Tuesday Book Review: “Wasp on the Wind”

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:

wasp on the wind c r norris

cipa evvy 2018

Wasp on the Wind

by C.R. Norris

ISBN: 9781478785989

Synopsis*:

The saga continues as a future apocalyptic world begins to reveal its secrets . . . Chris, now a Trax, was what the West Sand Command called “a greeny.” Her “Before Time,” that time before she had been rifted, had been from a distant past, and perhaps even a different timeline. Who could say . . .? But after some three years of training and a return to the very group who had rescued her from the desert, her “Now Time” circle was complete . . . with one adjustment, she was now also “Det Arju′” She carried with her a mysterious pendant that she had been ordered to present to Lon, the Tagos of the Choe, an assignment that, as of yet, no West Sand Commander was aware. Bruce, Chris’s friend, and fellow “Before Time” band geek, was rejected by the Trax. While Chris trained, his path hooked him to the side of the Taden’s greatest nemesis, the Captain. Now as his lieutenant, he must help the Captain save his command by aiding him in the capture of Ponopin, a genius Tader entrepreneur, and the Brigade’s greatest thorn. But as fate would have it, neither mission is as easy as it sounds, the tangle of circumstances sending Chris and Bruce on a collision course with each other.

Richly imagined, beautifully characterized, and deeply engaging, Wasp on the Wind will leave you clamoring for the upcoming third book in The Wasp Chronicles series.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

“Wasp on the Wind” is the second book of the “Wasp Chronicles” trilogy by C.R. Norris, a science-fiction/action-adventure series that follows several different perspectives. Readers explore the world through military officers, merchants, and even a man wanted by the government. Each storyline is vastly different, but all of them converge with at least one other during the course of the novel.

The variety of characters provides insight to all corners of the setting, allowing the reader a total and immersive experience. The world itself is detailed and painstakingly wrought. Norris balances an impressive number of societies with an even more impressive number of characters. The novel’s scientific aspect is interesting and easy to understand, providing a fantastic introduction to the genre.

While the vast cast of characters provides many sides to an already complicated story, they can sometimes prove a hindrance. The point of view jumps are often random and confusing. There is no warning before the shifts occur, and this makes it seem as if the author simply couldn’t decide whether they wanted to write in third person limited or third person omniscient. It’s enough to pull the reader out of the story completely while they try and adjust to a new point of view that often lasts only for a few paragraphs.

I found many of the side characters come off as flat. They have a single trait that defines them, and they seem more like they are there to fill up space. Sci-fi novels tend to be more action-driven than character-driven anyway, but like the sudden point of view jumps, I just found these side characters distracting. I was annoyed with the one-dimensional feel of them and the way they drew focus from the main characters, and felt that a lot of them could have been combined or cut from the novel altogether.

Overall, “Wasp on the Wind” by C.R. Norris left me conflicted. The story is intriguing and something I want to know more about, but the characters and point of view conflicts give me pause in continuing the trilogy. I removed two stars from my final rating for these issues. I don’t think I would highly recommend the series for anyone with a love of character driven novels.

– reviewed by Skyler Boudreau on Reader Views

Other Reviews

Great storytelling! May even be better than the first book in the series which was also excellent. Very powerful and intensely written with strong character development. Highly recommended, especially if you’re looking for a different sort of sci-fi.

 – reviewed on Amazon by Vinny D.

Just finished reading The Wasp’s Nest by C. R. Norris. Since I am 85 and don’t usually read science fiction I wasn’t sure, but I enjoyed it so much and will look forward to the next in the series. M’s Norris just might have got me started reading science fiction that several of my grand children enjoy. Thank you young lady you did a great job!

 – The Wasp’s Nest as reviewed on Amazon by Joan Stegall

 


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Tuesday Book Review: “Genetics Isn’t Everything”

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:

genetics isn't everything katherine egan

cipa evvy 2018

Genetics Isn’t Everything

by Katherine S. Egan

ISBN: 9781478790372

Synopsis*:

Did you know? Environment, diet, and lifestyle, along with daily choices, influence how our genes are expressed. In other words, each decision determines how, when and if certain genes get turned on or not. Just because you have certain ‘inherited’ or genetic traits, or certain diseases seem to run in your family, you’re not destined to get the same illnesses or conditions as your ancestors. A happy and healthy life, while not guaranteed to everyone, is within reach. We have more influence over health and wellness than many believe. This book unveils truths behind the relatively new science of epigenetics by sharing the personal, heart-wrenching stories of 16 women who would not take illness as a lifetime answer. They changed their health and thus their lives with nutrition and self-care, and you, can take your life back too!

