Tuesday Book Review: “Ancient Guardians: The Hawaiian Legend of Sharktooth and Hawkeye”

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:

Ancient Guardians: The Hawaiian Legend of Sharktooth and Hawkeye by Kanani Hurley

Ancient Guardians: The Hawaiian Legend of Sharktooth and Hawkeye

by Kanani Hurley

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478759240

Synopsis*:

The Secrets of an Ancient Legend Come Alive! Adventurous, imaginative, and brave, Kawehi has enjoyed her life on the island of Kaua‘i, and she especially loves the time she spends with Kahoku, her older brother. But when a shocking event unexpectedly turns her world upside down, Kawehi will find herself facing unimaginable truths about her family and the people around her, as she is catapulted headlong into a world of mystery and myth. Although Kawehi’s gentleness and innocence are powerful talismans against the evil she will confront, the strength of her character, and the amazing gifts she never knew she had will allow her to rise to heights of achievement that her family could never have dreamed of. Beautifully written, rich with the culture, surroundings, and native legends of Hawai‘i, Ancient Guardians: The Hawaiian Legend of Sharktooth and Hawkeye introduces a unique heroine and her family, whose adventures you will be excited to follow in this inventive and compelling new series.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review: “Ancient Guardians” By Kanani Hurley

In “Ancient Guardians” by Kanani Hurley, we meet Kawehi, a young girl growing up on the idyllic island of Kaua’i. Kawehi’s life is suddenly thrown off kilter when a serious tragedy occurs that affects her whole family. As the family struggles to process what happened, they discover there is more to the situation than meets the eye. The entire family draws closer together to try to stop potential future events. As the family gathers, Kawehi learns much about the history of her people, and realizes that she will have to fight evil to save the future of her family.

As the adventure progresses, Kawehi discovers that she and her family members all have very special gifts. They must use these talents to defeat the people who are trying to destroy them. The author takes us back in time so that we can see how the drama began. Going forward in time, there are still people from the past that must be dealt with. For Kawehi, this experience helps her grow up very quickly and she soon finds herself becoming the heroine of the story.

I really enjoyed reading “Ancient Guardians.” Even though the heroine is young, the book is written at a level that both teens and adults will be able to enjoy. The subject matter is age appropriate for preteens and teens. This would be the perfect story to have on a summer reading list. The unique setting of being on a Hawaiian Island while trying to solve the mystery of an ancient legend makes the book magical. It quickly captivated me. I loved that the family members had such a tight connection with each other. This helped strengthen their gifts. It is also refreshing to find family members that like each other in a novel for youth.

“Ancient Guardians” by Kanani Hurley is highly recommended reading. This would make a great gift for a young avid reader.

– reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views

Other Reviews

A great read that takes you on a journey between modern Hawaii today and the folklore of ancient Hawaii. A tale about a typical modern Hawaiian family except that they have a special spiritual connection to the past. I enjoyed traveling seamlessly between both worlds. With inspiration coming from a real life tragedy, I couldn’t help but become emotionally involved in the life and death and rebirth of Kahoku. It was moving, it was interesting and it was fun. Also, I’ve noticed that there are many Hawaiian fiction books for younger kids but not so many for intermediate school or above. I will be sharing my book with my teenagers next. Thank you.

– reviewed on Amazon by Charles T. Holt

This tale draws you in as soon as you begin reading. The storyline is captivating and I felt as though I was in a movie theater watching all of it unfold. I felt a connection with the characters and became “emotionally invested” throughout the story. As an avid reader, I gauge the quality of a story on its ability to evoke an emotional response. Ancient Guardians: The Hawaiian Legend of Sharktooth and Hawkeye did just that!

– reviewed on Amazon by Todd S Wataoka

A vivid and poignant story that sends you on a thrilling adventure as you navigate the world of the mano and pueo; you feel as if you are there with Kawehi – watching through her eyes as this mystical world unfolds before her, feeling her love, fear, pain, and strength. This is an amusing, mesmerizing, and sweet story that you will not regret reading.

