Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Stages of Grace

Author Connie Ruben wrote this nonfictional story out of a wish to share to others who have relatives with Alzheimer’s disease, and what she endured as her mother-in-law Grace’s caretaker and companion. She indicates that her story is not a handbook for those dealing with Alzheimer’s but rather a demonstration that those who wrestle with the journey the disease incites are not alone. Before the main text, Ruben thanks Grace’s caregivers and coauthor Kate O’Neill, who started as a ghostwriter, not to mention her husband. The introduction opens with Ruben seeking Grace in the halls of a clinic, having arrived late for her mother-in-law’s appointment, and brings to light how Alzheimer’s patients tend to not recognize even their own loved ones.

Each of the main chapters describes a different characteristic of those who deal with loved ones having Alzheimer’s, beginning with grace, which Ruben defines before the initial chapter’s primary text. She further indicates how hindsight promises to explain the revelation of life, how insight comes with both experience and practice, how adaptability helps one survive, how negotiation involves balance, how weakness can feel ominous, how the path to acceptance can involve suffering, and how those with Alzheimer’s tend to be difficult to entertain. She concludes by acknowledging that she needs to take her time when dealing with Grace, which one can say about most dealing with relatives having Alzheimer’s, and the result is an insightful story that gives good insight into what people with the condition endure, not to mention their relations.
Connie Ruben is an entrepreneur with well developed management skills. She has run several large companies, and prides herself on empowering others to work to their full potential. Connie also has an intimate knowledge of the challenges and joys of caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease, as her mother-in-law Grace was diagnosed with advanced Alzheimer’s disease in 2003. While Connie still struggles to balance her work life and home life, her understanding of this disease has made it easier for her to negotiate the demands of being a caregiver, as well as a wife, mother, and employer. She has written this book in order to share the insights she has gained as Grace’s primary caregiver and friend. Most importantly, Connie wants this book to assure others that caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be enjoyable, life-affirming, and emotionally significant.

Connect with the author: Website



SCREW YOU! Startup Business Tips to Destroy Doubt, Especially Inside You (Tips 1-20) Spotlight

How many times in your life have you been dissuaded from following your entrepreneurial dreams due to either fear of failure (be that fear from yourself or others) or doubt due to the unknown?

Startup business infrastructure specialist Tim Carthon’s new book, SCREW YOU! Startup Business Tips to Destroy Doubt, Especially Inside You (Tips 1-20); the first in his new 5-part business tips book series, gives you streamlined, powerful tips for pivotal decision points that can make all the difference in your business and its startup outcomes.

SCREW YOU! is the quintessential ‘Break glass in case of a fear and doubt emergency’ business tips book for aspiring entrepreneurs; bringing energy to your warrior and light to the unknown so that you can tell fear and doubt “SCREW YOU!” and never let either of them rule your lives again.

Buy the book:   ScrewYouBook.com

Known as ‘The Fiery Truth-Teller,’ Tim Carthon is a long time at-risk youth advocate, keynote teacher, author, and educator, and a proud father of his namesake TJ. Mixed with his passion for telling the “fiery truth” and helping people, he is using his extensive knowledge of and perspective on business infrastructure to ‘uniquely’ assist individuals in inner cities to remove fear and doubt and follow their business ownership dreams. Tim accomplishes this through his exclusive E2 Seminar™ (Economic Enlightenment Seminar) and SBI Workshop™ (Startup Business Infrastructure Workshop™). His saying and life’s motto: “Your life was not given to you for you. It was given to you for you to be a blessing to someone else.”

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Instagram  ~  Youtube

Monday, November 21, 2016

Killer in the Band

In this Lauren Carr mystery, the author having written other series such as the Mac Faraday Mysteries, Joshua Thornton’s son, Joshua Thornton, Jr. (colloquially called J.J.), has graduated from law school and intends to study for the bar examination. Unfortunately for Joshua and his wife, Detective Cameron Gates, J.J. moves in to Russell Ridge Farm in Ohio Valley in want of rekindling a love for a widow double his age named Suellen Russell, a bond enforced by their love of music. When a killer emerges, J.J., his father, and stepmother must disregard their differences before J.J. ends up dead from the assassin. Though the third of its series, readers need not have read its predecessors, with a description of dramatis personae preceding the main text. Lovers of a good mystery, familiar or not with Carr’s works, will likely enjoy this story.

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with Lauren: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Westobou Gold Spotlight

The Indian Queen would risk torture and worse to keep her secrets from these barbarians in suits of metal and their search for cities of gold. They never found the gold. Empires rose; empires fell, the centuries passed. Legend became fireside myths, but no treasure was ever found. Yet, among the grey-green drapes of wisteria and wild jasmine along the misty shrouded lowlands of bayous and marshes of the Westo River, the folktales persist.

In the lazed creep of a near-tropical dawn lit the pungent Turkish coffee permeates Moccasin Hollow. Beyond the kitchen door Lucky, Craige Ingram’s German shepherd gnaws a favorite bone. Looted burial mounds seem a world away until plundered mounds on Moccasin Hollow land brings amateur archaeologist PI Craige Ingram into the cross-hairs of kidnapping. Stealthy hideaways are concealed in old colonial brick-lined river grottoes beneath the big house of Ardochy plantation. Sex-tape underage blackmail and thrill killings on federal land spur a medical examiner’s preliminary postmortem to more than a hired cleaner’s quickie cover-up passed off as drug deals gone sour. Greed tangles a witch’s pigswill of illicit affairs and murder-to-hide-murder. Shady investigators and shadier politics stir an unexpected concoction that threatens the lives of those at Moccasin Hollow in a spiteful plot against ex-SEAL Craige Ingram and the woman he loves.

