Tuesday Book Review: “Too Much Junk in My Trunk!”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

too much junk in my trunk! the adventures of zealy and whubba roe de pinto

Too Much Junk in My Trunk!
The Adventures of Zealy and Whubba, Book 4

by Roe De Pinto

ISBN: 9781478790259

Synopsis*:

The Adventures of ZEALY AND WHUBBA Children’s Book Series – 14X Award Recipient – Mom’s Choice, Readers’ Favorites 2016-2017, Readers Views, Independent Press, & National Association of Book Entrepreneurs, Pacific Book Review 2016/2017 Books 1, 2, 3 & 4

This newest release, “Too Much Junk in My Trunk!” teaches children to eat a variety of food, encourages them to try new foods from early on, and teaches them not to overeat as well as providing comfort in knowing that their parents will usually “fix their boo-boo” so they know who to go to when that occurs! This edition actually engages the child throughout the book through questioning the reader, which enhances the child’s experience of what the characters are embracing throughout the story. Splish- Splash with Zealy and Whubba-more to come!! Watch for it!

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

“Too Much Junk in My Trunk!” is Book 4 in The Adventures of Zealy and Whubba series by Roe De Pinto.  It is about two friends named Zealy (a seal) and Whubba (a killer whale) who ate too much. They went to Zealy’s mom and told her that they had a bellyache. The book says they had too much junk in their trunk that made them feel like funk. The book taught me that it is good to have other nutrients in our bodies and to try new different foods.

I liked that Zealy and Whubba had to have water and they ate some food. I liked that Zealy’s mom helped them feel better.  I did not like that they went into the deep end. It should have been against the rules. There were sharks and bad things in the deep end.

I thought the art was good! I really liked the cover because Whubba is hugging Zealy. On another page, the pictures showed the food that the friends were going to eat. I also liked that the pages were colorful and that all the pages had a blue background because blue is my favorite color.

I really liked this book because it is a good book and it is all blue! Other kids will like it because they can learn that they shouldn’t eat too much food or their bellies will hurt too.

Parent’s Note

Russ really seems to like this book. He runs around saying, “Too much junk in my trunk makes me feel like funk!” When I asked him about it, he said that if he feels like he is eating too much, that he won’t because it will make his belly feel bad. He also knows he needs to eat a variety of foods and take his vitamins. I think “Too Much Junk in My Trunk!” by Roe De Pinto is perfect for little boys in the “potty talk” stage where they make up words anyway.

– reviewed by Russ Cramer (age 6) for Reader Views Kids

Other Reviews

For fans of Zealy & Whubba, the fanciful girl seal pup and her orca friend and mentor Whubba, we all get to join this duo as they go on yet another adventureAuthor Roe De Pinto brings these characters into new situations up in the cold water off of an imaginary Big Rock Island in episode 4Too Much Junk in My Trunk! In this episode, the two wander off to a new place where they come across a feeding area of new and flavorful fish, clams, lobsters and mussels. Zealy tries many new delicacies of colorful fish as Whubba eats his favorite crustacean diet. Along come some sharks, but since Whubba can protect Zealy from the sharks, they all decide to join the feeding frenzy. It’s a happy, festive feast when all of a sudden, oh boy, Zealy & Whubba both get big stomach aches.

They go back to Zealy’s parents where her mother tells them both, “Too much junk in your trunk makes your belly feel like funk!” So after drinking more water and feeling better, they come to a finale dance and celebration saying to each other, “Too much junk in my trunk makes my belly feel like funk!” Having this repeated by everyone time and time again “drills” in the message to children to watch what they eat, and keep away from junk. The importance of a well-balanced diet is explained, in this case by example.

The illustrations are wonderful and generously placed, interleaving with the story to provide an excellent and memorable bedtime experience. As children are read The Adventures of Zealy & Whubba!, they are taught special lessons of life, however the predominating rule in all of Roe De Pinto’s books is love. Love one another, and love yourself – it is all about love.

The achievement of this series of beautifully illustrated and printed children’s books has created two of the most lovable talking sea creatures since, well Spongebob and his friends in Bikini Bottom. Zealy with her snow white fur and Whubba with his shiny black and white body and blue eyes make ideal role models for kids to find details to love within both of them; making for excellent role models of loving the differences of others not looking the same as you. So many undercurrents of social behavior and family structure are threaded into all of Roe De Pinto’s books which make this series a “must have” collection for toddlers to enjoy – an excellent gift for young family libraries.

Each of the episodes bring to awareness the love of friendship and family and with the illustrations so consistently imaginative, each of the books comprising this series receives the highest accolades from not only this reviewer, but many from others as well.

 – reviewed by Beth Adams for Pacific Book Review

 

This book is adorable! The illustrations are colorful and show just how sweet this dynamic duo can be. There is a good lesson for the little ones to keep their belly’s happy and healthy that resonates through. The wordplay here is something my sons really loved. Highly recommend!
– reviewed on Amazon by Anthony Naber

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Tuesday Book Review: “Bertyl: I Just Want To Belong”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

bertyl I just want to belong sandra dobozi

Bertyl: I Just Want to Belong

by Sandra Dobozi
illustrated by Egle Bartolini

ISBN: 9781478784975

Synopsis*:

How Can Bertyl Fit In? Bertyl is a charming adventure story written in rhyme about a sweet little turtle searching for his identity. When Bertyl is born he becomes a beloved surprise to his family. But Bertyl wonders why he is different and doesn’t look like other turtles. Beryl’s loving family and wise friends help him understand that “We all fit in and we all belong.” This charming, wise tale reassures readers that we’re each exactly right, just the way we are.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

“Bertyl: I Just Want To Belong” is a lovely children’s story about accepting and celebrating individual differences. Written in refreshing narrative verse, the story of Bertyl turtle Summer Breeze, the air-colored turtle, is inspiring and intriguing. Bertyl is a beautiful, perfect, healthy young turtle who is born without any coloring of green. Instead “Bertyl Turtle Summer Breeze was the color of a sneeze/ Bright and shiny as window glass/ See-through clear as a jellyfish mass.” Although Bertyl was healthy and had happy proud turtle parents, he was unhappy because he did not look green like his Mama and Pappy. They thought about painting him green, but that would make him sick. He could not wear green clothes because turtles did not wear clothes. The word went out to a multitude of Bertyl’s rainbow friends, birds and beasts. To Bertyl’s question “Why do I look so very plain/ Like morning dew and summer rain?” The answer was beautiful and surprising.”We all were born to a greater good/In clearest waters and thickest woods/ And so you see, our dearest friend, The circle of life will never end./ Be brave and proud and strong of mind/ And who you are can’t be defined; Bertyl Turtle, you’re one of a kind.” In answer, reflected in the incredibly sensitive, expressive rainbow splashed illustrations, Bertyl became joyously acceptant of his different clear color, saying “I’m so blessed to be alive./ How we look is never wrong/ We always fit/ WE ALL BELONG.” “Bertyl: I Just Want To Belong” delivers a complex and delicate inspirational message while fascinating readers with the rainbow diversity of all creation.

– reviewed on the Picturebook Shelf at Midwest Book Reviews

Other Reviews

Thoughtfully written and beautifully illustrated! kids of all ages will love this. we bought it for our neighbors that have a small child and when my kids (13,12,0) saw it and began reading it we decided to keep it. i will gladly buy another!

 – reviewed on Amazon by jw1zzo
This is such an AMAZING story that teaches children the important lesson of acceptance and pride in their individuality and that as unique individuals we are all part of a bigger picture! The descriptive language paints such a colorful picture of Bertyl and his family and friends in their beautiful surroundings. The illustrations are amazing as well! I LOVED IT!!! I highly recommend this story to children…AND adults!

– reviewed on Amazon by Robyn

Not everyone is born to look like everyone else. Every child wants to be accepted by their peers and no one wants to feel left out because he/she does not have the right clothes, is the wrong skin color or just appears to be awkward and or shy. Born in a celery patch this precious title named Bertyl Turtle Summer Breeze is curious, smart and does not understand why he is not the color of lime, leaf or grass. He is pure with no color mark namely the color of glass. You can literally see right through him he is a clear as a jelly-fish mass. But, his heart is made of pure gold and what he learns from his friends is more valuable than if he was born green like other turtles.

Checking out his face or reflection in the stream he realizes that he does not resemble or look like his parents and this makes him pose the all important question to readers: How would Bertyl turn to green? Some solutions are not that easy and all too often we wonder why. Bertyl wants to be the color green like trees or lima beans or what about green clothes? Why not paint myself green would that help? But, his wonderful friends came from all parts of the forest to help cheer him up and give him suggestions. Sugar-beet Parakeet and Blueberry Canary and others explained to him that you are not plain you are YOU! His friends told him a special story that only they can share with you about Paradise when you read this beautifully written and colorfully illustrated book. What they tell him applies not only to this special turtle but to children and adults too. I too understand that the circle of life never ends and I know it has no beginning and to me no end. So, you are not defined by other people or how they act or look you are one of a kind! As Bertyl will learn that he is special in his way all children need to learn the same lesson. What the final outcome is you will learn when you see Bertyl on the final page of the book and learn whether he smiles and if he realizes that he’s no mystery he is just as he says: Uniquely me!

Where does he feel he belongs? What will he do next? Does he feel that he needs to be green or is he happy just being him? We All Belong in our own special way. We all belong and should never want to change who we are on any day. Life brings us changes and our differences are what makes each one of us stand out for the best. Learning to get along is what we should all do everyday and maybe adults will learn the same lesson. For educators this is a great way to introduce a new student to a class and to the school. It’s a great way using each one of the animals who come to his aid showing that many different races, people and in this case animals can ban together to help someone feel special and a part of the group. Great to foster great self-esteem and self-worth, friendship, loyalties and just knowing that WE ALL BELONG!

 – reviewed on Amazon by Samfreene

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Tuesday Book Review: “Molly’s Rocker”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

molly's rocker susan hoskins

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Molly’s Rocker

by Susan M. Hoskins

ISBN: 9781478789741

Synopsis*:

Molly was born the youngest of seven children and the only girl on a tobacco farm in rural Kentucky. Though there’s a lot of love in Molly’s life, family tragedy follows her from childhood through marriage. Molly is left destitute after the betrayal of her husband’s son but she refuses to abandon her dearest friend, Henry Jackson, the son of former slaves. With no land or income, they must survive alone by their wits, enduring the wrath of townspeople who rail against the bond of a white woman with a man of color.

Inspired by the life of her husband’s grandmother, author Susan M. Hoskins wrote Molly’s Rocker as a book to be enjoyed by grandparents with their grandchildren. As warm as Little Women, Molly’s favorite book, Molly’s Rocker, also shares crucial lessons about the tragedy of racism, sexism, and other ways society forms inequalities. Hoskins helps even the youngest of readers understand the frightening connection between tobacco and slavery and what transpired in rural America following the Civil War.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

“Molly’s Rocker” by Susan M. Hoskins tells the tale of Mary Molly (Van Meter) Fry.  Known by friends and family as simply Molly, the story takes us through Molly’s life from the age of 7 all the way through the end of her life.  The story opens and closes in the present, with her grandson and his wife sorting through old junk in the attic of the family property.  In the process they find an old grand rocking chair and recordings made by Molly, detailing her life as a child and beyond.

The summary of the book as posed by the back jacket supposes that readers are going to read a story about racism and civil rights in late 19th and early 20th century America, something akin to “To Kill A Mockingbird” perhaps, however, that prominent storyline does not really come into play until the last 50 or so pages of the book.  Really, the book takes readers through life as a lower-class farm girl in Kentucky. Readers learn with Molly how to manage house, farm, and family while upholding strong Christian morals and decorum.

While the initial summary is misleading, “Molly’s Rocker” is a decent story.  Molly is a likeable and relatable character who reminds me of Laura Ingalls from the “Little House” books I loved as a child.  Molly goes through her life learning how important the power of love is in raising a family and maintaining a community.  I think this is what the author tried to show when the ideas regarding racism began arising in the latter part of the novel.  The character in question she focuses on in this regard is Henry Jackson, who was born just after Lincoln emancipated the slaves.  He works for a prominent family and comes to be close friends with Elijah Fry, who marries one of the daughters of his employer, and later remarries Molly after the death of his first wife Mary, during the birth of their third child.

A tragedy occurs in the town that sparked because of a struggle between a drunken white man and a young black serving boy who accidentally spilled some water during his duties as a waiter.  The man, who turns out to be running for the Senate, gets physical with the boy, which causes others to join the fray in attempts to restore a peaceful atmosphere.  Instead, a fire is started that rips through the entire town, killing at least two people.  After this, which takes place in the beginning of the 19th century, more dialogue about the evils of racism enter into the text and context of the story.  In all, I don’t think the message assumed by the book summary is that actual message the author was trying to portray.  She still portrayed a good one, as life lessons about love, family, and hard work and strife are always worthy things to learn.

“Molly’s Rocker” by Susan M. Hoskins is a book that can be enjoyed by a wide audience of readers, most likely female in gender, from ages of ten to 80.  Since the book details Molly’s entire life, there is something to appeal to readers of all aspects of life.  Young and old, innocent and wise all have something to learn from the prose.

– reviewed by Megan Weiss on Reader Views

Other Reviews

“Molly’s Rocker” by Susan M. Hoskins is a beautiful narrative about the courageous and inspirational Molly Fry. Molly endured more in her lifetime than most people ever experience, yet she persevered with dignity and grace, a loving heart, and a gentle soul. Molly was truly a woman ahead of her time and “Molly’s Rocker” is a brilliant testament to her life.