– reviewed on Amazon by A. Kanakaole

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Tuesday Book Review: “Toxic Sphere”

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:

Toxic Sphere C.N. Sky

Toxic Sphere

by C.N. Sky

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478733751

Synopsis*:

A package vanishes. A ship sets sail. A manhunt begins. The year is 1007 EE, and four great powers–Cadona, Domataland, Sohn-Sur, and Visstel–are battling for world dominance. Leeha Ritsagin is one of the seventeen billion humans caught up in the battle of the giants. She enjoys old movies, works hard, longs for a boyfriend, fears elevators, cares about the world, and is a wanted criminal. Her story begins on a drive across town, and while she worries about getting lost, the danger she faces doesn’t wait for her in the slums of Cadona City. Rather, it comes inside a simple paper bag that appears in the backseat of her old car. Powerful members of the Back-to-Basics Club launch a manhunt to catch the thief who stole their package at a time when Club leaders are primed to take control of the Cadonan government, start a war against fabricated enemies, and deploy the world’s most powerful weapon: Toxic Sphere.

In response to growing international peril, the rising nation of Domataland dispatches its Goodwill Ship to aid a threatened ally. When news of the package’s disappearance reaches the desk of Domataland’s president, he instructs his intelligence chief to find the thief, hoping to use the mysterious package against his Cadonan adversaries. With Leeha’s life in danger, investigative journalist Bob Fullerby begins his own search to find the young woman before her hunters do. C. N. Sky’s debut novel is an ambitious saga with engaging characters, pulse-quickening action, and well-crafted suspense-a definite must-read by an up-and-coming new voice in fiction.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review: Dystopia, religion, politics, and a girl.

This book was quite a surprise! It kind of echoes the scenario of the lord of the rings, wherein a simplistic person is whipped out of their comfortable shell, into a world being manipulated by a handful of different powers. It weaves two themes throughout the book: the workings of a few elite; and the struggle of one “small” person. It’s generally done quite well, and the author is a master at whipping you through mystery and action scenes. The visions of various lands and people are left imprinted very strongly in your mind. One thing that didn’t suit my taste, though, was the presentation of the “elite, royalty” types of characters. They were quite a jarring, deliberate, slow-down from the main character’s journey. If you like classic sci-fi, you’ll love this book! If it had Heinlein or Philip K. Dick’s name on the cover, I’d have been fooled! Looking forward to seeing more like this, if anyone has more recommendations to share?

– reviewed by Waytoofunky

A friend asked me to give this book a read. Usually I ignore such requests but, for some reason the story sounded interesting. Something really resonated with me for some reason.
Long story short: I devoured it in short order.
The story is not from Earth but it so eerily reflects elements from the societies of our planet. People do bad things for selfish reasons, hurting many others in the process. This book presents a similar but different narrative though there always seems to be hope. For every bad thing that happens there is someone ready to stand up and at least try to do right. Even as the tension grows.
There must be a whole series of books because this first volume seems to set up soooo many more twists and turns than one more book could deliver.
Honestly, I kept thinking that this could be a story for a TV series or movie. There are just so many visually dramatic opportunities.

– reviewed by David R. Grindy

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Tuesday Book Review: “Big Albert the Camel”

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:

big albert the camel peggy turnage

CIPA EVVY Award 3rd place

Big Albert the Camel

by Dr. Peggy Turnage

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478729792

Synopsis*:

This is a children’s book about Albert the Camel and his owner Mr. Geoff. Albert and Mr. Geoff try to find work, but Albert always has problems. This book is published by Outskirts Press. The author taught school for 28 years and had strange pets.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review:

This sweet picture book has been overlooked by many and shouldn’t be; the author, Dr. Peggy Turnage, passed away in 2015 and was unable to promote her work to the degree that many others are able. This said, the book itself features gorgeous illustrations by Sally Taylor, full of life and color, vim and vigor, and earnest sweetness. The story follows, as is perhaps expected from the title, Big Albert the (somewhat grumpy old) camel as he journeys through life and learns just what it means to live in this world … and with others!

One of the most attractive elements of this book to us, personally, has been the balance of text to page. Many children’s picture books cram the page so full of text that younger children (under the age of 3, specifically) really struggle to pay attention. Turnage and Taylor manage the text gracefully, here, with just the right combination of image and text–and that text is big and bold and easy to read, perfect for demonstrating finger-reading (when you begin to indicate to children how to read a page by following the words with your finger, which is usually paired with first teaching children their letters and numbers). Really, we couldn’t have invented a more perfect book to cozy up with this winter.

– the editors of Self Publishing Advisor

A clever and interesting children’s book. It should encourage little ones to read.

