At the age of eight, Norma Stone Walker has to leave the cocoon of safety of her family, the close-knit community she has known, and embark on life’s journey.
Throughout her whirlwind journey of joy and sorrow, she watches, learns, and grows. She observed the desperation of some women to get married, and the lengths they will go to achieve it.
The importance of roots: Drink in the Jamaican culture.
The role of the “warner woman” and the law-and-order policeman.
This story evokes sadness and sparks joy and humor at the same time. It relays the message throughout: “It’s not where you are coming from in life, but where you are going that matters.”
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
Revelations: The Colburn Curse is a genre-crossing novel with elements of history, romance, and fantasy. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?
When I set out to write this story I didn’t have any particular genre in mind. I aim to keep my books short and fast moving because I am a lover of suspense and mystery. This was the technique I used to construct the Book of Matthew: House of Whispers. The only problem with a fast moving story was that it left my readers with a ton of personal questions about the characters. I received so many questions about the Colburn family that I wrote the Revelations prequel to satisfy the curiosity of readers.
Pete’s character went through some dramatic transformations throughout the novel. What was the writing process like for his character?
Pete, as you know, is Emperor Titus from Infinity: A Crown of Golden Leaves. As a lover of suspenseful stories, I have always found the villain to be the single most important element. The villain can make or break your book, so I put a great deal of time into this character. When I sat down to write the wicked Titus my goal was to create a villain who was hateable but relatable. He was a man cursed by the Goddess of Discord to lose his mind and torment the people he loves in every lifetime. Revelations: The Colburn Curse is another one of those tragic lifetimes. When I introduced this complicated character in Infinity: A Crown of Golden Leaves, I wasn’t sure how readers would react to him. To my total shock and amazement, Titus became a beloved fan favorite. For this reason, I brought him back for another lifetime as Pete in Revelations. He’s a character that breaks my heart and brings tears to my eyes, a symbol of the inner turmoil that many of us struggle to overcome.
The story takes places in pre-Civil War America. Why did you choose this time and place for your story?
I chose to write the pre-Civil War era rather than the Civil War itself because it’s easy to become distracted by the president, politics, and battles of the war while losing sight of the American citizens affected by it. I didn’t want to lose that vital human element. I desired a story that focused on the day to day lives of the people. Their thoughts, feelings, struggles, and triumphs are what make the characters relatable and memorable.
The writing in your story is very artful and creative. Was it a conscious effort to create a story in this fashion or is this style of writing reflective of your writing style in general?
One of the biggest things that influenced me to write was a story I heard many years ago. I was a child of seven when I sat on the ground, legs folded while being enthralled by an African storyteller. She was tapping a drum with her hands while verbally painting a picture. I don’t recall her name or even what she looked like. Half the time I can’t remember where I put my keys or what I had for breakfast, yet I remember every detail of the story she told thirty years ago. We live on through the people we touch and the stories we tell. If I am artful and creative it is because I followed her example.
Murder, betrayal, & scandal plague the Colburn family. A curse has shadowed them throughout time. This tale of intrigue follows the Colburns back to their beginning in New Orleans, Louisiana. Matt Colburn’s duty is to protect an aristocrat named Arial. From the moment they meet, she steals his breath away. They dance and it feels like a brush with destiny, but Arial has a dreadful secret that endangers the lives of everyone she holds dear, especially Matt. Will he be able to save her or will she become the next victim of the Louisiana Strangler…
As human beings we know what is right and what is wrong. We’ve read scripture and can discern what God requires from us. However, despite this knowledge sometimes we walk into temptations. As if we cannot control our selves. This is called the fallen nature. This book is about how to defeat that fallen nature and challenge oneself to be stronger against this nature no matter how deeply embedded. Only then can we know the true power of God. Only then can we, as human beings, discover true spirituality.
David Piper has provided enough scripture to back up the material in this book. This way the idea of the fallen nature is not just speculation. Providing scripture also provides some sort of direction for the person to begin taking stock. For a person to begin making that change in their own selves. Scripture is the guiding light in this endeavor.
The book has a firm tone, but there is also an understanding that at times one may feel like the fallen nature is more powerful than they are. To this, the author offers understanding and scripture to help one get through it. His writing is coloured with passion and dedication to his cause.
This book takes the reader through a step by step process that makes it an easy read. The reader is led towards understanding of the fallen nature first. Then they are led towards understanding of the new nature. Through these two steps, one cannot help but audit themselves. They cannot help but see their lives for what it is now and what it could be. David’s enthusiasm for discovering the new nature is almost infectious. Then he takes a detour to backsliding and God’s power to restore. These are two very important points to pass by before really embarking on the journey towards a new nature.
