Tuesday Book Review: “Genetics Isn’t Everything”

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

genetics isn't everything katherine egan

cipa evvy 2018

Genetics Isn’t Everything

by Katherine S. Egan

ISBN: 9781478790372


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

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

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

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


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


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


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

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


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

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


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

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

– reviewed by Rina on Bookerina Book Reviews

Other Reviews

Inspiring and Powerful!

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

 – reviewed on Amazon by SP

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

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

 – reviewed on Amazon by Lorraine Miano


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Self Publishing Advisor


Self-Publishing News: 4.30.2018 – April Round-Up

the word "april" from the wooden letters

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, wrapping up what’s new for you and yours in April 2018.

Everybody we know opts to hear the bad news first, so here goes: In 2017, ebook sales dropped for perhaps the first time ever. Writes Adam Rowe of Forbes, this may (MAY) have something to do with that nifty little move publishers made back in 2015 to raise ebook prices: “In 2015, the Big Five publishing houses raised ebook prices to around $8 a book, far higher than the $3-a-book price point independent publishers settled on,” writes Rowe. There’s a lot to unpack in this not-complete-bad-news story, and some of it is even downright good news for self-publishing authors and lovers of the indie press. Says Rowe: “Traditional publishers priced themselves out of the market, and their 10% drop in 2017 is just the latest evidence that the value a traditional publisher adds — whether editing, gatekeeping, or marketing — isn’t as highly valued by ebook buyers as a low pricetag.” Word to the wise: provide unique content, keep your book affordable, and readers will come. Amazon may have an eye on monopoly, but other indie presses and publishers aren’t out of the fight.

And now for the unremittingly good news! It’s that time of year again–time for the CIPA EVVY nominations. If you haven’t already heard of these, here’s what you need to know: each year, the Colorado Independent Publishers Association opens its digital doors for nominations of the best independently published books from the previous year. This year, submissions are accepted up until May 19. Then, on July 31, CIPA will announce the winners in each open category at their annual banquet and celebration. Those interested in entering will pay a fee, however, and the fee climbs the closer you get to the final submission deadline. Those authors who have published with Outskirts Press receive plenty of bonus exposure and benefits, and a nomination to the CIPA EVVY Awards is a requirement for eligibility for the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year, which is its own special award to be announced later in the year. For more information about the Outskirts Press service, visit them online at https://outskirtspress.com/options/6064_outskirts_press_official_evvy_awards_submission_by_invitation_only.html.


As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry.This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.


Tuesday Book Review: “After the Chisholm”

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:

after the chisholm george rhoades

also winner of:

The Reader Views Reviewer’s Choice Literary Awards for

Poetry (1st Place) and

the Inside Scoop Live Award for the Most Innovative Book of Poetry

reader views award

After the Chisholm

by George Rhoades

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478751908


This wide-ranging collection of poems focuses on farm and cattle country after the Chisholm Trail closed, on cowboys and cowgirls, on memories of rural life and other reflections and recollections. The Chisholm Trail ceased about 1890, and the cattle drives from deep in Texas, across the plains of Oklahoma to the cow towns in Kansas, were no more. Fences, settlers, highways, towns and cities now fill what was once open country for a thousand miles.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

George Rhoades owns a hay farm in Stephens County, but his book of poems, “Along the Chisholm Trail” (Outskirts Press, $9.95), offers a broad picture of life, past and present, on the plains of Oklahoma and West Texas.

His several careers — soldier, printer, rancher and journalist — are reflected in some of the poems, but the majority paint a picture of bygone days on the plains. In the nostalgic opening, on the hardships and joys of the cattle drives, he sets the stage in the first two of 22 verses:

The cowboys who came up the trail,

Dusty, grimy, gritty, sweatin’,

Drivin’ the long, windin’ herds,

Didn’t know they were creatin’

A myth, a legend, shapin’ a dream

For a nation and ridin’ into history;

Epics, icons, symbols, heroic images

Emerged later to build the story.

Danger on the trail is covered in “Crossing the Red,” in which animals and cowboys are lost when they pick the wrong place to ford the river. “Farm for Sale” and “Dyin’ Small Towns” tell of tough times, while “In Troubled Times” encourages folks to follow the cowboy’s way of meeting adversity.

“Maggie Belle and the Yeller Moon Saloon” shows how trail riders relax and sometimes get in trouble. There is humor, too. In “Anger,” the poet vents about the driver of a shiny new Lexus who cut him off from a parking spot. A six-line verse “At Wal-Mart” observes the comings and goings of shoppers.

And in “How Hot and Dry Was It?” a group of cowboys “settin’ around the campfire” come up with competing versions of the worst summer ever. Some of their comments might be appropriate today in Oklahoma.

Rhoades provides the reader with some easy-to-read history of his native state in an enjoyable book.

– reviewed by Kay Dyer of The Oklahomian/NewsOK.com

Other Reviews

After the Chisholm by George Rhoades is a collection of poetry focusing on cowboys and cowgirls, and the countryside after the Chisholm trail was closed in the 1890s. Many of the poems, especially in the beginning, focus on the clash of cultures between what the land was and what the land is becoming. In the very first poem there is a line, ‘The Chisholm Trail lives now in myth and memory,’ and it sums up a lot of the conflict in these poems. For example, in the poem “Boots,” it discusses a boot factory that the town tried really hard to keep going, but it just couldn’t survive
the changing times.

I found the poems to be well-written with an appeal based on the sheer lamentation of the way things are changing. I think everyone over the age of thirty will find something relatable in this, because even if you strip away the cowboy and cowgirl aspect, it is essentially about the feeling of separation between a person and culture as times change. Some of the poems are more playful than others, like “Shovelin’ Out The Cowlot,” which points out that milk isn’t the only thing you get from a cow.

I think my favorite poem was probably “Sky,” because it contains a lot of brilliant and evocative imagery that helped bring the climate and circumstances to life. It isn’t very long, but it is very clever and enjoyable. Definitely, the one that sums up the volume, however, is “Unintended Consequences,” which talks about how every development brings with it unintended consequences, like cigarettes being considered healthy, cars and pollution, etc. Great poems. I love the imagery and the blending of old with the new. After the Chisholm by George Rhoades is an excellent volume, and I think anyone who picks it up will find something heartily relatable

– reviewed by Ryan Jordan of Readers’ Favorite Reviews

George Rhoades‘ Along the Chisholm Trail and Other Poems is a rather interesting collection of poems, divided into two very distinctive and extremely different parts.

Part One deals with the cowboy life, and life along the Chisholm Trail. The author’s voice here is very distinctive, and the poems encompass all facets of such life, which is definitely epic. As the author put it so well himself:

“No wonder the cowboys rode
Into the hearts and imagination
Of the world, and shaped forever
The endurin’ character of this nation.”

The range of emotions expressed in the poems in Part One is very wide, and the author deals with the subjects with a lot of dignity and respect. It would have been quite easy to depict cowboys as somewhat cartoonish, but that did not happen even in the most light-hearted of the poems in this collection. While this way of life is not familiar to me in the slightest, I greatly enjoyed reading about it.

Part Two is less homogeneous, and much more contemporary, and deals with all kinds or ruminations on life, many of which are truly thought provoking. Some are sad, some are wistful, some downright hilarious, and of all of them my favorite happened to be one of the shortest poems in this book. “At Wal-Mart” has barely thirty-something words, yet it perfectly captures so much of what one sees there. While I laughed out loud at first after reading it, I felt compelled to re-read it later, and discovered that it was actually quite serious.

George Rhoades’ Along the Chisholm Trail and Other Poems was quite a departure from what I usually read, but I am glad I took the time to read it. It opened my eyes to a world that was completely new to me, and also reminded me of many everyday things to cherish and remember.

– reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson of blogcritics.org (found on SeattlePI.com)


tuesday book review

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Self Publishing Advisor


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


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

Book Trailer

tuesday book review

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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


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/


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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Self Publishing Advisor


Tuesday Book Review: “The Avant Champion”

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 avant champion c b samet

The Avant Champion: Rising

by C.B. Samet

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478777366



All things considered, it was a good day to die . . When Marrington Castle is overtaken by a dark and ancient evil, Abigail Cross finds herself in the precarious situation of protecting Queen Rachel the Fourth. Her journey to safety quickly transforms into a quest to save Queen and country. Charged with finding the artifacts to raise The Champion to defeat the world’s most powerful enemy, Abigail finds herself traversing the perilous continent-from the roaring waterfalls of Aithos to the scorching heat of the Optato Desert to the freezing fog of Mount Karn…. Will Abigail succeed in uniting the kingdom and summoning the Avant Champion to save them all?