– reviewed by Professor H

 


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Tuesday Book Review: “When Love Never Ends”

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:

when love never ends j alec keaton

When Love Never Ends

by J. Alec Keaton

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478770626

Synopsis*:

When Love Never Ends is the love story of Sam and Sara, once separated, then reunited, then lost to each other again … unless Sam can find a way to change their destiny. As with many young couples, Sam and Sara meet at a dance, start dating, and soon fall in love. Sam is a college man; Sara only a junior in high school-but for Sam, the age difference doesn’t matter. Sara is the girl of his dreams. He wants to be with her, and she with him, and they look forward to a future together. Plans for that happy future, however, are squashed when Sara’s bigoted father, Ralph Henderson, finds out about Sam’s mixed Japanese-Caucasian heritage. Henderson refuses to allow his daughter to date a “breed,” and devises a cruel scheme to separate them for good. Years later, Sara seeks legal help, and the lawyer she contacts is Sam, now a partner in a prestigious law firm. Though she’s in a difficult personal situation, Sara’s feelings for Sam are easily rekindled, as are his feelings for her. Just when it looks like they will be able to have a future together after all, catastrophe occurs.

After months of crippling grief and depression, Sam develops an interest in his friend’s pet project dealing with time travel. Though Sam once scoffed at the idea, the improbable now seems his only hope: to travel back in time and change the order of events-to change their destiny. When Love Never Ends is a rich saga of a love that endures beyond all bounds. J. Alec Keaton’s evocative images, true-to-life characters, and clever plot twists are exactly on point. He deftly maneuvers the complex concept of time travel in a manner that is both satisfying and convincing. As his main character comes to realize, “Time goes on forever, and life is just a fleeting moment.”

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review: A Book & A Dish

AVOCADO BREAD
(A J. Alec Keaton Favorite)

3 eggs
1 cup Imperial margarine (microwave to soften)
½ cup of nuts (optional)
1 cup diced avocado
2 cups flour
1 ½ cups of sugar
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ cup allspice

Soften margarine and mix with sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, beat well. Add dry ingredients, nuts and avocado. Spray 3 loaf pans with PAM and pour mixture evenly.  Bake at 350 in oven for 45 minutes. (the time may vary slightly depending on the exact temperature of your oven)

Double recipe to make 5 loaves.

 

Review

Sam never uttered the words “I love you” to any woman with whom he had a sexual relationship.  He had said those three words only to Sara, who was the love of his life. Threatened and intimidated by her father, Sam had walked away from her a long time ago. That happened in 1966 and now, thirteen years later, he was still in love with her.  Sam tried not to think of her, but in the deepest reaches of his heart, he could never forget her.  A man never forgets his first love.  Sam’s ultimate desire was to correct the one mistake he’d made long ago.  His friend, Dr. Jeremiah Ebenezer Pike, always talked about the possibility of time travel.  If it was possible to travel back in time, then I’d correct the mistake I made in leaving Sara, Sam thought.

It was only since the loss of his wife four years ago that Ebb had been obsessed with the concept of time travel.  On a Wednesday, Sam met Ebb for dinner.  “Ebb, tell me more about your project of time travel.”

Sara’s father was a bit of a bigot.  When he found out that Sam was part Japanese he forbid Sam to see Sara.  With there being a 5 year age difference he threatened Sam with statutory rape, along with threats regarding Sam’s parents as well as Sara herself if he didn’t break it off with her immediately without allowing her to know that her father had intervened.  Sam had always wanted to be an attorney and this dream would be destroyed if he went to jail. He also worried about what would happen to his parents if his dad lost his job and how Sara would thrive with her father controlling her every move.  He had no choice but to break it off, hurting both of them more than either could imagine.

Sam saw his dream and became a graduate of Harvard University.  He met Elliot Benson who was the controlling partner in an exclusive law firm that represented some of the more wealthy clients in Seattle.  Benson took an immediate liking to Sam and offered him a position within the firm.  Sam was impressed but had committed to work for Senator Kennedy in Washington for four or five years.  After completing this he would return to Seattle and if Benson still wanted him he was his.

After returning to Seattle, Sam’s life was still incomplete.  The missing element was Sara so when she walked into his office one day asking if he would represent her in her divorce against an abusive husband, Sam felt the missing pieces of his life coming back together.  Until……

This book is so beautifully filled with love and commitment.  It also holds hate and disappointments.  But then it holds the possibility of everything being corrected and happiness falling upon everyone within Sam and Sara’s lives.  This was a truly enjoyable book with a surprise around every corner.

– Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds

“When Love Never Ends” is a wonderful portrayal of young first love. In the summer of 1965, Sara Henderson, a junior in high school, attends a college dance with her best friend Becky.and her sister Rose. At the dance, she meets her “Prince Charming”, Sam Stephens, a senior and a quarterback.at the college. For Sara, Sam is all that a girl could ever want in a man, handsome, tall, charismatic, and intelligent. Sam and Sara date throughout the summer and fall madly in love.

Sara’s father, Ralph Henderson, upon meeting Sam immediately dislikes Sam, because he looked a half breed. He had his buddy, Detective Frank Sorenson to investigate Sam. Ralph and Frank are members of the Mountaineer Club, consisting of men with similar racist & bigoted views. Upon learning that Sam is half Japanese and half Caucasian, they derive a scheme so Sam would never see his daughter Sara again.

Years later, Sam graduates from Harvard Law School and becomes successful lawyer/partner with the top law firm in Seattle but he never stopped loving Sara, One day, she walks into his office seeking his council and the love that they had for each other is rekindled, but tragedy does not elude them.

The author, J.Alec Keaton, superbly writes about young love and what their life could have been if we could travel back in time and change the course of action in our lives. He reminds us that wrong decisions we make today can adversely affect our future. It is book of fantasy of “What ifs”.

– reviewed by Donald M. Hashiguchi

“When Love Never Ends” is a very touching love story which combines some sad, hurtful events with racial overtones that tug your heart. Keaton portrays the intense power of first (and forbidden) young love with skill and sensitivity, but also with some intense and tantalizing erotica that makes the pages turn fast and furious.

– reviewed by Joanne

A story of love and caring. Sam is able to travel back in time with the help of his friend Ebb and right the wrongs of the past so that he might live a happier life. He also changes the past for Ebb so that they both share happiness in their future.

– reviewed by Julia Miyakawa

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Tuesday Book Review: “Christmas Eve: A Kiwi Elf’s Dream to Join Santa”

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:

Christmas Eve: A Kiwi Elf's Dream to Join Santa stephen j groak

Christmas Eve: A Kiwi Elf’s Dream to Join Santa

by Stephen J. Groak

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478766735

Synopsis*:

Every big dream requires a leap of faith.

This is the story of a Kiwi elf named Yvette (her friends call her Yve) who lives on Rakiura/Stewart Island–the third largest island in New Zealand. And this little elf has a very big dream…

The great wish of her heart, of her mind, of her soul
Was to join St. Nick’s team at the frosty North Pole.
But how does an elfish lass follow her dream?
With a smoldering passion, and a will full of steam.
New Zealand is a long, long way from Santa and the North Pole, but Yve is determined to join St. Nick and his eight reindeer…and this Christmas Eve, her wish just might come true!
 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Reviews: “black starblack starblack starblack starblack star : A Cosmic Christmas Adventure!”

Christmas Yve is very eloquently written and has so much depth that you will enjoy listening to it again and again and hear something new each time. It is a true work of art that is not only excellent for children but also for the spiritual seeker looking to understand the deeper meaning of Christmas. Stephen paints pictures with his words and you feel part of the story. The message I got was: not to be afraid and to trust with all of your heart. If you do- one day you’ll have the opportunity to Jump into the love you yearn to feel. If you do Jump you will experience a whole new life that you could only dream was possible before. It will be your new reality. Savor this work of art! You’ll love it!

– Amazon Reviewer Michelle

“Christmas Yve” is a magical journey that expands your imagination to the yonder years of your childhood. Yve reminds us of the innocence that each child experiences during Christmas, as well as taking the leap of faith; “the impossible jump to growing up”.

– reviewed by Amazon Customer

A tale of Christmas so sweet and enchanting, you’ll be hooked from the start—such passion and rhyming! Reminiscent of writings so clever, but whose? Not Tennyson, Not Kipling, Not Emerson, but SEUSS! So heed this advice–(you’ll be happy you did!)–snuggle up on the couch and enjoy it with your kid!

– reviewed by Alan Kendrick

What a heartwarming Christmas tale! The New Zealand setting sets it apart from most Christmas stories. I especially loved the charming Kiwi accent of the narrator and the life lessons intertwined throughout the story. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and look forward to sharing it with my family this upcoming Christmas season.

