Thursday, July 28, 2016

Loreena's Gift

In this supernatural novel, which the author dedicates to her mother, a young blind woman named Loreena Picket lives with her uncle, a pastor at a community church, serving its congregation as pianist. However, she has a sinister ability, which is to end lives by touching others. While her uncle considers this a blessing in shepherding others into the afterlife, Loreena has a guilty conscience, with her ability, for one thing, allowing temporary recovery of her eyesight. She ultimately reveals her ability to her older brother when she saves him from a drug dealer, although she’s quickly drawn into a world that will test her resolve.

The main action of the narrative opens in 1967, with exposition that the reverend’s residence stands twenty-two steps from the back door of Stillwater Christian Church, and Loreena remembering what the house she and her uncle occupies looks like, a hint at the aforementioned temporary recovery of her eyesight. Among the early recipients of her mortal touch is a lung cancer patient named Russell Pearson, with her Uncle Don insisting her power is a kind of merciful euthanasia. Her brother comes home early on, with the incident involving the drug dealer inciting the chief action of the storyline.

Story’s novel for the most part does a nice job fleshing out the primary narrative, with the perspective mostly being third-person limited, given the looks into Loreena’s mind, and will give those such as this reviewer who very much value their eyesight a nice insight into the psychology of the blind. The author likely did research as well into the lifestyles of the blind, as she acknowledges after the storyline ends the National Federation of the Blind and one of its conventions she attended years ago. Overall, this is very much a recommended novel to those seeking an enthralling, relatively contemporary supernatural narrative.
Colleen M. Story writes imaginative fiction and is also a freelance writer, instructor, and motivational speaker specializing in creativity, productivity, and personal wellness. Her latest novel, "Loreena’s Gift," was released with Dzanc Books April 12 2016. Her fantasy novel, "Rise of the Sidenah," is a North American Book Awards winner, and New Apple Book Awards Official Selection (Young Adult). She is the founder of Writing and Wellness ( a motivational site for writers and other creatives.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~ Twitter  

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Conscious Entrepreneur

In this profound introduction to conscious entrepreneurship, author and business coach Laura C. Cannon teaches you how to harness your unique gifts and the power of your own consciousness to maximize your satisfaction - and deepen your enjoyment - of your business and your life. Grounded in research from the fields of modern psychology, eastern philosophy, and personal development, this book explains six core principles necessary for radical, transformational change - personally and professionally.

By teaching you to use your business as the vehicle for your personal growth, The Conscious Entrepreneur delivers timeless wisdom and practical exercises to help you think, act, and live the path to your highest potential - without adding to your already-packed schedule. Forget work-life balance, get ready to shift into work-life integration for more happiness, stronger relationships, and a higher return on your investment in every sense of the word.

Buy the Book: Amazon  ~  Author Website

Meet the Author:

Laura C. Cannon is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and coach with a deep passion for bridging the worlds of spirituality and business. In her new book, The Conscious Entrepreneur, Laura showcases a collection of practices and perspectives for entrepreneurs and business-people to change their relationship with their working life.

​A member of the prestigious National Speaker's Association with more than 15 years of experience as a professional public speaker, Laura has a knack for delivering engaging and informative presentations. She's spoken to groups ranging from 12 to 1200 on a wide range of topics, from office productivity to motivation and empowerment to mindfulness and meditation. Her true passion as an author and speaker lies in bridging the gap between business and spirituality, finding practical, down-to-earth applications for timeless universal wisdom. She has been a guest speaker for colleges, civic organizations, businesses, and associations.

Laura holds a B.S. from Towson University and an M.A. in Human Sciences (Psychology) from Hood College with a specialization in Thanatology and Grief Counseling. A lover of all things that blend the practical and the spiritual, Laura is also a 200hr RYT yoga and meditation instructor.

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

Monday, July 18, 2016


This Anjenique Hughes novel is a dystopian story in the vein of George Orwell’s 1984, occurring in the twenty-third century, when Earth is ruled by a totalitarian world government known as the Sovereign Regime. Part of the reason for the dictatorship’s success is identity chips implanted into all humans recording all their occurrences, alongside the abolition of things such as bank accounts and smartphones. The narrative’s protagonist, Goro, hears a conversation meant to be secret that makes him face the truth of his world and loyalties, making him something of a revolutionary and getting his closest friends into his cause.

The author dedicates her book to her deceased cousin Mariah, who she suggests will forever be loved. The story opens with a prologue narrated in the first person, with Goro indicating the limitless nature of twenty-third century technology and exposing some of the backstory of the regime that reigns across his futuristic world, with one-zettabyte microchips implanted into every individual’s wrists, a procedure originally done to the brain, although to do that proved to be expensive and time-consuming, due to possible incidents such as brain injuries that could cause people to go berserk.

The main chapters appropriately open with a quote from Albert Einstein about how appalling it was that technology exceeded humanity, with subsequent chapters having quotes relational towards the story’s milieu. Goro has a five-year-old younger brother named Josiah, not to mention friends such as the eighteen-year-old technocratic Alex and the pragmatic Cory, with additional backstory gradually revealed that proves the high point of the book, the present storyline being strong, as well, and a very satisfying read, if somewhat reminiscent of other works such as the aforementioned 1984.

With master's degrees in education, special education, and counseling, Anjenique "Jen" Hughes is a high school English and math teacher who loves teaching and mentoring young people. She enjoys traveling and has worked with youth on five continents. Saying she is "young at heart" is an understatement; she is fluent in sarcasm, breaks eardrums with her teacher voice (students have complained when they were within earshot), and cracks sarcastic jokes with the best of her students. Her work with ethnically and socioeconomically diverse youth has inspired her to write books that appeal to a broad variety of students seeking stories of bravery, perseverance, loyalty, and success.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~ Facebook

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall

In this fantasy story, intended the first book in a series, the world of Cerulean is decaying, the entity composite of intertwined forests floating upon oceans surrounding a star. The chief female protagonist, a girl named Barra of a race known as the Listlespur, somewhat feline in appearance as the illustrations confirm, discovers her deceased father’s journal highlighting the world’s happy past and the plague leading towards its downfall. With the help of her two friends Tory and Plicks, Barra seeks to fulfill her patriarch’s legacy, with her adventure taking them beyond the Fall, the abyss below their world.

Safronoff dedicates his story to individuals such as Dane and Kylie, not to mention publisher Neoglyphic Entertainment. The narrative itself opens with heroine Barra contemplating entering her dead father’s forbidden study, which her mother Brace wishes to be reclaimed by trees, Brace also forbidding her daughter to go to a locale known as the Middens. A mysterious three-eyed stranger named Fizzit sometimes accompanies the trio of Barra, Tory, and Flicks, with a being called Argus serving as something of an antagonist throughout the book, which has plenty of action and ends with a cliffhanger.

The main draw to the novel is its absolutely gorgeous illustrations that consist of simple inkings common throughout most chapters alongside one-or-two-page-large colored images that give readers great insight into what the characters actually look like, although there are many times when captions for the art would have been welcome so that the reader can perfectly imagine the characters and events within their minds. Overall, this fantasy work is definitely worth a read, even just for the majestic art direction that brings to mind films such as James Cameron’s Avatar, and whets this reviewer’s appetite for its forthcoming sequel.
Aaron Safronoff is author of the Discovery Award winning science fiction novel, Spire. Since his debut, he's published a sequel, Fallen Spire, and a novella of literary fiction, Evening Breezes.

Safronoff's diverse background includes the formal study of computer science, bio-chemistry, and culinary arts. However, most of his career has been in the videogame industry in quality, production, and design.

Today, Safronoff is the co-founder and Chief Storyteller of Neoglyphic Entertainment, and is busy writing his fifth novel, the second installment of the Sunborn Rising series.

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Interlude to Sentimental Me Spotlight

A collection of emotionally driven poetry that covers the story of pain, tribulations, happiness, self-esteem and self discovery through love and heartache. The Interlude will take readers on a journey of determination and imagery, which leads to the formation of
short stories and performance poetry. 

Meet the Author:

Michael Barry Judkins was born in the Bronx, New York, along with his four brothers and sisters. Michael’s childhood memories, although bittersweet, provided a rich foundation for him to draw upon later in life as an accomplished author.

Delightful memories of trips to the zoo or picking apples with his mother contrast greatly to daily reminders of what any hard-working family must battle in building a life in an urban setting. Domestic violence. Drugs. Gangs. All play their part in shaping a person – whether for good or bad is often an individual’s choice.

After spending years immersed in typical, reactive adolescent behaviors like skipping school, smoking and drinking, Michael began experimenting with other alternatives to developing new relationships and helping resolve social issues. As he took these first, proactive steps to be part of the solution, and not the problem, the germ of the idea for his first book – Sentimental Me – was born.

Graduating from high school a year early, and after a foray into the music business, Michael completed a BS degree in Human Services and MS in Mental Health Counseling. A daydreamer for as long as he can remember, Michael’s inability to forge a relationship with his beloved father before he passed when Michael was only two years old still haunts him today. His mother’s cherished memories of his father’s spirit and honored Armed Forces service, while providing some solace, also serve to make Michael wonder what might have been, if only…

Today, with several poetry collections and short stories in the works, Michael’s first release – Sentimental Me – displays his ability to wrest good from bad, to display the courage to dig deep within himself to help others. Through an inspired melding of his unique voice and inspiring photographic images of nature, Michael provides the reader with a unique perspective of the human condition, inspiring others to follow their own creative paths without boundaries.

Michael now resides in Allentown, P.A., and welcomes all readers to feel free to contact him at to discuss your reaction to his work, or learn more about upcoming releases.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook