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Monday, February 5, 2018

Adaptation of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park Reviews by BlueInk Review

Title: A Contrary Wind
Subtitle: a variation on Mansfield Park
Author: Lona Manning
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Paperback: 378 pages
·         Publisher: Amazon KDP
Date: (January 12, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1976797861
ISBN-13: 978-1976797866

Reviewed Anonymously on BlueInkReview.com
Reprinted with Permission of BlueInk

Blueink Review: More contemporary writers select the works of Jane Austen to adapt than any other author. In this latest Austen Variation, crime writer Lona Manning selects Mansfield Park as her subject.

Like many others, Manning considers Austen’s Fanny to be too "insipid" a heroine to inspire reader interest. Thus, she alters the story beginning with Austen's play scene in Chapter XV. (The book offers a brief synopsis of earlier scenes for those unfamiliar with the original.) Manning retains Austen's characters, namely: Henry and Mary, the visiting, unscrupulous Crawford siblings; and Edmund and Tom Bertram and their sisters, who live at Mansfield Park with their mother and irascible aunt. Also living at Mansfield Park is Fanny, a shy poor cousin who is constantly harassed by her visiting aunt.

When Manning's Fanny finally decides to seek her independence by becoming a governess, she leaves Mansfield Park without disclosing her destination. This causes some to worry and others to berate her ingratitude. As Fanny slowly embraces her new life and becomes a fully fleshed and sympathetic character, Henry Crawford's dissolute life intensifies, and his sister plots to attract Edmund's attention while also disparaging Fanny's character after intercepting fond letters between Edmund and Fanny.

Manning incorporates into her narrative growing public opposition to the slave trade which maintains Mansfield Park and expands the role of the navy and Fanny's seagoing brother.
A Contrary Wind is an impressive feat. Manning not only emulates Austen’s writing style so well that she often seamlessly incorporates exact passages from the original into her narrative, she also retains the claustrophobic pettiness of the upper class while setting the novel securely in its political and social context. The author creates engrossing tension through the escalating misdeeds of the Crawfords, whose just punishments will meet with modern approval.

Many try to emulate Austen; not all succeed. Here, Manning triumphs. She has retained Austen’s spirit, while providing a stronger Fanny who will surely win today’s readers.
Also available as an ebook.


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. 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.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Novel by Clifford Browder Set in New York City

Title: Dark Knowledge
Author: Clifford Browder
Genre: Historical fiction
Paperback: 234 pages
ISBN: 978-1-68114-367-5




Do Black Lives Matter?
 SYNOPSIS

Young Chris Harmony thinks so when, learning that members of his family may have been involved in the pre-Civil War slave trade, he determines to learn the truth.  He tells his story in Dark Knowledge, a historical novel by Clifford Browder released by Anaphora Literary Press on January 5.  The story is set in late 1860s New York.
Chris’s investigation takes him into elegant brownstone parlors, a dingy waterfront saloon, and musty old maritime records that reveal startling secrets.  Since those once involved in the trade fear exposure, he meets denials and evasions, then threats, and finally a murder.  Chris is haunted by vivid fantasies of the suffering slaves on the ships and their savage revolts.  How could seemingly respectable people be involved in so abhorrent a trade, and what stratagems did they use to avoid exposure?  And what price must Chris pay to learn the painful truth and proclaim it?

This is the third title in Browder’s Metropolis series of historical novels set in nineteenth-century New York.  Surprised to learn that New York City was the center of the North Atlantic slave trade in the years just before the Civil War, Browder researched the subject at the New York Public Library and the New York Historical Society library, using primary sources whenever possible.
  
The other novels in the Metropolis series are The Pleasuring of Men (Gival Press, 2011), about a young man who chooses to become a male prostitute, and Bill Hope: His Story (Anaphora Literary Press, 2017), in which a street kid turned pickpocket relates his adventurous life.  Browder is also the author of two biographies; a critical study of the French Surrealist poet AndrĂ© Breton; andNo Place for Normal: New York / Stories from the Most Exciting City in the World (Mill City Press, 2015), a selection of posts from his blog that won the Tenth Annual National Indie Excellence Award for Regional Non-Fiction, and first-place in the Travel category of the 2015-2016 Reader Views Literary Awards.  He invites his friends and fans to read his fiction and nonfiction, but to avoid his poetry (awful stuff!).

