Tag Archives: drama

Forbidden Love by Dee Rose Review

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

A man who discovers he is dying must make a life-altering decision to admit his feelings for his best friend since high school, which could change the dynamic between them forever, in author Dee Rose’s “Forbidden Love”.

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The Synopsis

Mark and Jesse have been friends since they were kids and became best friends – like brothers in high school. However, Mark slowly begins to develop romantic feelings for Jesse, which puts a strain on, not only their relationship, but all other relationships they’d ever have. Fast forward twelve years later, and Mark’s feelings have only deepened because of their proximity in Salt Lake City. Both are successful in their chosen careers, Mark in advertising and Jesse in construction. Jesse married his childhood sweetheart, Annika Johnson, and they have a child with another one on the way. Sadly, Mark finds out he has an inoperable brain tumor and finally decides to tell Jesse how he truly feels. But Mark must tread carefully because even though he and Annika are also close, she begins to suspect Mark has a secret crush on Jesse. Several obstacles and side stories arise on the way to passionate night between Mark and Jesse in a remote cabin. 

The Review

This was a passionate, complex, and captivating read. The author did an incredible job of layering this narrative with rich dynamics between the characters and a suspenseful atmosphere that kept the reader on the edge of their seats. The tension and drama the author was able to fuel this narrative with were ripe with charged emotions as the lives of these friends all come crashing down all around them as this cataclysmic change erupts between them.

The heart of this narrative rests in the author’s enthralling character development and the real-life themes that the story captures. The complex nature of sexuality and relationships is brought to the forefront here, as the story hones in on subjects like how unjustly men’s perceptions of women can change during pregnancy, the frightening reality of having to hide one’s identity, and how secrets can impact and change the nature of any type of relationship. The chemistry between Mark and Jesse is both shocking and complicated and yet draws the reader in more and more as their story plays out.

The Verdict

Haunting, entertaining, and insightful, author Dee Rose’s “Forbidden Love” is a must-read LGBTQ-driven contemporary romance and drama. The twists and turns in the complex relationships the author develops with these characters and the shocking revelations that reveal themselves all blend into the rich story that the author has expertly developed to draw the reader in. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Dee Rose was born on July 5th and resides in Denver, CO, where he studied Political Science at Metropolitan State University. He has two children, Nadia and Nicole. He started writing when he entered a writing contest at William A. Wirt high school in Gary, IN. “My goal is to blow people’s minds.” He says. “But sound cool doing it.”

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BL89PHGX/ref=x_gr_w_glide_sin?caller=Goodreads&callerLink=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goodreads.com%2Fbook%2Fshow%2F63342268-forbidden-love%3Fac%3D1%26from_search%3Dtrue%26qid%3DREitio0EO9%26rank%3D2&tag=x_gr_w_glide_sin-20

Interview with Author George Veck

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

I was born in Hastings but grew up in North West Wales, mainly living rurally. I started writing when I got the urge out of nowhere to learn how to write screenplays, slowly after getting tired of struggling to get any of these made or funded – other than those that could be done on a micro budget – I decided to give it a go converting some of them into novels. One of which became my first novel One Visit‘.  

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

A lot of my own experiences of living in poverty, seeing people routinely being let down by the system, and different mental health issues I’ve both suffered and seen others suffer with. 

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

That if you see signs of abusive parenting, even if said parents appear like respectable people through glib charm then do everything possible to help those children before their well-being becomes permanently affected. Also hopefully they’ll take away and have sympathy for the riveting affect and trauma of having your house taken over by drug dealers.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I love the raw nature of kitchen sink drama and have always found books/films that portray poverty in a relatable way fascinating. Having a way of highlighting often misunderstood stigmas around mental health and addiction while being able to hopefully contribute in some way also drew me to this genre. 

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

Both Instagram and Facebook are decent. Facebook’s litany of different book sharing groups are invaluable, especially when you have a free promotion on. Reddit is especially good as well when a free promotion is on your book. 

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

Don’t get beaten down by your first draft and its imperfections. That was the hardest thing for me to get over before going through the process enough to be able to power through the first draft while aiming for momentum more than perfection.

