Tuesday, April 7, 2020

FREE Books for Review with Another Hint (Number Thirteen) for Getting Therm

HINT #THIRTEEN

Carolyn, our #TheNewBookReview founder, reminds us to send queries (and just plain informative information) to the alumni magazine of the college(s) you attended. “These publications may be interested in a feature story. . . . individual requests - really your query letter now disguised as a personal letter but tailored to the interests of the prospective reviewer. This approach almost always work better than a formal query letter.”
PAGE 113: HOW TO GET GREAT BOOK REVIEWS Frugally and Ethically



                
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 WANT TO SUBMIT A REVIEW REQUEST FOR YOUR BOOK? 

 CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW.


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REVIEWS WANTED FOR THESE BOOKS:


TITLE: YOGA COCAINE 
NUMBER OF PAGES:240
DESCRIPTION: Vacillating between a desire to get high and a yearning for a substance-free life, Jessica finds herself alternating between cocaine and yoga, dependence and freedom. An addict who once disappeared into crack dens, she now seeks solace at yoga studios. As she attempts to create a path to recovery “on the mat” and in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, she grapples with one unanswerable question: “Is recovery worth it?”
AUTHOR'S NAME: Daralyse Lyons
FORMAT:(PDF, E-BOOK, or PAPERBACK will be provided upon request, as per the reviewers' specifications )
AGE/INTEREST LEVEL - Women's Literary Fiction
AMAZON URL:  Yoga Cocaine
_____________________________________

TITLE: PARENTING FROM YOUR SOUL
NUMBER OF PAGES: 165
DESCRIPTION: Parenting from Your Soul  helps parents be the best parents they can be. The book helps us navigate the sometimes difficult, and often confusing, journey of parenting where the best choices are unclear. Parenting is a work-in-progress, minute-to-minute practice of learning forgiveness, compassion and acceptance. With this book, you can try out concepts that will help you parent wisely to raise joyful, healthy children while creating more happiness for yourself along the way! 
AUTHOR'S NAME:  Jeanmarie Wilson
E-MAIL: info@parentingfromyoursoul.com 
FORMAT: Paperback and E-Book
AGE/INTEREST LEVEL: Parents and significant adults 
AMAZON URL:  https://amzn.to/2Qcfd2L 

                    _____________________________________

TITLE: SAND DANCER
NUMBER OF PAGES: 397
DESCRIPTION: In a desert kingdom where fire magic is a sin, a half-starved peasant girl must disguise herself as a nobleman’s son to find her father’s killer.
AUTHOR'S NAME: Trudie Skies
FORMAT: .epub or .mobi ebooks
AGE/INTEREST LEVEL: YA, 14+
AMAZON URL: http://tiny.cc/mo55jz

                    _____________________________________


TITLE: TALES2INSPIRE: THE DIAMOND COLLECTION - SERIES III
NUMBER OF PAGES: 238
DESCRIPTION: Contains all the stories from two other Tales2Inspire® books: The Pearl Collection - (stories of Awesome Kids who have created incredible projects to better our world), and the Garnet Collection, (stories of amazing animals more human than many humans). This book is a powerhouse of inspiring stories, each chiseled to perfection while brimming with inspiration. The book club discussion questions at the  end of each section simplify the job for potential reviewers.
AUTHOR'S NAME: Lois W. Stern
FORMAT: paperback limited to 5 copies, kindle, e-books
AGE/INTEREST LEVEL: age 12 - adults of all ages 
AMAZON URL: http://tiny.cc/qxx6lz

                    _____________________________________

TITLE: ARTIST ON CAMPAIGN
NUMBER OF PAGES: 380
DESCRIPTION: When lad-about-town ON CAMPAIGN  Ralph Oughtred gets a commission to paint the Duke of Wellington’s generals, he thinks his dreams will come true – to be rich, or at least out of debt, and marry his mistress. But he hadn’t reckoned with the war, Spanish bandits, or the generals themselves. Literary, historical and funny, this is a stylish evocation of the history and ̲̲manners of an era and an entertainment of the highest order.
AUTHOR'S NAME:  Caroline Miley
E-MAIL: cmiley22@gmail.com
FORMATpaperback, Kindle, ebook.
AGE/INTEREST LEVEL:16 +
AMAZON URL: http://tiny.cc/odk9fz

MORE BOOKS LISTED (ON A ROTATING BASIS) EACH MONTH
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MORE ABOUT LOIS,
 YOUR TRUSTED REVIEW COORDINATOR


Lois W. Stern's Tales2Inspire project was a kernel of an idea she started in 2012 which has grown to proportions even she didn’t dare to envision. Her innate curiosity about potentially fascinating human interest stories was the spark that ignited her idea. But it was the confused state of traditional publishing that propelled her forward. Tales2Inspire delivers exactly what it promises as both an ‘Authors Helping Authors’ project and a contest. Winners get their stories published in print, as e-books, and some even in video formats, with their names, headshot photos, and mini-autobiographies included. Then she spreads the word about the winners and their stories on her blogs, social media platforms and monthly newsletter. FREE to enter, this is a great competition for talented newbies and seasoned authors alike.