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble
Internationally acclaimed author and public speaker, Hawk MacKinney began writing mysteries for his school newspapers. He served in the US Navy Reserve for over 20 years, and was a tenured faculty member at several state medical facilities, teaching postgraduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem, Israel. Since retiring Hawk has authored several novels that have received national and international recognition. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel, was nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award. The Cairns of Sainctuarie, his science fiction series, includes The Bleikovat Event and The Missing Planets, with a third book in the works. Hawk’s latest project focuses on The Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series. Book 1 in the series, Hidden Chamber of Death, was released early 2016.

Connect with the author:  Website


Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Perfect Tear

Author Connie Lansberg dedicates this science fiction / fantasy novel to Stephen Kearney, who expressed patience as she formulated it, along with her artistic patron father and others such as her editor. The story itself focuses on an orphaned girl named Eleanor blessed with the gift of song, with her vocal capabilities keeping nature balanced, although dark falls upon her world when someone purloins her melodies. Thus, she seeks the titular Perfect Tear, a crystal holding the key to salvation for her world, and makes companions along the way such as Audrey and Bella, with whom she sometimes has strained relations. Overall, this is an enjoyable story, although the ending indicates that the story isn’t complete, that it’s just the first part of a series. Even so, this reviewer would gladly read any sequels to the work in the future.
Connie Lansberg is a singer/songwriter, scriptwriter and now author with the publication of her first book The Perfect Tear. Connie studied script writing at AFTR and has had songs placed in major Australian TV series. She has just complete an album of songs connected to the book and will be performing these live at her weekly jazz gig in Melbourne.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~ Pinterest  ~  Instagram


Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Breedling and the City in the Garden

Author Kimberlee Ann Bastian dedicates her debut novel to a group known as the Bastian Loons, which includes her mother. The story is contemporary fantasy akin to Harry Potter in that it takes place in our world, albeit in the setting of Chicago in 1934, where protagonist Bartholomew, who has lived for centuries as an immortal soulcatcher, once had a decision to remain obedient to his masters or rebel and reveal a dark secret, choosing the latter path, for which he became imprisoned for a sizeable intervention. He ultimately breaks out from his confinement and finds himself in the human world, where he must seek a new magic, relying solely on an enigmatic message along with a street-smart orphan named Charlie Reese.
Before the story is a quotation from Theodore Roosevelt about what choices to make in decision-making, the best being the right choice, the second-best being the wrong one, and the worst choice being to do nothing.  The first chapter opens with a female Tales Teller seeking an Apothecary, with some expository backstory revealed such as the Fates purloining the powers of the Elements. Another early chapter introduces Charlie and his young cousin Jimmy, with the former having fitful bouts of slumber plagued by negative dreams. Bartholomew also gets his opportunity in the spotlight, having once been bound to the Eden Wanderer, nicknamed Stingy Jack, and the story unravels from there. The story is generally enjoyable, even if some of the mythos is difficult to follow and the plot itself is incomplete, although fans of modern fantasy will definitely digest this tale.

Kimberlee Ann Bastian has a unique love affair with American nostalgia, mythology, and endless possibilities. This melting pot of elements is what prompted the creation of her epic ELEMENT ODYSSEYS series, starting with the reboot of her debut novel now titled THE BREEDLING AND THE CITY IN THE GARDEN.

When she is not in her writer's room, working her current "day job", or consuming other literary worlds, she enjoys hiking and cycling around the bluffs of your Southeastern MN home and catching up on her favorite pop culture. ​

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~Pinterest  ~ Instagram


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

How to Raise a Smart Ass



This autobiographical nonfiction book about author Lucia Walinchus’s experiences with raising young children opens with a prologue describing that her oldest daughter Chloe snuck out of the house at just five years old to visit a friend’s house, carelessly leaving the front door ajar. She opens the main chapters with mention of the celebration of her first pregnancy with “fat clothes,” and how she and her husband moved to Rochester, New York three weeks after the birth of their initial daughter. Her naval spouse ultimately gets a job necessitating they move to Virginia, where she becomes pregnant again, noting that the second time is usually more dreaded than the first.


The author briefly breaks from the main action to tell a story about her Italian heritage dating back to the winter of 1919, before returning to the modern era and telling about the birth of her second daughter, fast labor, and passage of the Virginia bar exam. She follows with how she toilet-trained Chloe, remodeled her bathroom after said instruction, and how she grew impatient with her children’s cleaning, feeling that she could do a quicker job. The fecal sections and humor were a bit of a turnoff for this reader, although she mercifully moves to other matters such as children’s television and literature, not to mention the potential horror of shopping with kids.



She proceeds on how adult norms can confuse children, her enrollment of Chloe in preschool, and how children tend to be fairly inquisitive. Then comes the potential stress relief of “crying rooms” in churches, how she wanted to get her daughter into sports by enrolling her in gymnastics, and how driving with children can be chaotic. Next comes the author’s move to Oklahoma, where she finds her husband wants to get back into engineering, discusses her second daughter Concetta, and pregnancy with her first son. Overall, this is a fairly humorous tale recommended to most parents, although this reviewer didn’t care much for the occasional and somewhat offensive fecal humor.
Lucia Walinchus is an award-winning journalist, author and ice hockey addict. She has written more than 500 articles for various publications throughout her career and was recently named to the 2016 Fulbright Berlin Capital Program. She has been featured as a guest speaker on CNN and is a contracted freelancer for the New York Times. Walinchus currently lives in Oklahoma because she enjoys wide, flat golf courses that make her think she isn’t actually that bad.

​Upcoming event:  Lucia Walinchus will be a the Enid, Oklahoma Public Library at 11AM on Saturday, November 12th.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter