Self-Published Book Review: “Rise of the Gig Leaders”

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 month’s featured book review:
rise of the gig leaders neil grant

Rise of the Gig Leaders:
Why Interim Leaders Are Vital In Today’s Organizations

by Neil Grant

ISBN: 9781977200662

 

Synopsis*:

Interim leaders are becoming essential change agents for organizations in today’s gig economy. To propel their companies forward, human resource professionals, change management specialists, project managers, and all business executives must understand and make use of this changing talent economy. Neil Grant’s Rise of the Gig Leaders: Why Interim Leaders Are Vital in Today’s Organizations provides this understanding.

Grant, himself an interim leader for almost two decades, provides a detailed analysis of the DNA of interim leaders–what defines them and how they add value. Rise of the Gig Leaders is rich in case studies, testimonials, and examples of how interim leadership has made a difference in many organizations. With this knowledge, business leaders and prospective interim leaders will have confidence choosing this as a viable leadership strategy.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Reviews

An expert examines the role of interim leaders as an important part of business strategy.

In this debut book, Grant draws on both research and case studies based on his own professional experience working with a variety of companies to make the case for the value of interim executives, or “gig leaders.” The author distinguishes between these interims and acting or consultant executives, seeing the former as high-level workers with specific skills who are hired under short-term contracts to accomplish certain corporate goals, a highly paid professional tier of the broader gig economy. The volume guides readers through evaluating the need for interims using Grant’s copyrighted SCILL model, which describes the five “attributes” of these executives (Savvy, Critical, Impact, Leadership, Legacy). And the author shows how to assess those leaders through GREAT (Gravitas, Resilience, Engagement, Attitude, Transformational) competencies. While the book largely discusses these roles in general terms (“An interim makes the most impact, however, when intentionally hired to deliver specific results that require a leader with experience and dynamism”), case studies offer more concrete examples of the positive use of interims, from refreshing a company’s technology infrastructure to implementing turnaround plans without the complications of long-term employee politics. Grant is clearly experienced and knowledgeable and makes a compelling argument in favor of employing this short-term workforce to execute clearly defined goals. The title’s intended audience is corporate decision-makers who will hire interim leaders. Although readers looking to follow this career path will read glowing descriptions of interims (“An interim has battle scars from crisis management and like a first-responder in a disaster zone, is objective, decisive, and has emotional stability shaped from years of being in the front line”), they will not find guidance on pursuing this road. But for its target audience, the volume is a useful tool for appraising the need for interims and establishing a framework for their success. Although recent research suggests that gig employment is less widespread than previously thought, the author presents a context in which it can be fruitful for both employers and employees.

A thorough and coherent discussion of how companies can make effective use of interim executives as part of the broader gig economy.

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Self-Published Book Review: “Rambling Squirrel”

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:

rambling squirrel

reader views award

Rambling Squirrel

by Wendy Laird

ISBN: 9781432738761

 

Synopsis*:

Learn interesting squirrel facts as you read about a curious squirrel’s journey.

Little squirrel has learned a lot about life as a squirrel but he hungers for more of life’s challenges. Follow his exciting adventures ahead!

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Reviews

“Rambling Squirrel” is a book about a squirrel wanting to learn lots of things. He was born on a bright, blue-sky day and learned very quickly. He learned how to climb down a tree head first, gather nuts for winter, where to build a safe nest, to hide in a safe place and, of course, use his tail as a blanket, a rudder and an umbrella. But he wanted to learn more! He went to talk to his mama and she suggested he should visit his cousins to learn more. He packed all of his squirrel-needing items and went to visit his cousins.

First he visited his cousin Beaver, He taught him how to build a river dam. It was cold, hard work! Then he went to visit his cousin Prairie Dog, He told Squirrel to always stay alert and keep safe by digging a tunnel and live in it! But Squirrel didn’t want to live in a tunnel so he went to visit his cousin Flying Squirrel; he couldn’t wait until he could fly! He also learned from his cousins Woodchuck, Chipmunk and Mouse. He was gone from his family for many weeks when he went to go back home. When he returned home, he told his family all about his trip!

