Tuesday Book Review: “Highway Odyssey”

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:

highway odyssey alexander flint

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Highway Odyssey

by Alexander Flint

ISBN: 9781432766696

Synopsis*:

Highway Odyssey began in the summer of 1978 with a man and his seven year old son. They drove from New York to Colorado in search of adventure. The man soon realized that he was searching, not for adventure, but for his identity. Having recently been separated from his wife of fifteen years and having five kids together, the man was emotionally overwhelmed by the change in his status.

What was originally planned to be a short visit with old friends turned into an understanding of his responsibility in his position as a single father.

Flint found matters of interest among the culturally diverse families he stayed with and many interesting characters along the way. These events led him to understand the struggle with the self doubts that originated with his rejection from his fifteen year marriage.

Backpacking to the high altitude snow fields of the Grand Teton Mountains in Wyoming, turned into an event that made his seven year old son a candidate for the Guiness Book of World Records. This occurred with the challenge of climbing over a closed pass, without any technical gear, on to Hurricane Pass.

Highway Odyssey covering a period that reaches well back into the nineteenth century and the lives of his ancestors, is based on thoughts drawn into his memory as he drove thousands of miles across highways. Such was his enjoyment, that Flint continued this marathon trek over twenty four consecutive summers. Sitting behind the wheel of his custom van in 1978, Flint begins the examination of his identity.

From rodeo riding, motorcycle touring, competing in hundred mile bicycle road races, pedaling on single track mountain trails with his fat tire bike to ghost towns and overnight horseback trips on the isolated Colorado Trail, Flint found his nirvana.

Through the close connection with his children, the deaths of friends and his parents, this man comes to realize the priorities in his life..

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

“Highway Odyssey” by Alexander Flint is the story of a man attempting to discover himself. The year was 1978 and he found himself a single father after his recent divorce. He started traveling with his seven year old son. Together they made adventures: back packing across the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. The trek was not without dangers; they did not posses practical gear but managed to conquer Hurricane Pass. Alex recounts who they visited. He shares old friends and new ones. The descriptions of the places and people bring them to life. I felt as if I were looking at them myself. He expresses the cultural difference between families and embraces it. To some degree this is a travel journal, yet it is so much more. This book offers great insight. “Highway Odyssey” is a fascinating read through two decades of a man’s life. The reader looks through a window at his marriage, is privy to his emotions and watches as the metamorphosis of his being takes place. He faced his self doubts and overcame them. By reaching back into the past of his ancestors, Flint found himself and became a responsible single parent. For twenty four years Flint continued to travel and seek adventures.

I love this book. Flint discovered what some never do…what is most important in life. I found this book easy to read and it held my attention. It is much more than this man’s travel journal; it is the search for identity. I envy his free spirit and ability to face the challenges of life and overcome them. I find this book inspiring.

– reviewed by Rita G. for Readers’ Favorite

More Reviews

Those of us in the family who know and love “cousin Alex” have always considered him a Renaissance man ; loving single dad of 5, Grandpa, Marine Corps officer, teacher , gymnastics coach, fitness enthusiast, runner, hiker ,adventurer, martial artist and writer. In Alex Flint’s new book “Highway Odyssey”, he takes you along on his own personal journey with him, a journey of body ,mind and spirit.And he tells it warts and all, not ever attempting to smooth over the rough edges, which has always been his style.The chapters of his yearly treks to the Rockies and Grand Tetons were beautiful. You feel as if you were standing next to him, taking in this indescribable beauty. And the stories of his travel companion, his 7 year old son were priceless. I also enjoyed the stories of his, and my, quirky, eclectic, talented and most of all, loving family. He indeed paints a lovely family portrait which brought back tender memories for me. Alex is brave enough to take the pain head-on also. His stories of heartbreak of divorce from his wife and a disruption of the status quo with the loves of his life, his children, were heart wrenching as was the retelling of the excruciating pain of watching the demise and passing of his beloved parents, my much loved aunt and uncle. Alex has always been a guy to not only take on challenges, but be the point man and make sure that all with him not only get thru but come out the better for it. Years ago , I was invited to make that grand journey to the Tetons and Rockies with him, and I foolishly declined thinking I had more important things to do . I regret my error of lack of foresight to this day! Thankfully, I have a second chance now with this book . I strongly recommend you jump on the back of Alex’s Harley or into his van “Darth Vader” and take this 260 page odyssey. You won’t regret it.

 – reviewed on Amazon by Stephen R. Zimmermann

It was wonderful to read this book and relive all the great memories of traveling with my father. I remember sitting around the campfire with the Canhams and hearing Stu proclaim “we’re making memories”. As a child I wasn’t sure what he meant, as an adult I know exactly what he was talking about. The precious times we spend with family and friends is what life is all about. As the author’s son, this book holds special meaning to me, but it’s a book everyone can enjoy. We could all relate and appreciate remembering meaningful people and experiences. It’s a great read.

– reviewed on Amazon by Alex and Shalini

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Tuesday Book Review: “The Paymaster”

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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the paymaster adeed dawisha

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1st Place Winner in the 2018 Reader’s Favorite Awards Mystery Category

The Paymaster

by Adeed Dawisha

ISBN: 9781478783152

Synopsis*:

George Haddad is a deeply conflicted man. A doyen of Washington’s high society, he is also a life-long member of a terrorist organization. George resolves his inner conflict when he discloses secret information to Tessa Barnard, a young television reporter, who soon finds herself treading a treacherous path of intrigue and deception involving murder, abductions, and brutal assaults. Someone is determined to silence her. Is it foreign terrorists, or does the danger emanate from somewhere much closer to home? Meanwhile, George Haddad himself becomes the object of the boundless cruelty of his organization’s star assassin, and he has to make a fateful decision that could cost him his life. He knows the odds are heavily stacked against him. A tightly written and intricately plotted novel, with many twists and unanticipated revelations, The Paymaster is hard to put down.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

The Paymaster is an exciting exploration of terrorism and counterterrorism, a twenty-first-century thriller done right.

Adeed Dawisha’s fast-paced novel The Paymaster unites a former nationalist and an ambitious journalist to take aim at one of the modern world’s biggest problems—terrorism.

George Haddad is a veteran of a nationalist terror organization, a former idealist who spent his young life sipping black tea in bombed-out warehouses in the Middle East. Now, with a mansion and a family in Virginia, Haddad has grown bored, tired, and despondent. He seeks to combat his ennui by aligning himself with Tessa Barnard, an aspiring investigative journalist who is stuck in West Virginia.

The initial purpose of their meeting is to expose Emilio Luciani, a man posing as an Italian but who is really a Hezbollah terrorist, Nizar Saleh. Haddad wants Barnard to unmask the man while he is in a secret meeting with the CIA, but one murder throws the entire scheme off of the rails.

The Paymaster is a quintessentially modern thriller set in some unexpected places. Besides the usual milieu of Washington, DC, the East Coast megalopolis, and the jet-set spots of Europe, the story also touches down in frozen Chicago, small-city West Virginia, and during the heady days of the 1979 Iranian revolution. It is an entertaining journey, the main thrust of which is that the worlds of terrorism and counterterrorism are far more entwined than most people think.

Although he is a scholar who specializes in the troublesome politics of the Middle East, Dawisha does not write like a pedantic professor. Indeed, The Paymaster moves at a quick clip, with concise, utilitarian language far outpacing fancy linguistic displays.

Characters are believable, though Barnard conforms to a certain stereotype. She is almost amoral, a careerist who seems mostly driven by a desire to get the heck out West Virginia. Although she certainly grows in maturity as the novel progresses, she is not as artfully drawn as the conflicted Haddad.

If Haddad is emblematic of real terrorists, or of terrorists who have lived long past their prime, then your average bomb maker or cell functionary is a lot more conflicted than news reports would suggest. Haddad and Barnard make for an exciting team, while the expert assassin hired by Haddad’s former comrades makes for a threatening adversary.

The Paymaster is an exciting exploration of terrorism and counterterrorism, with the daily monotony of both captured in between cinematic shootouts and cat-and-mouse games. This is a twenty-first-century thriller done right.

– reviewed by Benjamin Welton for Foreword Reviews

More Reviews

“The Paymaster” by Adeed Dawisha is an exciting and electric mystery/thriller that submerges readers deeply into the plot and leaves them guessing until the very end.

The story begins with George Haddad, a wealthy man of deep political influence in Washington DC, who is actually a member of the Revolutionary People’s Front, a Middle Eastern terrorist organization.  Attending a budget meeting of said organization, Haddad’s mind was not in the meeting as he was preoccupied with other matters: not being late to his daughter’s Christmas’s show, and making ‘the call” to Tessa Barnard. This call would finally put an end to his life of conflict by sharing the secret information he knows with the T.V. reporter. But instead of realizing peace of mind for himself, divulging the secret information puts Tessa in mortal danger and makes him a target within his organization.  Efforts to keep this information under wraps set the tone for this thrilling, intricate adventure.

