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The Art of Holistic Living: The Balancing Act: Career, Family, and the Self by Dr. Manish Sethi Review

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

Author and Dr. Manish Sethi take readers on a journey of self-discovery as the book outlines how to live a fully balanced and holistic life through constant improvements to our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being in the book “The Art of Holistic Living: The Balancing Act: Career, Family, and the Self”.

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The Synopsis

Go far in all your life’s goals and endeavors!

The following descriptors collectively make us distinct:

Bodymindcareerfamilysocial circlethoughtsbeliefs, and aspirations.

What if all areas of our lives were truly blossoming?

What if we could live a wholesome, balanced, and holistic life?

The only way to achieve that is to become a better version of ourselves, with a mindset of continuous improvement.

The topics covered in this book are diverse:

  • Mental Health
  • Physical Health
  • Healthy Habit formation
  • Mindfulness and Spirituality
  • Being more efficient in 24 hours
  • Work-life Balance
  • Communication
  • Career Growth
  • Parenting


This book started as notes for myself. After studying and practicing different aspects of healthy living for the past 20 years, I realized an apparent gap in the teachings of all those topics; this book highlights that gap and an underlying connection among different principles.

The Review

What immediately stuck with me as I read this book was the way the author was able to connect very pointed and specific ideas on self-improvement that are found in many books on this subject by using a more general and holistic perspective. One of the most challenging things a person can come up against is life itself getting in the way of self-improvement. From an overwhelming workload to conflict within our relationships and ailments of both the mind and body, there will always be obstacles preventing us from achieving our innermost goals. 

The relatability of the author’s writing style and the multi-pronged approach to the guide itself on growth and change in our lives was brilliantly presented within this book. The honesty and clarity with which the author delivered his message and the experiences that informed his views were thoughtfully crafted and showcased the wealth of knowledge this book presents. 

The Verdict

In-depth, passionately written, and engaging, author Dr. Manish Sethi’s “The Art of Holistic Living” is a must-read guide on balancing our lives and improving our own selves. The balance of the author’s work in matters of spiritual, physical, and mental health was greatly emphasized in this book and the depth of information that the author is able to bring to such a short yet powerful read made this one enlightening experience. If you haven’t already done so, please be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10 

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About the Author

MANISH SETHI, PHD, lives a life of inquisition and exploration. His desire is to learn how to live a holistic life with a balance of career, family, and self.

His research, personal experiences, and thoughtful interactions in the spiritual realm have guided Manish to understand the deeper meaning of faith, mysticism, career and ambition, healthy mind and body, family, and even materialism. He understands that a fulfilling life consists of finding a balance between various facets of life and integrating these diverse concepts to become a more wholesome individual.

What began as personal notes of inspiration on his journey to becoming a better person today than he was yesterday, Manish has provided a resource full of concepts to assist the reader on a path to greater learning and deeper understanding.

Manish lives in North Carolina with his wife Mona and two daughters, Anika and Anaya.

https://a.co/d/gnpNQcj

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-art-of-holistic-living-manish-sethi/1142613833

https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Art-Holistic-Living/Manish-Sethi/9798986549606?id=8714782673533#

The Rebellion Awakens (Sentrys of Terrene: Book One) by TC Marti Review

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

A leader within the growing Insurgency against an Imperial war machine must test his faith after being taken to an Imperial stronghold, while two other rebels find a young girl who could turn the tide of the war in author TC Marti’s “The Rebellion Awakens”, the first book in the Sentrys of Terrene series and the latest entry into the Elementals universe the author has crafted.

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The Synopsis

War!

A strike from underground bases won the Insurgency’s first victory against Vranom Imperials.

During the battle, Insurgency spies intercepted a blueprint regarding the Imperials’ superweapon, the Fusion Bomb, constructed with enough Source energy to wipe out an entire landmass.

Commander Tage-Ras Svendson intends to celebrate the Insurgency’s victory after relaying the stolen plans before a confrontation with the notorious Venn Rhine forces him into a Vranom stronghold. With only a disembodied voice giving directions, Tage faces the ultimate test of faith.