Internationally Certified Health Coach Katherine S. Egan, author, states, “I’m on a mission to spread hope and understanding. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and with the proper knowledge, support and guidance, this can be achieved! It’s my life’s purpose to help you believe that within each of us is the answer to better health. Don’t delay. Every life has value and is not supposed to be lived in pain or in diminishing health. The time is now. Reach out! Let me help you discover what this means for you. I’m honored to help you finally find your extra-ordinary!”

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

You probably heard before that your genes determine how healthy you will be in life. Katherine Egan disagrees. According to her, Genes Isn’t Everything. She believes that high-quality nourishment and an effective exercise regime will improve your energy metabolism, body composition, glucose tolerance, and cardiovascular disease risk. We have more control over our health than we think.

 

Genetics Isn't Everything, by Katherine S. Egan Book Review

GENETICS EXPLAINED (BRIEFLY)

Genetics implies that our DNA, as we inherited it, can not be changed. Egan introduces us to Epigenetics. This basically means that there is a whole lot that you can change about your genes. Our environment has the ability to change our genetics either positively or negatively. She proves this by telling us the stories of women who cured themselves of a variety of incurable diseases, all from a lifestyle change.

WHAT CAN WE DO?

Our generation runs on stress. We eat unhealthy convenience food. We neglect ourselves. This has, unfortunately, become the new normal. However, it is never too late to become proactive. There are people who have decided to go against the grain. They refused to be told by their doctors that there is no hope for them. And they healed themselves. Our bodies are designed to heal itself, but we need to give our bodies what it needs.

Genetics Isn't Everything, by Katherine S. Egan Book Review

THE STORIES OF HOPE

Genetics Isn’t Everything shares stories of people that cured themselves with nutrition, self-care, and self-compassion. From thyroid conditions, migraines, fibromyalgia, psoriasis, lupus, depression and weight disorders, there are stories of victory for all of them and more.

Genetics Isn't Everything, by Katherine S. Egan Book Review

WHAT DID I THINK OF THE BOOK:

I liked that there is a lot of footnotes with the books and website names where the information came from. So you will be able to continue your research quite easily. I also liked the fact that it is a body mind and spirit approach. This book will be available in Spanish soon, so keep your eyes peeled if you’re interested!

Genetics Isn’t Everything is the motivation we all need to take better care of ourselves.

– reviewed by Rina on Bookerina Book Reviews

Other Reviews

Inspiring and Powerful!

People say don’t judge a book by its cover but that is exactly what initially captured my attention and the content doesn’t disappoint. I suffered for many years with chronic headaches and I wish I had this book to show me alternative non-toxic ways to deal with my pain. Reading the journeys of these women was so inspiring, powerful and empowering. Katherine shows that good health is not all about food, exercise or even your DNA…it’s about balance, choices and gradual changes to an extraordinary you. I recommend this book to all.

 – reviewed on Amazon by SP

Not getting the answers you need in the medical world? Open up this book!

Great, easy, informative and inspirational read! Katherine shares stories from multiple women who were able to cure themselves using food and positive lifestyle choices. She does a wonderful job of sharing her message of how your genes are not necessarily your destiny. Your diet, environment and lifestyle play a part in the “expression” of those genes. This book will inspire you and guide you on a path to disease free good health! Get your copy today….and buy one for a friend! They’ll thank you!