My favorite character was the baby squirrel because he wanted to learn more about things. My favorite picture was when he was with his cousin Beaver because the squirrel really looked like a beaver! My favorite part was when he was with his cousin Prairie Dog. I liked the artwork a lot! I also learned more fun facts about squirrels in “Rambling Squirrel.”


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Self-Published Book Review: “Odin’s Promise” by Sandy Brehl

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:

odin's promise sandy brehl

mipa - midwest independent publishing association's midwest book award winner

Odin’s Promise

by Sandy Brehl

ISBN: 9781977216168

 

Synopsis*:

ODIN’S PROMISE is a historical novel for middle-grade readers, a story of the first year of German occupation of Norway in World War II as seen through the eyes of a young girl.

Eleven-year-old Mari grew up tucked safely under the wings of her parents, grandma, and her older siblings. After Hitler’s troops invade Norway in Spring 1940, she is forced to grow beyond her “little girl” nickname to deal with harsh new realities. At her side for support and protection is Odin, her faithful elkhound.

As the year progresses, Mari, her family, and her neighbors are drawn into the Norwegian underground resistance movement.

“Readers will cheer for Mari as she discovers her inner strength – and the courage to help celebrate Norway’s spirit of resistance.” — Kathleen Ernst, author of American Girl’s Caroline Abbott series and Chloe Ellefson Mystery series.

“Beautifully written, emotionally taut novel of one girl’s coming of age during war time.” — Gayle Rosengren

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Reviews

Odin’s Promise is a real coming of age story.  At first, Mari is a shy, quiet girl who frightens easily, but the reader can see how the circumstances she finds herself in enable her to find the courage and strength to grow and to do what needs to be done, even in the face of overwhelming threat on the part of young impulsive Nazi soldiers.

Resistance stories are among my favorite kind of WWII narratives.  While I like the stories of hidden organized armed resisters, I really like to read about the ordinary citizens who loved their country so much that they not only refused to support the occupation, but actively did what they could to make thing more difficult, or even to just annoy their occupiers.  Mari, her friends and school children all over Norway wore red hats every do to show their loyalty, and irate the Germans.  Norwegians are very patriotic,  and were very loyal to King Haakon VII after he escaped the Nazis and that really comes across in Sandy Brehl’s debut novel about Mari and her family.

There is lots of Norwegian culture included in Odin’s Promise, particularly around the wedding of Mari’s sister Lise, where outright defiance of Nazi orders was the real order of the day.  And be sure to read the Author’s Note at the end of the novel to learn all about how Sandy came up with some of the ideas for Odin’s Promise that give it such a feeling of authenticity.  And remember, there is a glossary included in the back matter that will help with both Norwegian and German words used.  And, just in case Sandy has peaked your curiosity about Norway and the Resistance in WWII, she has provided at very nice bibliography, including other middle grade novels about set in the same time with similar themes.

I found Odin’s Promise to be a beautifully told story of courage and perseverance in the face of immense challenges. Mari’s very appealing as a main character, an eleven-year-old girl whose 1940 Norwegian village has been taken over by the Nazis. She struggles to adjust to the often frightening changes in her world. But through it all her beautiful Norwegian elkhound, Odin remains by her side. But after Odin makes enemies of some of the soldiers, Mari really starts to worry about how she and her family will survive.
I’ll admit that one of the first things I did after I started reading the book was look up Norwegian elkhounds on the internet. I wanted to know what they looked like. As you can see from the picture above (from the American Kennel Club website), they are beautiful dogs.  Odin, it turns out is mostly black with white only on the tips of his paws and the tip of his tail. I confess I fell in love with Mari and Odin’s relationship from the first page.
Not only is this a sweet story about the relationship between a girl and her dog, but also the strength of the human spirit in finding ways to keep one’s hope up in the face of sometimes heart-breaking circumstances. For those who enjoy historical fiction, I can heartily recommend this one!
– excerpted from Heidi’s review on the Geo Librarian
What I Thought –
I loved this story! I first read about the German occupation of Norway and the Norwegian resistance in Steve Sheinkin’s BOMB and I thought the subject was interesting. I like World War II history and that time period in general, so this book was something I really wanted to read. While reading this book, I learned even more about the Norwegian resistance and the culture/history of Norway. Ms. Brehl wrote a believable, exciting story with characters you care for. I like that she wrote a sub-plot into the story to show that sometimes even the “enemy” is thrown into situations they can’t help being in or maybe don’t want to be in. Mari is a great main character. The reader can really understand how she feels throughout the story. Ms. Brehl includes a bibliography and glossary in the back section of the book , which is very helpful. I enjoyed the descriptions of the Norwegian setting. I could picture the small streets and hillsides in my mind. It is a good contrast when Ms. Brehl describes the beautiful scenery and the harsh reality of the German occupation. I liked learning about the rationing during this time and how the citizens bartered with and helped one and other. I completely enjoyed this book!
Five out of five bookworms for Odin’s Promise!
– excerpted from Erik’s review on This Kid Reviews Books

