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.
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:

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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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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Tuesday Book Review: “Jacaranda: Tails Before Bed”

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:

Jacaranda Tails Before Bed by E W Bosworth/ Edward Lewis

readers' favorite book award winner

Jacaranda: Tails Before Bed

by E.W. Bosworth

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478715863

Synopsis*:

In Jacaranda: Tails Before Bed, E. W. Bosworth shares personal dilemmas nevertheless common to us all. The scope of his engagement with life’s contradictions, including his subtle evocation of the great antinomies – thought and feeling, sound and silence, comfort and unrest – is evident from one page to the next, one stanza to the next, and frequently within the precarious balance of a single line. This is Bosworth’s individual response to the uniformity of post-post-modernism in contrast to which he offers a unique voice indicative of what he names “postmodern formalism”.

Asked in an interview of May, 2012, to clarify that term, he responded: “Since about 1970 American poetry has become increasingly dedicated to evincing a psychology of deconstructive theory in which the persona, the proffered speaker, is determined above all to avoid direct statement (logocentrism) with the result that indirection has become, repeatedly, the “new” direction in putative service of a transcendental subjectivity. But the human ego is not so easily dismissed, nor will its individual goals submit to categorical erasure. The poetic method of group-theory is programmatic to the extent that in the typical journal it is difficult to distinguish originality from consent. From an aesthetic perspective, there could be no more telling evidence of logocentricity than that. A postmodern formalism must embody, must demonstrate, must enact the contradictions inherent in a systematic denial of history.”

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

“Jacaranda: Tails Before Bed” is a 127-page book of poetry by E. W. Bosworth. It is divided into six chapters of random poems that deal with love and life. Bosworth is a new poet and, according to him, his writing is a reaction to the uniformity of post-post-modernism. He calls this unique voice postmodern formalism, which embodies, demonstrates and enacts the contradictions that he believes are inherent in a “systematic denial of history.” Each chapter in the book starts with black and white images that seem to hold meanings too. Reading his poems is like listening to a new voice in poetry that is waiting to be heard.

It is simply difficult to ignore Bosworth’s poems as they draw us into his varied experiences. In ‘Craft’, he says: “A poet wrote that walls don’t have to be confining, nothing to make a body “fret”. “He came up with that while wandering around the mountain with a sonnet in his head.” I guess this sums up pretty well the author’s creative process, and the simplicity in his choice of words makes his poems quite charming. Much of Bosworth’s poetry is inspired by the people and the events that surround him but there are also flowers, birds, snow, philosophy, history, and the human struggle that soars above us all. His poems are full of images and, as a reader, I try to find out his meaning to determine where he is bringing us. Through his experiences in life, just what is this poet trying to say? In the first lines of his poem ‘Parole’, he writes: “Looking into the Jacaranda is looking into your life no wonder there’s so much simile on top of simile.” Indeed, his poems leave me to determine, for myself, which features of his reference point he is trying to predicate. This is an enjoyable and insightful book of poetry.

– reviewed by  Maria Beltran for Readers’ Favorite

Other Reviews

E.W. Bosworth is a new poet to me. Opening Jacaranda was like opening Ed Dorn’s Collected Poems. Ed Dorn as mentored by Charles Olson. Bosworth’s inventiveness and brilliance are never in doubt here. This is American Poetry for Americans. Americans who read poetry. Read the poem “Carolina.” Often there is a brio in the line that pushes the poem to unforgettableness. If you ask me, buy the book. Even the illustrations, unfortunately in black and white, are worth it.

– Amazon reviewer Robert Bense

All Bosworth’s tight knits are re-versed with pearls, crossing his needles out and back, in a postmodern twist of creating while casting off, dropping stitches and rows . With form held in ‘bolts of iron’ , the breaks come amidst the words, sometimes within a word. Sleep…wake….break- if you don’t get it, don’t worry about it!