The book is filled with personal reflections and stories about David’s life. This makes the book come alive. It provides the reader with a companion with whom to take the journey and share troubles.
The book is informative, enlightening and evocative. This book would make a great read for someone who has been feeling frustrated in their ability to stay true in their spirituality. For anyone who finds themselves constantly backsliding. For anyone who simply wants to see if their life is headed in the right direction or if they have given their fallen nature too much power.
pages: 284 | ASIN: B07QDPKYM3
Eurydice Osterman discusses the evolution of worship and shines a light on the process of change and the reason for said change. He has a keen eye for important markers in the history of worship like the element of the Gregorian Chant, for example. The discussion about the growth of music annotation and conflicts over alternative worship is very enlightening. The author mentions the difference between religious music and sacred music, which most people would not guess exists. The book also talks about the rise of a religion without responsibility as one of the whys of change. Eurydice urges on the importance to distinguish between enthusiasm brought forth by the Holy Spirit and man made excitement in the context of worship.
The author has an obvious passion for the subject of worship as well as a deep desire to ensure it is done exactly as God requires. He has conducted extensive research into the subject as the book heavily references the Bible. This gives the book quite a bit of authority and gravity. The author also provides a resource at the back to help worship leaders and other church authorities pick the most appropriate songs.
I really appreciated the direct delivery of the material and found it’s ability to easily communicate ideas to be quite brilliant. The subject is relevant and well supported by scripture.
Pages: 95 | ASIN: B0794SVDRK
Schizophrenia is a mental illness that affects thoughts, emotions and even behavior. It’s severity is achieved gradually with symptoms that include hallucinations, altered reality and even disorganized thinking among others. Often when it is believed that the patient will be a danger to his or herself and others, they are institutionalized so the condition can be stabilized.
Max Happiness, written in first person narrative, is a series of thoughts as they run through the character’s mind. This character is schizophrenic and therefore presents many different ideas in quick succession. This presentation of thought provides insight into how people with this condition think and feel if they are misunderstood. As a person looking in from the outside, one would be compelled to quickly dispel any fantasies or notions that do not conform to reality. However, from this text it is clear that the approach used to do this matters quite a bit. The person in this book talks about how his ‘abilities’ albeit imagined have had him committed.
This book by Ali Ismail is enlightening, but not in an informational booklet kind of way. It is enlightening in that it gives the reader first hand experience of a schizophrenic’s train of thought. This is meant as an advocacy exercise for people with this condition. To raise awareness and shine a light on their plight. They really do believe the things they utter so there is need for some sensitivity when interacting with them. From the way the thoughts are structured, it is clear that this character is an otherwise sober individual.
The author has done well to introduce the character first before introducing the condition they suffer from. I think this gives the reader time to endear themselves to the character before they can start to sympathize. The author has also done a good job of making the prose so confusing and discombobulating that one feels like they are reading an anagram. The spontaneity of speech and thought is quite complicated. This provides a truly accurate picture of the patient’s thought process.
This book is a good effort towards advocacy for schizophrenia. However, it does require a bit of an edit. For example, use the right ‘there/their’ and so on. For such a short book, these little mistakes really do stand out.
Otherwise, this is worth taking the twenty minutes or so that you would need to read the contents. It is also worth the one minute it will take to recommend it to someone. It would be nice to expand it a little more to provide a more wholesome picture of the life of the character. This is just one day in the life.
Pages: 6 | ASIN: B07N2RHTW5
Stranded on Thin Ice follows Richie and Tanner as they set out to win the Ice Fishing Derby but instead end up fighting for their life. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?
I’ve always been an avid angler having spent many years on the ice and open water trying to hook the big one. One day I was heading out for an afternoon of ice fishing when I passed a dad leaving the ice with two young children in tow. I could feel the children’s excitement of having shared a morning on the ice with their dad. Their noses were running, and their cheeks were beet red as they eagerly scuffled next to dad swooshing their bulky snow boots across the ice. That afternoon I sat in my ice-fishing hut and started recording the condition of the ice and all the sensations that I had taken for granted for so many years. The story unfolded as easily as the canvas on my hut.
Richie and Tanner are interesting characters with a relationship that I found genuine What were some themes you wanted explore with their relationship?
I wanted to explore the child-like honesty that these two boys shared. They came from different backgrounds with different interests, strengths, and weaknesses, but found common ground in their friendship because of those differences.
Tanner feels overlooked by his father and Richie is accompanied by a hateful uncle. How do you feel the family dynamics affected the characters development as you were writing?
