Blog Archives

Through Me to You: A Life Through Poetry, Stories and Songs

Through Me to You: A Life Through Poetry, Stories and Songs by [Wick, Eve]

Through Me to You: A Life Through Poetry, Stories and Songs by Eve Wick is a collection of writings that span the author’s life from age thirteen to the present. A verse of Bible scripture accompanies each poem, story, and song, and the author uses these Bible passages to show that no matter what a person is going through, they can find an answer in God’s word. The purpose of this book is to inspire and encourage others who may be going though a difficult time in their lives, and it focuses on a wide range of emotions, from despair to hope, friendship, and love.

I enjoyed reading the poems, short stories, and songs in this book. I liked the connection between the Bible verses and the author’s own writing, which illustrated that even though the Bible was written thousands of years ago, God’s teachings still have meaning and power in the present, and people can find peace in the written word of God. I especially enjoyed reading the author’s short stories throughout the book, which were a bit longer in length than the poems.

Some of the scriptures seemed much more fitting to the author’s writing than others. When there was not as strong a link between the two, a different scripture could have been chosen instead. And if no more appropriate verse could be found, then I would have preferred not to have a scripture accompany that piece, since it seemed to take away some of the impact from the poems and stories that were much more closely linked to the accompanying scripture.

The verses that accompany the song lyrics seemed particularly fitting, which led me to believe that some of the songs are likely based on those specific Bible passages, giving them the strongest connection between the author’s writing and the words of the Bible.

This is an exceptional piece of work that I heartily enjoyed reading.

Pages: 118 | ASIN: B0794HFFVX

Buy Now From Amazon.com

Two Years of Wonder

Two Years of Wonder: A Memoir by [Neill, Ted]

Upon reading through the first page of Two Years of Wonder, it becomes immediately apparent that the story is one of trials and tribulation. The author, Ted Neill, begins his story conveying feelings of helplessness and despair and then backtracks, taking the reader through all the various difficult experiences that led him to the point of nearly killing himself. It is a long and complex collection of stories, each showing a different part of Neill’s experience as well as why the work he was doing was so important.

Neill starts his journey as a young man from a good university having a desire to do something more. Then, after getting some public aid experience under his belt, he ends up in The Rainbow Children’s Home in Kenya working with children suffering from the HIV/AIDS virus. The “long and complex collection of stories” are each focused on another child in their particular battle with the virus.

Neil spent approximately two years in Kenya working with the children from The Rainbow Children’s Home, and we observe through his methodical storytelling how he is changed through his shared experiences with these children. The result is a feeling of hopelessness and about clinical depression for the author. In part, Neil’s battle for mental health juxtaposed with the challenges facing the children he worked with is what makes this story so unforgettable. You cannot help but empathize with each and every character in the chapters of this book, including the storyteller himself.

Readers expecting a simple, straightforward approach to the narrative behind the story might be in for a little bit of a surprise. While the author does take an autobiographical approach to relaying is story at times, much of what we learn comes from the individual stories being told in parallel. Each piece of the story informs the greater message, and the more we understand about that greater message the more meaningful the smaller stories become. The writing feels genuine and heartfelt, making it easy to get pulled into Neill’s world.

This book easily deserves five out of five stars for its brutal honesty, impeccable storytelling, heart wrenching journey into the lives of so many sufferers, and for the author’s ability to make readers understand what the children in The Rainbow Children’s Home lived through between 2002 and 2004, in Kenya. It is no easy task to relay the extremes of the human experience while also showing the delicate nature of human interaction. Ted Neill’s work on “Two Years of Wonder” is certainly inspiring.

Pages: 282 | ASIN: B07JJQKZGF

Buy Now From Amazon.com

Consequences and Repercussions

Nirmal Ranganathan Author Interview

Nirmal Ranganathan Author Interview

The Astral Surge follows two siblings as they are exposed to two different forces of nature. What was the inspiration for the idea behind this novel?

The inspiration comes from a deep reflection on life in general. Consequences and repercussions, both positive and negative, happen for all of our actions in life, maybe not as cinematically as how they unfold in the novel. But, I feel that’s one of the most exciting components of story-telling. As long as we keep our characters as real and as human as possible, we can confidently throttle up their life situations to even some surrealistic levels. Readers would still connect to the bizarre events because they’re already ‘connected’ to the characters at a subliminal psychological realm that mirrors their own.

Catherine and Ron are intriguing and well-developed characters. What were some themes you wanted to explore with their characters?