Adeed Dawisha created a well written thriller with simple, engaging dialogue, and a fast-paced integrated plot that flows beautifully, keeping readers from putting it down. As much as I like to brag on how I always am able to figure out plots, I must admit, this one did have few surprises for me. Dawisha truly knows how to master pace and plot in a way which unravels unexpectedly. His characters are not just genuine, the way he built them with dialogue and description made them come alive in my mind. Dawisha also features impeccable writing skills within the action scenes as I could picture things happening vividly in my mind as clear as having it play on a screen in front of me.

I can’t recommend enough “The Paymaster” by Adeed Dawisha. It is an awesome five-star read. A thrilling and intriguing page turner that made me jump from my seat more than once. I will definitely look out for more work from this author!

 – reviewed by Michel Violante for Reader Views

This spicey thriller with multiple surprises includes characters drawn from the FBI, the CIA and television journalism, covering and uncovering international secrets and dirty deals with shady organizations from abroad. Murder, sex, betrayal, vengeance, redemption — even confirmation hearings — this fast-paced story has plenty of human interest. Lots of fun!

– reviewed on Amazon by Stephen Nimis


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Tuesday Book Review: “A Debt of Survival”

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:

a debt of survival l f falconer

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2017 INDIES Finalist

A Debt of Survival

by L. F. Falconer

ISBN: 9781478787082

Synopsis*:

Shimji, a young Channel Island vixen, dreams to go where no Island fox has ever gone: to the place her ancestors came from thousands of years ago. By talking with a sea lion named Malibu and a seagull named Topanga, she finds the island’s harbor and stows away on a boat headed to the California coast. During her adventure on the main-land, Shimji befriends wild and domesticated animals. She learns from their different ways and thus gains knowledge of the world. Her curiosity satisfied, Shimji longs to return home, only to be discovered by humans. Scientists want to send her to a zoo. Can Shimji escape and find her way back to her island home?

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

It’s true that the most terrifying horrors a human being can feel are in the mind and A Debt of Survival by L.F. Falconer aptly justifies this. The reader is introduced to a very compelling character, Don Lattimore, a man who had his stint in the army and who retired to a quiet life in Diablo Springs, serving his community as a sheriff. He thinks his past has been buried and that he has moved on, but when he discovers evidence of evil activities in an abandoned house, he knows it is the beginning of a terrifying journey for him as he begins to live his worst nightmares. Possessed by a powerful evil that causes the death of people in his county, the sheriff has to pay the impossible price if he’ll save lives. The question is: Does he have the courage to do what he needs to do to stop this evil from consuming everyone around him?

The pervading spookiness of this gripping horror tale starts from the very first page. The reader already knows that he or she is in for a dreadful ride the moment they read the first sentences of the story. The plot is beautifully imagined and the author’s writing flows flawlessly; it is measured and so tightly knit that the reader will be blown away by the lyricism in the prose. It is impossible not to feel deeply for Don Lattimore as he struggles helplessly against his own demons. A Debt of Survival is the kind of book that makes readers spend sleepless nights. The drama is intense and the reader can feel their pulse rise as they turn each page. L.F. Falconer is a master at creating a plot that leaves readers engrossed and transported.

– reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers’ Favorite

Other Reviews

A Debt of Survival is an atmospheric novel and an engrossing entry in the horror genre.

A Debt of Survival by L. F. Falconer examines the price of war within an incredible character-driven supernatural horror ordeal.

In the idyllic town of Diablo Springs, Nevada, a gruesome crime takes a toll on Don Lattimore, the sheriff and an army veteran. The scene appears to be a satanic ritual to conjure a demon, but it is quickly written off as a harmless teenage prank—that is, until the town is rocked by mounting violence and grisly deaths.

For Lattimore, the deaths and gore usher in memories of his Korean War experiences and lead to vibrant hallucinations that threaten to unravel his sanity. Unsure who to trust, or even how to confront whatever force is wreaking havoc in his town, Lattimore comes to realize that everything is connected to the war and to himself.

A Debt of Survival is a polished horror story. The writing is sharp and adeptly shows instead of tells, such as when Lattimore is startled by an airplane-like noise and looks up at the moon; the sight causes him to reflect on Armstrong’s current lunar landing and a nightmare from his past. All in one line, the time frame is established and a sense of unease settles over the story. This all occurs outside of the horrific crime scene that has yet to be described, prompting the tension and fear to mount with each paragraph.

All the characters are vividly drawn to life, but none more so than Lattimore. Coping with PTSD and burdened by the duty to protect his family and community, his convictions keep his actions consistent.

Every piece of dialogue and action builds upon another to examine a man damaged by war while suffering from mounting horrors. Character tics like Lattimore’s tendency to quote his idolized father and favor his youngest son and dog over the rest of his family, as well as his discussions with exasperating colleagues, produce a protagonist worth rooting for.

As a horror story, A Debt of Survival excels. A strong and unique internal mythology draws from supernatural legends to add a layer of complexity to the story, which even so remains accessible. That same aspect of the story helps explain Lattimore’s personality and actions. From the intense descriptions of smell to the ramifications of the crimes on Lattimore’s mind and psyche, the horror is ever present.

A Debt of Survival is an atmospheric novel with undertones of social commentary; it is a unique and engrossing entry in the horror genre.

 – reviewed by John M. Murray for Foreword Reviews

 

I love a gripping horror story, so when presented with the opportunity to read “A Debt of Survival,” by L.F. Falconer, I jumped on it! Falconer takes readers on a thrilling ride in this complex, multi-dimensional tale, full of heart-pounding suspense and drama.

Set in 1969, the story follows Don Lattimore, Sheriff of Diablo Springs, Nevada, who finds himself knee-deep in the middle of an investigation involving gruesome satanic activity. Quick to write it off as a prank of the local teenagers, Lattimore cannot ignore the onslaught of murder and destruction happening in his town ever since the “conjuring.” There is something familiar to Lattimore in all this mire, and suddenly the ghosts from his time in the war come back to haunt him with vengeance. As memories of the war come to the surface, Lattimore can’t help but wonder if he’s seeing things and losing his mind, or if the demons are real? When a stranger arrives in town offering assistance, Lattimore is torn –not sure who to trust, or what path to take. In the end, will he be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of his community?

“A Debt of Survival” was such an entertaining reading experience. The writing is impeccable, Falconer truly has a style all her own. She clearly knows how to show vs. tell–her descriptions drawing me directly into the plot with intensity and crisp detail. And, I do mean crisp detail – those with a tendency toward a weak stomach be warned – this author has no problem getting down and dirty with grisly particulars. The pace of the story is spot-on as well; I never felt like I was left hanging while waiting for something to happen, or driven through the story too quickly.

Another thing Falconer is right at home with is character development. Lattimore is a genuine protagonist who is well rounded with a diverse personality. He has no trouble being the bad guy when necessary if his convictions are tested, while at the same time being open-minded to learning new things and hearing all sides of a story. All of the characters are distinct, and readers will develop definite opinions about each one as the story progresses.

L.F. Falconer does an amazing job unfolding a clever, well-written story in “A Debt of Survival” with lots of layers, twists, and turns. Suspenseful, intriguing, and easy to follow, readers will be satisfied right up to the very last word. I rate this book an awesome Five-Star read and recommend to all horror fans and thrill seekers. You will not be disappointed.

– reviewed by Susan Violante for Reader Views

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Tuesday Book Review: “Conscious Contact”

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:

conscious contact bill rich

Conscious Contact

by Deacon Bill Rich

ISBN: 9781478781875

Synopsis*:

Buen Camino… Deacon Bill Rich had a dream. To walk the Camino de Santiago; at 76, with severe arthritis and a shaky lower back. Accompanied by his son-in-law John McGrath, he was able to do just that. This is his story, a photo diary covering his preparations and thrilling journey across northern Spain. What did he learn? It is good to have a dream.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

Conscious Contact: A Camino Pilgrimage by Deacon Bill Rich is an exciting book that chronicles the adventures of the author who, at the age of 76, dreamed of walking the Camino de Santiago. Deacon Bill Rich motivates and inspires readers through his story to take up challenges and look beyond their blocks and obstacles so that they can fulfill their dreams. The book covers his walk, which he terms as ‘Pilgrimage,’ and the thrilling journey he undertakes, in spite of having a degenerative arthritic condition in both feet. The book chronicles his foot problems, foot surgery, his determination to overcome the obstacles, and making the decision to do the Pilgrimage.

