Category Archives: reviews

South Side Alchemy by J.M. Sawyer Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A man seeking a temporary escape from the responsibilities of life finds intrigue and mystery surrounding him as he escapes to the circus for a night, only to find himself immersed in dangers that threaten his future and force him to confront his past in author J.M. Sawyer’s “South Side Alchemy”.

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The Synopsis

Jordan Peele’s Get Out meets Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Henry Lewis needed a temporary escape from his life. His job, home, and family have become the shackles that bind him in the prison of his mind. He longs to be free of it. . . for at least a little while. When Henry learns the circus has arrived in his Bronzeville neighborhood, he sneaks away in the night, hoping to find a brief escape from his troubles. With a world of distractions all around him, he finally feels free. But the circus paints a bright facade over a dark past, and the freer he feels, the more bound he becomes. He needs to break away. But before he can save his future, he’ll have to discover the sinister truth about his past. The stakes are high, and time is running out.

The Review

This was such a powerful and moving story. The blend of suspense and horror with edge-of-your-seat thriller and a hint of magic made this novel flow and kept me engaged throughout the story. The rich settings of this story, set in a particular historical period that gave readers a unique point of view that is rarely explored, were brought to life through powerfully vivid imagery and made the atmosphere feel thicker with tension.

For me, the psychologically and emotionally complex social and historical themes that were brought to life through dynamic character development made this a one-of-a-kind read. The protagonist’s journey and everything he endured were pushed to reflect the haunting history of the Black community and the chilling realities that very few people will ever know or understand. The dynamics between his interactions with the circus folks and the “real-world” people he interacted with not only mirrored the themes of segregation and social dynamics but the powerful effects that the events of the narrative began to have on his own psyche. 

The Verdict

Powerful, engaging, and thought-provoking, author J.M. Sawyer’s “South Side Alchemy” is a must-read suspense and horror thriller you won’t want to miss. The twists and turns in this story feel like a Jordan Peele movie bleeding into historical fiction and magical surrealism novel with a few elements of It’s a Wonderful Life thrown in for good measure, making this one novel that readers won’t want to miss this year. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

J. M. Sawyer is an author of adult suspense and horror novels. He received his B.A., summa cum laude, in Political Science from Seton Hall University and his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law. Formerly a criminal defense attorney, his road to publication was anything but conventional. It was during trial preparation that he learned his true calling was that of a storyteller and his true talent was plotting complex, multi-layered narratives that will keep readers turning pages until the very end. Those are the stories that shaped his love of books, so those are the stories he endeavors to tell. A New Jersey native, he now lives in Michigan with his wife, Nora, and his two sons, Jesse and Alexander.

https://www.jmsawyerbooks.com/

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BHDVZ2N2/ref=x_gr_w_glide_sin?caller=Goodreads&callerLink=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goodreads.com%2Fbook%2Fshow%2F63225315-south-side-alchemy%3Fac%3D1%26from_search%3Dtrue%26qid%3DC3Or7XYxYQ%26rank%3D1&tag=x_gr_w_glide_sin-20

Macbeth’s Spinners by Justine Johnston Hemmestad Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

The legend of Macbeth gets a Greek Mythology twist when the three Fates merge to become one powerful woman as they flee the powerful gaze of a heartbroken god in author Justine Johnston Hemmestad’s “Macbeth’s Spinners”.

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The Synopsis

Macbeth’s Spinners is a love story. And like most love stories, things surrounding the lovers can both influence and be influenced by the lovers and their emotions. You know the fallout that can happen among friends when a couple has a spat in the real world.

Now imagine if they were gods? Imagine if the lovers had the ability to influence time and fold the land and sea, and steer the course of a nation’s history?

What if Macbeth was guided to become king not by three elderly witches — but by the Three Fates of Greek Mythos that were transformed into a single woman of remarkable power?

The Review

This was such a powerful and well-done story. The author found a way to bridge the gap between gothic dark fantasy storytelling and epic mythological themes in a very natural way. The twist in Macbeth’s iconic story was such an inspired direction to take the narrative, as it directly spoke to the idea of fate and destiny (quite literally) in ways the original could only hint at. The historical context of the story mixed well with the mythos that the other half of the narrative embodied. 

The character development and imagery played the largest roles here in this story. The game of cat and mouse played between the Fates, Apollo, and their pawn Macbeth all play well into the almost dismissive nature of these godlike figures to the everyday men and women, especially given the Fate’s desire to find a home and take care of its people, much as they did in their old lives. The redemptive nature of the narrative as time goes on and the heartfelt emotions that these powerful gods display help keep the story grounded in such a fantasy-driven world. 

The Verdict

Thought-provoking, imaginative, and entertaining, author Justine Johnston Hemmestad’s “Macbeth’s Spinners” is a must-read gothic dark fantasy read. The expanded upon and new twist on both the iconic Shakespearean tale and the memorable Greek mythology was a pairing that fit together so well that it felt like reading a brand new story much of the time. The imagery and atmosphere the author created spoke to the grand stakes of the novel and the raw emotions that these powerful figures conjured up. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Justine Johnston Hemmestad is an editor, the author of three novels, and is included in several anthologies, including Chicken Soup for the Soul: Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries (after having been in a car accident that left her severely brain injured at 19). She is a graduate of The University of Iowa and has also graduated from the English Literature Master’s Degree program with distinction at Northern Arizona University. Her personal webpage is at https://know-your-craft.webnode.page/ , her amazon author’s page is at https://www.amazon.com/Justine-Johnston-Hemmestad/e/B01DHSLN0M?ref_=pe_1724030_132998060 and she’s on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JustineJohnstonHemmestadauthor 

My publisher and I are donating part of the profits to Laughing at My Nightmare charity https://www.laughingatmynightmare.com/         

Become a Firefighter Without Wasting Years: Learn the 7 Keys to Getting Selected Over Other Applicants by Brent Clayton Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Author Brent Clayton shares with readers the process of being hired as a firefighter and how to stand out amongst the other applicants in his book “Become a Firefighter Without Wasting Years: Learn the 7 Keys to Getting Selected Over Other Applicants”. 

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The Synopsis

How to Become a Firefighter without wasting years of your life, wasted effort and frustration.

The 7 proven steps to get You through each step in the firefighter selection process

This Step by Step guide shows you the Exact Process to follow so you can Become a firefighter in Australia.

Written by an actual Australian Firefighter that’s been in the trenches helping people get selected for over a decade.

  • Raise your aptitude test score rapidly with less effort
  • Dominate the firefighter Interview using a little known technique
  • Stand out over hundreds of other applicants at application stage
  • Understand what they are looking for in the Psych testand personality profiling
  • Improve your physical ability to pass the PAT test using the “minimum effective dose” strategy

Bonus – Free online tools, tests and frameworks to help you overcome each step in the process and get selected

It is in the detail and subtle differences for each service where these jobs are won and lost, I show you how to take advantage of this fact. 95% of applicants are not aware of why they are failing year after year but you will now have the upper hand

Warning!

Every minute you wait to get “Become A Firefighter Without Wasting Years ” is another minute Other applicants will leave you in the dust feeling sad and defeated . Put the power of “Become A Firefighter Without Wasting Years ” to work for you so you can quickly and easily get selected , Get results quickly, and Stand out !

If you consider yourself serious about having a career as a firefighter this is for you…

The decision you make today could literally change your life forever. I know if you follow each step outlined in this guide you will be in the top 2-5% of firefighter applicants, the good news is this is where they select from.

Improve your chances of being employed as a firefighter in Australia.

Australian Fire Services Covered

How to Become a Firefighter in NSW (Fire & Rescue NSW)

How to Become a Firefighter in VIC (FRV)

How to Become a Firefighter in QLD (QFES)

How to Become an aviation Firefighter (ARFF – Aviation Firefighter – Air Services)

How to Become a Firefighter in SA (SAMFS)

How to Become a Firefighter in WA (DFES)

How to Become a Firefighter in ACT (ACT Fire & Rescue Recruitment)

How to Become a Firefighter in TASMANIA (TFS)

If you are ready to Get results quickly, Stand out and get selected take action , !

Understand That When You Act Now, You get Instant Access to “Become A Firefighter Without Wasting Years “, which includes:

* How to avoid the 7 most common mistakes…

* How to guarantee you post a high aptitude score…

* The proven system to get selected for the next intake…

* How to easily dominate the firefighter Interview!

* How to handle your application (and make it work for you, instead of against you!)…

* How to use a simple system faster to overcome the psych testing…

I Also Understand that When I ACT NOW, I Also Get…

* Bonus 200 page: “Fire Service Aptitude Guide”

* Bonus Video: “Application Guide & Template”

Receive guidance on every step:

Advice on your application to ensure you don’t get cut before the game starts

Understand the selection criteria and application process

Sample specific firefighter aptitude test questions for the assessment centre

Sample Interview questions and response examples

Become a Firefighter in Australia Even if you have failed multiple times

The Review

This was a brilliant and informational read. The detailed way author dives into the hiring process and what it takes to be a firefighter. The balance of information and almost textbook style of writing allowed the reader to feel like they were able to dive head-first into a how-to guide that would allow for better odds of being hired. 

What stood out to me was not just the educational aspect of the book, but how the book spoke to people who aren’t firefighters. Getting a glimpse behind the curtain at how firefighters work and what the profession entails was so fascinating to get into, and the added bonus of understanding the culture and how it impacts the profession as the author hails from Australia allowed for a more profound reading experience.

The Verdict

Educational, engaging, and thought-provoking, author Brent Clayton’s “How to Become a Firefighter Without Wasting Years” is a must-read book. The harmonious way the author blends the technical aspect of the book with the more emotional and mental aspects of pursuing a job in this field was great to see, and the sheer volume of information the author included will allow readers to gain insight and knowledge that will catapult them to the front of anyone’s hiring process. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Brent Clayton is Australia’s leading authority when it comes to asking the question How to Become a Firefighter in Australia.

After becoming a firefighter, I developed a massive interest in the Fire Services Recruitment and Selection Processes. Since 2007, I have been working on thoroughly learning how Fire Services Recruitment works, testing ways to help people get the edge over the competition and helping many people do exactly that for services in every state of Australia. The result of all this hard work is my Elite Firefighter Accelerator Coaching Program as well as some best-selling Books and Courses.

I’ve made it my mission to help people who are in the same position I was in, so you don’t have to waste years of your life finding out the hard way. If you are serious about becoming a firefighter it’s my mission to help you

Before becoming a firefighter I was a Prison Guard for a number of years, and in the military prior to that. All these jobs require a developed knowledge of recruitment and selection processes which I have mastered over the years — being a successful applicant myself in areas where many fail.

Along the way I’ve also had the great fortune of meeting and making friends with many recruitment and selection process professionals who have added to my knowledge. They have been especially useful in learning to mentor individuals and write specific guides to help people reach their goals in these areas.

I started out by selling the Firefighter Recruitment Bundle and offering coaching sessions to aspiring firefighters. Today I have a full-fledged membership site that offers every form of Fire Service recruitment training you can imagine. My focus is to make sure we have the most up to date tools for you to win.

You’ll be very happy as this quiet confidence starts to build inside you once you start to realise, ‘I get this.’

During my time in the Fire Service, I’ve worked within the recruitment process as a recruit instructor, and worked my way through the ranks on station. It is my passion to find the edge for people, particularly those who have failed before or

those who want to avoid wasting time and put their best foot forward. If you’re one of those people, check out what services I have to offer that can help you reach your goal.

https://firerecruitmentaustralia.com.au/

A Cry in the Moon’s Light: Special Edition by Alan McGill Review and Showcase

It’s not often that I get the rare opportunity to reexamine a special book I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing before, but my friend and fellow author Alan McGill have just released a brand new special edition of his book, A Cry in the Moon’s Light, and I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on the new edition. First, here’s a synopsis.

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The Synopsis

Includes special sneak peek of the next book in the series!


In a time of castles, muskets, and hideous creatures of the night, a beautiful woman travels across the treacherous Dark Forest to be by the side of her dying grandmother. With only a young carriage driver to protect her, she must use her wits and all of her courage to cross the wild country—and to evade the mysterious beast who stalks her.

What follows is a tale full of horror, mystery, and romance: gruesome murders at a village hidden deep in the forest, a castle that holds dark secrets, and a black wolf leading a deadly pack. Nothing is as it seems, and this journey has only just begun. The beautiful lady in the carriage will learn that only love can defeat evil, but is it love or danger that cries out to her in the deceitful light of the moon?

The Review

Now for those of you who didn’t see the first book review I did, you can read the full review here, but here’s a snippet:

I was hooked immediately on this book. The author did such an amazing job of crafting a narrative that was both emotionally invested and chilling at the same time. The story was written in a way that felt like historical fiction meets Brothers Grimm meets folklore all at once. The nods and homages to classic fairy tale style storytelling elements and themes were felt immediately, but then did such a great job of taking readers immediately into a right turn that held gruesome mayhem and terrifying creatures, and then made a completely new turn into heartbreaking and heartfelt romance and drama. 

The character growth in this narrative made the story everything it was. The horror, the scares, the heart, all of it wouldn’t have been possible without such strong characters and their bond with one another. From the young woman seeking to care for her grandmother to the loyal carriage driver hoping to protect her, and the creatures she shares a mysterious connection with, each of these characters felt dynamic and grand in their design, and yet very human and emotional in their motives and interactions with one another, making this such a superb read.

However, one thing that really makes this special edition stand out is the new chapters that the author previews from book two in the series, Undead Wars. The new book promises to flesh out this magnificent gothic world, even more, introducing new creatures and delving into the decade after the emotional ending of book one in the series. The stakes are raised immediately, honing in on the chaos these creatures are bringing to the European continent and even showcasing the conflicts emerging between the different European nations and kingdoms of this period of history. 

The Verdict

This is a masterclass special edition of one of my favorite gothic horror reads of the last few years. The author’s work and ability to world-build are unparalleled, and the promise of a fantastic new chapter in this gothic universe will have readers clamoring for more from this stellar author’s work. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of this special edition today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Alan McGill is an American author who lives in an old farmhouse with a clowder of cats. Alan was close to his grandparents, who grew up during the Great Depression. They were married young and remained together until his grandmother’s passing. His grandfather served in the Navy during WWII and was a gifted storyteller who wove humorous tales about tough events. Alan grew up listening to these stories of right and wrong and watching fictional heroes–such as the Lone Ranger, Adam West’s Batman, and Captain America–stand up to bullies and protect those who count not protect themselves. This inspired him to always do what was right in his own life and shaped his love of storytelling. He is a multigenre author whose debut novel, A Cry in the Moon’s Light, combines horror, romance, and mystery. As with all his books, A Cry in the Moon’s Light centers on characters who strive to do the right thing regardless of the adversity they face. The book focuses on the theme of love–a pure and deep love that defeats all evil.

Dead End Summer: A Political Novel by Anver Tavori Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Three childhood friends who grew up together in 1950s Israel meet 30 years later, and find themselves worlds apart from the boys they once were as war and terrorism fight a bloody battle in author Anver Tavori’s “Dead End Summer: A Political Novel”.

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The Synopsis 

Is equality essential for justice to prevail?

What happens if whole countries become lawless?

These are questions central to the plot that caused three men to move far away from each other, only to meet again one day, and face those existential questions head on.

Gavri, Chaim and Uzi were born as Israel became an independent country. They grew up in the Israel of the 1950’s, attended the same school, were involved with the same youth movement, and became close friends. However, thirty years later, in the summer of 1982, they find themselves as far away from each other as it is possible to be.

Gavri, who has become an influential photojournalist, is embedded with the Israeli troops that invaded Lebanon in the summer of 1982. He is covering the war there, and experiencing a country that has become lawless following years of conflict and civil war. Self-described as politically ‘leftist’, Gavri is horrified by the implications of a lawless society becoming a legitimate choice.

Chaim, moderately religious, has become radicalized over the years, and is now one of the leaders of the Settler movement in the Occupied West Bank. He finds himself entangled in a murder plot when a group of young Settlers plant a bomb that kills the mayor of a small Palestinian town.

Uzi has grown up to become a right-wing Jewish Nationalist and a prominent professional in ShinBet – Israel’s most powerful national security apparatus. A believer in the supremacy of ‘Law and Order’ in society, as well as in his personal and professional life, he is resentful of any attempt to manipulate his basic core values and is horrified by an attempt to place Settlers above the law.

During the summer of 1982, with war raging in Lebanon, and the cycle of Palestinian terrorist attacks reaching one of its peaks, settlers in the West Bank take matters into their own hands.

It is at this point in history that the three childhood friends meet again and are forced to make choices in the most dramatic of circumstances.

For more about Avner Tavori and a PDF of the original Hebrew edition of this book please visit:
www.avner-tavori.com/dead-end-summer

The Review

The first thing that struck me about this incredible novel was the authenticity that the author brought to the story. As a former war correspondent, the author was able to bring vivid imagery and a gritty atmosphere to the war-torn setting that this narrative takes place in. The historical fiction aspect of this story really draws in the reader as it captures a period of history rarely examined in a public forum, and highlights the intimate struggles of all sides of the conflict in an honest way.

The character development and simply profound themes really elevated this novel to new heights in this genre. The close examination of these three friends and the very different paths they went down was extraordinary. The multiple philosophies and worldviews the author explores through Gavri and his friendships turned strained relationships with both Chaim and Uzi allowed the powerful themes to come to life so naturally, highlighting the ways in which opposing worldviews can often lead to violence and turmoil, and sometimes the hardest path is finding the common ground in any situation.

The Verdict

Thought-provoking, heartfelt, and captivating, author Anver Tavori’s “Dead End Summer: A Political Novel” is a must-read historical fiction novel. The twists and turns in the narrative and the importance of culture and philosophy on the characters and their viewpoints and interactions made this one story that I couldn’t put down. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

AVNER TAVORI has actually lived in the world he describes in his novel. In 1982 he was a war correspondent in Lebanon and spent more than three months with the advancing Israeli troops, and with units of the Christian Militia in Beirut.

He was born in 1947, in what was then British Palestine, and grew up in the Israel of the 1950’s in the socialist environment, typical of the time, in his hometown of Haifa. After completing his mandatory military service in the Parachute Brigade of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), he served a short stint as a Desk-Officer in the Jerusalem headquarters of ShinBet – Israel’s National Security Service – and coordinated field operations in the occupied West Bank.

As a journalist (1970-1986) he was the political correspondent for Israel’s Public Radio (Kol Israel) and covered the inner workings of Israel’s political scene. He also worked for the daily newspaper, DAVAR, and published opinion pieces on a variety of issues.

In the 1990’s he worked for the Israeli Labor Party, and then Rabin’s Government, culminating in being appointed to the position of Press Secretary for the Israeli Ambassador to the UN in New York.

He now lives in New York City. He can be reached at, avnertavori@aol.com

http://www.avner-tavori.com/

One Visit by George Veck Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

TRIGGER WARNING: SCENES OF DRUG ABUSE AND SEXUAL ABUSE OCCUR IN THIS NOVEL. READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.

A young man hoping to keep his brother out of the care system must contend with an abusive father, a former acquaintance turned drug dealer and his own addiction in author George Veck’s “One Visit”.

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The Synopsis

In sleepy, rural North Wales, Frankie Gibbs, a recently laid off, aimless twenty-year-old on Universal Credit, wants nothing more than to keep his younger brother out of the care system. He single-handedly takes this upon himself while their alcoholic, cocaine-addict, single-parent father, Guy Gibbs, heaps misery on their lives through systematic abuse and his never-ending wild parties. After Guy is sent to prison, Frankie is coerced into opening his home to Justin, an acquaintance from his school days now turned drug dealer, while his own addiction and self-worth spiral beyond recognition.

The Review

This was a truly gritty, dark, and twisted crime drama. The author expertly weaves together a heartbreaking tale that examines the impact that drug addiction, abuse, and toxic family relationships can have on people. The haunting imagery and chilling atmosphere capture the grim setting and cinematic, almost indie-film quality of the novel.

The aspects of this narrative that really stood out were the heartbreaking character developments of this novel and the emphasis the author put on capturing the surrounding culture and tone of the people around the main cast of characters. The exploration of Wales in general and both the terminology and culture that exists within their community was fascinating for a U.S. reader to explore, while the traumatic road these characters travel down feels both relatable and emotional all at once.

The Verdict

Thought-provoking, shocking, and engaging, author George Veck’s “One Visit” is a must-read crime drama. The horrors that the protagonist and his brother endure as the narrative descends further and further into chaos hone in on the growing problem of drug abuse and violence as a whole around the world, and will speak to readers on a very distinct level. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

I grew up in rural North West Wales, where hardships and a lack of opportunities spurred my passion for tackling tough subjects, such as poverty, addiction and mental health. Currently studying a masters degree in screenwriting at the University of South Wales, I’ve written and directed three short films. One Visit was the first feature-length screenplay I ever wrote, and through the exposure of this novel, I hope to garner interest and funding to turn it into a film one day. For news regarding my future novels and films, follow @vecks_gems_productions on Instagram.

https://www.instagram.com/vecks_gems_productions

Dusk Upon Elysium by Tamel Wino Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A researcher for a trailblazing VR program hoping to perfect the system gets lost in the darkest recesses of the system itself and must confront his past and the darkness humanity has been plunged into in the real world in author Tamel Wino’s “Dusk Upon Elysium”. 

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The Synopsis

From the award-winning creator of Ékleipsis comes a dystopian narrative of affliction and obsession.

The world as we know it is forever lost. A deadly virus has scourged the planet and ravaged billions. Under the harsh ruling regime, survivors were “cleansed” and confined to isolated units, perpetually tormented by hunger, desolation, and desperation.

Among them is Geoff, a researcher for the trailblazing Paradiso, an authority-regulated virtual-reality program that allows users to momentarily escape their waking lives via implanted chips. He is devoted to perfecting the system—a vessel to preserve future hopes and dreams, where immense worlds prevail, brimming with vast possibilities.

But before long Geoff finds himself thrusted into the darkest recesses of these alternate realities, where he must confront not only his past but persevere against the unknown, fighting for his very existence.

Is all this magnificence just a grandiose illusion? Could there ever be salvation from the living hell into which mankind has plummeted?

The Review

This was a truly engaging novel. The author does an amazing job of capturing the grittiness of this world the author has created. The vivid imagery the author employed here did an excellent job of capturing the rich juxtaposition of the shocking dystopian reality of the real world with the atmospheric and beautiful scenery within Paradiso, bringing this sci-fi epic to life expertly.

The heart of this narrative had to be the dynamic character development and the stellar world-building that the author crafted. The emotional core of Owen’s past meeting the present day and the psychological effect of being so immersed into this virtual world help build upon the mythos of this illness-ravaged world that has left humanity on the brink of extinction and a powerful military keeping the survivors “in check”, mirroring some of our own fears in the heights of the recent global pandemic we all endured.

The Verdict

Thought-provoking, entertaining, and haunting in its delivery, author Tamel Wino’s “Dusk Upon Elysium” is a must-read sci-fi dystopian novel of 2022. A great way to end the year for fans of these genres, the balance the author found between the mind-bending genres and the emotional core of these characters and their arcs made this story truly shine. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Tamel Wino is a horror/thriller short fiction writer from the resplendent British Columbia whose works focus largely on madness and human morality. He attended the University of Western Ontario, majoring in health sciences and psychology which only furthered his interest in human nature.

With inspirations including Alice Munro, Joe Hill, Stephen King, Margaret Atwood and Edgar Allan Poe; Tamel’s expositions are strongly grounded in traditions of dark fiction. Yet, with his bold, evocative narrative voice and incisive plot construction, Wino is paving a new movement within the space.


When he’s not reading or scribbling away on his laptop, Tamel loves listening to jazz, rewatching good ol’ classic movies and travelling.

The Hope Raisers: How a Group of Young Kenyans Fought to Transform Their Slum and Inspire a Community by Nihar Suthar Review 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A group of young people in Kenya work through their band and outreach program to help young people seek artistic means of escaping a life of crime and hardship in author Nihar Suthar’s “The Hope Raisers: How a Group of Young Kenyans Fought to Transform Their Slum and Inspire a Community”.

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The Synopsis

The poignant and inspiring true story of three young Kenyans who fought to transform their slum and improve the lives of those around them.

Korogocho is one of Kenya’s darkest slums, plagued by gang violence, food and water shortages, and rampant pollution. Most children have no future except for scavenging through trash piles or resorting to lives of crime. One day, a boy named Daniel Onyango decided to do more, creating a band called the Hope Raisers to inspire the kids of Korogocho. His friend, Mutura Kuria, quickly joined in.

In The Hope Raisers: How a Group of Young Kenyans Fought to Transform Their Slum and Inspire a Community, Nihar Suthar tells the amazing story of how Daniel and Mutura turned the band into a platform for change. They started teaching children on the streets how to express themselves through art and established a skating team after finding a pair of rollerblades in the dump. Suthar closely follows the story of one rebellious girl, Lucy Achieng, who refused to get married off at a young age and instead used competitive rollerblading to reach for her dreams. Lucy continues to inspire girls to stand up for themselves and challenge the longstanding practices in Korogocho of early marriage and prostitution.

The Hope Raisers is an eye-opening look into a world of poverty and violence where children receive only a basic education and are left with little to no means to get out. Yet it also reveals the remarkable impact that a few determined individuals can have on their community, even in the most challenging of conditions.

Part of the proceeds from all book sales will be donated to the Hope Raisers and toward improving the slum of Korogocho.

The Review

This was a truly inspiring story. The author did an incredible job of capturing the despairing nature of the Korogocho slums and showcasing the hardships and struggles that people face here. Many people outside of Kenya remain unaware of how difficult life there truly is, with many people having to work as trash pickers to find food or unique items to survive and feed their families while dealing with local gangs, and young women having to choose between prostitution or marriage at a young age. The hardships and struggles mirror the haunting tone of the reality of life for so many in this part of the world.

Yet the juxtaposition of this darkness was matched by the hopeful tone and positive atmosphere this group of young people brought through their music and actions within the neighborhood. In the face of such adversity, the fight to help young people find a creative outlet and means of escaping this chilling reality they live in was a true inspiration to read about, and the author’s incredible use of imagery and artistry in his writing allowed the reader to feel this hope radiate off of the page.

The Verdict

Thoughtful, inspiring, and engaging, author Nihar Suthar’s “The Hope Raisers” is a must-read nonfiction book of 2022. The haunting nature of life in this Kenyan slum and the bright notes of hope that these incredible young people bring to life on their streets make this story shine so brightly in the darkness that often feels like creeps into our lives. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Nihar Suthar is an award-winning writer, covering inspirational stories around the world. Believe it or not, he stumbled upon writing completely by accident after moving to New York City for the very first time (at the young age of 17). While in the Big Apple, Nihar noticed that there were thousands of people missing out on the greatness of everyday life, due to the very fast paced lifestyles they lived.

As a result of his observations, he had a big idea to inspire people around the globe by writing a book (which was strange, because he always hated reading books. Why would he ever write one?). With the support of his family and friends though, Nihar ended up debuting his first international book, Win No Matter What, with Balboa Press in May 2013.

Since then, Nihar’s work has taken him to both distant parts of the globe and down strange alleyways. For his 2016 release, The Corridor of Uncertainty, Nihar traveled to the United Arab Emirates and received threats from the Taliban, as he sought to chronicle the miraculous story of the Afghan cricket team. To deepen his understanding of the Middle East region, Nihar also studied Pashto, one of the official languages of Afghanistan.

Nihar graduated cum laude from Cornell University, where he studied applied economics and management, with concentrations in finance and strategy. He currently calls Tampa home. His newest book is about three young Kenyans who fought to transform their slum and improve the lives of those around them. Sign up HERE to receive exclusive content (early drafts, behind the scenes content, etc.) regarding Nihar’s next release, The Hope Raisers.

https://www.niharsuthar.com/

Rebirth: Real-Life Stories About What Happens When You Let Go and Let Life Lead by Kate Brenton Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author and podcaster Kate Brenton take readers on a journey to discover how one leap or small decision can lead to life-changing results in the book “Rebirth: Real-Life Stories About What Happens When You Let Go and Let Life Lead”.

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The Synopsis

When life is calling, often we need only the space and the support to remember our way. Sometimes we lean into our expansion, and sometimes we bolt from our greatness. The biggest shock is that big change happens in small choices. In Rebirth you will find real-life stories of people who made courageous leaps, inspiring you to make your own. It’s time to step out of line and back into the spiral of life—that’s where the alchemy is. This book fits right into the side pocket of your bag + your life to inspire you as you read others’ stories of how they listened and learned to make embodied changes in their own lives.

The Review

This was a well-written and inspiring read. The author did a tremendous job of finding just the right balance of humor and charm in her writing with the hopeful stories the author collected from people. The sincerity and honesty with which these stories were delivered spoke to the inspiring tone the book held overall.

Yet it was the guidance and stories themselves that really brought the book together. The author delved into a number of topics for self-improvement and overall wellness through these stories, from how we define beauty to the never-ending journey to improve upon ourselves. The thoughtful and caring way the author presented these stories to the reader was truly remarkable.

The Verdict

Touching, engaging, and meaningful, author Kate Brenton’s “Rebirth” is a must-read self-help book of 2022. The teachable moments of this book mesh well with the heartwarming tales of overcoming the odds and finding oneself that define this book. The passion and heart that the author brings from the podcast that began this journey and into this book was so amazing to see come to life on the page. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today! 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Kate Brenton, Ed.M., educator, author, mama, and healer, used to climb trees in her childhood to sit in and read books. A lifelong teacher, from secondary English to spiritual development, Kate has the archetype for sharing wisdom to empower and elevate through online courses, inspirational speaking, and retreats. Come say hello or listen to the Rebirth podcast at www.katebrenton.com

You can also follow her on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Substack.

Purchase a copy of Rebirth on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also add this to your GoodReads reading list.

Blog Tour Calendar

November 21st @ The Muffin

Join as WOW’s blog The Muffin as we interview author Kate Brenton about her inspiring book Rebirth and give away a copy to one lucky reader.

https://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

November 21st @ Rachael’s Thoughts

Join Rachael as she reviews Rebirth by Kate Brenton

https://rachaelstray.com/

November 24th @ Deborah-Zenha Adams’ Blog

Join Deborah as she features a guest post by Kate Brenton about writing where and when you can.

http://www.deborah-adams.com/blog/

November 25th @ Freeing the Butterly

Join Michelle as she reviews Rebirth by Kate Brenton.

https://www.freeingthebutterfly.com/

November 27th @ Shoe’s Seeds and Stories

Visit Linda’s blog where she reviews the insightful book Rebirth by Kate Brenton.

https://lschuelerca.wordpress.com/

November 29th @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews

Join Lisa as she interviews Kate Brenton about her inspirational book Rebirth.

https://lisahaselton.com/blog/

November 30th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Join Anthony as he reviews Kate Brenton’s book Rebirth.

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/category/blog-tours/

December 1st @ Michelle Cornish’ Blog

Read Kate Brenton’s guest post about story as medicine over at Michelle’s blog.

https://www.michellecornish.com/blog

December 2nd @ The Frugalista Mom

Join Rochie as she shares her thoughts about Rebirth by Kate Brenton. You can also win a copy of the book!

https://thefrugalistamom.com/

December 3rd @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Join Beverley as features Kate Brenton’s guest post about writers needing a high inspiration diet.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

December 5th @ Balance and Joy

Join Sheri as she reviews Rebirth by Kate Brenton.

https://www.balanceandjoy.com/

December 6th @ Anthony Avina’s Blog

Join Anthony as he features Kate Brenton’s guest post about why what you love will get you through.

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/category/blog-tours/

December 7th @ Katherine Itacy’s Blog

Come by Katherine’s blog and read her review of Rebirth by Kate Brenton.

https://katherineitacy.com/

December 8th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Join Beverley as she reviews Rebirth by Kate Brenton.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

December 9th @ Rebecca J Whitman’s Blog

Join Rebecca as she features Kate Brenton’s guest post about when to keep going on faith.

December 10th @ A Story Book World

Deirdra showcases Rebirth by Kate Brenton, a must-read book for the new year!

https://www.astorybookworld.com/

December 13th @ Word Magic

Visit Fiona’s blog and read Kate Brenton’s guest post about the evolution of podcast to book and how it was a walk of faith.

http://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com/

December 15th @ Create Write Now

Read a guest post by Kate Brenton on Mari’s blog today about the power of birth as a mother and as a creative.

https://www.createwritenow.com/journal-writing-blog

December 17th @ Boots, Shoes and Fashion

Linda interviews author Kate Brenton about her writing and her inspirational book Rebirth.

https://bootsshoesandfashion.com/

December 18th @ Choices

Visit Madeline’s blog and read Kate Brenton’s guest post about mothering, writing, and working in the modern world.

http://www.madelinesharples.com/

December 19th @ Liberate and Lather

Join Angela as she reviews Rebirth by Kate Brenton. Don’t miss this inspirational book!

https://liberateandlather.com/blog

December 20th @ World of My Imagination

Visit Nicole’s blog to read her review of Rebirth by Kate Brenton.

https://worldofmyimagination.com/