The author and her husband Larry discover Molly’s rocker one day while cleaning out the attic. Molly is Larry’s grandson and the son of Molly’s youngest daughter, Tula Mary. Larry remembers his grandmother coming to live with them after a fire destroyed her home. The rocker was the only thing to survive the fire. After seeing the rocker, Larry remembers some old tapes, narrated by his grandmother when she lived with them. These tapes provide precious insight into Molly’s life and the life of Elijah Fry, and how a twist of fate brought the couple together.

Growing up on a Kentucky tobacco farm in the late 1800s, Molly has to quit school at a very early age to care for her family when her mother is taken by consumption. As the new woman of the house, Molly implements some radical changes regarding the roles of males and females and vows to run the farm as an equal to her pa. The reader sees glimpses of Molly’s independent nature and impartiality early on in the story, and when she takes a stand with her father, insisting that women and men should eat at the same time (as opposed to the females waiting for their men-folk to finish their meals), I knew I was going to enjoy learning more about her. One of my favorite lines in the book is Molly’s declaration, “I wasn’t sure what would become of me as the years went by, but there was one thing I knew for sure that night. I was never gonna eat cold eggs again.” Don’t you just love her?!

Readers also learn the story of Elijah Fry, who comes to be Molly’s husband, by what can only be deemed as providence. Though Elijah has a rough start in life, he flourishes under the loving upbringing of his aunt and uncle, becoming a respected member of the community. His tragic past leaves him with trust issues however, and his only real friend is Henry Jackson, the son of former slaves.

Elijah and Molly raise a family, and have a successful tobacco farm. Life is good for awhile, until an unforeseen tragedy leaves Molly and Henry Jackson in dire straits. The two pool their resources to make ends meet, and their friendship causes quite a stink with the bigots and small-minded members of the community. Molly once again shows courage and integrity in the face of those trying to drive them out of town.

This story is absolutely amazing! It encompasses so many issues that are sadly, still relevant today. From feminist issues to racial tensions, the author manages to cover some serious ground in a seamless, thoughtful read.

Whenever I read historical fiction I get so wrapped up in the lives of the characters that I want to know everything about them. Where they lived, environmental conditions, cooking methods used, along with popular food items of the period, clothing styles, education – you name it, I want to know about it. Hoskins has excelled in writing a novel that authentically depicts every aspect of the time period. The characters have depth and integrity, and the dialogue is dead on, taking the reader straight back to another time, place and century. I contentedly imagined myself walking amongst the characters as I was reading.

I am truly in awe of “Molly’s Rocker” by Susan M. Hoskins. Imagine love inspiring a story through an old rocking chair that almost founds its way to a local flea market. I highly recommend this book to fans of historical fiction, coming of age stories, and those wanting to experience the life and times of a different era.

 – reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views

I wasn’t quite sure this book was the genre I was looking for. I had read a few of this author’s other mysteries and this did not sound anything like them. I quickly found myself absorbed into the very fabric and folksy details of Molly and her circle of family and friends lives. It was a captivating read . It was interesting to watch Molly through the years affect her family. This is a book that has a few book club discussion questions to mull over a few cups of coffee.

– reviewed on Amazon by T. Packer

I loved this book. It reminded me of The Little House on the Prairie. It is set in the late 1800s around Elizabethtown, Kentucky. It’s based on real people and places, but the author has taken license to invent a storyline and create characters that enhance the tale. In one sense it is old-fashioned; yet, it deals with controversial issues that we still face today. I really liked the dialect that comes from the mouths of some characters. I find it difficult to enter into some fiction, but this one got me. I was close to tears several times. The author writes with an authentic voice that drew me into the scenes. It’s an adult book; but middle school kids would probably enjoy it (though it does deal with some adult matters). I had read one of the author’s previous novels–of the thriller genre, so I knew she could write. Molly’s Rocker was a joy to read.

 – reviewed on Amazon by E. W. McLaughlin

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Tuesday Book Review: “Final Outcome”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

final outcome james mcpike

readers' favorite silver medal winner

Final Outcome

by James B. McPike

ISBN: 9781432754495

Synopsis*:

READERS’ FAVORITE SILVER MEDAL WINNER – Christian/Fantasy.

