Burnt Face is an outstanding contribution to the world delivering truth, reality and, emotion. Right from the beginning, I was left feeling an array of emotions which demonstrate the author’s ability to create an emotional story that brought tears to my eyes. Burnt Face: Scarred For Life is a true story about the author (Annette Swann) and how her life was changed in a heartbeat. This incredibly moving, thought-provoking, and true-life story really does get the reader feeling a range of emotions, making this one of the best reads for me.
The story is written in first person narration which means we are instantly drawn into Annette’s thoughts, experiences and way of life. This harrowing story highlights how one person’s life can dramatically change. Annette’s childhood was unlike any other. Having to face typical childhood problems and bullies, but she also had to face a world where people would stare and make comments about her looks.
Annette’s face suffered third degree burns at the innocent age of 9. That being said, Annette shows in her writing that she can demonstrate more courage, passion and life-experience than many of us put together. At times, I felt it difficult to read. Not because of the writing, but because of how emotional the whole story is. I think Annette Swann has done a remarkable job with regards to sharing her life experiences, and pure admiration is felt throughout the novel.
The story allows the reader to see what life for Annette was like before and after the tragic third degree burns. This helps to really get the reader feeling all-sorts of emotions, including how life can be unexpected, and unimaginable events can happen to the best of us.
One of the great things that Swann articulates in her writing is the importance of real-life issues and experiences. The author reinforces her personal experiences, which really makes this book different from others. I can honestly say that I felt privileged to read such a heartfelt novel that really does make you question all of the important things in life. The novel is great for anyone who loves biographical stories.
Although Annette Swann may not be the strongest and most articulate writer, what she does really focuses on is personal experience, in order to engage with her readers, and I think she does this exceptionally well. This is by far one of the best biographical novels I have read in a long time. The author’s optimism and spirit shines throughout her writing.
After reading this book, I left feeling a sense of admiration for Annette Swann. Despite all of what she has been through, she has been able to turn a tragic event into something positive. This is an emotional and harrowing story that is drawn from personal experiences. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is a lover of personal experiences, personal journey’s, biographies, and real eye-opening true stories.
Pages: 173 | ASIN: B077Z7WDGP
Tags: alibris, annette swann, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, biography, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, Burnt Face, childhood, children, ebook, family, goodreads, ilovebooks, indiebooks, innocent, kindle, kobo, life, literature, memoir, nook, novel, personal experience, publishing, read, reader, reading, Scarred for Life, shelfari, smashwords, story, true story, writer, writer community, writing
Walking Over Eggshells: Surviving Mental Abuse by Lucinda Clarke is an autobiography where she has changed all the names to protect the innocent and guilty. The novel is about Lucinda’s life and how she survived growing up and living with mental abuse. Lucinda’s mom had narcissistic personality disorder, and this impacted her entire life. She uses this novel to show that despite growing up with this abuse she still lived a life full of adventure, had a family and eventually had a successful career. You will laugh at some of the stories, cry at others, and be outright shocked by many and wonder how this girl survived to write this. Through it all Lucinda was able to grow and keep up with the times, she was born in the 1950’s and has had to adapt with a drastically changing society while continuing to endure the mental abuse of her mother at every turn even into her adult years.
The beginning chapters of the book tell of how Lucinda’s parents met and the eventual death of her father when she was only two. From there we are introduced to the never-ending criticism, punishments, and agony that Lucinda as a child endured. It is heartbreaking reading her words begging for a cuddle or a word of love and compassion from the women that called herself her mother. As a teen, the typical back and forth arguments continued, the younger generation is ungrateful, they need to do their part, so selfish, these are common themes even today we hear about the millennials. With Lucinda though, it is deeper, her mother really did expect her to do everything for her, and even when she did it was never good enough. The emotional struggle and need for love and acceptance is one that many readers can relate to, those that live with constant mental abuse will relate to Lucinda and see how she coped with the abuse while understanding why she continues to have a relationship with her mother.
