Self-Published Book Review: “Lexicon: American Style 2”

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:

lexicon 2 american style patrick ragains

2016 reader views reviewers choice award

Lexicon: American Style 2

by Patrick Ragains

ISBN: 9781478701170

 

Synopsis*:

Entertaining as well as educational, Patrick Ragains’ Lexicon: American Style 2 is a comprehensive eighty-one chapters. Each one discusses a unique element of American English and American lifestyles and his introduction pays tribute to America’s greatest lexicographer Noah Webster, Jr. Through Ragains sharp, often humorous, breakdown of words, names, and phrases, he encourages others to be able to communicate more effectively. By separating each segment of American English for thorough examination, Ragains hopes to help readers better understand and articulate their common language.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

It has been proven that one of the most effective ways to learn and retain information is to do so while being entertained. Thus, the goal of this book…to improve the reader’s grasp and usage of the English language while evoking smiles, smirks, even raised and furrowed brows. It is quite simply a fun, informative read.

Let’s call this written exercise a ‘Flexicon’…a flexing of our American English lexicon. Lexicon: American Style II is a further examination and celebration of our Americanized version of the Kings English. The first half of the book is a breakdown of how we commonly use our words, phrases and names to communicate in these United States.

In addition, Lexicon II is also a collection of humorous American lifestyle observations. The second half of the book labeled, ‘Observations From the Carpool Lane’ features a wide-ranging group of essays regarding the common, sometimes mystifying, experiences most of us share as modern day American citizens.

 

Want to learn better English vocabulary but find textbooks are boring? Then read Lexicon: American Style 2 because I promise you will not be disappointed! Lexicon: American Style 2 is a fascinating, intriguing, and hilarious reference guide that will have you learning as well as laughing at the same time! Patrick Ragains is a magnificent author because he has found a gap in the market and filled it with a brilliant book. What is the hole in the market? The gap in the market is a fun, hilarious learning guide that actually works!

Lexicon: American Style 2 is book two in Patrick Ragains reference series. I have not read the first book (yet!), so I would already write that you can read this book without reading the first. It is an incredible, fluid, informative guide that will inspire readers to learn and laugh at the same time. Lexicon: American Style 2 is a study of words in the English language. However, this is no ordinary reference guide because Patrick Ragains manages to explore these themes and words entertainingly by including them in brilliant, hilarious stories and sentences! Ragains explains in his description of his book that most people learn and retain information better, while they are having fun. This has clearly struck a chord with Ragains, and that is why he has written an entertaining, fun, learning story for all those that love to laugh while learning!

I really do admire Patrick Ragains for his flawless ability to write an exceptional learning book while incorporating many hilarious themes. This is incredibly hard to do because the author’s funny nature has to shine off the page and it is always dreadful when you read a book to find that the author is in fact not funny at all. However with Lexicon: American Style 2, you are guaranteed a funny guide because the author’s sense of humor and his hilarious sentences shine off the page and will make you laugh like crazy!

As I am obsessed with the English language and bettering my knowledge, I have no choice but to award Lexicon: American Style 2 a dazzling Five Stars! Not only is its story hilarious, but it is also unique and very informative. The reader will be able to retain a host of vocabulary from this book, and some of it is very advanced. This is incredibly useful for those who work in professional fields as well as students. It truly is the perfect fun, reference guide so please book lovers, read this phenomenal book!

Thank you so much for reading book lovers! I appreciate it so much and love discussing wonderful books with all of you so please, comment below and let me know your thoughts on Lexicon: American Style 2; do you see yourself reading this book? Let me know all of those brilliant thoughts of yours below! Thank you so much again for reading!  

