Wednesday, March 26, 2014
This is a historical romance which takes place in Georgian, England. It’s the tale of two sisters 17 years of age: Sophia, the rebellious, outdoorsy and strong woman, and Angelina, the quiet, passive girl. They both fall in love; unfortunately Sophia’s love is the stable manager, Robert. After both of their parents died, Sophia must fight to stop her uncle, George, from taking over possession of Longley Hall, her and her sister’s birthright. There is a fatal confrontation, when George’s scheme backfires.
The characters that stuck out for me were Henry Gampton and his daughter Sonya. Both were strong-willed and trying to do what they deemed right. The villains were Georgiana Gampton and George Gampton. They fit their parts really well.
I thought the dialogue and setting fit the genre of a historical romance. I did think the use of the word ‘whilst’ was overused. Every time I came across that word, it felt like a jab with a pin. I did enjoy some of the description of the surrounding land and the ducks around the pond. Ducks do like to scold.
It did take me awhile to get into the story, partly because of the constant shifting of POV from one character to another in the same scene/sequence. Also I agree with another review, that a big plot twist was missed by not adding the first part of the story as background AFTER the parents died.
When the conflict between Robert, Charles and Sonya came out at the end, I was on the edge of my chair . . . until the accidental second shot from a black powder gun. Or, it could have been a cap and ball pistol. The author never specified. That brought the whole story, for me, to a screeching halt. Authors need to research if they use guns as a prop. In that era, there were no such things as an automatic weapon. The gun would have had to be primed to be shot again.
Anyway, it had a good contrast of good against bad, it brought tears to my eyes and the conflict at the end did not come out the way I anticipated, so I would recommend this story. I give it 4 feathers.
Friday, March 21, 2014
Ryan Fulbright, faced with his failures as a husband and father turns to alcohol to forget his shortcomings. In utter despair over his upcoming divorce and the turmoil the separation is causing his young daughter, June, Ryan stumbles into a Baptist church looking for some type of answer to the hole in his heart. His encounter with Pastor Jason starts him on a journey searching for a God that he doesn't really believe in. With misgivings, Pastor Jason sends Ryan on a one-man mission to Jubilee House in Granada, Nicaragua. Jubilee House takes in and helps women trying to get away from their life of prostitution. They also offer a safe haven for rescued children that were either sold or kidnapped into the rampant sex trade and trafficking of young children.
This is a tale of man’s inhumanity towards man, especially the most innocent and vulnerable, our children. Ryan Fulbright is the main character, but we are introduced to several other characters that are intricately woven throughout the plot. There is Benito the Giant, Miguel the translator and Gabrielle and her brave younger sister Natalia. This story grabs your attention right from the beginning with the plight of Gabrielle and her sister. This wasn’t a cliffhanger type of plot, but I was definitely on the edge of my seat during parts of the telling.
W. D. Parks did an awesome job with the depth of the characters and filling in the back stories where needed. I came to know and feel each of their pain and suffering and also their shared joy. Parts of these characters will linger with me for a quite a while. If you’re not shedding a few tears by the end of this story, then you have a hard heart indeed.
The writing was in a descriptive nature, but no fluff. I loved his usage of unique metaphors. The author really brought out the dramatic scenes and I felt like I was sitting in the truck with Gabrielle, or tied to the post with Benito, or sitting upside, injured with Ryan.
There were several proofreading errors, and normally these types of errors have to be taken into consideration during the rating process, but this was such a good story that I will give my 5 feathers anyway. I highly recommend this book.
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Do You Understand WHY You Write?
Rolling over in the middle of the night from another restless sleep, I grab my smartphone and start going through my twitter account, which has become horribly addictive. This is about the only time I can actually look at other people’s twits. So I click on links for books and posts and retweet what I think is appropriate. Keeping my eye on the time on my phone, telling myself I need to go back to sleep, I run across a twit entitled: Why I Suck at Book Marketing (& WHY You Do Too) by Shah Wharton. She had recently seen a post called I Hate Self-Promotion by Tim Grahl at Out:Think.
Basically the premise is that you can holler until you’re blue in the face through your Author Platform, but until you understand WHY you are writing, what theme is behind your books, you will never reach the readers you are looking for. Shah went through her books and made a list of her reoccurring themes so she could understand WHY she was writing and what she was trying to tell her readers.
Hmm. As you know, I’m publishing my late husband’s books. So as for the WHY he needed to express, I can’t ask him. But being a reader and having gone through the birthing process with each of his stories and characters, I gave it a stab in the dark.
Bear Of A Storm: This is a man who one fateful night, has his girlfriend taken by a four-foot Teddy Bear into a large ball of light. The other Teddy Bears could have picked anyone on the block, but it was his girlfriend they wanted. He then has to live through the fear and helplessness of the consequences.
In Memory of Michelle: A man is fishing along the Missouri River and one fateful day, he encounters an aquatic humanoid creature he calls Michelle. Due to an accident beyond his control, he fells hopeless at his inability to help her and comes back year after year to find her.
Chip Off the Old Block: Unknown to Michael, he has a destiny to the Keeper of the Unicorns, Grizelda. He pays the price when he chooses to ignore his destiny.
It Lives In The Basement: This is about two Detectives, who were partners, but at different times were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They are both faced with the same creature and fighting for survival. Again, Fate.
Arthur Merlin: The One and Only: I am currently working on this novel, but Arthur is a man, who due to an accident suddenly has various psychic abilities. And as the story progress’, he discovers that it was his destiny.
There are several other stories that I have started but quit, for now, with the same reoccurring themes. Fate and Destiny.
Fate: The development of events beyond a person's control, regarded as determined by a supernatural power. OR, be destined to happen, turn out, or act in a particular way.
Destiny: The events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thing in the future.
Ah ha! So now I have found my theme, but what to do with it? Supposedly I can use this knowledge to attract my tribe of people. We shall see.
For those of you that don’t believe in Fate/Destiny, when Bob and I first met, he told me he knew me by the 7 moles I have on my back
Also, I don’t drive due to a congenital birth defect involving the central nervous system in my eyes. So Bob was the sole driver. We had bought a small three acre house in the country. We spent 7 wonderful years before we lost it to a flood along the Missouri River. He passed away 1 1/2 years later. If we hadn’t lost the house and moved back into Omaha, I would have been stuck in a house in the country that I had no way to get back and forth to work from. I would have had to go through the emotional loss of my house and Bob at the same time. I don’t think I could have dealt with that. So Fate took our house and gave me Bob for 1 1/2 years and a way back to Omaha.
And last, was it Fate that made me stop at this one twitter post in the middle of the night?
Saturday, March 8, 2014
This is a very witty, honest and inspirational book. The chapters are what she deemed as some of her better posts from her blog. I agree 100% with everything she says. Our world is in a mess of hurt and the only way to change the chaos is with our children. Thank you Nonnie, for a wonderful read.
I give it 5 feathers.
This is a story of Jeff, Amy and their 3-yer old daughter, Ashley, being manipulated by an overstepping Director of the Child Protective Services. When the CPS and police officers show up to take Ashley away, Jeff is forced to protect his family anyway he can. Due to his actions, he lands in jail, facing a life sentence or a death penalty. The story outlines Jeff’s struggle to win his case in court against all odds.
With my personal experience with firearms and the people who keep firearms, plus the procedures put in place by local police departments regarding the drawing of a firearm, let alone the use of a firearm against a prep or a civilian, I don’t see this scenario as plausible. Now if we were talking about the FBI or the CIA. Yes. Remember Ruby Ridge or Waco?
That being said, I did find the beginning of the story quite dramatic with the slapping of the bullet into the doorframe. I just wish the story maintained that suspenseful pace. But it didn’t Some of the problem was too much passive style writing versus aggressive writing.
The plot was the same little man against the government theme with a few plot twists. Unfortunately, Brue gave so many hints throughout the story, that I had it figured out way before they were revealed. No surprises. And to be honest, I figured them out without the hints.
The settings were mainly in Jeff’s jail cell, Amy’s house or the court room. Amy’s character did develop along the way, but I didn’t see any development in Jeff’s character. Bruce did a decent job of showing the emotions the husband and wife was going through with the numerous trials: the loneliness, despair and feelings of helplessness. The one true emotion he didn’t show at all was guilt/remorse. Unless you are a socio-path or a hardened criminal, you are going to feel guilt/remorse over taking a person’s life. Jeff and Amy were only centered on themselves.
I felt the progress of the story was very slow. Some of the slow pace was the constant jumping back and forth between Jeff and Amy reiterating the same feelings. Also, there was no definition of character between the two. If it weren’t for the dialogue tags, you wouldn’t know which character was talking or thinking at the time.
Bruce has a very good use of vocabulary, and as mentioned in a previous post, no foul language. But there were a few words that jumped out at me like he didn’t know what they meant. Like blind sighted instead of blindsided.
For me, this was a ho-hum read and definitely did not keep me on the edge of my seat. Anyway, I give the book 3 feathers.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
With teary eyes, I write this review. This was a very profound story with a poignant ending to the story. I believe the last two chapters, Christopher and The Diarist were meant to be uplifting, but since I’m only human and still trying to recover from my own personal tragedies, I only felt sadness. A sadness for missed opportunities, which is kind of how the story makes you feel.
This was a beautiful tale. Jo Robinson did a wonderful job portraying the characters and their interactions between each other and the world around them. Most American’s get used to reading material only from American authors, so it was a welcome change to see the world from another prospective. Especially a country with so much strife, loss and heartache.
When Suzette changed her moral compass from South (head buried in the ground) to North (standing on own two feet), the reader understood why and how she changed. The description of the girl in the painting was very vivid. I grieved with Suzette for her losses and chuckled over the crazy antics of her cook. And of course, I hated the villains. I really enjoyed Princess and the parrot, Mr. Mandela. I felt Jo Robinson stood on a soapbox more than needed, but that is understandable, when you’re an ant standing on the head of a matchstick trying to get the attention of an uncaring world. Sometimes you have to jump up and down several times just to light a fire over the injustices being done in Africa.
I really enjoyed how she brought the personal conflict of Africa together at the end: Bystander, Pacifist and Activist.
I would have given this book 5 stars, but for all the technical errors in the writing. There were missing words and wrong words used. In one place, the end of the sentence was missing. Also, on my Kindle PC and my phone, there were doubles spaces between a lot of the dialogues and the person speaking and sometimes it was hard to follow the conversation on who was actually talking. I don’t have this issue with my books on Amazon, so it has to be a formatting problem on the author’s end. If the editing problems get cleaned up, I will change to 5 stars.