The driving factor was the adage ‘You’re free to make your choices. But, you aren’t free from the consequences of your choices.’ Choices could be positive or negative. So, the logical drop-down to this main thought is one of the siblings – Catherine – making all positive life-choices and the other – Ron – choosing to go with the wrong decisions. The intricately weaved after-effects of their respective choices add flesh and blood to the entire story.

In this book, you explore how positive and dark energy can affect someone’s life. What were some ideas that were important for you to focus on in this book?

The idea springs from the premise that all of us are infinitesimal extensions of the Cosmic Energy… just like how every life-organism of the Earth is. But, by virtue of being endowed with the sixth sense, we humans can consciously connect to this Energy and, in turn, let it intervene and make corrections where required. It is this premise that opened the door for a ‘paranormal fiction’. Logically tying the life events of Ron Osborne, Catherine Osborne, and Peter Fox, the story culminates in Andrea Osborne (Catherine’s and Ron’s mom) becoming active after her death to stop Ron on his diabolic mission and facilitate the needed catharsis.

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

I am yet to start working on the next story but yes… the plot that’s hovering over my mind seems quite a potential that could constructively engage my readers. I’m waiting to be led. Thank you.

Author Links: Facebook | Website

The Astral Surge by [Nirmal Ranganathan]Two siblings, Catherine Osborne and Ron Osborne, are actively exposed to nature. One to its positive energy and the other to its dark side. Both of them are rewarded for their dispositions in an ethereally terrifying sequence of events that culminates into an astral intervention and ultimate catharsis.

Buy Now From B&N.com

What If

Val Wilson Author Interview

Val Wilson Author Interview

Miss Morris Must Die is a murder mystery novel taking place in 1950’s England. What was the inspiration for the setup to this intriguing novel?

My inspiration for writing the book was my love of anything Agatha Christie and realised one day that as far as I’m aware, no one has ever been murdered on a murder mystery weekend when this has been a book plot. The women, with the exception of Becca, were designed to be selfish and thoughtless to contrast with Becca’s own kind nature.

The clues, like any good mystery, play a central part. How did you go about creating an intricate mystery like this?

This book has taken me a few years to write and develop. It has been an organic process and I started off with one idea of ‘What if’ and went from there. I tend to write all my books this way with a basic plot idea, then I watch them develop!

Will you be publishing this book? If so, when and where will it be available?

I have submitted this book to a publisher – it’s the first in a three-book series where Becca and Peter are the main characters.

Visit Val Wilson’s Facebook Page

 

Their Parents Choices

Amy Voltaire Author Interview

Amy Voltaire Author Interview

My Name is Erin, and My Mom’s an Addict is a fictional story of a young girls struggle to accept her mother back into her life after drugs destroyed their bond. What was the inspiration for the setup to this emotional novel?

I am very close to someone who is helping raise her grandchildren because of their parents’ addictions. When I decided to start writing a book, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to write about. One day, after spending some time with the kids I mentioned, I thought about how tough this must be for them, and I realized that a lot of people are raising children who aren’t theirs because the kids’ parents are addicts. I looked online to see if there were any books out there for kids who are going through similar situations, but I couldn’t find any; so I decided I’d write a book for them. I wanted the book to: entertain them, hold their interest, and let them know that they’re not alone. I wanted them to understand that their parents’ choices do not define them.

Erin is an interesting character and I enjoyed watching her develop throughout the book. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?

For years, Erin has lived with hurt, which eventually turns to hurt and anger. She yearns for her mother’s love, but at the same time, she’s angry at her mom for leaving her and is terrified that if she opens her heart to her mother, her heart will end up broken again. As she becomes close to both Grace and George she learns that Gram & Pap aren’t the only people she can trust. Erin also begins to understand that her mother’s addiction has absolutely nothing to do with her. Often, loved ones of addicts feel like they can fix an addict, but the reality is that nobody but the addict has any control over his or her choices. Erin learns in her dealings with Jimmy that she is not the only person who may have something going on at home… something that is embarrassing and that a kid wouldn’t want their peers to know about. She begins to see her own flaws, not only because they’re pointed out to her, but also because she sees a bit of herself in Jimmy. She doesn’t want to continue the angry outbursts and drive away the people who genuinely care about her.

This story deals with drug addiction and how it affects families. What is a common misconception you find people have about addiction?

A lot of people assume that addicts are bad people and that they are worthless. Yes, addicts do bad things, but so do people who have never even tried drugs or alcohol. I’ve known several recovering addicts and all of them are kind, intelligent, funny and talented.

