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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Mini Review Gives Top Ratings to New Suspenseful Romance








TITLE: A Killer Among Us
AUTHOR: Deborah Byington, 
GENRE: Romantic Suspense

Reviewed by Rrclark originally for Amazon


I very much enjoyed this story and I am anxiously awaiting the next segment of this trilogy. I 
might have lost a lot of sleep trying to read during my down time but it was well worth it! 
I highly recommend to everyone the suspense, mystery, and a little romance keeps you 
begging for more from this author.


MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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 ). 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, September 20, 2017

"My Brothers Keeper" Reviewed by Religion Journal



Book Title: My Brother’s Keeper
Author: Bill Kassel
Author Website: www.billkassel.com
Genre: Historical/Religious Fiction
Publisher: Company Publications/Saint Joseph Communications
ISBN: 978-0-938984-06-1
Reviewed by Fr. Michael P. Orsi originally for Homiletic and Pastoral Review

My Brother’s Keeper is an inspirational novel of a type that used to be broadly popular: a Bible-based narrative that expands on the Gospels to tell an engaging story about a character whose life is touched by Christ. Classics such as Ben Hur and The Robe are examples of this genre of religious storytelling that was once at the heart of the literary mainstream.
In our cynical, materialist age, such works have largely fallen out of fashion. Even the Christian publishing houses tend to shy away from Bible fiction, preferring instead to offer contemporary or historical tales that center on moral conflicts, along with those innumerable series of so-called “Christian romances.” And when secular publishers touch on the Bible these days, we’re mainly treated to gnostic conspiracies or wild speculations about Jesus’ “secret wife.”
Catholic author Bill Kassel is attempting to swim against the fashionable tide with a tale that’s remarkably orthodox but that offers an unconventional perspective on Jesus and his family. He accomplishes this through a deft blending of canonical and non-canonical elements, spiced with historical research and a good deal of imaginative supposition.
His story is premised on two ancient pious traditions: (1) that Joseph was a widower with children when he married a much younger Mary, and (2) that Mary herself had been raised in the Temple at Jerusalem as a sort of Jewish proto-“nun.” These ideas are not Kassel’s inventions, but rather are rooted in the Apocryphal Gospels (such as the Protoevangelium of James), early Christian writings that are largely overlooked in the Western Church today.
The plot of My Brother’s Keeper gets nudged into motion when Joseph is asked to take a teenage Mary as his wife because she is approaching her “impurity” (the onset of menstruation), which will require her to leave the Temple. Mary’s mother, Anna, is dead, and her father, Joachim, is nearing death himself, so the girl needs a home and husbandly protection. The twist is that this arrangement must allow Mary to preserve the celibacy she has chosen for herself.
Thus Kassel both sets the stage for all kinds of domestic complications within Joseph’s extended household, and advances a neat rationale for the Catholic doctrine of Mary’s Perpetual Virginity which even Protestants might accept. Through such clever literary contrivances My Brother’s Keeper tries to fill many of the gaps in the Gospels and answer questions that have challenged the Christian imagination over millennia.
The book’s anchor is James, described in the Bible as “the brother of the Lord,” and in Kassel’s telling the youngest of Joseph’s children. James dreams of becoming a Doctor of the Law. He pursues his goal under the tutelage of Hillel, the most renowned sage of First-Century Judaism, and Gamaliel, Hillel’s grandson (who is recognized as an important leader of the Sanhedrin in The Acts of the Apostle).
As James rises to scholarly prominence, Joseph, on his deathbed, exacts a promise from him to protect Jesus, whom Joseph believes to be the Messiah. James doesn’t share his father’s certainty about Jesus and his spiritual pedigree, but he nevertheless agrees to do what he can—in essence becoming his brother’s keeper. Later in the book, when Jesus’ ministry has begun stirring controversy, James cultivates a friendship with Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, in an effort to make good on the promise to his late father and assure that Jesus isn’t railroaded by corrupt religious authorities.
Pilate is only one of the Biblical figures who show up in this book and are revealed in unexpected ways. Joseph of Arimathea and Saul of Tarsus are two others who play surprising roles in James’ life and add density to the plot. Numerous made-up characters enrich the story as well. In fact, one of the book’s strengths is the variety of perspectives on Jesus illustrated as people grapple with their questions about this strange prophet from Nazareth.
Looking back 2,000 years and knowing how things turned out, we sometimes wonder why anyone, at the time, would have missed Jesus’ true nature. But it wasn’t necessarily clear, then, who Jesus was or what he was up to. The book captures those ambiguous circumstances, maintaining an appropriate atmosphere of tension and uncertainty throughout, until Christ’s post-resurrection appearance to James (mentioned in the Bible) near the end of the story.
Kassel demonstrates a deep appreciation for the Jewishness of Jesus and for the Old Testament roots of Christianity, evident in his research into the laws and customs of Judaism. His command of the period’s history, the local geography, and especially the political conflicts of Roman-occupied Palestine make this work instructive as well as entertaining. And it allows the author to avoid either over-romanticizing life in Jesus’ day or blaming the Jews, as a people, for Christ’s death.
My Brother’s Keeper can be viewed as part of a literary genre concerning Jesus that goes back to at least the second century A.D. But it achieves a contemporary plausibility, to which modern readers can relate, by emphasizing the human dimension of the story over its miraculous aspects. This is a highly engaging work of fiction that can be readily employed in religious education programs for both adults and teenagers—though some care should be taken with young people. Kassel doesn’t soft-pedal the violence of the period. His portrayal of crucifixion is particularly vivid. It makes one appreciate what Christ suffered, but it could be a bit unsettling.
Perhaps if My Brother’s Keeper gains a sufficient following, it might help to bring quality religious novels back into popularity among the general readership. My one concern is that 1,000 years from now, when it’s discovered in cyber-space, it may attain the notoriety of the ancient Apocryphal Gospels and engender a sequel to The DaVinci Code.

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 ). 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.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Unique Opportunity for Getting Reviews!

This blog is usually reserved for reviews. It was inspired by the difficulty so many authors have getting reviews and getting those reviews exposed to readers after they have one they love. So . . . I decided to let the many authors and other industry professionals know about this unique opportunity. It is an opportunity I recommend to my clients because it has worked for me. Note: There is space for only five more books!





Open to non members
Deadline September 20 for next issue
Room for only 5 more books
View this email in your browser

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and book bloggers


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baffles most indie authors and small publishers.


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Feature your book in the new service from SPAWN, 
open to members and nonmembers.

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Deadline for next issue is September 20, 2017

Book must have been released this year.
Looking for Winter 2017 releases for advance reviews.
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DO YOU HAVE A BOOK PLANNED FOR WINTER RELEASE?

Editors had a positive response to New Releases from...SPAWN. One thing several wanted were unreleased books, those coming out in the Winter.



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. It 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.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Angie Gallion Chooses New LGBT Novel for Gallion Picks Reviews

Title: Two Natures
Author: Jendi Reiter
Author's website: http://www.jendireiter.com
Genre: Literary fiction, LGBTQ
ISBN: 978-0-9969074-2-2
Publisher: Saddle Road Press



Reviewed by Angie Gallion originally for Gallion Picks Reviews

One of the things I try to do when I am accepting books for review is to not only review the type of books I would write.  When Jendi Reiter contacted me to offer her book, a gay love story with a Christian undertone, I didn't know what to expect from Two Natures, but was happy to give it a go. What I got was a well written novel with enough descriptive detail to let me walk the life of the main character Julian.  The novel begins in New York City in January 1991. Our protagonist is a fashion photographer in New York, and yes this is during the height of the AIDS epidemic. This book offers a brutal, but not unkind vision of early 1990's.

Two Natures is a very honest bildungsroman, a coming of age novel, with all the key factors, finding your path, breaking with your parents' traditions, learning to stand independent, with a healthy side of Southern Baptist guilt and a childhood fractured by abuse. His journey is complex and the people that populate his life are founded and defined.  Julian is a serious person, and artist, a person sometime prone to self reflection.  He felt familiar to me, just like an old friend.   There are no caricatures here, no one sided coins. This book could have been about my college friend, who was coming to terms with his own sexual identity during the years I knew him, the same years this book covers.  He was creative and passionate, and a little awkward about who he was recognizing as himself, just like we all are.  Julian touches the underbelly of New York City, and we are witness to it.  Reiter does a great job of bringing the city, and all of her locales to life.  She gives enough description and flavor that I got to be there without having to examine every blade of grass along the way.  Reiter does exactly what I like in a book, she lets me walk as the character.  I am Julian as he struggles against the traditions of his family and the calling of his own soul.  I feel his turmoil as he moves through this time in his life and I feel his heart break, along with his joy.  

This book is complex, with religious, political, and social realities in the mix.  Reiter paints the dimensions of her characters with a very fine brush, capturing their shadows and scars very nicely.   This book does not shy away from anything, but it also doesn't make you wallow.  There were scenes that made me uncomfortable, in my middle aged, traditional soul, and the very next scene would remind me again of all of our shared human condition.  People are people, regardless of their trappings, we all want the same things of lives, to be safe, to know love, to be accepted.   You will cheer for Julian in his triumphs.  You will weep for him in his despair.  You will know him. 



Two Natures by Jendi Reiter is a good book with a really big story.  It is published by a small publisher out of Hilo, Hawaii, Saddle Road Press. 

MORE ABOUT THE REVIEWER

Angie Gallion is the author of Alison Hayes Journey, Intoxic, Purgus, and Icara. Her website is also the home of Gallion Picks Book Reviews of Small Press and Indie Press Writers."Bringing Attention to One Great Book at a Time." Follow her on Twitter @AngieGallion

MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jendi Reiter is the Editor of WinningWriters.com 
Writer's Digest "101 Best Websites for Writers" and author of the newly released novel Two Natures (Saddle Road Press). See the book trailer at http://bit.ly/twonaturestrailer
"Intense revelations about what it means to be both Christian and gay...a powerful saga" --Midwest Book Review
"Things are not what they appear to be: nor are they otherwise."
Surangama Sutra

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 ). 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.

 



Thursday, September 7, 2017

University Librarian Reviews Creative Nonfiction


Interweavings
Subtitle: Creative Nonfiction
Author: Carol Smallwood
Genre: Creative Nonfiction
Publisher: Shanti Arts Publishing, Brunswick, Maine, 2017
ISBN 978-1-941830-46-8
Paperback, $16.95, 162 pages.
Purchase from Amazon

Reviewed by Patti Gibbons originally for Amazon
Accomplished author, poet, and editor Carol Smallwood’s latest offering, Interweavings: Creative   Shanti Arts Publishing, 2017, is a collection of essays that offers readers a chance to view select moments of Smallwood’s life where she pauses, as a woman and as a writer, to reflect, analyze, and contemplate the interconnectedness of her earlier self, life’s universal moments, and the outlook that comes with the passage of time. Smallwood’s perspective brings strength ingrained in her as a member of her generation’s feminist movement, a theme that supports the overarching tone of the collection of essays.

Smallwood’s assembly of over forty essays are organized into seven thematic chapters, and work on the individual essay level, as groups of essays, and finally as a whole collection. Looking at the mundane, such as visits to the post office or to the library, Smallwood works in an accessible realm, one which readers of all backgrounds can relate to, but her voice filters her experiences through her vantage point, namely as a woman born in a pivotal generation, and through it rings a perspective that prompts readers to go beyond an interpretation of her stories as descriptive pieces, to a body of work that provides a faceted look at the small moments of life that communicates deeper meanings and speaks to experiences Smallwood narrates from her reflections across her lifetime. Smallwood shares her private thoughts in clear and uncensored terms, not for shock value, but as a reflective simplicity that has come clearer into view as she benefits from the long view of maturity.

Interweavings: Creative Nonfiction is a peek into a writer’s sketchbook, a collection of ponderings and meditations when the author encounters silently powerful moments in her everyday life, and rubs and massages them to tease out the emotional underpinnings and delineates how each speaks not only to the conversation at hand, but to deeper dialogues when examined in light of a lifetime of living and experience. The perspective presented in the individual essays is perhaps clarified by the writing process, and Smallwood, as an author skilled in many genres, is able to share feelings, sentiments, and wisdom with an apparent simplicity and economy of words, due in large part to her mastery as a writer. Smallwood’s Interweavings: Creative Nonfiction shows universal expressions of feeling.

Readers of all backgrounds could easily connect with the themes, and readers seeking to examine American life and the life of twentieth century women, in particular, would delight in the insight Smallwood provides, and the honest reflections she shares. Smallwood’s essays leak with quiet sentiment and encourage readers to approach her prose intuitively. Honest and uncoated, Smallwood evenhandedly leads readers through a series of richly described vignettes that are relatable and prompt readers to interject themselves into the circumstances she writes about, to experience situations first-handedly themselves, as well as on behalf of the author.

As Dr. William Brevda, Professor of English at Central Michigan University, aptly points out in the foreword, “What Smallwood has written is literature. It has staying power.” Through her descriptive yet careful voice, Smallwood candidly captures how she experiences daily life through the medium of language in a profound manner that reaches the level of lasting art.  

MORE ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Patti Gibbons works at the University of Chicago Library in the Special Collections Research Center. 


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 ). 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, September 2, 2017

A Very Basic Primer for Reviewing Favorite Books Online


If you are an author you are an avid reader anyway, why not review books. Amazon and other online bookstores like BN.com that allow voluntary posts. If you come to TheNewBookReview' to find good reading, this review site is open to publishing your reviews (see the submission guidelines in the left column!)  but so are most online bookstores.  It only takes a few moments to add a thoughtful review on Amazon and other readers’ sites and it's fun to spread the joy of books.

Here's a quick study of how to go about it:
 Click on Amazon’s link that gives review guidelines. There is no point in wasting your time because of a minor infraction.

 Use a jazzy or thought-provoking title for your review.
 Type in your byline before you start your review.

 Type in a brief tagline (like a mini bio) at the end of your review but, unlike other sites, do not use your Web site address in it. Your review will be rejected if you use a Web site address—yours or any other.

 If you are an author, your When your review will automatically include a link to that lovely little Amazon feature, "Your About You Area" or your Author's Profile. That is, of course, if you've installed it using Amazon Connect.

 Edit your review. Copy, paste, rewrite and add one to BN.com as well.

 Amazon readers are more likely to click to learn more about you or your book if your Amazon reviews are attention grabbers.

 When possible, let the author know that you posted a review of her book on Amazon. It’s more than a courtesy. She will feel honored.

 If you cannot recommend a book, consider not posting. That doesn’t mean, of course, that we must post only rave reviews nor that noting weaknesses aren’t valid. It’s just that there is no point in slashing and burning a book an author has invested herself in.

I advise that authors use reviews to network with authors and publishers in The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't. There are a slew of other ways to promote and make connections in TFBP, too. Some that will help you get professional reviews.

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 ). 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, August 25, 2017

Title - The Empath’s Survival Guide: 
Subtitle: Life Strategies for Sensitive People
Author – Dr Judith Orloff
Author's Web site link - http://www.drjudithorloff.com/
Genre or category – Self Help
ISBN-10: 1622036573
ISBN-13: 978-1622036578
Reviewer's rating – 5 stars
Link to buy the book on Amazon 
Reviewed by Jackie Paulson originally for Amazon
Do you want to learn the secrets of being an Empath and discover ways revolutionize your life in the most amazing way? If you click on the book in Amazon of course you will be able to see the chapters, which are important. Some may apply to you and others may not. Since I am an empath the author says, " Empaths are emotional sponges who absorb both the and joy of the world. We feel everything, often to an extreme, and have little guard up between ourselves and others. As a result, we often become overwhelmed by excessive stimulation and are prone to exhaustion and sensory overload." 

The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People by [Orloff, Judith]
 is totally ME! This is a great resource to help understand if you are in fact an empath. Through this book, its companion audio program, and her workshops for empaths, Judith wants to create a community of support so that you can find your tribe, be authentic, and shine. She wants to support a movement of people who honor their sensitivities. Her message to you is one of hope and acceptance. On the empath journey, Judith encourages you to embrace your gifts and manifest your full power. What is the difference between ordinary empathy and being an empath? Ordinary empathy means our heart goes out to another person when they are going through a difficult period. It also means that we can be happy for others during their times of joy. 

Being an empath, though, we sense other people’s emotions, energy, and physical symptoms in our bodies without the usual filters that most people have. We can experience another person’s sorrow and their joy. We are super-sensitive to other’s tone of voice and body movements. We can hear what they don’t say in words but communicate nonverbally and through silence. Empaths feel things first, then think, which is the opposite of how most people function in our overintellectualized society. There is no membrane that separates us from the world. This makes us very different from other people who have their defenses up almost from the time they were born.

You are especially attuned to other people’s physical symptoms and tend to absorb them into your body. You also can become energized by someone’s sense of well-being.

The types of these empaths include:
Emotional Empaths
You mainly pick up other people’s emotions and can become a sponge for their feelings, both happy and sad.
Intuitive Empaths
You experience extraordinary perceptions such as intuition, telepathy, messages in dreams, animal and plant communication, as well as contact with the Other Side. 
Telepathic empaths. You receive intuitive information about others in present time.
Precognitive empaths. You have premonitions about the future while awake or in dreams.
Dream empaths. You are an avid dreamer and can receive intuitive information through
dreams that helps others and guides your life.
Mediumship empaths. You can access spirits on the Other Side.
Plant empaths. You can feel the needs of plants and connect with their essence.
Earth Empaths. You are attuned to changes in the Earth, solar system, and weather.
Animal empaths. You can tune into animals and communicate with them.
It took me fifty years to finally realize I am an empath. I would work in the hair industry and absorb so many different energies. I felt like the blood was being sucked right out of my body. By the end of the day I would have to go straight to bed. By learning the techniques of grounding, yourself, and learning about this value to embrace your empathic tendencies, you will become a better person. I highly recommend this book to all age groups especially women who think they are an empath.
© 2017 Jackie Paulson

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This review is part of a blog tour powered by Nikki Leigh.  Learn more about her at 

Local Business Promotion - http://www.localbusinesspromo.info/
Ready for Love Radio - www.readyforloveradio.com 



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 ). 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.