ABOUT  THE  AUTHOR

A transplant from the Midwest, Browder is a writer and retired editor living in New York City’s Greenwich Village high above the Magnolia Bakery of “Sex and the City” fame.  He loves New York for its intensity and diversity, its craziness and creativity, and celebrates it, warts and all, in his blog, "No Place for Normal: New York."  A member of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, he loves old buildings and their history, but is also dazzled by glass-pinnacled high rises that spike the sky.  A hiker, he is fascinated by the black jelly and spongy white brain of slime molds, the intoxicating scent of milkweed, and the haunting beauty of the mushroom known as Destroying Angel, one bite of which is death.  Though ripe in years, recently he learned the Charleston; geezers rock.

Purchase Dark Knowledge at Amazon,

Barnes and Noble,
and Anaphra Liteary,

Clifford Browder blogs about New York city at  No Place for Normal: New York. 


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. 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, January 31, 2018

Social Networking Reviewer Gives Short Story Five Stars

Title:  First Kisses: A Short Story
Author: Dina Littner
Genre:  Literature & Fiction, 30 minutes (12-21 pages), Teen & Young Adult, Genre Fiction, Coming of Age
ASIN #:   B0175KVX80
Reviewer's Rating: 5 star
Where people can purchase the book


Reviewed by Tracey Quintin originally for Goodreads
Rating: Five Star


What an amazingly sweet story! The innocence of youth and wonderment of what a first kiss would be like. You're nervous about it, excited, scared and filed with all sorts of anticipation. WHAT WILL IT BE LIKE? 

Dina Littner wrote this delightful short story and did a fantastic job. She captured the feelings perfectly, blend in the trio of best friends and what better ways to have your first kiss than by one you trust? 
I SO look forward to reading more of Dina's work. I actually look forward to reading more about these characters too!


MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dina Littner connections:

ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Tracey Quintin connections:
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/19886187-tracey-quintin

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. 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, January 27, 2018

New Book by Patty Duke and Stars of Her Time



IN THE PRESENCE OF GREATNESS: MY SIXTY-YEAR JOURNEY AS AN ACTRESS
By Patty Duke and William J. Jankowski
Publisher: BearManor Media (February 14, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1629332364
ISBN-13: 978-1629332369

Reviewed by Dr. Wesley Britton Originally for Book Pleasures.com

On September 13, 2011, I had the pleasure of conducting an extensive interview with actress Patty Duke on “Dave White Presents, “an online radio show I co-hosted at the time.   As I always did considerable homework for these conversations, I had read her 1987 memoir, Call Me Anna, where I learned Patty far preferred using her birth name, Anna. I was also aware of her second best-selling memoir, Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic Depressive Illness (1992). So I was intrigued to see Anna had a third posthumous memoir coming out via BearManor Media in 2018. What could she say about her life she hadn’t already told us?

The answer is simple: this time around, the spotlight isn’t on Anna Duke Pierce (her last married name). Rather, it’s a treasure trove of character sketches, impressions of, and anecdotes about, many actors Anna knew over the decades. Some colleagues Anna knew well, others she encountered in passing. Most chapter titles are the names of the personalities Anna describes including Richard Burton, Laurence Olivier, Helen Hayes, Anne Bancroft, Judy Garland, President John F. Kennedy, Helen Keller, Gloria Vanderbilt, Lucille Ball and her son, Desi Arnez Jr., Frank Sinatra senior and Frank Sinatra Jr., Betty White, Patricia Neal, Liza Minnelli, and Helen Hunt. Some stories are extremely poignant including Anna’s memories of her friendship with the doomed beauty, Sharon Tate. Anna also expresses her longtime fondness for her Patty Duke Show co-stars including William Schallert, Jean Byron, Paul O'Keefe, and Eddie Applegate. Sadly, O’Keefe is now the only surviving cast member of the show.

