The New Book Review

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Sunday, May 15, 2022

Karen A. Wyle Releases New Nature Picture Book



Title: Wind, Ocean, Grass
Author: Karen A. Wyle
Illustrator: Tomasz Mikutel
Author's website: http://www.KarenAWyle.com
Genre: Picture Book, Nonfiction: Nature \
Age/Interest Level: ages 2-8
Page #: 50
Publisher: Oblique Angles Press
Purchase the paperback at Amazon,  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1955696004 and other retailers
 Kindle edition coming soon. 

Reviewed by Jill Franclemont originally fort All Things Jill-Elizabeth.

Karen A. Wyle Releases New Nature Picture Book

By now, readers of my blog are familiar with the work of the talented Karen Wyle. From adult books to children’s picture stories, Wyle’s work is consistently original, lovely, and magical. (If you need a refresher, check out my posts on a number of her previous adult titles and her writing experiences – Twin-BredWander HomeDivisionLeaders, and Water to Water in a two-part series of posts – as well as her first few forays into children’s books – You Can’t Kiss a Bubble and When It’s Winter. This latest book is no exception. The focus is on nature, and the results are as lyrical as the movement of the eponymous wind.

In her own words: This unique picture book has neither human nor animal characters, but instead features the wind speaking to the grass, explaining how long grasses are both like and unlike the waves of the ocean. Through lyrical prose and breathtaking impressionist-style paintings, the reader follows the wind’s journey over sea and land: the many moods of the ocean, the different seasons of the grassy field. We see glimpses of the birds that live off the bounty of the ocean, and the birds and flowers that live among the  grasses.

Through this nature metaphor, the story, without becoming didactic, teaches children about seeing commonality and celebrating differences.

And if that description doesn’t encourage you to take a look, the lush and evocative illustrations certainly should. For each of her children’s books, Wyle has done an absolutely magnificent job finding the perfect illustrator – and illustrative style – to convey the wonder of her story. Mikutel’s art is visually stunning and provides a counterpoint to the language of the tale that makes both more robust an experience.

I really love the message here. The back and forth between the elements reminded me of the way a parent talks to multiple children about how it is possible to love them each differently but equally – and  how the happiness of the parent requires the thriving happiness of each child. I am constantly amazed at Wyle’s knack for taking complex subjects – life, death, love, nature – and putting them into narratives that children can appreciate and that can help parents teach life lessons. It is no easy task, and I applaud her willingness to tackle the large subjects – and her deft hand at managing them.

The book is truly lovely and I encourage you to take a look!

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More About the Reviewer

The reviewer is Jill Franclemont, who blogs at All Things Jill-Elizabeth. Here's the link to the review: http://blog.jill-elizabeth.com/2022/05/09/book-review-wind-ocean-grass-by-karen-wyle-author-and-tomasz-mikutel-illustrator/. The general blog URL is http://blog.jill-elizabeth.com/. Jill has given permission for the review to be reprinted. She's on Twitter as @jill_a. Her email address (which she's allowing me to provide) is jillelizabeth@jill-elizabeth.com.

Author bio:
Karen A. Wyle is an appellate attorney, author, and photographer. She graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in English and American Literature. Also interested in both logic and psychology, she applied to law school in the hope of combining those subjects with her love of writing. She has been writing novels since 2010, and has published eleven of them, their genres including science fiction, afterlife fantasy, and Western historical romance. Wind, Ocean, Grass is Wyle’s third picture book, with more on the way.
Learn more about her at:

Illustrator bio:
Tomasz Mikutel is an independent artist living and creating art in Northampton, UK. He was born in Lodz, Poland, and began drawing as a child, inspired by his oil painter father. He often paints animals, but his favorite watercolour artists include Alvaro Castagnet and Joseph Zbukvic. He describes his style as classic and traditional. He prefers painting “loose,” as opposed to photorealism: the looser style allows him to express more emotions and to “leave part of himself inside the painting.”



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, April 24, 2021

A David Russell Novella Gets Worldwide Attention


TITLE: Self's Blossom
SUBTITLE: A liberating holiday
AUTHOR: David Russell
GENRE: Inspirational Romance
AGE / INTEREST LEVEL: 30s onwards, people with a literary bias
PAGE: 189
PUBLISHER: Independently Published - Amazon kdp
Available on Amazon UK

Pitch or Short Synopsis

Self's Blossom is a short novella in the erotic romance genre, with Selene, a woman in search of her sexual identity, as the vibrant main character. Selene is intellectual, independent, free-spirited and totally trapped in the limitations of her peer group and society. Find more info on Goodreads

A David Russell Novella Gets Worldwide Attention

Reviewed by Miranda Moondawn, originally for Goodreads

Self’s Blossom by David Russell. A Romantic Quest of Self Discovery.  

 

Self’s Blossom is a short novella in the erotic romance genre, with Selene, a woman in search of her sexual identity, as the vibrant main character. Selene is intellectual, independent, free-spirited and totally trapped in the limitations of her peer group and society. pragmatic best friend Janice describes her as a dreamer, living in the cuckoo land of her imagination. Desperately looking to find herself and get a bit of erotic adventure, Selene goes on holiday to South America. Brought to life by the Sun, sea and holiday atmosphere, Selene's first erotic awakening comes about through the ocean – “the spirit of love beckoning her with a pulsing sinewy body”. After this, Selene searches for a lover and has a brief sexual encounter with an eighteen year old local. 

 

But it is her through her meeting with the American anthropologist Hudson that Selene' erotic nature is awakened and she explores herself on many layers. Hudson is her intellectual rival and mentor, and he introduces Selene to the other side of South America – the primal elemental energy of the carnival, the 10,000 year history of South American civilisation and the breathtaking and often cruel power of its environment and landscape. With Hudson, Selene's holiday adventures suddenly become fraught with danger and intrigue – she is threatened with death by hunters when she plays environmentalist with Hudson and his friends, she is bitten by a deadly snake when she goes exploring with him, Hudson has to save her from a barroom brawl with the locals which suddenly explodes due to a sexual indiscretion. The indigenous population have an entirely different culture and life-rule than Selene knows from her predictable friends in London. Although Hudson is the catalyst for Selena’s awakening, it is fair to say that she challenges him intellectually and opens his world weary eyes for the magic of the moment also.  

 

Their mutual search for something beyond the mundane leads them both to the top of a South American pyramid, where Selena visualises herself as a modern God Queen and Hudson as her God King. They have both gone on a dangerous and fascinating journey down through time and braving a foreign culture and environment. It is therefore significant that Selene does not seek full surrender to her lover in the passion of the moment on the moonlit beach – in fact she slaps his face when he attempts to do so – Instead she wants their love to be fully consummated through the pampered and luxurious Western trappings of the hotel Bridal Suite. “True Seduction was total theatre”, “The true ideal lay in laced artifice” not in ‘ideals of naturalness’. Here, in the luxurious trappings of traditional Western romance and eroticism, the adventure ends and the God Queen and God King sublimate their experience like some modern day High Priest and Priestess and the alchemy is complete.  

 

Knowing that they will be unable to ever rival or surpass this moment of absolute sexual apotheosis, the lovers now part and go their separate ways – Hudson to his job in the US and Selene back to London. But the author leaves us with a sense that more has been accomplished here than just a nice holiday memory for Selene and her lover. Selene can now return to the humdrum of her everyday existence and the emptiness of her London life with the alchemical blossom inside her – the Blossom of the self which has been totally awakened inside her. There is the very real sense that Selene will never be the same again after this.  

 

More About the Reviewer


Miranda Moondawn, author of Mooniana and the Secret of the Lost Chronicles of Sophia. 1-7-2015 Copenhagen Denmark. 






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

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

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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 form at https://www.bit.ly/FinishedReviewSubmissions. 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. And know that Carolyn Wilhelm, our IT expert, award-winning author, and veteran educator, makes an award image especially for those who volunteer to write reviews from Lois's review-request list and post them in the spirit of her "Authors Helping Authors" project. 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 25, 2020

Chelsea Falin Reviews Karen A. Wyle's Second in Cowbird Series



--Title: What Frees the Heart 
--Series: Second in Cowbird Creek
--Author: Karen A. Wyle
--Author's website: Karen A. Wyle Author Website 
--Genre/category: Western historical romance
--ISBN: 978-0-9980604-7-7
--Publisher: Oblique Angles Press

Reviewed by Chelsea Falin, originally for Goodreads and Pen Possessed 
Five Star on Goodreads

THE REVIEW

I was so excited for this book to come out. I read and fell in love with “What Heals the Heart” and was excited for another Cowbird Creek title to come out. Wyle did NOT disappoint. This story may have been even more gripping than the first, and I absolutely loved to see yet another “not so
common” romance bloom.

One of the things I love best about this book is that it takes two flawed people and puts them together. Anyone who has read my reviews knows I love flawed characters because it creates a more realistic story for me. Perfect heroes and heroines are so hard to relate to. But I also love the combination of old fashioned and female empowerment Wyle uses in her stories. The females aren’t helpless, but they do need help. They can do much of everything on their own, but the few things they can’t, the hero can – while the heroine can do what he can’t. It’s less a damsel in distress and more a real union of meeting the other’s needs.

I highly recommend this title to anyone who wants a realistic yet swoon-worthy romance that will leave you begging for more. I also recommend it to anyone who enjoys westerns, historicals, or mostly clean romance.

The cover is engaging and offers an accurate depiction of what readers should expect inside the story.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Karen A. Wyle was born a Connecticut Yankee, but moved every few years throughout her childhood and adolescence.  After college in California, law school in Massachusetts, and a mercifully short stint in a large San Francisco law firm, she moved to Los Angeles, where she met her now-husband, who hates L.A.  They eventually settled in Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University. They have two wildly creative daughters.

Wyle's voice is the product of almost five decades of reading both literary and genre fiction.  It is no doubt also influenced, although she hopes not fatally tainted, by her years of law practice.  Whether writing science fiction, afterlife fantasy, or historical romance, she tends to focus on the often-intertwined themes of individual identity, liberty, family, communication, unintended consequences, and the persistence of unfinished business. She has also published one nonfiction book, a resource for authors, law students, or anyone else interested in understanding more about American law.
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ABOUT THE REVIEWER

Chelsea Falin is a multi-genre author of 35+ books, including The Growing Roots Series, Taming the Dragon Clan Chronicles, and Think You Know Your States? series. Learn more about her at https://cfalinhammond.wordpress.com/

Chelsea Falin Reviews Karen A. Wyle's Second in Cowbird Series


MORE ABOUT BLOGGER AND WAYS TO GET THE MOST FROM THIS BLOG

 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.



Note: Participating authors and their publishers may request the social sharing image by Carolyn Wilhelm at no charge.  Please contact the designer at:  cwilhelm (at) thewiseowlfactory (dot) com. Provide the name of the book being reviewed and--if an image or headshot of the author --isn't already part of the badge, include it as an attachment. Wilhelm will send you the badge to use in your own Internet marketing. Give Wilhelm the link to this post, too!
 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

Friday, May 1, 2020

Carol Smallwood Interview Poet Jaylan Salah



Print Length: 67 pages
Publisher: PoetsIN, 2019
Language: English
ASIN: B07YMZVDGL
Purchase on Amazon


Interview by Carol Smallwood

Award-winning Jaylan Salah is a Writer, Poet, Translator, Content Expert and Film Critic.Workstation Blues is a collection from the cubicle which resonates with white-collar workers worldwide passing the time between meetings and computer screens. The poems blur: monsters are replaced by monitors, flame-throwers by LED lights and swords by client comments. Cristina Deptula, executive editor of Synchronized Chaos Magazinehttp://synchchaos.com
commented: “With energy and spunk, Jaylan Salah celebrates imagination, beauty, and most of all, freedom through her poetry and prose.” 

Smallwood: What is your educational, literary background and when did you begin to writeprose and poetry?

Salah: I graduated in the faculty of Pharmacy at a prestigious private university in my hometown Alexandria, Egypt. You see, being a pharmacist and learning all the drugs in the pharmacopeia have nothing to do with literature or poetry, but it all started with school years at Sacred Heart Catholic School when the Sister senior encouraged me to be the next William Wordsworth and my mother told me to write the book I wanted to read.

Smallwood: Please share with readers what motivated you to write Workstation Blues? How long did it take you to write it?

Salah: A grueling, awful year of being bullied while working at a corporate. I faced multiple difficulties and threatening situations. A tough tooth to pull. I didn’t expect the worst when I first applied to the job as a medical copywriter of course. But the experience overall was demanding, abusive and emotionally-draining. I wanted to cope with the toxic work environment so I wrote a poem a day until I had a notebook containing 200 poems. It took me one year to quit the job and have my manuscript ready for publishing.

Smallwood: How do you decide if something should be prose or poetry? Please include apublished sample of each kind of your writing:

Salah: There are texts that you plan before sitting down to write. But others drag you into a mud fight and leave you breathless at the end. 
Workstation Blues is the sample of poetry which requires inspiration but the planning and editing processes are heavily sought out. This piece of prose on the other hand, is a real trip:

Smallwood: In a poetsin.com interview, you shared: “My first heartbreak, pain was so demanding and incomprehensible. The only way with which I overcame its heaviness was through drafting my first short story collection which went to win a major national literary prize.”  What was the major national literary prize and what are some awards have you won?

Salah: I won 2 major prizes in my home country, the Young Talents National Competition for my short story collection titled “Thus Speaks La Loba” and 2nd place in the Organization of Cultural Palaces Competition for my novel titled Bogart…Play a Classic for Me.
I also won the “Bleed on the Page” Competition for Poetry and Prose organized by theProse.com for my poem “Poof, Vagina”.

Smallwood: Please tell readers about your work as a translator, content expert, film critic:

Salah: My translation career started with Goethe Institute where I translated articles, press releases and booklets. I became specialized in film criticism translation from various English and French publications to Arabic through my work with the Jesuits Cultural Center Publication, El Fim, in addition to Cinematograph Online Magazine. My big break came with Cairo International Film Festival when I translated prolific film critic,Mahmoud Abdelshakour’s book, Mohamed Khan: Searching for A Knight. My work as a content creator started in 2017 when I started my fulltime career at medical companies creating, curating, editing and translating content. 

Smallwood: What do you think of the role of women today?

Salah: I think women have a long way to go, especially if they are not White or Western.

Smallwood: What are some magazines in which you’ve appeared?

Salah: My writings were featured in multiple national and international publications such asAl-Ahram National NewspapertheProse.comSynchronized ChaosGuardian Liberty VoiceCinematographEye on Cinema, ZEALnyc,Africin├ę, Elephant Journal, Vague Visages, and Cinema Femme Magazine.

Smallwood: Please share something about your love of animals:

Salah: I have always had a spirit animal, even way back before I fully understood the concept. My dream job is anything related to the care and rescue of animals; dog trainer, wolf reservation intern, cat hugger. I find myself in the company of animals—dare I say—more than that of humans. I have not known a love beyond my family that is stronger, purer and more earthly than that of my feline, canine and feathered buddies. You can read this to reflect on what I mean: https://theprose.com/post/26944/we-need-to-talk-about-the-frog

Smallwood: Has your writing appeared in audio? 

Salah: Yes, some of my articles have audio versions:



Smallwood: What are you working on now and what is your writing schedule?

Salah: Currently I am working on a writing project, for which I have not yet decided a description nor a solid genre. The preliminary title is “Zorro”, it will be in Arabic and contains 4 main characters; 3 women and the titular male protagonist. I am also preparing my second English poetry collection. My writing schedule is not as you would expect. There is daily writing involved of course but it is not consistent. I do not have a certain time of the day where I am more productive. I also invest heavily in the creation, preparation and research processes which include meditation, self-care and talking to strangers. 

Smallwood: Please list links for readers to learn more about you:

Salah: Interviews with me can be found herehere and here.


 MORE ABOUT THE REVIEWER

Carol Smallwood, MLS, MA, Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, is a literary reader, judge, interviewer; her 13th poetry collection is Thread, Form, and Other Enclosures (Main Street Rag, 2020). 

Carol Smallwood Interview Poet Jaylan Salah


MORE ABOUT THE  BLOGGER AND WAYS TO GET THE MOST FROM THIS BLOG


 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.



Note: Participating authors and their publishers may request the social sharing image by Carolyn Wilhelm at no charge.  Please contact the designer at:  cwilhelm (at) thewiseowlfactory (dot) com. Provide the name of the book being reviewed and--if an image or headshot of the author --isn't already part of the badge, include it as an attachment. Wilhelm will send you the badge to use in your own Internet marketing. Give Wilhelm the link to this post, too!
 #TheFrugalbookPromoter, #CarolynHowardJohnson, #TheNewBookReview, #TheFrugalEditor, #SharingwithWriters, #reading #BookReviews #GreatBkReviews #BookMarketing