 – reviewed on Amazon by Lorraine Miano

 


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Tuesday Book Review: “Two Towers: A Memoir”

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:

two towers t d arkenberg

cipa evvy 2018

Two Towers

by T.D. Arkenberg

ISBN: 9781478722007

Synopsis*:

Sometimes, life pushes you to the brink. In his poignant memoir, Two Towers, T.D. Arkenberg navigates readers through a personal perfect storm. A resurgence of his father’s long-dormant cancer and chaos at his job in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks serve as the backdrop for a private struggle with a secret hidden for thirty-seven years. The story opens on Christmas Eve, 2001. Alone, he stands in his empty childhood home. Two months earlier, his father succumbed to cancer after a lengthy struggle. Five weeks after that painful loss, his mother’s unexpected death shattered his world. The double-barreled blast toppled his towers of strength and unconditional love at a time he was barely treading water. Only weeks before his parents’ deaths, his professional life descended into turmoil. Nineteen hijackers commandeered four commercial jets, unleashing unspeakable terror on US soil. Two towers collapsed into piles of twisted steel, a dusty grave for thousands of innocent souls. Two of the planes belonged to his employer. Eighteen colleagues were killed and thousands of others were soon without jobs. His leadership would never be more severely tested. Friends don’t know how he survives. Neither does he, especially with the added burden of a dark secret. As his world starts to crumble, fate offers a lifeline. Jim, a facilitator of a men’s coming-out group guides him through the process of accepting his sexuality. With towers collapsing around him, Jim might be able to save him from becoming another casualty. Two Towers stands as testament to duty and the power of love.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

Final Descent may have been T.D. Arkenberg’s debut novel but Two Towers is a deeply connected return to this crushing accuracy and devotion as an airline employee. This is his first memoir and it is a love letter.

Arkenberg has inherited a work ethic from another generation. Throughout the narrative, which details the trials of the late 90’s into early 2000’s, even into the Crisis Center in Chicago O’Hare airport on September 11th, 2001, his dedication to United Airlines and his fellow employees is clear. He recalls how the airline grounded flights just before the devastating moment they discovered two of the hijacked planes were their own and the profound grief that caused: “Our airplanes were used as missiles. Our passengers and employees were murdered.” The depth of identity with his position reflects the very deep devotion to his company and the connection to his sense of self.

The story is also a love letter to his parents’ fortitude and endurance. How they shaped him cultivated respect and crafted an iron clad work ethic without ever knowing their son’s deepest sense of self and secret. Tender vignettes reveal his devotion to the aging couple, culminating in his father’s return to Montgomery Ward as they begin to liquidate locations.  Arkenberg demonstrates an acute sensitivity to the inner world of his family. He offers to take his father back to the closing location musing that “perhaps Dad’s fond memories of Ward outweighed the hurt.”

As a devoted son, he goes beyond the physical expectations of helping with snow shoveling and heavy lifting but also cares for their mental and emotional well-being. Arkenberg’s own capacity as caretaker is a gentle mirror of his steadfast mother as she remains a faithful caretaker during her husband’s life and lengthy fight with cancer.

Endurance is a running theme throughout Two Towers. As his career shifts, seemingly every few months, and he climbs ever higher on the precarious ladder of airline management during a most unsteady time, and as his father lapses into weakness and his mother finds less time to be herself as they pass slowly–or suddenly–into the grave, Arkenberg has committed to himself to come out of the closet and to live a full life without secrets. Again and again, he must reveal himself while learning to navigate the world not as the perfect son or model employee but as Todd Arkenberg, a gay man who loves his partner, Jim. Though he may be considered middle aged, his youthful fear and innocence in to the foray of that new existence heighten the tale.

Hundreds of stories about the events of 9/11 have surfaced but few invite us into the Crisis Center for United Airlines in Chicago as the events unfold. Countless memoirs may have shared the stories of caring sons but few offer the humanity of their own internal struggles beyond that role. More and more stories of ‘coming out’ are reaching the light, inspiring those who feel trapped, and Arkenberg’s tale joins in the voices of attaining strength through vulnerability.

Two Towers is not as fanciful or imaginative as his two Faulkner-Wisdom nominated novels, Jell-O and Jackie–O and None Shall Sleep, yet Arkenberg fans will still see the depth and introspection present in his earlier work. The earnest telling of his coming-of-middle-age and his slowly strengthening sense of self among the rubble of his childhood and first career in the airlines is a moving exploration of what pieces we use to put ourselves together. It is a tumultuous expression of how outrageous events can rock us out of the shell of our status quo. Arkenberg asks a number of introspective questions throughout the book and while not all of them get an answer, it makes for a thoughtful and emotional read.

– reviewed by Elizabeth Melvin  on Windy City Reviews

Other Reviews

An in-depth accounting of the life of a normal American, a joy to discover.

