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: “Genetics Isn’t Everything”

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

genetics isn't everything katherine egan

cipa evvy 2018

Genetics Isn’t Everything

by Katherine S. Egan

ISBN: 9781478790372

Synopsis*:

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

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

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

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

 

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

GENETICS EXPLAINED (BRIEFLY)

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

WHAT CAN WE DO?

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

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

THE STORIES OF HOPE

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

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

WHAT DID I THINK OF THE BOOK:

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

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

– reviewed by Rina on Bookerina Book Reviews

Other Reviews

Inspiring and Powerful!

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

 – reviewed on Amazon by SP

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

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

 – reviewed on Amazon by Lorraine Miano

 


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Tuesday Book Review: “Two Towers: A Memoir”

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:

two towers t d arkenberg

cipa evvy 2018

Two Towers

by T.D. Arkenberg

ISBN: 9781478722007

Synopsis*:

Sometimes, life pushes you to the brink. In his poignant memoir, Two Towers, T.D. Arkenberg navigates readers through a personal perfect storm. A resurgence of his father’s long-dormant cancer and chaos at his job in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks serve as the backdrop for a private struggle with a secret hidden for thirty-seven years. The story opens on Christmas Eve, 2001. Alone, he stands in his empty childhood home. Two months earlier, his father succumbed to cancer after a lengthy struggle. Five weeks after that painful loss, his mother’s unexpected death shattered his world. The double-barreled blast toppled his towers of strength and unconditional love at a time he was barely treading water. Only weeks before his parents’ deaths, his professional life descended into turmoil. Nineteen hijackers commandeered four commercial jets, unleashing unspeakable terror on US soil. Two towers collapsed into piles of twisted steel, a dusty grave for thousands of innocent souls. Two of the planes belonged to his employer. Eighteen colleagues were killed and thousands of others were soon without jobs. His leadership would never be more severely tested. Friends don’t know how he survives. Neither does he, especially with the added burden of a dark secret. As his world starts to crumble, fate offers a lifeline. Jim, a facilitator of a men’s coming-out group guides him through the process of accepting his sexuality. With towers collapsing around him, Jim might be able to save him from becoming another casualty. Two Towers stands as testament to duty and the power of love.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

Final Descent may have been T.D. Arkenberg’s debut novel but Two Towers is a deeply connected return to this crushing accuracy and devotion as an airline employee. This is his first memoir and it is a love letter.

Arkenberg has inherited a work ethic from another generation. Throughout the narrative, which details the trials of the late 90’s into early 2000’s, even into the Crisis Center in Chicago O’Hare airport on September 11th, 2001, his dedication to United Airlines and his fellow employees is clear. He recalls how the airline grounded flights just before the devastating moment they discovered two of the hijacked planes were their own and the profound grief that caused: “Our airplanes were used as missiles. Our passengers and employees were murdered.” The depth of identity with his position reflects the very deep devotion to his company and the connection to his sense of self.

The story is also a love letter to his parents’ fortitude and endurance. How they shaped him cultivated respect and crafted an iron clad work ethic without ever knowing their son’s deepest sense of self and secret. Tender vignettes reveal his devotion to the aging couple, culminating in his father’s return to Montgomery Ward as they begin to liquidate locations.  Arkenberg demonstrates an acute sensitivity to the inner world of his family. He offers to take his father back to the closing location musing that “perhaps Dad’s fond memories of Ward outweighed the hurt.”

As a devoted son, he goes beyond the physical expectations of helping with snow shoveling and heavy lifting but also cares for their mental and emotional well-being. Arkenberg’s own capacity as caretaker is a gentle mirror of his steadfast mother as she remains a faithful caretaker during her husband’s life and lengthy fight with cancer.

Endurance is a running theme throughout Two Towers. As his career shifts, seemingly every few months, and he climbs ever higher on the precarious ladder of airline management during a most unsteady time, and as his father lapses into weakness and his mother finds less time to be herself as they pass slowly–or suddenly–into the grave, Arkenberg has committed to himself to come out of the closet and to live a full life without secrets. Again and again, he must reveal himself while learning to navigate the world not as the perfect son or model employee but as Todd Arkenberg, a gay man who loves his partner, Jim. Though he may be considered middle aged, his youthful fear and innocence in to the foray of that new existence heighten the tale.

