Monkey Man by M.N. Snow Review

A futuristic, punk-style story brings four very different individuals together in a world few would recognize in author M.N. Snow’s novel “Monkey Man”.

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

A futuristic, punk-style story brings four very different individuals together in a world few would recognize in author M.N. Snow’s novel “Monkey Man”. 

The Synopsis

Cyberpunk?  This ain’t it.

Steam-punk?  Wrong again.

This is New-Burn® Coal-punk, set in the present of a slightly altered, not too distant future.

Belay that, call it future-punk and be done with it.

Global warming fixes have overshot their mark and boomeranged the world into global cooling. With global cooling came the flooding of the lower Great Lakes. Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland, Toronto, etcetera—all flooded out. A majority of the refugees have been relocated to The Zone, the formerly named Twin Ports of Duluth, MN and Superior, WI—now the third largest city in the North American Protectorate, and easily the coldest.

Four people are drawn together in this wintry port city on the far western edge of Lake Superior.

–Delores Manning, a shrewd, New York femme fatale chasing her ex-husband and the money he stole from her.

–Wally Moon, back from his fifth combat tour, on three different continents, in a world perpetually at war.

–Julie Newman, recently a civilian, laying low and wondering if it’s paranoia, or is someone really after her.

–Finally, Danny “Java” Vacha (Vuh-SHAY)—who is definitely NOT a private detective. What he is is a combat vet who lives as far off the skyline as possible. However, he has been known to occasionally look into things and, perhaps, to settle the odd score or two for people. And with all the dry-grade digital and wet-grade bio military enhancements he has endured, he can be quite effective at that job.

In Wally Moon’s words, “Think of Java as Robin Hood… with a lead-pipe.”

Bundle up and enter their bleak world.

And watch your back.

The Review

What really stands out about this novel above all else is the effortless way the author blends so many different genres into one narrative. One moment readers are in a future punk style setting filled with people who have been physically and mentally altered or enhanced, and then in the next readers are exploring a noir style mystery with a futuristic military and espionage thriller bend. Yet the narrative never feel confusing or overstocked, instead bringing a new natural mixture of genres that really works in the reader’s benefit. 

The characters themselves are also a huge draw. In this futuristic, cataclysmically different world the author has created, the characters feel both cinematic and relatable all at once. The core connection these characters share speaks of a story of makeshift families, struggles with the vices of our world and the horrors of war on the human psyche. These deep, emotional and wonderfully told elements of the characters only serve to better enhance the narrative set in this action-packed punk world. 

The Verdict

This is a new punk style novel that any fan of cyberpunk, Neo-noir style punk or any other reader of the overall genre will absolutely fall in love with. It’s an evenly paced read filled with twists and turns, and creates a detailed image of the scenes playing out in the reader’s minds. From mind control and sexually driven body modifications to military black ops and the bonds of a self-made family, this adult noir-punk style novel is beautifully written and a must read book in 2019. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of M.N. Snow’s “Monkey Man” today!

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

M. N. SNow’s fiction has been published in “Decimos-We Say” and “Oeuvre Magazine.” Snow’s first novel, “The Helper”, was published in 2017. The author was also a contributing writer for “Reader Weekly”, in Duluth, MN. SNow’s bio includes years as a public radio host and anchor, primarily in the south Florida market, but also for Wisconsin Public Radio. M. N. is also a published poet, a published cartoonist, and a former Marine Corps NCO. The author’s time is divided between Key West and the south Florida mainland, with occasional trips back home to The Zone.

Advertisements

Soteria: The Crisis Forge By Roberto Arcoleo Review

Two very different brothers from another world must find a way to save two worlds and discover the truth of their purpose on Earth in author Roberto Arcoleo’s novel “Soteria: The Crisis Forge”.

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

Two very different brothers from another world must find a way to save two worlds and discover the truth of their purpose on Earth in author Roberto Arcoleo’s novel “Soteria: The Crisis Forge”. 

The Synopsis

SENT TO EARTH TO SAVE IT, MARK AND JASON MUST UNRAVEL THE TRUTH OF THEIR MISSION BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.

While on a routine transportation run, an ore hauler from the planet Eldern discovers that humans on Earth have developed nuclear capabilities. What’s more, they learn an asteroid is on a trajectory that will destroy all known life on the planet forty years in the future. The Council of Eldern decides to intervene. A plan is drawn up and twin emissaries are sent to Earth to save it.

Mark and Jason grow up and settle into Manhattan in the 1960s. With protests, vibrant art, and a thriving music scene, the city is pulsating with energy and the future looks bright. More powers are revealed to the twins but few details about their mission are provided. As the time grows closer for them to fulfill their duty, they sense that things are not as they seem.

With the fate of both planets in the balance and time running out, can Mark and Jason unravel the truth before it is too late?

The Review: 

This book is an interesting and creative blend of classic sci-fi world building and mythology mixed with an infusion of late 60’s/early 70’s culture and style from Earth that makes this a fun and exciting read. The mix of otherworldly powers, alien worlds and world ending threats somehow feel natural when combined with relatable characters, stories of newfound love and the honest look at different relationships and how they grow or fall apart. 

Showcasing the very different outlooks on humanity and life in general between the two brothers Mark and Jason as they grow older was interesting to see, and the author did a great job of not wasting time building a lot of backstory before diving head first into the book’s narrative. It was an evenly paced read that held many twists and turns and created a fun new sci-fi mythology many can get behind. 

The Verdict

This is a must read novel. A phenomenal first entry in what promises to be an exciting new sci-fi series (one can hope), the book is an adult narrative filled with passion, romance, action and unbelievable sci-fi powers and technology that both seem out of place in the era of the novel’s story and somehow fits in all at once. This is a book you won’t want to miss, so be sure to pick up your copy of Soteria: The Crisis Forge by Roberto Arcoleo today! 

Rating: 10/10

Guest Blog Post: What I’m Writing Now, Now That My Novel Is on the Shelves By Madeline Sharples

Hey everyone, Author Anthony Avina here. I’m honored today to be sharing with you this guest blog post from author Madeline Sharples, author of the recently reviewed book, Papa’s Shoes, in association with Women on Writing Tours. I hope you all will enjoy it and please make sure to comment on this post and share it as well. Enjoy everyone.

Hey everyone, Author Anthony Avina here. I’m honored today to be sharing with you this guest blog post from author Madeline Sharples, author of the recently reviewed book, Papa’s Shoes, in association with Women on Writing Tours. I hope you all will enjoy it and please make sure to comment on this post and share it as well. Enjoy everyone.


I didn’t think I had another book in me after I finished my novel, Papa’s Shoes. Writing that took a long time even though I didn’t work on it straight through all those nine years. But when I had finished the tenth revision, I felt my book writing days were over.

However, I started to get itchy to write something else when I started querying publishers – exactly what I did in 2010. I started my novel while I was querying publishers for my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On.

I took one look in the mirror and realized from my aging face that I’m at that stage in my life when I have almost all of it to look back on. I just turned seventy-nine, and my mirror told me I looked it. 

So I thought I could write a memoir from an old wise woman’s approach to turning eighty. I could write about the secrets of staying married to the same man for forty-nine years and living in the same house for forty years. Really where have all those years gone? And really that brings up another big question – how much time do my husband and I have left anyway, and what are we doing to prepare for our last years? Or better yet, how we’re handling our lives right now as we age – each at a different paces. Yes, I decided another memoir or even two are a real possibility. The options are endless: how we’re still working at surviving the loss of our son in 1999, what we eat, how we sleep, my health and exercise program, about our travels, and what do we do all day at our age.

Another thing that triggered my decision to write this new memoir is the many people my age who are sick or have died. Just yesterday I heard about the death of a wonderful work colleague and friend much younger than me who died of a massive heart attack. With those facts in mind I decided to bring aging healthy into the book. I am very fit for my age. I workout every day and eat healthy. Why couldn’t I write a memoir about aging healthy? 

I hope readers will take a good look at themselves and what they are doing to live the rest of their lives successfully. I hope they will take my examples about what to do and what not to do as I age seriously. For example, I recently spent a few days with my cousin who is four years younger than I. She is out of shape and doesn’t eat very healthy. But while I was with her we took long, fast walks every day, and she’s still taking them even though I’m not with her. She says I was an inspiration to her. I hope to be an inspiration to all my readers. 

I also have to contend with the hardest parts to write: 1) the lasting effects of our older son’s suicide death in 1999, 2) my married son and daughter-in-law’s decision to live a married life without children, and 3) some regrets about decisions I’ve made over the years. I know all of us have life experiences that are hard to write and talk about. We also have regrets. Hopefully my writing about these things will engage my readers in thinking how they’ve lived their own lives and what they can improve on for their futures.

So far, I’ve written the first draft to this brief outline:

PART ONE

  1. What stage of life I am in right now
  2. A little looking back – maybe incorporate my reunion experiences of seeing old classmates and being in the neighborhoods where I grew up
  3. What I see when I look in the mirror
  4. My daily routine
  5. What I do to take care of myself
  6. How much I like my privacy and alone time
  7. My physical maladies
  8. My emotional life 
  9. My depression and suicidal thoughts
  10. I say I’m a writer, but what do I really write
  11. My writing routine
  12. My volunteer life: South Bay Cares and WriteGirl
  13. My married life
  14. How my son’s death affects my life now
  15. What about no grandchildren – how has that affected my relationship with my son and daughter-in-law
  16. How I spend my time
  17. Friends and relatives – how much I back away
  18. What I see for the future
  19. What’s next on my bucket list
  20. End of life directives
  21. My beliefs or lack thereof of an afterlife, and my lack of a spiritual life

PART TWO

  1. What advice I give to those heading my way

PART THREE

  1. How I feel about turning eighty and repairing for my imminent 

About the Book:  

Papa’s Shoes, a work of fiction about immigration with a feminist and historical bent. At 99,968 words, Papa’s Shoesis a stand-alone novel with series potential.

Ira Schuman is determined to move his family out of their Polish shtetl to the hope and opportunities he’s heard about in America. But along the way he faces the death of three of his four sons, a wife who does not have the same aspirations as his, and the birth of a daughter, Ava, conceived to make up for the loss of his boys. Ava grows up to be smart, beautiful, and very independent. 

Besides having a feisty relationship with her overly-protective mother, Ava falls for the college man who directs her high school senior class play. With the news that she wants to marry a non-Jewish man, Ira realizes that his plan to assimilate in the new world has backfired. Should the young couple marry, he must decide whether to banish his daughter from his family or welcome them with open arms. Even though he won’t attend their wedding, he makes her a pair a wedding shoes. In his mind, theshoes are simply a gift, not a peace offering. 

·        Print Length: 286 pages

·        Publisher: Aberdeen Bay (April 27, 2019)

·        Publication Date: April 27, 2019

·        ASIN: B07R7MQ6CM

Praise:

“From an insightful storyteller, Papa’s Shoes, is a heartwarming story of courage and love. Author Madeline Sharples has created an epic journey with intriguing twists and surprises along the way. From days of old in Poland to cultural and economic realities in America, this is an awe-inspiring novel about families, generational history, and the incredible power of change. You truly won’t want to put it down!”

—D.A. Hickman, author of Ancients of the Earth: Poems of Time

“Author Madeline Sharples tells the intimate story of an American family, of immigration, tragedy, renewal, and love with grace and the delicate touch of a poet. There’s a raw kind of sweetness in this rich and epic saga.”

—David W. Berner, author of The Consequence of Stars and A Well-Respected Man

“An immigrant family’s braided history – its conflicts, losses, and secrets – come to life in Papa’s Shoes. With loving attention to detail, Madeline Sharples transports readers from a Polish shtetl to the Illinois town where Ira and Ruth settle, and shows us the intimate workings of their

marriage. This family’s triumphant journey to the American Midwest will inspire you long after

you’ve closed these pages.”

—Eleanor Vincent, author of Swimming with Maya: A Mother’s Story

A longer synopsis

On a cold and pouring night in Sokolow Poland, Ira Schuman carefully steps over the red mud puddles on the streets, sad, weary, and soaked. He dreads what he’ll find when he arrives at his two-room house in the Jewish section of the stetl. He envisions his mourning wife, Ruth, angry he wasn’t home when three of their four boys died during a flu epidemic.

As he enters the silence in what was once a home full of the loud voices and cries of little boys is deafening. However, he can’t wait to embrace Ruth, comfort her despite his own grief, and tell his surviving son about his love for America.

Ira’s goal is to become Americanized and bring what’s left of his family to a small town in Illinois, when he has enough money and an established business. Ruth doesn’t want to leave Poland and the graves of their three dead sons.

After their initial cold and difficult reunion, Ira keeps his promise to impregnate Ruth before he goes back to Illinois. Three years later he sends her the money to follow him to Illinois with their son age 10 and little girl, Ava, age three. Ruth agrees to leave Poland because of fears that the Russian army will recruit her son.

After a short stay in Chicago, the family moves to Danville IL, where Ira joins his brother in their shoe-making business. Though free of his long hair, beard and forelocks, and wearing modern clothes without the four-cornered yarmulke he threw into the Atlantic Ocean, Ira wants to bring a semblance of Orthodox Jewish life to his family and his new town. He creates a synagogue, hires a rabbi, and arranges the delivery of kosher meats. He also begins an affair with a chubby but curvy redheaded widow. Ruth, who smothers Ava and tries to keep her a little girl, has grown fatter and more unkempt, always wearing the same tight-fitting black dress she wore in Sokolow. She wants no part of Ira’s synagogue work.

Ruth keeps her hold on Ava, antagonizing her daughter. They argue continuously throughout Ava’s school years. Ava gets the lead in her senior high school play, and she and the director, a student at the local college, strike up a relationship – she tells her parents they are just friends when he picks her up to take her to school events.

Her brother, in law school in Chicago at nights and working in the textile business during the day, comes home and warns his parents that if they don’t move her away from this gentile, he will take her to Chicago himself. Ira agrees to let Ava go; Ruth does not. In the end her brother’s argument wins. Ava, ever respectful of her parents and out of her love for her brother, tells her director friend that she must leave. They are devastated but stay away from each other until the day before her departure.

In Chicago, Ava’s brother introduces her to a suitable man. He’s a bit of a milk toast, messy, and not very motivated in school or business, but he’s nice and attentive so she goes out with him for quite some time. Her rationale is that dating him will protect her from meeting someone she could actually fall for. She also experiences the modern ways of young women in the 1920s. She goes to dance halls and speakeasies, speaks flap talk, works as a seamstress, designs her own short and swingy dresses, and lives freely away from her mother. Her suitor proposes, but Ava says, “What a pretty little ring,” instead of yes.

After continued pleas from her director friend and her still undying love for him, Ava returns to Danville as a mature and determined young woman. She withstands a blow-up with her parents when she tells them she wants to marry her gentile friend. Ira throws her out.  That night he goes to the synagogue to say the mourner’s kadish for his daughter but decides to break up with the red-headed widow and mourn his relationship with her instead. To assuage his guilt, he makes her a pair of shoes that she wears at her wedding.

While Ava is sad not to have her family with her at her wedding, she is hopeful that her mother and father will come around. Her biggest fear is that she will never see her brother again, the man she loved and looked up to all her growing up years. However, she is happy with her decision to marry her love no matter how they feel.