I have read all of T.D. Arkenberg’s books and each is unique and interesting. They are as different as the stories they depict, and each is it’s own unique journey. This book however was a journey of my own life in parts as well, since I had lived through a portion of this same story, as have all Americans, who were living on September 11, 2001. My own path and job responsibilities of that tumultuous time relived in this reading. I had other moments of empathy having lost both of my parents and becoming an ‘orphan’ as well. It means, in my case, I am forever a parent but never again a child. This author is gifted in being able to bring to words the emotions and personal details of his life in a way that can truly express what I and others have felt during the similar challenges faced in one’s lifetime. The best compliment I can give a book is to say that I couldn’t put it down and that I’d recommend it to others. Both are true. Go read it for yourself. Now.

 – reviewed on Amazon by Valerie Driskill

Raw emotion with accurate detail.

This book eloquently and accurately captures the events at United during this time period, from balls supporting our communities to bankruptcy. Todd shares the challenges of caring for aging parents, corporate decisions and coming out in a society that did not fully support gay lifestyle. In my opinion this book accurately captures the outstanding individual that Todd is corporately, personally and creatively. Can’t wait for more!

 – reviewed on Amazon by Andra

 


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Tuesday Book Review: “Misfire”

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:

misfire by bennie c. lee

readers' favorite five stars

Misfire: Recovering & Restoring an Estranged Relationship between Me & My Father When It Seemed Impossible

by Bennie C. Lee Jr

ISBN: 9781478761495

Synopsis*:

While speaking at a summit on the campus of Georgetown University, President Barack Obama mentioned a conversation he had with a young man who asked the question, “How did you get over being mad with your dad, because I’ve got a father that beat my mom, and has left the state. I’ve never seen him because he’s trying to avoid eighty-three thousand dollars in child support payments. I want to love my dad, but I don’t know how to do that.” Many young men and women are faced with this painful quandary when dealing with an absentee father. Misfire: Recovering & Restoring an Estranged Relationship between Me & My Father When It Seemed Impossible addresses this question head on. Bennie C. Lee Jr.’s story details how an explosive relationship between his mother and father led to an estranged relationship between he and his father. For 14 years Bennie did not have much of a relationship with his father, and it seemed as if that was how the story was going to end; spending the rest of his life without his dad. To the contrary, they ended up sharing one of the greatest relationships a son could enjoy with his dad. In this book, Bennie shares six powerful, scripture-based steps on restoring an estranged relationship with one’s father.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

Misfire by Bennie C. Lee Jr. is a story of one man’s journey through life and the difficulties of having to deal with an absent father, the effect it had on his impressionable young mind, and the steps he took to overcome his adversities. The author delivered his message of absenteeism among fathers as a perpetuating social issue of epidemic proportions, while using his six valuable steps to reconnect and/or establish a lasting relationship with the absent parent. Although the author states that his father was not always a part of his life, for 52 years they existed as father and son; it’s a very long time to have a relationship with his father compared to young men and/or women who never knew their parent at all.

While reading Misfire by Bennie C. Lee Jr., I found his storytelling style very refreshing and down to earth. It was like revisiting the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s through the eyes of his young character – “Rabbit” – as he matured into a grown man, with detailed descriptions of the style of clothes and the music popular in those days. The scene that brought tears to my eyes was when Rabbit was running around to the various clubs to find his father, not knowing the truth about the events surrounding that near fatal shooting until much later in life. The author even describes in much detail the steps necessary to sharing your story and the impact the absent parent had on your life, and allowing him or her to speak without judgment. I enjoyed reading this well-written book, one that touched my heart and soul. This book would make a great movie.

– reviewed by Elise Towner on Readers’ Favorite

Other Reviews

Bennie Lee’s Misfire is right on target.

The bright, almost blinding, florescent light of our cramped kitchen shown in my wide four-year-old eyes. The yells of my father toward my mother and her lover ring in my ears still forty-two years later. The silhouette of my father, standing in our front door cursing us as my mother knelt to comfort her sobbing son, are seared into my memory. This is my story and that of many others.

The power of Mr. Lee’s message in relating his life is to allow the many others like him, to safely relive the trauma caused by their absentee father, through the eyes of another who has successfully navigated to a place of peace. Peace not just for himself, not just for he and his family, but for himself, family, and for the greater good of us all.