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

I am nearly through the first draft of my second novel Spurious Scrapper, a revenge drama also set in rural north west Wales. Once that is finished, I aim to write a novel comprised of a few short stories loosely intertwined and set in North Wales, all centring around the inequality of modern-day Tory induced poverty.  

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About the Author

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

https://www.instagram.com/vecks_gems_productions

Give Me Shelter by David B. Seaburn Review 

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

Two boys grieving the loss of their parents nine years earlier venture into their own futures amidst the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis in author David b. Seaburn’s “Give Me Shelter”.

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The Synopsis

The dual challenges of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis that threatens the world and the unexplained loss of parents that threatens a family are the driving forces behind the lives of two boys and their grandfather.

Willie, Denny and their grandfather, Pop, have lived together for nine years, ever since the boys’ parents died in an accident that remains a mystery to the boys. Denny reluctantly leaves for college, while Willie enters sixth grade, fearful of the menacing missile crisis and curious about his parents’ fate.

Willie’s best friends are Lucy and Preston. Lucy wonders about the ‘man in the suit’ who seems to be everywhere she goes. Her mom, Trish, grapples with unemployment. Preston is burdened by the trauma his father is experiencing due to his military service. Denny meets his first-ever girlfriend at college, Lucy, who has one leg that’s shorter than the other. Good neighbor, Robert, is building a bomb shelter in the back yard. Muriel, his mother is a shoot-from-the-hip older adult with dementia.

Over time, the connections between them create the shelter they need for their common journey. Seaburn again tells a story of human vulnerability, endurance, secrets, truth, loss, humor, resilience and love.

The Review

The author has done an incredible job once again finding just the right balance between the genre of the novel and the emotional weight of the character’s journey. The historical fiction aspect of this novel showcasing the tense atmosphere of the missile crisis was brought to life perfectly on the page, showcasing the heart-pounding fear and paranoia that so many were forced to live in on a daily basis for so long. The intimate look into these characters’ lives and how their past and present circumstances are impacted by this crisis was amazing to get lost in.

The emotional character development and vivid imagery the author used to bring these settings to life made the story soar. The realism that the author utilizes in their writing style and narrative not only adds relatability to the story but kept readers invested in these character’s lives as they dealt with everything from loss and grief to caring for a parent in their elderly years and living in a state of fear and trying to find the hope to combat that fear. 

The Verdict

Heartfelt, captivating, and engaging, author David B. Seaburn’s “Give Me Shelter” is a must-read historical fiction meets drama novel. The imagery almost reminded me of the nostalgia and style of Blast From the Past with a more mysterious and intriguing tone to the narrative, and the realism of the characters and their individual plights will help readers feel more invested as the story winds down. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

David B. Seaburn’s first novel, Darkness is as Light, was published in 2005. He followed with Pumpkin Hill (2007), Charlie No Face (2011), a Finalist for the National Indie Excellence Award in General Fiction, Chimney Bluffs (2012), More More Time (2015), and Parrot Talk (2017), which placed second in the 2017 TAZ Awards for Fiction and was short-listed for the 2018 Somerset Award. Gavin Goode (2019) was an American Book Fest Finalist for Best Book in General Fiction and Semi-finalist in Literary, Contemporary and Satire Fiction for the Somerset Award. His latest novel is Broken Pieces of God (2021).Seaburn and his wife live in western New York. They have two married daughters and four fabulous grandchildren.

www.davidbseaburn.com

www.amazon.com/author/davidbseaburn

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/going-out-not-knowing

First Born Sons by Vincent Traughber Meis Review

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

A group of Coastal Californians faces racism, wildfires, and their own demons in author Vincent Traughber Meis’s “First Born Sons”.

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The Synopsis

A group of coastal Californians battle wildfires, racism, and their own demons in five distinct narratives set in late 2019 and 2020.

First Born Sons is populated by a cast of LGBTQ+ individuals and their allies who struggle to find love, comfort, and fulfillment. As the novel progresses, characters interact across the separate narratives and are brought together for a birthday and a disastrous Black Lives Matter demonstration. A man returning to the horrors that made him leave Mississippi, a blind gay man flirting with love, an FTM transgender starting hormone therapy, a woman struggling to protect her sons from her ex-husband’s surge to right-wing politics, and a teenager with two gay dads searching for his Black surrogate mom paint a disturbing tableau of modern-day America.

The Review

This was such a powerful, emotional, and relevant read. The author did an incredible job of layering this drama with rich and powerful character development, story-driven narratives that span the world, and themes that speak to the communities most impacted by the surge of violence and bigotry that is affecting our world right now. The author finds natural and relatable ways of infusing issues such as Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ+ rights, and so much more into the story, weaving together a narrative that feels heartfelt and evoked strong emotional responses from readers, from sadness and grief to outrage and hope all at once.

Yet it was the character growth that truly spoke to me as a reader. The relationships and personal turmoil that really affected these characters were really humanizing and allowed readers to feel seen and heard in this narrative. For me, it was the scenes involving Lamar, George, and Byron that really popped off the pages of this novel. From the shocking initial chapter introducing these characters to the cruel reality of police profiling and brutality to the strong emotional and physical relationship that develops between the two of them over time, and all of the prejudices that their pasts and present bring to their relationship felt so impactful to get lost in through this narrative.

The Verdict

Shocking, moving, and engaging, author Vincent Traughber Meis’s “First Born Sons” is a must-read drama. The brilliant character development and emotional themes that the author brings to life so beautifully will have readers unable to put this book down, and the blend of intimate moments and powerful societal studies that this book brings to life will have readers eager for more from this powerful author. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Vincent Meis grew up in Decatur, Illinois and graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans.

He has worked as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area, Spain, Saudi Arabia and Mexico, publishing many academic articles in his field as well as articles about teaching ESL overseas. He has also traveled extensively in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and Central and South American. He is fluent in Spanish. As result of his travels and time abroad he published a number of pieces, mostly travel articles, but also a few poems and book reviews, in publications such as, The Advocate, LA Weekly, In Style, and Our World in the 1980’s and 90’s. His travels have inspired four novels, all set at least partially in foreign countries: Eddie’s Desert Rose (2011), Tio Jorge (2012), and Down in Cuba (2013) and Deluge (2016). Tio Jorge received a Rainbow Award in the category of Bisexual Fiction in 2012. Down in Cuba received two Rainbow Awards in 2013. Deluge won a Rainbow Award in 2016. Recently his stories have been published in several collections, including WITH:New Gay Fiction, Best Gay Erotica Vol 1and Best Gay Erotica Vol 4. In December 2019, his fifth novel Four Calling Burds will be published. In 2021, he has published two books with NineStar Press, The Mayor of Oak Street, a novel, and Far from Home, a collection of short stories.

https://www.vincentmeis.com/

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0B6T5WWHK/ref=x_gr_w_glide_sin?caller=Goodreads&callerLink=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goodreads.com%2Fbook%2Fshow%2F61680454-first-born-sons%3Fac%3D1%26from_search%3Dtrue%26qid%3DsDwIiz2aFA%26rank%3D4&tag=x_gr_w_glide_sin-20

Exit Wounds by Annie O’Neill Stein Review

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

A woman who grew up in a volatile household struggles with addiction through dark humor and strength learned only through her childhood in late author and actress Annie O’Neill Stein’s “Exit Wounds”.

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The Synopsis

Born to shanty Irish on one side and Park Avenue privilege on the other, Laura navigates a turbulent childhood filled with the alcohol-fueled abuse of her volatile father and her mother’s excessive drinking. As the middle child of three girls, she assigns herself the role of her mother’s protector, who dies when Laura is thirteen, leaving her heartbroken and adrift.

Insecure, anxious, and fearful, she tries drugs, random sex, and a sequence of lovers. Along the way, she becomes a successful painter and has a bad first marriage. Nothing, however, seems to assuage her emptiness and her sense of loss. Eventually, she marries a caring man and has a loving daughter. It is only at the end of her life, and by way of an unusual and unexpected turn of events that she is finally able to make peace with herself, to let go of the feeling that she never really grieved, and said goodbye to her beloved mother, and to appreciate that though we work at love and acceptance, sometimes the most wonderful experiences in our lives come in unanticipated and unsought ways. 

The Review

This was such an incredible story. The natural way the author was able to infuse humor, even dark humor, into such a heavy and serious subject matter was great to read, as it allowed for a more human connection to the subjects and themes the author was exploring. The heart and passion for which the author wrote were felt on every page, and the rich imagery really brought out the protagonist’s story to life in a very vivid way.

The heart of this story rests in the rich character growth that the author was able to develop. The relatability and nearly historical aspect of this narrative really brought these characters to life. The way the author was able to delve into the emotional journey that the protagonist went on was so heartfelt and allowed readers to connect to the narrative. The amazing way the author wrote this journey in a way that felt like a collection of short stories and yet made the narrative feel cohesive was truly incredible.

The Verdict

Thoughtful, captivating, and engaging, author Annie O’Neill Stein’s “Exit Wounds” is a must-read novel. The rich character dynamics and beautiful cohesion of dark humor and emotional storytelling made this a beautiful and thought-provoking journey. I am truly honored to have been able to read this novel. I learned recently that the author had recently passed, but the family had wanted to keep pushing and promoting the author’s work as the book launched, and I hope you all will join me in supporting the author’s literary work and her family as this story sees the light of day. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

I moved to Los Angeles in the early 80s as an actress, during the great migration of NY actors to LA. Talk about being a dime a dozen. After many small parts in TV series, from Miami Vice to Charlie’s Angels, I decided to follow my true passion, writing.

I found my mentors at UCLA, Eve LaSalle Caram, and Kerry Madden, studying with them both for several years. Being accepted to Sewanee Writer’s Conference to study with Alice McDermott planted the seed for Exit Wounds, my novel (forthcoming by The Permanent Press: 9/6/22).

Having written for several magazines, More, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Distinction, Folks, and being a regular contributor to Huffington Post for several years, helped me hone the skills to attempt to write my novel.

Word; do the homework!
One of the things I’m proudest of is leading creative writing workshops with foster teens for five years, and editing and publishing Beauty From Ashes, short stories, and poetry written by foster youth.

I live in LA with my husband and have two grown daughters. Although I would love to pretend I live in the French countryside. On this website, I’ll be sharing info on books, articles, photos, and anything I think worthy and uplifting. I‘ll share feelings about the state of the world trying not to point fingers or be judgmental. How to do that and be honest may be hard but I said try.

I’m a huge advocate of kindness. Kindness, gratitude, and the belief that we’re all on this planet to help each other.
Enough about me.

https://www.annieoneillstein.com/

A Reservoir Man by L.J. Ambrosio Review

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

A man struggles to find his place in the world through trials and tribulations as he comes to terms with his own internal identity in author L.J. Ambrosio’s “A Reservoir Man”. 

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The Synopsis 

Everywhere Michael turns he sees a Reservoir Man. Michael’s endless trials of survival include sexual assault, The Vietnam War, an arrest in Spain, Hollywood scandal, the AIDS outbreak, 9/11 and beyond. If only Michael could find the one thing he values most, his freedom. Michael’s coming-of-age is tarnished by many but the courage to live his truth may just keep Michael one step ahead…or will he succumb to the embraces of a Reservoir Man? 

The Review

This was such a moving and powerful coming-of-age story. The heartbreak and tragedy the protagonist goes through balances out with the tone of hope and awareness the author infuses into the narrative. The way the author hones in more on deep character development and the emotional core of the narrative over world-building was refreshing to see, as it allowed readers to really connect to the story in a personal way.

The characters of this story were truly the heart of the narrative. Michael’s story is so heartbreaking and his experiences encompass so many people’s own experiences in life, and yet his never-ending pursuit of acceptance, hope, and identity is the push forward to overcome those tragedies that so many of us are constantly seeking and the way the history and events that he lived through became the tapestry for which his story rose was incredible to read.

The Verdict

Heartfelt, engaging, and thought-provoking, author L.J. Ambrosio’s “A Reservoir Man” is a must-read coming of age story of 2022. The themes that the author explores, from betrayal and family to secrets and identity, become the perfect backdrop to the protagonist’s story and make the twists and turns in the narrative even more impactful. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today! 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Louis J. Ambrosio ran one of the most nurturing bi-coastal talent agencies in Los Angeles and New York. He started his career as a theatrical producer, running two major regional theaters for eight seasons. He taught at over 20 universities in America. Ambrosio also distinguished himself as an award-winning film producer and novelist over the course of his impressive career.

Lucky Ride by Terry Tierney

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

A man looking for a fresh start after his wife’s affair finds himself on a wild ride of discovery across America during the Vietnam War era in author Terry Tierney’s “Lucky Ride”.

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The Synopsis

Set in the Vietnam era, Lucky Ride tells the story of a recent veteran, an unraveling marriage, and a hitchhiking trip steeped in hippie optimism, post-war skepticism, and drug-induced fantasy 

When his friend Rick shows up in Binghamton, New York, with an interstate weed delivery, Flash jumps at the chance to escape his wife Ronnie’s affair with her middle-aged boss. Joining Rick on a speed-fueled drive to Fort Worth, Flash dodges a highway stalker and recalls his military service on Adak, a desolate cold war outpost where Seabees bravely defended their country with marijuana and LSD. Hitchhiking west from Fort Worth, Flash confronts Texas Rangers, amorous witches, armed felons, and good Samaritans, all offering advice and misdirection. But his dreams of starting fresh in California recede like a spent wave, his money gone and no chance of a job. Ronnie offers reconciliation and Flash must decide how much he still trusts the seductive pull of the irresistible campus radical he married before the draft descended on their lives.

The Review

The author did a truly wonderful job of capturing the uncertainty and chaos of the Vietnam War era in the United States of America. The drug culture and the impact the war had on veterans, in particular, were looked at extensively, and the very natural pacing of the novel’s events was perfectly timed, not feeling too rushed or overextended in its delivery. 

The novel itself was definitely very character-driven. The protagonist in particular represented the confusion and soul-searching that so many people undertook in that era. The age of hitchhiking and travel along America’s highways showed both the main character’s experiences and emotional development throughout the narrative but highlighted how the highways themselves almost became characters in the story, the settings so vital and so detailed that readers could almost feel the atmosphere the author was developing throughout the narrative.

The Verdict

Personal, heartfelt, and entertaining, author Terry Tierney’s “Lucky Ride” is a brilliant and captivating read. The exploration of self-discovery, relationships, and the impact of war on those vets and their loved ones in the wake of the Vietnam War was an inspired road to explore in this novel and gave readers a protagonist and narrative to really sink their teeth into and feel compelled forward into the author’s world he developed. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Terry was born in South Dakota and raised in Minneapolis and Cleveland. After serving in the Seabees, he received a BA and MA in English from Binghamton University and a PhD in Victorian Literature from Emory University. He taught college composition and creative writing, and he later survived several Silicon Valley startups as a software engineering manager. His stories and poems have appeared in over forty literary magazines, and his novel Lucky Ride, an irreverent Vietnam era road novel, will be published by Unsolicited Press in 2022. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, a Librarian from the University of California, their son, and their goofy Golden Retriever. Terry’s website is http://terrytierney.com.

Purchase Links

https://www.unsolicitedpress.com/store/p285/luckyride.html

https://bookshop.org/books/lucky-ride-9781950730933

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lucky-ride-terry-tierney/1139820900

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1122846

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/poetsgarage/

Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley Review

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

A widower seeking a fresh start in life must confront loss, and discover the means of finding a community and career that is truly his in author Linda Stewart Henley’s “Waterbury Winter”.

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The Synopsis

Barnaby Brown has had enough of freezing winters, insurmountable debt, a dead-end job, and his solitary life as a young widower with no one but his beloved parrot Popsicle. He yearns to move to California and reawaken his long-lost early life as an artist. But new troubles come in threes. His ancient car crashes into a snowbank. Popsicle escapes through a window carelessly left open. A New York gallery owner offers to represent Barnaby’s paintings—but is he on the up-and-up? All of it serves to shock Barnaby into confronting how low he has sunk, and he vows—again and again—to change. He has a few obstacles, starting with his heavy drinking and long-term neglect of his ancestral home. As he takes steps toward a better life, he re-discovers the value of old friendships and latent talents seen in new light, and finds the courage to consider a second chance at love. Rejoining the mainstream of life presents several startling mysteries he must unravel, with a few mortifying but enlightening stumbles. 

 A heart-warming novel about ordinary people reclaiming their dormant potential, Waterbury Winter celebrates the restorative value of art and the joy to be found in keeping promises.

The Review

This is such a powerful and moving story. The pain of loss can be truly debilitating and takes on so many different forms. From the loss of a dream or the loss of a loved one, people can find themselves lost and stuck in the past by the pain of that loss. The author’s ability to navigate these complex emotions and craft a narrative that felt realistic and alive on the page was truly incredible to read.

The balance of character growth and imagery throughout the author’s writing was so profound. The setting and imagery presented both through the author’s words and described in the protagonist’s artwork were creative in their approach, as even the local haunt O’Malley’s felt alive and captivating to behold. Barnaby’s evolution as a character was both heartbreaking and heartwarming, as the pain of his loss and how it kept him from his pursuits in life both professionally and personally is something so many people can identify with, and yet his hope stirred by one loss too many is so inspiring and the path he goes on is something readers will instantly connect with. 

The Verdict

Haunting, emotional, and engaging, author Linda Stewart Henley’s “Waterbury Winter” is a must-read novel. The perfect drama and a great way of studying the evolution of friendship and relationships as a whole, readers will be amazed at the authors’ creativity and entertaining way of bringing true heart and passion into a realistic and honest yet fictional world. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Linda Stewart Henley is the author of Estelle: A Novel. Among other honors, it won Silver in the Independent Publisher Book Awards for Historical Fiction and was a finalist for The Eric Hoffer Book Awards as well as for the 2021 Nancy Pearl Award. She lives in Anacortes, Washington, with her husband. Waterbury Winter is her second novel.

Find out more about Waterbury Winter by visiting GoodReads or the author’s website. You can also purchase it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookshop.org.

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Blog Tour Calendar

May 2nd @ The Muffin

Join us as we celebrate the launch of Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley. We interview the author about her book and also give away a copy to one lucky reader.

https://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

May 3rd @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews Blog

Stop by Lisa’s blog today and read an interview with author Linda Stewart Henley.

https://lisahaselton.com/blog/

May 3rd @ Fiona Ingram’s Blog

Visit Fiona’s blog and read Linda Stewart Henley’s guest post about writing historical fiction.

https://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com/

May 5th @ Amanda Diaries

Visit Amanda’s blog and read her interview with author Linda Stewart Henley.

https://amandadiaries.com/

May 7th @ Boots, Shoes and Fashion

Join Linda as she interviews Linda Stewart Henley about her book Waterbury Winter.

https://bootsshoesandfashion.com/

May 8th @ What is That Book About?

Michelle spotlights Linda Stewart Henley’s book Waterbury Winter.

https://www.whatisthatbookabout.com/

May 9th @ Mindy McGinnis

Join Mindy as she features Linda Stewart Henley’s guest post about mixed genres in writing.

https://www.mindymcginnis.com/blog

May 12th @ Knotty Needle

Visit Judy’s blog today and read her review of Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley.

https://knottyneedle.blogspot.com/

May 13th @ CK Sorens’ Blog

Visit Carrie’s blog and read Linda Stewart Henley’s guest post about the importance of setting.

https://www.cksorens.com/blog

May 15th @ Choices

Visit Madeline’s blog and read Linda Stewart Henley’s guest post about what a difference an editor makes.

http://madelinesharples.com/

May 18th @ Beverley A. Baird

Visit Beverley’s blog and her review of Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

May 19th @ Reading Is My Remedy

Join Chelsie over at her Instagram page today where she shares her review of Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley.

https://www.instagram.com/reading_is_my_remedy/

May 21st @ Bring on Lemons

Crystal shares her thoughts about the charming Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley. 

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

May 24th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Make sure to visit Anthony’s blog and read his review of Linda Stewart Henley’s book Waterbury Winter.

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

May 25th @ Beverley A. Baird

Join Beverley again as she features Linda Stewart Henley’s post about inspiration in art.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

May 26th @ The Frugalista Mom

Visit Roselyn’s blog as she reviews Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley. 

https://thefrugalistamom.com/

May 27th @ A Storybook World

Deirdra’s blog features Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley.

https://www.astorybookworld.com/

May 30th @ Liberate and Lather

Stop by Angela’s blog today and read her thoughts about Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley. 

http://liberateandlather.com/

May 31st @ The Faerie Review

Lily spotlights Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley. 

https://www.thefaeriereview.com/

June 2nd @ Pages & Paws

Join Pages and Paws for their review of Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley. 

https://pagesandpaws.com/

June 4th @ World of My Imagination

Nicole reviews Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley. 

https://worldofmyimagination.com/

June 5th @ Jill Sheets Blog

Visit Jill as she interviews author Linda Stewart Henley.

http://jillsheets.blogspot.com/

Root That Mountain Down By Evan Balkan Review

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

A man on a mission to bring his murdered father’s body back home to the United States comes face to face with the cruelty and violence, (as well as the hope and beauty hidden within), of the blood diamond business in author Evan Balkan’s “Root That Mountain Down”. 

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The Synopsis

Felix Laszlo is on a somber mission: Retrieving the body of his murdered father, a doctor who had volunteered to treat the civilian casualties in war-torn Sierra Leone, and bringing him home to be buried in the United States.

Along the way Felix will discover how little he knew about his father, Africa and himself. Once in Africa, Felix will see first-hand the greed and corruption that is commonplace in the “blood diamond” trade. But he will also find beauty, heartbreak, joy as well as the path to his future.

The Review

This was both an emotional and culturally significant read. The narrative did such an amazing job of really delving into the horrors and struggles of the wars and ruthless blood diamond trade in Africa. The novel captures so many themes that readers are going to be able to relate to, from the concept of families and how they work to the culture of violence that exists within war-torn countries and the misconceptions and prejudices that exist against the people of Africa as a whole. The striking clash of the violent attacks on both the people of Africa and those doctors and volunteers who come to help with the prejudice that people have against all African citizens as a result of the violence highlights the never-ending cycle of hatred and pain that continues to this day.

The character growth in this narrative was the perfect vehicle for the themes of this story. The complexity of the protagonist’s mission as Felix grapples with his father’s brutal loss while also seeking firsthand the violence and struggles the people of Africa are facing themselves makes this such a brilliant story, and the balance of mystery and action with the pops of romance and emotional family drama made this such an enrapturing story to behold. 

The Verdict

Haunting, engaging, and thought-provoking, author Evan Balkan’s “Root That Mountain Down” is a must-read novel. The clashes of grief and anger mixed with both the horrors of war and the hope that survives in the face of that war made this both a complex yet a much-needed story that I just couldn’t put down. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Evan L. Balkan is the author of three novels, including the PEN/Faulkner nominated Independence, and seven books of nonfiction, including The Wrath of God: Lope de Aguirre, Revolutionary of the Americas, as well as many essays and short stories in an array of publications. His screenplays, including Spitfire, adapted from his novel of the same name, have won multiple fellowships and awards. He is a co-writer for the television series, Wayward Girls. He coordinates the English Department at the Community College of Baltimore County, where he runs the creative writing program, and is an adjunct faculty member in the Johns Hopkins University’s graduate Teaching Writing program. He holds degrees in the humanities from Towson, George Mason, and Johns Hopkins universities and has served as a guest lecturer at Yale, Johns Hopkins, Bryn Mawr, and many other institutions. 

https://evanlbalkan.wixsite.com/evanbalkan