– reviewed by wiggle

“For Yve’s way of thinking, Santa Claus was a saint, more than a white beard, red suit – oh, so quaint- but a servant to Him without equal, bar none, the Christ in Christmas: the “only Begotten Son.”” I love this line in the book. I want my children to know that Christmas is not just about Santa, it is also about Him. This is a must read for my family during the holiday season.

– reviewed by Amazon Customer

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Tuesday Book Review: “Touchstone”

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:

touchstone linda eatmon-hones

Touchstone

by Linda Eatmon-Jones

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478773092

Synopsis*:

TOUCHSTONE by Linda Eatmon-Jones is an inspirational biography of her husband, Earle F. Jones’ life and the incredible family legacy he was born into. The devastation of a Ku Klux Klan raid, burning down all of his family’s property in the early 1920s, created a determination in his grandfather not to let that traumatic event define the family’s future. The resiliency, strength and courage his grandfather used to create a new future for their family started a legacy of success that contributed to the successful man Earle is today. The lessons taught to each generation of letting education guide your destiny is Earle’s road map to being a life student, compassionate friend, accomplished professional and caring citizen of the world. The essays, written by family, friends and colleagues bear out how Earle embodies those lessons created by a family legacy.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Reviews: “black starblack starblack starblack starblack star

Touchstone is an open love note of appreciation from a loving and devoted wife to a husband who has shouldered the many burdens of the world and amazingly found a way to remain steadfast in such a way that will inspire generations beyond his family unit.

Jennifer M. Stewart, Ph.D., President, Stewart Strategies & Solutions, LL

Linda did an absolutely outstanding job bringing Earle’s family to life on paper. The book captures all his phases in life, and makes them come together as, “the slices of a whole pie” and they fit nicely together. As his sister-in-law, I have an advantage that most don’t have in seeing him up close and personal. His logical thinking makes you do an “aha” sometimes. His advice is mostly never off course and the book conveys his character to a tee.

– Reverend Jennifer Gatling-Sharpe

Reading the book makes you think about your own legacy. Motivational and inspiring!

Helen Latten, Retired Administrator, Fairfax County (VA) Public Schools

The book is about “Love” and strong family ties that show how the author’s husband is destined to help others live a better life. I use it as a teaching tool to some of the kids in our sports tennis club. It lets them know there is nothing you cannot overcome if you put your mind & heart into it.

Carroll Spyke Henry, President, Smart Activities for Fitness and Education (S.A.F.E.)

A very warm and touching demonstration of how the life of one man can have an everlasting positive effect on so many people in seemingly wide-spread and unrelated worlds.

Sylvia Turrell, Ph.D., Retired Professor Emeritus, University of Lille, France

Author Website:

Touchstones for Impact


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Tuesday Book Review: “The Vicissitudes of Fortune”

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 vicissitudes of fortune bob siqveland

cipa evvy award

a CIPA EVVY Award Winner for 2017!

 

The Vicissitudes of Fortune

by Bob Siqveland

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478785897

Synopsis*:

Five teenagers from diverse backgrounds are brought together by a war. A Japanese, a Jew, a Native American, an African American, and a white kid from middle-class America form an interdependent relationship in the jungles of Vietnam. They become the most highly decorated squad in a war they don’t understand, but their relationships transcend the social structures of racism formed through historical injustices, and they remain best friends for decades. Their iconic leader, Billy Stone, one day finds himself entangled with a Medicare scam dreamed up by his sister’s husband. For his sister’s sake, he must find a solution. The livelihoods of the others form within the law enforcement communities in their individual and collective quest for justice as they grow from boys to men of great character.

Even the strongest of character has its flaws, but these men are the best of the best, and there is only one adversity they cannot overcome. From the Selma-to-Montgomery march, the internment camps of WWII, the poverty and desolation of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation; to the estrangement of a father and son and a suicide of great consequence, this team of five becomes one. At the same time, there are “takers” like Billy’s brother-in-law who infect the American system. They need to be brought to justice, but the price will be high. On the smallest of scales, this is an epic tale of how the dream of a world community can become a reality.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review: “black starblack starblack starblack star

This cinematographic novel examines dreams for a better America against a callous political system.