Once Lucinda meets and marries Jeremy her life adventures take off. They never stay in one place long, always moving from one job to the next, involving everything from traveling encyclopedia sales to sketchy engineering jobs in South Africa. In a way Lucinda traded one form of abuse for another, she loves Jeremy but he takes advantage of her and plays on her need to be loved. This is the part of the story where you read and think ‘is this real?’ how can one person put up with so much? That, I think, is the real story behind this book. You can survive though mental abuse even when that abuse spans the majority of your life.
Throughout the book, Lucinda finds a way to make the best of her situation. She is willing to work be it animal breeding, filling, cleaning hotel rooms or writing. She never gave up no matter where she lived or what was going on with her and Jeremy, or her children, or her mother, she pushed forward and didn’t just survive the abuse, she made something of her life that she is proud of and even enjoyed at times. It is emotional, and at times hard to read; but Lucinda will make you believe anything is possible to overcome with the right mindset.
Pages: 239 | ASIN: B00E8HSNDW
Tags: adult fiction, adventure, amazon, amazon books, amazon ebook, author, biography, book, book review, books, career, child, child abuse, compassion, criticsm, disorder, domestic violence, dysfunctional, ebook, ebooks, emotional, goodreads, guilty, innocent, kindle, kindle book, kindle ebook, kobo, life, literature, love, lucinda e clarke, memoir, mental abuse, mental disorder, mom, mother, narcissistic, non fiction, nook, novel, publishing, read, reader, reading, real life, review, reviews, romance, selfish, society, story, survive, Surviving Mental Abuse, urban fantasy, Walking Over Eggshells, women, womens fiction, write, writer, writing
The Prophet and The Witch by James W. George is a historical fiction book, continuing on from the first book, My Father’s Kingdom. The year is 1675, and four years have passed since readers joined popular characters such as Brewster and Linto in New England. The signs of war have been steadily brewing since, with so many individuals struggling to hold the peace. Inevitably, all efforts have proved futile, and the battle now begins between the English and the Indians. This is one of the most gruesome wars many will be privy to, but one which numerous people are determined to end, preventing further bloodshed and restoring peace to both sides.
The Prophet and The Witch is divided into three parts, covering the summer of 1675 to the summer of 1676. Within each section, the chapters are short and focused on some wonderfully developed individual characters as they contend with the implications of this war.
I was genuinely shocked at the obvious association between war and religion in this account. A huge proportion of the story focuses on the beliefs of the men fighting, highlighting how their personal religious understandings act as an explanation of why war is a necessity. The English see things, such as the turbulent weather, as the wrath of God’s displeasure, but then condemn what they see as mere pagan superstitions of the Indian tribes. However, if they were to reflect, they would soon see more similarities than differences in that both sides look for signs, albeit just of a different type!
As a reader, it is difficult to pick a side of this battle. The English Christians rely on the word of God, trusting they are doing his work in ridding a blasphemous tribe who butcher innocent civilians. Yet, to the Indians, the English and their own actions are similarly threatening! The reader never fully feels they can condemn either side, for each are doing what they see as their duty to survive. The question of religion therefore lingers throughout the book, quietly encouraging you to question whether man or God is responsible for this creation of war…
Israel Brewster and Linto are firm favourites throughout the story. Their portrayal is refreshing and their actions commendable, in an otherwise fraught and harrowing period. These two are both the savours of the story for me personally as they question man’s motives and speak out when they feel an injustice is occurring.
For those who haven’t read the first book, there is an extensive summary at the beginning of book two, instantly bringing readers up-to-date with the action so far. You never feel like you are at a disadvantage because of this.
The Prophet and The Witch is expertly written and instantly engaging from the first few pages. An exceptionally drawn historical fiction account. I was captivated by this very well-structured book, and would recommend as one of the more intellectual of reads.
Pages: 375 | ASIN: B0755QL6CR
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Rude Boy USA is a story about organized crime set in 1960’s New York City. What intrigues you about this time period?
