Guest Blog Post: How to Research For Historical Fiction Novels by Author Rina Z. Neiman

When I took on writing an historical novel, I knew that research was going to be a top priority before any serious writing even began. Here are some of the ways and sources I used to research the background for Born Under Fire, which takes place from 1934-1949 under the British Mandate of Palestine.

  • A majority of my story takes place in the city of Tel Aviv, and I was able to make a trip to Israel early on in the research process. Walking the streets where scenes in the book occur was a way to soak in the smells, sights and sounds of a place, which I could later transfer to the story. I conducted several in-person interviews with her friends and relatives, which were invaluable to verify facts and get a feel for how certain events transpired.
  • Firsthand accounts from this time period were available through books and websites. By searching topics such as “British troops stationed in Palestine 1940s” I was able to find actual accounts and photos of veterans from that era. Reading these accounts gave me a good understanding of how a particular group of people felt about events happening at the time.
  • Movies from that era and historical documentaries gave me a sense of what it was like at the time, and there is nothing better than hearing about an event than from the people that were there. Above and Beyond: The Untold True Story gave me a wonderful history of the birth of the Israel Air Force that I used as background for one of the main characters.
  • Director Steven Spielberg’s The Spielberg Collection is an invaluable source for Jewish themed films and newsreels. Newsreels with narration give a sense of what public perception was about a particular event of the day.

  • Reading original archived newspaper reports about an event are accessible via the internet or your local library. For Jewish-themed newspapers, the Historical Jewish Press archives is a great resource. There are websites of newspaper archives depending on your area of interest, and your local library has loads of resources that you can use.

For a full list of resources and links I used for my novel, see: https://www.bornunderfire.com/links

Rina Z. Neiman recently published her first book, Born Under Fire, an historical novel based on her mother who was born in Tel Aviv in 1928. As she comes of age the State of Israel is born. #bornunderfirethebook https://www.amazon.com/author/rinaneiman  www.bornunderfire.com

About the Author, Rina Z. Neiman

Rina Z. Neiman is a writer, event producer and public relations professional. Born Under Fire is based on the true story of her mother, Shulamit Dubno Neiman, a Sabra, a musician and one of the first generation of modern-day Israelis. Rina lives in Marin County, California with her husband and son. This is her first novel.

You may find out more about the author and her book by visiting the website https://www.bornunderfire.com/. Also, you may find her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

— Blog Tour Dates

May 20th @ The Muffin

What goes better in the morning than a muffin! So, grab your coffee and join us today as we celebrate the launch of Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire. Read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book.

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

May 21st @ Karen Brown Tyson Blog

Make sure you stop by Karen’s blog today where you can read Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about how to manage time and distractions during the book writing process. If you are writing a book – or thinking about writing one – this one is a post you don’t want to miss!

https://karenbrowntyson.com/blog/

May 22nd @ Coffee with Lacey

Grab some coffee and visit Lacey’s blog today where you can read her review about Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire.

https://coffeewithlacey.com/

May 23rd @ Coffee with Lacey

Stop by Lacey’s blog again where you can read the author Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about why researching primary sources is so effective.

https://coffeewithlacey.com/

May 23rd @ Bri’s Book Nook

Looking for a new book? Make sure to stop by Bri’s Book Nook and find out why you need to add Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire to your reading list.

https://brisbooknook.com/

May 24th @ One Sister’s Journey

Today is a can’t miss review by Lisa over at One Sister’s Journey blog. She’s sharing her thoughts about Rina Z. Neiman’s historical fiction book Born Under Fire.

https://www.lisambuske.com/

May 26th @ Reading Whale

You won’t want to miss today’s stop at the blog Reading Whale where you can read this Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about when you can finally start writing your book after all that research.

https://readingwhale.com/

May 27th @ The Burgeoning Bookshelf

Fill your bookshelf with good books! Stop by Veronica’s blog and read author Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about writing biographical fiction and when to dramatize real events.

https://theburgeoningbookshelf.blogspot.com/

May 28th @ Helen Hollick’s World of Books

Join Helen Hollick’s Tuesday Talk over at her blog and read Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about how videos can reinforce your historical novel.

