers the stark contrast of that time.

I recommend Transgression to readers looking for an intellectually invigorating yet emotionally-resonant historical fiction novel that provides a look at humanity during a monumentally difficult time in history.

Pages: 290 | ISBN: 163988517X

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Laddie Roy DFC

Laddie Roy is the story of a young boy from India named Indra or ‘Laddie’, as he is later known. After the family moves to England, the older boys, Indra and his older brother, must try to integrate into a British school where they are faced with discrimination. They both enlist in the army to try and prove themselves. The story moves between Indra’s life as a boy and his experience during the Great War.

This is an adventurous tale that is full of vivid historical imagery and intriguing metaphors. One of my favorite pieces of writing is ‘Father Frost was gently laying a quilt of snow on Indra.’ There is something so compelling about it, especially since it is a peaceful scene juxtaposed against the background of war. In addition to the beautiful writing there are many quotes that the reader will find heartening and inspirational such as, ‘Exhausted in the satisfaction that he gave his best and the outcome would not matter as much as the journey itself.’ This gave the book the same uplifting and thought-provoking feel as Paulo Coelho The Alchemist.

It is good to see a story about the Great War that is told from the unique perspective of an Indian soldier. The way the main character’s life flashes between past and present is written in a clever way that is easy for the reader to follow, and makes the story engaging. I enjoyed seeing what lead to the character being in the war, and flying a plane in the first place. I felt connected to the character by the end of the story.

Laddie Roy DFC by Samrat Mitra gives readers an interesting and unique perspective on life growing up from someone who has emigrated to Britain and wishes to prove themselves, not only to their family and their country of origin, but also to their new friends and their new country. The writing in this story is so moving. I would recommend this impassioned military adventure story to any reader who enjoys military or historical fiction.

Pages: 282 | ASIN: 1915330025

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Zipline

Zipline tells the riveting story of two couples and their friend who are determined to zipline down a mountain. Each of them have a bright future ahead of them, but will they survive what hides in the woods? The group’s trek up the mountain is riddled with intrigue. Strange sounds and curious marks on the trees leave them wondering, is something following them? Gail has heard scary stories about the mountain from her uncle. Could the stories be true? What secrets are the woods hiding? Zipline hooks the reader almost immediately. This is a suspenseful story with a compelling mix of tension and adventure.

I really enjoyed the characters in Zipline. There is complex but brave Gail, resourceful Danny, insecure-ish Paula, weed-head Sam and hard-to-pin-down Neal. Each character is unique and compelling and their issues with each other makes their relationships feel deep and meaningful, and makes for a gripping read when things go awry.

The trek through the woods is written in such a way that readers will feel practically compelled to continue reading. The characters reactions to situations in the woods are stunningly detailed and their emotions are conveyed in a way that allows readers to experience the emotional highs and lows right along with the characters. The majority of the story takes place in the woods, which provides a captivating setting for the story and imbues the book with a sense of intrigue and adventure throughout. The story has many suspenseful moments, but there are also light-hearted moments which is welcome because at times the issues faced in the woods can be grim.

P. Anthony Michael has created a suspenseful story with a unique adventure element that is interesting, but I felt that some scenes were a bit drawn out. I would have liked more of an emphasis or build up to the warning that Gail’s uncle gives them about the danger in the woods, but otherwise I think this is still and entertaining mystery story that fans of adventure novels will find engrossing. I recommend Zipline for its gripping storyline that leaves you wondering; what will happen next?

Pages: 87 | ASIN: B0B3C7ZZ7H

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Captive Attraction

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Captive Attraction by Patricia Crumpler centers around Aril-Ess, a princess and a geologist, who takes her role as a scientist seriously, and prefers to be treated as an equal, not royalty. Aboard an exploratory airship, Aril-Ess and the crew quickly learn that their biggest challenges are not what discoveries or scientific research lie ahead, but rather, they are targets of a trafficking operation, looking to enslave and auction off their captives at the highest price. When Aril-Ess finds herself in the midst of this horror, she must act quickly and learn how to fight to survive.

From the beginning, Crumpler introduces us to the lively personalities of the characters through vibrant dialogue. The reader plunges into the action immediately, which quickly develops as Aris-Ess and other captives adapt to their unpredictable surroundings. I found the writing style intriguing, with sharp visuals of planets, the glow of multiple moons, and the intense anxiety of characters and their unknown fate. As Aril-Ess gets familiar with her new role, enslaved to a wealthy owner, she must decide how to strategize her escape or adapt to a new, unexpected life.

I enjoyed the author’s brilliant character development, which is well portrayed almost exclusively through dialogue, which is thrilling, action-packed, and with lots of humor and enjoyable sarcasm. It’s an excellent story for science-fiction enthusiasts, interlaced with flashes of sexual encounters and unexpected romance. I found the story surprisingly witty and thrilling to read.

Captive Attraction by Patricia Crumpler is a creative sci-fi romance that is worth reading for anyone who’s a fan of the genre or looking for a refreshing story. I recommend this book for it’s exceptional writing, excellent narration, and exciting, lively characters. Captive Attraction is an entertaining read if you’re looking for a story with a few unique twists and superb plot development.