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

I plan on starting the next book in late June of 2019. In all of the feedback I’ve received, readers have told me that they want me to continue on with Erin’s story—I like Erin, so I’m happy to comply. Hopefully, it will be done and ready to go by this time next year.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

My Name is Erin, and My Mom's an Addict by [Voltaire, Amy]

Raised by her grandparents when her mother chooses drugs over her daughter, Erin knows she isn’t like other kids. Then her world is shaken a second time by her mother’s reappearance.

Being a teenager is never easy, but just when Erin thinks she has her life on track, her mother shows up and warms her way back into Erin’s life. Can an addict really ever kick the addiction? How many lives will be affected?

Buy Now From B&N.com

Heart of a Warrior Angel: From Darkness to Light

1

Articulate and full of spiritualism, Heart of a Warrior Angel by Lali A. Love is a journey not only in the world but within oneself. Our protagonist, Lilac, reflects on her life’s path as she reaches her twilight years. She recalls her journey through life as she crosses literal and metaphorical oceans to become the person she is in the moment. We learn her life story, her heartache, and her triumphs. We celebrate and grieve with her as this book lays bare the raw emotions that entangle themselves with the journey of life.

Heart of a Warrior Angel drips with dramatic tension, and excellent descriptions of the living situation Lilac regales us with is moving and heart rendering. It is a metaphysical thriller, with a touch of supernatural fantasy, following one woman’s journey through the hell on earth she was forced to live as she comes to terms with her ascension onto a spiritual plane deserving of her essence.

Buy Now From Amazon.com

My Name Is Bacci Bogie: Frequent Flyer Extraordinaire

My Name Is Bacci Bogie: Frequent Flyer Extraordinaire by [Glosser, Sandra]

My Name is Bacci Bogie, by Sandra Glosser, is a story of travel, of life’s ups and downs, and above all, of love and acceptance. However, unlike many other stories, this one is told from the perspective of a small, but boisterous, Maltese dog.

Bacci tells us the story of his adoption by his doggie mom, Sandra, and their lives together as traveling companions. By accompanying Sandra on her travels as a motivational speaker, Bacci becomes an expert at flying in planes, staying in hotels, and making friends. He gets to live a doggie life full of adventure while bringing joy not only to Sandra’s life, but to many other people’s lives as well. Through Bacci’s own voice we learn about the real love and companionship that is shared between animals and humans.

I think Glosser’s choice to write this book from the perspective of her dog works really well to convey her story in an interesting way. Many pet owners can attest to wondering what their pet is thinking from time to time, and this attempt by the author to reveal her dog’s interpretation of events can appeal to pet lovers everywhere. Even those who are not doggie parents will enjoy hearing about the world from a fresh perspective. By imagining what Bacci is thinking, Glosser reveals her story to us a lighthearted way that is fun to listen to.

While the overall approach to the book is compelling, I think the structure of the story itself could use some fine tuning. Frequently, one anecdote seems to lead into another without much transition, making it hard to follow where one idea ends and another begins. The text is not always divided into chapters in an effective manner, leading me to feel at times like I may have missed something in the plot. In addition, while the stories that Bacci tells are endearing I felt that they were underdeveloped. I think the book would benefit from elaboration on these stories to develop their significance a bit more. Without this, the book at times feels like it is a string of thoughts rather than a fleshed out story.

With that being said, the book is a fairly enjoyable read overall. The author’s message in the preface and epilogue turn what may just be another story into something with a more personal meaning as they reveal the author’s real feelings and motivation for sharing her story with her audience. Grosser’s heartfelt story pays tribute to the life of her beloved pet in a way that is touching to hear.

Pages: 51 | ASIN: B07R9Z76LC

Buy Now From Amazon.com

Paving Your Path: A Guide for High School Students

Dr. Nugent Speaks Logo

It is no use taking a step without first deciding where you would like that step to lead you. The final years of high school are very important as one is required to firm their plans for the future. Often, this is a make or break time in life.

The first thing Dr. Kim Nugent advises is to get a mentor. Someone who will walk with you on this journey. Not one who will simply tell you what to do and how to do it. This is a personal journey that you cannot afford to give up autonomy on. You cannot afford to be altruistic in your decision making either. Paving your Path provides a 30-week guide during which the mentor and mentee are taken step by step through the process of an appropriate and meaningful relationship.

It is quite lovely of the author to use her personal story as the backdrop for this book. It humanizes it as well as provides a secondary mentor for the reader. Her story is candid and filled with victories and losses in equal measure. This demonstrates that determination and drive to succeed really do matter for a person’s journey. Dr. Nugent’s journey was not conventional or traditional but she turned out well. That is one of the greatest qualities of this book, it is incredibly encouraging.