Hundreds of stories about the events of 9/11 have surfaced but few invite us into the Crisis Center for United Airlines in Chicago as the events unfold. Countless memoirs may have shared the stories of caring sons but few offer the humanity of their own internal struggles beyond that role. More and more stories of ‘coming out’ are reaching the light, inspiring those who feel trapped, and Arkenberg’s tale joins in the voices of attaining strength through vulnerability.

Two Towers is not as fanciful or imaginative as his two Faulkner-Wisdom nominated novels, Jell-O and Jackie–O and None Shall Sleep, yet Arkenberg fans will still see the depth and introspection present in his earlier work. The earnest telling of his coming-of-middle-age and his slowly strengthening sense of self among the rubble of his childhood and first career in the airlines is a moving exploration of what pieces we use to put ourselves together. It is a tumultuous expression of how outrageous events can rock us out of the shell of our status quo. Arkenberg asks a number of introspective questions throughout the book and while not all of them get an answer, it makes for a thoughtful and emotional read.

– reviewed by Elizabeth Melvin  on Windy City Reviews

Other Reviews

An in-depth accounting of the life of a normal American, a joy to discover.

I have read all of T.D. Arkenberg’s books and each is unique and interesting. They are as different as the stories they depict, and each is it’s own unique journey. This book however was a journey of my own life in parts as well, since I had lived through a portion of this same story, as have all Americans, who were living on September 11, 2001. My own path and job responsibilities of that tumultuous time relived in this reading. I had other moments of empathy having lost both of my parents and becoming an ‘orphan’ as well. It means, in my case, I am forever a parent but never again a child. This author is gifted in being able to bring to words the emotions and personal details of his life in a way that can truly express what I and others have felt during the similar challenges faced in one’s lifetime. The best compliment I can give a book is to say that I couldn’t put it down and that I’d recommend it to others. Both are true. Go read it for yourself. Now.

 – reviewed on Amazon by Valerie Driskill

Raw emotion with accurate detail.

This book eloquently and accurately captures the events at United during this time period, from balls supporting our communities to bankruptcy. Todd shares the challenges of caring for aging parents, corporate decisions and coming out in a society that did not fully support gay lifestyle. In my opinion this book accurately captures the outstanding individual that Todd is corporately, personally and creatively. Can’t wait for more!

 – reviewed on Amazon by Andra

 


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Tuesday Book Review: “Misfire”

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:

misfire by bennie c. lee

readers' favorite five stars

Misfire: Recovering & Restoring an Estranged Relationship between Me & My Father When It Seemed Impossible

by Bennie C. Lee Jr

ISBN: 9781478761495

Synopsis*:

While speaking at a summit on the campus of Georgetown University, President Barack Obama mentioned a conversation he had with a young man who asked the question, “How did you get over being mad with your dad, because I’ve got a father that beat my mom, and has left the state. I’ve never seen him because he’s trying to avoid eighty-three thousand dollars in child support payments. I want to love my dad, but I don’t know how to do that.” Many young men and women are faced with this painful quandary when dealing with an absentee father. Misfire: Recovering & Restoring an Estranged Relationship between Me & My Father When It Seemed Impossible addresses this question head on. Bennie C. Lee Jr.’s story details how an explosive relationship between his mother and father led to an estranged relationship between he and his father. For 14 years Bennie did not have much of a relationship with his father, and it seemed as if that was how the story was going to end; spending the rest of his life without his dad. To the contrary, they ended up sharing one of the greatest relationships a son could enjoy with his dad. In this book, Bennie shares six powerful, scripture-based steps on restoring an estranged relationship with one’s father.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

Misfire by Bennie C. Lee Jr. is a story of one man’s journey through life and the difficulties of having to deal with an absent father, the effect it had on his impressionable young mind, and the steps he took to overcome his adversities. The author delivered his message of absenteeism among fathers as a perpetuating social issue of epidemic proportions, while using his six valuable steps to reconnect and/or establish a lasting relationship with the absent parent. Although the author states that his father was not always a part of his life, for 52 years they existed as father and son; it’s a very long time to have a relationship with his father compared to young men and/or women who never knew their parent at all.