Bob Siqveland’s The Vicissitudes of Fortune is an epic tale of five racially and socially diverse young men thrust into the sweltering jungles of Vietnam to fight a new kind of war for a reason they do not understand. With their lives in each other’s hands, they band together to become the war’s most decorated squad, bound by one of the strongest and most enduring of human bonds: the brotherhood of soldiers who have borne the hell of war together.

Weaving fictional narrative with historical information, Siqveland traces the lives of these five soldiers––a Native American, a Jew, an African American, one of Japanese descent, and a middle-class white kid—placing them in the midst of the tumult of twentieth century America with its racism, greed, social inequity, and class distinctions.

The overarching story is that of squad leader Billy Stone, whose beloved younger sister is endangered by her husband’s involvement in a massive Medicare scam. When the scam is revealed with tragic results, the bond between these courageous and honorable men is all that holds them and their families together.

Siqveland provides startling facts and behind-the-scenes information on some of the pivotal events and personages of the past century, vibrantly bringing to life everything from World War II and the Japanese internment camps, to the wars and broken treaties that marked US relations with Native American tribes, to Haight-Ashbury and the “Summer of Love.” Justice, or the lack thereof, is another strong theme, and Siqveland’s five protagonists all come to work in the legal system, the FBI, the CIA, tribal leadership, or law enforcement.

Siqveland writes with fire and passion, but his characters are also convincing in scenes of quiet reflection, love, and tenderness. Some descriptions are necessarily graphic and disturbing. At their beginnings, historical sections tend to be long, slowing the narrative flow.

As events draw to a climax, the pacing picks up; almost every chapter ends with a cliff-hanger, impelling forward movement. Descriptions are vivid and colorful, and emotions ranging from rage to the sweetness of love are handled with subtlety and skill.

Dialogue is authentic in feel and tone, and settings are colorfully drawn. Characters are fully developed, both believable and sympathetic. Along with their strength, courage, and high ethical standards, their flaws are also revealed, making it easy to relate to their struggles and care about them. A final scene proves disappointing, as two characters escape the consequences of their crime.

Cinematographic in scope, Bob Siqveland’s The Vicissitudes of Fortune pits hopes and dreams for a better America and a safer, saner world against the egomaniacal quest for power and money that infects the political system at all levels. Conspiracies, cover-ups, and secrets abound, while against this dark backdrop, the character, dignity, and love of five young soldiers shine like a beacon that spans decades, giving hope for future generations.

–  Reviewed by Kristine Morris of ForeWord Reviews

What Other Reviewers Are Saying …

Drawing on his background as an Army Captain commanding a field artillery battery, Bob created this riveting tale of five men from diverse backgrounds who served together and bonded during the Vietnam war. Their story is interwoven with a modern-day journey through character, greed and corruption relevant to today’s political landscape.

Engaging characters and crisp dialogue provide enlightening background on subjects as diverse as native American history, Medicare scams, treatment of Japanese Americans during World War II, politics, social inequity and race relations.

Bob’s often stream-of-consciousness writing includes philosophical thoughts and anecdotes which highlight the theme of justice / injustice in all forms. ultimately it’s a reminder of how dignity and character can make a difference in our world.

– Amazon Reviewer Avid Reader

Siqveland truly is a master storyteller! And, this book is a real page turner. The plot is well conceived, and the characters are interesting and come from such varied backgrounds. It is those varied backgrounds that allow Siqveland to incorporate a number of historically important events of the time. The history buffs will find the facts well-researched and accurate, and all of us will enjoy being reminded of those important events. Another fun characteristic of Siqveland’s work is the inclusion of several proverbs and famous quotes everything from Confucius to Churchill.

– Amazon Reviewer T.K. Campbell

Book Trailer:

Author Interview:

ATAI: Tell us a little about you.

Bob Siqveland: I’m now 73 but am happy to say that friends and relatives still tell me to “grow up.” I tell them, “I know a bunch of grown-ups and they’re not much fun.” I tell those that will listen to find their passion. I have five or six passions, all on the right side of my brain. These include painting, wood carving and music (as a recording artist and songwriter). I once considered getting an MRI just to see if I even had a left brain. But, among the ironies of life, I have been involved in left brain businesses most of my life, primarily as a venture capitalist and manager. I have to credit my time as a Commander in the Army for nurturing certain leadership qualities that I have carried forward in my career. I have started a number of companies in the past 50 years and currently work in the gaming industry. I don’t think I will ever retire. I love the motion and energy of being productive, plus to re-tire, you must have been tired in the first place…which I never was.

ATAI: How long have you been writing?

Bob Siqveland: I have been involved in written communications most of my life, but in 2003 I decided to write a novel. It was a response to the disclosures from a John Jay College of Criminal Justice study about pedophilia in the Catholic Church. As a Catholic, I was angry and titled the book accordingly. The story ended up being about growing up in the 1950’s and 60’s, not unlike Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye.

ATAI: What was your most recent release?

Bob Siqveland: The Vicissitudes of Fortune

Click here to get your copy!

ATAI: What do you love most about writing?

Bob Siqveland: In a nutshell, the creativity. Like a painting, or a wood sculpture, creating art from nothing and have people say, “loved it. I laughed, I cried, and almost everything in between.” That is the reward.

ATAI: What do you find most challenging?

Bob Siqveland: Almost everything after having finished my manuscript. The fun is over, now I need editing, publishing quotes, marketing gurus, etc. and, the least fun requirement—$$Moolah.

ATAI: Where do your ideas come from?

Bob Siqveland: Something someone said, a verse from a song, a personal reaction, I write it down, then add a sentence which turns into a paragraph which becomes a chapter. After that, my metaphorical creative horses break out of the corral and run to the four winds. I lose control and at some point, stop to catch my breath, recruit some help (like an editor) to go round up the mustangs. Almost seems that I’m not steering the story, it’s pulling me along. That probably sounds weird, but segues to your next question.

ATAI: What is your writing process?

Bob Siqveland: Most unconventional I’d have to say. Jack Kerouac’s On the Roadmight have been the best example of “stream of consciousness” writing. I understand. I have no outline or structure. Something strange happens. Where I find myself searching for a word or a name in conversation, when I write, there is uninterrupted flow…like magic. I keep forging ahead until the bell rings, then I bring in the reserves to clean up the mess. Kind of strange, huh?

ATAI: Do your characters (or message) ever seem to have a life of their own or an agenda of their own?

Bob Siqveland: With my characters, I sometimes feel a conflict of interest. Playing God with these people’s lives is emotional as well as creative. I gave birth to an iconic character who became my friend, developed him and then killed him to make the story work. I felt sad; a strong sense of loss. I didn’t write for two days. Some of my readers were mad at me for doing that, but it made the story work.

ATAI: What’s your favorite part of your book (or one of your books)?

Bob Siqveland: In The Vicissitudes of Fortune, Billy Stone, a Vietnam vet goes to Mexico to put his life in perspective. My sentient radar is on overload as he purges his demons. His time there is special to me as the author. He sits down to watch and absorb a sunset.

Only once did his mind get caught up in thoughts about Nam, that being when a flock of pelicans did their dive bomb thing, not far off shore, snapping up the surface fish as they submerged and took off again with gunny sack chins full of wriggling appetizers. They would circle and come back for more, the first batch probably still wriggling in undigested stomachs. In any event, it sparked the vision of diving Douglas A-4 Skyhawk’s strafing the jungles with napalm, and in the heat of the day, he shivered.

And so tomorrow became today while certain events that happened yesterday lost their clarity and faded into a bigger and more generic timeframe called the past, slipping away like grade school best friends forever, whose names and faces become harder to remember, while strangely, one might recall the faces of the parents. Time has been called a thief, but for the dispassionate, it’s but a pickpocket; for those who lust from the very depths of their spiritual marrow for connection to every grain of life’s essentia, time is a mugger, and Billy had always been a person of passion.

If there were dog days of summer in Mexico, they were different than the northern hemisphere intensity, and for Billy they were metaphorically, puppy days; soft and warm and fuzzy, with eyebrows that said a hundred things, and nights when sweet pup breath and a pink tongue seemed to lick the wounds of a survivor in a loving effort to bring solace. A little at a time, it did. Still, like puppy tails, Billy’s mind was in constant motion. The only truth Billy knew for sure was that he had lived, others not.

ATAI: What are you working on next?

Bob Siqveland: I’m just not sure. This story took a lot out of me. I’m not sure I can do any better. We’ll see.

ATAI: Where can people find you online?

Bob Siqveland: http://bobsiqveland.com/

http://amzn.to/2vhgDPM

ATAI: Thank you for sharing with us and our audience.

Bob Siqveland: Thanks for reading this interview and I truly wish all you writers much success and great reward.

– review on Authors Talk About It


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