Two other things stand out of this book for me: First, the tone of writing gives off a sort of cool vibe. The author just makes you want to pay attention and abide. She inspires and coaches the reader with just the conversational tone of writing alone. The second thing that stands out is the chronological plotting of material. The structure is intentional and contributes to how well the material is consumed. Dr. Kim Nugent’s passion and sheer determination to inspire lead her to producing material of great value both personally and academically.

This book is suitable for high school students that are approaching a turning point in their lives. This book is also quite applicable to anyone who might be facing a fork in their life. It could be a between going back to school or more responsibility at work. The maxims in this book are universally applicable.

Are you passionate enough for the path you are choosing? Are you personally ready to take that path? How is the mentor-mentee relationship working out? These are important questions that will be answered within the book. Paving your Path should be a staple for graduating high school students.

Pages: 190

DrNugentSpeaks.com

 

Imprint Legacy

Imprint Legacy by [Keys, Dorian]

Imprint Legacy by Dorian Keys is a science fiction short story. Detective Robert Miers and his partner Steven Enry are part of New City’s Interstate Operations Unit, working with the FBI to solve unusual cases. While investigating a missing persons case, a tip leads Robert and Steven to a house in Ohio. But nothing there is as they expected. Ten days later, Robert is missing chunks of his memories and his actions are under investigation by the New City Police Department because Steven disappeared that night. Will Robert be able to find his missing partner? And even if he does, will anything ever be the same for him again once he learns that reality is far different from what he’s always believed?

This book has an intriguing premise with a unique world parallel to reality, and I enjoyed reading this story. The ten day time jump between Chapter One and Chapter Two left me a bit confused, but I knew exactly how Robert was feeling because he had no idea what was going on either. The entire story was told from his point of view, so I only knew what he knew, which allowed me to feel his emotions as he tried to figure out what had happened to him during the gap in his memories.

I liked the addition of ‘aliens’ who were actually humans. There were many elements of this world that were unique from other science fiction stories I’ve read. A lot happens in the story given the short length, and I would have liked the book to be a bit longer because I wanted to know more. Some things could have been explained or described in more detail, like the technology used by the Caretakers and the imprinting of Caretakers. And I felt that the story ended a bit abruptly. I wanted to see Robert reunite with his family, and I was left to wonder if he would accept his fate as a Caretaker or continue to try to fight against it.

But all this is to say that this was a fantastic story that I wanted more of. This really could have been a longer novel because Dorian Keys has done a fantastic job of setting compelling characters along a provocative plot against an intriguing background.

Pages: 76 | ASIN: B07NSNMSGF

Buy Now From Amazon.com

Environmental Trap

Al Wynn is determined to provide a good life for his family. However, he finds himself in situations that threaten that resolve. He’s only human and makes bad decisions like everyone else, but Al has qualities that help him every time. He’s determined, nothing can keep him down and he endeavors to be a better person. But can Al survive the numerous beat downs life has handed him? Will Nella come back home? What will become of his contracting gig?

Al Wynn tells a tale of a young man who overcomes all sorts of odds. The story flows seamlessly and takes the reader through every wave. The writer pulls the reader in with simple language and a relatable story of a young-mans life as a minority. This book provides an accurate account of what it is to be black in America. However, there is always an underlying tone of hope through redemption. That one does not have to follow down the wrong path. The trick is to get up stronger and wiser every time life beats you down.

Sometimes, you have to take what you want. What I’m saying young man is sometimes you have to make things happen, that you want to happen in life.

This is a piece of advice given to Al when he gets out of jail and sums up Al’s life from that point on. He makes it through life by using his head and simply taking whatever job he wants. His family is cared for because Al has kept these words with him throughout. This is great advice and is applicable in so many areas of life. It is also one of the many things the reader will learn from this book. The writer is over 70 years old and his wisdom shines through. It is not just the story of Al, it is a bundle of simple maxims to live by.

The book, while well written and structured well, could use some trimming. I thought that there was some unnecessary dialogue which was confusing. However, it is an enjoyable and enlightening read. The grammar and syntax are excellent and tone is just right for this book.

An environmental trap is the perception that a future can be determined by the surroundings in which one resides. This book is a sort of guide to getting out of that trap. The Environmental Trap is a tale of the trials of human life. Most of the things that happen to Al can happen to anyone. The lessons in the book can be applicable to anyone regardless of race.

Pages: 536 | ISBN-10: 1466938595

Buy Now From B&N.com

%d bloggers like this: