Tuesday Book Review: “Bertyl: I Just Want To Belong”

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:

bertyl I just want to belong sandra dobozi

Bertyl: I Just Want to Belong

by Sandra Dobozi
illustrated by Egle Bartolini

ISBN: 9781478784975

Synopsis*:

How Can Bertyl Fit In? Bertyl is a charming adventure story written in rhyme about a sweet little turtle searching for his identity. When Bertyl is born he becomes a beloved surprise to his family. But Bertyl wonders why he is different and doesn’t look like other turtles. Beryl’s loving family and wise friends help him understand that “We all fit in and we all belong.” This charming, wise tale reassures readers that we’re each exactly right, just the way we are.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

“Bertyl: I Just Want To Belong” is a lovely children’s story about accepting and celebrating individual differences. Written in refreshing narrative verse, the story of Bertyl turtle Summer Breeze, the air-colored turtle, is inspiring and intriguing. Bertyl is a beautiful, perfect, healthy young turtle who is born without any coloring of green. Instead “Bertyl Turtle Summer Breeze was the color of a sneeze/ Bright and shiny as window glass/ See-through clear as a jellyfish mass.” Although Bertyl was healthy and had happy proud turtle parents, he was unhappy because he did not look green like his Mama and Pappy. They thought about painting him green, but that would make him sick. He could not wear green clothes because turtles did not wear clothes. The word went out to a multitude of Bertyl’s rainbow friends, birds and beasts. To Bertyl’s question “Why do I look so very plain/ Like morning dew and summer rain?” The answer was beautiful and surprising.”We all were born to a greater good/In clearest waters and thickest woods/ And so you see, our dearest friend, The circle of life will never end./ Be brave and proud and strong of mind/ And who you are can’t be defined; Bertyl Turtle, you’re one of a kind.” In answer, reflected in the incredibly sensitive, expressive rainbow splashed illustrations, Bertyl became joyously acceptant of his different clear color, saying “I’m so blessed to be alive./ How we look is never wrong/ We always fit/ WE ALL BELONG.” “Bertyl: I Just Want To Belong” delivers a complex and delicate inspirational message while fascinating readers with the rainbow diversity of all creation.

– reviewed on the Picturebook Shelf at Midwest Book Reviews

Other Reviews

Thoughtfully written and beautifully illustrated! kids of all ages will love this. we bought it for our neighbors that have a small child and when my kids (13,12,0) saw it and began reading it we decided to keep it. i will gladly buy another!

 – reviewed on Amazon by jw1zzo
This is such an AMAZING story that teaches children the important lesson of acceptance and pride in their individuality and that as unique individuals we are all part of a bigger picture! The descriptive language paints such a colorful picture of Bertyl and his family and friends in their beautiful surroundings. The illustrations are amazing as well! I LOVED IT!!! I highly recommend this story to children…AND adults!

– reviewed on Amazon by Robyn

Not everyone is born to look like everyone else. Every child wants to be accepted by their peers and no one wants to feel left out because he/she does not have the right clothes, is the wrong skin color or just appears to be awkward and or shy. Born in a celery patch this precious title named Bertyl Turtle Summer Breeze is curious, smart and does not understand why he is not the color of lime, leaf or grass. He is pure with no color mark namely the color of glass. You can literally see right through him he is a clear as a jelly-fish mass. But, his heart is made of pure gold and what he learns from his friends is more valuable than if he was born green like other turtles.

Checking out his face or reflection in the stream he realizes that he does not resemble or look like his parents and this makes him pose the all important question to readers: How would Bertyl turn to green? Some solutions are not that easy and all too often we wonder why. Bertyl wants to be the color green like trees or lima beans or what about green clothes? Why not paint myself green would that help? But, his wonderful friends came from all parts of the forest to help cheer him up and give him suggestions. Sugar-beet Parakeet and Blueberry Canary and others explained to him that you are not plain you are YOU! His friends told him a special story that only they can share with you about Paradise when you read this beautifully written and colorfully illustrated book. What they tell him applies not only to this special turtle but to children and adults too. I too understand that the circle of life never ends and I know it has no beginning and to me no end. So, you are not defined by other people or how they act or look you are one of a kind! As Bertyl will learn that he is special in his way all children need to learn the same lesson. What the final outcome is you will learn when you see Bertyl on the final page of the book and learn whether he smiles and if he realizes that he’s no mystery he is just as he says: Uniquely me!

Where does he feel he belongs? What will he do next? Does he feel that he needs to be green or is he happy just being him? We All Belong in our own special way. We all belong and should never want to change who we are on any day. Life brings us changes and our differences are what makes each one of us stand out for the best. Learning to get along is what we should all do everyday and maybe adults will learn the same lesson. For educators this is a great way to introduce a new student to a class and to the school. It’s a great way using each one of the animals who come to his aid showing that many different races, people and in this case animals can ban together to help someone feel special and a part of the group. Great to foster great self-esteem and self-worth, friendship, loyalties and just knowing that WE ALL BELONG!

 – reviewed on Amazon by Samfreene

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Saturday Book Review: “Washed Away: From Darkness to Light”

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:

Washed Away: From Darkness to Light Nikki DuBose with James Johanson

Washed Away: From Darkness to Light

by Nikki DuBose with James Johanson

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478777458

Synopsis*:

Washed Away: From Darkness to Light is a memoir that recounts the experiences of model Nikki DuBose as she overcomes a more than seventeen-year battle with abuse, child sexual victimization, eating disorders, psychosis, alcoholism, drugs, depression, suicide attempts, body dysmorphic disorder, and various other mental health issues, all while trying to navigate through the dark side of the fashion industry.

Her journey began as a young, introverted child with a florid imagination growing up in Charleston, South Carolina. By the age of eight she had been sexually, physically, and emotionally abused and had developed an eating disorder. The abuse warped Nikki’s self-perception and sparked patterns of psychosis, depression and destructive behavior that stayed with her into adulthood. In her early twenties she began working as a television host and started a career in modeling. Eventually Nikki attained success, appearing on the covers of magazines such as Maxim, shooting for editorials like Vanity Fair, Glamour and FHM, and appearing in campaigns for Perry Ellis.

Cast into a world of excess, superficiality, and vanity, Nikki traveled the globe and experienced the finest that the material world had to offer, all while feeling empty inside. Her disorders, addictions and mental health issues took her to the brink of mortality and only though a deeply painful inner-battle and her mother’s death was she able to reconnect the lost pieces of her soul and see the person she had so long rejected.

Her recovery from a nearly lifelong struggle with PTSD, psychosis, addictions and eating disorders has left Nikki with a passionate longing to help others who are also suffering by advocating for mental health and self-acceptance. In America, more than sixty-one million individuals are affected by mental illness. Child sexual abuse affects more than forty-five million people in the United States alone, yet it is still regarded as one of the most shameful issues to date. Eating disorders affect millions and are one of the most destructive and life-threatening mental afflictions today – anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychological illness. Despite the extent of the suffering, eating disorders and mental health issues are poorly understood in popular culture and are often stigmatized, mocked, or even glorified because of misconceptions and ignorance over the seriousness of the manner. Although the modeling industry has made strides towards body diversity in the past couple of years, there is a lack of education and awareness surrounding eating disorders and other mental health issues. We believe that through the recent societal trends and improved sharing of information, we are beginning to break this paradigm, therefore another aim of this book will be to educate the public. Washed Away: From Darkness to Light will serve as a testimony to others to let them know that they are not alone in their fears, doubts, and frustrations, and that through recovery all things are possible.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Critique:

Model and author Nikki DuBose struggled with a variety of mental health issues for nearly twenty years; all while forging a career in the demanding fashion industry. Her problems began in childhood, where she was emotionally and sexually abused, and as patterns of self-abuse influenced her choices and progress in life, she found her self in a puzzling juxtaposition between success and failure as she worked as a TV host and began her modeling career.

While on the surface she appeared to be successful, traveling the world and leading a life that seemed enviable, in reality her struggles with PTSD, eating disorders, and mental and physical challenges were never-ending and became life threatening on more than one level.

Washed Away: From Darkness to Light tells her story and illuminates the forces which contributed to her warped self image and the paths she took to emerge from her personal version of hell.

It’s written for audiences who suffer similar mental ailments and for those who would better understand and reduce the shame surrounding such struggles. Even though DuBose’s path led her to a religious revelation and spiritual focus, it’s not written for those who would receive a lesson in Christianity, but for any who would understand the various options leading to survival and recovery.

Readers should be warned that DuBose’s life is tumultuous and her memoir describes sexual abuse, graphic inappropriate actions upon a child by many of the adults who should have been protecting her, and shows how these familiar patterns repeat into adulthood. It also details the physical health challenges that entered the picture more and more often as DuBose continued to abuse her body and mind. It’s not an easy read: it’s filled with strife, angst, and agony.

It also includes some unexpected aspects, such as the author’s connections with paranormal phenomena and her insights about these events.

Readers who seek graphic, compelling memoirs that ultimately focus on victim mentality and how to recreate one’s identity and self image in a more positive light will find Washed Away goes further than most memoirs of abuse to chronicle the way out and the road to recovery, offering inspirational guidelines that will appeal to religious and non-religious readers alike.

reviewed by Diane Donovan of Midwest Book Review ]

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

I have followed Nikki on social media for several years and have been inspired by her advocacy and life story, so when I found out she was writing a book, I couldn’t wait to read it and learn more about her journey! Washed Away: From Darkness to Light is her memoir, and she details the many traumas she endured both as a child and as an adult working in the modeling industry. I could not be more impressed by her resilience and her ability to revisit her experiences with such grace. She tells it like it is; there’s no way to just gloss over trauma and minimize it, but she writes in a way that evokes hope. I found myself rooting for her recovery as I read, and I couldn’t put the book down!

People who have had similar experiences will surely find solidarity in her story, and those who have never experienced trauma will gain an understanding and sense of empathy for those who have endured difficulties like abuse, assault, eating disorders, and addictions. This book sheds a lot of light on the modeling and entertainment industries too, and is another reminder that “all that glitters is not gold.” I’ve always heard of the pressures put on people in these industries, but reading Nikki’s firsthand account was even more enlightening, and reminds me that there is still so much education and advocacy work to be done in every aspect of society.

Thank you for writing this book, Nikki, and blessings to you as you continue your journey and seek to help others through your story!

– Amazon Reviewer Sarah

When a stunning runway model shamelessly illuminates her ugly profiles to help others she naturally becomes more beautiful. Nikki’s high profile advocacy for the sexually abused and those suffering mental illness will not only champion the plight of victims it will safeguard her own journey to recovery.

Kudos to Nikki for showing that we are all on the spectrum — even the flawlessly beautiful. Some are just fortunate to have secure childhoods and ride the curve to “normalcy.” Far too many have both nature and nurture to hurdle. Nikki’s mom, “Hurricane Sandy”, succumbed to this all to often fatal perfect storm. While Nikki has not only survived unimaginable mental and physical trauma, thru her writing she is carrying many to safety by combatting pervasive destructive stigma. Proving life is indeed what you make of it! Kevin DeBlasi, Esq.

– Amazon Reviewer maria f deblasi


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

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Saturday Book Review: “The Prince and the Scorpion”

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 the Midwest Book Review:

the prince and the scorpion

The Prince and the Scorpion

by Dick Nelson

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478741435

Synopsis:

America is under attack from her mortal enemies … and only Brad Tilsdale can save her.

