Posted in reviews

The Poop Diaries by Abby Ross Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

A chance encounter with a chatty plumber leads to a book of awkward, hilarious and unbelievable tales from everyday plumbers in author Abby Ross’s book “The Poop Diaries”. 

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The Synopsis

“Abby Ross, a former journalist currently doing public relations work, has gathered stories from plumbers that will make you smile, giggle, and laugh out loud.” –Arizona News Independent

They come into our homes. They see us in our most fragile moments. Plumbers are a fixture in our lives. When a toilet clogs, a faucet leaks, or a sewer line plugs, we call those unsung heroes, desperately seeking help. They scoop out our poop and pull underwear, toothbrushes and cotton balls out of our toilets, doing whatever it takes to get the job done.

On a late Wednesday evening, after my toilet clogged, I asked our plumber to share his top five “greatest hits.” The stories were so hilarious, I had to share them with the world. The Poop Diaries features true stories told by my plumber, and many other plumbers, about the most memorable service jobs they have worked on and most unique people they have helped. Whether it’s nudity, rats, fake vaginas, dildos, snakes, weapons and so much more, these plumbers have seen and smelled it all.

The Review

A fantastic and humorous read, author Abby Ross has compiled a brilliant collection of stories that highlights the hard work and struggles of the average plumber while regaling readers with truly incredible stories the average customer would never think their plumber could be involved in. 

From supermodels dispelling the image they create of themselves to an army of rats deep in the bowels of a Chinese restaurant and a misleading encounter with candles, the author has compiled a complete list of stories not only from her own plumber, but many other plumbers as well that showcase just how odd and strange the average customer’s toilet problems can be. 

The Verdict

Showing off that a plumber’s job is not only about poop and poop related problems, The Poop Diaries is the perfect blend of humor and wit mixed with education regarding the plumbing profession and a pleasant non-fiction read. A one of a kind book that will delight the average reader and touches on a subject people often take for granted, this is the perfect book for any non-fiction readers out there. If you haven’t yet, grab your copies today! 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Abby Ross has nearly two decades of experience working in journalism, public relations, and marketing. She has written countless news stories, bylines, and blog posts. Abby began her career as a television news reporter, which fostered her passion for interviewing and writing about interesting people from all walks of life. After six years of reporting, Abby pivoted her career into public relations and marketing, which has been her focus for the past decade. This is her first book.

https://www.facebook.com/crazyplumberstories/?modal=admin_todo_tour (my FB page for the book)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08358HFFB (Amazon link)

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-poop-diaries-abby-ross/1135167569?ean=9781684334261 (B &N to buy book)

Twitter and Instagram: @honestab2

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/abby-ross/ 

Posted in Blog Tours, reviews

First Cut by Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell Review

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

A medical examiner new to the San Francisco area finds herself embroiled in a harrowing case involving a murder to cover up the actions of a ruthless drug lord in authors Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell’s “First Cut”. 

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The Synopsis

Wife and husband duo Dr. Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell first enthralled the book world with their runaway bestselling memoir Working Stiff—a fearless account of a young forensic pathologist’s “rookie season” as a NYC medical examiner. This winter, Dr. Melinek, now a prominent forensic pathologist in the Bay Area, once again joins forces with writer T.J. Mitchell to take their first stab at fiction. 

The result: FIRST CUT (Hanover Square Press; Hardcover; January 7, 2020; $26.99)—a gritty and compelling crime debut about a hard-nosed San Francisco medical examiner who uncovers a dangerous conspiracy connecting the seedy underbelly of the city’s nefarious opioid traffickers and its ever-shifting terrain of tech startups.

Dr. Jessie Teska has made a chilling discovery. A suspected overdose case contains hints of something more sinister: a drug lord’s attempt at a murderous cover up. As more bodies land on her autopsy table, Jessie uncovers a constellation of deaths that point to an elaborate network of powerful criminals—on both sides of the law—that will do anything to keep things buried. But autopsy means “see for yourself,” and Jessie Teska won’t stop until she’s seen it all—even if it means the next corpse on the slab could be her own.

The Review

A brilliant read, this novel perfectly blends the expertise and gritty reality of forensic work and the work of the medical examiners office with the harrowing and heart-pounding action that comes with a good thriller. 

The story cuts into the complex web of lies uncovered by Jessie Teska, from drug kingpins and dirty lawyers to collegues she thought she could trust and beyond. Haunted by a painful past, Jessie finds herself fighting to uncover the truth behind a horrific crime, with only her brilliant mind and determination to aid her in her fight against politics, criminal empires and more. 

The Verdict

A fantastic thriller for anyone who enjoys a heavy mix of medical forensics and suspense, authors Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell have created a masterful story that will give readers a protagonist to root for, a story to engage with and a brilliant race to the finish that will keep readers on the edge of their seat. If you haven’t yet, grab your copy of Final Cut today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Authors

Judy Melinek was an assistant medical examiner in San Francisco for nine years, and today works as a forensic pathologist in Oakland and as CEO of PathologyExpert Inc. She and T.J. Mitchell met as undergraduates at Harvard, after which she studied medicine and practiced pathology at UCLA. Her training in forensics at the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner is the subject of their first book, the memoir Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner.
T.J. Mitchell is a writer with an English degree from Harvard, and worked in the film industry before becoming a full-time stay-at-home dad. He is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner with his wife, Judy Melinek.

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SOCIAL:

TWITTER:

FB: @DrWorkingStiff

Insta:

Goodreads

BUY LINKS:

Harlequin 

Indiebound

Amazon

Barnes & Noble 

Books-A-Million

Target

Walmart

Google

iBooks

Kobo


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EXCERPT

PROLOGUE

Los Angeles
May

The dead woman on my table had pale blue eyes, long lashes, no mascara. She wore a thin rim of black liner on her lower lids but none on the upper. I inserted the twelve gauge needle just far enough that I could see its beveled tip through the pupil, then pulled the syringe plunger to aspirate a sample of vitreous fluid. That was the first intrusion I made on her corpse during Mary Catherine Walsh’s perfectly ordinary autopsy.

The external examination had been unremarkable. The decedent appeared to be in her midthirties, blond hair with dun roots, five foot four, 144 pounds. After checking her over and noting identifying marks (monochromatic professional tattoo of a Celtic knot on lower left flank, appendectomy scar on abdomen, well-healed stellate scar on right knee), I picked up a scalpel and sliced from each shoulder to the breastbone, and then all the way down her belly. I peeled back the layers of skin and fat on her torso—an ordinary amount, maybe a little on the chubby side—and opened the woman’s chest like a book.

I had made similar Y-incisions on 256 other bodies during my ten months as a forensic pathologist at the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office, and this one was easy. No sign of trauma. Normal liver. Healthy lungs. There was nothing wrong with her heart. The only significant finding was the white, granular material of the gastric contents. In her stomach was a mass of semidigested pills.

When I opened her uterus, I found she’d been pregnant. I measured the fetus’s foot length and estimated its age at twelve weeks. The fetus appeared to have been viable. It was too young to determine sex.

I deposited the organs one by one at the end of the stainless-steel table. I had just cut into her scalp to start on the skull when Matt, the forensic investigator who had collected the body the day before, came in.

“Clean scene,” he reported, depositing the paperwork on my station. “Suicide.”

I asked him where he was going for lunch. Yogurt and a damn salad at his desk, he told me: bad cholesterol and a worried wife. I extended my condolences as he headed back out of the autopsy suite.

I scanned through Matt’s handwriting on the intake sheet and learned that the body had been found, stiff and cold, in a locked and secure room at the Los Angeles Omni hotel. The cleaning staff called the police. The ID came from the name on the credit card used to pay for the room, and was confirmed by fingerprint comparison with her driver’s license thumbprint. A handwritten note lay on the bed stand, a pill bottle in the trash. Nothing else. Matt was right: There was no mystery to the way Mary Walsh had died.

I hit the dictaphone’s toe trigger and pointed my mouth toward the microphone dangling over the table. “The body is identified by a Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s tag attached to the right great toe, inscribed LACD-03226, Walsh, Mary Catherine…”

I broke the seal on the plastic evidence bag and pulled out the pill bottle. It was labeled OxyContin, a powerful painkiller, and it was empty.

“Accompanying the body is a sealed plastic bag with an empty prescription medication bottle. The name on the prescription label…”

I read the name but didn’t speak it. The hair started standing up on my neck. I looked down at my morning’s work—the splayed body, flecked with gore, the dissected womb tossed on a heap of other organs.

That can’t be, I told myself. It can’t.

On the clipboard underneath the case intake sheet I found a piece of hotel stationery sealed in another evidence bag. It was the suicide note, written in blue ink with a steady feminine hand. I skimmed it—then stopped, and went back.

I read it again.

I heard the clipboard land at my feet. I gripped the raised lip of my autopsy table. I held tight while the floor fell away.


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Q&A with Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell

Q: Do you plan your books in advance or let them develop as you write?

A:The idea for First Cut was prompted by some of Judy’s actual cases when she worked as a San Francisco medical examiner. She has real experience performing autopsy death investigation, and she also has the imagination to apply that experience to a fictional framework for our forensic detective, Dr. Jessie Teska. Judy invented the story, and together we worked it up as an outline. Then T.J. sat in a room wrestling with words all day—which he loves to do—to produce the first complete manuscript. That’s our inspiration plus perspiration dynamic as co-authors.

Q: What does the act of writing mean to you?

A: It is, and has always been, something we can do together, an important part of our marriage. We’ve collaborated as a creative team since we were in college together many years ago, producing and directing student theater. We’ve also spent twenty years raising our four children, and have always approached parenting as a partnership. We find it easy to work together because we write like we parent: relying on one another, each of us playing to our strengths. It helps that, in our writing process, we have no overlapping skill set!

 Q: Have you ever had a character take over a story, and if so, who was it and why?

A: Oh, yes! That’s our heroine, Dr. Jessie Teska. She has elements of Judy in her, and elements of T.J., but Jessie is a distinct individual and a strong-willed one. We’re often surprised and even shocked by the ways she reacts to the situations we put her in. There are times we’ll be writing what we thought was a carefully laid-out scene, and Jessie will take us sideways. She’s coming off T.J.’s fingertips on the the keyboard, both of us watching with mouths agape, saying, “What the hell is she up to?”

Q: Which one of First Cut’s characters was the hardest to write and why?

A: Tommy Teska, Jessie’s brother. He’s a minor character to the book’s plot, but the most important person in Jessie’s life, and he’s a reticent man, downright miserly with his dialogue. Tommy carries such great emotional weight, but it was hard to draw it out of him, especially because so much of his bond to our heroine is in the backstory of First Cut, not in the immediate narrative that lands on the page. We’re now working on the sequel, Cross Cut, and finding that Tommy has more occasion to open up in that story.

Q: Which character in any of your books (First Cut or otherwise) is dearest to you and why?

A: The late Dr. Charles Sidney Hirsch, from our first book, the memoir Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner. Dr. Hirsch is not just a character: He was a real person, Judy’s mentor and a towering figure in the world of forensic pathology. Dr. Hirsch trained Dr. Melinek in her specific field of medicine and imbued in her his passion for it. He was a remarkable man, a great teacher and physician and public servant—a person of uncompromising integrity coupled with great emotional intelligence.

Q: What did you want to be as a child? Was it an author?

A: Judy’s father was a physician, and though she never wanted to follow in his immediate footsteps—he was a psychiatrist—she has always wanted to be another Dr. Melinek. T.J. has always been a writer, but also has theater training and worked in the film industry. As much as we enjoyed authoring the memoir Working Stiff, and as happy as we have been with its success, we are even more thrilled to be detective novelists.

Q: What does a day in the life of Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell look like?

A: Judy is a morning person and T.J.’s a night owl, so we split parenting responsibilities. Judy gets the kids off to school and then heads to the morgue, where she performs autopsies in the morning and works with police, district attorneys, and defense lawyers in the afternoon. T.J. takes care of the household and after-school duties. If we work together during the day, it’s usually by email in the late afternoon. T.J. cooks dinner, Judy goes to bed early, and he’s up late—at his most productive writing from nine to midnight or later.

Q: What do you use to inspire you when you get Writer’s Block?

A: We go for a long walk together. Our far corner of San Francisco overlooks the Pacific Ocean, bracketed by cypress trees and blown over with fog, and serves as an inspiring landscape. We explore the edge of the continent and talk out where our characters have been and where they need to get, tossing ideas back and forth until a solution, what to do next on the page, emerges. Getting away for a stroll with our imaginary friends is always a fruitful exercise!

Q: What book would you take with you to a desert island?

A: T.J. would take the Riverside Shakespeare, and Judy would take Poisonous Plants: A Handbook for Doctors, Pharmacists, Toxicologists, Biologists and Veterinarians, Illustrated.

Q: Do you have stories on the back burner that are just waiting to be written?

A: Always! We are inspired by Dr. Melinek’s real-life work, both in the morgue and at crime scenes, in police interrogation rooms, and in courtrooms. Our stories are fiction—genre fiction structured in the noir-detective tradition—but the forensic methods our detective employs and the scientific findings she comes to are drawn from real death investigations.

Q: What has been the hardest thing about publishing? What has been the most fun?

A: The hardest thing is juggling our work schedules to find uninterrupted time together to write. The most fun is meeting and talking to our readers at book events, especially those who have been inspired to go into the field of forensic pathology after reading our work.

Q: What advice would you give budding authors about publishing?

A: It’s all about connectivity. Linking up with other writers, readers, editors, and research experts is a crucial way to get your work accomplished, and to get it out to your audience. Yes, ultimately it’s just you and the keyboard, but in the course of writing your story, you can and should tap into the hive mind, online and in person, for inspiration and help.

Q: What was the last thing you read?

A: Judy last read The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist by Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington, and T.J. last read The Witch Elm by Tana French.

Q: Your top five authors?

A: Judy’s are Atul Gawande, Henry James, Kathy Reichs, Mary Roach, and Oliver Sacks. T.J.’s are Margaret Atwood, Joseph Heller, Ed McBain, Ross Macdonald, and Kurt Vonnegut.

Q: Book you’ve bought just for the cover?

A: T.J.: Canary by Duane Swierczynski. Judy: Mütter Museum Historical Medical Photographs.

Q: Tell us about what you’re working on now.

A: First Cut is the debut novel in a detective series, and we’ve recently finished the rough draft of Cross Cut, its sequel. We are in the revision phase now, killing our darlings and tightening our tale, working to get the further adventures of Dr. Jessie Teska onto bookshelves next year!

Posted in Blog Tours, Interviews

Interview Questions by Anthony Avina

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

I’m a Georgia girl married to a New Yorker. I have three children and seven adult grandchildren. After I retired from teaching thirty-one years, my husband accepted a promotion that took us from Atlanta to Shreveport, LA. I didn’t know anyone and did not want to be bored, so I enrolled in LSUS and took Fiction Writing from Sarah Hamer, who inspired her students to write. I was hooked.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

Ambition? Every writer wants to write a book someday. Three years after I stepped into my first writing class, I was invited to join eight other writers and publish an anthology of short stories based on one theme and location.

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

The message in my book is that everyone has issues to overcome. My characters work through those obstacles and find resolutions. Often it is a matter of finding and knowing their own strengths.

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4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I’m a fan of literary work rather than commercial fiction; therefore, my stories do not fit into the cookie cutter patterns of one genre, such as fantasy, mystery/thriller, romance, or science fiction.

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

If I could ask one of my characters a question, I would ask Misty how she felt on holidays and her birthday all those years after her father disappeared?

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

Facebook has been a helpful media site, because most of my readers are active on Facebook. Some are not active on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram.

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

My advice to novice writers is: write most days, read in your genre, learn your craft by attending workshops, stay positive, join a critique group, get feedback, leave your ego at the door, and find a good editor. Write on! 

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

Future? My life will continue to center on my family, friends, and writing. I have two book on the horizon—Bittersweet, and Driven.

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Book Summary

Come visit Georgia within these pages as you read heartwarming stories shaped by local traditions and legends. The characters live life to the fullest through joys and hardships. Inhale the essence of Georgia’s revitalized small town squares while eating hand- scooped ice cream on a park bench. Each town has its own magic. Sometimes the most real things in life are things we cannot see but those that deeply touch us, as the folks in these tales learn. Share smiles and shed tears as you travel the curving road of life with these Georgia characters. Are you ready for an unforgettable experience of hope, faith, trust, reconciliation, and love?

Print Length: 259 Pages

Genre: Short Story Anthologies

Publisher: Touch Not the Cat Books

ASIN: B07FXVRZGG


Georgia Stories on My Mind is available to purchase on Amazon.com. 

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About the Author, Jackie Rod

“A good book transports me to another time and place. It lets me feel the sensation of heroes and heroines— dark loneliness, deep passion, a father’s pride and a mother’s grief.” Jackie Rod is a fiction writer, loving wife of a legal beagle, and mother of three children who has blessed her with seven fantastic grandchildren. After Jackie retired from teaching, her love of words and stories led her to begin writing fiction. Reading and traveling enrich her life and she jumps at the opportunity to teach a workshop or attend a writing conference. She belongs to five writing chapters/groups. Jackie’s work can be found in twelve published books on Amazon, in several Metro Atlanta libraries, and independent bookstores.

You can find Jackie at: 

www.facebook.com/JackieRod

www.Twitter.com/Softnsilk 

www.LinkedIn/com/in/jackie-rod-32bba255 www.Pinterest.com/JackieRod

www.JackieRod.blogspot.com 

www.Instagram.com/jackierod039

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— Blog Tour Dates

Today @ The Muffin

What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Grab your coffee and join us as we celebrate the launch of Jackie Rod’s blog tour of her book Georgia Stories on My Mind. You can read an interview with the author and win a copy of the book.

https://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

January 14th @ Lori’s Reading Corner

Visit Lori’s blog today and read author Jackie Rod’s guest post about editing. You can also enter to win a copy of her book Georgia Stories on My Mind.

http://www.lorisreadingcorner.com

January 15th @ Cathy C. Hall’s Blog

Visit Cathy C. Hall’s blog today and read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind.

https://c-c-hall.com/

January 16th @ Caroline Clemmons Blog

Stop by Caroline’s blog today and you can see a spotlight of the book and an interview with author Jackie Rod. Also win a copy of the book!

http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com/

January 18th @ A Day in the Life of Mom

Visit Ashley’s blog today and you can read Jackie Rod’s guest post about how time is limited and precious. Plus, you can enter to win a copy of the book!

https://adayinthelifeofmom.com/

January 20th @ Memoir Writer’s Journey

Make sure you stop by Kathleen’s blog today and read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind. You can also win a copy of the book!

January 21st @ Amanda Diaries

Visit Amanda’s blog today and you can read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind.

https://amandadiaries.com/

January 22nd @ Look to the Western Sky

Stop by Margo’s blog where you can read Jackie Rod’s guest post about being a cheerleader for others. You can also win a copy of the book Georgia Stories on My Mind. Don’t miss it!

https://www.margoldill.com

January 22nd @ Cathy C. Hall’s Blog

Visit Cathy’s blog today and reading Jackie Rod’s guest post about being a homegrown Georgia peach.

https://c-c-hall.com/

January 23rd @ And So She Thinks

Visit Francesca’s blog today where you can read Jackie Rod’s guest post about the value of critique groups and writing groups.

https://andsoshethinks.wordpress.com/

January 24th @ Coffee with Lacey

Come by Lacey’s blog today and read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind.

http://www.coffeewithlacey.com

January 25th @ Bookworm Blog

Stop by Anjanette’s blog today and you can read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind. Enter to win a copy of the book as well!

http://bookworm66.wordpress.com

January 26th @ The Frugalista Mom

Visit Rozelyn’s blog today and read Jackie Rod’s guest post about precious moments.

https://thefrugalistamom.com

January 27th @ 12 Books

Visit Louise’s blog and read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind.

http://www.12books.co.uk/

January 28th @ A Storybook World

Join Deirdra at her blog today where you can read Jackie Rod’s guest post about the importance of conferences.

http://www.astorybookworld.com/

January 30th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Visit Anthony’s blog today where he will be spotlighting Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories On My Mind.

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

January 31st @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Visit Anthony’s blog again where you can read his review of the book Georgia Stories On My Mind and you can win a copy of the book!

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

February 1st @ Ali’s Bookshelf Reviews

Come by Ali’s blog today and you can read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind. Plus you can win a copy of the book!

http://alisbookshelfreviews.blogspot.com/

February 3rd @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Visit Anthony’s blog where you can read an interview with author Jackie Rod and read her guest post about family and friends.

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

February 4th @ Ali’s Bookshelf Reviews

Visit Ali’s blog today and read author Jackie Rod’s guest post about how reading changes your life.

http://alisbookshelfreviews.blogspot.com/

February 6th @ Memoir Writer’s Journey

Stop by Kathleen’s blog today and read Jackie Rod’s guest post about the joys of life. Don’t miss this one!

February 7th @ The Frugalista Mom

Stop by Rozelyn’s blog today and you can read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind. You can also enter to win a copy of the book!

https://thefrugalistamom.com

February 8th @ Bookworm Blog

Stop by Anjanette’s blog again and you can read an interview with author Jackie Rod and read the author’s guest post featuring writing tips. Don’t miss!

http://bookworm66.wordpress.com

February 9th @ Leonard Tillman’s Blog

Visit Leonard’s blog and read his review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind.

February 10th @ Madeline Sharples Blog

Visit Madeline’s blog and read Jackie Rod’s guest post about marketing on social media.

http://madelinesharples.com/

February 11th @ 12 Books

Visit Louise’s blog again and you can read Jackie Rod’s touching guest post about wisdom. Don’t miss it!

http://www.12books.co.uk

February 12th @ It’s Alanna Jean

Visit Alanna’s blog where you can read a guest post by the author about faith, hope, and love.

https://itsalannajean.wordpress.com/

February 16th @ Joyful Antidotes

Visit Joy’s blog today and you can read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind.

https://www.joyfulantidotes.com

Posted in Blog Tours, reviews

Georgia Stories On My Mind by Jackie Rod Review

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

An anthology of life and life’s struggles through tales of the South bring a collection of stories and lessons together beautifully in author Jackie Rod’s novel “Georgia Stories On My Mind”. 

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The Synopsis

Come visit Georgia within these pages as you read heartwarming stories shaped by local traditions and legends. The characters live life to the fullest through joys and hardships. Inhale the essence of Georgia’s revitalized small town squares while eating hand- scooped ice cream on a park bench. Each town has its own magic. Sometimes the most real things in life are things we cannot see but those that deeply touch us, as the folks in these tales learn. Share smiles and shed tears as you travel the curving road of life with these Georgia characters. Are you ready for an unforgettable experience of hope, faith, trust, reconciliation, and love?

Print Length: 259 Pages

Genre: Short Story Anthologies

Publisher: Touch Not the Cat Books

ASIN: B07FXVRZGG

The Review

Beautifully written, heartwarming and personal brings this anthology to life perfectly. The author has found a way to connect with readers on a personal scale that showcases how connected we are to each other and our life as a whole. Stories of love lost and found again, of being honest with ourselves and speaking to the dead so that we may find a way to live fully and more make this anthology shine brightly. 

The characters are relatable and the story itself is evenly paced, with each individual story delving into local legends and myths of the area that locals will be able to identify with while giving new readers unfamiliar with the legends a fresh perspective on life overall. 

The Verdict

Finding one’s way in life is never easy, and most often experience something new and unique in their own way. This novel does an excellent job of creating a vast array of stories that readers will be able to recognize and identify with as the characters experience love, loss, heartbreak and connections that everyone is looking for in life. Brilliantly written and a truly powerful read, be sure to grab your copy of “Georgia Stories On My Mind” by Jackie Rod today!

Rating: 10/10

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Georgia Stories on My Mind is available to purchase on Amazon.com. 

About the Author, Jackie Rod

“A good book transports me to another time and place. It lets me feel the sensation of heroes and heroines— dark loneliness, deep passion, a father’s pride and a mother’s grief.” Jackie Rod is a fiction writer, loving wife of a legal beagle, and mother of three children who has blessed her with seven fantastic grandchildren. After Jackie retired from teaching, her love of words and stories led her to begin writing fiction. Reading and traveling enrich her life and she jumps at the opportunity to teach a workshop or attend a writing conference. She belongs to five writing chapters/groups. Jackie’s work can be found in twelve published books on Amazon, in several Metro Atlanta libraries, and independent bookstores.

You can find Jackie at: 

www.facebook.com/JackieRod

www.Twitter.com/Softnsilk 

www.LinkedIn/com/in/jackie-rod-32bba255 www.Pinterest.com/JackieRod

www.JackieRod.blogspot.com 

www.Instagram.com/jackierod039

— Blog Tour Dates

Today @ The Muffin

What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Grab your coffee and join us as we celebrate the launch of Jackie Rod’s blog tour of her book Georgia Stories on My Mind. You can read an interview with the author and win a copy of the book.

https://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

January 14th @ Lori’s Reading Corner

Visit Lori’s blog today and read author Jackie Rod’s guest post about editing. You can also enter to win a copy of her book Georgia Stories on My Mind.

http://www.lorisreadingcorner.com

January 15th @ Cathy C. Hall’s Blog

Visit Cathy C. Hall’s blog today and read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind.

https://c-c-hall.com/

January 16th @ Caroline Clemmons Blog

Stop by Caroline’s blog today and you can see a spotlight of the book and an interview with author Jackie Rod. Also win a copy of the book!

http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com/

January 18th @ A Day in the Life of Mom

Visit Ashley’s blog today and you can read Jackie Rod’s guest post about how time is limited and precious. Plus, you can enter to win a copy of the book!

https://adayinthelifeofmom.com/

January 20th @ Memoir Writer’s Journey

Make sure you stop by Kathleen’s blog today and read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind. You can also win a copy of the book!

January 21st @ Amanda Diaries

Visit Amanda’s blog today and you can read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind.

https://amandadiaries.com/

January 22nd @ Look to the Western Sky

Stop by Margo’s blog where you can read Jackie Rod’s guest post about being a cheerleader for others. You can also win a copy of the book Georgia Stories on My Mind. Don’t miss it!

https://www.margoldill.com

January 22nd @ Cathy C. Hall’s Blog

Visit Cathy’s blog today and reading Jackie Rod’s guest post about being a homegrown Georgia peach.

https://c-c-hall.com/

January 23rd @ And So She Thinks

Visit Francesca’s blog today where you can read Jackie Rod’s guest post about the value of critique groups and writing groups.

https://andsoshethinks.wordpress.com/

January 24th @ Coffee with Lacey

Come by Lacey’s blog today and read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind.

http://www.coffeewithlacey.com

January 25th @ Bookworm Blog

Stop by Anjanette’s blog today and you can read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind. Enter to win a copy of the book as well!

http://bookworm66.wordpress.com

January 26th @ The Frugalista Mom

Visit Rozelyn’s blog today and read Jackie Rod’s guest post about precious moments.

https://thefrugalistamom.com

January 27th @ 12 Books

Visit Louise’s blog and read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind.

http://www.12books.co.uk/

January 28th @ A Storybook World

Join Deirdra at her blog today where you can read Jackie Rod’s guest post about the importance of conferences.

http://www.astorybookworld.com/

January 30th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Visit Anthony’s blog today where he will be spotlighting Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories On My Mind.

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

January 31st @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Visit Anthony’s blog again where you can read his review of the book Georgia Stories On My Mind and you can win a copy of the book!

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

February 1st @ Ali’s Bookshelf Reviews

Come by Ali’s blog today and you can read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind. Plus you can win a copy of the book!

http://alisbookshelfreviews.blogspot.com/

February 3rd @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Visit Anthony’s blog where you can read an interview with author Jackie Rod and read her guest post about family and friends.

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

February 4th @ Ali’s Bookshelf Reviews

Visit Ali’s blog today and read author Jackie Rod’s guest post about how reading changes your life.

http://alisbookshelfreviews.blogspot.com/

February 6th @ Memoir Writer’s Journey

Stop by Kathleen’s blog today and read Jackie Rod’s guest post about the joys of life. Don’t miss this one!

February 7th @ The Frugalista Mom

Stop by Rozelyn’s blog today and you can read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind. You can also enter to win a copy of the book!

https://thefrugalistamom.com

February 8th @ Bookworm Blog

Stop by Anjanette’s blog again and you can read an interview with author Jackie Rod and read the author’s guest post featuring writing tips. Don’t miss!

http://bookworm66.wordpress.com

February 9th @ Leonard Tillman’s Blog

Visit Leonard’s blog and read his review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind.

February 10th @ Madeline Sharples Blog

Visit Madeline’s blog and read Jackie Rod’s guest post about marketing on social media.

http://madelinesharples.com/

February 11th @ 12 Books

Visit Louise’s blog again and you can read Jackie Rod’s touching guest post about wisdom. Don’t miss it!

http://www.12books.co.uk/

February 12th @ It’s Alanna Jean

Visit Alanna’s blog where you can read a guest post by the author about faith, hope, and love.

https://itsalannajean.wordpress.com/

February 16th @ Joyful Antidotes

Visit Joy’s blog today and you can read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind.

https://www.joyfulantidotes.com

Posted in Blog Tours, Book Events

Spotlight: Georgia Stories On My Mind by Jackie Rod (Blog Tour)

Hello everyone. Today I am happy to share with you this special spotlight on the novel Georgia Stories on My Mind by author Jackie Rod. First, here is a little bit about the book itself.

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Book Summary

Come visit Georgia within these pages as you read heartwarming stories shaped by local traditions and legends. The characters live life to the fullest through joys and hardships. Inhale the essence of Georgia’s revitalized small town squares while eating hand- scooped ice cream on a park bench. Each town has its own magic. Sometimes the most real things in life are things we cannot see but those that deeply touch us, as the folks in these tales learn. Share smiles and shed tears as you travel the curving road of life with these Georgia characters. Are you ready for an unforgettable experience of hope, faith, trust, reconciliation, and love?

Print Length: 259 Pages

Genre: Short Story Anthologies

Publisher: Touch Not the Cat Books

ASIN: B07FXVRZGG


Georgia Stories on My Mind is available to purchase on Amazon.com. 

About the Author, Jackie Rod

“A good book transports me to another time and place. It lets me feel the sensation of heroes and heroines— dark loneliness, deep passion, a father’s pride and a mother’s grief.” Jackie Rod is a fiction writer, loving wife of a legal beagle, and mother of three children who has blessed her with seven fantastic grandchildren. After Jackie retired from teaching, her love of words and stories led her to begin writing fiction. Reading and traveling enrich her life and she jumps at the opportunity to teach a workshop or attend a writing conference. She belongs to five writing chapters/groups. Jackie’s work can be found in twelve published books on Amazon, in several Metro Atlanta libraries, and independent bookstores.

You can find Jackie at: 

www.facebook.com/JackieRod

www.Twitter.com/Softnsilk 

www.LinkedIn/com/in/jackie-rod-32bba255 www.Pinterest.com/JackieRod

www.JackieRod.blogspot.com 

www.Instagram.com/jackierod039

And now, I am happy to share with you all a wonderful guest post from the author herself, Jackie Rod.

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Family and Friends

Faith, family, friends and purposeful work are the blessings of life. Today we will focus on family and friends, major components of our lives. They can bring us our greatest joys and our greatest sorrows. Usually it falls somewhere in between. We tend to apply our values and viewpoints to our family and friends, even if their perspectives may not be in line with ours. 

Most of the time we identify with friends who hold similar values. In times of trouble we can turn to them for solace and comfort. In times of triumph we celebrate together. 

Family members, on the other hand, may have viewpoints diametrically opposed to ours. Often arguments can last for years and affect participation at holiday gatherings and other family events. Some people had rather miss an event than have to deal with their anger and feelings of hostility toward others. 

Over the years the actual differences of opinion may be forgotten, but the hard feelings remain and are never addressed. Folks can be stubborn. Of course, these same things might hold true for friends and neighbors with whom you disagree. We could write them off and discontinue any relationship rather than address the issue and try to work it out.

Some people are toxic and need to be eliminated from our circles so that our zin is not out of balance. Perhaps a good therapist would offer techniques and strategies for us to get over our hurt feelings and anxiety.

In the end, we all get on with our lives and make allowances for those we love and overlook the failings of best friends, at least the ones we continue to talk to.

Addressing the misunderstandings can begin a process of healing. Put away the pettiness. Forgiveness is a powerful force. 

Remember the joy you receive each day from a wonderful family and friends. Notice the light in their eyes when you flash your beautiful smile. Stay bonded, stay thankful, and stay blessed.


— Blog Tour Dates

Today @ The Muffin

What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Grab your coffee and join us as we celebrate the launch of Jackie Rod’s blog tour of her book Georgia Stories on My Mind. You can read an interview with the author and win a copy of the book.

https://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

January 14th @ Lori’s Reading Corner

Visit Lori’s blog today and read author Jackie Rod’s guest post about editing. You can also enter to win a copy of her book Georgia Stories on My Mind.

http://www.lorisreadingcorner.com

January 15th @ Cathy C. Hall’s Blog

Visit Cathy C. Hall’s blog today and read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind.

https://c-c-hall.com/

January 16th @ Caroline Clemmons Blog

Stop by Caroline’s blog today and you can see a spotlight of the book and an interview with author Jackie Rod. Also win a copy of the book!

http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com/

January 18th @ A Day in the Life of Mom

Visit Ashley’s blog today and you can read Jackie Rod’s guest post about how time is limited and precious. Plus, you can enter to win a copy of the book!

https://adayinthelifeofmom.com/

January 20th @ Memoir Writer’s Journey

Make sure you stop by Kathleen’s blog today and read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind. You can also win a copy of the book!

January 21st @ Amanda Diaries

Visit Amanda’s blog today and you can read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind.

https://amandadiaries.com/

January 22nd @ Look to the Western Sky

Stop by Margo’s blog where you can read Jackie Rod’s guest post about being a cheerleader for others. You can also win a copy of the book Georgia Stories on My Mind. Don’t miss it!

https://www.margoldill.com

January 22nd @ Cathy C. Hall’s Blog

Visit Cathy’s blog today and reading Jackie Rod’s guest post about being a homegrown Georgia peach.

https://c-c-hall.com/

January 23rd @ And So She Thinks

Visit Francesca’s blog today where you can read Jackie Rod’s guest post about the value of critique groups and writing groups.

https://andsoshethinks.wordpress.com/

January 24th @ Coffee with Lacey

Come by Lacey’s blog today and read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind.

http://www.coffeewithlacey.com

January 25th @ Bookworm Blog

Stop by Anjanette’s blog today and you can read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind. Enter to win a copy of the book as well!

http://bookworm66.wordpress.com

January 26th @ The Frugalista Mom

Visit Rozelyn’s blog today and read Jackie Rod’s guest post about precious moments.

https://thefrugalistamom.com

January 27th @ 12 Books

Visit Louise’s blog and read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind.

http://www.12books.co.uk/

January 28th @ A Storybook World

Join Deirdra at her blog today where you can read Jackie Rod’s guest post about the importance of conferences.

http://www.astorybookworld.com/

January 30th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Visit Anthony’s blog today where he will be spotlighting Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories On My Mind.

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

January 31st @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Visit Anthony’s blog again where you can read his review of the book Georgia Stories On My Mind and you can win a copy of the book!

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

February 1st @ Ali’s Bookshelf Reviews

Come by Ali’s blog today and you can read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind. Plus you can win a copy of the book!

http://alisbookshelfreviews.blogspot.com/

February 3rd @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Visit Anthony’s blog where you can read an interview with author Jackie Rod and read her guest post about family and friends.

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

February 4th @ Ali’s Bookshelf Reviews

Visit Ali’s blog today and read author Jackie Rod’s guest post about how reading changes your life.

http://alisbookshelfreviews.blogspot.com/

February 6th @ Memoir Writer’s Journey

Stop by Kathleen’s blog today and read Jackie Rod’s guest post about the joys of life. Don’t miss this one!

February 7th @ The Frugalista Mom

Stop by Rozelyn’s blog today and you can read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind. You can also enter to win a copy of the book!

https://thefrugalistamom.com

February 8th @ Bookworm Blog

Stop by Anjanette’s blog again and you can read an interview with author Jackie Rod and read the author’s guest post featuring writing tips. Don’t miss!

http://bookworm66.wordpress.com

February 9th @ Leonard Tillman’s Blog

Visit Leonard’s blog and read his review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind.

February 10th @ Madeline Sharples Blog

Visit Madeline’s blog and read Jackie Rod’s guest post about marketing on social media.

http://madelinesharples.com/

February 11th @ 12 Books

Visit Louise’s blog again and you can read Jackie Rod’s touching guest post about wisdom. Don’t miss it!

http://www.12books.co.uk/

February 12th @ It’s Alanna Jean

Visit Alanna’s blog where you can read a guest post by the author about faith, hope, and love.

https://itsalannajean.wordpress.com/

February 16th @ Joyful Antidotes

Visit Joy’s blog today and you can read her review of Jackie Rod’s book Georgia Stories on My Mind.

https://www.joyfulantidotes.com

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author’s Lee and Andrew Fearnside, O! Relentless Death

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

LEE: When we started this project I was a professor, and so writing was a part of my daily life. In my art practice I almost always incorporate stories or ethnographic interviews, so connecting other people’s writing to my images felt natural. 

ANDREW:
Writing thousands of pages of session notes as a psychotherapist made writing second nature. But more than that, learning about active listening and practicing compassion in every session helped me grow as an editor. Throughout the process of editing “O! Relentless Death!”, I found the courage to ask risky questions, to listen deeply, and to stay focused on the heart of a written piece rather than its style—because I’d practiced interacting from those perspectives in thousands of counseling sessions.


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2) What inspired you to write your book?


ANDREW:

Lee and I began collaborating in 2015. We gave each other “assignments.” I’d returned to making stuff just a couple years before that time; Lee had been making stuff for years and years, but was interested in stretching her creative practice with unfamiliar media. Partly, the “assignments” were just fun; and partly, they were a chance to apply some good old-fashioned psychological leverage to our individual processes. And they also made for more communication between us, which we both wanted.

So when we realized in mid-2016 that we’d both been doing art-things about the landslide of celebrity deaths that were starting to accumulate at that point, we already had an established channel for communication and collaboration in place. We chose linocut as the medium, because like our “assignments,” it was a medium neither of us felt accomplished in. We were forced to figure out ways to adapt what could be a sprawling process to little plates. That, and we’d both made linocuts with our mother, a lifelong printmaker.

After the 2016 election, the project became clear: there was a parallel between the losses of cultural heroes like Gwen Ifill and, as Progressives, the loss of the election. To us it felt like something died that day. 

LEE:

Our collaboration became a way to grieve together, with each other as brother and sister, and as artists/editors with the writers who participated in the project. It felt like sharing our grief was a way to create community.


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

ANDREW:

While cultural heroes like George Michael and Gwen Ifill are larger than life within the context of global media, they are also containers for enormously powerful cultural forces. They deserve respect for their achievements, certainly, and we mourn their losses.

LEE:

But they also are entry points for people’s experiences. We feel a connection to celebrities, even though we’ve usually never met them, because of the role they play in out lives. I hope that readers will identify with the writers’ reflections of their experiences with celebrities, and see some of their lives reflected in the words and images in the book. 


4) What drew you into this particular genre?

LEE: 

Portraits are both direct and interpretive. The relief prints show our understanding of the specific celebrities, as well as recognizable image, just as the writing show the individual author’s experiences as well as something we can all recognize. I really love working with other artists on projects as it can be energizing to play off of each others’ ideas, so this collaboration with my brother and the writers was a natural extension of what I’ve done before. 

ANDREW:

Art. A deep and abiding love of picture book genres like illustrated children’s books, comics, and old encyclopedias. The grounded understanding that as artists, this book was something we could do that would literally draw real emotional connections between us and our readers, and that that is a powerful political act.


5) What was the one story or celebrity that you identified with the most in this book?

ANDREW:

George Michael. I hated Wham at the time, and didn’t think much of his work as it progressed through the 80s and 90s. And to be honest, I still don’t think he was a great artist, compared to luminaries like Prince. But learning about him in 2016-17, and then making an image of him, I found myself weeping for what he went through, what he carried for all of us. He was outed during a period of intense upheaval and change, and suffered for it. He was forced to be a figurehead for a movement he seemed to have been ambivalent about. And all in public, at the receiving end of a firehose of cultural venom no one, no one EVER, deserved.

LEE:

For me it was Prince, who was a big part of my early adulthood. I listened to his music in high school and college, which for me (and many people) was a time when I really figured out myself as a person. So listening to his music is nostalgic on a lot of levels for me. This also made his portrait the hardest for me to make. Which Prince did I want to show? Could my portrait really capture everything I felt about him? I think I made 3 or 4 images before I settled on the one that made it to the book. 


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

LEE: 

Facebook was where we connected with a lot of potential writers, showed people work in progress, and then launched the Kickstarter campaign that funded printing of the book. We use both Kickstarter and Facebook to keep in touch with our readership, and dabble in Instagram.

ANDREW:

Kickstarter, if we’re going to be really literal about a social media platform. Then, at last, after everything else that we personally did with our own strategy and planning, it’d be Facebook.


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

LEE:

The old saying of 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration is so true. I used to tell my students that they had to make at least 10 bad things before they had the 1 good thing. You have to keep making, keep revising, and keep getting feedback. It can be a relentless process, being creative, but only by continuing even when it feels like you’re making crap can you push through to the good stuff. 

ANDREW:

Keep tinkering with your daily creative practice, whatever it may be. Every time you do it, you’re doing IT—the big thing, the masterwork, the whole enchilada. Whatever it is for you, you’re going to do it one TRILLION BILLION times. May your moments of inspiration become as common, and as miraculous, as breathing.


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

ANDREW:

I’m focusing on building my practice and business as a muralist in Albuquerque, NM, where I live. 

LEE:

I’m working on a book about animal adaptations to human behavior and encroachment. The book is modeled after a field guide, but is really a series of stories paired with images just like our last book. The stories range from the absurd, like crocodiles in Florida using pool noodles as floatation devices or mountain goats in Olympic National Park becoming addicted to hikers’ urine, to the disturbing and profoundly sad, like wildebeests in Botswana no longer migrating because of fenced off ranch land or cane toads taking over the Australian landscape and forcing out native fauna. My hope is that readers will laugh but also think about what we as humans are doing to the animals we share our world with. The book comes out this spring. If anyone is interested in learning more, follow our Facebook page “Fearnside and Fearnside” or our Kickstarter, “Lee and Andrew Fearnside.”

https://www.chimeraprojects.art/

Posted in book news

Book Announcement: Identity by Anthony Avina

Hello there everyone. This is Author Anthony Avina, and today I am thrilled to be able to announce the upcoming release of my novel, Identity. This will be the first book published through the amazing team at Sirens Call Publications. I first and foremost want to thank the amazing team of editors at Sirens Call Publications for taking the time to work with me to get this book to the place it’s at today. 