I felt that the emotion-driven dynamics in Stranded on Thin Ice, either real or perceived, are commonplace with many children and teens as they teeter between youthful overconfidence and adult situations.
What is the next book that you are writing and when will it be available?
I am currently working on an adult fiction action/adventure that I hope to have released early 2020 along with several picture books. A sequel to Stranded on Thin Ice is in the early stages of the revision process.
Twelve-year-old Tanner Phillips fishes the Oneida Lake Ice Fishing Derby every year with his dad. Last year, he ruined everything — losing the competition and losing some of his grandfather’s gear. This year, Tanner is determined to not only prove his skills on the ice, but also show his dad, once and for all, that he’s no longer a little kid.
But as soon as they get out on the ice, the competition turns disastrous.
When one of the competitors goes missing and another gets injured, Tanner’s father must leave Tanner and his new friend, Richie, alone on the ice. After their ice hut comes unhitched, Tanner and Richie find themselves blown across the frozen lake in a blinding snowstorm.
Alone. Without their cell phones. Trapped, on thin ice. Suddenly, it isn’t just about the winning the derby — it’s about life and death. In one perilous night, Tanner will have to prove not to his father, but to himself, that he has the courage and determination to survive.
SCOTLAND’S FORGOTTEN HEROINE…
Daughter of The Chief of Clan Farquharson, young Anne was the envy of her peers… until she made the mistake of marrying for love!
The man she married was Angus Mackintosh – 22nd Chief of Clan Mackintosh and one of the most powerful men in the Scottish Highlands. At first, Anne was blissfully happy. But the year was 1745 and Bonnie Prince Charlie was about to step off a boat on the west coast of Scotland and plunge the nation into war.
Angus Mackintosh was a serving officer with the British Army and joined the brutal ranks of troops hunting the young prince down. To her horror, Anne realised she would have to choose between her husband and her country.
She raised a regiment of 500 men and joined the prince. This young woman, with little experience of combat, led her men into battle against regiments of the British Army led by “Butcher” Cumberland. As her clansmen fought their way through the fog at Dornoch, “Colonel” Anne Mackintosh was suddenly reunited with her husband… but not in the way she wanted.
Everything Anne did, during her hectic life, was for love. She married for love and then she picked up the broadsword for love. This novel follows her adventures through the chaotic events of the last Jacobite Rebellion on a sometimes heroic, sometimes tragic, journey that led her clansmen into clouds of sulphurous gunsmoke at The Battle of Culloden with bullets coming thick as the rain falling from the dark skies.
Stolen Time is a thrilling time travel romance story following Caitlin and Scott who must survive the collapse of the world they knew. What was the inspiration for the setup to this intriguing novel?
Inspiration for this story’s setting came from the questions ‘What if the stock market crashes but doesn’t recover? What kind of world would we have then?’ I imagined a stock market fall similar to 2008, only worse, because in this one, the world economies never recover. Jobs, wealth, businesses, homes etc are lost. Weak governments mishandle situations and the general populace revolt. Opportunists loot and terrorize. Goods are in short supply, services, such as medical care, become hard-pressed, infrastructure collapses, law and order are harder to maintain, power sources and supplies are fractured, and the world spirals down into further violence and anarchy, poverty, and disease. That is a very brief summary of world events as I imagine they may unfold. To survive, people either go underground, as some governments eventually do, or start self-sufficient communities, or roam in packs.
What if someone who had lived through this chaos came back to live it again, but this time, to mentor someone while navigating them through it?
I loved following Caitlin and Scott’s relationship and watching it develop. What were some themes you felt were important to capture in their characters?
I wanted to share the journey of a young woman who had no idea of her potential and the important influence she would eventually have on society.
We all are capable of great things but are often oblivious to the possibilities.
Caitlin was used to a life of ease, only suffering the usual ‘first-world problems’. Suddenly her comforts and securities are taken from her. How does she adapt and what inner strengths are drawn out and developed as Scott mentors her?
With the time travel element and Scott coming from a Caitlin of the future, I enjoyed (and I hope the readers do too) trying to answer the question of ‘who mentored whom?’.
I wanted to explore what true love is; to show how much one person can love another. What they would risk to be with them, even if the risk was that they didn’t fall in love with them this time. Is it possible to love someone in a different phase of their lives and, indeed, are they the same person? And how much do we really love the people we say we do? What would we do to keep them safe, even if that meant we were not?
Stolen Time is a genre-crossing novel with elements of a science fiction and romance. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?
I didn’t start with a particular genre in mind. I knew the questions I asked regarding a sudden, worldwide economic decline would place the story in a dystopian world, but not one of post nuclear annihilation. I was sure it would have romantic elements as the story itself started with a dream where someone was coming to take my character to safety because of the impending disaster. That sparked the question of a love interest.