In the highly anticipated sequel to The Trojan Horse Conspiracy, Brad Tilsdale—former Navy SEAL, FBI agent, CIA operative, and now National Security Advisor to the President—expands his influence over the U.S. government’s clandestine operations, while a weak President looks the other way. As Tilsdale weaves his way through the Washington bureaucracy to head off a massive Al-Qaeda attack, his sharply etched character begins to evolve in sinister ways, revealing a dark and ruthless side of his personality.

Tilsdale plots and schemes to protect the United States, often from itself. His unorthodox alliance with the two most influential women in Washington—a romantic triangle with treacherous implications—becomes a struggle for control of the nation’s Special Operations and clandestine services, exposing layer upon layer of personal agendas and an insatiable pursuit of power. In a final cataclysm of violence and duplicity, Tilsdale’s character emerges as a flawed hero who will kill without remorse in order to achieve his secretive goals, aided by a beautiful, powerful woman who is irresistibly drawn to his strength.

The Prince and the Scorpion is a gripping, action-packed tale of political intrigue, assassination, and heroism—a tale that will leave the reader with an entirely new view of their government in Washington … and the people who manipulate it..

Critique:

In The Prince and the Scorpion, Dick Nelson once again spins a superbly fashioned novel of political intrigue, assassinations, and heroism. A solid entertainment from first page to last, The Prince and the Scorpion is very highly recommended, and along with its prequel, The Trojan Horse Conspiracy (9781432795085, $19.95), would prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Action/Adventure fiction collections. It should be noted that The Trojan Horse Conspiracy and The Prince and the Scorpion are also available in Kindle editions ($2.99 and $9.99 respectively).

reviewed in the Mystery/Suspense Shelf of Midwest Book Review ]

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

Brad Tisdale, former Navy SEAL and FBI agent (The Trojan Horse Conspiracy) and now National Security Advisor, meets his match in the Scorpion, a well-funded and highly resourceful terrorist. The two clash in a series of terrorist plots, but Tisdale is also beset with other world crises, and deals with competitors and enemies in the US and other governments (some fictional, some thinly disguised real world actors). Nelson mixes history, alternative history and speculation to produce near-constant action.

Reflecting his military background, the author is particularly effective in his treatment a broad range of weapons and intelligence systems, as well as tactics and procedures from the unit to the theater level. He is also keenly aware of the internal workings and conflict in the US and foreign governments.

This is a spellbinding novel about what it is (or should be) like to operate at the highest level of government: the loyalty and the duplicity, the cumulative effect of shadow war on people and relationships, and the deep bonds between warriors. Both books in this series are recommended to fans of John Sandford, Michael Connolly, and Robert B. Parker.

– Amazon Reviewer Bat

Fasten your seat belt and tighten your shoulder harness! Nelson’s latest work takes the reader on a fast-moving three dimensional journey of action in the “black ops” world with lots of action and twists in the plot. There are also some rather steamy amorous adventures in the story.

The plot is a blend of real the real and the fictional, wonderfully blended together. The reader is taken around the world in this fast-paced adventure. In the preface, the author encourages the reader to look up some the book’s fascinating locations using “Google Earth” – which I did and that adds anther dimension to this fascinating novel.

I liked everything about this book, including the cover.

I can’t wait for Nelson’s next book!

– Goodreads Reviewer ROBERT M HINCKLEY


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

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Self Publishing Book Review of the Week: Tales of Wordishure

Tales of Wordishure

by Mick McArt

This self-published book was recently reviewed by Michael J. Carson of Midwest Book Review:

A good bedtime story is invaluable and can impart values. “Tales of Wordishure” Is a collection of stories aimed to be read to young children at bedtime to better impart Christian wisdom and values to them. With much to stimulate the imagination, these tales make “Tales of Wordishure” very much worth picking up for parents who want to mix in faith at bedtime.

For more information or to order the book, visit the author’s webpage: www.outskirtspress.com/talesofwordishure


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