It’s also sad to note, even after all these years, Anna’s unscrupulous and manipulative  talent managers, John and Ethel Ross, still cast a pall over so many passages covering Anna’s early years in show business. On the other hand, as Anna told her co-writer,   it has been 30 years since she published Call Me Anna which meant her new memoir gave her many opportunities to express how her mind had changed regarding a number of folks. In addition, Anna takes ownership of many errors in her life while acknowledging many of them came from her once undiagnosed bipolar disorder.  For me, the saddest sentences in the book were when she mentioned the sorts of roles she hoped for when she reached her 70s. When Anna Pierce died in 2016, she had a pretty deep bucket list.

So this is a book for anyone interested in Hollywood history of the past 60 years whether or not you’re a fan of Patty Duke.  You’ll get nuggets and insights into many of your favorite stars from an insider’s very human perspective.  It’s a book that positively glows with positive energy, as in Anna’s praise for so many colleagues like her favorite leading man, Richard Crenna. You’ll also likely learn about many of Anna’s other roles beyond The Miracle Worker, The Patty Duke Show, and The Valley of the Dolls, especially her many TV moviesYou can also trace her career with the 70 plus photos from Anna’s personal collection.

In short, In the Presence of Greatness is a nice final contribution to the Patty Duke legacy. I’m glad I spent the hours reading these warm, intimate, and very personable memories.       And I’d like to thank William J. Jankowski for instigating this project after hearing Anna telling him some of these tales.  And he should be thanked for completing this book after Anna’s passing in march of 2016.

MORE ON THE TOPIC

Here’s an excerpt from the book posted at the “Patty Duke Fans” Facebook page:

MORE ABOUT THE REVIEWER

 Dr. Wesley Britton is the author of The Beta Earth Chronicles and reviews for BookPleasures.com. Learn more about Beta Earth Chronicles website:
Here’s a link to my   2011 interview with Patty Duke for “Dave White Presents”:

Follow Wes Britton’s Goodreads blog:


Follow Wes Britton’s Beta Earth Chronicles Facebook page:

View the snazzy Beta Earth Chronicles book trailer at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8rrP2warHc


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. 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, January 24, 2018

Goodreads and Tweeting Lover of Books Reviews Contemporary Fiction

Title:  Salvation 
Series: Heal Me Series Book 1
Author: Stephanie John
Genre:  Literature; Fiction, Erotica, Romance Erotica, Literary Fiction, Romance, Contemporary Fiction
ASIN #:   B00U8389E8
Reviewer's Rating: 4 star


Reviewed by Tracey Quintin originally for Goodreads
Rating: Four Stars

This debut novel is a great, sweet, hot read! There weren't any moments that I expected to happen.
Nate drips of sex appeal, gorgeous hot bodiness, sweetness, compassion, and charm. He most definitely is not your typical cliche millionaire! 

Kara (yes, I can hear him saying her name in a raspy voice) is lacking in strength, determination, self-confidence and self-esteem. I picture her as a caterpillar waiting to blossom into the stunning butterfly she doesn't realize she is. 

Nate+Kara=ignition ignited! Butterfly blossomed.
They bring out the best in each other and make each other a more confident, assured, and capable of loving and being loved person. They complete each other. But, will their love endure? THAT we'll need to wait to find out!

Love some of the other characters in this story too.

I really enjoyed this story and definitely recommend.

MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stephanie John connections:

ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Tracey Quintin connections:

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. 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. 

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, January 17, 2018

Women's Fiction Set in Middle East Reviewed


The Confusion of Languages                                   
Women's Fiction
ISBN-10: 0399158928
ISBN-13: 978-0399158926

Reviewed by Idelle Kursman Originally for Luck Can Change


This past weekend I read a book I couldn't put down: The Confusion of Languages by Siobhan Fallon. It intrigued me because it takes place in the Middle Eastern country of Jordan during the Arab Spring and the characters are Americans connected with the US embassy. How often do readers get the opportunity to read a story in this setting?