While reading Misfire by Bennie C. Lee Jr., I found his storytelling style very refreshing and down to earth. It was like revisiting the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s through the eyes of his young character – “Rabbit” – as he matured into a grown man, with detailed descriptions of the style of clothes and the music popular in those days. The scene that brought tears to my eyes was when Rabbit was running around to the various clubs to find his father, not knowing the truth about the events surrounding that near fatal shooting until much later in life. The author even describes in much detail the steps necessary to sharing your story and the impact the absent parent had on your life, and allowing him or her to speak without judgment. I enjoyed reading this well-written book, one that touched my heart and soul. This book would make a great movie.

– reviewed by Elise Towner on Readers’ Favorite

Other Reviews

Bennie Lee’s Misfire is right on target.

The bright, almost blinding, florescent light of our cramped kitchen shown in my wide four-year-old eyes. The yells of my father toward my mother and her lover ring in my ears still forty-two years later. The silhouette of my father, standing in our front door cursing us as my mother knelt to comfort her sobbing son, are seared into my memory. This is my story and that of many others.

The power of Mr. Lee’s message in relating his life is to allow the many others like him, to safely relive the trauma caused by their absentee father, through the eyes of another who has successfully navigated to a place of peace. Peace not just for himself, not just for he and his family, but for himself, family, and for the greater good of us all.

He does this in three parts: firstly by relating a powerful autobiography which poignantly illustrates the key issues, pitfalls, blind spots, misdirections that torment and entangle many people who have experienced an absentee father, and reveals how beneficial and healing it is to repair the relationship; secondly he reveals how this trauma can manifest itself in our personally destructive behavior and how reconnecting with one’s absentee father can have a profound healing influence for ourselves, family, and the community; and finally he correctly instructs those who are suffering to seek expert help. Like the blind leading the blind, we often do not realize how our own filters impact our perceptions then actions.

 – reviewed on Amazon by Dicken Greene

Mr. Lee is able to tell his intricate tale of seemingly personal and family bliss wrenched into turmoil, and its resulting wake of devastation and desperation, in a concise, riveting, and easily read format. Before long, we are drawn in and identify with his experience, because not one of us is, have been, or will be without abandonment in some fashion. His candid, raw, pathos-filled, no-holds-barred reflections of personalities, events, and their effects upon his life and others’ are discussed without varnish or candy coat. This is a true love story that ends well. Take his recommendations for healing seriously, for he has traveled the cruel highway of abandonment and arrived scarred, but strong and victorious.

 – reviewed on Amazon by C.R. Evans

 


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Tuesday Book Review: “Help! I Have a Brain Injury”

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:

Help! I Have a Brain Injury: And It Feels Like I've Dropped Out of the Sky" by Kay Pratt

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Help! I Have a Brain Injury: And It Feels Like I’ve Dropped Out of the Sky

by Kay Pratt

ISBN: 9781478718079

Synopsis*:

WHAT do you know about brain injury? How does it happen? How does it affect one’s life? What does it feel like? How long does it take to recover from a Traumatic Brain Injury? Will a survivor ever be the same again?

WHAT are your beliefs about the future of someone who’s sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury? The answers to these questions are as broad and unique as the individual’s who have sustained brain injuries. “In my own experience as a TBI survivor, I have come to understand that the degree to which we recover can be measured not only by our physical reality, but, by our personal and caregiver’s belief systems; after all, if, we are cognitively and physically able, what we believe, shapes our every outcome!” Kay Pratt.

In this Book, TBI survivors share the answers to these questions and more through the voice of their experience. It is with sincere hope that by doing so, your understanding and beliefs about brain-injured individuals will be broadened and your perspectives enlightened.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

“Help! I Have a Brain Injury: And It Feels Like I’ve Dropped Out of the Sky” by Kay Pratt is one of the most amazing, informative and well written books I have read on this topic. Having had multiple mini-strokes in August of this year, I wish I had this book in hand afterwards.

The author shares her experience in her ten year recovery from her brain injury as well as the stories of others. Little did I realize all the anger, depression and loss I would feel when I lost the ability to write, walk and do small, everyday tasks. I am sure many going through this feel the same way.

