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Real Women’s Stories 2018

Real Women's Stories 2018: A powerful, inspiring collection of short stories by and about real women. by [Beth Kallman Werner]

Real Women’s Stories 2018, edited by Beth Kallman Werner is a potent take on the journeys of twelve women. The chapters of the book vividly present to the readers the upheavals of a woman’s life, and the struggles that often go unnoticed by the world. 

This collection brings together women from different spheres of life, transcending ethnicity, and borders. Narrated in a simple tone, the honest stories take center stage, immersing the readers in an incredibly beautiful journey. This book is a light-read, but the essence of the experience of these women is nonetheless powerful, leaving a strong impact on the reader. 

Each of the stories is vastly different from one another, but somewhere, there is an invisible thread connecting them, predominated by the indomitable spirit of these amazing women. The writings exhibit a seamless flow of emotions, difficulties, losses, and triumphs, and make us understand this world a little better, from the perspective of real women. These are not stories of world-renowned stars, but in their personal lives, these women are the superheroes– dealing with battles and championing them too. 

These stories are curated not only for women but also for men. It allows a glimpse into the life of a average women and documents their life in powerful words. This book reveals certain aspects of these women’s lives that are hardly recognized in society. From stories of war, surviving abuse, to creating a successful business– you will find a beautiful amalgamation of anecdotes, reflected through these short and gripping pieces. 

The stories are crisp and unputdownable, which makes them all the more impactful. Since these women belong to completely different backgrounds, the settings in each of the stories are vastly different. 

Through these twelve short pieces, you can undertake a journey to celebrate their wins, while also learning about how they paved ways for themselves in the world. As real, living humans, living away from glitz and glory, the inspiring tales of these women are sure to move every reader. 

I would like to give this book a 5/5, owing to its sheer simplicity of narration, and capturing human emotions, difficulties, and victories with utmost subtlety. This book is a must-read for anyone who wishes to delve deep into the lives of women who live away from the limelight.

Pages: 146 | ASIN: B076Q3L3Q2

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Live In The Moment

Ryan Standley
Ryan Standley Author Interview

To the Top of Greenfield Street is a compelling coming of age story about a teen starting a new life in a small town in the 90’s. What was the inspiration for the setup to this fascinating story?

My story was unexpectedly inspired by a coming of age pop song, “Castle on the Hill” by Ed Sheeran. The lyrics resonated with me and I began writing about similarly misbehaved teens from my hometown, but I struggled to find a clear beginning/ending setup. Then lightning literally struck, a block away from my house, and a beautiful, gigantic church burned to the ground, the tragedy that’s described in the first paragraphs, as Eric’s home. While I watched the church burning I knew their insurance would never cover a rebuild and the parishioners would be uprooted like Eric.

Eric is an interesting and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?

Thanks! I knew Eric had to be innocent, and somewhat naive, so his traits could change over a short time and carve out his journey. In early drafts, Eric came off as arrogant. He needed the self-loathing, and the insecurity of being overweight, which were also traits that could be shed quickly at his age. Plus, from an actor’s vocab, I wanted Eric to “live in the moment” and let the conflicts be real-time discoveries

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

Classic themes like appreciating what you have, and hard work pays off were deeply anchored in the plot. I had fun exploring the circumstantial morality, loyalty, and whimsical hope of teenagers. I wanted to show how rumors spread and fade while the history of a town remains solid. Above all, honesty and trust were huge, so the events and dialog had to ring true.

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

Right now I’m working on another coming of age novel tentatively titled “Better Out West,” about a college dropout who finds love and inspiration, gets dragged back into the dark world of substance abuse, and has to claw himself free again. Sounds pretty rugged but there’s a lot of hope there too. Should be available next fall.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

After tragedy strikes, Eric Daniels, age 15, must start over in a small town, where rumors fly and trouble follows. Though shy at heart, Eric meets neighborhood kids, builds his reputation, and excels at his first job. Then as soon as he lands his first kiss, he is betrayed and attacked by a jealous friend. Like most teens, Eric wants happiness, love and independence. He finds everything he ever wanted on Greenfield Street, but how long can it last?

TO THE TOP OF GREENFIELD STREET is an honest unveiling of the teenage spirit, a sensational coming-of-age tryst, and an uplifting example of starting over. Standley writes with an irresistible blend of action, humor, disgust and nostalgia. Set in the sleepy town of Freeport, IL, in 1993, the novel speaks to the teenagers in the midst of their heartaches, and to the adults who will never forget theirs.

