Posted in reviews

Togwotee Passage by L.G. Cullens Review

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

A young man escaping an abusive household finds a journey of self-discovery in the midst of the natural world clashing with man’s world in author L.G. Cullen’s novel “Togwotee Passage”. 

The Synopsis

Togwotee (toe’-ga-tee) is the name of a challenging mountain pass in the Absaroka Mountains of northwest Wyoming. In the title of this fictive tale it’s a metaphor for the main character’s physical and cognitive passage through the seasons of life’s chaotic landscape.

The story begins with a dysfunctional family life in the 1940s that stains Calan’s outlook. When the abuse escalates to life-threatening, an intervention introduces him to wilderness on a grand scale, as well as a Shoshone friend with a differing perspective of life. This but fledgling steps in a life of unexpected twists and turns.

With off-the-beaten-path experiences and intimately relatable characters, this tale is a thought kindling journey of mind and spirit, complemented with expressive illustrations.

Literary Eco-fiction, Adventure, Nature

The Review

A well-written coming of age meets literary adventure story with a theme focused on nature and it’s placed in man’s growing world, “Togwotee Passage” is a fantastic read with a full cast of characters readers will instantly connect with. The sad yet familiar story of a young child growing up in an abusive environment and forced to begin anew after a particularly explosive event hurls the readers into a new chapter of the protagonist’s life that changes their interaction with the world from that point on. 

The friendship between Calan and Derek throughout their expanding lives gave a deeper sense of connection with the overall theme of the novel as well. The emotional growth of these two characters as they took on life and watched as the world of man began to encroach on the natural world as a whole, perfectly illustrating the personal journey the protagonist underwent as a whole.

The Verdict

A heartfelt evenly paced read, author L.G. Cullen’s “Togwotee Passage” is a must-read novel. A story of overcoming hardship, discovering your place in the world, and forming lasting bonds takes center stage as the characters grow and take a fully realized journey that is not to be missed. Be sure to grab your copy today! 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

L. G. Cullens was born and raised in 1940’s Wyoming with Shoshone friends (his naturalist grounding), served in the military, and pursued careers first in civil engineering, then computer sciences, and finally, in his fifties, woodworking decorative arts. Since, with diminished dexterity he’s turned to writing. A natural sciences passion throughout his lifetime is evinced in his art and writing.

Additional writing by the author and others as well as book reviews and artworks, all on a natural world theme, can be found at https://lgcullens.com along with a contact form.

Posted in reviews

Chuck Life’s A Trip: A Work Of Fiction Based On Actual Events by Hans Joseph Fellmann 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 friends seeking the thrill of travel take on the ultimate travel challenge, and end up challenging their friendship in the process in author Hans Joseph Fellmann’s “Chuck Life’s A Trip: A Work of Fiction Based On Actual Events”. 

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The Synopsis

Seven childhood buddies from L-town California set off on a trip around the globe that could cinch or crush their friendship.

Johann Felmanstien and his crew have a bond that Russian criminals would be jealous of. Besides just being homies from the same hood, they have their own dialect crafted to conceal talk of their rank activities, their own pseudo-culture packed with mad rites, and their own way of life born of booze, drugs, sex and travel to some of the sickest places on earth. They’re about to embark on their biggest journey to date; an 85-day trek across three continents, designed to cement their bond for good. Will it go down like that? Or will the trip meant to make them blood-brothers bust them all apart?


The Review

This was a well crafted, original and unique read that blended real world experiences into a creative story. While Johann and his crew are not the most politically correct group of guys, the test of friendship allows readers to see beyond that aspect of themselves and instead see the bond that these friends have formed through time and experiences, and how this trip challenged them in every way possible. 

The story is a fantastic way to explore the world of traveling and exploration, while creating engaging personal stories and experiences that keep the reader invested in the character’s journey and adventures. Infused with raunchy humor, the bonds of friendship and a thirst for exploration, this is a story that will resonate with a lot of readers.


The Verdict

Overall this is a must read travel/adventure novel! A blend of American Pie meets Around the World In 80 Days, the story is well written and evenly paced enough to keep readers invested in the story as each chapter passes. It’s a thrilling read that audiences don’t want to miss out on, so be sure to grab your copy of “Chuck Life’s A Trip” by Hans Joseph Fellmann today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Hans Joseph Fellmann currently lives between Prague, where he teaches to keep the lights on and writes to keep from going nuts, and Livermore in Northern California, where his funky little ass grew up. During the last twenty years, Hans has been tiptoeing the globe and scribbling it all down. To date, he has visited over eighty countries on six continents, and he continues to “blow it up” each summer.

By the skin of his teeth, Hans earned a BA degree from the University of California at San Diego in International Studies, with an emphasis on the Middle East. His articles and short stories have appeared (albeit not magically) in the UCSD Guardian, the San Diego Union-Tribune and The Prague Revue. To improve his craft, and to buy his folks keychains so they could claim their son went to grad school, he attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2013.

His first novel “Chuck Life’s a Trip,” which is based on a trip he took around the world with his childhood buddies in 2006, is now available on Amazon. He recently completed a second semi-autobiographical novel which he is “polishing.” It is about his pants-on-the-head-crazy experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Karakum Desert of Turkmenistan.

In his spare time, Hans likes to study languages, the more obscure the better. He speaks ten, including Czech, Turkmen, Farsi and Spanish, with varying degrees of proficiency. He is also a huge geography and book nerd. When he’s not backpacking where he shouldn’t be or rattling off in some foreign tongue, he’s got his eyes crawling over a map of a long-forgotten Central Asian republic, or his nose buried deep in a book by a fellow B.A.M.F.

https://amzn.to/2Ox8f6b

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author Angelica Clyman

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I’m a painter, an educator, a business owner, and a mom (among other things)! I’ve always loved writing poetry and prose, but as I seriously pursued the visual arts, I put my writing aside…or tried to. As much as I attempted to convince myself that I wasn’t a writer, I couldn’t ignore the drive. I finally gave in while I was pursuing my Master of Fine Arts degree and made writing a priority again. I realized I didn’t have to make such a drastic choice – I could chase all my varied dreams.

What inspired you to write your book?

Actually, this was a story I was carrying with me in one form or another since I was twelve years old. I had a wonderful English teacher in seventh grade who really encouraged journaling and creative writing, and this story had its earliest beginnings in a class writing prompt. It changed a lot along the way, discarding its original Tolkien-inspired backdrop and undead characters, and finding its way into a dystopian world with Angelic magic, but the main characters and overall plot emerged from this time in my adolescence.

What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I hope readers enjoy the beautifully desolate imagery and the slightly twisted love story, but on a deeper level, I hope the underlying philosophy comes through – that the answers we are all looking for truly come from within.

What drew you into this particular genre?

I feel like this story doesn’t neatly fit into one genre, but I’ve always been excited by the different forms fantasy can take. In my paintings, I often play with abandoned imagery, so a dystopian setting was natural for me.

If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

The pirates would probably be the most fun to hang out with, but I think I could learn a lot from Asher Serafin. He’s one of the characters that is the least like me, but I strive to be as steady and unwavering as he is. He has seen the world before and after an apocalypse, he’s basked in the glow of the divine, he’s seen extreme good and evil (and the uncomfortable gray areas too), and he’s survived things that would have destroyed most. If I was having a difficult time and needed some perspective, he would be the one to go to.

What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Goodreads and Facebook have been useful, and I’ve finally made an Instagram! Sometimes social media distracts me from writing, but I’m trying to stay connected.

What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Write the story you want to read. There are times that I almost stopped myself, worrying about what others might think or concerned that the book wouldn’t be well received. But in the end, only you can write your story, and something written honestly is bound to resonate with someone else.

What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I’m currently working on the sequel to Dominion of the Star – the second book of the Descendants of the Fallen series – tentatively titled Resurrection of the Hierophant. It takes place seven years later, and it finds some of the characters much changed. I’m also working on the audiobook for Dominion of the Star, which is already proving to be an adventure!

About the author:

Angelica Clyman was raised on Catholicism and urban legends, fairy tales and 80s movies. Her love for fantasy books and poetry was put on hold while she pursued other passions, but she found her way back to words and stories after following the seemingly disparate paths of the visual arts, academia, yoga, martial arts, business, dance and magick. Angelica is an artist, educator, wife, and mother. “Dominion of the Star” is her first novel.

https://www.facebook.com/DominionoftheStar/

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28700275-dominion-of-the-star

https://www.instagram.com/angelclyman/

Posted in reviews

The Code Hunters – A Nicholas Foxe Adventure by Jackson Coppley Review

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

A shocking discovery leads to a massive hunt to decipher a tablet that could change the world and leads to an action-packed thriller like no other in author Jackson Coppley’s “The Code Hunters – A Nicholas Foxe Adventure”. 

The Synopsis

Get Ready for Action and Adventure! 

Meet Nicholas Foxe and his team of code hunters…

• In Afghanistan, a young boy stumbles into a fierce firefight. 

• An Army Ranger makes a snap decision that sets in motion events beyond his imagination.

• In New Mexico, caver Tom Littleton discovers a 10,000-year-old coded tablet far too advanced for ancient people to have created it.

• In Boston, Rachael Friedman, a leading physics professor, unlocks a key to the mysterious code.

• And in Italy, a violin maker and his autistic daughter show the way to a secret chamber where a medieval scholar has locked away more clues.

Wealthy adventurer Nicholas Foxe leads this unlikely team to solve the mystery of the code. But dark forces threaten to destroy The Tablet and the people who know about it…

• The Televangelist who intends to profit from his “religious” interpretation of The Tablet.

• A Washington Senator who secretly serves a powerful constituent.

• The mysterious Texan who foresees extraordinary wealth by owning The Tablet.

• A Bombmaker in Queens who serves the latest in destructive products.

The Code Hunters is a Thriller for the reader who:

• Wants the Adventure of Indiana Jones,

• Likes the pace and puzzles of The Da Vinci Code,

• Or just enjoys a Mystery Page-Turner. 

The Review

My first reaction as a reader is…wow. Just a fantastic collection of action, adventure and thrills that delve into so many different genres and facets of the story that it immediately draws readers in. From the introduction of the mystery discovered in caverns by cavers to the people brought together by Nicholas Foxe to decipher the mysterious discovery and the people trying to exploit or profit from it, the author does an amazing job of creating a cast of characters readers will either love or hate. 

What really stuck out to me as a reader was the various moving parts of the novel thanks to the wide array of characters the author brought into the narrative. The way readers are given a look into the mindset and actions of each character really set up the shocking action scenes and built up the importance of the discoveries to be had. The use of a slow burn to build up the suspense early on before revealing the discoveries was an inspired choice of writing style, and created an engaging read that is not to be missed.

The Verdict

This is a brilliant thriller that really gets the mind working and the heart pumping. A lengthy read to be sure, the novel does an amazing job of keeping the reader interested and creates a cast of characters readers will thoroughly enjoy reading about and becoming invested in throughout this story. It’s a must read action/adventure and thriller that captures the spirit of classic mysteries, blending a mix of Indiana Jones style action and history with a The Historian thrill. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of “The Code Hunters” by Jackson Coppley today!

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Jackson Coppley, a consummate storyteller, illuminates in his writing what happens when technology intersects with human behavior and emotion. Coppley weaves his stories from a sophisticated knowledge of technology and an understanding of human behavior. Coppley’s resume includes a dynamic career with leading world communications and technology companies, and the launching of what the press called “a revolutionary software program” during the rise of personal computing. As a world traveler, Coppley developed an interest in and an understanding of cultural differences and nuances which play an important role in his stories. His YouTube video on the Hmong people of Vietnam, as an example of how he investigates other cultures, received thousands of hits. It is this sensitivity about human behavior combined with the understanding of the potential of technology that brings to his writing a glimpse of what is yet to come.

Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/jcoppley

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jcoppley

Website: www.JacksonCoppley.com