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Saturday, June 9, 2018

Awesome Indies Reviews "Hillbilly Version of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"



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Lacy Dawn Hickman is a young girl who lives in an isolated community in the Hollow. She is part of a dysfunctional family; Jenny, a mother who has sacrificed her dreams for her family, and Duane, a father suffering from combat-related PTSD. Lacy’s only friend, Faith, was killed by her abusive father, and her spirit now inhabits trees and rocks around Lacy’s house; trees by the way, that Lacy can communicate with. As you might have surmised at this point, Lacy Dawn is a ‘special’ child. She not only talks to trees, but she communicates with her dog, and has a guardian, a naked alien known only as DotCom, whose mission is to guard and guide Lacy to her destiny—saving the universe.

Rarity From the Hollow by Robert Eggleton is a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, only instead of the earth being destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass, Lacy Dawn must save DotCom’s home planet from in infestation of sentient roaches. At the same time, she must cure her dysfunctional family so that she and her mother no longer have to suffer Duane’s switchings, and no more girls like Faith are bludgeoned to death.

The author has managed to do what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse, and written about them with tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them. In fact, the rustic humor and often graphic language employed by Lacy Dawn and her compatriots only serve to highlight their desperate lives, and their essential toughness and resilience.

From the simplistic, almost primitive, art of the cover, to the rough education of the protagonists, Eggleton sucks you into the Hollow, dunks you in the creek, rolls you in the mud, and splays you in the sun to dry off. Tucked between the folds of humor are some profound observations on human nature and modern society that you have to read to appreciate.

There are only a few things to mar an otherwise perfect book. A few places where words are omitted, the fact that characters’ thoughts are not highlighted, and having every character in the Hollow using the term ‘mommy’ rather than the expected ‘ma,’ which was a bit jarring in the early chapters, but by the halfway point was funny. Other than the five or six cases of missing words or typos, it’s a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy.


MORE ABOUT THIS BLOG AND GETTING REVIEWS

 The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. Of particular interest to readers of this blog is her most recent How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically (http://bit.ly/GreatBkReviews ) that covers 325 jam-packed pages covering everithing from Amazon vine to writing reviews for profit and promotion. Reviewers will have a special interest in the chapter on how to make reviewing pay, either as way to market their own books or as a career path--ethically!

This blog is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Five Star "Edge of Your Seat" Review for Psychological Mystery

Title: Pain has a Permanent Address
Author: Andrew Hixson
Genre: Psychological Mystery
Series: The John Handful Mysteries (Book 4)
·         Paperback: 336 pages
·         Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 5, 2017)
·         Author's Website
      Language: English
·         ISBN-10: 1548316946
·         ISBN-13: 978-1548316945
·         Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches


Available as an e-book

Reviewed originally for Amazon from a Verified Purchase and given five stars

Andrew Hixson is a master storyteller who keeps you on the edge of your seat. This is a powerful story that will keep you out of breath and turning the pages as you help John Handful solve a murder mystery. Chilling and downright scary at times, this novel will keep you in suspense right up to the very end. I highly recommend this book to anyone. 
MORE ABOUT THIS BLOG AND GETTING REVIEWS

 The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. Of particular interest to readers of this blog is her most recent How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically (http://bit.ly/GreatBkReviews ) that covers 325 jam-packed pages covering everithing from Amazon vine to writing reviews for profit and promotion. Reviewers will have a special interest in the chapter on how to make reviewing pay, either as way to market their own books or as a career path--ethically!

This blog is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Bollywood to Beatles: Find Your Fix on The New Book Review

Title: Bollywood Invasion
Author: Ricardo Alexanders
Author's Website: http://ricardoalexanders.com/
Genre or Category: romance, fantasy
ISBN-13: 978-1981590193


Reviewed by Diane Donovan originally for Donovans Literary Services

The opening pages of Bollywood Invasion present what first appears to be an ordinary story of John Palmieri, a Brooklyn boy who is leading an average life until he's hit by a bus and awakens in another body as Raj Scindia, a prince living in India in 1958. He's suddenly wealthy, privileged, and living quite a different life from modern-day Brooklyn. Only his intense love for The Beatles has survived his transformation as he adapts to an entirely new culture and timeline; and it's that love which will lead to further changes because it's one he can't leave behind, in his old life. 