Get a FREE Tales2Inspire Sampler book at: www.tales2inspire.com/gifts and discover the magic.

Learn more about Lois and her projects at her:Tales2Inspire website: http://www.tales2inspire.com
LinkedIn profile: http://tinyurl.com/odtw2wt

Tales2Inspire trailer: https://youtu.be/FuDgXkYMHvo
Blog: http:://www.tales2inspire/blog


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MORE ABOUT THIS 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 on the left of this page and in a tab at the top of this blog's home page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites so it may be used a resource for most anyone in the publishing industry. 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.


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Sunday, April 5, 2020

Revenant Movie and Book Review and Discussion Questions


After watching The Revenant movie with my husband, we both read a shorter nonfiction account of Hugh Glass. Both of us wanted more information. The book is only 17 pages, available on Kindle Unlimited. The eBook and paperback are available on Amazon. 

If there were ever a true story ripe for big-screen treatment, it’s that of Hugh Glass, a 19th-century trapper who traveled 1,500 miles through the wilderness.  Time.com
Some True Adventures in the Life of Hugh Glass, a Hunter and Trapper on the Missouri River (1857) is a short, sweet nonfiction book with helpful background information that reads like a story. The author of the book is Philip St. George Cooke. When I looked up the author, I learned he had died in 1895. So I can't find other information and wonder if someone typed up his military notes for his several books on Amazon. 

Another book to consider is Lord Grizzly (by Frederick Manfred, Buckskin Man Tales), which is a more complete and longer account. It was written in 1954 by Frederick Manfred. It is recommended on the South Dakota travel site. This book has a higher price tag and is 310 pages in length. It is a grueling experience just to read about Hugh Glass. And, frankly, the book is racist and contains swearing. It was written about seven decades ago, though. 

My husband grew up in South Dakota and remembers learning about Hugh Glass in school. Glass was left for dead by other trappers (Fitzgerald and Bridger) after being mauled by a bear, and wanted revenge on those men. In the movie, he has a Native American son who is killed by Fitzgerald. We had to look up the information as we aren't thinking about it very often, which led us to the book on Amazon. We also checked Wikipedia:
He had festering wounds, a broken leg, and deep cuts on his back that exposed his bare ribs. Glass lay mutilated and alone, more than 200 miles (320 km) from the nearest American settlement at Fort Kiowa, on the Missouri River.
You can follow the actual route he took today if you travel that way. It is approximately from Lemon, SD, to Chamberlain, SD, if you are itching to remember. The towns were built after the events took place. Probably driving by car is the best way to cover the miles today. The annual Hugh Glass Rendezvous at Shadehill Recreation Area in late August celebrates the legend.

So, some questions to consider regarding these books, online information, and the movie include the following:

1. The author of Lord Grizzly, Frederick Manfred, was obsessed with the story of Hugh Glass to the point he would crawl through his backyard in Minnesota with one leg tied up. He would eat grubs and ants as part of his character study for writing the book. He also walked part of the path through South Dakota. He continued his study for ten years. He collected gravel, grasses, sand, and other natural items to further his understanding. Discuss: How far would you go for a character study in order to write a book? How much would you put up with as a spouse of someone going through such an obsession? 


2. The movie and the books all differ in their retellings of Hugh Glass. In one book, he has a wife and two children back in Lancaster, PA. He also spends years with Bending Reed, his Native American wife. In the film, he only has his Native American wife and teen son. In another book, no female companion or children are mentioned. They are all historical fiction to some degree. Discuss: Is his family impact the main story? Why would the retellings be so vastly different in this regardWhy do you think none of his family members are included in the story?


3. Initially, Hugh Glass was first confused and then driven to get revenge on the men who left him to die. Crawling for 40 days (according to one source) with major injuries would require motivation. The trip took so long he began healing along the dangerous way. Supposedly, other bears, wolves, and turkey buzzards approached him along the way. He had to eat grubs and ants. All this with no plumbing, no change of clothing, and winter approaching. Discuss: How do you think Glass survived his ordeal? What were his motivations? How did his "travel" compare to travel today? Is the story worthy of a museum and an annual 4-day rendezvous in Lemmon, South Dakota? Would you like to attend? 

4. Glass wanted to be a mountain man and not live in the city. His wife (Mabel) in Lancaster, PA (according to Lord Grizzly) and mother of his two sons would not move west. They would fight and he left. Discuss: Could Glass have ever settled for city life? He didn't continually stay with his Native American wife and would go on long expeditions for beaver pelt. Do you think some people are just born to a certain path and unable to change? 

5. The Revenant opens with a scene where the mountain men were surprised and many killed. In Lord Grizzly, we learn there was a reason for the attack. The mountain men would "visit" Native American women which caused anger. Would the movie seem different if we had known that right away? Did we ever find that out in the film? Discuss: Why does the film focus mostly on Glass, and his crawling travel? Why doesn't it take a larger view of the time? *Note: Everything we know is historical fiction as Glass was born in 1783. 

6. In the historical fiction book, Lord Grizzly, Glass alternates between vulgar language and reciting scripture. He finds an old Native American woman who is dying, gives her her last meal, and digs a grave for her with his bare hands (with all his wounds). He gives as best a funeral as he can, complete with prayers. Discuss: Why didn't the film include that scene? Does it change your mind about Glass? Does that fit with the non-denominational service at the end of the four-day rendezvous event?

7. The big theme about the book at the end is forgiveness. Glass forgives Bridger, being able to see his point of view. Fitzgerald has joined the army in two of the retellings, and Glass has to promise not to injure him. He gets $300 and his prized rifle back. In Lord Grizzly, he does forgive Fitzerald. In the book, Lord Grizzly, Glass forgives both men. Discuss: Forgiveness as in the story and in general. The thought of revenge kept Glass crawling and making progress, yet he arrives and can find it in himself to forgive. He does not forgive Fitzgerald right away, but he does. How difficult would it be to forgive Fitzgerald as in the film, where his son is killed? How does Glass get even with Fitzgerald in the film?

After either the movie or one of the books, I appreciated civilization more. Either snack during the book or plan a dinner afterward as it makes you feel like you are starving! You might be hungry enough to eat a bear! But probably not. 


MORE ABOUT THIS 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 on the left of this page and in a tab at the top of this blog's home page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites so it may be used a resource for most anyone in the publishing industry. 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. #TheFrugalbookPromoter, #CarolynHowardJohnson, #TheNewBookReview, #TheFrugalEditor, #SharingwithWriters, #reading #BookReviews #GreatBkReviews #BookMarketing

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

James Sale Reviews Classic Poetry


Theresa Rodriguez, Jesus and ErosSonnets, Poems and Songs 
Author: Theresa Rodrigues
ISBN 13: 978-0-96569555-6-5)
and Sonnets 
Author: Theresa Fodriques
ISBN 13: 978-0-9656955-8-9)
Author's Website: www.bardsinger.com
Genre: Poetry
Original Publisher:  The Society of Classical Poets, Evan Mantyk, publisher 


Reviewed by James Sale originally for JamesSalePoetry.web.com


These two collections comprise a total of 79 poems (if we include the songs too), although there is some overlap of sonnets, some of which appear in both collections. Three themes stand out: one, a spiritual longing for union with God which is underpinned by her sense of her own unworthiness and sin; two, a deep but very measured eroticism (no filth in other words) which explores failed relationships and the fantasies of the longing mind; and third, the act of writing itself as a purgative or panacea for the afflictions life has vented on her. This last point is important too, since it is why she has developed a fascination with forms and structures as she seeks to communicate, understand and order her experiences. I would observe—I think justly—that by far and away her best poetry are those poems (of which there are many) in which she uses form, rhyme and meter, and where the verse is free, I find the poems far less effective.

The strength of Rodriguez as a poet is in her ability to access and confront her emotional states directly. She does occasionally comment on wanting to come up with original ideas, but this is a mistake: she is not a poet made to impress us with new ideas hatched in the mind; she is a poet who speaks from the heart. We see this in contrasting a poem that appeared on the pages of The Society of Classical Poets, “Writer’s Block,” and its concluding lines:

“Oh, would that something fresh would come to me,
Not what amounts to sheer banality!”

This is fun but no more than that. Contrast that with this first line from “Finale”:

“The rigor mortis of my love for you has not set in.”

Phew! That is pretty startling on a number of levels. Or take her poem, “Sweet Bird,” where I would ask is this really about a bird as we are “awaiting your long descent”? There is a plangent eroticism in all this suggestive of a lover to be; the bird is always “he.”

And again, the concluding stanza of “Shaman of the Waves” also captures something of her intense yet understated erotic power:

“And so we are of polar force
that meets in synergy;
you are the shaman of the waves;
I am the sea.”

But having said earlier that there are three main themes, they of course blend in all sorts of ways. Indeed, the title of her first collection, Jesus and Eros, might appear to be such a blend as well as being oxymoronic in its mixing of the sacred and the sensual. Here, however, I am reminded of two lines from a C.H. Sisson’s poem, “A Letter to John Donne”:

“That the vain, the ambitious and the highly sexed
Are the natural prey of the incarnate Christ.”

That is beautifully put; he was of course referring to John Donne in terms of the three attributes, but certainly the “highly sexed” applies to Rodriguez’ writing. And since she writes frequently in sonnet form it is worth contrasting her efforts with another favourite sonneteer, who writes occasionally on these pages, Joseph Charles Mackenzie. Whereas Mackenzie’s sonnets are usually theological, public and “objective,” Rodriguez’ are confessional, intimate and “subjective.” Both, of course, have their own strengths, but how different they can be!

In Rodriguez we have the sense of a soul longing for order, for discipline, for that unreserved giving for the great cause of either passion or love. One suspects that in another life Rodriguez would have made a formidable nun or saint of an order. Take her “Platonic Sonnet”:

“I hope that by a deprivation all
Might turn into a longing at your core.”

Or, from “You’ve Made It Clear”:

“For though I’ve longed for you in every way,
I also love enough to stay away.”

Or, from “Simple Little Things”:

“Do you have any sense of what can be
Within a body touched by loneliness?”

The poems, then, at their best can be touching, affecting and profoundly felt experiences, and I think represent real poetry from a real soul whom the Muse has visited. Perhaps one final great example, where Rodriguez brings it all together in the concluding couplet of a sonnet is “Grey Sonnet” (yes, she uses the English spelling!):

“For grey to dwell alone is grey indeed
When colors yearn to contrast, blend and bleed.”

That is wonderful writing, and a quite brilliant sonnet that I invite everyone to read and find its joys for themselves. And as a footnote, “bleed” is a favourite word of Rodriguez.

Regular readers of the pages of The Society of Classical Poets will also be heartened to know that Rodriguez’ strong religious beliefs lead her to reject much of the feminist and other contemporary claptrap that passes for thought. Her poem, “Goodbye, Sweet Fetal Child,” is a searing indictment of “hedonistic choice” abortion. There is, then, so much to recommend in her poetry. But where, perhaps, may there be improvements?

I think the major fault in these collections is in the editing. First, the collections could be tighter – some poems do not justify their place in the collections, and if we take Sonnets, then 37 is not a number I recognise! Shakespeare had 154 (11 x 14, the number of lines in a sonnet) and Mackenzie has 77 (half 154). 33 is good (Dante liked the number) and 36 is also good (4 x 9 or 3 x 12): one poem that should be omitted is “The Earl of Oxford’s Sonnet” which seeks to assert that Shakespeare did not write his plays. Quite apart from the fact that he did, as I have explained on the pages of The Society of Classical Poets, it should be obvious from all I have said about Rodriguez’ poetry that this is not a suitable theme for her: it is academic, dry-as-dust, and not from the heart. Why bother? It’s a weak poem anyway.

Second, on the editing front, the proofing needs improving, and most particularly in the area of punctuation. Punctuation is intermittent in places; if Rodriguez were E.E. Cummings, then that might be justified, but in writing traditional sonnets I think punctuation is not a burden but a major semantic benefit. Her sonnet, “I Cannot Write,” is I think impaired by its lack of punctuation. So I would ask her to rethink her punctuation policy for future poems.

But my criticisms must be considered inconsequential compared with the praise I wish to lavish on her collections: they are a real achievement. The poetry contains some dazzling truths as she unashamedly faces the demons of herself, her life and her imaginings. Let me leave you with her couplet from “I Wake My Eyes”:

“For everything is better when from cares
We turn our full attention to our prayers.”

Simple, direct, child-like, but massively affecting with all the potency of truth. Read Theresa Rodriguez.

About the Author

Theresa Rodriguez is the author three books of poetry, including Longer Thoughts, which is being published by Shanti Arts in 2020. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Religion and Intellectual LifeLeaf Magazine, Classical Singer Magazine, The Road Not Taken: A Journal of Formal PoetryMezzo Cammin, and the Society of Classical Poets, where she is a contributing member. Her website is www.bardsinger.com.

About the Reviewer

James Sale has been a writer for over 50 years, and has had over 40 books published, including 8 collections of poetry, as well as books from Macmillan/Nelson (The Poetry Show volumes 1, 2, 3), Pearson/York Notes (Macbeth, Six Women Poets), and other major publishers. He won first prize in The Society of Classical Poets' 2017 poetry competition and now serves on their Advisory Board, the only Brit to do so. He regularly writes on culture for New York's The Epoch Times.


James Sale Reviews Classic Poetry


MORE ABOUT THIS 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 on the left of this page and in a tab at the top of this blog's home page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites so it may be used a resource for most anyone in the publishing industry. 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. #TheFrugalbookPromoter, #CarolynHowardJohnson, #TheNewBookReview, #TheFrugalEditor, #SharingwithWriters, #reading #BookReviews #GreatBkReviews #BookMarketing

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Dr. Wesley Britton Explores StarWarsday for Starwars Fans

THE GALAXY BRITAIN BUILT: The British Talent Behind Star Wars 
David Whiteley 
Foreword By Robert Watts: Star Wars Production Supervisor And Producer 
Publisher: BearManor Media
Release date: December 11, 2019
ASIN: B081YKQ2P7


Reviewed by Wesley Britton originally for BookPleasures

David Witeley's exploration into the behind-the-scenes British talent involved with the Star Wars franchise was first made public in a 1917 60-minute documentary broadcast over BBC television.     Google the title The Galaxy Britain Built, and you'll hit on the YouTube and BBC trailers, videos, and interviews conducted by David Whiteley promoting the film throughout 2017 and especially 2018.

If you explore any of Whiteley's online videos or his new BearManor Media book, you'll quickly learn how proud he is to have been born on May 4, 1977, known to fans as Star Wars day. So, in his opinion, he grew up with the franchise and became devoted to investigating how so much Star Wars work took place in Elstree Studios in North London. Why London and not Hollywood? Costs. The studios didn't want to invest too heavily in a science-fiction film as sci-fi hadn't been big box office for them. 

As it turned out, the British talent who worked on the films on the smallest of budgets and the tightest of schedules were just what the project needed, especially in terms of costumes, props, and sets. The results were so outstanding that Lucas returned to Elstreet again and again, using as much of the original talent as he could retain.


Whiteley's book chronicles to beginnings of the British work in the hot summer of 1976 through undreamed of sequels produced decades later. The stories are built on interviews with participants even the most devoted Star Wars aficionados might not have heard of: These include Robert Watts, Les Dilley, Nick Maley, Roger Christian, Peter Beale, Gareth Edwards, Colin Goudie and Louise Mollo. 

All of those involved contribute so many anecdotes about how the Star Wars mythos came to be. For example, Roger Christian tells us, "We called it the laser sword because we were British! I knew the lightsaber was the Excalibur of this film! I knew it would be the iconic image . . . I went to Brunnings on Great Marlborough Street in London, whom we rented all our film equipment from: photography, anything we needed, and I’d buy equipment there. I just said to the owner, ‘Do you have anything here that’s unusual, or stuff that might be interesting?’ He pointed me over to the side of the room. He said, ‘There’s a load of boxes under there, I haven’t looked at those for years, go and have a rummage through.’ And it was the first box, it literally was covered in dust. It hadn’t been out for, I don’t know, fifteen or twenty years. I pulled it out, opened the lid and there was tissue paper and then when I pulled it open . . . out came a Graflex handle from a 1940s press camera. I just took it and I went ‘There it is! This is the Holy Grail.’"

The Galaxy Britain Built is page-after-page of such nuggets and revelations.  I imagine many diehard Star Wars fans will have heard many of these stories before. But I doubt all of them

Without question, you got to be a serious Star Wars fan to one degree or another to want to dive into this book, no matter how much you think you already know about the production history of the saga.    It's a fast read as we get one short chunk of one interview, then another, then another, and so on.  I definitely had a feeling I was taken behind the sets and scripts and actors to see how a galaxy far away had been built with a deepened sense of just how collaborative moviemaking is. If that sort of stuff is your cuppa tea, then David Whiteley's book is just for you.

This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on Sun. Jan. 12, 2020:

 MORE ABOUT THE REVIEWER

Dr. Wesley Britton, is a frequent reviewer for The New Book Review, author of The Beta Earth Chronicles and reviewer for BookPleasures.com.  Learn more about his and his work: 





Dr. Wesley Britton Explores StarWarsday for Starwars Fans


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