– Amazon reviewer Keep


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Tuesday Book Review: “Guardians”

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:

guardians brad anderson

readers' favorite book award finalist

Guardians

by Brad Anderson

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781432793357

Synopsis*:

Peace Has Existed Between Humans and Vampires for Centuries …

But Everything Comes to an End.

For hundreds of years, Los Guardianes de la Paz – the Guardians of Peace – have enforced an uneasy truce between humans and vampires. When vampires kill two Mexicans on the Rio Grande, everything changes. The vampires must now find a new place to live – and a reliable, clean food supply. Meanwhile, former DEA agent Robert Mackie is on a simple – but dangerous – mission: ferret out the turncoat who had blown his cover as a dedicated employee of a notorious East Coast drug lord.

Through a twist of fate, however, his quest for justice ends up putting his niece and nephew in grave danger. Suddenly, the children are thrown into the mix of an enormous vampire family in the higher reaches of the Guadalupe Mountains in West Texas. One of the children there, 13-year-old Greg Pike, is about to find himself the star attraction in the vampires’ version of a fox hunt – unless he can escape first. Now Carlos Santiago, the eldest of the Guardians, must find the help he needs to put an end to the violence and set things right with the world again. But nothing is as it seems, and death lurks around every corner. Combining elements of the thriller, mystery, and the occult, Guardians is a fast-paced and thoughtful look at a collision of cultures both human and otherwise.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

I chose to review this book because the story sounded so interesting. In fact, this book is so gripping that I couldn’t put it down. The story jumps out and grabs the reader from the word “Go.” The book begins innocuously enough, with several story threads seemingly unrelated. But wait … gradually those threads intertwine to create a tightly-paced, thrilling chase to the death. Brad Anderson has a practical approach to the paranormal, making his vampires utterly believable and thereby creating a solid, credible plot. He mixes up genres to create a fascinating blend of thriller, mystery, and paranormal. The plot is fascinating, and unlike anything I’ve ever read. Although adults take the spotlight every now and again, it is the character of young Greg Pike that rises above the others. The author isn’t afraid to delve into the grittier realities of life when dealing with his characters’ situations and dilemmas. I found the ending unresolved, but there are definite hints at more to come in this genre. If you are looking for something to keep you riveted, read this book. Highly recommended.

– reviewed by Fiona Ingram for Readers’ Favorite

Other Reviews

At last a book where people are really intelligent and not just sheeples! This is a great story of humans against vampires and for once the people actually have a chance. I love the reluctant hero, Robert Mackie. He is just minding his own business as an undercover agent and his cover gets blown and he gets catapulted into the world of run a muck vampires that just happen to snatch his niece and nephew. He enlists the aid of Carlos Santiago to help him recover them. While they are hunting for the children, the children are giving the vampires a run for their money! This is a great tale of mystery and adventure. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a book they just can’t put down!

– Amazon reviewer Kandy Kay Scaramuzzo

This is one of those books that once you start reading, you hope you have nothing else planned for your day! The mysterious plot line keeps you entertained as the activities of the characters become more and more entwined all the way through the storyline. I never thought I would really care to read a “Vampire” book, however I am ready to read and enjoy Guardians II!

– Amazon reviewer Lorrie Kloss

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Tuesday Book Review: “After the Chisholm”

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

after the chisholm george rhoades

also winner of:

The Reader Views Reviewer’s Choice Literary Awards for

Poetry (1st Place) and

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

reader views award

After the Chisholm

by George Rhoades

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478751908

Synopsis*:

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

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

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

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

The cowboys who came up the trail,

Dusty, grimy, gritty, sweatin’,

Drivin’ the long, windin’ herds,

Didn’t know they were creatin’

A myth, a legend, shapin’ a dream

For a nation and ridin’ into history;

Epics, icons, symbols, heroic images

Emerged later to build the story.

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

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

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

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

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

Other Reviews

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

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

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

– reviewed by Ryan Jordan of Readers’ Favorite Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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