May 28th @ Book Collab Blog

https://www.helenhollick.net/

Make sure you stop by Morgan’s blog Book Collab where you can find out what she has to say about Rina Z. Neiman’s historical fiction book Born Under Fire.

https://morganbray15.wixsite.com/mysite

May 29th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

If you love historical fiction, make sure you visit Anthony Avina’s blog today where he features author Rina Z. Neiman’s blog post about how she researched her historical fiction novel Born Under Fire. You won’t want to miss this!

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

May 31st @ Jess Reading Blog

Are you interested in writing history for young adults? If you are, you will absolutely want to visit Jess’ blog today where author Rina Z. Neiman talks about writing history for young adults and what grabs them and what loses them.

https://jessbookishlife.wordpress.com/

June 1st @ The World of My Imagination

Come by Nicole’s blog today where you can read her review of Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire and enter to win a copy of the book.

http://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com

June 2nd @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Can’t resist a good book? Visit author Anthony Avina’s blog today when he reviews Rina Z. Neiman’s incredible historical fiction book Born Under Fire.

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

June 3rd @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Looking for your next great read? Make sure you stop by Bev’s blog today and catch her opinion on this fascinating historical fiction novel Born Under Fire.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

June 4th @ Amanda Diaries

Today’s stop is at Amanda’s blog where you can read what she thinks about Rina Z. Neiman’s historical fiction book Born Under Fire. 

https://amandalsanders1989.wordpress.com/

June 5th @ The Frugalista Mom

Visit Rozelyn’s blog today where you can not only read her review of Born Under Fire but also enter to win a copy of the book!

https://thefrugalistamom.com/

June 7th @ Bookworm Blog

Feeling bookish today? Make sure you stop by Anjanette’s Bookworm blog where you can read her thoughts about Rina Z. Neiman’s powerful historical fiction book Born Under Fire plus read an interview with the author.

https://bookworm66.wordpress.com/

June 8th @ Jessica’s Reading Room

Today’s tour stop is a fantastic guest post written by author Rina Z. Neiman about how to make stories interactive. A must-read for all the writers out there!

http://jessicasreadingroom.com/

June 9th @ Jess Bookish Life

Need a new book in your life? Stop by Jess’ blog today where she shares her opinion about the historical fiction book Born Under Fire.

https://jessbookishlife.wordpress.com/

June 10th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Are you doing research for your novel? Make sure you visit Bev’s blog today where author Rina Z. Neiman is talking about top 5 ways to research secondary sources.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

June 12th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Get to know author Rina Z. Neiman at today’s stop over at author Anthony Avina’s blog where he interviews the author.

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

June 14th @ Bookworm Blog

Visit Anjanette’s blog today and read a guest post by the author who talks about making your story interactive and why adding music is so effective.

https://bookworm66.wordpress.com/

June 15th @ Strength 4 Spouses

Visit Wendi’s blog at Strength 4 Spouses where you can read Rina Z. Neiman’s guest post about the importance of writing during deployment.

June 17th @ 12 Books

Visit Louise’s blog over at 12 Books and find out her thoughts about Rina Z. Neiman’s book Born Under Fire.

June 21st @ Choices Blog

Interviewing someone for your book? Make sure you visit Madeline Sharples’ blog today where Rina Z. Neiman talks about how to conduct interviews with people who are (and who are not) willing to talk with you.

http://madelinesharples.com/

June 23rd @ Strength 4 Spouses Blog

Need a new book? Make sure you stop by Wendi’s blog where she reviews Born Under Fire by Rina Z. Neiman.

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The Second Life of Eddie Coyne by Louis K. Lowy Review

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

A man lost to his gambling addiction finds himself making the ultimate bet when his very soul is on the line in author Louis K. Lowy’s latest book, “The Second Life of Eddie Coyne”. 

The Synopsis

A dying gambler takes on one final bet for the ultimate prize—a chance to save his soul.

Eddie Coyne loves playing the horses. Loves it so much it’s ruining his relationship with his wife and six-year-old son. In a last ditch effort to prove he’s not a loser in their eyes, Eddie places a seemingly impossible bet on a long shot and hits pay dirt.

But before he can cash in and make amends with his family, he’s attacked and left for dead by a greedy hoodlum looking to cash in on Eddie’s winnings. Dying, Eddie wakes up in the presence of the Jesses, a monolithic group of six whose job it is to decide who enters heaven and who enters hell. The Jesses tell Eddie he’s stuck in the middle—not good enough for heaven, not bad enough for hell. They entice him to go in on one final bet to break the dead heat. 

If he triumphs, they stamp his ticket to paradise. If he loses, he spends eternity in the netherworld. The bet? Eddie must prevent someone chosen by the Jesses from taking their own life. Thinking it will be a piece of cake, Eddie agrees. He quickly learns the Jesses are more cunning than he’d imagined.

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The Review

This is a truly fun, unexpected and masterful jump into the fantasy world that readers will thoroughly enjoy. This adult narrative holds no punches, showing the highs and lows of a man who loves his family but took life for granted, and bet one too many times. From the moment Eddie finds himself making one final bet with a heavenly body of judges known as the Jesses, readers are taken on a whirlwind adventure through time and history as Eddie is given chance after chance to save the life of someone who has given up on life, and must show them why life is worth living. 

The story is compelling and emotional throughout, giving equal glimpses of humor, wit and shocking twists that readers won’t expect. A book that delves into the concept of not only life and death, but realizing what is truly important in one’s life, readers will be impressed by how the author has balanced the fantasy elements of the story with personal character reflections between Eddie and the secondary characters. 

The Verdict

This is a must read novel to be sure. One of the top fantasy books of the year that holds a sense of realism to the tone novel, the author has done a fantastic job of bringing the story of life and it’s many wonders to light in a fresh and unique way. Elements of time travel, history and action fuse intimately with the emotional pull of Eddie both as a character and an unlikely hero in this tale, making it a one of a kind read to be sure. If you haven’t yet, grab your copy of “The Second Life of Eddie Coyne” by Louis K. Lowy May 28th, 2019!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Louis’ latest novel, the urban fantasy, THE SECOND LIFE OF EDDIE COYNE is the story of a dying gambler who takes on one final bet for the ultimate prize—a chance to save his soul. The release date is May 27, 2019. (IFWG Publishing)

TO DREAM, book one of his science fiction epic, ANATOMY OF A HUMACHINE (IFWG Publishing), was released in 2017.

Louis K. Lowy’s first published novel, DIE LAUGHING (IFWG Publishing 2011), is a humorously dark science fiction adventure set in the 1950s.

His 2015 novel, PEDAL (Rereleased in 2017 by IFWG Publishing), tells the story of a 49-yr-old music teacher who loses her job and struggles to reclaim her life through bicycle racing.

Louis’ short stories have appeared in, among others, New Plains Review, The MacGuffin Magazine, the anthology Everything is Broken, and the Chaffey Review.

A former firefighter, he is the recipient of a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship and an alumnus of Florida International University’s creative writing program.

His website is www.louisklowy.com. In addition to Goodreads, he is on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

https://louisklowy.com

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001621851402

https://tinyurl.com/IFWG-Lowy

https://ifwgpublishing.com/

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Bloody Coffee by Michelle Dim-St. Pierre Review

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

A young woman struggles with the secrets her mother kept and who she really is in author Michelle Dim-St. Pierre’s novel, “Bloody Coffee”.

The Synopsis

Eighteen-year-old Leigh arrives at a Tel Aviv hospital, seeking information about her probable father, Dr. Sloan, who had a cardiac arrest right after they met for the first time. As she stands next to her father’s bed and watches him, her past, present and future collide. Despite the advice of those around her, Leigh decides to face the challenges of the legal system in Israel. She obtains a court order for a paternity test and confronts Sloan.

