Born out of his poet’s soul and a real talent for written communication, Articles of Faith is so much more than a well-constructed legacy for his deeply-loved family. It is excellent reading for all who are called into vocation only to discover that Church must never be confused with our God of love. Especially with Ted’s potent mix of HIV/AIDS activist, gay and divorcee. I was particularly touched and encouraged to learn that we share the battle to live the lessons we teach. Not least, Ted and his ex-wife Kaye’s story of mutual love, respect and dignity is a beacon for the many good Christian couples caught in the same web woven with the threads of human sexuality denied.
—The Reverend Loraine Tulleken, priest, journalist, author
Cape Town, South Africa
"Mathew Geyer's recent release, Atlantic View, displays his gifts for storytelling with a world view — while maintaining his West Coast sensibility. He deftly weaves a tale that spans decades — from World War II through the Obama years — with great visceral appeal. Sometimes you feel like you're sharing barstools with a soldier during the war, hoisting a pint in a country pub in Dorsett. Other times you're ensconced with the protagonist enjoying his morning coffee in Sausalito . . . Ultimately, this is a book about relationships that can be sticky at times, but ultimately satisfying — just like all of ours. I recommend Atlantic Viewif you're looking for a satisfying read that makes you think a little and reflect on your family's history — and how it becomes your history, too.” Richard Polsky, author of I Sold Andy Warhol (Too Soon)
Review by Crystal J Casavant Otto
Fantasy Thriller is the best way to describe Hugh Fritz’s Made to be Broken and the thrill lies in the fantasy to say the least! I’ve read plenty of books that are predictable and this is NOT one of them. I wasn’t sure what direction this tale would go in and it is clear that Hugh Fritz is a seasoned reader and talented first time author. As his imagination runs wild in his writing, my mind was simultaneously running wild. I physically did not want to put the book down because I was engrossed in the storyline and the unknown future happenings!
Including a genie in the storyline combined the best of my childhood with the reality of being an adult. As the mother of toddlers, I laughed a little harder than I should have when Darren tried discussing boundaries with a genie. The interactions between characters were humorous and imaginative. I’m happy that Made to be Broken is the first book of the Mystic Rampage Series because Fritz’s writing is enjoyable and makes for a quick read. I look forward to his future writings and would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great story!
About the Author:
Hugh Fritz is a fan of monsters, mad scientists, sorcerers, and anything that involves being with incredible powers beating each other senseless. After years of writing research papers, he decided it was time to give reality a rest and let his imagination run wild. This is his first book, and it has been an illuminating experience making the transition from reader to author.
He was born in Chicago where he spent most of his life until moving to the Southwest in 2015. He finds inspiration bouncing ideas off other novelists in a critique group, but hours of television and finding the right songs to put him in the writing mood play an important role as well. He has no plans to end the Genies' adventures here, so be on the lookout for more magical mischief in the next book of the Mystic Rampage series.
Find him online:
Author's Website: http://www.hughfritz.com/
Review by Crystal Otto
Welcome to Maravilla is an enjoyable read filled with suspense and humor. What I appreciated most about the book is the well written, believable, dialogue between characters. The banter kept things interesting. The character development of Jake Epstein in particular was very well done by the author, R. Douglas Clark. This science fiction tale was interwoven with reality and I found myself drawn to the history of the tiny hamlet of Maravilla wondering about the redrawing of the Rio Grande and Carson County lines. I quickly became immersed in the story and found the characters to be relatable and the storyline enjoyable.
The level of detail in Welcome to Maravilla was just right for my liking. For example: I didn’t need to know the color of the curtains in the caretaker’s cottage and instead the author gave me just the information that was necessary telling me simply how many rooms there were. I dislike when authors use so many minute details I forget the storyline and get caught up in the red polka dot curtains and antique lamps… R. Douglas Clark gave me the details and information I needed without taking away from the storyline.
This is the first book I’ve read by R. Douglas Clark and I enjoyed his writing style. I’ve also never visited Maravilla, New Mexico but after reading Welcome to Maravilla, it is very clear that this is a special place the author is knowledgeable about and cares about deeply.
Review by Crystal Otto
Banged-Up Heart is a great memoir for the non-memoir-loving reader. This story unfolds beautifully through the lovely narration. I knew the ending before listening to this audio version, but even so I enjoyed each and every word. The narration and voice clarity added even more emotion to this already emotional and inspirational story. So why would I recommend Banged-Up Heart? Why would I give it 5 stars?
Let me ask you this. Did you know Custer's Last Stand ended? Or better yet, have you ever visited Arlington Cemetery and looked at one of the really large ornate stones? Right there you have examples of knowing how something began and how something ended - but were you satisfied with that? Didn't you want to know more? After all, life isn't about the destination, it's about the journey. We all have a starting point and an ending point whether we've gotten there yet, or not...it's the circle of life. What we do with the time in the middle is what leaves it's mark on others.
Shirley Melis's Banged-Up Heart is no different. She hasn't yet reached her ending point, and I hope there will be more books between now and then, but as far as how she managed to dance through love and loss, it's truly remarkable. It's not how I would have handled things, but if it were, then there wouldn't be a story to tell. Listening to everything unfold on audible really gave the story new depth and made me feel closer to Melis. That's what's fun about listening to a memoir that reads like a novel - you get to experience things through the eyes and hearts of others. Melis's ability to forge ahead and dance is remarkable and quite admirable. Whether you've had a Joe in your life or a John - or you've experienced love once or many times, you'll want to pick up a copy of Banged-Up Heart. Even if you've never been in love, this book will help you believe in love. It's beautifully written, honest, laughable at points, well edited, and a bit unconventional, yet it's a book you'll devour and that will stick in your heart long after you've listened to the final chapter.
I was drawn in to The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election right from the beginning. There were a few things that pulled me in:
French’s descriptive writing made me “see” Brit as if I were watching the story unfold on the big screen.
Brit’s character was one every student can relate to – this may be a futuristic novel, but the scenarios could take place today (or 20 years ago when I was in school). I particularly related to the feelings of loss and peer pressure surrounding Brit’s very first campaign.
I was drawn to the story from the very beginning, but the fast-pace kept me engaged throughout. There were pearls of wisdom I gathered while enjoying the adventure – wisdom such as:
By Elizabeth Hansen
You Started What After 60? by Jane T Bertrand was an interesting read. I have wanted to do a little bit of mountain climbing myself, so this book was mind blowing. Jane clearly has a talent with perseverance, and it shows through this book. I would recommend it to anyone, mountain climber or not. The book shows her passion, both for nature, and for challenges. She is truly a great writer, and had me spellbound from page one. My advice to anyone looking to read this? Dive in!
By Dawn Farnsworth
About "Ashes in the Ocean: A son’s story of living through and learning from his father’s suicide"
Dawn's Book Review
I truly enjoyed reading Ashes in the Ocean by Sebastian Slovin. This is a brutally honest book although it is not written in a way that makes you feel sorry for the author. Sebastian has shared the story of his father's suicide but it is more so a story about how he used that event to become empowered instead of using it as an excuse. Sebastian has risen above this tragedy and uses his book, Ashes in the Ocean, as a platform for helping others.
Ashes in the Ocean goes deep into human behavior--this is not a book to be taken lightly (as of course suicide is not either). A child survivor of parental suicide is so much more than a child. The child is forever changed because of what they have experienced and what they will never experience. Sebastian has become a mentor and an example for others. He takes a situation that could break someone and becomes a shining beacon of hope for others with similar experiences.
So many lives are touched by suicide. I recommend this book, not necessarily for those who have survived suicide, but for any reader who is interested in learning more about those around them. Everyone has a struggle and emerging from that struggle as a stronger individual is something anyone can and should want to know more about.
Reading is the ultimate inspiration!
A Corner of Our Bookcase
“We never stop reading, although every book comes to an end, just as
we never stop living,although death is certain.”
“As citizens, we all have an obligation to intervene and become involved -
it's the citizen who changes things.”
By Cathy Hansen
-About The Book-
Coated with a life of lies and deceit, Burtrum Lee Conner is sick to her stomach. Dozens of times throughout her life the feeling of not being who she is has tormented her. But she kept it to herself, believing that maybe it’s just a chemical imbalance of some kind considering she is one of the first artificially-inseminated babies of the nineteen sixties. Now, there’s more though, something much deeper, much more maniacal than she could have ever imagined. She’s not the first test tube baby at all, but the first….
Burtrum Lee Conner, born into a world of scientific mystery, discovers that the life she’s been leading for the past forty years, is the wrong one. Her parent’s Jed and Jane Conner, stealing her as an infant, brought Lee up as their own. Even her devoted grandmother, Clair Conner, kept this secret close to her chest until they were found out. And now, Lee Conner’s biological mother, Katie Lee, wants her back, but not before the diabolical Dr. Stone has his say.
-About Mary Maurice-
After attending Western Michigan University for two party filled years, I decided to leave academia and explore the real world to learn what life is truly about. For fifteen years I’ve traveled the country working in restaurants, writing and doing readings wherever I was welcome.
While living in Minneapolis during my twenties, I was fortunate enough to be tutored by Dr. Jonis Agee, who was at the time head of the creative writing department at St. Catherine’s College in St. Paul. Her lessons were imprinted in me for all of these years, and have influenced my writing ever since.
My adventures landed me in San Diego, Chicago, San Francisco, and Oregon, finally leading me tos the Land of Enchantment where I’ve resided since 1994. Living in Santa Fe, and the beauty and isolation that surrounds me, has inspire my creative muse in ways that no other place has. While still working in the hospitality industry, my passion for the craft of writing has never been stronger. And I know with each sentence I write, and every paragraph I compose, my ultimate goal is to find the perfect word.
Keep on bookin!
You can visit Mary at marymaurice.com
-Cathy's Book Review-
I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read Burtrum Lee, by Mary Maurice. The book is a tale of identity crisis and mystery, with a bit of greed and conspiracy thrown in for good measure. The twists and turns of this book, as well as shifts between 1960 and 2004 kept me at the edge of my seat and unable to put the book down. It is a fast read and held my interest throughout, as I just couldn’t wait to find out what happened next, or what the rest of the family secrets were.
Having lived her whole life questioning who she was and feeling that something just wasn’t quite right, Burtrum Lee suddenly finds herself the focus of attention of a peculiar and potentially dangerous stranger, raising many questions about her birth that her parents and grandmother seem unwilling to answer. Frustrated by her family’s secretive behavior, Burtrum enlists her new friend Megan to assist her in finding out all she can about her past. The truth winds up being far more complex than Burtrum Lee ever could have imagined.
-About Cathy Hansen-
Cathy Hansen is a wife, mom, teacher, independent
beauty consultant, and small business owner. She and her husband operate SeedsNBeans, a local nature store, in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.
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