Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Woman at the Well Spotlight

Are you ready for a rigorous spiritual bootcamp? This 4-week intensive Bible Study is about a journey of self discovery. One that will incite and ignite something amazing and wonderful in you. This is the story of how one person's transformation can create a massive wave of change for Jesus Christ in the world.

Buy the Bible Study:  Amazon
Buy the Leader Guide: Amazon
Rachel was born in Dayton Ohio to a already large family of 5. She was the baby of the family, and literally about killed her Mother on her entrance into the world. Rachel was the 5th child to a school teacher and truck driver and soon found herself as a child of a single Mom of 5 who was forced to work 3 jobs to support her children. So Rachel is no stranger to seeing and living what it means to be a virtuous woman, as she watched her Mother do it, and continue to do it. Rachel is a devoted wife, Mother of 4 and Founder of Women at the Well Ministries. She is an author and currently writing her first in-depth Bible Study. She has been the keynote speaker at Mother’s of Israel conference, and several of her local church’s women’s events.

Her passion is studying scripture and then teaching those lessons to others, with the goal that they will then turn around and pay it forward. Her #each one #teach one philosophy is her mission. She is passionate about helping women by giving them tools to help them break strong holds so they can pursue whatever the Lord has for them. So, training them up for the call! That is what spurred her ministry.

She knows that God didn’t create women to just sit around and get pedicures and swap recipes and tackle the dust bunnies everyday, but to be side by side with the men in fighting the war against evil and taking as many people to heaven with them as possible.
She now does life with her best friend, her husband Curt and will tell you, her children are the best kids on the earth. They love to do Bible studies together and love traveling with their family.

If she isn’t at home with her family, you will find her checking something off her bucket list! Her biggest so far would be competing in figure competitions, competing at the Arnold class in fitness, being in a beauty pageant representing her county as Mrs. Miami County in the Mrs. Ohio America pageant, and authoring a 30 day bible study devotional. And, she is only getting started.

She loves to weave her own personal stories in with her message, because she believes she is living her calling day by day, and sometimes it gets pretty funny!

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

Monday, December 26, 2016


Author Nancy J. Alexander dedicates the first installment of her Elisabeth Reinhardt series to various individuals including her cousins, editor, audio version reader, grandniece, and her patients, the last group being of prime importance since psychiatry and psychology form key cornerstones throughout this novel. Gina, a successful doctor, has somewhat had a life of misery and abuse, although she finds herself thrown back into that kind of life, assisted by a fellow therapist with issues of her house in a game of being chased.

Opening the book are maps of the Raines farmstead and a map of the eastern portion of the United States to show the locations of crimes committed, with States in the vicinity that did not experience crimes, including Indiana and Maryland. The map indicates that the novel’s crimes occurred in the States of Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. The story opens with a girl hiding beneath a haystack, quickly following with a hospital nursery noise from infant wails.

Another early chapter opens with a woman waking from a nightmare, one of the reasons she decides to see a therapist, with the narrative making the interesting decision to show patient progress forms between a few chapters to indicate how well the patient, Gina Reynolds, progresses mentally throughout the book’s timeframe, and a few sections too have lists of murders and kidnappings perpetrated by the chief antagonists. Overall, this is an enjoyable thriller, although it does make some odd decisions such as opening a few chapters with pronouns without first indicating the person to whom they’re referring, and one section even censors the o in “God.”

Regardless of these issues, it’s very much a worthwhile read.

Love of the mystery/thriller genre combines with psychotherapy training and experience to produce an emotionally supercharged dramatic novel. Nancy Alexander has devoted much of her professional life to helping survivors of childhood trauma; their distress has been ingrained and works to create characters who give voice to their plight. To analyze the evil minds that prey on others and the intricacies of law enforcers who pursue them seemed a natural interlacing of professional, literary and creative interests.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

Thursday, December 22, 2016


This is the fourth book in a series by author Chuck Barrett featuring protagonist Jake Pendleton, with brief synopses of the previous three installments before the main text, perfect for those who haven’t read them such as this reviewer. In The Savannah Project, Pendleton investigates a plane crash. In its sequel The Toymaker, he investigates the maker of equipment for spies, and in the book’s immediate predecessor Breach of Power, an old journal from the Second World War is found in a glacier. The writer dedicates the fourth installment to his wife Debi, also one of his editors.

In the latest installment of the novelist’s tetralogy, Jake Pendleton, a former Naval Intelligence Officer who is now a secret operative, he races to stop a cyberterrorist that aims to make the world’s technology unusable. Pendleton teams up with his friend Francesca Catanzaro to track down their sole lead, a hacker in Italy codenamed The Jew. Disruption is the codename of the potential chaos the black-hat hackers intend to create with their electronic terrorism. However, once they reach their lead’s Roman flat, their search turns up nothing, and they follow a group of cadavers across Europe.

During their crusade, Pendleton and Catanzaro discover a possible link between recent hacks and the disappearance of an airliner from Malaysia, with the two racing against the clock to put an end to the ambitions of the cyberterrorists. Overall, this is an engaging, thrilling read that those who enjoyed the book’s predecessors will likely enjoy, and the synopsis of previous novels is perfect for those that wish to dive straight into the fourth entry. There are some rehashed elements such as the investigation of an airliner, but otherwise, this thriller is very much worth a look.

Chuck Barrett is the bestselling author of the Award-Winning Jake Pendleton series—Breach of Power, The Toymaker, and The Savannah Project, as well as his latest award-winning blockbuster, BLOWN, the first book in his new Gregg Kaplan series.

In addition to writing thrillers, Barrett speaks and conducts workshops at book festivals, book clubs, reading groups, writers conferences, and writers groups. Some of his topics include Nuts & Bolts of Self-Publishing based on his book—Publishing Unchained: An Off-Beat Guide To Independent Publishing—as well as, Blueprint for a Successful Book Launch, Getting from ‘Idea’ to ‘Finished Manuscript,’ Mysteries & Thrillers: Fact or Fiction, and Adding the “What if” in Storytelling.

Barrett is a graduate of Auburn University and a retired air traffic controller. He also holds a Commercial Pilot Certificate, Flight Instructor Certificate, and a Dive Master rating. He enjoys fly fishing, hiking, and most things outdoors. He and his wife, Debi currently reside in Colorado.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~ Twitter  ~  Facebook

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Life Outside the Box Spotlight

This second edition offers new content added to each and every chapter - personal author reflections from behind the scenes.

Get inspired to step out of your box and embrace your potential. From the corporate world, to the arts, to working with the disenfranchised, the message is clear: there is no such thing as a normal way to live your life and no one right solution to any problem. Selected from over a hundred interviews, the stories shared here open a window on the journeys of seven women and three men who have charted their own paths, including Ruthie Davis--top US luxury shoe designer and the winner of the 2014 AAFA Footwear Designer of the Year award; and Geir Ness whose perfume is a staple in Nordstrom, Disney World, and on Disney Cruise Lines. Enjoy a glimpse behind the scenes into the unique ways these individuals have chosen to deal with life's challenges and how they define success in their careers.

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~   Barnes & Noble

Marilyn R. Wilson is a freelance writer and speaker with a passion for interviewing. Her career as a writer began in an unusual way, by answering a Craigslist ad. It was while conducting her first interview the world shifted - she had found her passion. Since 2006, she has interviewed over 150 people from as near as her hometown of Vancouver, Canada, and as far away as South Africa.

​Whether through a random encounter on the New York subway or via a one-on-one interview with an internationally recognized artist, the goal is the same-to give wings to the unique journeys of inspiring individuals. This goal first led the author to co-launch a successful, innovative magazine focused on professionals working in the fashion industry paired with photography and illustrations by local artists. Then in 2015, Wilson took her passion to a new audience with the release of her first book, the first in a series featuring the lives of real people living real lives.

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

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Silence Interrupted Spotlight

Two months before Troye Saavedra’s senior year of high school, his father’s drinking problem skyrockets. When Troye’s parents make an impulsive move to Georgia in order to “help” him finish high school on a positive note, he is forced to leave behind everything he knows. Things couldn’t get worse for Troye. That is, until he meets three enigmatic teenagers: Adelaide, an independent violinist with radical ideas; Zaidan, fiercely loyal and always funny; and Arabella, a girl who harbors secret struggles. Together, the four friends try to pick up the jagged pieces of their lives without getting hurt themselves. An insightful tale of perseverance, Silence Interrupted is a young adult novel about the beauty and peril of traversing the world as a teenager.

Buy the Book:  Amazon

Sania Shaikh is a junior at Cambridge High School. Inspired to write from a young age, she worked on Silence Interrupted, her debut novel, starting in eighth grade.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Monday, December 12, 2016

No Good Deed Left Undone

Though the second installment in author Ginny Fite’s Sam Lagarde mystery series, one can mercifully read it without any knowledge of its predecessor. The book revolves around the murder of Grant Wodehouse, murdered through a pitchfork stabbing, with many believing he got his just desserts, given his sexual experiences. The writer acknowledges friends, her sons, and artists in the production of her novel, and dedicates the second entry to her husband David. Before the main text is a quote from Buddhist monk Shantideva stating that suffering comes from a personal desire to be happy, and that happiness comes from a desire for others to be happy.
The main events open on October 12 at 8:15 am, with investigator Sam Lagarde investigating the murder, although the story occasionally goes back in time, for instance, in the second chapter, where Grant Wodehouse is still alive, considering himself lucky in spite of troubles with his son and law firm. Lagarde interviews others such as Grant’s wife Emma Wodehouse, with a few suspects such as John Knowles and Elaine Tabor. Augmenting the evidence is the displacement of a horse named Paul some ten miles from its home, with Grant’s son Kyle in hiding for various reasons, and oversleeping.
The novel ends on October 16 in the afternoon, with the mystery having a satisfactory conclusion, and the culprit in Grant Wodehouse’s murder being crystal clear. As this reviewer mentioned before, one can enjoy this suspense story without having read its predecessor, and reading the sequel first very much whets this writer’s appetite to want to read said predecessor. There are some occasional unusual elements such as Paul being a bit of an asinine equine name, but even so, fans of the mystery literary genre will definitely find satisfaction in this engaging yarn, the book highly recommended overall.
Ginny Fite is an award-winning journalist who has covered crime, politics, government, healthcare, art and all things human. She's been a spokesperson for a governor and a member of Congress, a few colleges and universities, and a robotics R&D company. She earned degrees from Rutgers University and Johns Hopkins University and studied at the School for Women Healers and the Maryland Poetry Therapy Institute. No Good Deed, published by Black Opal Books in 2015, is her second Sam Lagarde mystery/thriller set in Charles Town, West Virginia.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Dreaming Sophia

This realistic fiction novel, narrated by character Sophia Loren, is dedicated to the author’s parents and husband, who in her words inspired her creativity and “gave her wings to fly,” with an initial illustration depicting the protagonist surrounded by Italian luminaries such as Michelangelo, and history playing a significant role in the book. The novel is further divided into parts reflecting a portion of history, the first being antiquity, referring to classical civilizations. Tragedy strikes early on in the death of the protagonist’s parents, with Sophia contemplating several courses of action, mentioning that her mother had studied art in Italy.

The second section references medieval art, which the author indicates became less realistic after the devastating Black Death, and where Sophia returns to Philadelphia to finish her Master of Fine Arts degree, ultimately moving to Italy in further pursuit of her studies. The third part references the early Renaissance, where artists broke free from the restrictions of the medieval era, and indicates that Sophia didn’t have a great track record when it came to relationships, although finding out a truth about her mother’s past somewhat encourages her to seek love again.

The following section alludes to the Golden Renaissance, where the philosophy of humanism influenced the arts, and where Sophia executes her creative skill in drawing outdoor scenery. The next part involves the baroque period, which involved complex artistic emotions, and where the narrator becomes a teacher, introducing students to Florence. Next is the rococo period, where art became more graceful than in previous artistic epochs, where the protagonist celebrates Christmas and the new year in Florence. The Venetian Renaissance follows, which involved the heightened popularity of oil painting started in Venice, and where Sophia becomes intimate with an Italian man named Lorenzo.

The final section of the novel references modern art, the author indicating that this period lasted from the 1860s to the 1970s, and during which Sophia solidifies her relationship with Lorenzo. Overall, this is a satisfying, often education read, with some introduction to Italian language phrases and history of luminaries from the country, although it could have very well gone on for at least one more section, given the lack of explanation of an artistic period beyond the ‘70s, and there are occasional incongruities such as the pleonastic use of “from whence” where simply “whence” would have sufficed. Even so, this reviewer would very easily recommend this story.
Melissa Muldoon is the Studentessa Matta-the crazy linguist! In Italian, "matta" means "crazy" or "impassioned". Melissa has a B.A. in fine arts, art history and European history from Knox College, a liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, as well as a master's degree in art history from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She has also studied painting and art history in Florence.

Melissa promotes the study of Italian language and culture through her dual-language blog, Studentessa Matta ( Melissa began the Matta blog to improve her command of the language and to connect with other language learners. It has since grown to include a podcast, "Tutti Matti per l'Italiano" and the Studentessa Matta YouTube channel. Melissa also created Matta Italian Language Immersion Tours, which she co-leads with Italian partners in Italy.

Dreaming Sophia is Melissa's first novel. It is a fanciful look at art history and Italian language and culture, but it is also the culmination of personal stories and insights resulting from her experiences living in Italy, as well as her involvement and familiarity with the Italian language, painting, and art history.

As a student, Melissa lived in Florence with an Italian family. She studied art history and painting and took beginner Italian classes. When she returned home, she threw away her Italian dictionary, assuming she'd never need it again but after launching a successful design career and starting a family, she realized something was missing in her life. That "thing" was the connection she had made with Italy and the friends who live there. Living in Florence was indeed a life-changing event! Wanting to reconnect with Italy, she decided to start learning the language again from scratch. As if indeed possessed by an Italian muse, she bought a new Italian dictionary and began her journey to fluency-a path that has led her back to Italy many times and enriched her life in countless ways.
Now, many dictionaries and grammar books later, she dedicates her time to promoting Italian language studies, further travels in Italy, and sharing her stories and insights about Italy with others. When Melissa is not traveling in Italy, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is married and has three boys and two beagles.

Melissa designed and illustrated the cover art for Dreaming Sophia. She also designed the Dreaming Sophia website and created the character illustrations that can be found in the book and on the Dreaming Sophia websites.

Connect with the Author:  

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Falling for the Stars Spotlight


This Behind-the-Scenes Tell-All About Doubling for Celebrity Superstars Also Reveals the Compelling Life Story of an Insecure Hollywood Arrival Who Rises to the Top of Her Field, But Pays a Hefty Price.
  • Addiction
  • Chauvinism  
  • Big Egos collide with the surprising kindness of superstars.

Discover the magic and the tragic stories of many great films & TV shows through the eyes of a stuntwoman. Dalton reveals what it took to hang over cliffs, get hit by a moving car, drop from five stories up, dodge an avenue full of speeding cars--and to ignore the Universe's more gentle prompts that it was time to quit and follow her passion into acting full-time or teaching acting.
The resulting career-ending spinal injury has a story of its own, how she researched medical and alternative paths that form the heart of what she shares with the world today. "What stands out in this book is the indomitable spirit the author has, despite the extraordinary price she paid for her stellar career--including misogyny, a miscarriage, and a life-long back injury. And each juicy story she relays in her fascinating chronicle, brings home an important life lesson for the reader--one that she learned the hard way.

  • Stunt Gal Lisa Dalton tattles about humorous and harrowing tales culled from over 200 films, television shows and commercials including
  • Ghostbusters
  • Money Pit
  • Crocodile Dundee
  • Married to the Mob
  • FX
  • Legal Eagles
  • The Last Dragon
  • Saturday Night Live  
  • Splash
  • The Highlander
  • World According To Garp

Working with or doubling such superstars as Meryl Streep, Cher, Madonna, Grace Jones, Robert Redford, Katherine Hepburn, Sean Connery, Tom Hanks, Chevy Chase, Robin Williams, Ed O'Neill, Michelle Pfeiffer and more.

From a bullied, dyslexic, messy, freckle-faced, klutzy pixie, Lisa Loving Dalton grew into a statuesque and skillful stuntwoman, actor, director, teacher, author, filmmaker, leadership and life coach, and ceremonial minister. Always seeking and finding the silver lining, she has made the most of whatever life threw at her. She says, “I spill stuff, trip and drip all of the time so I made a career out of it. My advice: Embrace what is as perfect.”
Dalton appeared in more than 200 films, television shows and commercials in New York, Hollywood and Texas, including work in Ghostbusters, Money Pit, Crocodile Dundee, Married to the Mob, FX, Legal Eagles, and Splash on the big screen and ER, HBO’s Carnivale, Dr. Quinn and Melrose Place among her many TV credits.

Connect with the author:  

Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Pinterest  ~  Youtube  ~  Instagram

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:

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