He does this in three parts: firstly by relating a powerful autobiography which poignantly illustrates the key issues, pitfalls, blind spots, misdirections that torment and entangle many people who have experienced an absentee father, and reveals how beneficial and healing it is to repair the relationship; secondly he reveals how this trauma can manifest itself in our personally destructive behavior and how reconnecting with one’s absentee father can have a profound healing influence for ourselves, family, and the community; and finally he correctly instructs those who are suffering to seek expert help. Like the blind leading the blind, we often do not realize how our own filters impact our perceptions then actions.

 – reviewed on Amazon by Dicken Greene

Mr. Lee is able to tell his intricate tale of seemingly personal and family bliss wrenched into turmoil, and its resulting wake of devastation and desperation, in a concise, riveting, and easily read format. Before long, we are drawn in and identify with his experience, because not one of us is, have been, or will be without abandonment in some fashion. His candid, raw, pathos-filled, no-holds-barred reflections of personalities, events, and their effects upon his life and others’ are discussed without varnish or candy coat. This is a true love story that ends well. Take his recommendations for healing seriously, for he has traveled the cruel highway of abandonment and arrived scarred, but strong and victorious.

 – reviewed on Amazon by C.R. Evans

 


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Tuesday Book Review: “The Marriage of True Minds”

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:

The Marriage of True Minds ll field

silver-award

IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards – Silver Medal in Romance Fiction

The Marriage of True Minds: Experience the World of 18th Century England during the Reign of George III

by L.L. Field

ISBN: 9781478728733

Synopsis*:

Journey through 18th-century Georgian England with the Earl of Stoneleigh as he struggles to secure the future of Harcroft Hall by producing an heir with his beautiful wife, Anne of Sudley Manor.  Discover his father’s secret past and meet his mother, the indomitable Dowager Countess of Stoneleigh who will have suitors of her own as one of the liveliest characters in the book.  L. L. Field captures all the details of the period with characters and settings so well-drawn you will not want to put the book down.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

Field’s debut historical novel takes a look at upper-class life in 18th-century England.

Viewers of the hit television show Downton Abbey and fans of modern-day British royalty are certainly familiar with the pressure on aristocrats to produce an heir. Geoffrey and his wife, Anne, Lord and Lady Stoneleigh, adore their five daughters yet worry over the future of their estate, due to their failure to produce a male child as an heir to the family fortune. The story of Geoffrey and Anne’s marriage and daily life introduces readers to their social circle of wealthy men and women, all living on prosperous estates in the English countryside. As Geoffrey and Anne struggle over questions of the future, Geoffrey’s widowed mother delves into her dead husband’s past to find answers regarding the existence of his former lover. The dowager must also decide how she feels about the present-day attentions of her old friend and neighbor, Lord Wortham. Meanwhile, Wortham’s son, Lord Lynnhurst, attempts to win back the affections of his childhood love, Miss Compton, despite her lower social status. These personal conflicts whirl amid a plethora of fancy dinners and extravagant balls, and Field does a marvelous job of sketching out her characters and settings. She beautifully captures the intimacy and mutual respect of Geoffrey and Anne’s relationship and realistically presents the complicated dowager’s many facets and motivations. There are vivid descriptions of sumptuous feasts (“silver trays laden with venison, sirloin of beef…and bowls of steaming buttered potatoes”), and the author revels in bringing ladies’ fashion to life, detailing frocks of “iridescent silk” or a “taffeta brocaded gown interwoven with lace.” In addition, she touches on broader politics and societal trends—such as the controversial Enclosure Acts, which wrested land rights from poor farmers—and the vicious gossip and whims of London society. The work even crosses genres: Field’s detailed research offers a fine contribution to historical fiction, and her passionate love scenes will satisfy those seeking a titillating romance.

A feast for readers looking to taste the luxurious lifestyle of the English upper crust.

– reviewed on Kirkus

Other Reviews

What a wonderful read! Like another reader, I read it on a friend’s recommendation, and was completely captivated. Field masterfully has created a great story line and an extraordinarily well-crafted view of all aspects of upper class England in the mid-to-late 18th century. The pacing is perfect, the characters are developed thoroughly, with humor and wit, and it leaves me hungry for the sequel, which is in the works. It’s particularly skillful at conveying how women found their place, and power, in such a society. I heartily recommend it!