About the Author

Madeline also co-authored Blue-Collar Women: Trailblazing Women Take on Men-Only Jobs (New Horizon Press, 1994), co-edited the poetry anthology, The Great American Poetry Show, Volumes 1, 2 and 3, and wrote the poems for two photography books, The Emerging Goddess and Intimacy (Paul Blieden, photographer). Her poems have also appeared online and in print magazines, e.g., in the 2016 Porter Gulch Review, Yellow Chair’s In the Words of Womyn 2016 anthology, Story Circle Network’s journals and anthologies, the Best of Poetry Salon 2013-2018, and the Vine Leaves Literary Journal: a Collection of Vignettes from Across the Globe, 2017.  And her articles have appeared in the Huffington Post, Naturally Savvy, Aging Bodies, PsychAlive, Story Circle Network’s HerStories and One Woman’s Day blogs, and the Memoir Network blog. One of Madeline’s essays has also appeared in the My Gutsy Story Anthology by Sonia Marsh. 

Madeline also co-edited Volumes 1 and 2 of The Great American Poetry Show, a poetry anthology, and wrote the poems for two books of photography, The Emerging Goddess and. Besides having many poems published in print and online magazines, writes regularly for Naturally Savvy, and occasionally for PsychAlive, Open to Hope,and Journeys Through Grief and The Huffington Post.


Find Madeline Online:

website/blog

Facebook page 1

Facebook page 2

Twitter page



———-Blog Tour Dates

Launch Day – June 3rd

Madeline Sharples launches her tour of “Papa’s Shoes” with an insightful interview and giveaway at the Muffin!

June 4th @ Coffee with Lacey

The lovely Lacey reviews “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples and shares her review with readers at Coffee with Lacey. This is a blog stop and review readers won’t want to miss!

https://coffeewithlacey.com/

June 5th @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews

Lisa Haselton interviews well known author and memoirist Madeline Sharples about her latest novel “Papa’s Shoes” – the story of a Polish shoemaker and his family as they settle in America. This insightful interview is one you won’t want to miss!

http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/

June 6th @ Beverley A. Baird

Beverley A. Baird shares her thoughts after reading the touching story of a Polish shoemaker and his family as they settle in America – “Papa’sShoes” by Madeline Sharples is a book that is sure to please readers!

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

June 7th @ Linda Neas

Today’s guest author at Words from the Heart with Linda Neas is none other than well-known author and memoirist Madeline Sharples. Today, her guest post is titled “How I reinvented myself from a technical writer and editor to a creative writer – and at my

age.” Heart from Madeline and learn more about her latest novel “Papa’s Shoes”! 

https://contemplativeed.blogspot.com/

June 12th @ Linda Neas

Last week, readers at Words from the Heart with Linda Neas read a guest post penned by Author Madeline Sharples and today, Linda will share her review of Madeline’s latest novel “Papa’s Shoes”. This is a blog stop you won’t want to bypass!

https://contemplativeed.blogspot.com/

June 18th @ Selling Books with Cathy Stucker

Cathy Stucker interviews Madeline Sharples at Selling Books. Readers will flock to learn more about Sharples and her latest novel “Papa’sShoes”.

https://www.sellingbooks.com/

June 26th @ Linda Appleman Shapiro

Fellow author and memoirist Linda Appleman Shapiro shares her review of “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples. Don’t miss Linda’s insight into this touching story of one Polish shoemaker and his family as they move to America!

http://applemanshapiro.com/category/book-reviews/

June 27th @ World of My Imagination

Nicole Pyles reviews the latest best selling novel “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples – readers will delight to hear what Nicole thinks of this crowd pleasing story of one Polish shoemaker and his family!

https://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com/

June 28th @ Deal Sharing Aunt / Vicki Brinius

Vicky Brinius reviews “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples. Find out how she feels after reading this touching story of one Polish shoemaker and his family as they settle in America.

http://dealsharingaunt.blogspot.com/

July 2nd @Author Anthony Avina

Fellow author Anthony Avina reviews “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples – this is a touching story of one Polish shoemaker and his family as they settled in America.

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

July 2nd @ Amanda Sanders

Amanda of Amanda Diaries reviews Madeline Sharples latest novel “Papa’s Shoes” – read Amanda’s review and add this lovely story to your TBR pile today!

https://amandadiaries.com/

July 4th @ Author Anthony Avina

Readers at Anthony Avina’s blog will delight with today’s guest post and author interview with Madeline Sharples – learn more about her and her latest work!

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

July 5th @ Lisa Buske

Lisa Buske shares her review of “Papa’s Shoes” – the latest novel by Madeline Sharples and a touching story of one Polish shoemaker and his family as they settle in America.

https://www.lisambuske.com/

August 12th @ Kathleen Pooler’s Memoir Writer’s Journey

Readers and writers alike will want to stop by Memoir Writer’s Journey to hear from Kathleen Pooler and friend / fellow author Madeline Sharples as they discuss Madeline’s latest book “Papa’s Shoes”.

https://krpooler.com/

Papa’s Shoes: A Polish shoemaker and his family settle in small-town America by Madeline Sharples Review

A man’s journey to escape poverty and provide a better life in America for his family takes a series of unexpected turns as he struggles with tradition and his own beliefs versus the happiness of his daughter in author Madeline Sharples novel, “Papa’s Shoes”.

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

A man’s journey to escape poverty and provide a better life in America for his family takes a series of unexpected turns as he struggles with tradition and his own beliefs versus the happiness of his daughter in author Madeline Sharples novel, “Papa’s Shoes”. 

The Synopsis

Ira Schuman is determined to move his family out of their Polish shtetl to the hope and opportunities he’s heard about in America. But along the way he faces the death of three of his four sons, a wife who does not have the same aspirations as his, and the birth of a daughter, Ava, conceived to make up for the loss of his boys. Ava grows up to be smart, beautiful, and very independent. 

Besides having a feisty relationship with her overly-protective mother, Ava falls for the college man who directs her high school senior class play. With the news that she wants to marry a non-Jewish man, Ira realizes that his plan to assimilate in the new world has backfired. Should the young couple marry, he must decide whether to banish his daughter from his family or welcome them with open arms. Even though he won’t attend their wedding, he makes her a pair a wedding shoes. In his mind, the shoes are simply a gift, not a peace offering.

The Review

This historical fiction novel was incredibly well written. It did a great job of showcasing the dual nature of immigration by studying one man’s desire to secure a safe and happy future for his family in the United States, with his other desire to see his daughter marry someone within the same faith and people as they were. It is an in-depth look into the struggle to maintain one’s identity in an ever changing world, and the struggle to allow oneself to be open to change and accept the reality that our children must make their own choices in life, and a parent’s job is to support them and help them throughout those choices. 

It was amazing to see just how much of the Jewish culture was explored in this novel, highlighting the resistance to change so many devoted followers of the faith feel as seen in Ira’s wife Ruth, which was strengthened by their strained marriage throughout the novel. The book did a wonderful job of exploring deep character growth and highlighting the natural interactions amongst the cast of characters, helping to highlight the emotional struggle of those involved.

The Verdict

This was a wonderful book to delve into. The author does a great job of highlighting the struggles of immigration, the beliefs and culture of the Jewish people, and the emotional struggle of a father and daughter, the former struggling between tradition and love for his daughter, the latter seeking love and struggling with the thought of losing her family in the process. The book’s beginning sets the tone for the fragility of life that is explored in this novel, and the struggle to aspire for a better life.

The double lives people lead, the heartbreak of following your dreams and passions in life at the cost of losing a family unwilling to accept your different outlook on life, and a simple yet powerful ending make this the perfect read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples today! 

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Madeline also co-authored Blue-Collar Women: Trailblazing Women Take on Men-Only Jobs (New Horizon Press, 1994), co-edited the poetry anthology, The Great American Poetry Show, Volumes 1, 2 and 3, and wrote the poems for two photography books, The Emerging Goddess and Intimacy (Paul Blieden, photographer). Her poems have also appeared online and in print magazines, e.g., in the 2016 Porter Gulch Review, Yellow Chair’s In the Words of Womyn 2016 anthology, Story Circle Network’s journals and anthologies, the Best of Poetry Salon 2013-2018, and the Vine Leaves Literary Journal: a Collection of Vignettes from Across the Globe, 2017.  And her articles have appeared in the Huffington Post, Naturally Savvy, Aging Bodies, PsychAlive, Story Circle Network’s HerStories and One Woman’s Day blogs, and the Memoir Network blog. One of Madeline’s essays has also appeared in the My Gutsy Story Anthology by Sonia Marsh. 

Madeline also co-edited Volumes 1 and 2 of The Great American Poetry Show, a poetry anthology, and wrote the poems for two books of photography, The Emerging Goddess and. Besides having many poems published in print and online magazines, writes regularly for Naturally Savvy, and occasionally for PsychAlive, Open to Hope,and Journeys Through Grief and The Huffington Post.


Find Madeline Online:

website/blog

Facebook page 1

Facebook page 2

Twitter page



———-Blog Tour Dates

Launch Day – June 3rd

Madeline Sharples launches her tour of “Papa’s Shoes” with an insightful interview and giveaway at the Muffin!

June 4th @ Coffee with Lacey

The lovely Lacey reviews “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples and shares her review with readers at Coffee with Lacey. This is a blog stop and review readers won’t want to miss!

https://coffeewithlacey.com/

June 5th @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews

Lisa Haselton interviews well known author and memoirist Madeline Sharples about her latest novel “Papa’s Shoes” – the story of a Polish shoemaker and his family as they settle in America. This insightful interview is one you won’t want to miss!

http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/

June 6th @ Beverley A. Baird

Beverley A. Baird shares her thoughts after reading the touching story of a Polish shoemaker and his family as they settle in America – “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples is a book that is sure to please readers!

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

June 7th @ Linda Neas

Today’s guest author at Words from the Heart with Linda Neas is none other than well-known author and memoirist Madeline Sharples. Today, her guest post is titled “How I reinvented myself from a technical writer and editor to a creative writer – and at my

age.” Heart from Madeline and learn more about her latest novel “Papa’s Shoes”! 

https://contemplativeed.blogspot.com/

June 12th @ Linda Neas

Last week, readers at Words from the Heart with Linda Neas read a guest post penned by Author Madeline Sharples and today, Linda will share her review of Madeline’s latest novel “Papa’s Shoes”. This is a blog stop you won’t want to bypass!

https://contemplativeed.blogspot.com/

June 18th @ Selling Books with Cathy Stucker

Cathy Stucker interviews Madeline Sharples at Selling Books. Readers will flock to learn more about Sharples and her latest novel “Papa’s Shoes”.

https://www.sellingbooks.com/

June 26th @ Linda Appleman Shapiro

Fellow author and memoirist Linda Appleman Shapiro shares her review of “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples. Don’t miss Linda’s insight into this touching story of one Polish shoemaker and his family as they move to America!

http://applemanshapiro.com/category/book-reviews/

June 27th @ World of My Imagination

Nicole Pyles reviews the latest best selling novel “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples – readers will delight to hear what Nicole thinks of this crowd pleasing story of one Polish shoemaker and his family!

https://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com/

June 28th @ Deal Sharing Aunt / Vicki Brinius

Vicky Brinius reviews “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples. Find out how she feels after reading this touching story of one Polish shoemaker and his family as they settle in America.

http://dealsharingaunt.blogspot.com/

July 2nd @Author Anthony Avina

Fellow author Anthony Avina reviews “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples – this is a touching story of one Polish shoemaker and his family as they settled in America.

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

July 2nd @ Amanda Sanders

Amanda of Amanda Diaries reviews Madeline Sharples latest novel “Papa’s Shoes” – read Amanda’s review and add this lovely story to your TBR pile today!

https://amandadiaries.com/

July 4th @ Author Anthony Avina

Readers at Anthony Avina’s blog will delight with today’s guest post and author interview with Madeline Sharples – learn more about her and her latest work!

https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

July 5th @ Lisa Buske

Lisa Buske shares her review of “Papa’s Shoes” – the latest novel by Madeline Sharples and a touching story of one Polish shoemaker and his family as they settle in America.

https://www.lisambuske.com/

August 12th @ Kathleen Pooler’s Memoir Writer’s Journey

Readers and writers alike will want to stop by Memoir Writer’s Journey to hear from Kathleen Pooler and friend / fellow author Madeline Sharples as they discuss Madeline’s latest book “Papa’s Shoes”.

https://krpooler.com/

Tomas Cudzis and the Struggle for Ju$tice & Truth: Part 3: Pushed the Right Way by Tomas Cudzis Review

A unique blend of music and action thrillers comes to life in author Tomas Cudzis’ novel “Tomas Cudzis and the Struggle for Ju$tice & Truth: Part 3: Pushed The Right Way”.

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

A unique blend of music and action thrillers comes to life in author Tomas Cudzis’ novel “Tomas Cudzis and the Struggle for Ju$tice & Truth: Part 3: Pushed The Right Way”. 

The Synopsis

After surviving the Chinese triads, Tomas had joined his saviors on their mission to “cleanse” America off the “untouchable” criminals. Soon, Tomas realizes that being hunted and being the hunter, makes a big difference when it comes to his ability to kill a man. He start to have regrets in joining up the “Agency”, the secret organization that is being supported by a rogue “element” of the US government, but doesn’t know how to say to them that he wishes to quit. Guilt-ridden and horrified by his own brutal behavior during each mission, whilst unable to admit that he lost his stomach for “it” at the same time, Tomas spirals down mentally.

“I have tried that before! I tried to walk away so many times. I would rather live and let be. But you, or someone else has to always push on me the right way! Threaten me in the right way. Trying to kill me? I can forgive that, you’re not the first, nor the last. I kind of got used to it. But you have f*cked up, you tried to kill my friend too. Made me think, what else would you do should you be able to?” 

This book is part 3 of 4 series. Fan work dedicated as a tribute to the Linkin Park music band life’s work to date, of which the author’s inspiration had come from. This book includes references to the songs, that should be played in the background while reading it, for enhanced experience. Note: This book doesn’t contain any of the songs referenced in itself, and its purely optional for the reader to gain access to those songs at his own expense. As use of those songs is experimental, it doesn’t guarantee improved experience compared to ‘just’ reading of this book.

The Review

Now I’m coming into this book with no knowledge of the previous two installments, so this review will be based solely on what was read in this installment. The author’s blend of music not only from Linkin Park but other great artists acts as a written soundtrack for the reader, highlighting the emotional and action fueled scenes that play out throughout the novel.

While the writing of the story could use some refinement in terms of grammar and editing in general, the overall story is filled with great action and intense scenes that showcase the hero’s journey to stop threats like slavery rings, all while focusing on the relationships between the protagonist and the team he works with. 

The Verdict

Overall this was an interesting, unique and creative fusion of musical inspiration and action fueled psychological thriller. If this story is any indication of the author’s vision, this is a series worth jumping into feet first. A bit of polishing off with the editing will make this book shine even brighter, and readers will delight in imagining the emotions and feelings running through the characters in connection with each track the author lists. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out Tomas Cudzis and the Struggle for Ju$tice & Truth: Part 3: Pushed the Right Way by Tomas Cudzis today!

Rating: 7/10

https://www.facebook.com/LinkinParkTributeSeries/

Interview with Author Bryon Cahill

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



Most authors will tell you they’ve been writing all their life. They’ll say, “I’ve been writing since I could hold a pen.” Well, technically, that’s probably true, if you count a few illegible scribbles. And I suppose I have been illegibly scribbling since way back when, too. But the better response would be that I really started writing in High School. I wrote unspeakably bad poetry for years and a great number of horrendous stories.

I majored in Writing at Marist College. That’s where I wrote my first novel. It was more trite garbage that will never see the light of day. Many more amateur, unpublishable books followed for years until I Am Marcus Fox came around. This was the first real, substantial thing I’ve been excited to share and put my own name behind.

What inspired you to write your book?

Honestly? My protagonist inspired me. He blasted his high-octane life into my head and poured himself onto my page. He grabbed me by the ears and demanded, “Listen! My story is electric! Write me!” What choice did I have? I fleshed him out and before I knew what hit me, Marcus was in charge, writing his own story. It was some next-level stuff. The man insisted on being a modern day Paul Bunyan braggart. But it’s hard to take anything he says without a heaping pile of salt grains. As much as I was honored to tell his tale, I still wonder who he might truly be, beneath it all.

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

Fiction is stranger than truth. That’s sort of become my motto and I’ve been flaunting it all over the place. That’s not an entirely well thought out message, though. One major theme in the book that Marcus tries to grasp from time to time is: Can a person ever really know another? What goes on inside our heads? No one really knows but us. And sometimes, not even we are sure of our own thoughts and perceptions of the world. Indeed, it if left untidy, our minds can become quite messy.

What drew you into this particular genre?

Again, I have to give all credit to Marcus. I never intended to write his story but when he insisted that his life was brimming with action and adventure, I was compelled to explore it. As for the psychological thriller part of the literary mashup, I discovered along the way that my protagonist was either a) the world’s greatest bullsh*t artist or b) a couple zebras short of a dazzle. And if it was the latter, I was going to have to do a lot of research on native Zambian animal tribes.

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

There are plenty of characters in Marcus’ story who support him (or antagonize him). Some I would love to have a beer with and others I’d rather observe from a safe distance. But I think I’d most like to sit down with Marcus’ adopted father, Shumbuto. I’d ask him why he’s so sure of himself and his beliefs. Where does his blind faith come from and does he find it to be a strength or a weakness? Though most assuredly, he would give a non-answer, because he is a lovable, strong hearted, brilliant nincompoop.

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

I’m still working on this one, Anthony. I have a Facebook and Twitter presence where I post my oh-so-wordy, sometimes witty bloggys, and do whatever all else it is people do on social media.

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

If you’re self-publishing, research everything you can before pushing the button. When you think you know it all, start over, re-read. Find new sources. Absorb more. And then when you finally do publish, you’ll probably do a lot of things wrong. Learn from them. That’s what I’m doing now. I’m learning the business. Yes, it is a business. As a writer, you probably only want to be creative. Of course there’s oodles of room for that but you have to wear all the other hats as well. There is an incredible learning curve. Maybe some day I’ll be off it but not anytime soon.

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

I am currently drafting Book 2 in my Lost Identity series (I Am Marcus Fox was Book 1). I haven’t really advertised the series notion anywhere else. People don’t want to hear that you have a Book 2 coming out until Book 2 is actually written and has itself a pub date. Readers get burned all the time by writers who start a series with good intentions but then fall off the face of the earth. I have no intention of going anywhere. That said, who said anything about a Book 2? Wasn’t me. Bloody rumors.

I also should have a Middle Grade novel being released later this year and possibly the first book in a Young Adult series in early 2020. If you’d like to follow my progress, you can do so by signing up for my e-newsletter on my website at http://www.bryoncahill.com. There’s a free gift in it for you, if you do! Spoiler alert: It’s a short story about how Marcus Fox’s parents met each other.

Thanks for reading!

Fiction is stranger than truth.

(See! I use that line everywhere.)

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. REPORT THIS AD

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

Twitter: www.twitter.com/shakabry

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BryonCahillAuthor

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/shakabry

Interview with Author J.J. Angel

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

Hello everyone!

My name is J.J. Angel and from in “the Boot of the South”, “the Sportsman’s Paradise” of the United States, aka Louisiana. I’ve been here all my life and I’m still here, now living in the state’s capital, Baton Rouge, for several years. I majored in Entertainment Technology (Film) and Digital Arts but surprisingly not Creative Writing. My first published title was, “Voices from the Bayou: Baton Rouge Student tackle Racism, Police Brutality and the Historic Flood”. It was an anthology of stories written by college students caught in the calamity of all these events within a single year. My specific piece titled, “Still Water Runs Deep,” is a deep rooted tale about my physical struggle as a flood victim blended with my own inner struggles drowning me within. The book is on Amazon and my particular piece is located in the flood chapters near the end. You’ll see J.J. Angel in there.

I started writing when I was still in early grade school. I used to be into drawing before I turned to writing. I get that from my mother who was an exceptional artist. My pen name is a part of her real name, Angela. My first and middle initial begin with the letter, “J”. So this is how I got into writing. I’m a small guy. I’ve always been little. That means as a kid I got teased a lot for not being as outgoing or athletic as the other boys. I wasn’t into sports at all. I stayed in the library during recess but outside that I used to be teased about everything. So what did I do? I started drawing stick figures but these were no ordinary stick figures. These were superhero stick figures. The kind who could fight off any bully and save the world! Somewhere down the road I started to create stories for these characters in my trusty notebook. The stories were episodic spanning ten pages back and front (20 pages an episode) using pen and paper. I think I had about four or five tablets. Each were a different color and represented a different arc of the series. I did this for a few years until I finished Jr. High. I felt writing stories like that were for little kids and since I was in High School, it was time to do “adult things”.  I dropped novel writing in favor of poetry because all the cool kids were writing poetry. I was such a follower during that time of my life. I did not want to be that oddball loser but ended up being the oddball loser who writes poetry. I even remember my Biology teacher asking what I wanted to do when I graduated. I told her I wanted to be a writer and she told me I was living a pipe dream. I kept my writing ability a secret in fear of being judged and when my senior year came, my writing dreams were over.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

What inspired me? Myself. I’m not being egotistical or anything. It had been seven years since I wrote a single damn thing. That was a weird period of my life but that’s another story for another book. Anyways, one day while I was moving I found an old box. Before I threw it away I decided to look through it and guess what I found? One of my old Lost Fighter tablets from grade school. It was a bit worn but the stories were still there in glorious ink. I stopped what I was doing and decided to read through it after all these years. My God! I had run-on sentences as long as anacondas. However, there was something else there. I had a great imagination and whole lot of heart. This is what I loved to do. This is what I really wanted to do. Take people on my visual journey and inspire them to do the same. What happened to the kid who had a big imagination and so much hope? I had given up on him. I was afraid of the ridicule for being a boring useless writer. It was me being bullied again. How can I create such fantastical superheroes or noble warriors who stand against the forces of evil when I can’t even stand against my own self-doubt? That was moment I realized what I had been running from and what I needed to do. That was the first day I picked up my laptop and pressed NEW DOCUMENT in Word.

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

Oh Lord. Well, I was telling my writing colleagues Potentia is a deep story under all the science fantasy lip gloss it has on. I want readers to look at it with an open heart and mind. Potentia is Latin. It means force, power or political authority. There are points in the book where I play around with that meaning. I like the idea of hope and believing in yourself, even when things look opposite of that. Karissa, Rupert, and Amare have periods of courage despite the odds they are up against. Even though she was injured, Karissa still made herself continue to the other side. She doesn’t just give up and fall down waiting for her attacker. She keeps on going and the crystal reacts to that emotion! Same for Rupert and Amare. These young adults are going up against supreme cosmic entities who could rip them to pieces. These are my main “bullies” (for now…*wink*) of the Universe. Despite this, Rupert and Amare show great courage at times. First, you need to believe in yourself. Second, you need to search deep within yourself. Third, you need to find that spark. Last, you need to bring that spark to life. 

When the story says the boys discovered Potentia, it’s saying they discovered the power (authority) residing deep within them and once they accepted it and believed in it, they could create something spectacular. Something powerful enough to repel the invasive shadow-like creatures trying to eclipse them.

I want readers to not only note the hopeful and brave moments, but see the themes of  acceptance. This book has a lot of diversity in it. Rupert is German-American and Amare is African-American. They have a tight knit friendship despite their racial backgrounds and physical differences. I want readers to see the strong levels of friendship here. They are like brothers. A strong brotherhood. Teamwork does make the dream work! Even Ya’asha is confused by how the two boys can fuse powers together so easily. We humans know how it’s done though! Plus one for humankind! There is also an LGBT character mentioned in the story. So I try to be as inclusive as possible.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I have a really big imagination! I’ve said that too many time now. I love the unknown and space is full of it. Even so, there were still some other experiences that brought me into this genre, both real and fictional. In fiction, I loved R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series as a kid. It’s what got me into horror fiction for young adults. I’m a big fan of Ridley Scott as well. I love his movies, Alien and Legend. Legend was a dark fantasy and is one of my all-time favorite films still to this day. There is something magical about that movie that fueled my imagination as a kid.

Now for the realistic side. As a child, I know two instances where I thought I saw dark figures or shadow people. They scared the hell out of me but made me interested in the paranormal/supernatural. Speculative Fiction is a beautiful genre and Science Fantasy has the power to captivate the entire world. I love it!

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

I was originally going to pick Ya’asha for this but he’s too much of a smart-ass to sit down and answer questions cooperatively so I think I’ll go with Karissa. “How does it feel going from a character that dies in Chapter 4 of the original draft to one of the central protagonists in the final draft?”  

I want to see if she will glare at me. Perhaps, death might have been more desirable than what’s she going through currently? I also like cats and she hates them.

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

I want to say it’s a tie between Facebook and Instagram. Thought, I think Instagram is more on the visual side of Potentia. Facebook might be one since I started with it, but Instagram is catching up since I put way more content on it now. My Twitter isn’t too hot right now but hopefully people will look in my direction and be like, “This little guy has created a story that has many layers beneath it. I’ve read it and found some things from incorporating many systems of beliefs within it.You have to be an active protagonist while reading and search for hidden meanings.” (Hint: One of the characters wakes up after a nightmare and sees 5:55 on the clock.  (According to numerology, this combination means huge changes are on the way! And boy are they! *grins*)

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

KEEP WRITING! DO NOT GIVE UP! BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! FIND THAT SPARK! ALWAYS HAVE YOUR FAVORITE SNACK FOOD CLOSE BY! YOU’LL THANK ME LATER FOR THE LAST ONE.

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

I’m currently going over Potentia The Shadows sequels, Tales of Potentia: the Awakening and Tales of Potentia: The Clash. First drafts are complete for both of these. I have two or three more after those. Legacy, Rebirth and War.

Stepping outside the world of Potenita, I’m working on a fantasy story called, “Arabian Rhapsody”. It’s supposed to be a novella but I have too much going on with the mythological monsters, faeries and other things. It’s getting a little stuffy right now. We’ll see how that one develops.

I have a horror I’m working on which is turning out to be a creature-feature splatter-fest. Screams!!

I also have a chapbook on Amazon called, “Poetic Vibrations”. You can check that out as well.

Well, that’s it for me, for now.

Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a wonderful day!

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

Facebook: Facebook profile

Instagram (regular): @powerthenovel

Instagram (Music): @jjs_soundscapes

Twitter: @powerthenovel