Get ready for a prolific novel that takes you all the way from the war ravaged streets of the Middle East to the limits of outer space. For Lieutenant Lewis Snyder he thinks he’s served his time in the war zone and retirement is the next thing. But nothing could prepare him for what is about to happen. Being the honorable soldier he is, he accepts a harrowing call from a decorated general to once again serve his country. Except this time, the mission is far greater than he could’ve ever imagined. Joining forces with NASA they form the most cutting-edge team of the century. One of the team’s members is an enigmatic preacher who seems convinced beyond anything of the nightmarish villain they’re facing. They embark on a pivotal mission to another planet in the solar system so that they can recover a long-lost biblical treasure. But once they arrive there they soon realize they are not alone. One by one they get picked off by something that seems all-too supernatural. The closer they get to unraveling startling clues about the villain’s true identity the more dangerous things become. The ancients left many clues and warnings that begin to be pieced together toward a shocking revelation. But can Snyder be the one to solve it all in time and save everyone before it’s too late? This apocalyptic thriller pits good against evil in determining the FINAL OUTCOME…

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

Lewis Snyder, an American soldier on duty in Iraq, stumbles across an ancient Sumerian relic inside an old mosque but forgets about it in the turmoil and bloodshed surrounding him. A few years later, he is out the war zone and ‘retired’ from active duty. His experiences have left him scarred and disillusioned. The last thing he wants is any involvement with the military. However, Snyder is the best man for the job NASA has in mind for him because he is the best at his job. In the intervening years, NASA has picked up a radio signal from a distant planet, code name Oblivion. This information holds dire implications for humankind, and to date no one besides a small group of top military personnel knows anything about it. At a meeting with a team of experts, Snyder learns that the relic originates from this planet and the strange symbols carved into it are meaningful. One member of the team is a knowledgeable preacher who knows his Bible backwards and is not afraid to speak up.

Their mission is to travel to this mysterious planet via an advanced technology, using wormholes, and investigate the place. Satellite pictures reveal a ruined ancient city with temples and pyramids that appear to predate the earliest known buildings on Earth. Once there, the team find themselves being picked off, one by one, by some kind of monstrous entities. Are they gods, demons, or fallen angels? Snyder comes full circle and faces his past when he realizes that he confronted this ancient enemy long ago in his youth. Can Snyder prevent these once glorious creatures from recolonizing Earth? Who will win the ultimate battle between good and evil?

This is a blockbuster read for sci-fi and fantasy fiction fans. The author has created a fascinating blend of fantasy, technology, history, and archaeology to take this novel out of the ordinary and give readers something thought provoking. The character of Lewis Snyder, an excellent main protagonist, holds everything together as he works out the enemy’s next step. The plot has enthralling twists and turns, and taps into age-old beliefs that still have the power to move us. My one disappointment was the characters of the two female team members. They were shallow and more like glamor girls than real scientists. That said, the author paints a brilliant picture of a ‘sulfurous’ ‘otherworld’ to which the fallen angels retreated after the Great Flood. Their gradual disintegration into decay is compelling. With mounting tension, non-stop action, and a powerful sideswipe of an ending (I never saw it coming!) this book will keep readers riveted. The novel was deservedly nominated for the 17th EVVY Awards.

– reviewed by Fiona Ingram on Reader Views

Other Reviews

McPike’s latest novel THE LOST PROPHET won the PACIFIC BOOK AWARD for Christian Mystery/Thrillers. It was called “One of the best books of the year” by SammytheBookworm (a judge for the Indie Reader Discovery Award.) It was named an Official Selection by New Apple Book Awards for Suspense/thrillers and was a Tuscany Novel Prize Top-10 Finalist. His 700-page debut novel FINAL OUTCOME won the SILVER MEDAL from READERS’ FAVORITE in the Christian/Fantasy genre. It was also nominated with 5% (50 of a 1,000) books by the publisher for the 17th EVVY Awards. He won the Ponderosa Lion’s Club Spelling Bee Championship in 1997. A year later he was an Honorable Mention for the William Saroyan San Joaquin Valley writing contest.

 – reviewed on Underground Book Reviews
I am not typically a Fiction reader. Once I picked this book up, I simply could not stop reading it. It is suspensful to the very end. I cannot remember the last time I enjoyed a book or MOVIE this much. I did not want this read to end. Incredibly done. Thank you James!!! I am a new Science Fiction/Horror/Suspense fan. What a Ride!!!!

– reviewed on Amazon by Hdygdyc

McPike is very descriptive and he brings you on his adventures with Ramsey! I appreciate McPike’s complexity of facts. After Reading his books and researching his statements; it’s very refreshing to read such exciting and factual material! I get to go on the adventure because Mcpike takes you there with his quick, exciting and easy read! I can’t wait to see the Series on the Big screen!?

 – reviewed on Amazon by Todd Anderson

Interview With the Author

Follow the link to read Writing Belle‘s fantastic interview with James B. McPike! Full credit to her for asking some really great questions about his process and inspiration, and for supporting the work of indie and self-publishing authors everywhere.


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Tuesday Book Review: “When is Sylvia Wallace”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

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When is Sylvia Wallace

by Brad Anderson

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478763949

Synopsis*:

Her new world began in complete silence and absolute darkness. It wasn’t supposed to happen. It wasn’t even supposed to be possible. All the science and technology said so, but a freak accident changes everything and Deputy U.S. Marshal Sylvia Wallace finds herself sometime in the future when the Janus Project does not exist and most of the people around her are prison escapees. All is not forsaken, however. A note from the past gives her hope. Deputy U.S. Marshal Robert Mackie (the Guardians trilogy) and Colonel John Callan (The Janus Project) are coming to take her back to her time. All she has to do is stay alive until they find her, which becomes the most dangerous time of all.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

“When Is Sylvia Wallace? from The Janus Project files,” by Brad Anderson is a roller coaster ride from the time U.S. Marshall Sylvia Wallace wakes up in an abandoned mine. The Earth has undergone a geomagnetic shift and is tilted on her axis, sending most of the planet into an ice-age when, in a Western-style shootout, friends Robert Mackie (from the “Guardians” trilogy) and Colonel John Callan (from “The Janus Project”) attempt a retrieval to take her back to her own time.

Brad Anderson does a wonderful, thorough job at describing this cold, nearly barren world Sylvia now finds herself in. The dystopian society she is surrounded by is so believable and realistic that one shudders to think how easily circumstances could devolve into the very struggle for day-to-day existence he so graphically portrays in this tale. With a style reminiscent of Stephen King, note how he describes one of his protagonist’s actions.

Escaped criminal and self-appointed mayor Rich Witkowski has realized that he must dispose of the bodies of his abducted victims quickly and chooses dismemberment:

The ulna and the radius just above the left wrist were exposed because that was where he had first grasped this corpse. He slipped the joined bones into the cutter opening. “Good. Just wide enough. I can save the hatchet and the hacksaw for the larger bones.” He lay the used shop towel on the concrete near the hand. “But first, the fingers.”

This novel is not just for those who wonder about the possibility of time travel, but also for those who enjoy dystopian tales, psychological thrillers, or high drama. Personally, I’ve always been fascinated with science fiction and time travel in general. But, what I most enjoyed about this story was the minute details concerning survival itself. With both John Callan and Sylvia, Anderson goes into extensive description of just what is necessary to survive in an arctic environment. From the character’s step by step thought processes on deciding how to wrap one’s head for protection against the harsh elements, to the lengthy descriptions of ice walls and submerging into below-freezing water, to the panoramic detail of the physical environments the characters encounter.

Without having read The Janus Project, the connection, the familiarity and loyalty between the main characters nevertheless came through loud and clear. “When Is Sylvia Wallace? from The Janus Project files” works perfectly as a stand-alone novel, and will encourage readers to seek out the original story. However, in my opinion, the author could spin this into a series of its own: “From the Janus Project files, volume XX,” because this is a topic and genre that could garner an increasing fan base. With the blurring of genre lines, Brad Anderson has written an engrossing story that will grab readers of science fiction, action and adventure, and psychological thrillers.

– reviewed by Judy Derby for Reader Views

Other Reviews

This is a time travel novel and an adventure.
Sylvia Wallace is a Deputy US Marshall who works with the Janus Project in protecting people who were put in the Witness Protection Program. Unfortunately, she was in her pod when something happened and her pod crashed. She finds herself in the year 2036 in a coal mine. This is one of the areas where the program had a base. She knew the procedures to follow and did. She found her way out of the mine to the headquarters building where she found a number of men who were dead. They had died trying to take another man who had killed most of them. The others died in a blast from a sabotaged metal box. Past them was the entrance to the headquarters emergency base. Here she found food, clothing, shelter, and other equipment. She knows the protocol is to find her way to Alexandria to the main headquarters so they will know where to find her. To do this, she must walk out in the middle of a snow and ice storm.
John Callan is called back into action by Rob Mackie to help find Sylvia. First, they had to search many years from 2015 to find her. Once they found her, John and Rob were taking a risk to go into the future. No one had ever gone into the future. Would they make it in one piece? Would they be in the same year as Sylvia and the same place? If they did find her, could they get home?
This novel was excellent and just as good as the first one. I am not usually a fan of science fiction but with Brad Anderson’s books, I am definitely caught up in this series. I certainly hope there will be more. Be careful or you will find yourself staying up all night to finish it!

– Amazon reviewer P. Blevins

The story, “When is Sylvia Wallace” is engaging. Even the title is intriguing and draws you into wanting to know exactly what that means. Brad’s detailed descriptions of the physical and emotional allows you to become fully immersed into the story. Mr. Anderson helps you feel the cold, smell the natural gas in the tunnel and take part in the action. “When is Sylvia Wallace” is one of those books that is hard to put down and will leave you wanting to know more about these characters and follow them into future or past (in the case of time travel) adventures.

– Amazon reviewer NeoTheOne

 


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Tuesday Book Review: “The Secret of Bald Rock Island”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

secret of bald rock island charles salter

readers' favorite book award winner

The Secret of Bald Rock Island

by Charles A. Salter

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478770848

Synopsis*:

Can Kelcie solve the island’s TWO mysteries in time?

Ten-year-old Kelcie Oglethorpe’s fisherman father disappeared at sea years ago. Since then, Kelcie has befriended Bald Rock Island’s beloved Mr. Bartleby, a kindly man devoted to the village and its children. He often warns of a mysterious creature he once saw on the island’s bald dome which towers a hundred feet above the sea, yet is hollow inside and connected to sea life by underground channels. Kelcie decides to help Mr. Bartleby solve the island’s two enduring mysteries-what happened to her father, and what the sea creature might be. She learns that Mr. Bartleby was her father’s lifelong best friend. During that terrible storm off the coast of Maine, Mr. Bartleby risked his own life to do everything possible to save Kelcie’s dad, but no sign was ever found.

Kelcie criss-crosses the island in search of clues and thinks she knows where she can find the ultimate answers. She resolves to explore the forbidden area of the island, and as she puts the final pieces of the puzzle together, a new storm arises. Can she solve the mysteries and return to safety before the new storm claims her as the previous one did her father? And what will she do when she finally confronts the mysterious creature face to face?

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

The Secret of Bald Rock Island (Kare Kids Adventure #1) by Charles A. Salter is an exciting children’s adventure about a young girl determined to solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance. Ten-year-old Kelcie Oglethorpe has always been curious and ready for adventure. Mr. Bartelby, the town’s well-known and much-loved writer, is always willing to tell the children a story. When Mr. Bartelby tells the children of a mysterious creature that inhabits Bald Rock, Kelcie decides that it is time to solve the peculiar puzzle concerning her father’s disappearance and discover if Mr. Bartelby’s extraordinary story holds truth. Doing some research, Kelcie finds little to help her solve her dad’s disappearance until she reads an article written by Mr. Bartelby. As things start to come together in Kelcie’s head, she realizes what she must do. Only, she has been warned that it could be too dangerous. Can Kelcie solve the mystery of the strange creature and find her father? Will her determination prove to be deadly?

The Secret of Bald Rock Island (Kare Kids Adventure #1) by Charles A. Salter is a children’s mystery story taking place on a small Maine island. I enjoyed reading this story and, although it is short, it is well thought out. The characters are entertaining, and the storyline isn’t overly complicated. With a good portion of the inhabitants being of Scottish descent, this book is also educational. I believe that this book is perfect for the child just beginning to read chapter books as it isn’t too long, and contains easily understood concepts. It is a well-rounded mystery with intriguing characters and a fascinating monster. Being the first story in a series, it will be interesting to see what other mysteries happen on Bald Rock Island in the next story. I would recommend this book to children aged eight to ten.

– reviewed by  Alyssa Elmore for Readers’ Favorite

Other Reviews

The Secret of Bald Rock Island by Charles A. Salter begins with a lilting mystery that begs to be read aloud by children around a camp-fire while the sun goes down. The voice is clear and pleasingly individual, with turns of phrase that perfectly fit the telling of monsters, dangers and more. But the story has a dark side too, as a little girl mourns her father, lost at sea.

The language in this children’s book is simple but beautifully descriptive. The mystery is haunting and sadly plausible. And the determined little protagonist is sweetly honest and true. It’s nice to read a new story for children where foolish choices are resolved by the wise, and not all the wisdom comes from guardian adults. Bald Rock Island is a story that inspires bravery, common sense, and a pleasing recognition of human emotion. It’s a fun tale, a captivating read, and a good story to share with a middle-grade reader.

Disclosure: The author was interviewed on my blog and I was delighted to be given the opportunity to read his book.