 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review: “black starblack starblack starblack star

When her education fund runs out, student Abigail Cross temporarily works as Queen Rebekah’s servant to raise some money for her studies. One night, as she accompanies the Queen back to her quarters from a celebration party, they are attacked by terrifying creatures known as The Swallowers, and her brother Paul is killed instantly. Abigail finds herself tasked with protecting the Queen and a quest to summon the legendary Avant Champion to fight an ancient enemy. Roaming the continent to find the necessary means and items to do the summoning, Abigail learns more about the land’s dark history, and discovers love and new friends, as well as learning her family’s secret role in the kingdom.

I like the world-building of The Avant Champion: Rising by C.B. Samet. It’s not as complex and different as most fantasy writers tend to create, but it’s just as fascinating and detailed. There’s the Caballus Clans, people who bred the finest horses in the land and the holy tribe of Gunthi monks that secluded themselves in the remote canyon, and many more interesting communities. Samet used familiar aspects from both the real world and fantasy world, cleverly blending them together. I find the concept of how the evil beings came to be quite ingenious. The illustrations at the start of each chapter are eye-catching and complement the story well. The pace of the plot is moderate; fast enough to keep the plot flowing in an engaging manner, but appropriately slow enough to let readers get to know the characters, their antagonists, backstory, and the world-building. Overall, this is a solid fantasy from Samet.

–  Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers’ Favorite

What Other Reviewers Are Saying …

I received this arc book to review and enjoyed every minute of it. I was enthralled by the storyline and taken away by all the different creatures and places. It was amazing to read how a champion is selected and how to save their country. Abigail’s journey is a very dangerous one and there are many obstacle’s for her to overcome along the way. I loved the subtle romance that grows throughout the story. The banter between Abby and Joshua is so adorable and sexy. This story has love, loss, adventure, war and survival. Abigail goes through so much heartache, yet she stays true to herself and loyal to those she loves. She is a true warrior who is determine to win the battle over evil. I also love that there is a hint of more to come. You wont be disappointed.

– Amazon Reviewer Narcie Carrion

Great book – a friend recommended it and I read it in two days! Non-stop adventure and I loved the characters. The book also went beyond my expectations by moving beyond where I thought it would end and giving me more for my money! It ended in such a way I was happy with the result but it totally set us up for the sequel! I cant wait to see what comes up next and I will definitely check out more by this author!

– Amazon Reviewer Amazon Customer

Book Trailer:


Tuesday Book Review: “Just George”

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:

just george ellen deery freeman

Just George

by Ellen Deery Freeman

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478765004



Few books will touch your heart like Just George, the true story of a small dog found limping beside the highway, scared, injured, and near death from starvation and dehydration. You will experience almost every emotion imaginable as George himself relates the events of the year that follows. The lasting results of his past abuse are evident, and you will feel his anguish as he struggles to overcome his fear of everything from fly swats, to closing doors, to human hands, and your heart will ache as he longs for his own “forever home” where he can feel safe and loved. Just George is a beautiful story which will be enjoyed by everyone from school-age children to senior adults, and when you purchase it, you will be helping provide for other homeless animals who so desperately want a “forever home.”

Ten percent of the profit from Just George will be donated to The Hampton County Animal Shelter in Varnville, South Carolina, where the author’s picture was taken, as long as it remains under the current management.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured News Snippet:

Local author and retired school teacher Ellen Deery Freeman held a book signing/fundraising event for her first book, “Just George,” a story about the wonderful little dog that came into her life. Freeman is pictured above with her husband, Buddy, signing books for readers, and below with Buddy, George and Amanda Strickland, Hampton County Animal Shelter manager.

Freeman, a lifelong animal lover, used the event and a portion of the proceeds of her book to raise money for the H.C. Animal Shelter, and the event raised more than $500 in donations plus ten percent of the book profits for the shelter. The author wishes to thank the Hampton United Methodist Church for the use of its beautiful social hall, her husband and family members for their support, and every person who braved the weather to attend the event.

If you wish to further support the local animal shelter, some of the much-needed items you can donate include: cat litter, cat litter deodorizer, bleach, dog and cat shampoo, blankets, towels and paper towels, flea and tick prevention, Lysol spray and Fabuloso.

– from “Ellen Deery Freeman hosts books signing” on The Hampton County Guardian

Reviewers Are Saying …

Beautifully written!

– Amazon Reviewer Sharon Karusiotis Barboza

Such a sweet book for any animal lover! Great job!

– Amazon Reviewer Teresa

Precious book! This book would be enjoyed by everyone from the school-age child t senior adults. Just precious!

– Amazon Reviewer Nochinafurniture

You can also read an interview with the author on the official Outskirts Press blog, Self Publishing News


tuesday book review

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

Self Publishing Advisor