I am a big fan of Mad Men. I was born in 1977 so the two decades before I was born, I always thought that there were a lot of things that were still innocent yet provocative. I loved the style and was fascinated by the history of New York City. I moved to New York fifteen years ago, and it has changed so much from the 1960’s and 1970’s. I think that even with the crime and issues the city had back then, New York City seemed to have a lot of soul, perhaps some of it lacks today because the city is so commercial now.
The characters in this story are diverse and complex. What was your favorite character to write for? Was there a scene you felt captured the character’s essence?
I loved writing Celia/Bunny’s character. She is a twenty-something that is in the prime of her life, but like many women in her age group sometimes she makes questionable decisions. Over the remainder of the series she gets to grow a lot, be strong, make some bold moves, stupid mistakes and yet still allowed to be vulnerable. I also loved writing John and Ben’s characters. John was something that was virtually unheard of back then and creating a character that is not perfect yet at the very end you want to cheer for was fulfilling. Ben’s character is complex. In Rude Boy USA (which is book 1 in the series) you see the beginnings of his unraveling. By the time you get to the end of book 3 (which is released in September), you will have a full understanding of why he is the way he is. What you think about him in book one may change by the time you finish the series, no matter what he does.
I felt that Rude Boy USA touched upon a couple of social and racial issues of the time. Was it important for you to deliver a moral to readers, or was it circumstantial to delivering an effective thriller novel?
When I started writing the series, I knew that it would hit a nerve with some readers. I wanted to stay accurate to the time period the story took place in. In the early 1970’s we had television programs like All in the Family and The Jeffersons who took on topics of race head on and without much filter. Some things said in the book, in today’s world, would never fly because many people are offended by something, anything that rubs them the wrong way. It was a time before political correctness took precedence in the social conversation. I wanted this book to challenge some things that we are socially conditioned to believe. One woman seems evil, but it is only because she feels like she is losing control of things. The other woman seems perfect (because the guy who likes her sees her that way) until you look at some of the decisions she has made. The beauty of these characters in the story is that by the time the series ends, you will root for some but love all of them even though they have flaws. Rival families and race differences are expected for the time period, but I wanted to discuss the elephant in the room type of subjects. There are infidelity, class, entitlement and hierarchy issues happening in the story and sometimes discussing these things make people uncomfortable. I thought that glossing over things and putting a 2016 light in the series would be a disservice to the integrity of the story. In the sequels, the social issues change along with the time.
This book is set in 1960’s New York, and I felt that you captured that period well. What research did you do to make sure you portrayed that time in history accurately?
I interviewed a few people and picked up a few books and magazines. Old videos were also helpful.
What is the next novel that you are working on and when will that be available?
The sequel to Rude Boy USA is called BunnyWine, and the final book is The Tide is High. In BunnyWine, the setting is in the 1980’s and the main subject is still the gangsters, but the settings and circumstances change. We leave the era where the Mobster rules NYC and go into the period where they are hunted. In the Tide is High (Due September) we visit the aftermath of the gangster era and morph into politics. Most gangsters/mob bosses do not retire from the life, they just end up changing focus, and that is what happens here. A lot of the spirit of the life remains but the occupation changes.
Say good-bye to the era of godfathers. The Chimera Group has put a new face on organized crime. Mob boss Bernie Banks and his associates—John, Ben, and Jerome—differ from your ordinary Sicilian and Irish mob families. Two white, two black, they style themselves after the Rude Boy culture made popular in Jamaica. Operating as a shell investment company supported by illegal activities, the Chimera Group hopes to become as powerful as other crime families and gain respect from the Cosa Nostra. Bernie, a war veteran of Jewish and Greek descent, begins his business in his apartment and grows it into a multimillion-dollar empire. He and his crew resemble a more sophisticated subculture of urban street gangsters with their Ray-Ban sunglasses, loafers, and debonair style. But they want fear and admiration. Their efforts draw the attention of the rival Ambrosino family, and they face internal strife when one of the associates begins dating a former Playboy Club waitress who wants in on the group. Will they make it to the top, or will they fall?
Posted in Interviews
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