Driven by the possibilities of love and making a positive impact on his world, he finds the lyrics of the Beatles continue to direct his life, even though in this incarnation, they never existed. And when his choices bring everything he loves crashing into disaster ten years later, these songs and the values they instill in his new identity may be the only thing to link the former John's persona with Raj's struggle to survive. 

It would be all too easy to say that Bollywood Invasion is a timeslip novel that centers around a boy's struggle to regain his position and former world; but in actuality it's a saga of a struggle for identity that assumes a special level of complexity when two personas clash and their owner becomes lost between them. 

Is he living a lie, or dreaming? Which world is real; and which is his choice? As Raj becomes the incarnation of John Lennon in another place and time, bringing the messages of his future self into the past where they are received and interpreted with much enthusiasm and gusto, he also faces many conundrums, such as two women who love him and the dilemma of one of them being promised to another.

 His reincarnation of the music of the 'Beetos' in this timestream leads to many changes as Ricardo Alexanders provides a satisfying focus on love, fame, complicated situations, and the values of Indian girls and the men who pursue them. 

The result is a complex and vivid story that leads Raj/John around the world and across time, probing the unexpected consequences of coming full circle with a story that challenges not only the protagonist's true identity, but the circumstances surrounding John Lennon's life, death, and own incongruities (“You wrote songs imagining no possessions but have millions of dollars and properties everywhere.”). 

Readers looking for timeslip sagas that go beyond the usual focus on finding a way back to finding the path to one's identity will relish the very different perspectives that make Bollywood Invasion an engrossing saga that excels in unexpected turns of plot.


MORE ABOUT THIS BLOG AND GETTING REVIEWS

 The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. Of particular interest to readers of this blog is her most recent How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically (http://bit.ly/GreatBkReviews ) that covers 325 jam-packed pages covering everithing from Amazon vine to writing reviews for profit and promotion. Reviewers will have a special interest in the chapter on how to make reviewing pay, either as way to market their own books or as a career path--ethically!

This blog is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

"Good Afternoon Vietnam" Review Raves About Vet''s New Memoir

Title: Good Afternoon Vietnam

Subtitle: A Civilian in the Vietnam War

Author: Gary L. Wilhelm

Author's Website: http://frugal-engineer.com/

Genre or Category: History, memoir, war

ISBN-10: 0692999906

ISBN-13: 978-0692999905

Purchase on Amazon

Reviewer's rating: Five stars


Reviewed by Theodore Jerome Cohen originally for Amazon



Gary Wilhelm hits it out of the park with his first-hand account of his work in RVN during the war.

Even though he was a civilian, parts of this story sound like they came directly from the television series M*A*S*H (which, of course, hearkens back to the Korean Police Action of the early 1950s). Wilhelm's trials and tribulations in performing his job (having to leave the country just to communicate with his company in the States? What was that about???!), much less the effort it took to perform the things we take for granted as we go about our daily lives (e.g., shopping), would have been enough to drive most people mad.

My hat's off to you, Gary; thank you for your service! What a great read. Anyone interested in what really went on behind the scenes during the war in RVN will not want to miss this book. It's a fast--and very enjoyable--read!

Five stars, all the way.


MORE ABOUT THIS BLOG AND GETTING REVIEWS

 The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. Of particular interest to readers of this blog is her most recent How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically (http://bit.ly/GreatBkReviews ) that covers 325 jam-packed pages covering everithing from Amazon vine to writing reviews for profit and promotion. Reviewers will have a special interest in the chapter on how to make reviewing pay, either as way to market their own books or as a career path--ethically!

This blog is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Carol Wilhelm Introduces 91-Year-Old First-Time Author

Author: E. Irene Theis 
Author's Website Link on the Reminiscing Writers blog
Genre: memoir 


Reviewed by Carolyn Wilhelm originally for Amazon

What an amazing and impressive story revealing changes in time regarding women, religion, culture, and family experiences over the 91 years (and counting) of the author’s lifetime. The author’s life began in the  tender care of loving parents on an idyllic farm setting in northern Minnesota. There was a wonderful Lutheran church community which was and still is a strong influence in the lives of her and her now grown children. It seems religion was helpful along the way. Color pictures of the family, church, and area are included in the book. I like the photos as looking through them while reading provides a real sense of her life and story. 

E. Irene Theis suffered through years of abuse (for her and some of the children). There was also constant moving while having and raising the five babies. For many years, she blamed herself for not getting a divorce sooner. The authors own words best explain the depth of the problems she faced:

“Then Dennis received orders to go to California. We took the train. When we got to the area, we rented a motel room. We didn’t have any money for food until Dennis got paid the next day, and all I had with us was two potatoes so I made potato soup with water and salt.”

Her daughter Denise attended at least 14 schools. You get the picture. 

In later years, the author became empowered through her work in business. Graduating from college at age 66 (yes, you read that correctly), she worked and joined the Business and Professional Women's Foundation (BWP). She was voted Women of the Year in 1990. She was State President in 1992, and on the National Board in 1992 and 1993. She accomplished many wonderful things and these are a few examples. She also proudly helped employ a woman at Midwest Federal as a very successful, though blind, switchboard operator. This is one example of how she could help others after all she endured herself. 

As a member of BPW, she was interested in women’s issues, especially women’s health, and yes, in their economic status. She attended seminars, workshops, and researched both the health and financial problems of women. She did remarry in a much better relationship which was wonderful for her and the children, which was nice to read about. She described her trips to Norway and China with perspective and vivid detail. After retirement, she is living independently, writing books, and has a youthful life. 

Impressive accomplishment to become a published author at age 91!


MORE ABOUT THIS BLOG AND GETTING REVIEWS

 The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. Of particular interest to readers of this blog is her most recent How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically (http://bit.ly/GreatBkReviews ) that covers 325 jam-packed pages covering everithing from Amazon vine to writing reviews for profit and promotion. Reviewers will have a special interest in the chapter on how to make reviewing pay, either as way to market their own books or as a career path--ethically!

This blog is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Dr. Bob Rich Reviews "What's Making Our Children Sick"

What’s making our children SICK? by Michelle Perro and Vincanne Adams

By Michelle Perry and Vincanne Adams
Genre: Nonfiction: Environment
2017, Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN-13: 978-1603587570

Reviewed by Dr. Bob Rich

Dr. Perro is a pediatrician, so her book focuses on children. However, everything in this book applies to all humans, of any age. Probably it even applies to dogs, cats, goldfish, and animals free of human ownership.

Already, the preface is a powerful call to arms. Calmly, without hysteria, the authors summarize the theme of the book: “the systemic health failures among our children are a result of something even more troubling than the physical symptoms in their bodies; they are the cumulative outcome of being born into and living in an environment that has been made toxic by agrochemical industrialized food production... unless they are eating 100 percent organic food or homegrown vegetables from ecologically managed soil, they are eating toxic ingredients such as pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics... children carry toxic loads from the mattresses they sleep on, the soaps they use to wash their hands, their sunscreen, and their antibiotics. Add to that mix of toxic exposures the fact that much of their food is loaded with chemical toxicants, and you get very sick children--children who are being made sick from the inside out.”

Sections of the book explain in clear, plain language a wide variety of technical issues, and reading it is worthwhile for this reason alone. For example, I've only had a vague understanding of our gut bacteria until reading this book. You may not know much about genetic engineering; this is a good place to gain an understanding of the controversy surrounding this technology.