During her quest to find the truth about her biological father, Leigh is exposed to violent religious intolerance, faces life in a country where church and state are not separate, and meets the man who may be her first true love. Will she change her view of the world she thought she knew? Will she forgive her mother? Will a gunshot change her attitude towards her probable father? And, what will she say to Steve, the only father she ever really had?

The Review

While I myself have not read book 1 in this series, Bloody Coffee is a powerful and emotionally charged read that instantly connects with readers. From the book’s first pages the action and drama takes off, as the protagonist is still reeling from surprise introductions and jarring hospital visits.

The story is a fantastic read overall, but it’s the heavy focus on protagonist Leigh and her interactions with the supporting cast and larger than life setting of Tel Aviv that truly defines the novel. Her emotional journey of discovery about her true parentage and fighting against a system intertwined with religion and uphill battles, (on top of a budding romance to boot), make her a truly one of a kind protagonist readers are invested in immediately.

The Verdict

Overall I love the book. An evenly paced read that constantly maintains the drama and delivers an overall story that readers can relate to with themes that are more relevant than ever before, any newcomers to this series like myself will be on the edge of their seat the entire time. If you haven’t yet be sure to grab your copy of “Bloody Coffee” by Michelle Dim-St. Pierre today!

Rating: 10/10

 

 

Trailer:

Html: https://www.youtube.com/embed/eMPXVvwPBMc” width=”480″>

Or

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMPXVvwPBMc

About the Author:

Michelle Dim-St. Pierre was born in Tel-Aviv, Israel, where she spent more than half of her life before relocating to the United States.

She lived through four wars and served in the Israel Defense Forces for two years. Unlike her first year of service in an armored division in the Golan Heights, she served her second year serving in the medical corps where she interacted directly with the injured soldiers of the Peace of Galilee war and their families. This interaction, along with the exposure to the hospital atmosphere, fascinated Michelle and further touched her heart.  She went on to get a BS degree in Nursing in Tel-Aviv, and practiced internationally for 32 years in various positions in the surgical field and quickly advanced into health care administration. During her career she worked in the Operating Room, Recovery Room, and CCU—along with many other duties.

Writing was Michelle’s outlet at first, but it soon became her passion. Now, she is a full-time writer. Her international background, along with her military and nursing experience is always at the tip of her pen. Her first novel, Pinnacle Lust, started the Pinnacle trilogy and won the Beach Book Festival in the Romance category, as well as received several honorable mentions in other book contests. It was published to rave reviews.

Michelle is a world traveler who enjoys cooking epicurean food and creating original recipes. She currently splits her time between Florida and Georgia, where she is at work on her next two books.

Find Michelle Online:

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13199731.Michelle_Dim_St_Pierre

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25048045-pinnacle-

lust?from_search=true

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/MichelleDimStPierre/

LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelle-dim-st-pierre-

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ails%3BWeblk5O2Qdm11u1AWbQYhw%3D%3D

Website(s):

www.MichelleDimStPierre.com

www.PinnacleLust.com

www.BloodyCoffeeBook.com

 

Buy the Book:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/163183522X?ref=myi_title_dp

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bloody-coffee-michelle-dim-st-pierre/1131320894?ean=2940161424711

Apple Store: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1461500705

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/bloody-coffee

Publisher: https://www.shop.booklogix.com/Bloody-Coffee-Hardcover-20881-HC.htm

Blog Tour Dates

Launch Day – May 13th

Michelle Dim-St. Pierre launches her tour of “Bloody Coffee” with an interview and giveaway at the Muffin!

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

May 14th @ Jill Sheets

Jill Sheets hosts Michelle Dim-St. Pierre with a guest post about Michelle’s writing process. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about “Bloody Coffee” and this successful author!

https://jillsheets.blogspot.com

May 16th @ BreakEven Books

Today’s author spotlight at BreakEven books is Michelle Dim-St. Pierre with her latest bestselling novel “Bloody Coffee” – a psychological thriller!

https://breakevenbooks.com/

May 17th @ Reviews by Deb

Deb Blanchard reviews “Bloody Coffee” by Michelle Dim-St. Pierre and shares her thoughts with friends on Facebook and Goodreads!

https://www.facebook.com/Reviews-by-Deb-1737715249887520/

May 20th @ Coffee with Lacey

Lacey delights her readers with her review of “Bloody Coffee” – this is thrilling novel readers can’t get enough of – find out more about Lacey’s thoughts and Michelle Dim-St. Pierre’s book by stopping at Coffee with Lacey today!

https://coffeewithlacey.com/

May 21st @ Amanda Diaries

Amanda L. Sanders offers her review of “Bloody Coffee”. Readers will delight in learning more about this fast-paced mystery!

https://amandadiaries.com/

May 22nd @ The Muffin

Crystal Otto from WOW! Women on Writing couldn’t put down “Bloody Coffee” by Michelle Dim-St. Pierre and she can’t wait to tell readers of the Muffin about this absolute must read thriller! Today is Michelle’s birthday – will Crystal give her a 5 Star Present? Stop by to find out!

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

May 24th @ Author Anthony Avina

Fellow author Anthony Avina gives a raving review after reading Michelle Dim-St. Pierre’s thrilling mystery “Bloody Coffee” – readers won’t want to miss the opportunity to hear Anthony’s insight into this must read novel!

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

May 27th @ Beverley A. Baird

Michelle Dim-St. Pierre has done it again with another best seller – this time it’s a mystery/thriller called “Bloody Coffee” and Beverley A. Baird can’t wait to tell readers all about it in her review! This is a complex and suspenseful mystery readers will be excited to get their hands on!

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

May 28th @ Deal Sharing Aunt

Vicki, the Deal Sharing Aunt, shares her thoughts after reading the latest novel by Michelle Dim-St. Pierre. Readers won’t want to miss the opportunity to learn more about “Bloody Coffee”!

http://dealsharingaunt.blogspot.com/

May 29th @ Margo Dill

Editor and Author Margo Dill couldn’t wait to read “Bloody Coffee” by Michelle Dim-St. Pierre. Stop by her blog today and read her review about this thrilling new release!

https://editor-911.com/articles

May 30th @ Sreevarsha  Sreejith

“Bloody Coffee” by Michelle Dim-St. Pierre travels all the way to France today as Sreevarsha Sreejith reviews this mystery and shares her thoughts with readers at her book blog!

https://sreejithsreevarsha.wordpress.com/

June 3rd @ World of My Imagination

Nicole Pyles couldn’t put down this 5 star read – let’s hear her review of “Bloody Coffee” by Michelle Dim-St. Pierre. Readers will delight as they put this mystery/thriller on their TBRPile!

https://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com/

June 5th @ Bring on Lemons with Tara Forst

Wisconsin business woman and mother, Tara Forst is a friend of WOW! and is excited to talk about her thoughts after reading “Bloody Coffee” by Michelle Dim-St. Pierre. Don’t miss this review and giveaway!

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

June 6th @ Cassandra’s Writing World

Stop by Cassandra’s Writing World to hear more about Michelle Dim-St. Pierre and her latest best seller “Bloody Coffee” as Cassandra shares her review with readers!

http://cassandra-mywritingworld.blogspot.com/

June 7th @ Choices with Madeline Sharples

The author spotlight at Choices today is Michelle Dim-St. Pierre with her latest bestselling thriller “Bloody Coffee” – readers won’t want to miss an opportunity to learn more about this fabulous novel!

http://madelinesharples.com/

Tales of Potentia: The Shadows by J.J. Angel Review

A small group of teens find themselves forever changed as an alien threatens to destroy the world in author J.J. Angel’s novel “Tales of Potentia: The Shadows”.

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

A small group of teens find themselves forever changed as an alien threatens to destroy the world in author J.J. Angel’s novel “Tales of Potentia: The Shadows”. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis 

Humanity has always wanted to understand the inner soul of the cosmic web we call the Universe. They fulfill their curiosity with exploration hoping for eternal enlightenment, but what if something darkened their views? Something that could wipe out the entire Earth if given the opportunity?

Tales of Potentia: the Shadows, is the first rush in a thrilling and nail-biting supernatural fantasy series that entertains your curiosity and teases your imagination with an endless war between the Universe and the Absence of Light.

When a cosmic entity unleashes on an unsuspecting community, it carries an insatiable hunger and a hostile attitude with it.

The only resolve against this threat lies within the hands of a few teens, who gain mysterious supernatural abilities from a mysterious crystal not of this Earth. However, everything is not as it seems and if they don’t find out how to use Potentia correctly they will find themselves next on the menu.

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The Review

This was a fun new sci-fi/fantasy novel that began an intriguing new mythology that will hopefully expand further into a series. The book immediately jumps into the action and mystery of the deadly new threat, slowly building up to a story of monstrous and bloodthirsty creatures, a lone survivor looking to stop the threat forever, government agencies and innocent teens whose lives are changed forever by the discovery of powerful energies that merge with them unexpectedly.

The story was evenly paced, and did a marvelous job of presenting characters that were relatable and easy to cheer for. While there were a few instances of grammatical and misplaced word mistakes, the story overall was powerful and the author does a marvelous job of setting up this intricately detailed new galactic mythology without giving away too many details early on. By book’s end the stage is set for an expanding series, teasing growing threats and the power these teens have to face the coming darkness. 

The Verdict

This is a must read novel for anyone who is a fan of sci-fi and fantasy driven narratives. Especially geared towards a YA audience, both YA and Adult audiences will enjoy the chilling tale of monsters and aliens that descends on the world, and the few people who will find their lives changed forever. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of Tales of Potentia: The Shadows by J.J. Angel today!

Rating: 8/10

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About the Author

J.J. Angel, also know by his other pseudonym J.J. Angelus, is an energetic, humorous, but equally focused creative author who enjoys immersing his ideas and creating imaginary worlds within the realms of science fiction, fantasy, and some horror. He is a former Entertainment Tech Film Major of Baton Rouge Community College and a recipient of the Unsung Hero Award for his contribution towards the anthology, “Voices from the Bayou”, with emotional and thought provoking narrative, “Still Water Runs Deep”. 

When he isn’t writing, JJ enjoys creature features, evening walks by the river, poetry, volunteering, and digital art and animation.

Website:  https://www.talesofpotentia.com

Twitter: @powerthenovel

Facebook: Facebook profile

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/animated_author/

Wattpad: JaiAngel7

Blog: http://powernovelseries.blogspot.com/

Amusing Musings: Hilarious one-liners and deep thoughts for the offbeat sense of humor by J.J. Harlan Review

Readers should be prepared for a journey of hilarious proportions as they delve into the book of fantastic one-liners and humorous thoughts in author J.J. Harlan’s novel “Amusing Musings: Hilarious one-liners and deep thoughts for the offbeat sense of humor”.

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

Readers should be prepared for a journey of hilarious proportions as they delve into the book of fantastic one-liners and humorous thoughts in author J.J. Harlan’s novel “Amusing Musings: Hilarious one-liners and deep thoughts for the offbeat sense of humor”. Here is the synopsis. 

The Synopsis

Warning: This book may be a choking hazard if read while eating or drinking.

If you’re a fan of Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey, then you’re going to love Amusing Musings.

Get ready to enjoy the most hilarious book of the year. This hysterical compilation of profound thoughts and hilarious one liners will make you laugh until you cry. Relish delightfully witty quotes such as these:

“I bet a popular joke in the medieval days was to sneak up behind a knight and stick a “kick me” sign on his armor with a magnet.” 