However, politics was not the main subject. Rather, it was about two wives of US soldiers and their intricate relationship involving loyalty, jealousy, and dependence. Cassie Hugo and Margaret Brickshaw strike a friendship but tension lies below the surface: Margaret has a baby while Cassie is infertile, Cassie is vigilant about security while Margaret laughs off her concerns, and Cassie is organized while Margaret is careless. Then one day Margaret asks Cassie to babysit her son while she is supposed to go on a quick errand but ends up disappearing. Cassie then discovers her friend’s inner turmoil and realizes what she has observed on the surface is far more complicated. Adding to the friction are the misunderstandings in behavioral protocol between the sexes on Margaret's part, which results in tragic consequences. 

The relationship between the women weaves a tale not to be easily forgotten. Despite the tensions and resentments, there is love, loyalty, and forgiveness. The writing is exquisite and the reader can feel empathy for both Cassie and Margaret. The male characters, however, are vague, their actions and motivations at times unclear. But this story is a page-turner that will leave the reader reflecting about the trials of the characters long after finishing the book.

Reading about everyday life in Jordan is a rare opportunity. Author Fallon explains the mores and values of this Islamic country and gives one a glimpse of Middle Eastern culture. Since Fallon has lived in Jordan, this glimpse feels authentic. The reader sees the good as well as the challenges. For instance, Arabs demonstrate great hospitality to strangers; yet when a conflict arises, they will defend their own over what is right.

While I don't want to give away the ending, I'll say luck does not change for the characters—they don't experience the redemption they crave. However, one couple learns to appreciate what they have even if their lives are less than perfect.


MORE ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Idelle Kursman is the author of True Mercy.

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. 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, January 13, 2018

Mad Librarian Gets Five Stars From Red-Headed Book Lover

MAD Librarian
Author: Michael Guillebeau
Genre: Women’s Crime Humor
ISBN: 978-0-9972-0552-7 

Published by Madison Press
Available from Barnes & Noble and Amazon here

Reviewed by Aimee Ann Originally for Red Headed Book Lover Reviews 



MAD Librarian follows the incredible Serenity Hammer. Serenity is a librarian, but she is so 
much morethan this as she is a librarian with a cause, in other words, she is on a mission, 
and nothing will get in her way! She lived in a quaint town in Maddington, it is her home,
 and she adores it, especially her precious library! However, her library is under threat
 thanks to the politicians who want to close it down for good. This is a sad truth which 
is happening in the world today, but I will discuss this more later! Serenity, however, 
is strong and powerful, just as powerful as the pushy politicians she has to deal with 
and so, she conjures up a plan and decides to fight back, 
and this is the premise of this intriguing, humorous novel.











I adored everything about this wacky novel, it may be a humorous book, but it is so much more
than this as it is full of twists and turns galore that will keep you entertained from beginning
 to end. It is funny and incredibly enjoyable, but it also has some serious moments
 for those readers who like a novel with some depth.  I adored the underlining 
theme of this story which was,  the fact that libraries
are being closed all over. It is a sad reality, and I hate it so much, the ones that are 
still open are being updated to suit the technological age, and that is so sad to me as 
 am a huge traditionalist.

My point is, I adored how the author of this wonderful novel explored this theme and
 based a whole story around it so well done Michael Guillebeau!


MAD Librarian has a host of eccentric, unique characters, they were certainly ‘out there’
but they were brilliant, and they propelled the story of the book along perfectly. I particularly 
loved Serenity; I thought she was a brilliant protagonist and unique. Now that I think about it 
I can’t think of another protagonist to compare her too, so that shows how unique and special
 she is!

As well as the characters being superb, so is the incredible dialogues. The long sentences were
wonderful and made me engrossed in the novel. It was like the author’s words were spiked with
adrenaline because I found that when I started reading, I could not stop! He is a wonderful,
 talented author and so I would implore all of you lovely readers to read this book!

To conclude my thoughts on Mad Librarian, I would say if you are looking for a unique,
fun, entertaining novel that will keep you hooked from beginning to end then this excellent
book is for you! This incredible read gets Five Stars from me!





Breaking Bad for Librarians. Cayocosta72 Reviews said, “This book is truly every librarian’s dream come true."  Half of all income goes to the Awesome Foundation for Innovation in Libraries. Available at https://www.amazon.com/MAD-Librarian-Michael-Guillebeau-ebook/dp/B075LQD1LB/


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. 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. 

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.