 – reviewed on Amazon by Sharon Hope

This novel is what I’d call a genre-buster. Looking for a bodice-ripper? You’ll be more than satisfied, as Field’s sure hand delivers one of the best you’ll ever read. But if you crave something beyond the thousand you’ve read, here’s your unexpected treat. “True Minds” is true literature; not the stiff stuff you were made to read in school, but rather what you love to read, elevated to a sophistication and a level of intelligence lesser writers deny their readers. Field confidently ascribes to her audience the capability to understand and appreciate her keen sense of history, place, custom, and — most of all — human relationships, complete with their squalor and splendor, their tragedy and fulfillment, their public and private, the frailties and the sinew we all share. The reader is transported convincingly to another time, but vividly recognizes on every page her own regrets, elations, dreams both dreadful and uplifting, and finally, the triumph of the human will and of the human spirit. Celebrate and enjoy this blessedly non-mass-produced work. And Encore!

 – reviewed on Amazon by David C. Bender

Author Website

http://llfield.com/books/the-marriage-of-true-minds/overview/

 


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Tuesday Book Review: “Man At The Cross Road”

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:

man at the cross road jeanne blanchet

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silver-awardIBPA Benjamin Franklin Silver Award for Historical Fiction

Man At The Cross Road

by Jeanne Blanchet, Ph.D.

ISBN: 9781478778547

Synopsis*:

Man at the Cross Road is the gripping story of Marcus Casca, the exactor mortis who headed the death squad that crucified Jesus. After serving his army stint, the tough, desensitized legionary returns to Rome, where, unable to readjust to civilian life, he embarks on a twenty-year spree of debauchery and violent crime. His life is altered when, having fainted on the street from a fever, he is rescued by a Christian Jewish couple. Through them, he meets Church fathers Peter and Paul, Aquila and Priscilla, and other prominent figures in the early “Way” movement. Witnessing the Lord’s Supper, however, he suspects they are cannibals. Additionally convinced they practice sorcery and constitute a potential threat to Roman security, he becomes a government informer, infiltrating their ranks with the intent of gleaning enough evidence to have them arrested, tried, and executed. Little by little, however, the believers’ message of love and salvation works a change in the dissolute thug’s heart. But can he commit? Can he truly believe that Christ died for a despicable sinner like himself? And if so, can he ever dare disclose to his new brethren that it was he who crucified their Jesus? For years he wrestles with these questions. At the novel’s climax, he is offered the money he desperately needs to treat the life-threatening disease he has contracted if he reveals the group’s new secret meeting place, in the process condemning the only friends he has ever known to certain death. Marcus is at a cross roads and must decide once and for all whether he believes. One choice saves his life, the other, his immortal soul.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

Author Jeanne Blanchet has done an amazing job in “Man at the Cross Road,” her story of the man who crucified Jesus. This is a book written in modern terminology, but instills facts that document this event. The author has done extensive research in trying to present the information on a subject that is highly sensitive and controversial. She provides excellent information on the differences in worship services, the Holy Eucharist, and beliefs.

The story begins in Rome 30 CE where readers meet the family of Sextus Cascas, who are awaiting the return of their son Marcus after serving in the Roman Army. Each family member reflects on their memories of Marcus and the feelings/fears they have about his return.

The mother, Gnaea sees only the good in her prodigal son but at the same time remembers his defiant ways as a child. The father, Sextus, tried to be the best father he could, exposing Marcus to learning the family trade, providing trips to the theater and “guy” events. Sister Livia remembers the abusive bully who only cared about getting what he wanted, when he wanted it.

Marcus returns with what we call today PTSD – he is non-communicative, hostile, and violent. His time in the Roman Army has only increased his belief that he is better than anyone else is and all others are stupid and incompetent. After advancing in the ranks of the army, he was chosen for the “death squadron.” The squadron’s goal was to crucify anyone who went against Roman law and security, and those deemed unworthy. Crucifying an individual included being stripped of all clothing, flogged, and then nailed to a cross in a public arena.

The turning event for Marcus was the flogging and crucifixion of the so-called “King of Jews.” Never had any crucifixion impacted him like this one. Not only did this Jew not call out or beg for mercy, he appeared calm and spoke to the crowd and the convicts hanging next to him. Marcus couldn’t get the eyes of Jesus out of his mind and that image followed him for years. It was due to this image and memory that Marcus lost touch with reality and was sent home.

Once returning home, Marcus leads a life of stealing, lying, and taking advantage of any woman he wanted. One such woman was Hadassah who was not killed but sent home. He later encounters her and her family after being found in a ditch due to illness.

The topic of Jesus’ crucifixion is addressed and why it happened or was thought to happen. This was delivered very well with historical facts. The author left it up to the readers to decide if they could forgive a man who did this.

Blanchet provides definitions of terminology, footnotes, maps, and further information on historical facts in the back of the book. One point made was that “No one knows for sure the hour Jesus died,” due to differences in how time was calculated within different groups. She relates that most authorities believe Jesus hung on the cross from 9:00 a.m. until his death at 3:00 p.m.

“Man at the Cross Road” by Jeanne Blanchet is an excellent read that will certainly challenge readers on their beliefs of what really happened.

– reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views

Other Reviews

Dr. Jeanne Blanchet has written a gripping novel about one man’s journey through crucifixion, debauchery and finally, salvation. In the character of Marcus Casea, the chief executioner of Jesus, we find so much about our own struggles with life, faith and the grace so freely offered by Jesus. This book will help believers and non-believers alike — there is so much shared humanity in the book that it cannot help to both captivate and inspire readers to examine their own lives and their relationship with God. A must read!

– reviewed on Amazon by Amazon Customer

Dr J. Blanchet, an accomplished author, spent years of research before writing this intense yet believable story. She cleverly weaves into the story all the teachings of Jesus the Christ in an attempt to influence the dangerous life of the Centurion who crucified Jesus. We highly recommend this book even for those who do not know the Biblical story!

– reviewed on Amazon by Amazon Customer

 


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Tuesday Book Review: “Five O’Clock”

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:

five o'clock Joe Montaño III

writer's digest 25th annual self published book awards

Honorable Mention: Poetry Category

Five O’Clock

by Joe Montaño III

ISBN: 9781478771753

Synopsis*:

“singer, fruit picker, behind his
father, walking music thru desert sunrise.”

Conjured in crude images of thenatural world, the poetry of Joe Montaño III connects the reader to the great music,art, film & literature created before us and to his own cultural past. Hiswords strive to illuminate the breadth of human fallacy, compelling compassionatesouls to speak with punk rock conviction through the filter of profoundabstraction.

From Picasso to Buster Keaton tothe New York Dolls, a source exists within the greatest and most flawed of ourinspirations. From here, and from the many places of travel and childhood home,Joe Montaño pieces together his own culture, while finding a place within hisown elusive Hispanic heritage. Ever the expositor, he persists in his searchfor connection, as well as a place to push off of.

“There oughta-be-a
burn down the town anthem stuttered
by the tongues of youth, those failures
waiting for sunrise so to daydream.”

The poet seeks to create Universalwork that not only endures, but moves and travels with the reader. JoeMontaño’s words reflect a personal & disquieting truth of humanity insurrealistic detail. To identify with these poems is to walk a brambled path -conceding ego, confessing fault – and also made curiously pleased by thethought of our own inherent golden core.

“The sun has called him a murderer, and
punishes his skin and eyes…taking his god away
while shading the poet, the dandy rebel, and
the lovers like naked gypsies
bathing in the light.”

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

If there is any type of poetry I admire the most it would be the abstract and surreal type of poetry.
Likewise Joe Moantano’s first book is packed from cover to cover with both of those, plus poems of humor, stories of his culture and tradition, plus some of his outlooks on life and attitude. It is difficult to pick out a favorite poem out of this book, so instead I’ll just say that “blue#1&2” really stood out. Overall it’s a good book to read over time and thought, and re-read after that. As a person I think of Joe as one of those kinds of enigmatic types who is full of generosity and a passion for poetry. (Although the latter of which may be misunderstood by some folks)

– reviewed on Amazon by Gene Miller

Another Review

Joe Montano III is a thinking man’s poet. No slam poet pop culture fluff here. Read his poetry aloud to appreciate its rhythm and meaning. Hearing Joe’s poetry always inspires me to want to write more myself.

 – reviewed on Amazon by Amazon Customer

 

Author Website

http://artofjoemontanoiii.yolasite.com/

 


tuesday book review

Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space!

Self Publishing Advisor

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