Pratt and others talk about the pain, fear, anger and depression and the long road of physical, occupational, and sometimes emotional therapy to learn to walk and talk once again. What impressed me was in each story or discussion, Pratt includes a section on Important Takeaways – how one deals with the loss, anger and changes in our lives. Believe me, recovery will not happen overnight, and you will come to rely on many professionals, as well as family and friends to help in this process.

As a Psychologist, I found the information in this book to be very helpful, full of supportive tips and resources. It is very well researched, and provides information I hadn’t even considered. The examples Pratt provides on the impact of domestic violence and brain injury caught me off guard. Her statistics, lack of treatment and diagnosis was shocking, although it shouldn’t be. The undiagnosed impact of brain injury may be a reason why some women choose not to leave an abusive relationship; brain injury makes it difficult to get a job and be self-supportive. She also relates that according to some sources pushing a diagnosis may have unintended consequences such as being used against the women in custody battles.

What many people do not realize is that children who are abused may suffer from mild to severe TBIs (traumatic brain injuries). It is imperative to assess children for dizziness, change in personality, and change in behavior, and determine if they should be returned to a violent home. That means that caregivers, family or friends need to be observant and say something.

Part 5 of Pratt’s book, entitled Brain 101! includes vital information about what TBIs are, statistics, parts of the brain impacted and what that means. She goes on to discuss coping with challenges, length of time for recovery and provides numerous resources.

Since I am still early in my recovery, I showed this book to my Occupational Therapist, and she now has it in her hands to share with others. “Help! I Have a Brain Injury: And It Feels Like I’ve Dropped Out of the Sky” by Kay Pratt is a must read for all professionals, family members, friends and those who have diagnosed TBI, or not.

– reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views

Another Review

If you or a loved one has experienced a brain injury you most likely feel as if you are suddenly hurtling down a never ending road of pain, confusion, hard questions and a roller coaster ride of emotions, as you try and decipher the clinical terminology from well-meaning experts, as well as face the reality of what is. Given how brain injuries impact one’s life and those around them, it is hard not to be overwhelmed with fear and doubts at the long road ahead, let alone the day to day journey.

HELP! I Have a Brain Injury And It Feels Like I’ve Dropped Out of the Sky! by Kay Pratt is the result of all that she has learned throughout her 10 year journey and recovery from the time of her own brain injury to the present day. This is her third book in her HELP series on dealing with brain injuries and it answers quite possibly any and every question you might have on the topic. The book is extensively researched and thorough in it’s discussion of all aspects of brain injuries, from the first steps to take following the occurrence and diagnosis, the physical and emotional health concerns following the injury, understanding brain trauma, the importance of advocating for one’s self and tips on coping with daily challenges as you move forward in your recovery journey. Yet you never feel like you are reading about a medical issue nor do you ever feel inundated with medical terms. Ms. Pratt breaks everything down into a conversation between ordinary people. The book is about you, whether you are the patient, a family member or friend. It is always about you and your own personal journey.

Ms Pratt recounts as well moments of her own journey, the obstacles she faced and how she dealt with them. Also included are the personal stories of other brain injury survivors. On page after page Ms. Pratt’s inner grace, strength of spirit, wisdom and compassion infuse the book and her words with hope and give one the courage to go on, even when confronting what seem unsurmountable odds. I cannot say enough about how invaluable this book is for anyone suddenly finding themselves facing the unexpected reality following a brain injury.

 – reviewed on Amazon by reluctantmuse

 


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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.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

the 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: “Greed Disease”

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:

greed disease by ted folkert

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Greed Disease

by Ted Folkert

ISBN: 9781478790822

Synopsis*:

This book is about the impact of greed on our livelihood and on the sustainability of our planet. Greed exercised by the rich and powerful and the behemoth corporations provides challenging obstacles for the working class of our society – growing income and wealth inequality and exacerbating worker exploitation. Even worse, it endangers our planet, threatening the life-sustaining habitat that enabled life and which is essential in sustaining life. Without corrective action, the ultimate result does not look promising for our future. For most of us members of our society, as we go about acquiring the essentials for living a comfortable life, doing business is not a level playing field. Dealing with the normal deception and dishonesty in advertising and marketing, and navigating the cleverness of the rentier element of society can be treacherous experiences for the powerless working-class. Kind of like swimming with sharks. Lots of books have been written about the world of finance, the banking industry, and the enormous power and influence that has silently matriculated to those who occupy the control of money. After all, some say that “money is the root of all evil.” H. L. Mencken is attributed to having said: “If they say it isn’t about money, it’s about money.” Someone said: “money talks and baloney walks.” When bank robber Willie Sutton was asked why he robs banks, he replied: “because that’s where the money is.” Willie isn’t around to rob banks any longer, but there are lots of others ready, willing, and able – not with a gun, perhaps, but in more clever ways. This book is about money and the power and influence that accompany money, the quest for power and influence that drives the quest for money, and the changing mindset of humans as evolution progressed from a quest for food, shelter, and safety to an incessant search for and capture of comfort and pleasure. It is about the impact of the growth in population from a few thousand people on the planet to several billion people on the planet and the progressing destruction of the planet for human habitation as deception and dishonesty have become commonplace and greed consumes us all.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

“Greed Disease” by Ted Folkert is a business & economics book directed to all readers. The book begins with a definition of greed. In short it states that everyone has a level of greed that motivates us to work for our survival and our own goals. So a balanced amount of greed is actually ok, and maybe even necessary. It is an unbalanced level that can make ‘greed’ a disease.

During this introductory part of the book, the reader might feel the author is being a little repetitive, yet, I hope readers push through it, as I think this portion is the foundation of what comes next, and I believe that the reader will find it to be worth it. Following this introduction, the author presents readers with all current and real cases in our economy which reflects how the ‘greed disease’ was the catalyst to the victimization of the people by powerful business CEOs, banks, and politicians, to benefit themselves.  I found this portion of the book not only enlightening, but also entertaining as the author’s voice felt to me like a narration of different 20/20 cases. In the end of the book the author puts everything in perspective by taking the reader through the goals and missions of all the different US parties, and the implications this disease has on our world and way of life. As Folkert states in this book, “Our political mindset has been transformed into one of acceptance of deception…” I am a reader that agrees with him.

Ted Folkert has done an amazing job presenting readers with a short, to the point and plain language book that puts into perspective what we, the regular people, are letting happen in our economy, even though we are being victimized by it. The format he chose to deliver his message to readers is effective, entertaining, enlightening and impeccably written.  Readers not familiar with economic topics will feel a little more knowledgeable about past and current economic scenarios where unbalanced income and insatiable greed make themselves evident.

Overall, I found “Greed Disease” by Ted Folkert to be enlightening, entertaining, and thought provoking. Enough that it has motivated me to look more into what is going on currently in the news, and talk and voice my opinion and concerns to others. This fact alone illustrates vividly the five-star rating I give to “Greed Disease.” I definitely recommend!

– reviewed by Susan Violante for Readers’ Favorite

Another Opinion

GREED DISEASE, by Ted Folkert, is a compelling and comprehensive tour de force of the manifestations of greed, and impact it has on our global civilization. As we dwell on greed, it is revealed how it constantly undermines and conflicts with the common good, and the greater interest of society. It is an eternal and timeless struggle between mankind’s self-interest and base desires, driven by personal greed, at the expense of the common good. Greed dominates the world of banking, corporate management, finance, and politics, to name only the main players. Over time, it leads to a concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a smaller elite, at the expense of a decent life for the dwindling middle class. Yet, greed is nothing new, and not likely to disappear. However, the author explains that it has taken us to the very brink of a global crisis in climate change, water scarcity and depletion of resources that could literally challenge survival of humanity on earth. The author quotes Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs in his 2011 book—“The Price of Civilization” when he writes, “We exist in a bizarre combination of Stone Age emotions, medieval beliefs, and god-like technology.” He further quotes Professor Sachs, “Our challenges lie not so much in our productivity, technology, and natural resources but in our ability to cooperate on an honest basis. Will the super-rich finally own up to their responsibilities to the rest of society?” The author follows with a call to action and a detailed series of steps to offer hope for a national and global remedy. All of which is very pertinent to each of us, our children, and our grandchildren. Thus, this is a highly recommended book to read, and ponder, with careful consideration.

 – reviewed on Amazon by T.L. Needham


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

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