Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Buried Secrets by Krissy Baccaro reviewed by Rod DiGruttolo


REVIEW OF 
BURIED SECRETS 

by Krissy Baccaro


TITLE: BURIED SECRETS

AUTHOR: Krissy Baccaro

GENRE: Mystery

AGE / INTEREST LEVEL: Adult

PAGE #: 369 

PUBLISHER:  Independently Published

TO PURCHASE THIS BOOK CLICK HERE.

REVIEWER: ROD DiGRUTTOLO

4

REVIEW OF BURIED SECRETS   by Krissy Baccaro

MEETS ALL THE CRITERIA NEEDED TO PROVIDE SUSPENSE, WHIILE SHOWING  HUMAN ATTRIBUTES


During the early days of World War II, a woman named Gianna went missing in Southern Italy. The dying wishes of a beloved grandfather and family dynamics send a loving Granddaughter on a search to solve the mystery. Old letters secreted away in a hidden box guide her as she searches to find answers. Written in Italian, the fading ink and creased paper provide clues as to where she might find answers. Her quest is almost impossible. Her loyal best friend travels with her eight thousand miles from home to help in solving the mystery. Old World traditions, a close-knit and suspicious local population in the villages of Southern Italy, and emotional baggage hamper the investigation. Add the adventure of being in a beautiful setting with culinary and cultural distractions, and the task becomes gargantuan. Attempting to follow in the footsteps of a woman gone for seventy years, the characters must win the trust of people who have been hiding secrets for over seventy years. Her grandfather’s warning, “Watch who you trust,” rings in her mind, but she has to trust someone.


Baccaro is masterful in guiding the reader through a labyrinth of clues. Letters, written in Italian with ink fading from age, guide Abriella on her mission. The discovery of additional information comes in different forms. Still, the letters maintain the intrigue and mystery in the story. The strength of the characters belies the overwhelming opinion ingrained in an ancient culture. Abriella’s resolve and bravery overcome the belief women cannot succeed when danger threatens. Along with the mystery, a romantic nugget is implanted in the story. Grief, friendship, relationships, and trust are central themes in this narrative.


The author combines mystery and personal feelings to keep the reader in the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed the read and recommend this book for anyone interested in mysteries, especially the coldest of cold cases. It may be fiction, but the story gave me the feeling I was reading the author’s personal history.

As a writer, I appreciate the hard work and attention to detail an author must have to compose a good mystery story. BURIED SECRETS meets the criteria needed to provide suspense, show the human attributes, and bring the tale to a conclusion.

ORIGINAL PLACE THE REVIEW WAS PUBLISHED: GoodReads

ABOUT THE REVIEWER: 

Rod DiGruttolo is the author of several books including Snakes, Spiders and Palmetto Bugs, Need To Know - a Charlie Bascomb Adventure, Capitol Terror, A Shattered Mirror, and The Devil's Disciple. Rod grew up and continues to live in Sarasota, Florida and serves as group leader for The Sarasota Writers Group. Visit his website at: https://rdigruttolo.blogspot.com/ and his Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/rdigruttolo



Sunday, July 17, 2022

The Patriot’s Grill by Steven Day Reviewed by Alvin M. Stenzel


Review of The Patriot’s Grill by Steven Day (Reviewed by Alvin M. Stenzel)


TITLE:  THE PATRIOT’S GRILL

AUTHOR:  Steven Day

GENRE:  Sci fi/ Non-Fiction / Society-Politics

AGE / INTEREST LEVEL:  Adult

PAGE #:  326

PUBLISHER:  Independently Published

LINK TO WHERE THE BOOK MAY BE PURCHASED


Patriot’s Grill by Steven Day Reviewed by Alvin M. Stenzel

A Critically Important but Frightening Book

If you like horror stories, then The Patriot's Grill is a book for you.  Seriously, this book supposes a future less than 100 years away when the United States has become nearly a model of Nazi Germany.  Written recently (2021), without naming names or pointing fingers, the author lays out a path from the divisions in our current society to a hideous future in which individual lives mean nothing.  There are no freedoms and any sign of lack of support for the government or adherence to rules usually means death.  Every action and utterance is recorded for evidence.  Only a very, very few very old people remember "freedom."  From one old man telling the "old stories" to one younger man, a reawakening begins.  This book is well-written, moves rapidly, and should be a critically important read for anyone who cares about the future of our country. 

INFORMATION ABOUT THE REVIEWER:

NAME OF REVIEWER: Alvin M. Stenzel

ORIGINAL PLACE THE REVIEW WAS PUBLISHED: Amazon

AUTHOR OF THE REVIEW:

Alvin Stenzel is a resident of The Villages in Florida.  He is author of The Crystal Pond: A Young Girl’s Journey Through Imagination (available on Amazon for Kindle and in paperback).  Mr. Stenzel is author of other books, short stories, magazine articles and poems.
The first section of The Crystal Pond was written many years ago as a Christmas present for an eleven-year-old young lady who lived down the street from me. For her next birthday, it only made sense to write a sequel. It quickly became clear that there would be five parts.
The real beauty of the story is that the young lady eventually became my step-daughter. She is now a mother of her own with two beautiful daughters.  I am a Grandpa!