– reviewed by Aimee Ann for RedHeadedBookLover.com

Other Reviews

“Lexicon American Style 2,” by Patrick Ragains is the second book in a series that covers the American way of communicating. A great deal can be learned about American culture in this text. This information doesn’t just cover America as a whole, but also the different subcategories that might be found in different states or regions.  The author literally covers topics from A to Z. I hate to use the word “literally,” because it is so over used, but the topics actually do range from A to Z and beyond! I found myself gaining an understanding of what words or phrases mean in parts of the country that are unfamiliar to me. Acronyms, idioms, metaphors, oxymorons, etc., they can all be found between these pages. There is also some great advice for creating an online dating account. While I am not in need of one of these accounts, at this time anyway, I found the advice presented to be quite informative.

Foreigners who plan on traveling to the United States will find “Lexicon American Style 2,” to be a great resource to use while traveling around. Perhaps a better understanding of our American terminology could help prevent an international crisis from occurring or escalating!  I am also considering giving this book out as Christmas gifts for my friends who have everything. They will really enjoy this one! I have an English as a Second Language instructor on my Christmas list. Perhaps, she will consider using Lexicon American Style 2, as a textbook for her class. It would also make a great bathroom reader for families who have low fiber diets and have to take time to sit around and read, whether they want to or not.

In all seriousness, I do believe that reading “Lexicon American Style 2,” by Patrick Ragains will improve our use of American English. I enjoyed gaining a lot of new information and also having a chance to check my own usage. The area that I found particularly helpful was in the discussion of redundancies. Hopefully, my writing skills will improve a bit. Having a chance to gain knowledge while laughing out loud is wonderful! Readers will find this information extremely interesting and highly entertaining.

– reviewed by Paige Lovitt on Reader Views

A word nerd’s dream that entertains as it educates. Ideal as a coffee table conversation starter or back bathroom reader. 81 independent, spirited chapters regarding the wonder of our English language and our unique American lifestyle. Dedicated to America’s premiere lexicographer and visionary patriot Noah Webster, Jr.

A continuation of Lexicon: American Style, author Ragains leaves no part of our American English unturned as he romps from Acronyms to Zombies (A to Z). Creative, clever, funny, at times bawdy and controversial, Lexicon: American Style 2 will challenge your perspective and expand your vocabulary arsenal.

– reviewed on BookReviewBuzz.com

 


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Self-Published Book Review: “My Backyard Garden”

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:

my backyard garden by debra hester

2016 reader views reviewers choice award

My Backyard Garden

by Debra Hester

ISBN: 9781478757375

 

Synopsis*:

Has someone that you love died unexpectedly? Is the pain hard to bear? It was for Debra Hester, so she makes no apologies for the emotions that are expressed in her memoir, My Backyard Garden. If the emotions seem too much, they are more and maybe even more than you can feel right now or imagine that you or someone you know is going through. Debra Hester was standing at the base of a huge mountain that seemed to emerge out of nowhere after her mother’s death. If you’re at this place, or know of someone who is, her hope is that My Backyard Garden will give you and them hope and insights into the journey ahead. This memoir of how love conquers grief chronicles the days leading up to her mother’s death, the wisdom her mother left behind, the insights she gained at the very end of her mother’s life on this side and the journey of memories that surface for a fight against her deep seated fears, anger and grief. Come to her backyard garden with its natural beauty, its captivating yet calming and healing properties. Come sit with her and share a garden view of a journey we all will take. In My Backyard Garden, a memoir of how love conquers grief her heart goes out to you. She wants everyone who is grieving to not take their feelings lightly or the feelings of others who are going through this season of grief. She shows how real feelings of grief run deep, regardless of what you show or see on the outside. Grief is real and she hopes reading about her journey with her loved ones allows us all to mourn, to reflect and to recover at our own pace and recognize when we have arrived at a better place.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

“My Backyard Garden” by Debra Hester is a love story, though not in the traditional sense of the lover’s relationship. Rather, it is the love story of a daughter as she moves through the grief of losing her beloved mother.

This memoir is unique in the manner in which it is written. The author comes to a realization that though grief occurs as a natural part of life, it exists, or seems to exist on another level within our world as an unknown, until it is experienced at a relational level. Thus, she intentionally uses relational names rather than the actual names of her family members, for example, from page 18: “So somewhere after my arrival to ICU and the discussions with Sister, Brother and the doctors, I knew the time was approaching to offer Daughters an opportunity to fly to Phoenix from Baltimore to see their grandmother.” By offering the relational status of a family member it allows the reader to identify on a different level, perhaps even substituting the names of their own family members and personalizing the experience. For me this style was awkward at first because rather than connecting with the people involved, I felt a bit separated and distanced. As I continued reading however, it became more natural and I was able to focus more keenly on the message itself.

Hester relates the days leading up to her mother’s death, through her peaceful transition, and the months following, sharing her raw emotions without apology. It is through the depths of her emotions that she hopes she will encourage people to allow themselves the grieving process in order to get to a place of healing.

A short 50-page memoir, readers might imagine they will sail through the text in one sitting, but I recommend reading it slowly and taking the time to welcome and contemplate the insight Hester offers throughout her journey.  The beautiful tribute to her mother will stir up memories, giving reason to pause and appreciate your relationship with your own mother.

Hester’s profound love for her mother shines through the pages. One of my favorite passages is a quote by her mother which seems to clearly depict who she was as a person, “If a task has once begun, never finish till it’s done. Be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all.” (p.48).

I recommend “My Backyard Garden” by Debra Hester to anyone that has lost their mother or other loved one and is looking for strength, wisdom and guidance.

– reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views

Other Reviews

Her style of writing with brought me along the journey with her.

– reviewed on Amazon by CLVDan

5.0 out of 5 starsFinally, a book and an Author that just gets it 🙌❤🙏
It was interesting to see how another successfully found their own path back to love and long-term peace after experiencing one of the most painful losses in life.
This book not only understood my pain and grieving process but it connected to what I was actually feeling that I didn’t know how to articulate into words.
It was unfamiliar at first but then I found myself in a safe place to accept the present. Then, I was inspired to begin/continue down my own path to healing, (not merely living) but thriving for my lossed loved one, and gaining the strength I needed to live in peace.

Let’s just say, I’m glad I read this book because I believe this particular perspective on what we will all eventually face, is truly beautiful. And to me, that’s all true beauty is… peace + healing.

– reviewed on Amazon by Mari Clifton

 


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Self-Published Book Review: “TARA: The Goldilocks Planet”

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:

tara j g possum the goldilocks planet

2016 reader views reviewers choice award

TARA: The Goldilocks Planet

by J. G. Possum

ISBN: 9781478798842

 

Synopsis*:

Earth is on the brink of self-destruction. The fate of an entire planet rests on the shoulders of 212 people chosen to establish a colony on a recently discovered Goldilocks planet. Tests revealed the planet could sustain life…but they didn’t show that life already existed there. The crew from Earth is met by many hostile creatures, but it’s way too late to turn back. They must find a way to establish a colony…without making the same mistakes that destroyed Earth.

Drawing from thirty-five years as an engineer, J. G. Possum has written a believable science-fiction novel steeped in fact that is also a thrilling page-turner. Tara: The Goldilocks Planet will enthrall casual and lifelong sci-fi readers alike.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

“Tara” by J.G. Possum is a sci-fi novel following a group of men and women who have fled the planet Earth in the midst of an atomic war between nations. After traveling for fourteen months on their spaceship Aquarius, they reach a new planet they name Tara. Finding a new planet is not the end of their journey together though. Now they must build a new civilization and navigate new relationships with Tara’s current population.

Of Tara’s two continents, one is already spoken for upon the arrival of the Aquarius. The more hospitable Southern Continent, eventually named Erona, is inhabited by the Eron, an alien species that fled their own planet long ago. They allow the humans to attempt settling on the dangerous Northern Continent, which they name Earthland. One of the most interesting parts of this novel is watching the two nations navigate a tentative alliance. The Eron are cautious, having been taken advantage of before, but the humans are desperate to rebuild their civilization on Tara and must find a way to live in peace with their new neighbors. Watching the new diplomatic ties being formed and negotiated is thrilling.

The real story begins after the Aquarius has landed on Earthland. Building a new country is no easy task, and readers are taken through the process step by step. From forming a new government, to creating a monetary system, to actually building Earthland’s first city, the audience gets to witness a new society being born.

As readers follow Earthland’s birth and watch the new country’s leaders attempt to cement their people’s place on Tara, they will perhaps notice a flaw within the story; there is a lack of conflict. Earthland’s leaders never disagree with each other and their constituents are willing to go along with every decision they make. Lack of conflict is a problem that permeates other areas of “Tara” as well but is most prevalent in scenes between members of Earthland’s first designated governing body. Disagreements and tension between the government leaders would add another layer to the novel’s plot as well as add a more realistic element. Every government has some faction of the constituency it represents that stands against it, no matter how popular it is with the majority. In “Tara,” resolution comes far too easily to the protagonists in every circumstance.

“Tara” by J.G. Possum is an interesting case. While it is presented as a science fiction story, more emphasis is placed on building civilizations and creating a history for a new society. I greatly enjoyed those aspects of the novel. I could definitely see it becoming favorite of nonfiction/culture buffs looking to get into the fiction scene.

– reviewed by Skyler Boudreau for Reader Views

Other Reviews

Great story…and a must read.

– reviewed on Amazon by jf

Entertaining and Uplifting With a Powerful Message
[T]ARA is thought provoking, believable and holds more than a few surprises. Grab this book, settle into a comfy chair and dig right in to experience mankind at its finest! You won’t be sorry!

– reviewed on Amazon by Stephanie Dil

 


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Self-Published Book Review: “Caledonia Switch”

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:

Caledonia Switch steven lane smith

Caledonia Switch

by Steven Lane Smith

ISBN: 9781478700821

reader views reviwers choice award 2014

Synopsis*:

A precocious teenager named John Wesley Hardin illegally day trades options to save his father’s hardware store in idyllic Caledonia, New Hampshire.  Clinging to vestiges of infantile omnipotence, John sets up a sham trust to hide his fraudulent schemes.  Early successes entice him to make increasingly risky bets that threaten to ruin three families – the Hardins, the Lavals, and the Harringtons.  When his fundamental identity is exposed as a fiction, his confidence is shattered.  He must choose humility over pride to rebound from disaster to be capable of loving and worthy of being loved.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

A Christmas Story for All Seasons

– Reviewed by Jennifer Hass for Reader Views

Other Reviews

Caledonia Switch is a book you will truly enjoy reading

– reviewed by T.W. Price on Amazon

Great Read

– reviewed by Boston Book Girl on Amazon

 

 


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Tuesday Book Review: “Cursed”

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:

cursed jeanne blanchet

cipa evvy merit

Cursed

by Jeanne Blanchet, PhD

ISBN: 9781478747901

Synopsis*:

The year is 394 CE. Christianity has recently been declared Rome’s state religion, and the empire’s pagan temples are being shut down. When Christian Princess Serena accompanies Theofilus, a young priest, to oversee the closing of Vesta’s sanctuary, she pilfers a necklace from the statue of a goddess, inciting the head Vestal to call a horrific curse down on her and her family. Cursed traces the remainder of Serena’s life as she wonders if the curse will destroy her completely and attempts to cope with her gradually rising desperation. Meanwhile, Father Theofilus embarks on a lifelong quest to find the priceless antique Palladium, which had been housed in the sanctuary and which he plans to donate to the Church as a means of furthering his ecclesiastical career. Stilicho, Alaric, Theodosius I, Bishops Ambrose and Augustine, and Saint Jerome are among the fascinating individuals who return to life in this historical fiction thriller. Their exciting adventures are set against the background of the fall of the once-mighty Roman Empire, the rise of Christianity, and the mass migrations characteristic of Europe’s turbulent fourth and fifth centuries.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

Jeanne Blanchet’s “Cursed” is an epic historical account of Christianity’s strong entrance into Roman culture, and how religion came to be more absolute than the power of even the emperors.