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Self-Published Book Review: Sally and the Singing Whale

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:

sally and the singing whale berinna hansen

BHBAfinalist72

Sally and the Singing Whale

by Betinna Hansen

ISBN: 9781478786412

 

Synopsis*:

“Whales are monsters,” Papa warns Sally. “They will eat you up!” This is the beginning of the story, a beautiful adventure that is sure to charm both children and parents. Sally is always in a good mood and sure to come out on top, but when she sneaks onto her father’s ship, something unexpected happens –Sally is thrown overboard and swallowed by a whale! This heartwarming book is as exciting as it is layered. It is about a little girl’s love for her father, her growing independence, and the beauty of the natural world. But it also touches on the fear of the unknown –a fear that, Sally learns, has nothing to do with reality. PRAISE: Author Betinna Hansen was accepted to the Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature, where Sally and the Singing Whale was described as “Magical” and likened to the classic children’s story Pinocchio and the biblical story of Jonah. “Sally and the Singing Whale is a book that you will want to read and re-read for its depth and timelessness.” –Denise Dowling Mortensen; Children’s book author of Bug Patrol and Good Night Engines/Wake Up Engines.

“Betinna Hansen is a gifted storyteller whose words create beautiful pictures in my head!” –Peter Catalanotto; Author/Illustrator of Emily’s Art and Monkey & Robot. To learn more go to www.singingwhale.online

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Reviews

Sally and the Singing Whale is a children’s picture book written by Betinna Hansen and illustrated by Tata Bobokhidze. Sally wants to go to sea with her dad, who’s a fisherman, but he’s just not willing to let her come along with him. When she asks why, he tells her that whales are monsters with sharp teeth. Sally has had many exciting adventures and loves seeing new things, but she’s both scared and skeptical of her father’s description of the whales. Her dad wants her to stay safely at home in her little treehouse that’s perched in a sunny clearing among hills and mountains. But Sally has other ideas, and while she looks sleepy as he sings her their lullaby, she’s ready to adventure once again as soon as he leaves. Sally gets dressed and follows him to the harbor where his ship is waiting. She stows away in what seems a perfectly safe place, but suddenly finds herself in the belly of a very large whale.

Betinna Hansen’s children’s picture book, Sally and the Singing Whale, is a lush and lovely fantasy about a girl’s interaction with a whale. I loved the feeling I got when reading this tale, that it was set when men like Sally’s father went whaling in ships often much smaller than their targets, and admired how Hansen is able to interject a sensibility into the fishermen’s mindsets after Sally and her father’s lullaby is sung by a pod of whales. Tata Bobokhidze’s illustrations are a masterful blend of rich colors, striking watercolor washes and marvelous little touches that bring each of these panels to life. Each and every page is suitable for framing and would make a grand themed wall in a child’s room. I found myself pausing and getting lost in each frame as I read of Sally’s adventures. The details are wonderful — check out the little eyelashes on the whale, follow Sally’s path as she enters the whale’s baleen-fringed mouth and take a moment to find where Sally is hiding on the ship. There’s so much to enjoy about this book, both for children and those fortunate adults who happen upon this book when it’s story time. Sally and the Singing Whale is most highly recommended.

 

Book Trailer

 

 


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Self-Published Book Review: Tea With the Queen

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:

tea with the queen charles lunsford

beverly hills book awards winner

Tea With the Queen

by Charles Lunsford

ISBN: 9781478766551

 

Synopsis*:

What do you give someone who has given you everything? What do you give your mother as a birthday present when she turns ninety years old? I gave my mother this story that you are about to read. My sister asked my mother what kind of party she wanted and with the wink of an eye she exclaimed, “a tea party!” Invitations were sent out to one and all to have “Tea with the Queen.” You were to wear your finest tea party attire; suits, ties, dresses and of course, hats. I sat down to read my new fairy tale to my mother and her guests from a copy I had printed by the local printer, with clip art I found on the internet and bound in black vinyl, I began to read the story aloud. You see, I come from a long line of storytellers. From my grandmother, to my nieces and nephews, we loved standing up to retell the history of our family.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Reviews

Once upon a time, the question was asked: “What do you get the 89-year-old queen who has everything?” Her family home for her birthday, of course! And that’s just what Princess Dawnellen sets out to get for her mother, Queen Bettyruth, in Charles Lunsford’s book, Tea With the Queen.

This adorable book begins with the queen bemoaning her upcoming 90th birthday, not because of her age but because her sons won’t be there to help her celebrate. Her very caring daughter, Princess Dawnellen, decides to make it happen and give her mother a party to end all parties, but all of the princesses’ brothers are spread out in the region! Can the princess make it happen? Will everyone be home for the party?

Based somewhat on a true story (the author’s sister asked their mother what she wanted for her birthday, and she answered, “A tea party!”), I thought this was a really cute tale about a daughter trying to do right by her elderly mother who has given her everything all of her life. The beginning half dragged a little bit, but once the decorating for the party began, things kicked into high gear. I especially liked the arrival of different people, with each arrival done in various humorous ways. My only [minor] quibble was that there was barely any attention given to the problem at-hand. We went from the queen wishing to see her sons to preparations being made for a party. I would liked to have read about some minor conflicts in the princess’ quest to bring her brothers home. There was also a subplot with the queen and her husband, King Bernard, who had suffered from a number of ailments and could no longer talk. I admit that a few scenes had me a bit teary-eyed, moved by the depth of their love for each other.

One of the most important parts of books for children are the illustrations, and I think they were well-done in this case. I believe that the author noted on Amazon that he used clip-art. The pictures were therefore simple but vivid and colorful, giving even more life to the characters therein. My only issue with the pictures was that Princess Dawnellen and her siblings looked a little young to be in their 70s or even 60s; while I’m guessing about their ages, I don’t think I can be too far off since the queen’s children all had grandchildren of their own. Even if they’re young grandparents, their pictures made them look to be no older than their early 30s, if that. The queen, on the other hand, did look to be elderly, though she could have done with a few more wrinkles.

I thought that the theme of family love was very well portrayed, and it was fun meeting everyone in the extended family. Even so, I will make one minor note. One of the couples included in the book is homosexual, which I had no problem with. The thing that did give me pause, however, was that one half of the couple looked at the other’s behind and smiled. Due to the language in general, I think this book is aimed for slightly older children (maybe 10 and up), but that aside was a little too much even for me, and I’m quite a bit older than 10! While I realize that this book started off as a gift to the author’s mother, thereby making that scene “no biggie”, it’s now on Amazon and posted as a children’s book, so I think that one sentence should be edited out.

Insofar as the editing in general, I don’t think that this book was professionally edited. It’s only 56 pages long, and I managed to find well over the ten grammatical errors we need to note, with the first ten being found in the first 6 pages. Most of the mishaps were punctuation missteps, but there were also a few instances of incorrect word usage and one time that “they’re” was used when it should have been “their”. I strongly urge the author to have this book edited now that it’s being seen outside of the family because it has important themes that shouldn’t be lessened by bad grammar.

Due to the typographical issues, it is with a heavy heart that I give Tea With the Queen 3 out of 4 stars; the minor issues I mentioned don’t warrant a lower drop in the rating. I also recommend this book to older children or tweens as well as adults who like children’s books based on family and love. Fans of fairy tales may also want to give this tome a try.

And with that, MsTri was done with her review, and they all lived happily ever after.

Tea with the Queen is a heart warming true story written in fairy tale form. The book is a testament to family values, family diversity and most importantly, family love. Worried she will not see her beloved family on her birthday, her daughter conspires to have family members converge on the castle for a birthday tea. The lessons she and her husband have taught their children and grand children are time old lessons of honesty, integrity and love. I was a reading/language arts teacher for 40 years and I highly recommend Tea with the Queen for every classroom library.