This book is amazing, uplifting, and thought-provoking and it encourages readers to look beyond the problems in their lives and do the impossible. It gives them the confidence to try out what they want to do and fulfill their dreams, despite setbacks in health. The ‘Pilgrimage,’ as the author terms it, is meaningful, profound, and will reinforce your faith in God and the higher self. Written in a journal format, the author’s pain, struggles, will to achieve what he wants, and determination are palpable. I like the strong messages the author conveys through his story – having a dream is important, to discover the incredible latent potential we all have, and spiritual growth. The photographs shared in the book help readers connect better with the author. His experience and ‘Pilgrimage’ will remove doubts and fears from our minds and encourage us to push beyond the limits.

– reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Reader’s Favorite

Other Reviews

Deacon Bill Rich had a dream. Despite being in his mid 70s with a bad back, two bad feet, one bad knee, one replaced knee, and two bad hands, he would walk the 500+ mile Camino de Santiago: the Way of St. James. Bill wanted both to stretch his boundaries and increase his contact with the Divine, and during the course of his journey is able to achieve both objectives. But this is not an expedition for the faint of heart; or the out of shape. And the intense two-plus year effort that he put into getting himself ready for the walk is a fascinating prelude to the pilgrimage itself.

But it is when Bill, accompanied by his son-in-law John McGrath, reaches Europe and begins his trek that the real fun begins. He shows an appreciation and delight in both the spectacular and the mundane and is an astute observer of both. There is breathtaking scenery and the serendipitous appearance of a lemonade stand just when he needs it most. He meets,and later re-meets, other pilgrims who evolve from occasional companions into friends. He learns the hard way that walking downhill can be much more treacherous than walking up. He fears a forecast of heavy rain but encounters a rainbow instead. But most of all he walks: 15 – 20 miles per day, over all sorts of terrains in all sorts of weather. And throughout, Bill shares with us his hopes and fears, but mostly the joy, of his journey.

This is a book that is both deeply spiritual and great fun. But the highest praise I can give “Conscious Contact” is that reading it made me wish I had made the journey alongside him.

As Bill says more than once: It is good to have a dream.

 – reviewed on Amazon by PBGNick

 

This book will be particularly meaningful to anyone who:
–is considering a pilgrimage of any kind
–has an interest in increasing their faith in a higher power
–wants to learn more about the potential of the human spirit.
– reviewed on Amazon by Tim

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Tuesday Book Review: “Too Much Junk in My Trunk!”

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:

too much junk in my trunk! the adventures of zealy and whubba roe de pinto

Too Much Junk in My Trunk!
The Adventures of Zealy and Whubba, Book 4

by Roe De Pinto

ISBN: 9781478790259

Synopsis*:

The Adventures of ZEALY AND WHUBBA Children’s Book Series – 14X Award Recipient – Mom’s Choice, Readers’ Favorites 2016-2017, Readers Views, Independent Press, & National Association of Book Entrepreneurs, Pacific Book Review 2016/2017 Books 1, 2, 3 & 4

This newest release, “Too Much Junk in My Trunk!” teaches children to eat a variety of food, encourages them to try new foods from early on, and teaches them not to overeat as well as providing comfort in knowing that their parents will usually “fix their boo-boo” so they know who to go to when that occurs! This edition actually engages the child throughout the book through questioning the reader, which enhances the child’s experience of what the characters are embracing throughout the story. Splish- Splash with Zealy and Whubba-more to come!! Watch for it!

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

“Too Much Junk in My Trunk!” is Book 4 in The Adventures of Zealy and Whubba series by Roe De Pinto.  It is about two friends named Zealy (a seal) and Whubba (a killer whale) who ate too much. They went to Zealy’s mom and told her that they had a bellyache. The book says they had too much junk in their trunk that made them feel like funk. The book taught me that it is good to have other nutrients in our bodies and to try new different foods.

I liked that Zealy and Whubba had to have water and they ate some food. I liked that Zealy’s mom helped them feel better.  I did not like that they went into the deep end. It should have been against the rules. There were sharks and bad things in the deep end.

I thought the art was good! I really liked the cover because Whubba is hugging Zealy. On another page, the pictures showed the food that the friends were going to eat. I also liked that the pages were colorful and that all the pages had a blue background because blue is my favorite color.

I really liked this book because it is a good book and it is all blue! Other kids will like it because they can learn that they shouldn’t eat too much food or their bellies will hurt too.

Parent’s Note

Russ really seems to like this book. He runs around saying, “Too much junk in my trunk makes me feel like funk!” When I asked him about it, he said that if he feels like he is eating too much, that he won’t because it will make his belly feel bad. He also knows he needs to eat a variety of foods and take his vitamins. I think “Too Much Junk in My Trunk!” by Roe De Pinto is perfect for little boys in the “potty talk” stage where they make up words anyway.

– reviewed by Russ Cramer (age 6) for Reader Views Kids

Other Reviews

For fans of Zealy & Whubba, the fanciful girl seal pup and her orca friend and mentor Whubba, we all get to join this duo as they go on yet another adventureAuthor Roe De Pinto brings these characters into new situations up in the cold water off of an imaginary Big Rock Island in episode 4Too Much Junk in My Trunk! In this episode, the two wander off to a new place where they come across a feeding area of new and flavorful fish, clams, lobsters and mussels. Zealy tries many new delicacies of colorful fish as Whubba eats his favorite crustacean diet. Along come some sharks, but since Whubba can protect Zealy from the sharks, they all decide to join the feeding frenzy. It’s a happy, festive feast when all of a sudden, oh boy, Zealy & Whubba both get big stomach aches.

They go back to Zealy’s parents where her mother tells them both, “Too much junk in your trunk makes your belly feel like funk!” So after drinking more water and feeling better, they come to a finale dance and celebration saying to each other, “Too much junk in my trunk makes my belly feel like funk!” Having this repeated by everyone time and time again “drills” in the message to children to watch what they eat, and keep away from junk. The importance of a well-balanced diet is explained, in this case by example.

The illustrations are wonderful and generously placed, interleaving with the story to provide an excellent and memorable bedtime experience. As children are read The Adventures of Zealy & Whubba!, they are taught special lessons of life, however the predominating rule in all of Roe De Pinto’s books is love. Love one another, and love yourself – it is all about love.

The achievement of this series of beautifully illustrated and printed children’s books has created two of the most lovable talking sea creatures since, well Spongebob and his friends in Bikini Bottom. Zealy with her snow white fur and Whubba with his shiny black and white body and blue eyes make ideal role models for kids to find details to love within both of them; making for excellent role models of loving the differences of others not looking the same as you. So many undercurrents of social behavior and family structure are threaded into all of Roe De Pinto’s books which make this series a “must have” collection for toddlers to enjoy – an excellent gift for young family libraries.

Each of the episodes bring to awareness the love of friendship and family and with the illustrations so consistently imaginative, each of the books comprising this series receives the highest accolades from not only this reviewer, but many from others as well.

 – reviewed by Beth Adams for Pacific Book Review

 

This book is adorable! The illustrations are colorful and show just how sweet this dynamic duo can be. There is a good lesson for the little ones to keep their belly’s happy and healthy that resonates through. The wordplay here is something my sons really loved. Highly recommend!
– reviewed on Amazon by Anthony Naber

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Tuesday Book Review: “Final Outcome”

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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final outcome james mcpike

readers' favorite silver medal winner

Final Outcome

by James B. McPike

ISBN: 9781432754495

Synopsis*:

READERS’ FAVORITE SILVER MEDAL WINNER – Christian/Fantasy.

Get ready for a prolific novel that takes you all the way from the war ravaged streets of the Middle East to the limits of outer space. For Lieutenant Lewis Snyder he thinks he’s served his time in the war zone and retirement is the next thing. But nothing could prepare him for what is about to happen. Being the honorable soldier he is, he accepts a harrowing call from a decorated general to once again serve his country. Except this time, the mission is far greater than he could’ve ever imagined. Joining forces with NASA they form the most cutting-edge team of the century. One of the team’s members is an enigmatic preacher who seems convinced beyond anything of the nightmarish villain they’re facing. They embark on a pivotal mission to another planet in the solar system so that they can recover a long-lost biblical treasure. But once they arrive there they soon realize they are not alone. One by one they get picked off by something that seems all-too supernatural. The closer they get to unraveling startling clues about the villain’s true identity the more dangerous things become. The ancients left many clues and warnings that begin to be pieced together toward a shocking revelation. But can Snyder be the one to solve it all in time and save everyone before it’s too late? This apocalyptic thriller pits good against evil in determining the FINAL OUTCOME…

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

Lewis Snyder, an American soldier on duty in Iraq, stumbles across an ancient Sumerian relic inside an old mosque but forgets about it in the turmoil and bloodshed surrounding him. A few years later, he is out the war zone and ‘retired’ from active duty. His experiences have left him scarred and disillusioned. The last thing he wants is any involvement with the military. However, Snyder is the best man for the job NASA has in mind for him because he is the best at his job. In the intervening years, NASA has picked up a radio signal from a distant planet, code name Oblivion. This information holds dire implications for humankind, and to date no one besides a small group of top military personnel knows anything about it. At a meeting with a team of experts, Snyder learns that the relic originates from this planet and the strange symbols carved into it are meaningful. One member of the team is a knowledgeable preacher who knows his Bible backwards and is not afraid to speak up.

Their mission is to travel to this mysterious planet via an advanced technology, using wormholes, and investigate the place. Satellite pictures reveal a ruined ancient city with temples and pyramids that appear to predate the earliest known buildings on Earth. Once there, the team find themselves being picked off, one by one, by some kind of monstrous entities. Are they gods, demons, or fallen angels? Snyder comes full circle and faces his past when he realizes that he confronted this ancient enemy long ago in his youth. Can Snyder prevent these once glorious creatures from recolonizing Earth? Who will win the ultimate battle between good and evil?

This is a blockbuster read for sci-fi and fantasy fiction fans. The author has created a fascinating blend of fantasy, technology, history, and archaeology to take this novel out of the ordinary and give readers something thought provoking. The character of Lewis Snyder, an excellent main protagonist, holds everything together as he works out the enemy’s next step. The plot has enthralling twists and turns, and taps into age-old beliefs that still have the power to move us. My one disappointment was the characters of the two female team members. They were shallow and more like glamor girls than real scientists. That said, the author paints a brilliant picture of a ‘sulfurous’ ‘otherworld’ to which the fallen angels retreated after the Great Flood. Their gradual disintegration into decay is compelling. With mounting tension, non-stop action, and a powerful sideswipe of an ending (I never saw it coming!) this book will keep readers riveted. The novel was deservedly nominated for the 17th EVVY Awards.

– reviewed by Fiona Ingram on Reader Views

Other Reviews

McPike’s latest novel THE LOST PROPHET won the PACIFIC BOOK AWARD for Christian Mystery/Thrillers. It was called “One of the best books of the year” by SammytheBookworm (a judge for the Indie Reader Discovery Award.) It was named an Official Selection by New Apple Book Awards for Suspense/thrillers and was a Tuscany Novel Prize Top-10 Finalist. His 700-page debut novel FINAL OUTCOME won the SILVER MEDAL from READERS’ FAVORITE in the Christian/Fantasy genre. It was also nominated with 5% (50 of a 1,000) books by the publisher for the 17th EVVY Awards. He won the Ponderosa Lion’s Club Spelling Bee Championship in 1997. A year later he was an Honorable Mention for the William Saroyan San Joaquin Valley writing contest.

 – reviewed on Underground Book Reviews
I am not typically a Fiction reader. Once I picked this book up, I simply could not stop reading it. It is suspensful to the very end. I cannot remember the last time I enjoyed a book or MOVIE this much. I did not want this read to end. Incredibly done. Thank you James!!! I am a new Science Fiction/Horror/Suspense fan. What a Ride!!!!

– reviewed on Amazon by Hdygdyc

McPike is very descriptive and he brings you on his adventures with Ramsey! I appreciate McPike’s complexity of facts. After Reading his books and researching his statements; it’s very refreshing to read such exciting and factual material! I get to go on the adventure because Mcpike takes you there with his quick, exciting and easy read! I can’t wait to see the Series on the Big screen!?

 – reviewed on Amazon by Todd Anderson

Interview With the Author

Follow the link to read Writing Belle‘s fantastic interview with James B. McPike! Full credit to her for asking some really great questions about his process and inspiration, and for supporting the work of indie and self-publishing authors everywhere.


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Self Publishing Advisor

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Tuesday Book Review: “The Secret of Bald Rock Island”

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:

secret of bald rock island charles salter

readers' favorite book award winner

The Secret of Bald Rock Island

by Charles A. Salter

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478770848

Synopsis*:

Can Kelcie solve the island’s TWO mysteries in time?