“I think it would be a good idea if scientists invented a new fruit. It should look like an orange, but, ‘surprise’, it tastes like a watermelon. Also, it screams when you peel it.”

“If cats could talk, I bet that when they cleaned themselves they’d never shut up about how good they taste.”

If you are a fan of non-sequitur comedy in the style of Mitch HedburgSteven Wright, or Saturday Night Live’s Jack Handey, then buy this outrageously entertaining book now!

It’s the perfect funny gift for men or women with an offbeat sense of humor!

The Review

This is the perfect read for anyone who is looking for a book that won’t delve heavily into character or narrative based storytelling. Instead this novel brings a series of humorous situations and offbeat lines that only someone with a rich sense of humor could enjoy. From tales of haunted mansions and its bathrooms to the ancient Egyptians and snack foods, this amazing book brings some truly one of a kind humor into the reader’s life.

As the author themselves point out, the novel really does remind me personally of the old SNL Jack Handey sketches that told the same offbeat humor stories and tales that would always throw people off in the most bizarre yet humorous way.  It’s a great way to lighten up anyone’s mood and take readers away from the seriousness of life, and showcases the unique wit and comedy of the author. 

The Verdict

This is a must read book. Although a short read to be sure, the book delivers a powerful punch to the funny bone as readers are transported into this humorous world of the author’s making. Taking the funniest one-liners and odd tales and compiling them into this wonderful collection is sure to make readers laugh and chuckle as they think upon the strange and amusing stories they just read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of “Amusing Musings” by J.J. Harlan today!

Rating: 9/10

The Mark of Fallen Flame by Brittany Matsen Review

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

A young woman struggling to plant roots in Seattle after a lifetime of moving around discovers a terrifying power within herself, a world of secrets her mother has hidden from her and a deadly war she is forced into in author Brittany Matsen’s novel The Mark of Fallen Flame. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis 

Emma:

A seventeen-year-old girl just trying to find a place in an unsteady world. With her mother moving them around her entire life, no one has been permanent.

When senior year begins, Emma is determined to sink some roots into Seattle and finally start living life. Especially when she discovers she has the power to kill terrifying monsters with a single touch. Suddenly, a whole new world explodes around her.

The new boy in school that is mysteriously in every one of her classes is too beautiful to be human. Her best friend is acting strange, and her mother’s lies may finally be too many to contain. The protectors of the human race–the Giborim–are more than a little eager to use Emma’s power in the war that’s coming. But her allegiance may be forced in order to save everyone she loves.

Levaroth:

Shediem. General of Sheol. Servant and confidant to Asmodeus, Prince of Wrath.

“Spying the wild, auburn beauty with eyes like emeralds for the first time, I don’t know what comes over me. I have to get closer. She smells of sunshine and purity. You may not think that’s something you can smell, but you can. It’s rarely untainted, but with her…She can’t help but care about everyone she meets, and I need to know why. So I watch her, learn about her. But something is changing in me. Shediem do not feel emotions, we taste them. We devour them. Yet my kills are less satisfying and all I can think about is her face. Her disgust. But she can’t be pure if she’s to be mine. And I will have her.”

The Review 

This was a powerful fantasy driven narrative that did a marvelous job of creating a new mythology that readers will instantly be enthralled by. Powerful and creepy creatures blended perfectly with relatable and interesting characters to drive the novel forward at a reasonable pace.

The thing I love about this book besides the unique mythology created by the author was how the book didn’t waste anytime jumping into the action of the plot. From the first 20 pages or so the author takes readers head first into this fantasy and partly horror driven narrative and doesn’t hold any punches, establishing the dangers and the stakes early on. 

The Verdict 

This is a must read fantasy book that readers will instantly fall in love with. Full of engaging characters, a gripping love triangle and a great story, this is one book you don’t want to miss. Be sure to preorder your copy today or grab your copy on May 31st, 2019! 

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

I’m an American by birth but a Kiwi at heart, living in the wondrous New Zealand with my husband. Writing has been a passion since I was very young. In middle school I had articles published in the local newspaper, and the school paper in high school. I attended the Institute of Children’s Literature with the hope of one day creating stories for the world.