Christian Princess Serena and a young priest and aspiring Bishop of Rome, Presbyter Theofilus, make up two of the principal characters in the cast. Serena is pampered and used to living a life of luxury.  While her heart is often in the right place, she is easily misguided, however, by material aspirations and the beauty and allure of things, like jewelry.  Presbyter Theofilus started out as a promising young military prospect but turned his sights on the Church when religious traditions in Rome became overrun by Christian teachings and power.  What these two young people learned during their years, as did every other Roman citizen and intruder, was that Christianity’s power was to be stronger than anything else.

“Cursed” starts out strongly and is filled with rich details and obvious research.  The terminology which the author inputs into the story represents long hours of academic study, which help produce an authentic picture of Rome in its final century.  While the details remain strong throughout the novel, the pace staggers a bit as the story progresses.  It seemed that the author’s aspirations for the novel almost became a little too broad.  Whereas the synopsis of the book intimates at the book being about a young woman being evilly cursed by one of the remaining pagan priestesses, or Vestals, of Rome, and about Presbyter Theofilus’s journey to find the antique Palladium, these storylines become a little blurred.

While most of “Cursed” takes place toward the end of the 4th century CE, there are various chapters that almost randomly go back in time 30, 40, or 50 years.  One contains details about the coming of the Goths, while another provides backstory on the current Bishop of Rome.  While the historical details are strong, the context of why these chapters are included in the midst of the main story is lost.  I think the too-broad aspirations and outlook for the plot ended up overshadowing the intended theme and main point of the book, albeit unintentionally.

I am not sure I would consider this a read for the general audience.  The historical and technical terms may make the prose seem a little dense and hard to understand.  I am a history student and an aspiring historian, so the inclusion of the historical facts was perfectly normal, easy to understand, and even exciting to me, but it may pose as a barrier for those who aren’t as historically inclined.

“Cursed” certainly shows a lot of promise as a work of heavily research historical fiction.  The idea for the story is unique and captivating, and the characters are unique enough to make you want to know what happens to them by the end of the book.  In the end, “Cursed” by Jeanne Blanchet is a great example to aspiring writers of how important structure, pacing, and context are in contributing to the overall understanding, execution, and package that is a novel.

– reviewed by Megan Weiss on Reader Views

Other Reviews

History come to life.

The author has taken the historical account of early Christianity and the fall of Rome and woven together a most descriptive narrative to bring the events to life.

– reviewed by Nancy Redmond on Amazon

This book has inspiring attention to detail and emotional depth. The knowledge and research that went into the writing of Cursed has made it a real page turner that pulls you right in and won’t let you put it down.

– reviewed by MacLennan on Amazon

 


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Tuesday Book Review: “Wasp on the Wind”

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:

wasp on the wind c r norris

cipa evvy 2018

Wasp on the Wind

by C.R. Norris

ISBN: 9781478785989

Synopsis*:

The saga continues as a future apocalyptic world begins to reveal its secrets . . . Chris, now a Trax, was what the West Sand Command called “a greeny.” Her “Before Time,” that time before she had been rifted, had been from a distant past, and perhaps even a different timeline. Who could say . . .? But after some three years of training and a return to the very group who had rescued her from the desert, her “Now Time” circle was complete . . . with one adjustment, she was now also “Det Arju′” She carried with her a mysterious pendant that she had been ordered to present to Lon, the Tagos of the Choe, an assignment that, as of yet, no West Sand Commander was aware. Bruce, Chris’s friend, and fellow “Before Time” band geek, was rejected by the Trax. While Chris trained, his path hooked him to the side of the Taden’s greatest nemesis, the Captain. Now as his lieutenant, he must help the Captain save his command by aiding him in the capture of Ponopin, a genius Tader entrepreneur, and the Brigade’s greatest thorn. But as fate would have it, neither mission is as easy as it sounds, the tangle of circumstances sending Chris and Bruce on a collision course with each other.