The authors focus in on the gut and its huge population of microscopic life. They show how mistreating this “microbiome,” or worse, poisoning it, relates to a wide variety of symptoms that are typically misdiagnosed. Instead of putting band aids on symptoms, the need is to treat the cause.
Perro & Adams advocate the use of “the five Rs for this: remove, replace, reinoculate, repair, and rebalance” to get gut health. The many case studies from Dr. Perro’s clinical practice show this to be spectacularly successful.

What damages the gut of so many children; so many people? “Our position is that GM foods are the key ingredient in the larger toxic pesticide problem, thus they cannot be separated” (p 120).
The book focuses on the USA. The occasional fact is country-specific, for example the horrendous lack of real regulation, but almost everything applies globally.

I do have a criticism. Two thirds of the book is organized along lines I find logical, but the opening one-third is... unusual. Time and again, the reader is told the overall conclusions, until they become utterly repetitive. This is interlaced with the evidence for these conclusions. The progression of evidence is fine, but the book would be far better to start with that, and gradually and inexorably lead to the conclusions. However, the content, the evidence presented, the scientific caution and rigor of the arguments, and above all, the many case studies, make this book essential reading, not only for medical personnel, not only for parents, but for all thinking people.



MORE ABOUT THIS BLOG AND GETTING REVIEWS

 The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. Of particular interest to readers of this blog is her most recent How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically (http://bit.ly/GreatBkReviews ) that covers 325 jam-packed pages covering everithing from Amazon vine to writing reviews for profit and promotion. Reviewers will have a special interest in the chapter on how to make reviewing pay, either as way to market their own books or as a career path--ethically!

This blog is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Frugal Book Promoter Makes Marketing "Easier than Envisioned!"

Title: The Frugal Book Promoter
Subtitles: Nitty-Gritty How-tos for Getting Nearly Free Publicity and How to get nearly free publicity
 on you own or by partnering with our publisher
Second Edition
By Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Published by HowToDoItFrugally Publishing
Series: HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers
Multi Award-Winning including USA Book News Gold
Available on Amazon as paper or e-book
ISBN: 9781463743291

Reviewed by Lois W. Stern originally for Amazon
FIVE STARS

Carolyn Howard-Johnson does it again, with another super book in her 'How to Do It Frugally' series. When
 she plunges into publicity basics, she really plunges, giving her readers invaluable who, what, when, where 
detailed directions. What would you pay a consultant for all this advice? I wager a lot more than the price 
of this book. And that’s before I got to the pages with step-by-step instructions on building a media kit. 

Sure, I had read about the importance of media kits for eons, knew that was something I should tackle,
 but it seemed like such as daunting task that I managed to put it off for years. Then along came 
The Frugal Book Promoter, and with its step-by-step guidance, I shouted EUREKA, I can do this! 
Not only does Howard-Johnson provide her recommended 
outline for its development, but gives us specifics 
as margin and font sizes, page headings, types of content
to include with each page and other important
 features one might otherwise overlook.

To my delight, I realized I had already written most of these 

recommended bits and pieces, saved and scattered
 in different folders, so it was far easier than I envisioned. 
Once I searched them out on my computer,
 refined and updated them a bit, my media kit was almost 
complete. It never would have occurred to me to 
include a first person essay, or even that such a piece 
belonged in a media kit. What a clever idea! 
I had such fun writing mine, and it certainly adds flavor, 
giving the author a chance to provide the media with a
 peak into your personality.

Now I can’t wait to read her Section II: "Do-It-Yourself and Partner Publicity". I have learned that when I read 
a Frugal series book, I have my Post-Its handy so I can tab the pages with details I don't want to overlook.

Lois W. Stern
Author, Creator of Tales2Inspire


MORE ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Lois W. Stern is a passionate teacher and that passion carries over to her Tales2Inspire contests and anthology series. Learn more about her on Twitter @tales2inspire2.