When I’m not dreaming up monsters or tortured heroes you can find me hiking somewhere lush and green.

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I Am Marcus Fox by Bryon Cahill Review

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

One man’s grand story of his life blurs the line between reality and fiction in author Bryon Cahill’s novel “I Am Marcus Fox”. Here is the synopsis.

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The Synopsis

A dangerous man on the brink of madness recounts his life story—a nonstop, action-adventure thrill ride that proves fiction is stranger than truth.

Texas, 1967. Marcus Fox is born to notorious outlaw parents who are always on the run. Unaccustomed to any semblance of a stable family life, the often-neglected child is quick to realize Mom and Dad are driven by sheer violence and mayhem. Hiding out in cheap motels between heists, Marcus’s favorite pastime is listening to his father tell tall tales. He also secretly yearns for any glimmer of love from his monstrous mother. But those banks and roadside diners aren’t going to rob themselves. 

Zambia, Africa, 1973. Six-year-old Marcus Fox is abandoned. Adopted by a local tribesman and his wife, he learns their ways and survives along the Zambezi River. As he grows, Marcus becomes an experienced hunter and fights unimaginable beasts for his supper. But the one animal he can’t best is the ferocious lion within. In the prime of his life, Marcus finds himself strapped with an orphan baby of his own. Acting as both brother and father to the growing boy, Marcus must protect him from the nutty, imperceptible call of nature and shield him from the lucid lure of human contact.

The lines between reality and fantasy blur as Marcus, an unreliable narrator, navigates his most penetrating memories. In retelling his hero’s journey, Marcus reminisces on tragedy and farcical comedy, terror and psychological warfare. At times, he will even question his own sanity. 

Never faltering in his tale, Marcus paints an unbelievable story with larger-than-life bravado. But his overconfidence may just shake him apart and disrupt the infinite, swirling cosmos.

The Review

This has to be one of the most unique and fascinating character driven narratives I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a long time. A truly one of a kind story of a man who’s very existence is called into question as his life’s story becomes more and more surreal and his encounters become more and more “otherworldly” at times, this novel brings a unique study of the nature of one’s self. In the grand scheme of things, when any of us stop to look back on our lives, the biggest question we inevitably ask is, “Who are we?” And in that moment for the protagonist, the narrator responds calmly, “I Am Marcus Fox”. 

The book was evenly paced and provided a great deal of character growth. Heavily leaning on the protagonist’s life rather than a complex plot, the author beautifully captures the line between the reality most of the world sees, and the reality some of us tell ourselves or simply believe to be. It’s a fascinating story that will instantly capture the readers attention, and is a unique take on creating or interpreting a mythology to fit into an author’s vision. 

The Verdict

This is a must read novel for anyone who enjoys character studies, African literature and mythology, and drama fueled with satire and humor. A story of abandonment, violence, and the journey to discover who we are, the story will have readers heart’s pounding as they look to discover for themselves who Marcus Fox really is, and if his story is true or just true for him. If you haven’t yet, be sure to pick up your copy of I Am Marcus Fox by author Bryon Cahill today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Bryon Cahill is an author for all ages. A Stay-At-Home Dad by day and night, he writes by proverbial candlelight in the wee strange hours of morning. 

In the past, Bryon was an award-winning writer and editor of literary publications for teens. His stories, influenced by phantasmagorical classics such as Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, do often steer off-course, alighting on the wings of the fantastical.

When not writing or Dadding, Bryon dreams of sleeping sheep. He summers, winters, springs, and falls with his loving family along the sunny beaches of the Jersey Shore.

I Am Marcus Fox is Bryon’s debut novel for adult readers. It will be available for human consumption on May 7, 2019. 

Novels steeped in magical realism for young adult and middle grade readers are forthcoming, as is more fiction for adults.

Website & Blog: www.bryoncahill.com

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/bryoncahill

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