Richly imagined, beautifully characterized, and deeply engaging, Wasp on the Wind will leave you clamoring for the upcoming third book in The Wasp Chronicles series.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

“Wasp on the Wind” is the second book of the “Wasp Chronicles” trilogy by C.R. Norris, a science-fiction/action-adventure series that follows several different perspectives. Readers explore the world through military officers, merchants, and even a man wanted by the government. Each storyline is vastly different, but all of them converge with at least one other during the course of the novel.

The variety of characters provides insight to all corners of the setting, allowing the reader a total and immersive experience. The world itself is detailed and painstakingly wrought. Norris balances an impressive number of societies with an even more impressive number of characters. The novel’s scientific aspect is interesting and easy to understand, providing a fantastic introduction to the genre.

While the vast cast of characters provides many sides to an already complicated story, they can sometimes prove a hindrance. The point of view jumps are often random and confusing. There is no warning before the shifts occur, and this makes it seem as if the author simply couldn’t decide whether they wanted to write in third person limited or third person omniscient. It’s enough to pull the reader out of the story completely while they try and adjust to a new point of view that often lasts only for a few paragraphs.

I found many of the side characters come off as flat. They have a single trait that defines them, and they seem more like they are there to fill up space. Sci-fi novels tend to be more action-driven than character-driven anyway, but like the sudden point of view jumps, I just found these side characters distracting. I was annoyed with the one-dimensional feel of them and the way they drew focus from the main characters, and felt that a lot of them could have been combined or cut from the novel altogether.

Overall, “Wasp on the Wind” by C.R. Norris left me conflicted. The story is intriguing and something I want to know more about, but the characters and point of view conflicts give me pause in continuing the trilogy. I removed two stars from my final rating for these issues. I don’t think I would highly recommend the series for anyone with a love of character driven novels.

– reviewed by Skyler Boudreau on Reader Views

Other Reviews

Great storytelling! May even be better than the first book in the series which was also excellent. Very powerful and intensely written with strong character development. Highly recommended, especially if you’re looking for a different sort of sci-fi.

 – reviewed on Amazon by Vinny D.

Just finished reading The Wasp’s Nest by C. R. Norris. Since I am 85 and don’t usually read science fiction I wasn’t sure, but I enjoyed it so much and will look forward to the next in the series. M’s Norris just might have got me started reading science fiction that several of my grand children enjoy. Thank you young lady you did a great job!

 – The Wasp’s Nest as reviewed on Amazon by Joan Stegall

 


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Tuesday Book Review: “Man At The Cross Road”

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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man at the cross road jeanne blanchet

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silver-awardIBPA Benjamin Franklin Silver Award for Historical Fiction

Man At The Cross Road

by Jeanne Blanchet, Ph.D.

ISBN: 9781478778547

Synopsis*:

Man at the Cross Road is the gripping story of Marcus Casca, the exactor mortis who headed the death squad that crucified Jesus. After serving his army stint, the tough, desensitized legionary returns to Rome, where, unable to readjust to civilian life, he embarks on a twenty-year spree of debauchery and violent crime. His life is altered when, having fainted on the street from a fever, he is rescued by a Christian Jewish couple. Through them, he meets Church fathers Peter and Paul, Aquila and Priscilla, and other prominent figures in the early “Way” movement. Witnessing the Lord’s Supper, however, he suspects they are cannibals. Additionally convinced they practice sorcery and constitute a potential threat to Roman security, he becomes a government informer, infiltrating their ranks with the intent of gleaning enough evidence to have them arrested, tried, and executed. Little by little, however, the believers’ message of love and salvation works a change in the dissolute thug’s heart. But can he commit? Can he truly believe that Christ died for a despicable sinner like himself? And if so, can he ever dare disclose to his new brethren that it was he who crucified their Jesus? For years he wrestles with these questions. At the novel’s climax, he is offered the money he desperately needs to treat the life-threatening disease he has contracted if he reveals the group’s new secret meeting place, in the process condemning the only friends he has ever known to certain death. Marcus is at a cross roads and must decide once and for all whether he believes. One choice saves his life, the other, his immortal soul.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