Ten-year-old Kelcie Oglethorpe’s fisherman father disappeared at sea years ago. Since then, Kelcie has befriended Bald Rock Island’s beloved Mr. Bartleby, a kindly man devoted to the village and its children. He often warns of a mysterious creature he once saw on the island’s bald dome which towers a hundred feet above the sea, yet is hollow inside and connected to sea life by underground channels. Kelcie decides to help Mr. Bartleby solve the island’s two enduring mysteries-what happened to her father, and what the sea creature might be. She learns that Mr. Bartleby was her father’s lifelong best friend. During that terrible storm off the coast of Maine, Mr. Bartleby risked his own life to do everything possible to save Kelcie’s dad, but no sign was ever found.

Kelcie criss-crosses the island in search of clues and thinks she knows where she can find the ultimate answers. She resolves to explore the forbidden area of the island, and as she puts the final pieces of the puzzle together, a new storm arises. Can she solve the mysteries and return to safety before the new storm claims her as the previous one did her father? And what will she do when she finally confronts the mysterious creature face to face?

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

The Secret of Bald Rock Island (Kare Kids Adventure #1) by Charles A. Salter is an exciting children’s adventure about a young girl determined to solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance. Ten-year-old Kelcie Oglethorpe has always been curious and ready for adventure. Mr. Bartelby, the town’s well-known and much-loved writer, is always willing to tell the children a story. When Mr. Bartelby tells the children of a mysterious creature that inhabits Bald Rock, Kelcie decides that it is time to solve the peculiar puzzle concerning her father’s disappearance and discover if Mr. Bartelby’s extraordinary story holds truth. Doing some research, Kelcie finds little to help her solve her dad’s disappearance until she reads an article written by Mr. Bartelby. As things start to come together in Kelcie’s head, she realizes what she must do. Only, she has been warned that it could be too dangerous. Can Kelcie solve the mystery of the strange creature and find her father? Will her determination prove to be deadly?

The Secret of Bald Rock Island (Kare Kids Adventure #1) by Charles A. Salter is a children’s mystery story taking place on a small Maine island. I enjoyed reading this story and, although it is short, it is well thought out. The characters are entertaining, and the storyline isn’t overly complicated. With a good portion of the inhabitants being of Scottish descent, this book is also educational. I believe that this book is perfect for the child just beginning to read chapter books as it isn’t too long, and contains easily understood concepts. It is a well-rounded mystery with intriguing characters and a fascinating monster. Being the first story in a series, it will be interesting to see what other mysteries happen on Bald Rock Island in the next story. I would recommend this book to children aged eight to ten.

– reviewed by  Alyssa Elmore for Readers’ Favorite

Other Reviews

The Secret of Bald Rock Island by Charles A. Salter begins with a lilting mystery that begs to be read aloud by children around a camp-fire while the sun goes down. The voice is clear and pleasingly individual, with turns of phrase that perfectly fit the telling of monsters, dangers and more. But the story has a dark side too, as a little girl mourns her father, lost at sea.

The language in this children’s book is simple but beautifully descriptive. The mystery is haunting and sadly plausible. And the determined little protagonist is sweetly honest and true. It’s nice to read a new story for children where foolish choices are resolved by the wise, and not all the wisdom comes from guardian adults. Bald Rock Island is a story that inspires bravery, common sense, and a pleasing recognition of human emotion. It’s a fun tale, a captivating read, and a good story to share with a middle-grade reader.

Disclosure: The author was interviewed on my blog and I was delighted to be given the opportunity to read his book.

– Amazon reviewer Sheila Deeth

What a fun read. This book is short but it reads like a full length novel. I found both Kelcie and Mr. Bartleby enjoyable characters. They were kindred souls. After hearing Mr. Bartleby’s story of the monster of Bald Rock Island, I like Kelcie was very intrigued to solve the mystery of what happened to her father and just what type of monster did Mr. Bartleby see that day. I am so glad that Kelcie did not let her age stop her from taking charge and solving the mysterious disappearance of her father. Plus, she did meet the monster and if I had come face to face with it like she did I would have screamed too. Yet she showed compassion as well. I would say that Mr. Salter accomplished his goals with this book by teaching children to be caring and fearless. I thought that the book was well written and easy to follow along so that my nephews or other young readers could read this book by themselves with no struggles. I want to read the second book in this series. A great series for children.

– Amazon reviewer Cheryl


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