– reviewed by Michael on Amazon

What a delightful book! I was enchanted to learn the fairy tale had been inspired by the author’s real life: a desire by his 90-year-old mother to have a birthday tea party. I recommend this for kids over age 7 because of its length and a few ‘adult’ words kids may not know. I do feel it would be perfect read aloud at story-telling events and at bedtime. The illustrations are a lot of fun and enhance the plot. The essence of the book is the importance of generational love and how love and family traits continue to live on in future generations. Who doesn’t agree and appreciate that message?!?

– reviewed by Amy Light on Amazon

 

Book Trailer

 


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Self-Published Book Review: Dear Folks — A Farm Boy Leaves Home to Fight in the Great War and Falls in Love with an English Lass

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:

Dear Folks: A Farm Boy Leaves Home to Fight in the Great War and Falls in Love with an English Lass walt hazelton

 

Dear Folks: A Farm Boy Leaves Home to Fight in the Great War and Falls in Love with an English Lass

by Walt Hazelton

ISBN: 9781478793632

 

Synopsis*:

A true story of war and romance. Raised by devout parents on a Canadian farm, naive 17-year-old Walter enlists in the Canadian Infantry during World War I. After six months of training, his unit is active in the trenches near Ypres, Belgium, where he encounters the horrors of warfare, poison gas, and rat-infested trenches. After being sent back to England to recover from illness, Walter falls in love with an English lass-and the relationship blossoms. They become engaged, but there are obstacles. She has been raised in a low-income community, while Walter’s father is a well-educated, practicing doctor. Amid all the uncertainties of war, the two lovers postpone their marriage and continue to see each other as often as possible. But when the war suddenly ends, Walter is shipped back home-alone. Can their wartime romance survive an ocean of distance? Take a step back into history and experience this true story firsthand through Walter’s letters to his parents. Dear Folks is a warm and wonderful read about youth, love, war, and commitment.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Reviews

Fascinating Read About Life in the Trenches of WWI
Great read. Fascinating to hear a first-hand account of what it was like to fight in the trenches in WWI.

Great book!

I am almost done reading this and have really enjoyed this. Its even more fun to read because I am related to everyone mentioned in the book. I love seeing all the letters that Walter wrote during his time away at war and hearing about how things were back then. Very good read!

– reviewed by LauraJ on Amazon

An intimate and compelling portrait of a young man in the throes of both love and war, drawn from his letters home, by his own son.

– reviewed by Carol Morris on Amazon

 

 


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Self-Published Book Review: My A.R.R.A.: Growing Into Me

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.
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My A.R.R.A.: Growing Into Me J.C. Sykes

cipa evvy 3rd place book award

My A.R.R.A.: Growing Into Me

by J.C. Sykes

ISBN: 9781478787051

 

Synopsis*:

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has a voice, it sings because it has a song”

  • Maya Angelou

A memoir of inspiring perseverance over misguidance.

In this inspirational memoir, we meet a young woman forced to grow up too quickly when she marries at sixteen.  After only five months of nuptials, she loses her husband to an extended prison sentence, and become a single mother who must quickly learn independence.  Under extreme adversity and depression, the teen finishes high school on time to become a college graduate of her hearts passion.  Carlen shares her life story in the hopes that others will be motivated to persevere in the face of overwhelming  odds.  Inspired by a quote passed down from her father, “A quitter never wins and a winner never quits”, Carlen attacks her obstacles head on.  Will Carlen continue to maintai her sanity against all odds?

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

Your strength and courage to get through every obstacle you encounter is simply Amazing!!
(Verified Purchase)

Other Reviews

Good Read.

Its hard to think that real people do actually experience hardships and tragedies like this but I Love that the author was able to overcome her obstacles and come out better for them. Interested in what the next book will bring.

– reviewed by MissBC on Amazon

Usually when I start to read a book I never finish it but this book was actually good. It’s like you could feel everything she went through just by reading the different chapters. It also brings out different emotions when you start getting deeper into the book, because it’s something you can relate to and I cried a lil while reading it, because it hit so close to home. I can honestly say I love this book and I think she did an amazing job 😍

– reviewed on Amazon

 

 


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