– Amazon reviewer Sheila Deeth

What a fun read. This book is short but it reads like a full length novel. I found both Kelcie and Mr. Bartleby enjoyable characters. They were kindred souls. After hearing Mr. Bartleby’s story of the monster of Bald Rock Island, I like Kelcie was very intrigued to solve the mystery of what happened to her father and just what type of monster did Mr. Bartleby see that day. I am so glad that Kelcie did not let her age stop her from taking charge and solving the mysterious disappearance of her father. Plus, she did meet the monster and if I had come face to face with it like she did I would have screamed too. Yet she showed compassion as well. I would say that Mr. Salter accomplished his goals with this book by teaching children to be caring and fearless. I thought that the book was well written and easy to follow along so that my nephews or other young readers could read this book by themselves with no struggles. I want to read the second book in this series. A great series for children.

– Amazon reviewer Cheryl


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Tuesday Book Review: “Jacaranda: Tails Before Bed”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

Jacaranda Tails Before Bed by E W Bosworth/ Edward Lewis

readers' favorite book award winner

Jacaranda: Tails Before Bed

by E.W. Bosworth

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478715863

Synopsis*:

In Jacaranda: Tails Before Bed, E. W. Bosworth shares personal dilemmas nevertheless common to us all. The scope of his engagement with life’s contradictions, including his subtle evocation of the great antinomies – thought and feeling, sound and silence, comfort and unrest – is evident from one page to the next, one stanza to the next, and frequently within the precarious balance of a single line. This is Bosworth’s individual response to the uniformity of post-post-modernism in contrast to which he offers a unique voice indicative of what he names “postmodern formalism”.

Asked in an interview of May, 2012, to clarify that term, he responded: “Since about 1970 American poetry has become increasingly dedicated to evincing a psychology of deconstructive theory in which the persona, the proffered speaker, is determined above all to avoid direct statement (logocentrism) with the result that indirection has become, repeatedly, the “new” direction in putative service of a transcendental subjectivity. But the human ego is not so easily dismissed, nor will its individual goals submit to categorical erasure. The poetic method of group-theory is programmatic to the extent that in the typical journal it is difficult to distinguish originality from consent. From an aesthetic perspective, there could be no more telling evidence of logocentricity than that. A postmodern formalism must embody, must demonstrate, must enact the contradictions inherent in a systematic denial of history.”

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

“Jacaranda: Tails Before Bed” is a 127-page book of poetry by E. W. Bosworth. It is divided into six chapters of random poems that deal with love and life. Bosworth is a new poet and, according to him, his writing is a reaction to the uniformity of post-post-modernism. He calls this unique voice postmodern formalism, which embodies, demonstrates and enacts the contradictions that he believes are inherent in a “systematic denial of history.” Each chapter in the book starts with black and white images that seem to hold meanings too. Reading his poems is like listening to a new voice in poetry that is waiting to be heard.

It is simply difficult to ignore Bosworth’s poems as they draw us into his varied experiences. In ‘Craft’, he says: “A poet wrote that walls don’t have to be confining, nothing to make a body “fret”. “He came up with that while wandering around the mountain with a sonnet in his head.” I guess this sums up pretty well the author’s creative process, and the simplicity in his choice of words makes his poems quite charming. Much of Bosworth’s poetry is inspired by the people and the events that surround him but there are also flowers, birds, snow, philosophy, history, and the human struggle that soars above us all. His poems are full of images and, as a reader, I try to find out his meaning to determine where he is bringing us. Through his experiences in life, just what is this poet trying to say? In the first lines of his poem ‘Parole’, he writes: “Looking into the Jacaranda is looking into your life no wonder there’s so much simile on top of simile.” Indeed, his poems leave me to determine, for myself, which features of his reference point he is trying to predicate. This is an enjoyable and insightful book of poetry.

– reviewed by  Maria Beltran for Readers’ Favorite

Other Reviews

E.W. Bosworth is a new poet to me. Opening Jacaranda was like opening Ed Dorn’s Collected Poems. Ed Dorn as mentored by Charles Olson. Bosworth’s inventiveness and brilliance are never in doubt here. This is American Poetry for Americans. Americans who read poetry. Read the poem “Carolina.” Often there is a brio in the line that pushes the poem to unforgettableness. If you ask me, buy the book. Even the illustrations, unfortunately in black and white, are worth it.

– Amazon reviewer Robert Bense

All Bosworth’s tight knits are re-versed with pearls, crossing his needles out and back, in a postmodern twist of creating while casting off, dropping stitches and rows . With form held in ‘bolts of iron’ , the breaks come amidst the words, sometimes within a word. Sleep…wake….break- if you don’t get it, don’t worry about it!

– Amazon reviewer Keep


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