But then, as happens in some stories, the characters took over and I found it hard to keep up. So yes, it was organic in its genre-crossing but most of my stories are. At present I’m working on an interworld fantasy series where the characters go back and forth from our world (present day) to a world of warriors, high kings and mages (not our world nor our history). So, it isn’t just contemporary or only fantasy. I find it difficult to write stories confined to just one genre.
This is book two in the Community Chronicles. What can readers expect in book three in the series, Saving Time?
Saving Time is mostly set in this possible-future Scotland, eight months after the future section of the Stolen Time story. Caitlin and Scott Campbell’s son, Rory (who we met in Stolen Time), is now a leader of the Invercharing Community’s Militia. We see more of the community system lifestyle. Siobhan, who has grown up in the Scottish Government’s under-ground Bunker since the crash, is a nuclear physicist who heads a team to find a solution to the problem of a radiation leak coming from a submarine in a sea loch in the far north of Scotland, near to Rory’s community. These two survivor-groups have to co-operate to save Scotland. There’s a lot more action, time travel is involved and, of course, a romance between two gutsy heroes.
Restoring Time Community Chronicles Book 4 is on the way.
When the stock market crashes, banks close, homes are repossessed, and jobs are lost as the world descends into a dystopian chaos, young Scottish nurse, Caitlin Murray cannot escape the madness. Her future had been bright, but now survival is her number-one priority.
During the ensuing violence a military-type stranger, Scott Campbell, rescues her. Caitlin is perturbed because he knows so much about her… and her apparent destiny.
Can Caitlin trust Scott who seems to be the only safe option in the violent turmoil? Should she stay with him and believe his outlandish claims of time travel and her fate as a leader in a very different world?
But is Scott telling Caitlin the whole truth?
If only she knew the future.
Swordpoint is a thrilling action adventure novel set against the chaos of the French Revolution. Why did you choose this time and place for your novel?
French Revolution and Napoleonic era always held a special fascination for me since I was a young and impressionable teenager. The French revolutionary period is unique, because it came as a result of people seeking social justice through extreme means and was largely an act of desperation against the over privileged French aristocracy. It was a time of great changes and political turmoil, where ancient royal institution was shaken and then toppled by the will of the common man. It was a phenomenon that shaped the history of the modern Europe and provided the background for this novel.
I enjoyed Vidocq’s character progression and overall development. What were some ideas that were important for you to capture in his character?
Vidocq is the main protagonist in this story and there were several important ideas in presenting him to the readers as a man of intelligence and action. The first idea in shaping his character came from reading his biography, because unlike many fictional characters he really existed. A man in trouble with the law who learns the hard way what it means to be an honest man is a strong idea and it shows in Vidocq’s actions as he navigates though obstacles in his turbulent life on his way to freedom and good reputation. The second idea in shaping his character came from his own decision
in changing his life using his experience as a master criminal to catch other criminals. What can be more exciting than an outlaw trying to catch other outlaws?
You highlight some important historical moments in the French Revolution. What kind of research did you undertake for this novel to get things right?
To be perfectly honest, I initially considered this writing project as too ambitious for me. I have never written a historical fiction novel before, and the desire to make it happen overcame my feelings of fear and doubt. My research was very thorough and it had to be right, because in order to convey the true historical setting of the period, I had to find out everything I could about French Revolution, the early reign of Napoleon, mannerisms, customs, speech, weapons and provide correct dates and the descriptions for every real historical event. It was time consuming, at times exhausting, but ultimately very enjoyable experience.
What is the next novel that you are writing and when will it be available?
I am currently working on a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel which is in the first draft stage. It involves humanity in its relationship with an artificial intelligence after an apocalyptic event that alters human evolution on a planetary scale. The novel should be available in about a year’s time give or take a few months for the final polishing. I enjoy writing very much and hope to produce many interesting novels.
David Crane’s historical novel, Swordpoint, transports the reader to late 18th-century France, a country gripped with the chaos, blood, and terror of the French Revolution. The novel will entertain you with its realistic settings, interesting historical references, passionate love affairs, duels, battles, betrayals, and narrow escapes.
Eugene Francois Vidocq was a thief, an adventurer, and a duelist who searched for his place in life with wit, sword, and passionate love affairs. Hunted by the police agents of revolutionary France and later the agents of Napoleon, he is forced to make the most important decision in his life to survive and become a man of respect. To achieve that, he must transform himself into a new man, an outlaw hunting the outlaws in the name of justice. The road to salvation is hard, but for a man like Vidocq, failure is not an option.