Saturday Book Review: “Still Marching On”

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, courtesy of Midwest Book Review.

Still Marching On Lynda Stephenson

Still Marching On

by Lynda Stephenson

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478771982

Synopsis:

Frankilee Baxter is back! And she is as sassy and resolute as ever. In Still Marching On, Miss Baxter aspires to participate in the Civil Rights Movement, become editor of the Athena College newspaper, and marry Calvin Morris-and odds are, she’ll make her dreams come true with sheer force of personality. A witty young woman with nerve and verve, Frankilee is in no way the traditional Southern sorority girl, which brings disappointment and alarm to her family, as well as shock and dismay to Calvin’s parents. With humor and heart, this highly anticipated third novel by award-winning author Lynda Stephenson depicts the triumphs and the failures of a plucky girl determined not only to stand against the Southern customs she loathes but also to marry the man she loves.
“Here is the story of the irrepressible Frankilee Baxter, who, while she may be a disappointment to the 1960s down-south establishment, will fight to the end for life and liberty, and all that she believes in. I loved it.”
-Carolyn Wall, author of Sweeping Up Glass and Playing with Matches

Critique:

A resolute college student rails against discrimination and injustice in the South in this third novel in the Frankilee Baxter series by Stephenson (The Southern Chapter of the Big Girl Panties Club, 2013, etc.).

Frankilee is well known for her steely determination. In previous novels, she helped save a girl from abusive parents, and dealt with burglary, kidnapping, a shooting, and heated racial issues – all taken in stride as part of her formative years.

In quieter moments, she continued her fervent hunt for a steady boyfriend. The third installment opens in 1960 with Frankilee transferring from Athena College in San Antonio to the University of Texas in Austin, along with her black roommate, Eleanor Wilson. Although the university is deemed to be integrated, they are met immediately with racial hatred. A landlady turns the two away screaming, “What do you mean, bringing this nigra girl to my front door?” They are pelted with tomatoes by fellow students who tell Eleanor to “go back to Africa” and hurl vicious insults at Frankilee. The women are rescued by Calvin Morris, Frankilee’s old basketball coach and love interest, setting the tone for the remainder of the story: a blend of endearingly quirky romance and determined resistance to Southern bigotry.

Choosing to return to the expensive Athena against her mother’s advice, Frankilee pushes to become an integral part of the civil rights movement, and attempts to gain a voice in the institution by becoming the editor of the college newspaper, her relationship with Calvin developing all the while. Stephenson possesses the rare ability to make a reader want to actively root for the protagonist. Frankilee is political, stubborn, and fiery, but she is also loyal, witty, and warm. It is difficult not to fall in love with her.

Despite excavating the abhorrent and often nonsensical nature of racism, the novel displays an effervescent humor and offers some delicious caricatures: “Mr. Hatham is a banty-rooster of a man with reddish hair carefully combed to hide no hair. He has an inflated chest and prancing feet.” This elegant and intuitive writing, loaded with wisdom and charm, is prevalent throughout. The book delivers an astute examination of American race and gender politics, with a generous serving of love and laughter.

In this compelling and insightful tale, a strong Texas heroine passionately advocates civil rights.

reviewed on the Reviewer’s Bookwatch of Midwest Book Review ]

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

Another outstanding book by Lynda Stephenson. Great character development, and very authentic to the period. If you were a college student during the 1960’s you can really identify with the subjects dealt with in this book. The civil rights movement, the freedom riders, the limited professional opportunities for women college graduates, and the predetermined expectations of parents for their children, especially girls. Frankilee, the main character, takes on all these issues with wit, humor, passion, and, yes, her rebellious ways. Ms. Stephenson’s previous book in the Frankilee Baxter series focuses on Frankilee’s freshman and sophomore year; in this book the focus is her junior and senior year. She is more mature, more thoughtful, and more concerned about social inequality. She truly grows into adulthood. Obviously, this is a great book for anyone that was a young adult in the 1960’s, but if you have parents or grandparents that lived through that period and you want to know what they experienced and what life was like, then this book is for you. FINALLY, THE BOOK HAS A GREAT ENDING!