Beauty of the Fall

The Beauty of the Fall5 Stars

Fired. Workaholic technology executive, Dan Underlight is fired from his high-paying job at a Fortune 500 tech company by the woman he considered his best friend. Sixteen years of working together reduced to a severance package. He feels angry, betrayed, and heartbroken, but mostly he feels lost. Lost because being unemployed gives him too much time to think about the tragedy of his ten-year-old son’s accidental death, and the guilt he still carries for spending too much time working and not enough time parenting.

Before he’s processed this toxic blend of emotions, Dan embarks on a new relationship with Willow, a victim’s advocate, a poet, a lost soul, and an abuse survivor. Their love is deeper than anything Dan has experienced before, but will it be enough when he accomplishes his dream of opening a new tech company, one that is in direct competition with the one he left? Will Dan allow himself to grow into a kinder, more compassionate human being at the same time as he grows his company into a conscientious innovator, or will the demons from his past collide with his present and destroy him?

From the very first paragraph, Rich Marcello drew me into his book with a command of the language that I liken to a poet’s. Passages like this one, “He put his head down, tried to rekindle the wildfire he helped birth years ago, tried to daydream down a riven path.” and this one, “Don’t look down, the pinpricks have spouted and are covering the new carpet in blood.” provided me with ample proof early on that Marcello was a real deal literary composer, a master of the language, and a wordsmith with soulful depths.

But beautiful language alone can’t make a reader keep reading. Original characters with powerful character arcs and a compelling story to keep all the characters growing is fundamental. No problem there, either. From Dan to his counselor to Willow to his son, stronger characterization is front and center. I know Dan—he reminds me of the author Richard Bach. I know Willow, too, this wild child, compassionate, changer of the world woman who is always strong, always courageous even when her heart is broken. These characters kept me reading.

Then we arrive at the story. Characters and language need movement, need story, setting, pace, tension. Marcello has these covered, too. Set in New England, the vivid colors of the seasons remain clear in my brain long after I finished the book. Authors who take the time to divide their books into parts and give them names always receive a grateful nod from me. I like to know the structure of a story before I begin reading, and I like rolling back to the Table of Contents to remind myself what’s next in this journey. The Beauty of the Fall’s Table of Contents is especially brilliant; titles like “So it Spins,” “Build from the Sky Down,” “Spectacles, and Halos and Code” promised each chapter would carry its own mini-story and all the mini-stories would merge to form a powerful narrative.

Themes of forgiveness, trust, simplicity, honor, technology as healer, and non-violence echo through the pages of The Beauty of the Fall and held me captive until the end. If I had to name a gripe, it would be that the last chapter was unnecessary. The story should have ended with “The Good-bye Return,” but I can understand why, for closure’s sake, Marcello included “In the Coming.”

The Beauty of the Fall will appeal to readers who love a compelling, well-written story with elements of literary fiction, technology fiction, and romantic fiction. Marcello doesn’t write the type of literary fiction that prizes language over story. He writes the type that uses beautifully soulful language to real unique characters living compelling bittersweet lives.

Pages: 283 | ASIN: B01MFCTYYW

Buy Now From Amazon.com

Review: Dandelion Project

Dandelion Project 3 Stars

The Dandelion Project follows an orphaned German immigrant named Josef that comes to the United States in the 1920’s. He’s orphaned at a young age when his mother unexpectedly and suddenly dies and he’s left wandering the streets of New York. Josef is sent to Kansas where he’s adopted by a childless farming family. He finds that he has a knack for science and desires to be a great inventor, but he struggles with fitting in at school so he drops out. He spends most of his time in libraries reading books on different subjects while the 1930’s and 40’s fly by. Josef soon finds himself in New Orleans where he’s confronted with a project that will give him the one thing that he’s always wanted; a chance to change the world. But will it be a change for the better or worse?

The Dandelion Project is a fantastic piece of literary fiction. The story development is slow, but meticulous and detailed. The story is about 90 percent narration, which in this case works well because it mirrors Josef’s reserved, but intelligent demeanor through the story. The majority of the book serves to develop Josef’s character while the crux of the story, the Dandelion Project, is delivered in the last few chapters. So, I think, the main point of the story is Josef himself and his life, rather than the project he undertakes late in the story. But still, Josef’s story is an interesting one that’s supported more by exceptional storytelling rather than grand fictional twists and turns. Because of this, the ending came as a surprise, it being a fairly large twist itself, and places the story firmly in the science fiction genre. This is odd because the first three quarters of the book could nearly be a non-fiction story. The emotional ending of the story left me with the same feeling of melancholy I had when I finished Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ or ‘I am Legend’. I don’t want to give too much away, but the ending, although sad, is satisfying. This is definitely going to be a story that sticks with me for some time.

Pages: 172

ISBN: 9781257687
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