Meanwhile, in Vranom’s capital city of Sunrise, two insurgents stumble across a girl who may hold a key to restoring justice to the lost world.

The Rebellion Awakens is Book I in the post-apocalyptic dystopian military science fantasy Sentrys of Terrene Series. Inspired by Star Wars with a touch of Avatar: The Last Airbender, join Tage-Ras Svendson, Sabre Kjaergaard, and Ren Elk-Jaer as they battle the People’s Republic of Vranom and expose the global superpower’s lies regarding the extinct Sentry Order.

The Review

This was a wonderful blend of action and epic sci-fi fantasy storytelling. The latest entry into the Elementals saga is the perfect way to jumpstart “phase II”, and the way the author is able to blend elements of the other books in the saga with this new world and its own mythos was remarkable to see come to life. The society for which this rebellion is born highlights the somber and fear-state atmosphere that compels the characters forward in their journey. 

The character growth and powerful themes really hit home in this novel. The cast of characters all played great roles in this story, but the character who best showcased the wonder and terrors of this world that the reader could relate to was Sabre, who found within herself her own form of rebellion by reading ancient texts hidden by her father and discovering the true ways of this world for herself, which flies in the face of the faith and government that they are all sworn to abide by. The concept of a fear-state and ruthless government rule is a dystopian nightmare that plays heavily into our own current state of affairs in the world, which makes for truly engaging and frightful narratives.

The Verdict

Mesmerizing, haunting, and entertaining, author TC Marti’s “The Rebellion Awakens” is a fantastic dystopian and post-apocalyptic thriller and a must-read first book in the Sentrys of Terrene series. The twists in the author’s story and the wealth of character development and dynamics will keep readers engaged with this narrative, and the rich mythos and world-building will have fans enthralled by this brand-new series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10 

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About the Author

TC Marti has been an avid reader/writer for over three decades. He is the author of the Elementals Universe, a shared speculative fiction universe spanning multiple series. He is also a workout fanatic, and a fan of Arizona sports teams.

Laugh, Cry, Rewind: A Memoir by Judy Haveson Review

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

Author Judy Haveson steps forward to share the emotional journey of her life, from the author’s childhood to the birth of her son, and how she has come out on the other side through a series of losses and painful experiences in order to keep on living her life to the fullest in the book “Laugh, Cry, Rewind: A Memoir”.

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The Synopsis

Growing up in 1970s and 80s suburban Houston, Judy Haveson is funny, sarcastic, and fiercely loyal, especially to her family, friends, and big sister, Celia. When she suffers a series of unimaginable traumatic events, her seemingly idyllic childhood comes to a halt, changing her life forever.

In Laugh Cry Rewind Judy takes readers on her journey of self-discovery, sharing funny, touching, and heartbreaking stories from her childhood all the way to the birth of her son. Her experiences serve as a reminder that while life is not always fair, ultimately, the choice to surrender or keep on living is ours. Her message to others who have experienced loss or tragedy is this: stop waiting for the other shoe to drop. Let life go on, and good things will be waiting for you on the other side of the pain.

The Review

As an older brother, the first and most important thing that stuck out to me was the deep-seated bond the author shares with her older sister. The emotional pull of their story and how her sister influenced her both in childhood and in the years following the tragedy in her life was haunting yet beautiful at the same time. The hopeful tone the author tries to bring out in their narrative was great to see, as it helped by acting as a guiding light out of the darkness that threatened to consume the author in the wake of this tragedy.

The themes of love, loss, and hope were strong in this book. The way the themes blended into the author’s story and kept shining through in natural ways was remarkable to read about. The balance in the author’s personal story set against the backdrop of the 70s and 80s, as well as the honest and personable way of writing the author utilized, made for a compelling and engaging story that readers won’t be able to get enough of.