License to Loot – Book Trailer

License to Loot is a full of fire and fury look at America’s problems and how we begin to solve them. It unapologetically examines illegal immigration, opioid misuse, controversial vaccinations, and ethnic prejudice.

This book is about helping low-waged employed folks do their best to get off government handouts, and encouraging able-bodied job refusers to stop viewing Uncle Sam as their piggy banks, not caring or not aware of their nation’s debt crisis.

Acknowledge Fear And Indecision

JP Mac Author Interview

How to Run a Marathon in 13 Years details the variety of obstacles you faced while fighting to regain the ability to run a marathon again. Why was this an important book for you to write?

At first, I thought it would be a fun book about running. But as I went back over the years, I saw my life had been collapsing financially, physically, emotionally; pretty much in all areas.

Running became the scaffolding upon which I hung my reactions to the challenges that arose. Hopefully, readers will glean a few good lessons.

I appreciated how candid you were in your book. What was the hardest moment in your life to write about?

The deaths of family and friends. Recalling their passing triggered varied memories and emotions, often reminding me of times when I was petty or mean.

I can’t repair the past, only strive to be less self-centered in future.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who is struggling to find motivation?

Acknowledge fear and indecision, then think of one tiny action you might do right that moment that will guide you toward your goal. Small things, little deeds got me in motion.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from your story?

We never lose the choice of how to respond to the cruelty of time and the unfairness of life. And maybe a couple of laughs.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Website

“. . . a real, raw, beautiful journey . . . . “

— Coach Kate Martini Freeman, ultramarathoner, Ironman finisher, co-founder of Coyote Runners Training Group
Injured while training for a marathon, distance runner JP Mac learns his knee is wrecked. He’s finished for good. Or is he? Discovering a revolutionary new method of running, Mac attempts to reinvent his form. But over time, fate unleashes a series of cruel challenges.
Knee surgery is followed by shoulder surgery. Mac is diagnosed with cancer. A new form of cancer strikes next. Massive weight gain balloons him above 270 pounds. Mac plunges into a Marianas Trench of depression. He battles self-destructive urges. But the hope of running another marathon will not fade nor “go gentle into that good night.”
Part training log, part diary, this award-winning, non-fiction memoir relates Mac’s incredible journey from washed-up marathoner to reborn runner. If you’ve ever been injured in a sport, this astonishing story is for you. If you’ve ever watched a dream slip away, this breath-taking tale is for you. Learn the amazing power of perseverance and mental toughness. Buy this book and discover the wonders that await when you allow your reach to exceed your grasp.

Not a Solution For Crime

Joe Clark Author Interview

Demented follows a woman who’s trying to live a normal life after being assaulted, but finds that one of the attackers is her coworker which sets in motion a series of events that spiral out of control. What inspired the setup to this crime novel?

I felt a need to address what I see as misconceptions about the value of sending people to prison and a novel is the best way I know to do that. Demented allowed me to dramatize the difference between justice for the less wealthy (Troy) and the very wealthy (Adan and Beau). I was able to talk about the fact that simply sending people to prison is not a solution for crime. I was able to raise the issue of treatment of those who have completed their sentences and sincerely want a second chance to be good citizens.

What scene in the book was the most emotionally impactful for you to write?

There are many scenes that I consider powerful and it is hard to pick one that tops all the rest. But the scene where Cindy comes to Troy’s apartment to confront him. They struggle to work past their issues but don’t quite make it.

What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?

First was resolving Troy’s post prison life. Does he build a new future of does obsess over revenge? And why? Depicting Cindy as events unfold. She doesn’t come off as a sympathetic character. She is resilient, proud and strong. She stumbles and she doesn’t get everything right but she never stops fighting. I think she does as well as any of us would in her circumstances. Talking about prison and the justice system without being preachy. Bringing down Adan Jackson without resorting to cheap tricks.

Do you have plans to write more stories featuring Private Investigator Nickey Arnold?

I am excited about Nickey. I have a story in mind and I have done some research but it’s in line behind my current project – a Civil War Saga based on my Great Grandfather’s years in the Union army.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

It had been a gang rape. As bad as that was, it was not the turning point. Her life turned around when Cindy Smith put it behind her and started over. She got her degree and a good job. She married a great guy. Then she discovered that one of the rapists was a coworker.
When Adan Jackson begins harassing her, Cindy tries to protect her secret past by ignoring him. When he escalates, she turns to Private Investigator Nickey Arnold for help.
The PI quickly finds herself caught up in unfinished business from the past. When she confronts Adan, things spin out of control. Troy Mondale, who served time for the rape, is dragged back into the mess. Adan descends into madness. His increasingly violent behavior forces Police Sergeant Jack Edwards to step in and put an end to the nightmare.
Demented is a story of crime, punishment and getting away with it. The insanity of our legal system is exposed. The sanity of our society is brought into question by this unforgettable tale.

A Complex Multi-systemic Disorder

Christie Cox Author Interview

Holding It All Together When You’re Hypermobile explores the physical effects of hypermobile Ehlers Danlos syndrome, its emotional impacts, and provides readers with a prescription for healing. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I struggled for 17 years to find the correct diagnosis for unrecognizable chronic health conditions. I wrote the book so other patients wouldn’t have to do the same. To be able to find answers without dismissive providers discounting their physical and emotional pain was the driving force.

What is a common misconception you feel people have about EDS?

Most people have never heard of EDS unless you know someone impacted. It used to once be thought of as rare. But scientists at MUSC working on it now say it affects 1 in every 500 people so it’s not rare, but rarely diagnosed. Getting the right diagnosis for a complex multi-systemic disorder is challenging in our US healthcare system of siloed practioners. No one is looking at you hostistically. Medical schools aren’t teaching about connective tissue disorders or mention it in one paragraph of a lesson. Patients often have to crowdsource their care to connect the dots. In fact, some medical providers do not yet believe hypermobility is a real diagnosis and write patients off as it being in their head. The misconception is we are just double-jointed and flexible on the outside but what people don’t realize is all of the elasticity is going on in every level within our bodies affecting veins, muscles, joints, and organ systems simultaneously. That often is a very painful and debilitating process.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Self-advocacy and empowerment are vital to waging any war on disease. Yet slowing down to take care of yourself fully is also important. The two are not always aligned with each other. We often face cycles of boom and bust where we overdo it on a good day – only to need recovery time from any sort of exertion. EDS is an invisible illness. We might look normal and even seem capable on one day or week, then quietly fall apart. It is a difficult rollercoaster ride not on physically but emotionally. I wanted to offer inspiration and hope to others along with practical suggestions on exactly how to cope with those challenges.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I hope to write more on the autonomic nervous system within the human body and how we can utilize practical tools for calming down the chaos of chronic illness from within. “Dis-ease” is a state we should not get comfortable living in and is too commonly found today. I also hope to create more materials to support other patients better advocate for themselves withing the constraints of our existing medical system for better outcomes.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

How to Deal and Heal for those with Rare Chronic Illness like EDS
Tired of being told there’s no name or treatment for your illness? That it’s all in your head or that your pain can’t be real because you’re too young/old/pretty/bright/healthy/normal to have a chronic disorder? Have you been dismissed by doctors or disbelieved by loved ones? What if instead, there was someone who knew what you were going through and could teach you strategies for coping with chronic illness?
This is not a false hope. You can turn pain into possibility with this life-changing book that can help everyone with elusive hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) – from those newly diagnosed to those who have suffered in silence for decades. Wherever you are on your journey navigating the complexities of chronic illness, you’re not alone.
In Holding It All Together When You’re Hypermobile, Christie Cox explores not only the physical effects of hypermobile Ehlers Danlos syndrome (a connective tissue disorder) but its emotional impact as well. As a fellow patient and medical rarity, known to doctors as zebras, she’s experienced her body’s betrayal and suffered through the myriad complications stemming from this disease. But she’s also found a way out from the depths of this life-altering disorder with wisdom you can turn into hope.
As a self-advocacy guide, she offers practical, no-nonsense advice about living with chronic illness and the concrete steps you can take to achieve a new normal. In her book, you’ll discover…A healing prescription for the miracle of the modern mindset
A look at the latest scientific research on the edge of answers
Q&A interviews with expert doctors and advocacy groups
Guidance for how to help loved ones better understand hEDS
Christie’s own inspiring story of how she came to live her best life
Lessons, questions and quotes to inspire your search for answers
Holding It All Together When You’re Hypermobile gives you the tools and resources you need to get back to living the life you want. Reading it will not only boost your confidence but empower you to change your life for the better.

The book was a “joint effort” of patients, providers, and advocates coming together to help an underserved community. Participants who were interviewed and shared in the book include:

EDS Medical SpecialistsDr. Sunil Patel, Neurosurgeon, Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)
Dr. Chip Norris, The Norris Lab researching hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (hEDS), MUSC
Dr. Cortney Gensemer, Norris Lab (has hEDS)
Dr. Amanda Miller, Progress Physical Therapy (speciality in hypermobility)
Dr. Eric Singman, Professor of Ophthalmology, Neuro-ophthalmologist, University of Maryland Medical School and Former Chief of the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins
Industry Leading AdvocatesLauren Stiles, President and Co-Founder, Dysautonomia International
Lara Bloom, President, The Ehlers Danlos Society
Dorothy Poppe, President, Bobby Jones Chiari & Syringomyelia Foundation
Gwenn Herman, Clinical Director, US Pain Foundation
Trisha Torrey, Founder, The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates
Camille Schrier, Miss America 2020 (who has EDS)
Ben Glass, Long-term disability lawyer, Ben Glass Law
To learn more about Christie’s book, visit http://www.holdingitalltogether.com.
If you want to learn more about Christie’s advocacy work, visit http://www.journey2joyous.com
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