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Highly Rated Translation of Aristotle's Poetics for Busy Authors--Finally!

Jim Cox, Editor and Chief of Midwest Book Review gives me (and everyone else) permission to reprint the reviews he publishes in his glorious newsletter for writers (my words, not his! (-:  ) I am particularly fond of this one because classic literature is rarely translated in a way the works well for our busy world.  I you keep telling yourself that you would like to read this to benefit your own writing career, Jim and I think the time has finally come for you to do it! 

 Reviewed by Jim Cox for his Midwest Review newsletter and other Midwest publications

How to Tell a Story
Aristotle, author
Philip Freeman, translator
Princeton University Press
41 William Street, Princeton, NJ 08540
http://press.princeton.edu
9780691205274, $16.95, HC, 264pp

Synopsis: Handed down from ancient Greek literature, Aristotle's Poetics is arguably the most important book ever written for writers and readers of stories -- whether it be novels, short fiction, plays, screenplays, or nonfiction.

Aristotle (384-322 BC) was the first to identify the keys to plot, character, audience perception, tragic pleasure, and dozens of other critical points of good storytelling. Despite being written more than 2,000 years ago, the Poetics remains essential reading for anyone who wants to learn how to write a captivating story -- or understand how such stories work and achieve their psychological effects.

Yet for all its influence, the Poetics is too little read because it comes down to us in a form that is often difficult to follow, and even the best translations are geared more to specialists than to general readers who simply want to grasp Aristotle's profound and practical insights.

With the publication of "How to Tell a Story: An Ancient Guide to the Art of Storytelling for Writers and Readers" ably translated into English for an American readership by Philip Freeman contemporary and aspiring authors and readers are provided with the most readable translation of the Poetics ever yet produced, making it an indispensable handbook that is more accessible, engaging, and useful than ever before.

In addition to its inviting and reliable translation, a commentary on each section, and the original Greek on facing pages, this edition of "How to Tell a Story: An Ancient Guide to the Art of Storytelling for Writers and Readers" features unique bullet points, chapter headings, and section numbers to help guide readers through Aristotle's unmatched introduction to the art of writing and reading stories.

Critique: A complete course of Aristotelean instruction that is impressively 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "How to Tell a Story: An Ancient Guide to the Art of Storytelling for Writers and Readers" must be considered essential reading by anyone aspiring to write stories that would be successfully attractive to an author's intended audience. This splendid edition from the Princeton University Press is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Literary Studies collections and as a textbook for creative writing workshops curriculums.

It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, aspiring (and experienced) writers that "How to Tell a Story: An Ancient Guide to the Art of Storytelling for Writers and Readers" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note #1: Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Lyceum, the Peripatetic school of philosophy, and the Aristotelian tradition.

Editorial Note #2: Philip Freeman is the author of more than twenty books on the ancient world, including the Cicero translations How to Think about God, How to Be a Friend, How to Grow Old, and How to Run a Country (all from Princeton University Press). He also holds the Fletcher Jones Chair in Humanities at Pepperdine University.


Highly Rated Translation of Aristotle's Poetics for Busy Authors--Finally!


Watch for the 3rd Edition coming in September! 



More About #TheNewBookReview Blog The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. Authors, readers, publishers, and reviewers may republish their favorite reviews of books they want to share with others. 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 and love. Please see submission guidelines in a tab at the top of this blog's home page or go directly to the submission guidelines at http://bit.ly/ThePlacetoRecycleBookReviews or to the guideline tab at the top of the home page of this blog. Authors and publishers who do not yet have reviews or want more may use Lois W. Stern's "Authors Helping Authors" service for requesting reviews. Find her guidelines in a tab at the top of the home page, too. Carolyn Wilhelm is our IT expert, an award-winning author, a veteran educator and also contributes reviews and posts on other topics related to books. Reviews, interviews, and articles on this blog are indexed by genre, reviewers' names, and review sites so #TheNewBookReview may be used as a resource for most anyone in the publishing industry. As an example, writers will find this blog's 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. #TheFrugalbookPromoter, #CarolynHowardJohnson, #TheNewBookReview, #TheFrugalEditor, #SharingwithWriters, #reading #BookReviews #GreatBkReviews #BookMarketing

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Lacroix by Xavier Vidal Reviewed by Alvin M. Stenzel

Review of Lacroix by Xavier Vidal (Reviewed by Alvin M. Stenzel)

TITLE:  LACROIX

AUTHOR:  Xavier Vidal

AUTHOR'S WEBSITE:  https://xaviervidalworld.com/

GENRE:  Adventure/Crime/Fiction

AGE / INTEREST LEVEL:  Adult

PAGE #:  386

PUBLISHER:  Independently Published

A LINK TO WHERE THE BOOK MAY BE PURCHASED


Lacroix by Xavier Vidal Reviewed by Alvin M. Stenzel

 REVIEW 

Not Your Ordinary Adventure Story

Reviewed by Alvin M. Stenzel originally for Amazon

For a crime/adventure story, Lacroix is an interesting twist.  Ditch the big city back alleys and car chases and enter an entirely different environment.  A castle, forests, lakes and blissful peace, but hiding terrible secrets.  A young, single mom, nearly alone on what was supposed to be a deserted castle estate?  Not how it turns out!  Terrible dangers lie around every corner.  I was fascinated enough to read it in three days.  It may seem to start out slowly, but it's only the initial ride to the top of the roller coaster.  Hang on!

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Be a Hero: Make Some Magic for Yourself



Be a Hero: Make Some Magic For Yourself


Add Some Subtle Self-Promotion to Your Book Reviews 


πŸ‘‰ Write a catchy heading for your review in 10 words or less. (HINT: Use strong words for your title as that is what other readers will see first, and sometimes the only part they read. So make it pop!)


πŸ‘‰ Sincerity counts. Give the book the number of stars you think it deserves.

 (1 is the lowest score, 5 is the highest. A 5-star rating means that you really liked the book, 4 stars means it was very good, 3 stars, just okay, etc. ).   

                                                         

πŸ‘‰ Try to promote yourself a bit while writing your review, but be subtle about it. 
(One example: If you are an author or editor, you can say something like, "As an author myself, I appreciate books with messages that . . . ", BUT DO NOT name the titles of your books, publishing company etc. or your review is likely to be turned down flat! )

(Another example: If you are an expert or professional in any field, and somewhere in the book the author speaks favorably about that subject, you can say something like: "As a dedicated ___ myself, . . ., I particularly appreciated the way the author depicted . . . ")


πŸ‘‰ Ask the author to provide you with a few of questions about their book to help you create your review. (I include Book Discussion Questions at the end of each of my Tales2Inspire books, but you can always ask the author to send you some questions as suggestions for topics they would like you to address.)


πŸ‘‰ Ask the author to suggest page numbers for one section of their book to give you its flavor. (Of course, if you have the time and desire to read the entire book, that's great! But we all have busy schedules, and readers should be able to get a sense of the author's style and writing skills by reading a section of 100 pages or less.)


πŸ‘‰ End your review with your actual name, not a pseudonym. Readers will take more notice of your words if written by a person with an authentic name.


πŸ‘‰ Read over your review to correct any errors before posting it on Amazon or any other credible online book review site.


πŸ‘‰ And once your review is posted, send the link to me at: tales2inspire2@gmail.com with the words Book Review for TNBR in the subject line.




Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Jim Cox Reviews A New Writers' Aid Book


Infographic Guide to Creating Stories
https://hankquense.org
Author:
Hank Quense
Strange Worlds Publishing
9798985309713, $24.99, PB, 118pp

Reviewed by Jim Cox, Editor-in-Chief of Midwest Book Review originally for his newsletter, a free service Midwest offers authors who provide paperback copies as ARCs to their reviewers #FrugalBookPromoTips. This review is published with blanket permission from the editor-in-chief of Midwest Review.

Synopsis: Do you have a story struggling to come out? Do you know how to write it down? Or how to tell it? Writing a story involves weaving many elements together to create a singular tale. If you're stumped on how to get started then giving the "Infographic Guide to Creating Stories: Learn How to Write a Story" by the award-winning author Hank Quense is a good way to begin.

In this basic 'how to' instructional guide and DIY manual, Quense tells you how to create your story. He believes that stories come from the melding of three elements: getting ideas, story design and story-telling. Ideas have to come from the author. "Infographic Guide to Creating Stories" concentrates on the last two.

"Infographic Guide to Creating Stories" concentrates on developing characters including such rarely discussed requirements such as a dominant reader emotion and the character's biography.

Plots are also covered in depth and a number of graphics are included to illustrate complex points. Still section discusses subplots and how to utilize them and how to nest them within the main plot. A separate chapter discusses the relationship between the plot and the emotional arcs.

Other topics covered in "Infographic Guide to Creating Stories" include: character arcs, scene design, point-of-view, writing voice and more.

Critique: A complete course of 'how to' instructions on the art and craft of writing stories other people would enjoy reading, "Infographic Guide to Creating Stories: Learn How to Write a Story" is comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation. Highly recommended to the attention of all aspiring writers, and while also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99), "Infographic Guide to Creating Stories" is an especially useful and commended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Writing/Publishing collections and writer workshop curriculums.

Editorial Note: Hank Quense has a blog at blog:http://hankquense.org. He can also be followed Twitter at http://twitter.com/hanque99, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/StrangeWorldsOnline, and on the Writers and Authors Resource Center https://hanque.gumroad.com



More About Jim Cox and Midwest Book Review Services:

 If you have postage stamps to donate, or if you have a book you'd like considered for review, then send those postage stamps (always appreciated, never required), or a published copy of that book (no galleys, uncorrected proofs, or Advance Reading Copies), accompanied by a cover letter and some form of publicity release to my attention at the address below.

All of the previous issues of the "Jim Cox Report" are archived on the Midwest Book Review website at www.midwestbookreview.com/bookbiz/jimcox.htm. If you'd like to receive the "Jim Cox Report" directly (and for free), just send me an email asking to be signed up for it.

So until next time -- goodbye, good luck, and good reading!

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI, 53575
http://www.midwestbookreview.com




More About #TheNewBookReview Blog 

 The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. Authors, readers, publishers, and reviewers may republish their favorite reviews of books they want to share with others. 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 and love. Please see submission guidelines in a tab at the top of this blog's home page or go directly to the submission guidelines at http://bit.ly/ThePlacetoRecycleBookReviews or to the guideline tab at the top of the home page of this blog. Authors and publishers who do not yet have reviews or want more may use Lois W. Stern's "Authors Helping Authors" service for requesting reviews. Find her guidelines in a tab at the top of the home page, too. Carolyn Wilhelm is our IT expert, an award-winning author, a veteran educator and also contributes reviews and posts on other topics related to books. Reviews, interviews, and articles on this blog are indexed by genre, reviewers' names, and review sites so #TheNewBookReview may be used as a resource for most anyone in the publishing industry. As an example, writers will find this blog's 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. #TheFrugalbookPromoter, #CarolynHowardJohnson, #TheNewBookReview, #TheFrugalEditor, #SharingwithWriters, #reading #BookReviews #GreatBkReviews #BookMarketing

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The Crystal Pond A Young Girl’s Journey Through Imagination by Alvin M. Stenzel

TITLE: The Crystal Pond
SUBTITLE: A Young Girl’s Journey Through Imagination
AUTHOR: Alvin M. Stenzel
GENRE: Young Adult
AGE / INTEREST LEVEL: 10 and up, young women
PAGEs: 175
PUBLISHER: Independently Published

The Crystal Pond A Young Girl’s Journey Through Imagination by Alvin M. Stenzel

THE REVIEW:

The Crystal Pond is a beautiful modern day Fairy Tale. It is filled imagination and
inspiration and enchantment. It draws the reader to the desire to do better, to create better, to
love better, to be better. As with all brilliant fairy tales, it weaves its teachings and gifts within a
beautiful story. I can highly recommend this as more than just a mere story, but truly as an
inspiration.

INFORMATION ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
NAME OF REVIEWER: Susan Carrier
ORIGINAL PLACE THE REVIEW WAS PUBLISHED: Amazon.com
PERMISSION NOTICE: Permission for use granted

INFORMATION ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Alvin Stenzel is a retired CPA living in The Villages in Florida. He spent most of his life working in the DC area and living in suburban Maryland. He is the author of several other motivational books, as well as poems and articles for newspapers and magazine. This is his first novel.

The first section of The Crystal Pond was written many years ago as a Christmas present for an eleven-year-old young lady who lived down the street. For her next birthday, it only made sense to write a sequel. It quickly became clear that there would be five parts.

The real beauty of the story is that the young lady eventually became his step-daughter. She is now a mother of her own with two beautiful daughters.


More About #TheNewBookReview Blog The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. Authors, readers, publishers, and reviewers may republish their favorite reviews of books they want to share with others. 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 and love. Please see submission guidelines in a tab at the top of this blog's home page or go directly to the submission guidelines at http://bit.ly/ThePlacetoRecycleBookReviews or to the guideline tab at the top of the home page of this blog. Authors and publishers who do not yet have reviews or want more may use Lois W. Stern's "Authors Helping Authors" service for requesting reviews. Find her guidelines in a tab at the top of the home page, too. Carolyn Wilhelm is our IT expert, an award-winning author, a veteran educator and also contributes reviews and posts on other topics related to books. Reviews, interviews, and articles on this blog are indexed by genre, reviewers' names, and review sites so #TheNewBookReview may be used as a resource for most anyone in the publishing industry. As an example, writers will find this blog's 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. #TheFrugalbookPromoter, #CarolynHowardJohnson, #TheNewBookReview, #TheFrugalEditor, #SharingwithWriters, #reading #BookReviews #GreatBkReviews #BookMarketing