Author Jeanne Blanchet has done an amazing job in “Man at the Cross Road,” her story of the man who crucified Jesus. This is a book written in modern terminology, but instills facts that document this event. The author has done extensive research in trying to present the information on a subject that is highly sensitive and controversial. She provides excellent information on the differences in worship services, the Holy Eucharist, and beliefs.

The story begins in Rome 30 CE where readers meet the family of Sextus Cascas, who are awaiting the return of their son Marcus after serving in the Roman Army. Each family member reflects on their memories of Marcus and the feelings/fears they have about his return.

The mother, Gnaea sees only the good in her prodigal son but at the same time remembers his defiant ways as a child. The father, Sextus, tried to be the best father he could, exposing Marcus to learning the family trade, providing trips to the theater and “guy” events. Sister Livia remembers the abusive bully who only cared about getting what he wanted, when he wanted it.

Marcus returns with what we call today PTSD – he is non-communicative, hostile, and violent. His time in the Roman Army has only increased his belief that he is better than anyone else is and all others are stupid and incompetent. After advancing in the ranks of the army, he was chosen for the “death squadron.” The squadron’s goal was to crucify anyone who went against Roman law and security, and those deemed unworthy. Crucifying an individual included being stripped of all clothing, flogged, and then nailed to a cross in a public arena.

The turning event for Marcus was the flogging and crucifixion of the so-called “King of Jews.” Never had any crucifixion impacted him like this one. Not only did this Jew not call out or beg for mercy, he appeared calm and spoke to the crowd and the convicts hanging next to him. Marcus couldn’t get the eyes of Jesus out of his mind and that image followed him for years. It was due to this image and memory that Marcus lost touch with reality and was sent home.

Once returning home, Marcus leads a life of stealing, lying, and taking advantage of any woman he wanted. One such woman was Hadassah who was not killed but sent home. He later encounters her and her family after being found in a ditch due to illness.

The topic of Jesus’ crucifixion is addressed and why it happened or was thought to happen. This was delivered very well with historical facts. The author left it up to the readers to decide if they could forgive a man who did this.

Blanchet provides definitions of terminology, footnotes, maps, and further information on historical facts in the back of the book. One point made was that “No one knows for sure the hour Jesus died,” due to differences in how time was calculated within different groups. She relates that most authorities believe Jesus hung on the cross from 9:00 a.m. until his death at 3:00 p.m.

“Man at the Cross Road” by Jeanne Blanchet is an excellent read that will certainly challenge readers on their beliefs of what really happened.

– reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views

Other Reviews

Dr. Jeanne Blanchet has written a gripping novel about one man’s journey through crucifixion, debauchery and finally, salvation. In the character of Marcus Casea, the chief executioner of Jesus, we find so much about our own struggles with life, faith and the grace so freely offered by Jesus. This book will help believers and non-believers alike — there is so much shared humanity in the book that it cannot help to both captivate and inspire readers to examine their own lives and their relationship with God. A must read!

– reviewed on Amazon by Amazon Customer

Dr J. Blanchet, an accomplished author, spent years of research before writing this intense yet believable story. She cleverly weaves into the story all the teachings of Jesus the Christ in an attempt to influence the dangerous life of the Centurion who crucified Jesus. We highly recommend this book even for those who do not know the Biblical story!

– reviewed on Amazon by Amazon Customer

 


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