The link will take you to the official eZine for Sirens Call Publications, where I share my book announcement and the first two chapters of the novel on pages 129-140. I talk about what inspired this story, what the story is about and what readers can expect. It was my most challenging yet rewarding writing experience to date, and after all this time I am so thrilled to be able to share this story with you all. 

The book is due to be released in early 2020, possibly within the next few months. I will be sharing more with you all as the book finalizes and we begin moving forward with the publication. This is a dream come true, and I want to thank everyone who has supported me over the years on this journey. From the authors who encouraged me and the readers who took a leap of faith on my early works, to my amazing family for always sharing their love and support for me over the years. I hope this is the first step in a long career, and no matter what I want to thank Sirens Call Publications for taking a chance on my story and to you, the readers, who take the time to purchase your own copies and read my novel. I hope you all enjoy it, and I can’t wait to share this journey with you all in the months to come. Enjoy this book announcement and the collection of wonderful stories featured in this month’s eZine!


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Posted in reviews

Red Road Across The Great Plains By Chandra Lahiri Review

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

Author Chandra Lahiri takes readers on a journey through the history of the Native American people and showcases both sides of that history in an honest and incredible way in the novel “Red Road Across The Great Plains”. 


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The Synopsis

A life-changing solo voyage of discovery across the blood-soaked Great Plains. A pilgrimage to momentous sites of Native American heritage. Meet the amazing “invisible warriors” fighting impossible odds to reclaim their heritage and share in the American Dream without losing their unique identity, much as their ancestors fought on the battlefields to save their way of life.

Nurturing a half-century obsession with Native America and the Old Frontier, this now-retired corporate CEO takes the reader along on his astonishing solo road-trip through haunting places of intense tragedy and stunning triumphs, through Native American spiritual experiences that shook the atheist in him, plunging into the rough and tumble worlds that were Deadwood and Dodge City, chuckling gently over modern American idiosyncrasies. Neither a “white historian” nor a “red commentator,” he visits both sides of the Native American experience and, in the most depressed Native Reservations, discovers exciting sparks of a brighter, more hopeful future emerging – a very different take on the usual Reservation stereotypes and stories of misery. This is an unusual and enthralling odyssey effortlessly plaiting space and time, easy to read, without pompous sermonizing.


The Review

Part history, part travel, author Chandra Lahiri’s novel does an amazing  job of creating a narrative that showcases the authors real life journey to these iconic, historic and sometimes tragic locations in the West and Mid-Western United States. The evenly paced read delved deeply into the violent, heartbreaking and blood-soaked history of the Native American tribes and the impact on both their culture and the white settlers as they expanded their territory further and further westward. 

From the genocide that was the Trail of Tears to the Civil War and more, the author lays out the history behind the Native American people and highlights the struggles they endured. However this history is broken up naturally by the travel aspect of the author’s journey, showcasing the modern day experiences the author had while seeing first hand the locations and the history of the United States as it settled westward. 

The novel is expertly written, with a voice and tone that speaks of personal experiences the author had on this trip with historic facts that are both known and tragically some that are overlooked or forgotten, for as the author points out in the book, history is written by the victors, but often history is only half true or inaccurate if only written by the victors. 


The Verdict

This was a brutally honest, emotional and well written historical/travel novel. An even mix of historical research, graphs and statistics that really put the history of the Native American people and culture into perspective, with the natural observations and personal stories brought to life while on a life-changing trip like the one the author experienced, this novel has something for everyone, and is not to be missed. So if you are a fan of travel stories or are just a major history buff like myself and want to experience the emotional journey of the Native American tribes of the United States, then be sure to grab your copy of author Chandra Lahiri’s “Red Road Across The Great Plains” today! 

Rating: 10/10


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About the Author

Chandra Lahiri is an “Indian from India” who lives in the Sultanate of Oman. After many years as a global CEO, he now focuses on his lifelong passion for Native American heritage. His wife is a Special Needs Educator in Oman, and his two sons live in the USA. He loves hearing from like-minded readers, at www.dawnvoyager.com

https://amzn.to/2Raojxj

Posted in reviews

The Girl The Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young Review

I received this book as part of a giveaway from Goodreads. All opinions are my own. 

A brutal attack on a recovering society forces a young woman to decide where her place in the world truly is in author Adrienne Young’s latest novel, “The Girl The Sea Gave Back”. 

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The Synopsis

The new gut-wrenching epic from the New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep.

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.

The Review

What a powerful and unique way to delve further into the action-packed YA world that author Adrienne Young created in her first novel Sky in the Deep. A sort of spin-off/sequel to the first book, this novel showcases new clans as they move forward to secure their own power in a new landscape after the two clans of the first book redefined the power of the mainland. 

Questioning the power of fate and destiny, the author brings to life a new heroine and a new set of clans to further the mythology of the mainland and surrounding areas of this amazing fantasy driven world. Delving further into a mixture of Norse history and mythology, The author also does an amazing job of not only entertaining the reader, but bringing to life the life or death stakes of morality and power struggles that threaten civilization as a whole. 

The Verdict

Action-packed, heart-pounding suspense and creatively driven history and mythology, this book is a fantastic entry into the growing world of author Adrienne Young’s Viking-inspired saga. With amazing character development and world building, this is the perfect read for any YA action/fantasy driven narratives, and this book proves how rich with story this world the author has created is. If you haven’t yet, grab your copy of “The Girl The Sea Gave Back” by Adrienne Young today. 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

New York Times bestselling author of SKY IN THE DEEP, THE GIRL THE SEA GAVE BACK & the upcoming FABLE duology from Wednesday Books. Agent: Barbara Poelle, IGLA

Adrienne Young is a born and bred Texan turned California girl. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, scouring antique fairs for old books, sipping wine over long dinners, or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun.

For information on release, appearances, ARCs, giveaways, and exclusive content, sign up for the newsletter at https://adrienneyoungbooks.com/

Instagram: @adrienneyoungbooks

Twitter: @adriennebooks