– Amazon Reviewer AdaBill

In ‘Marching On,” Frankilee Baxter is fundamentally the same wonderful, perplexing, and often perplexed character that we came to know and love in “Dancing With Elvis” and “The Southern Chapter of the Big Girl Panties Club”. In this third novel of the series, author Lynda Stephenson expands upon the theme of integration as it developed in the 50’s and early 60’s. The struggle for civil rights in the South becomes the central factor in Frankilee’s personal struggle to establish her worth and purpose in life. More than ever, she is an idealist who pays dearly for pursuing social and moral goals that clash with purveyors of deeply entrenched bigotry. Though tempered by her comical girlhood blunders, Frankilee at the same time leads the patient reader down (or up) a primrose path seriously darkened by physical and emotional pain.
Looking for structure, Frankilee attempts to summarize her life in literary terms: as classical comedy, which ends with a wedding, rather than as tragedy, which ends in death. Yet more specifically one might say that her willful suffering bespeaks a more complicated persona than one finds in Jane Austin or Emily Dickinson, two of Frankilee’s heroines.
Nor is Frankilee’s journey deeply tragic in the Shakespearian sense of an uber-complicated Hamlet. Her sacrificial cause is rooted in the powerful utopian dream of idealists such as John Lewis and Martin Luther King, Jr. Buttressed by the somewhat enlightened progressives among her friends and family, her optimistic belief in a more just world seems realistically achievable.
Marching On is the story of a small town girl in the throes of becoming a world class woman. She entertains us with an overlay of buffoonery, but she is defined by her capacity for love, including love for her friends, for her family (no matter how obtuse or obnoxious); for her man, and, most importantly, for the unvarnished Truth, however awkward or undignified that makes her feel. In her own personable way, Frankilee Baxter embodies the correct side of our unfolding history.

– Amazon Reviewer James A. Moore

Book Trailer


saturday self-published book review

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

Self Publishing Advisor

selfpubicon1

Saturday Book Review: “Hero of My Dreams”

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, courtesy of Midwest Book Review:

her of my dreams j r pitts

Hero of My Dreams

by J.R. Pitts

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478769057

Synopsis:

The crew of the Arklardin Command Air Transport traverses a wormhole that empties them into the spiral Milky Way galaxy. Time is running out and they must find the one they seek. This is the third day of their search to find a hero who can lead Arklardin against an alien invasion. ZEUS, their on-board computer, directs them to a small blue planet. Kumari, the beautiful science officer who operates the advanced computer wonders, “Will we find the one we seek here?”
Arklardin is a peace-loving planet millions of light years from Earth. Their ancestors outlawed war centuries ago and nothing could have prepared them for this intrusion upon their serenity. An evil tyrant interrupted the nation of Pretoria’s winter games; his chilling words rang out across their fairgrounds: “Surrender or die.”
Kumari is filled with dread as she realizes her dreams are coming true. For over two years she has been tormented by visions of imminent danger to her world. She is perplexed and confused because the hero of her dreams always snatches her from the jaws of the dragon but never lets her see his face. If her hero is her fiance, then why does he hide his face? Surely if he is known to her, he would show himself. Kumari and her crew have been commissioned by the Pretorian king to search other worlds and recruit the warrior they so desperately need.
Dragoon is Lord and Master of the planet Zharbruk. His lust for power and conquest causes him to turn his eyes to his neighbor, the huge peace-loving planet of Arklardin. A secret alliance gives his forces what they need to begin the interplanetary assault. However,his vision of conquest is not limited to his own solar system. Once he has Arklardin under his heel, there will be other inhabited worlds to conquer. Will the universe bring forth a champion to defend this beautiful planet?
Meanwhile on Earth, a young, handsome war hero contemplates his life and the war he has come home from. Awarded the Medal of Honor for courage during a bloody action in Southeast Asia, he wonders if there is some grand design for his life. Has he endured the horrors of war for nothing, or has a Higher Power been preparing him for some worthy cause? He is confused at the direction of his life. Lieutenant Alexander Freeman last saw Veronica standing beside his best friend when he sailed off to war. He was not prepared for her Dear John letter to arrive the day his first tour of duty ended. It was at this time he began to have the dreams. A beautiful apparition often visited and seemed to be in peril. He knows it is only a dream but is puzzled at the strong emotions manifested.
Arriving back in his hometown of Wimauma, Florida, the war hero settles into the rustic life of a cattleman. One night as he lays beside the pristine Little Manatee River, absorbed in the beauty of the night sky, a bright light suddenly catches his attention.Alexander Freeman has no idea the events of this night will cast him into conflict out among the stars where he has always found solace. Destiny has finally found him and his life will never be the same.
Could it be possible these two young lives have connected in their dreams from worlds millions of light years apart?Have the dreams of Kumari and Alex brought them together for some purpose other than repelling the invasion? Is he truly her hero and can he, in the process of saving her, save her world?

Critique:

Hero of My Dreams by J. R. Pitts is a fantasy all readers must have. It is fast-paced. Tons of action, as well as immediate danger, plunge readers deeper into the story. A journey that travels beyond space into dreams. This romantic story packs a lot. A peaceful planet in danger of a horrible invasion and they only have so much time before they find someone who can save them. One man on earth might be just the one. Alex, already a hero from fighting a war in his country keeps having dreams of a woman. What he doesn’t expect or know is that the woman is real and her planet is in trouble. Dreams, love, fate, and war are all tied in beautifully by this talented writer. I normally am very picky when it comes to fantasy novels and this one has met every one of my expectations. I was instantly taken into the foreign world created in this stunning fictional piece. The characters were believable. Enemies can be defeated and dreams can come true. I loved reading Hero of My Dreams. Overall, I highly recommend it to readers everywhere.

 

reviewed by Danielle Urban of Midwest Book Review ]

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

‘Hero of My Dreams’ by J.R. Pitts focuses on the princess of a peace loving planet (Arklardin). She is forced to fight for the freedom of her people against the evil Lord of Zharburk. This book has fantasy with intrigue, and romance with adventure. Written in an easy to read style, this book proves what a born storyteller J.R. Pitts is, because the entire driving force behind the book is the fact that it is unashamedly a fantasy story. With vivid atmosphere deftly brought to life, the author’s writing goes beyond creating a story in our minds; it truly feels like you’re walking in their footsteps. The fact that he manages to blend Sci-fi with the Medieval seamlessly is even more spectacular. The attention to detail only serves to make this story even more enjoyable. Can an earthling prove worthy of a princess’ love. Can a princess find the hero of her dreams? Open this book to find out.

– Amazon Reviewer Sara Knight

Hero of My Dreams is a fantastic book.It has fantasy,romance and adventure all wrapped up in one great book.It kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. I laughed…I cried reading the romantic parts.You can feel the passion that J R Pitts has for writing when you read his books. If there was a rating higher than 5 stars J R Pitts would surely deserve it.

– Amazon Reviewer Connie B.


saturday self-published book review

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

Self Publishing Advisor

selfpubicon1

Saturday Book Review: “The Pursuit of Wisdom”

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, courtesy of Midwest Book Review:

the pursuit of wisdom dean chavooshian

The Pursuit of Wisdom

by Dean Chavooshian

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478743255

Synopsis:

Like many, I have given the origin and meaning of life a great deal of thought in an effort to live it fully-with grace and intelligence. In the process, I discovered that theological/philosophical discussions on reality are empty without the consideration of scientific inquiry as they inform each other on the nature of human existence. We can benefit immensely from the great minds chronicled in this book that have dramatically changed the world and helped man imagine himself in it-leading to one’s own self-discovery. DISCOVER In Theology: (1) Is the soul immortal? Is reincarnation possible? (2) Islam’s holiest shrine in Mecca was built by the founding father of the Jewish nation. (3) How one man uprooted 1500 years of Roman Catholic domination with a simple document. In Philosophy: (1) Is the world pre-determined with orderly harmony or governed by man’s free will? (2) Is knowledge gained solely from experience and reasoning-or is it innate? (3) How the self-awareness of existentialism allows one to live an authentic life. (4) How 9th century Muslim scholars contributed to the foundation of modern civilization. In Science: (1) What makes all physical matter stable? How does matter reproduce itself? (2) Isaac Newton described gravity’s effect, but it was Einstein who showed how it originated. (3) Did man evolve or was he created? (4) The search for a unifying theoretical basis of all the sciences. SEE: thepursuitofwisdom.net.

Critique:

As informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, “”The Pursuit of Wisdom: A Chronological Inquiry of the World’s Most Influential Seekers of Wisdom In the Fields of Theology, Philosophy and Science” is an extraordinary and occasionally iconoclastic read from beginning to end. While strongly recommended for community, college, and university library collections, it should be noted for students and non-specialist readers with an interest in philosophy, theology, and science, that “The Pursuit of Wisdom” is also available in a paperback edition (9781478743255, $16.95) and in a Kindle format ($4.99).

reviewed on The Philosophy Shelf of Midwest Book Review ]

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

An amazing amount of information and research of the greatest minds in history on Philosophy, Theology and Science. Each chapter provided clear and concise information and, in some cases, piqued my interest enough to want to explore additional readings suggested by the author. I feel this book would appeal, not only to those with little or no knowledge in these subjects, but, also, to those well versed in these fields as well. The book truly is the first step in “the pursuit of wisdom”.

– Amazon Reviewer B. Sitner

Concise descriptions of the ideas of 83 leading figures in the history of theology, philosophy and science. The subjects range from Abraham and Moses to Francis Crick and Martin Luther King, with stops along the way to consider individuals as diverse as Sun Tzu, Al-Ghazali, Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, and David Hume. Obviously, no subject is considered in the depth that would satisfy an expert but no one can be an expert on all the subjects discussed. In each case the author briefly describes the life and times of subject and then describes the subject’s central ideas, making liberal use of the subject’s own words. The author does not try to debunk, minimize or exaggerate his subject’s contributions and treats all with due respect. One cannot read this book without reflecting on the common intellectual heritage of all mankind.

– Amazon Reviewer W.R. Stern

 


saturday self-published book review

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

Self Publishing Advisor

selfpubicon1

Saturday Book Review: “It’s Me, Achilles B: It’s Time to Say Hello”

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, courtesy of Midwest Book Review:

its-me-achilles-b-its-time-to-say-hello by michelle bravo

It’s Me, Achilles B: It’s Time to Say Hello

by Michelle Bravo

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478755258

Synopsis:

Achilles B Is New in Town, and Ready to Meet You! Achilles B is friendly, sweet, and up for just about any adventure. He’s here to delight and inspire kids as he navigates challenges such as making new friends and starting school. He also gives fun, positive examples of how to make healthy decisions and keep an upbeat, kind outlook on life. Achilles’ intelligence and charm endear him to everyone he meets in this charming story for readers of all ages.

Critique:

Achilles B is a fun loving little dog who tells what it is like for him to adopt a family. In his own words he reveals his life with his furry friend Coco and the many adventures he is able to have in his life. “It’s Me, Achilles B”. is fun reading for any dog owner to enjoy. Though a kid’s title readers of all ages can enjoy Achilles B’s story.

 

reviewed by Gary Roen of Midwest Book Review ]

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

Many of us have dogs that are part of the family. We call them our “fur-babies” or the “grand-dogs.” And we’ve all seen (or heard stories about) dogs that are jealous when a human baby arrives on the scene and the dog is no longer the only little person in the house. But there are also those dogs who are incredibly close to their human siblings and treat the whole family as their pack.

Achilles B. definitely thinks of himself as an equal member of the family. He talks about his parents, and his friends (the kids), and the family pet (a cat named Coco). With the direct address style that young readers enjoy in books like Junie B. Jones, Achilles tells about his family’s move from Texas to Connecticut. He shares what his favorite activities are and how he helps with the family cat by chasing her around the house to make sure she gets enough exercise. He even enjoys having pancakes on snow days. (Who doesn’t love snow days?)

The friendly and positive tone of his explanation makes a move to a new home seem like an adventure rather than something scary. Achilles explains that his father got a new job, so he gets to meet new kids. He also finds out that kids are alike no matter where you live; they all enjoy having fun. His discussion of how the family chose their new cat and shared out the responsibilities for her care is a good introduction to talking about being good pet owners. Young readers will probably laugh when Achilles says that he volunteered to play with her, and they may even point out that he can’t feed her because he can’t open the cans of cat food.

Readers may want to write out stories from the viewpoint of their own pets. How do pets see their human family? What do they think of all the things that humans do, but pets don’t? With the popularity of the recent movie, “The Secret Lives of Pets,” there is plenty of inspiration. Others may want to write a story about a time they moved to a new home with their family.

Whether it leads to new stories and artwork being created, or simply creates an enjoyable reading experience, the book and Achilles will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy.

– Amazon Reviewer Suzanne R. Costner

Michelle Bravo’s story is full of emotion, magnetism and surprise. Through Achilles, we learn about the closeness of family and the love children and adults have for their pets. More importantly, we learn that family is ever changing, but love for one another, including the family pet, remains constant. After reading this book, I want to know more about this family and their day-to-day interactions with the world and one another. A truly delightful book for children. Adults will enjoy the read as well.

– Amazon Reviewer Gale Bellas-Papageorge, PhD

 


saturday self-published book review

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

Self Publishing Advisor

selfpubicon1

Saturday Book Review: “The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott”

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, courtesy of BlogCritics.org:

The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott michael osborn

The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott

by Michael Osborn

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781432788933

Synopsis:

Matthew was fired from his job as church historian. His wife divorced him. At the funeral of his father, he realized it was his excommunication that killed him. Does Caitlynn have to die also, because Matthew was a naughty boy? Can he find her before it’s too late? They took everything from Matthew. All he had left was his rage.

Critique:

I was interested in how a book written in the thriller genre could answer “Was Joseph Smith the Hugh Hefner of the early 1800s?” and was soon to find out.

The beginning of the plot finds Matthew Alcott in the desert, naked and beaten. He makes his way to a small New York town, Resurrection Corner, and settles in find solace in a 12-step meeting for alcoholics. Alcott writes a book, gleaned from information gathered while he was a historian for the Mormon Church, which exposes Joseph Smith and revelations that were hidden by the church. The hierarchy of the church finds out about the manuscript and uses unscrupulous ways to prevent its publication.

That is the premise and the mainstay of the plot, but there is another side to the story and that is the struggles of an alcoholic and how the disease influences life. There was a complete sub-culture that readers, especially men in recovery, would relate to and get pulled into the story.

Personally, I found the exposed information on the Mormon Church interesting. Being this is a fiction book, I’m not sure how much of the information is embellished, but I would assume the basis is true. The power of the church and those running it are viewed as being corrupt with political and cultural clout.

The beginning of the book was very difficult to read because it in written in staccato style. The overuse of fragmented sentences presented flow issues and got boring. I also found redundant and irrelevant parts of the book that could be left out. These alone were burdening. As well, there were a significant number of editing issues that a professional editor would catch and polish up. Because of these issues, it was hard for me to convince myself to continue reading, but after reading reviews of the book, I continued with the challenge.

The second half of the book became more urgent than the first half, and the writing style changed to give the plot more flow and begged interest to move forward. I enjoyed reading the second half because the writing was more grounded. In fact, a few chapters did end up being page-turners, but the whole book fell short of the thriller genre.

I believe Michael Oborn has a gift of writing and could have his work developed into thrillers worth mentioning. His dedication to research the topic is noted and his knowledge of alcohol dependency and addiction certainly comes through in his writing. Although fiction, I do encourage readers interested in some aspects of the Mormon Church to check out The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott: Heritage of Secrets I think you will find it fascinating.

reviewed by Cristina Lanzi of BlogCritics.org ]

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

This somewhat fact-based, action packed fiction, is suitable for any ‘thriller’ reader – and you do not have to be Mormon or ex-Mormon to understand or enjoy it. Other reviews have already explained the storyline, and I don’t like to write ‘spoilers’, so I will in the main concentrate instead on the actual ‘read’.

One reviewer commented that they did not like the clipped sentence style but I found it dramatic and compelling. One or two other authors are renowned for it but it must be difficult to make it work as the style is rare. Mike Oborn has no such problem and I found it refreshing, quite appropriate for the story, and absolutely delightful to read. For me it added a quality to the work which is somewhat unique and I found it very enjoyable.

The book contains a book within a book, a story within a story, as our hero tries to publish a book which his Church would rather did not see the light of day. Another review describes the work as being similar to ‘Angels and Demons’; something I very much doubted – until I read it. Turns out that it is that good and it would make a very powerful movie. I simply could not put it down – all the time captured by where we were and wondering what happens next – just the way a good thriller should be.

I know the author suffered at the hands of the Mormon Church and left the fold several decades ago and it has taken this long for him to find a way of putting the past behind him – he finally found it in the form of writing. This I can thoroughly empathise with as I am a fellow ex-Mormon. I resigned membership and wrote my own way (non-fiction) through the trauma that follows such action, with the loss of friends and family who reject you as an apostate. Unconditional love is preached, but not practiced with someone who discovers that Mormonism is a provably hoax religion in which the conspiracy to deceive modern day members and investigators is alive and well. Only those who have experienced discovery of the truth and subsequent rejection could ever empathise with what Mike Oborn has been through in real life.

The main storyline is current, but to clarify and update background as we go along, the author constantly takes us momentarily back in time to several points, from the early 1800s and Joseph Smith’s depravity, to Matt’s (our lead character’s) earlier life and to what was happening a few years previously, to him and also to other characters in the book. This again is criticised in another review, but I thought that was harsh as it is not an unusual style of writing and I was very happy with the way this not only helps the reader understand appropriate background right at the point where such understanding is required, but I was also impressed by the way the author cleverly integrated such departure each time in a succinct and meaningful way – always tying in such links clearly and professionally, and quickly – back to the present.

I for one was never confused, never lost – and always on the edge of my seat with anticipation. It was a very satisfying way of bringing essential background into the story. I didn’t have to try to remember anything important for later in the book – it was brought in at exactly the right point in a ‘short and sweet’ manner. The fact that there is indeed quite a lot of such departure was clearly a deliberate style adopted by the author in order to enable the reader to understand everything in context and it worked very well; it enhanced and explained – but never detracted. All the threads were carefully and expertly brought together in a very satisfying manner.

In short, I cannot say enough about this work. Whilst writing it was an outlet for the author’s grief at the loss of so much – the outcome, regardless of what is ultimately true and what is fiction – is a masterpiece of writing and will be enjoyed by anyone who loves a good thriller. The Mormon aspect in this work detracts no more than the Catholic aspect in Angels and Demons – it is a natural integral part of the plot which is as easy to understand for someone who has no idea what the Mormon Church believes as for someone who does. All I can say in conclusion is – just get the book and enjoy the ride – you won’t be disappointed.

– Amazon Reviewer Jim Whitefield

A classic novel starts with a crisis. As this book begins, Mathew Alcott has been divorced, fired, robbed, drugged and left naked in the Nevada desert. Powerful forces want him silenced, but have stopped short of killing him. Having already fled his native Utah and cut ties with his family, Mathew resolves to change his identity and disappear altogether.

He sets off on a drunken odyssey across the country. Arriving at random in New York State, Matthew goes to ground in a small town called Resurrection Corner. There he finds rest, companionship and a measure of peace. I enjoyed how Oborn built up slowly the relationship between Matthew and his new lover Cate. She is intrigued but disgusted by him at first, a drunk trying not-too-successfully to sober up. The description of their first night together is original and beautiful. But Matthew has brought with him burdens that he cannot easily put down.

A former newspaper journalist, he is determined to write a book examining critically the foundations of the Mormon Church. Matthew sees something of himself in Joseph Smith, the Church’s charismatic founder. And Matthew is determined to bring to light discoveries he made while working in the Church archives. The novel alternates between vignettes of Smith’s life and Matthew’s.

I cannot vouch for the accuracy of Oborn’s portrayal of Mormonism in general or Smith in particular. Suffice it to say that the Church and its members portray the rich, powerful and morally challenged opposition, a role played in other novels by capitalists or politicians depending on the author’s taste. We are meant to despise the bad guys, so they are made loathsome.

As a Chemical Dependency Professional, Oborn writes with passion and compassion about Matthew’s struggles with alcoholism. Other characters in the story -fellow addicts, counselors and caregivers – share this theme. The novel’s climax and conclusion feature an ensemble of unlikely heroes.

Like the Da Vinci Code, Oborn’s novel is at one level a long-running battle between Mathew Alcott and a secret society allied with the church. At another level it explores men’s use of religion to subjugate and control women. One may read it for entertainment, or to ponder deeper questions not limited to fiction.

– Amazon Reviewer David K. Stone

Bool Trailer


saturday self-published book review

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

Self Publishing Advisor

selfpubicon1

Saturday Book Review: “Paradox Effect”

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, courtesy of Amazon reviewer faience:

Time Travel and Purified DNA Merge to Halt the Collapse of Human Existence gabriel koch

Paradox Effect: Time Travel and Purified DNA Merge to Halt the Collapse of Human Existence

by Gabriel F. W. Koch

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478756224

Synopsis:

In 2554, the World is Coming to its End, unless an impossible mission through 600 years of time travel succeeds. Maternal instinct knows no boundaries, including the nano-neural-net intravenously installed in Dannia Weston’s mind to repress her identity, allowing her to perform a mission 300 years before her time. Transported to the year 1954, Dannia becomes a woman with a mid-twentieth century persona, college educated with an aptitude for mechanical invention. Due to her work during the war, she is employed by the U.S. government on a secret project. But what no one knows-including Dannia or those who sent her back to tinker with the mechanical past to reduce future pollution-is what might happen should she become emotionally involved in 1954. The 2254 science team programmed the nano-net to prevent the possibility of pregnancy, but each person reacts to strong emotional stimuli differently, and using birth control not available in 1954 is out of the question. When Dannia falls in love with Peter Hersh and becomes pregnant, her hormones erode a small section of the nano-chained network that stabilizes her new identity, triggering a mild memory rebirth…and threatening her mission and the fate of the world.

Critique:

I’m picky about science fiction, but this time travel novel does three things that won me over. It willingly faces the question of whether changing history is an absolute wrong. The plot and the characters are complex. And the heroine is awesome.

In the year 2254 CE humanity has had a brush with near-destruction. The surviving remnant of political order decides it’s not only right, but vital, to develop time travel and use it to tweak history. Carefully chosen people with skills that can nudge humanity toward a better end are sent back to various times in history where they can make a difference.

One of those people is Dannia Weston, a government researcher working a top secret technology project in 1950’s America, and thank heaven the novel does NOT dredge up cliches about gender roles in the ‘fifties. Dannia, and the people she encounters and works with, are still the generation that worked together during World War II and earned each other’s respect.

Transplanting people from 2254 CE to the extinct culture of 1954 is tricky business. Their own memories are suppressed and replaced with personal histories that fit in the historic period to which they’re sent, and their knowledge is tailored to the period as well, advanced enough to dial back the doomsday clock, but not spectacular enough to draw dangerous attention.

Dannia’s particular assignment is an invention that will advance energy efficiency. If it can be implemented in the 1950s, the benefits for both environment and world peace are huge.

But a glitch occurs in this little interference with history. Dannia’s suppressed memory begins to awaken. Why? The answer – her unplanned pregnancy – comes early in the book, but produces more dangerous paradoxes that need delicate handling. Can this child be born? Can Dannia be extracted and brought back to 2254? Can her child? The passage in which the project directors talk about the paradox that would create was a mind-bender.

The other thing I liked is that the story doesn’t build its plot on stock-character bad guys. At worst, the man sent to hunt her is overzealous and ill-equipped to make the judgements he has to make, and his commanders are naive. What seems like a simple question of conflict between Dannia’s two lives in different centuries is actually a multi-layered, multi-century problem in which authorities are flying blind.

The book raises questions about fate and choice, about how many of the cards we deal ourselves and how many are dealt by an unseen hand. The story is exciting, mind-expanding, and often funny, with some amusing cameo appearances by historic figures, and the secondary characters are as unpredictable and interesting as the main ones. It’s a fun read.

reviewed on Amazon by faience ]

2016 CIPA EVVY Awards

3rd Place Winner in the Science Fiction/Fantasy Category!

CIPA EVVY Award 3rd place

Book Trailer


saturday self-published book review

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

Self Publishing Advisor

selfpubicon1

 

Saturday Book Review: “Beauty Makes a Stand”

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, courtesy of Outskirts Press:

Beauty Makes a Stand

Beauty Makes a Stand

by Trinette Nash Thompson

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478747260

Synopsis:

The author Trinette Nash Thompson was inspired to write about Beauty because she is a young woman who faces struggles, and obstacles, and challenging situations on every turn because of the color of her skin. And it’s sad to say that in 2015, many people today are going through what Beauty has gone through. By writing about Beauty the author knows that the message of strong faith, in God, strength, perseverance, can bring about change just like it did in Beauty’s life. So as you read about Beauty understand her story and if you can bring about change in someone’s life by standing for what is right then make that stand. This author understands and can relate to the struggles of racism, because of the authors own struggles with being judge because of the color of her skin. This author knows firsthand the problems that it causes in families, on jobs, in school, in the world. So as you read Beauty’s story open up your heart and understand her life. The author feels that this book will be a help to many and give strength, and encouragement.

Critique:

Beauty is about a young woman in her twenties who is a very smart, educated college graduate with a master’s degree in engineering, who has to negotiate to find her place in the working world because of the color of her skin. Beauty not only stands up for her place in the working world, she stands her ground in relationships, and her family life. She knows that because of the color of her skin things will not always be easy, but she is willing to fight for what is hers. As you read about Beauty and the struggles she faced, be encouraged because she teaches that trials don’t last always. Sometimes in situations you have to make a stand no matter what, just like Beauty did. The world is full of people with different races, skin tones, different religions and backgrounds. This world is not built on any one color. That is the beauty of it. We are people from all kinds of backgrounds, nationalities, and skin colors, and we have to live together in society. So, Beauty makes her stand against racism and the unfairness of the world. Maybe you are encountering some type of injustice. Through prayer you can overcome.

reviewed on the Outskirts Press bookstore ]

beauty


saturday self-published book review

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

Self Publishing Advisor

selfpubicon1