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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Blogger-Podcaster Erik Fogg Reviews Dr. Bob Rich's Hit and Run

Title: Hit and Run
Author: Dr. Bob Rich
Genre: Inspirational/Paranormal
ISBN: 978-1-925191-48-6
Purchase


Reviewed by Erik Fogg originally for the newsletter Bobbing Around








Hit and Run starts with a mad punch right to the gut, reminiscent of A Clockwork Orange in how absurdly surreal — yet strangely compelling — it is. But then it takes a wildly unexpected turn.
Instead, it is a book about questioning the very nature of good and evil. To what extent are we good or evil by nature, by nurture, or by choice? And then one begins to question the nature of evil at all — are the ‘evil’ merely sick (in the truest sense) and in need of help? Can the sickness that lies in each of us — greater or smaller — be ever cured?
It is a book that shows rather than tells: it grips you in the story and explores its themes using the story rather than by taking breaks to preach at you (think War and Peace as the contrast). It is through seeing absolutely radical human kindness and strength — that we know is within our reach if we cultivate the wisdom and compassion inside ourselves — that we are led to question what we know about good and evil, about justice and retribution, and about the capacity to heal.
MORE ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Erik is Editor-in-Chief, blogger, and podcaster at ReConsider, where he helps readers and listeners understand politics beyond the soundbites and hype. He co-authored Wedged: How You Became a Tool of the Partisan Political Establishment and How to Start Thinking for Yourself Again. Erik graduated MIT with a Bachelors and Masters in Political Science and now lives in Boston, MA.
MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hit and Run is Bob’s 17th book. They are all very different from each other. The commonality is high ratings. Over all his publications, there is one 3-star review. Most of the others are 5 stars, with a few 4s. This is because Bob writes with passion, and takes his readers there. You can find lots of entertainment at his writing website http://bobswriting.com and blog https://bobrich18.wordpress.com. His psychology site http://anxietyanddepression-help.com offers inspiration and information regarding every way people make themselves and each other miserable, and his environmental site http://mudsmith.net is, well, about environmental issues Learn more about him:
Commit random acts of kindness
Live simply so you may simply live


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, July 11, 2018

Playwright Filmaker Reviews The Frugal Editor

Title: The Frugal Editor
Subtitle: From Your Query Letter to Final Manuscript to the Marketing of Your New Bestseller (2d Edition)
Author: Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Series: HowToDoItFrugally Series of Books for Writers (pub. 4/3/15)
Genre: Editing, Self-Publishing Editing
ISBN-13: 978-1505712117  
288 pages 
Available on Amazon
Amazon Kindle: $3.99 
Paperback: $17.95

Reviewed by Marlan Warren originally for her blog Roadmap Girl's Book Buzz


Summary: What sets “The Frugal Editor” apart from the status quo of grammar/style reference books is the ease and simplicity with which it presents a wealth of well-organized information. With humor and high intelligence, Howard-Johnson covers an impressive variety of topics vital to every editor’s survival in eighteen chapters, seven appendices and an accessible index that can help a harried editor quickly find answers to pressing editorial questions.

“To neglect researching the language we write in when we so assiduously research the facts for what we write is folly.”—Carolyn Howard-Johnson

As a professional writer and editor, I know firsthand the pain of discovering a grammar mistake or typo in a manuscript I thought was finished and reviewed dozens of times. DIY editing can be like trying to take out your appendix in a forest where you can’t see the trees. However, into all our writers’ lives a lot of editing must fall, and our manuscripts must be flawless if they are to be sent to a publisher or be self-published. 

This is where “The Frugal Editor” comes in.

I was actually on a book editing assignment when I received a copy of “The Frugal Editor” from the author in exchange for an honest review. It fell into my lap like heavenly manna. 

The Table of Contents sets the tone with such promising and funny titles such as:
"Getting Cute with Caps"; "Effusive Italics"; “Quotation Marks for the Two-Dumb Reader"; "What About Those Double Adjectives?"; and "Ellipsis Dots Gone Wild.”

Inside this comprehensive handbook is a meticulously organized wealth of information that covers the most common editing questions that can still niggle even the most seasoned of editors. The book’s seven appendices include "My Generous Agents,” which features the responses from agents about what submissions turn them on and off, as well as sample query letters for submissions of media kits and books for film consideration.

“The Frugal Editor” fills the niche between dry, technical style manuals and the kinder-gentler teacher approach. Howard-Johnson's presentation gives us the feeling that we are seated in her classroom, with the added benefit that she will not disappear at the end of the semester.

Howard-Johnson makes the valid point that even if you are an English teacher/scholar, your "credits" don't perfectly transfer to the exact knowledge required for excellent book editing. Although she provides many handy tips, she still urges authors to seek professional editing assistance. Four eyes are better than two, right?

As with the other books in her “How to Do It Frugally” series, Howard-Johnson is again writing for the Highest Common Denominator in reader intelligence. It is NOT for Dummies. In fact, I’d suggest a printed warning, similar to the ones at the base of roller coasters that states:

"You have to be THIS smart to read this book."



ABOUT THE REVIEWER

Marlan Warren is a book publicist with Roadmap Communications in Los Angeles, as well as a journalist, blogger, novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and filmmaker. She regularly reviews for the Midwest Book Review. Her blogs include “Roadmap Girl’s Book Buzz” and “L.A. Now and Then.” Her novel, “Roadmaps for the Sexually Challenged: All’s Not Fair in Love or War” is available on Kindle, and her documentary “Reunion” has been shown internationally at film festivals. Her play “Chasing Sangha” debuted at the Athena Cats Play Fest in 2017. Currently, Marlan is in post-production for her film, “What Did You Do in the War, Mama?: Kochiyama’s Crusaders” based on her play “Bits of Paradise” (performed in 2017 at Rogue Machine Theatre and in 2008 at The Marsh). Both works celebrate the women behind the barbed wire of the “Japanese American Internment.”


For more info about Marlan:
Roadmap Communications: http://tinyurl.com/RoadmapCommunications
Roadmap Girl’s Book Buzz: roadmapgirlsbookbuzz.blogspot.com
L.A. Now and Then Blog: losangelesnowthen.blogspot.com
Film and Play Info: kochiyamascrusadersfilm.blogspot.com


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, July 8, 2018

Readers' Favorite Reviewer Gives Browder Novel 5 Stars

Dark Knowledge
by Clifford Browder
Author's blog
Genre: historical fiction, action/adventure
ISBN: 978-1-68114-367-5
Available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


Reviewed by Gisela Dixon originally for Readers' Favorite
5 Stars


Dark Knowledge by Clifford Browder is a historical fiction novel set in New York around the American Civil War era. Dark Knowledge is the story of Chris Harmony and his search for his family’s roots and secrets. Chris is a young man who has always been proud of and inspired by his family that has been in the shipping industry for the last three generations. After Chris’s father passes away, he comes across a chest with old shipping papers that motivate him to research and write about his family’s history, which he had been told was one of glory on the sea. However, as soon as his uncle hears of the plan, he tries to steal the chest. Chris manages to hold on to the chest and with the help of his sister, Sal, starts uncovering a wealth of lies and the ugly reality that his family, for generations, has in fact been involved in the slave trade and human trafficking of African-Americans. This is the story of Chris and his quest for the truth, with many surprises and twists and turns along the way.

I enjoyed reading Dark Knowledge and Clifford Browder definitely managed to recreate the vibe and feel of that era so that I could almost smell the salty sea air and feel myself transported to that period. The characters are very well drawn, and in addition to Chris and Sal, who are fantastic, all of the other family members, former ship captains, etc. also have their own flavor and personalities. Sal is shown to be a smart and capable woman which I appreciated. But most of all, this is Chris’s story and Clifford Browder succeeds in highlighting the horrors of slavery through this book. This is great read!


MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Clifford Browder is the author of historical novels and nonfiction relating to New York City. His blog is No Place for Normal: New York . He loves this quotation by T. S. Eliot: Humankind cannot bear very much reality.  And he signs his e-mail, "Geezers rock.   C.H. Browder." 



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 27, 2018

Phyllis Ring Finds Leslie Handler's New Memoir "For the Heart"


Reviewed by  Phyllis Ring originally for Amazon

THE REVIEW



When I begin to think of others with whom I want to share a book, even start ordering copies for them before I’ve finished reading it, I've found a book that serves the heart.

Leslie Handler's warm, transparent -- sometimes fearless -- perspective clears out inner cobwebs like a rush of springtime air. Her writing strikes a welcome balance between humorously forthcoming and gently poignant. I've previously enjoyed essays she publishes as syndicated columns. This collection shines a lovely light on life’s true wealth, the willingness to develop and apply the healing capacities of compassion, fair-mindedness, and kindness, along with fortitude, forbearance, and faith. Faith in grace, in others, and in life itself.

The author has experienced a pretty large serving of difficulties along her path. Her response is, for me, one of the gifts of this book as it reminds of the freedom, and power, of reaching for appreciation, humor, and joy together with honesty that’s not afraid to face life fully. Her willingness, at times, to write from deep vulnerability helps this reader feel a lot better, and hopefully kinder, about being human. There's much sweet wisdom woven in with the observant wit here.
MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR


photo
Leslie Handler
Writer/Author
 Internationally Syndicated Columnist, Author, and National Society of Newspaper Columnists Award Winner
les.handler@gmail.com  
LeslieGoesBoom.com  
For a free sneak peek at my upcoming book, sign up to follow at LeslieGoesBoom



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, June 23, 2018

Michelle Everett Wilbert Reviews Carol Smallwood's "A Matter of Selection"

Title: A Matter of Selection 
Author: Carol Smallwood
Publisher: Poetic Matrix Press, 2018
$17.00 
ISBN: 9780998146980


Reviewed by Michelle Everett Wilbert

Carol Smallwood’s latest volume of poetry, A Matter of Selection, brings into sharp focus her vivid interest in both the natural world and probing observations of the daily—the quotidian mysteries present in any given life when we take time to notice and reflect upon all that we interact with in the course of a day. Ms. Smallwood—a retired librarian and the author of several novels, poetry, children’s books and educational materials for librarians and educators—brings the eye of a scientist, the heart of a mother, and the mind of a mystic to her poems, infusing all of them with a luminous, delicate, yet sturdy sensibility that is a delight to read. The central thesis of this volume seems to be found in the ending of the poem entitled



“There Were Only”:

I lift my face to capture the rain of childhood and failing,

remember the earth is covered mostly with water and we know

less about oceans than the moon—and wonder how much

wonder is lost by knowing. (89)



And to “…wonder how much wonder is lost by knowing” is the right starting point for reading these poems, which I did in short bursts as I went about my day here, attending to the same mundane and life-giving tasks these poems speak to with such gentle precision. There is a curator’s eye to her poems—she’s looking to connect thematic elements in both free form and formal, traditional structures such that individual observations feel grouped as though by hand—one can feel the firmness of a palm and fingers curling around an object and considering where it should be placed to best effect. The four distinct themes explored, Nature, Moments in Time, The Domestic, and Speculations, are introduced in the preface and given an overarching structure in an observation from Octavio Paz: “Poetry is not what words say but what is said between them, that which appears fleetingly in pauses and silences.”

And in this, her poetry takes its shape and form as the interior world is woven with a close observation of nature—of plant, animal and mineral life—as it connects and interacts with the personal and interpersonal, with the contemplation of one’s own existence alongside these many and varied forms of life. In the prologue, the opening poem further settles the thematic focus on the choices—the selections—we make about what we give our attention to and how that shapes an hour, a day, or a life:



We Select

a few—the selections random: a melody, morning fog, a path

knowing with certainty at the time they’ll be ours to the end–

an imprinting sudden, as first love with no thought of aftermath:

a sunset, muffled cry, a Thanksgiving dressing, smile of a friend.

Knowing with certainty at the time they’ll be ours to the end,

They return at unexpected moments, their clarity a surprise:

a sunset, muffled cry, a thanksgiving dressing, smile of a friend

bringing feeling from depths we cannot withhold, disguise.

They return at unexpected moments, their clarity a surprise,

an imprinting sudden as first love with no thought of aftermath

bringing feeling from depth we cannot withhold, disguise:

a few—the selections random: a melody, morning fog, a path.

(7)



These poems are a lovely accompaniment to the daily round; the “poem in the pocket” that offers something to think about while doing tasks that are often done reflexively. The poems belong to the workaday as well as to the esoteric and indeed, they remind us that both coexist symbiotically—much like the Benedictine Rule of “Ora et Labora”—the monastic injunction to “pray and work”–these poems provide a comforting rhythmic undercurrent to the work of hands, hearts and minds. The poetry is deliberate and fluid—the use of repetition ensures that the emotional emphasis is made and made again—a sense of not wanting to forget what matters, as a way, then, of writing a small post-it note into the poem in way that seems so human and relatable—when the repetitions come, one leans in, wanting to pay close attention to what is clearly essential.

This is a fine and riveting work—a volume of poems anyone can appreciate from a literary, emotional and spiritual standpoint. There is no one way to read them, which is probably true of all poetry, but these invite exploration and interpretation in a way that is unusual, especially given the frequent use of traditional forms that can sometimes seem to stifle such reflection. These poems are open-hearted, with a vigorous complexity and generosity of spirit that generates a meditative calm while serving to invigorate the mind while allowing us to “come to our senses” as we read poems that are embodied, human truths and observations that can lead us to recall that we are all one human species, far more alike than different—in these poems, we can find the gentle path towards kinship and connection.



MORE ABOUT THE REVIEWER

Michelle Wilbert is a writer, “poemcatcher” and retired midwife. She works as a music programmer in Ann Arbor, Michigan and lives with her husband on a small homestead near Detroit and together they are the parents of four young adult children. She writes reviews for Mom's Egg Review and this, The New Book Review, thanks her for letting us reprint her review of Poet Carol Smallwood's work. 

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, June 9, 2018

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



·        


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.