The Verdict

Poignant, heartfelt, and emotionally driven, author Judy Haveson’s “Laugh, Cry, Rewind: A Memoir” is a must-read nonfiction book. The sense of history and culture through the author’s own background and the rich setting of her life helped elevate this personal story of growth and hope in the wake of tragedy and kept me as a reader emotionally invested and connected as an older brother to a truly remarkable sister myself. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Judy Haveson is a proud Texan who will never lose her southern charm or accent and uses both when the situation absolutely calls for it. Her one-time dream of becoming a journalist was shattered when a professor suggested she pick a new major due to her penchant for obsessive conversation. He claimed she’d be an editor’s nightmare because she wrote as she spoke and never stopped talking. This led her to a career in public relations. Judy’s fixation with reading books and stories about other people’s lives inspired her to write her debut memoir. She currently lives in The Hamptons with her husband, Adam, son, Jack, and beloved Yorkie, Toby.

https://www.judyhaveson.com/

Shine Baby Shine, 7 Steps to Energetic Self-Empowerment by Antoniella Del Vecchio Review

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

Author Antoniella Del Vecchio shares an easy-to-follow yet comprehensive guide on how to improve yourself and gain a better understanding of what is happening around them emotionally in the book “Shine Baby Shine, 7 Steps to Energetic Self-Empowerment”. 

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The Synopsis

SHINE, BABY, SHINE 7 Steps to Energetic Self-Empowerment is an easy-to-read, easy-to-follow self-help book which allows the reader to gain understanding and awareness of what is happening within them emotionally, as well as energetically. There are integrative strategies and exercises that the reader can utilize to become stronger and healthier emotionally and spiritually. Reading the book and following the steps will facilitate change to help them raise their self-esteem, feel happier and motivated so that they can enjoy life. Following the Energetic Self-Empowerment program is so easy, so effortless, that they will feel surprised at how much they will accomplish, regardless of where they start. Self-transformation can be exciting, easy, highly effective, and quick!

The Review

Right off the bat, I truly appreciated the author’s honesty and heartfelt tone throughout the book. Immediately the author shares with readers that this self-help book is a workbook not meant to replace medical or psychological needs, which is so important in these types of books as so many people may confuse self-help with replacements for medical or psychological help they may need. The blend of energy work and emotional support that the author’s work promotes was great to see come to life on the page.

The step-by-step guided work that the author outlines in this book was both easy to follow and thoughtful in its approach. The way the author was able to hone in on both physical and emotional aspects of life that could impact our emotional state or well-being was insightful, and the balance of personal storytelling of her own life experiences with the guided work she put into place will help keep readers invested in the work itself.

The Verdict

Thoughtful, engaging, and well-written, author Antoniella Del Vecchio’s “Shine Baby Shine, 7 Steps to Energetic Self-Empowerment” is a must-read self-help and personal transformation book. The heartfelt delivery of the author’s personal story and experiences when developing these steps will help balance out the reader’s own emotional journey working through these steps themselves, and the book itself speaks to a large number of different people to help guide them on their emotional and often spiritual journey to self-improvement. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Antoniella Del Vecchio attended Marist College for a bachelor’s degree in psychology and Long Island University for a master’s degree in mental health counseling. Antoniella is also certified as an alcohol and drug abuse counselor, her area of specialty for the last ten years. She is a licensed mental health counselor in New York, and a licensed professional clinical counselor in California, with a specialty in substance abuse from the state of California. Antoniella is currently working with the military to help alleviate symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, depression, and patterns of addiction. She also has a private practice in La Jolla, California, where she works with people from all walks of life. Antoniella feels that everyone has the right and deserves to live a happy, empowered life. Everyone has their own innate gifts and skills that deserve to be expressed and celebrated according to their truth. With that in mind, Antoniella has created a signature program, Energetic Self-Empowerment, which will allow for individuals to reach their full potential in a compassionate, gentle way. Antoniella’s focus is to help those who are willing, to find their voice, their joy, and their personal power with no apologies. Antoniella lives by the motto ‘don’t talk about it, be about it’. She is now offering her program to the public for the first time. The method she developed and followed to reawaken her self-empowerment is now available. She promises that you, too, will feel a powerful shift in your own life in an easy, simple way that will help you stand in your own power while feeling happy, vital, and alive.

The PI’s Deadly Charade (Honor Bound Book Six) by Anna J. Stewart Review

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

An ex-con turned PI must team up with an up-and-coming attorney he has been trying to avoid his feelings for in order to protect her from his past when their respective cases cross paths in author Anna J. Stewart’s “The PI’s Deadly Charade”, the sixth book in the Honor Bound Romantic Suspense series from Harlequin Press.

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The Synopsis

Proving himself

Means saving her life

An ex-con, PI Jason Sutton has ignored his attraction to Kyla Bertrand for years, not wanting his past to drag down the up-and-coming attorney. But his missing person’s case and her investigation into a friend’s murder have connections that require joining forces. As they’re lured deep into a shadowy underworld, proving himself means not only unraveling dangerous mysteries, but keeping Kyla alive.

From Harlequin Romantic Suspense: Danger. Passion. Drama.

Feel the excitement in these uplifting romances, part of the Honor Bound series:

Book 1: More Than a Lawman

Book 2: Reunited with the P.I.

Book 3: Gone in the Night

Book 4: Guarding His Midnight Witness

Book 5: Prison Break Hostage

Book 6: The PI’s Deadly Charade

Book 7: Deadly Vegas Escapade

The Review

This was a phenomenal read. The author does a remarkable job of finding just that right balance between mystery, suspense, and romance. The fast-paced of the novel and the way the mystery unravels between both cases as they come together was great to see unfold over the course of the narrative. The tone of the narrative ranged from haunting and chilling to heated and passionate, capturing the adrenaline and thrill of being in the thick of danger together as passions bloom.

The dynamic between Kyla and Jason is so rich and captivating to read and see come to life on the page. The passionate way that Kyla pursues her friend’s case and the emotional pull of not only Kyla and Jason’s budding relationship but of Jason’s redemptive arc was moving and added depth to the mystery and suspense aspects of the narrative. The connectivity of the cast of characters from previous entries in this series allows the reader to feel fully immersed in this setting and showcases the level of world-building the author contended with in this entry.

The Verdict

Entertaining, passionate, and thrilling, author Anna J. Stewart’s “The PI’s Deadly Charade” is a must-read romantic suspense thriller and a great entry into Harlequin’s “Honor Bound” romantic suspense series. The shocking twists and dangerous turns the investigation takes the two protagonists will not only unravel the dangers facing them but show the elevated romantic journey that the two take as they grow closer together throughout their investigative journey. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

A geek at heart, USA Today and national bestselling author Anna J Stewart writes “refreshingly unique, quietly humorous, and profoundly moving romance.” (RT Book Reviews) Her books include The Butterfly Harbor series for Harlequin Heartwarming, along with the Blackwell continuity series. She also writes the Honor Bound series for Harlequin Romantic Suspense and has written in the ongoing Colton family saga. As her first love is paranormal romance, she’s published a number of novellas, including the Tome Wardens trilogy collection. EXPOSED, her first book of The Circle of the Red Lily romantic suspense series with CAEZIK Romance will be released in November of 2022. Readers can get a taste for what’s to come with her Nemesis Files Trilogy (light romantic suspense), available on audio through Scribd.

NYTimes bestselling author Brenda Novak says “The talented Anna J Stewart delivers every time!”

Anna lives in Northern California where she deals with a serious Supernatural & Jason Momoa addiction, surrounds herself with friends and family and tolerates two devious cats named Sherlock and Rosie.

The Unraveling: A Jade & Sage Thriller Series Book One by Joanna Vander Vlugt Review

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

After the client she successfully defended is murdered, a lawyer must rely on her sister’s motorbike club to help defend her from a secret justice society and their assassins when they come after her next in author Joanna Vander Vlugt’s “The Unraveling”, the first book in A Jade & Sage Thriller Series.

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The Synopsis

Jade Thyme celebrates successfully defending Jules Cranbury on a murder charge. Her celebration is short-lived when she finds Jules murdered. Jade investigates and uncovers a secret justice society whose members hide behind white tabs and black robes while delivering their own vigilante justice. Jade locates a once prominent and respected lawyer, now known as Noxzema Man, homeless and panhandling in Fan Tan Alley. He warns Jade. Judges, lawyers and police make up the Society. Trust no one. The MotoCityDolls, her sister’s all-female motorcycle gang, save Jade from a Society assassin. Forced to take a leave of absence, Jade packs up her office, but not before coming face-to-face with another assassin–Jules’s murderer.

The Review

This was such a compelling and chilling crime meets legal thriller. The haunting nature of the conspiracy that unravels throughout this narrative and the frightful tone that the dangers facing the protagonist emit help drive the narrative forward and keep the reader on the edge of their seats as one after the other the dominoes in the character’s lives begin to unravel. The rich setting and adrenaline-fueled blend of mystery and suspense (with a hint of supernatural storytelling elements) made this a completely engaging read.

The character growth and interactions really highlighted the growing mystery and dread that the dangers presented to the cast of characters. Jade is such a strong and inviting protagonist, and her bond with both her sister and Osmond was definitely a compelling element of her story. Yet it was the unraveling of the conspirators and the society that comes after her, as well as the haunting nature of the supernatural twist that affects her journey, that kept me invested in the overall narrative.

The Verdict

Chilling, entertaining, and thrilling, author Joanna Vander Vlugt’s “The Unraveling” is a must-read crime thriller that meets paranormal suspense and mysteries. The brilliant start to the Jade & Sage Thriller series, the rich dynamics between the characters and the haunting nature of the crimes, and even the connection between Jade and the first victim of the crime spree, will keep readers on their toes as these twists and turns up the ante of this narrative. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Joanna Vander Vlugt is an indie author and illustrator. She hosts a podcast called JCVArtStudio from the Dressing Room which provides authors and artists an opportunity to tell their story–a dress rehearsal before taking their book launch or art show on the road.

Her legal thriller Dealer’s Child is a 2021 Canadian Book Club Awards finalist and The Unravelling, the first novel in her paranormal thriller series, was a 2019 Canadian Book Club Awards finalist. Her previous publications include her short essay No Beatles Reunion for the Dropped Threads 3 anthology, Beyond the Small Circle; Egyptian Queen for the Dead in the Water mystery anthology and The Parrot and Wild Mushroom Stuffing for the Blood on the Holly mystery anthology.

Joanna’s art can be viewed on Instagram @jcvartstudio

https://www.jcvartstudio.net/

Girl Targeted (An Aoife Walsh Thriller Book One) by Val Collins Review

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

A newlywed wife who takes an office job whilst awaiting the birth of her daughter witnesses a horrific accident that just may point to a cold-blooded killer, and everyone in her life, including her own husband, may not be able to be trusted in author Val Collins’s “Girl Targeted”, the first book in An Aoife Walsh Thriller series. 

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The Synopsis

Office jobs can be stressful. Aoife’s may be lethal.

Aoife’s life is finally on track. She’s happily married, pregnant with her first child and has the world’s best mother-in-law. But when Aoife accepts a job as an office temp, her entire life begins to unravel.

Is one of Aoife’s colleagues a murderer? Is Aoife the next target? Why is her husband unconcerned?

Can office politics lead to murder? 

The Review

I love how the author immediately draws the reader in with their relatable character development and subtle buildup of tension that allows for those explosive moments to really shock the reader and stay with them long after the scene has ended. The rich setting and captivating mystery that surrounds the setting itself give the reader an equally magnetized pull that draws them into the mystery the same as the protagonist, who takes on this investigative role.

The character development really drove the story home for the reader. The determination and curiosity that Aoife displays are so relatable to true crime enthusiasts and journalists alike, and how she balances this with her life as a wife and mother is great world-building in my opinion. Balance this with the twisted relationship that reveals itself over time with her husband, who displays rudeness and abruptness that so many people will recognize from their own past relationships and informs the reader on how far Aoife’s narrative journey takes her over time.

The Verdict

Captivating, thoughtful, and entertaining, author Val Collins’s “Girl Targeted” is a brilliant story and a great first entry into the Aoife Walsh Thriller series. The twists this mystery takes and the dangers that Aoife comes into contact with are a great foundation for building a new heroine to tackle the mysteries and criminal dangers facing her small corner of the world. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Val Collins is the author of the award-winning psychological thriller GIRL TARGETED and the No. 1 international bestsellers ONLY LIES REMAIN, THE SILENT SPEAK and WHERE LOYALTIES LIE. All four books are stand-alone thrillers and they can be read in any order.

Val has lived in Ireland her entire life, and graduated from University College Dublin. She enjoys chocolate, going for long walks in the countryside, seeing as much of the world as possible, meeting friends, writing, and reading. In fact, she devours books at the rate of one per week, and her favourite authors range from Philippa Gregory and Sophie Kinsella to Lee Child and Linwood Barclay.

Join Val online at valcollinsbooks.com, and on social media @valcollinsbooks.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078MT89VW/ref=x_gr_w_glide_sin?caller=Goodreads&callerLink=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goodreads.com%2Fbook%2Fshow%2F38125916-girl-targeted%3Fac%3D1%26from_search%3Dtrue%26qid%3D6KUFgDjvlb%26rank%3D1&tag=x_gr_w_glide_sin-20

Killer with Three Heads (Killer Series Book Two)  by J.L. Hill Review

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

A decade after faking his own death, a former mobster and criminal returns to NYC to find his daughter, and those who kidnapped her, no matter the cost in author J.L. Hill’s “Killer with Three Heads”, the second book in the Killer series.

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The Synopsis

It’s been ten years since the Banoa-Rocci war. It is all but forgotten in New York City. Then the unthinkable happens, someone has kidnapped Maria and her nanny Akilina, and resurrected the Devil.

Bulletproof Morris ‘Mojo’ Johnson has been missing for the last four years. He returns in a hailstorm of bullets looking for his daughter, and more importantly, her kidnappers. He is ready to reignite the old conflicts, or start a new one with whoever would be so bold.

Nicky ‘Nails’ Rocci is ready to ascend to the role of Godfather of his New York Family and take a seat on the board of the Syndicate. His friend can derail his entire plan and put him in the middle of a war with the other families, or worse, government forces.

The Review

This was quite the loaded and action-packed crime thriller. Although fairly new to the Killer Series by this author, the narrative works in a way that allows newcomers to enjoy the story without sacrificing the callbacks and story components from the first book for returning fans of this series. The book is definitely geared towards a more adult readership, as descriptive and lengthy scenes of violence and sexual activity take place. The vivid imagery the author’s writing evokes conjures to mind the 80’s crime stories that have become a part of our pop culture for years, bringing to life mobsters, drug cartels, shady government agents, and more to the table.

The heart of this narrative was the complexity of the protagonist and the emotional driving force behind the story itself. The kidnapping of the protagonist’s daughter reawakens the seasoned criminal within Morris, and his love and determination to save his daughter is matched by the ferocity and shocking levels of violence he is willing to inflict on others to find her and gain what he wants. The story also highlights the conflicting struggles of women in general, but in particular, this story the women who had to learn to survive in the criminal underworld through any means necessary, becoming both weapon and object of desire alike to not only gain access to information and targets but to survive the violent world that these men had created back then.

The Verdict

Shocking, adrenaline-fueled, and entertaining, author J.L. Hill’s “Killer with Three Heads” is a must-read crime thriller and a great second entry into the Killer Series. The twists and turns in the narrative and the international settings and timelines that showcase the growth and development of this cast of characters help elevate the classic story seen time and time again in organized crime stories, as a father and criminal must use his resources and power to save his daughter’s life, no matter how much blood he has to spill. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

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A native New Yorker, born and raised in the Bronx, James L Hill spent his adolescence years in Fort Apache, the South Bronx 41st precinct during the 60’s, during a time when you needed to have a gang to go to the store. Raised on blues, soul, and rock and roll gave him the heart of a flower child. Educated by the turmoil of Vietnam, Civil Rights, and the Sexual Revolution produced a gladiator. Realizing the precariousness of life gave him an adventurous outlook and willingness to try anything once, and if it did not kill him, maybe twice. 12 years of Catholic education and a couple of years in college spread between wild drug induce euphoric years, which did not kill him, gave James an unique moral compass that swings in any direction it wants. A scientific mind and a spirit that believes nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough guides his writings. He enjoys traveling to new places and seeing what life has to offer. James began writing short stories and poetry back in his early years. In his twenties moved on to novels. He worked in the financial industry and later got a degree in computer programming, his other love. James has a successful career as a software engineer designing, developing and maintaining systems for the government and the private sector. He has been programming for nearly forty years in various languages. After years in the computer world he returned to his first love, unleashing the characters in his head. Still a hopeless insomniac, he feels free to pound out plots. James L Hill is a prolific storyteller writing crime stories, fantasies, and science fiction, with a slant on the dark side of life. The next step on his journey naturally led to the business of publishing. He started RockHill Publishing LLC not only to produce his own work, but to give others access to the literary world. His computer background and experiences in word processing gives him insight into what it takes to publish good books.

https://www.jlhill-books.com/index.html

Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero by Michael Hingson and Susy Flory Review

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

The true story of a man blind from birth and the extraordinary bond between him and his guide dog that allowed them to survive one of American History’s most horrendous tragedies comes to life in authors Michael Hingson and Susy Flory’s “Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero”.

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The Synopsis

Faith.  Trust.  Triumph.

I trust Roselle with my life, every day. She trusts me to direct her. And today is no different, except the stakes are higher. Michael Hingson

First came the boom the loud, deep, unapologetic bellow that seemed to erupt from the very core of the earth. Eerily, the majestic high-rise slowly leaned to the south. On the seventy-eighth floor of the World Trade Center’s north tower, no alarms sounded, and no one had information about what had happened at 8:46 a.m. on September 11, 2001. What should have been a normal workday for thousands of people. All that was known to the people inside was what they could see out the windows: smoke and fire and millions of pieces of burning paper and other debris falling through the air.

Blind since birth, Michael couldn’t see a thing, but he could hear the sounds of shattering glass, falling debris, and terrified people flooding around him and his guide dog, Roselle. However, Roselle sat calmly beside him. In that moment, Michael chose to trust Roselle’s judgment and not to panic. They are a team.

Thunder Dog allows you entry into the isolated, fume-filled chamber of stairwell B to experience survival through the eyes of a blind man and his beloved guide dog. Live each moment from the second a Boeing 767 hits the north tower, to the harrowing stairwell escape, to dodging death a second time as both towers fold into the earth.

It’s the 9/11 story that will forever change your spirit and your perspective. Thunder Dog illuminates Hingson’s lifelong determination to achieve parity in a sighted world, and how the rare trust between a man and his guide dog can inspire an unshakable faith in each one of us.

The Review

The authors delivered a truly moving, compelling, and inspiring memoir. The visceral details of the harrowing experience both Michael and his guide dog Roselle had trying to navigate that stairwell and escape the towers that horrific day is chilling and haunting to read about, and is something that many readers around the world will be able to identify with as many experienced the fear and confusion that the news brought from that traumatic day.

The heart of the narrative lies in the bond between Michael and Roselle, as well as the emphasis the authors put on faith and trust as a whole. Whether it is the faith that Michael put into Roselle that day and throughout their lives as a whole or the faith in his belief system that gave him the confidence to face life’s struggles head-on, the theme of faith runs deeply through this book. 

Now I will say I had the pleasure of reading another book on this man’s life story, and you can read my thoughts on that here, but what made this version of his story shine in a different light than the first one was the emphasis the authors put on showcasing blindness as a whole and trying to move readers to look beyond the “handicap” of those who are blind and see the people they are instead, which gave a nice balance to the rest of the events portrayed in this book.

The Verdict

Thoughtful, inspiring, and hopeful, authors Michael Hingson and Susy Flory’s “Thunder Dog” is a must-read memoir and nonfiction book on faith, trust, and loyalty like no other. The emotional connection between Michael and Roselle, as well as the importance of understanding blindness and the connection people make with either their pets or in this instance, their guide dogs, and the shocking details of an experience few could ever put into words made this one book you won’t be able to put down. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

When the World Trade Center was attacked on 9-11, it was as though the world stood still. It was a day that captured our full attention. Michael Hingson and his Guide Dog Roselle were on the 78th floor of Tower One that day, and were able to make their way to safety and survive the attack. The duo was immediately thrust into the international spotlight, becoming well-known representatives of the strength of the human/animal bond and a living example of the powerful partnership that exists between a blind person and their Guide Dog. In 2002 Michael joined the Guide Dogs for the Blind team as the National Public Affairs director, to share his story throughout the world on behalf of the school. In June of 2008 Michael left Guide Dogs to form The Michael Hingson Group to continue his speaking career as well as to serve as a consultent for corporations and organizations that need assistance with Inclusive and Diversity training as well as adaptive technology training.

Michael Hingson is available for speaking engagements, public appearances, consulting and training contract positions and media interviews.

In his own words:

I lived through the 9-11 tragedy and have much to say about my experiences leading up to and escaping from the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Since that day, I’ve traveled the world with Roselle and her successors; at first to help people heal and hope, and now, to help them find meaning and purpose. As a blind person living in today’s world I want people to see that while there are many different kinds of people, each with their own different gifts, we all can live and work together if we choose to open our minds and hearts and become a more inclusive world. There are positive lessons to be learned from every tragedy, and 9-11 is certainly no exception.

Because I am blind, I have a unique perspective. Because I believe in the power of partnering with my Guide Dog, I can speak from the heart about teamwork and trust. I’ve been a guest numerous times on Larry King Live, have been interviewed on Regis and Kelly, and have appeared on the CBS Morning Show – but I’m looking forward to my next big engagement: as the featured speaker at your event.

I promise to bring my faithful friend and guide dog, Africa – she has her own fan club! If it weren’t for our ability to work together as a team just as I Roselle and I did on 9-11, my story would be much different and I probably would not have learned the lessons I now can pass on to audiences throughout the world.

The events of September 11th changed the world, and they certainly changed my life. There’s something about almost losing your life that makes what really matters in life crystal clear. I left my successful 27-year career in high tech computer sales and management to travel the world speaking about the importance of teamwork and trust in our professional and personal lives.

I would like to bring my story to your audience at your next event or meeting and help you make it a memorable and rewarding experience. And you will have the satisfaction that any dollars you spend will not only cover my speaking fees, but will help others like myself enjoy the independence and companionship that comes from a partnership with a Guide Dog. 

Susy Flory is the New York Times bestselling author or co-author of fourteen books. A graduate of UCLA, she has a background in journalism, education, and communications. She loves reading and writing stories about unforgettable people who are living lives of adventure, courage, hope, redemption, and transformation.

She first started writing at the Newhall Signal with the legendary Scotty Newhall, an ex-editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and a one-legged cigar-smoking curmudgeon who ruled the newsroom from behind a dented metal desk where he pounded out stories on an Underwood Typewriter.

Susy’s first book, Fear Not Da Vinci, was co-written with Gini Monroe with contributions by Ward Gasque, and published in 2006. Other books include So Long Status Quo: What I Learned from Women Who Changed the World (Beacon Hill, 2009); Miracle on Voodoo Mountain (with Megan Boudreaux, Harper Collins, 2015); and The Good, The Bad, and the Grace of God, with Jep and Jessica Robertson (Harper Collins, 2015).

Susy’s runaway bestseller, Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero written with Michael Hingson, hit the New York Times bestsellers list in both hardcover nonfiction and e-book nonfiction the first week of release. Thunder Dog has also been adapted for the stage, optioned for film, and translated into over 15 languages, including German, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, and Chinese.

Her most recent book. The Sky Below, is the story of astronaut Scott Parazynski, the only man every to fly in space and summit Mount Everest. She just finished up Desired By God, a book with Van Moody, pastor of the Worship Center in Birmingham, AL, about a God who yearns for a vital and passionate relationship with us.

Susy is a member of The Authors Guild, Inspire Christian Writers, and INK Creative Collective. She’s a 2017 recipient of the Pacesetter Award from Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, and now directs the West Coast Christian Writers Conference in the San Francisco Bay Area and her startup, Everything Memoir.

A breast cancer survivor of four gnarly surgeries, Susy celebrates life by chasing great stories in places like Cuba, Haiti, Turkey, Israel, and her own backyard. She’s written with celebrities, heroes of the faith, athletes, explorers, and the girl (and boy) next door She loves riding a crazy ex-racehorse named Stetson, hiking in the High Sierras, and skiing black diamond runs whenever she can. 

http://www.susyflory.com/