BOOK REVIEW: Weeping Women Springs by Tamara Eaton


Posted by Ryder Islington, author of Ultimate Justice, a Trey Fontaine Mystery

Weeping Women Springs is an historical literary novel about five women whose family members head off to fight in World War II. The women live in a small town called Hope Springs in New Mexico. There’s a mystery about the water that bubbles from a spring behind the general store, the town having been named Hope Springs for the miraculous water. But when news comes that one soldier after another has been killed, the hope dies.

The characters are well rounded and make you either love them, or hate them.The story is one that drew me in. I had hope. I cried. I felt the pain the women suffered. I won’t tell you the end, but I will say that Tamara Eaton did herself proud with this one.

Below you’ll find more info on the book and author. I would recommend that those who love stories about the home front during WWII, as well as those who enjoy history in general, and most especially, lovers of good literary fiction. This is a keeper.

 

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Tears of grief dilute magical Spring waters…

Hope Springs has a secret–the waters mysteriously uplift the spirits of whoever drinks them. When the town’s young men depart to fight in WWII, tragedy strikes. Grief dilutes the waters unique effects, and hiding the village away from the world may provide shelter from the pain—but at what cost? Preoccupied with honoring their loved ones’ memories, five shattered women struggle to gather strength to overcome their loss, and find hope again.

Liv Soderlund, at the precipice of adulthood, is safe within Hope Springs, but longs for change. When news of the war comes, she revels in the excitement of new possibilities. It all comes crashing down once reports of fallen servicemen reach them. Angry, she comes up with the idea which could protect the town from further hurt. At the promise of a new love, can she let the past go?

Maxine Fiekens, a young bride who has had to handle adult responsibilities too soon, sends her husband off to war while she remains behind tending the village store. She’s the first to get word from the battlefront. Can she go on in the throes of unending sorrow?

Ruth Ackerman refuses to have a rushed wedding to her fiancé so waves him good-bye at the train station and spends her days planning her dream occasion. When she also receives heartbreaking news, she rejects the notion of being stuck in a town filled with grieving women and heads off to California where she strives for her dreams.

Susie Bracht dreams of leaving the village to further her education, but when the Korean Conflict breaks out, her brother and her boyfriend run off to be heroes. Her life is put on hold as she waits.

Anna Frolander, a woman who already saw the devastation war can bring, sends two sons to the frontlines in WWII then another runs off to the Korean War. Sunk into a deep depression, will she climb out of the abyss?

Some battles of war are fought on the Homefront by those left behind.

 

 

1438809561About the Author

Tamara Eaton is a “western woman.” She divides her time between Nevada, New Mexico and South Dakota where she and her love spend their summers renovating an old school. Wide open spaces of the desert and prairie are often portrayed in her work. A former secondary English teacher, she grabbed the opportunity to create her stories after she left the classroom. When not writing, she works with other writers editing and polishing their stories and poems. Find out more at http://tamaraeatonnovels.weebly.com/ and be sure to sign up for her Reading Group to keep posted on other projects as well as share your thoughts on current reads. You’ll receive a short story direct to your inbox.
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BOOK REVIEW: The Hollow Man by Paul Hollis


Posted by Ryder Islington, author of Ultimate Justice, a Trey Fontaine Mystery

I love a man with a sense of humor and Paul Hollis certainly has one. His The Hollow Man is fun to read. Though the subject matter of the plot is very serious, the main character, a young analyst for the NSA who is in the field doing things only a trained spy should do, is constantly in trouble, and the author’s humor jumps off the page as this man stumbles through the streets of Europe on the trail of a killer. Assigned to verify intercepted communications and learn if the information has anything to do with danger coming to America, the analyst is in somewhat over his head. His boss calls him “Kid.” He’s no Barney Fife or Maxwell Smart. He holds his own. Barely.

Without the help of Zita, an MI6 operative who shows up just in the nick of time more often than not, the analyst might have ended up dead, or at least seriously wounded, more than once. Zita calls him “Darling.”

Haunted by the needless death of a little girl, and driven by the need to finally succeed, the analyst goes from Spain to Paris in search of the girl’s killer. This is not his assignment, but with visits from the little girl’s ghost, he can’t stop himself.

It’s not my habit to give away many details of a book. A review is designed to give the reader an idea of what I thought of the book. Here’s my thought: I really enjoyed it and think it’s a great read for those who enjoy international intrigue, spys, and suspense with a little humor to ease the tension now and then. Set in 1974, with terrorism as it’s backdrop, this is a story that will keep you on your toes.

Below you’ll find more information about the book and the author, as well as a list of sites where you can find reviews, interviews, guest posts by the author,  and chances to win a free copy of The Hollow Man.

 

The Hollow Man (1)

Book Description for :

A terrorist’s plot, the assassination of a prime minister, holds the key to an apocalyptic plan to destroy Europe’s economy. It’s impossible to stop, but one man doesn’t know enough to think the world can’t be saved. He’s no hero; not clever or capable, talented or tested. The Hollow Man is just trying to survive in an uncertain climate where terrorism is changing the rules of how we live.

The Hollow Man won 2nd place in World’s Best Story Contest.

Buy the book:

Amazon     Barnes & Noble    Book Depository     Chapters/Indigo

 

Paul Hollis

Author’s Bio:

Having lived in twelve states and eventually working in all fifty, he fell in love early with seeing the world on someone else’s money. Since then, he has lived abroad nine years while working in forty-eight countries, spanning five continents. These experiences helped Paul Hollis bring his own unique viewpoint to his mesmerizing thrillers.

 

 

Connect with the author:    Website  ~  Twitter  ~   Facebook

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Tour Schedule:

Sept 14 – #redhead.with.book – review / giveaway

Sept 14 – She Reads New Adult – book spotlight

Sept 15 – The Autistic Gamer – review

Sept 15 – Pinky’s Favorite Reads – book spotlight

Sept 16 – A Soccer Mom’s Book Blog – book spotlight / giveaway

Sept 17 – Roughseasinthemed – review

Sept 18 – Book Stop Corner – review / author interview / giveaway

Sept 21 – Olio by Marilyn – review / author interview / giveaway

Sept 22 – Geeks in High School – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

Sept 22 – Her Book Thoughts! – review / guest posts / giveaway

Sept 23 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – review / giveaway

Sept 24 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – review / author interview / giveaway

Sept 25 – Vic’s Media Room – review

Sept 28 – Library of Clean Reads – review / giveaway

Sept 29 – The Things We Read – review

Sept 30 – The Cheshire Cat’s Looking Glass – book spotlight giveaway

Sept 30 – Deal Sharing Aunt – review / giveaway

Oct 1 – The World As I See It – review / giveaway

Oct 1 – Laura Fabiani – Top 500 Amazon.ca Reviewer – review

Oct 2 – My Love for Reading Keeps Growing – review

Oct 5 – A Blue Million Books – book spotlight / author interview

Oct 6 – Book and Ink – review / author interview / giveaway

Oct 7 – Life as Leels – review

Oct 8 – Ryder Islington’s Blog – review / giveaway

Oct 9Create With Joy – review / giveaway

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: Conquer Your Pain in 9 Steps by Carole Staveley With a Guest Post by the Author


As a sufferer of fibromyalgia as well as myofascial pain syndrome, I’m always looking for ways to get pain under control, so when I saw Conquer Your Pain in 9 Steps, I had to have it. I’m glad I found it. Ms. Staveley did an excellent job of writing a concise and understandable book to help those of us with chronic pain. As much as I’m sorry that Ms. Staveley has suffered, I appreciate that she understands what it’s like to always be in pain. She tells her personal story, and then outlines a plan to improve the quality of life for those with chronic pain. She taught me to take control of my own life, to stand up to medical professionals and demand whatever it takes to improve my quality of life.  Thank you, Ms. Staveley, for giving me hope. Among other things, Conquer Your Pain in 9 Steps, gives a step-by-step guide, from setting goals, and building a healthcare team, to finding motivators and developing long-term solutions. I would recommend this book to anyone who suffers from chronic pain, or knows someone else who does. Below you’ll find further information on this great book, as well as on the author, including a guest post.  There is also a list of other sites where you can find more reviews, interviews, and opportunities to win a free copy of Conquer Your Pain in 9 Steps. There is info on where to buy the book, and how to contact the author.   Conquer Your Pain in 9 Steps

Book Description:
 

Recognizing the years of unnecessary suffering in her own life, Carole Staveley makes it her mission to maximize your chances of overcoming health barriers in the shortest possible time. Her 9 Step Health Champion approach shared in this book will help you achieve your full potential by taking you through the process of establishing a Health Champion mindset, building your most effective health team, and maximizing your odds of persevering through it all. Become your own Health Champion and keep your healthy vision alive—no matter what challenges you face.

Carole Staveley

Author’s Bio:
 

After suffering 13 years of debilitation caused by a chronic myofascial pain condition, Carole Staveley realized there was no “magic bullet” coming to her rescue. She took charge of solving her health challenges and went on to complete an IRONMAN triathlon in 2013. Carole’s book, Conquer Your Pain in 9 Steps, takes you through her proven 9-step Health Champion approach to suffering less and achieving more. Carole Staveley is President of Inner Victory Coaching, an organization she founded to empower others to become their own Health Champions and reach their full potential.   Connect with the author:    Website ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

Becoming Your Own Health Champion, Step 5: Select and Challenge the Right Health Professionals Becoming your own Health Champion essentially means becoming the Chief Problem Solver for your health challenges. This does not mean you need to go out and earn an M.D. diploma! What it does mean is that you need to know how to discover and get the most benefit from the health resources that exist out there. Rights and Responsibilities in Your Relationships with Health Professionals You have the right to demand a problem-solving partnership from the members of your health team. You must be prepared to advocate for yourself, and let them know when you’re not satisfied with the answers you’re getting. If you don’t feel qualified or capable of self-advocacy, find a member of your social network who is willing to help you prepare for appointments or have these conversations on your behalf or simply be there with you for moral support. Another option is to hire a health coach who can help you build your self-advocacy capabilities and steer you in the right direction. Your rights to being treated as a partner and being respected for self-advocating in healthcare come with responsibilities. You have the responsibility to be as prepared and informed as possible when you attend an appointment. This is your part of the equation. You will not get the most from your healthcare appointments if you’re not informed or prepared. Being prepared means you will have done the following:

  • You’ve compiled a list of symptoms and any related circumstances that could shed light on the cause of the symptoms.
  • You’ve prepared questions in advance, and are ready to ask as many questions as it takes to be satisfied that the health professional is going down the right path in terms of diagnosis and treatment.
  • You’ve done some research, either by speaking to others who have suffered similar symptoms, by searching on the internet, and/or by asking for input from anyone in your social network who has some sort of healthcare background, or who might know someone with a healthcare background.

Do Your Homework If you think about it, what I’m suggesting in terms of preparing for healthcare appointments is comparable to the degree of preparation you would put into a large purchase like a car or an expensive appliance. Consider the value of a healthy life compared to these types of purchases. I know we’ve been taught to defer to physicians when it comes to health knowledge, and it’s likely they will always have more specific health knowledge than we do. However, there is no way to leverage the full power of their knowledge to our maximum benefit unless we do our homework and work with the medical professional to solve our unique problem. I believe our biggest mistake in dealing with health issues is having the expectation that the “experts” hold the answers, and that we just need to bring our problem to them to get a resolution. There are a number of issues to take into consideration when dealing with health professionals:

  • The letters beside their nameswill not tell you if they are good at what they do or if they will be effective at solving your problem.
  • A top expert in his/her field might have the best grasp of the medical literature, but they don’t have insight into the nuances of what’s been happening in your body. They need your input in order to tailor their knowledge to address your particular situation most effectively.
  • Depending on your particular health issues, the professional(s) who can help you the most might not be found in the mainstream medical system.
  • Health professionals who are open to working collaboratively with other health professionals and who embracea holistic, multidisciplinary approach are generally valuable and are more likely to be problem solvers determined to help you get to the bottom of the issue.

In my journey from chronic pain sufferer to IRONMAN finisher, it was my own research, combined with key questions I asked of excellent health professionals that added up to a successful recovery.  Along the way, I broadened my definition of “health professional” and discovered so many additional valuable resources outside of our mainstream medical system. Start by appointing yourself Chief Problem Solver of your health challenges, vow to identify and leverage key healthcare resources, and dare to discover new approaches to managing or solving your health challenges. Book Trailer:

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Where to buy the book:

Enter to win a copy: 
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Tour Schedule:

July 6 – Library of Clean Reads – review / giveaway

July 6 – Ryder Islington’s Blog – review / guest post / giveaway

July 7 – Griperang’s Bookmarks – review / author interview / giveaway

July 8 – The Autistic Gamer – review / author interview / giveaway

July 9 – I’d Rather Be at the Beach – review / giveaway

July 10 – Green and Glassie – review / author interview

July 13 – Create With Joy – review / giveaway

July 14 – The Novel Life – review / guest post

July 15 – Sarah Rehmatullah – review / giveaway

July 16 – Brooke Blogs – review / guest post / giveaway

July 17 – Working Mommy Journal – review / author interview / giveaway

 

REVIEW: Out From The Underworld by Heather Siegel


Posted by Ryder Islington, author of Ultimate Justice, a Trey Fontaine Mystery I’m not usually one for reading memoirs but Out From The Underworld caught me by surprise. In it, Heather Siegel tells the story of her childhood, as her mother disappears and her dad moves Heather and her siblings into the basement of his childhood home. Crowded, dark, and musty, the basement reminds her of Persephone’s trip to the underworld. But Heather and her siblings survive their dad’s craziness, and their grandparents’ rules as they decide that they must find out what happened to their mother. Ms. Siegel pulls the reader into the dark, into the insecurity, into the confusion only a child can suffer when things go wrong and no one has answers. I found in it dark humor, and hope. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story. Below you’ll find a book description, an author bio, a list of other sites where you can find reviews, interviews, guest posts and chances to win a copy of this poignant book. Also, there are ways to contact the author and a chance to win a copy of Out From the Underworld at the bottom of this page.     Out from the Underworld   Book Description:

Heather Siegel was six years old when her mother disappeared, sending her father into a tailspin that took Heather and her siblings down with him— from a comfortable suburban home to a barely habitable basement apartment, a dark world they soon found themselves fighting to return to from the exile of foster care, then fighting even harder to escape.

Forty years later, Heather Siegel tells the remarkable story of how she and her siblings, Jaz and Greg, banded together to find out what happened to their mother and fight their way Out from the Underworld with nothing but their wits, determination, unbreakable bonds and gifts for humor and compassion to sustain them. A wrenching, inspiring story filled with heartbreak, hope and love, Out from The Underworld will move you to laughter and tears.     Heather Siegel Author’s Bio:

 

Heather Siegel holds an MFA in nonfiction writing from The New School. Her work has appeared on Salon.com and in The Mother Magazine and Author Magazine, as well as in various trade publications. She was a finalist for the 2010 Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Award in Nonfiction Writing, the 2011 San Francisco Writers Conference Nonfiction Writing Award, the Carolina Wren Press 2012 Doris Bakwin Award and the 2012 Kore Press First Book Award. A multi-creative person with interests in the arts, nutrition, health and beauty, she has founded several independent businesses, including a coffeehouse, a café, an organic juice bar and a natural beauty bar. She currently lives with her husband, Jon, and daughter, Julia, in the woods of Long Island in a house filled with light.

Tour Schedule:

May 18 – Library of Clean Reads – review / giveaway May 19 – T’s Stuff – review / guest post / giveaway May 19 – The Cheshire Cat’s Looking Glass – book spotlight / giveaway May 20 – TW Brown on Border Collies, Zombies, and the Indie writing scene – review / guest post May 20 – Vic’s Media Room – review May 21 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – review May 22 – Life as Leels – review May 22 – Back Porchervations – review  May 25 – The All Night Library – review May 25 – Pinky’s Favorite Reads – book spotlight / author interview May 26 – Svetlana’s Reads and Views – review May 27 – The Things We Read – review  May 27 – chic.toronto – review May 28 – Sincerely Stacie – review May 29 – Room With Books – review / author interview / giveaway June 1 –  Deal Sharing Aunt – review June 1 –  A Blue Million Books – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway June 2 – The World As I See It – review / giveaway June 3 – Nighttime Reading Center – review / author interview / giveaway June 4 – Jessica Cassidy – review / author interview / giveaway  June 5 – The Discerning Reader – review / giveaway June 11 – Confessions of a Reader – book spotlight / author interview June 15 – Ryder Islington’s Blog – review June 17 – A Splendid Messy Life – review / author interview / giveaway June 18 – Girl With Camera – review June 19 – Essentially Italian – review / giveaway

Connect with Heather:  Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter

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The Common Cold And The Creative Brain.


Posted by Ryder Islington, Author of ULTIMATE JUSTICE, A Trey Fontaine Mystery

Maybe the title should be more specific–based on This Creative Brain. I hate getting a cold, and in fact don’t think I’ve had even a sniffle in the last ten years. Until last week.

At the most inconvenient time, when I’m in the beginning stages of revision with my wonderful, and patient, editor, I was knocked for a loop by a virus that had me sneezing and hacking, unable to sleep, with a fever, a sore throat, and a bad attitude.

The first couple of days I couldn’t concentrate on anything. My brain was just too busy sending out warriors to fight the virus. It didn’t have time for creativity. In fact, it didn’t have time for understanding simple English. I said, “Huh?” to anyone who spoke.

By day three the fever was lower, and I was able to function on a simple level, but trying to revise the story and get it back to the editor just couldn’t happen. By Sunday, the fever and headache were gone, and my throat was only sore from a raspy cough. I began with page one of the revision, reading the editor’s comments, trying to make sense of what she wanted. The easiest fixes were manageable, but I still couldn’t create new content.

It’s Monday night. My sinuses are still not up to par, and I cough so hard on occasion that I think my lungs are coming up, but my brain is at least able to create. Now, if I could just understand what  it is the editor wants me to create!

We all know that even a simple virus affects many of our abilities. We know the body and brain will ignore things that aren’t vital to survival while fighting off invaders. But I never realized how profoundly my thinking is altered by a simple cold.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to send an email to the editor and see if she can explain her comments to me, like I was a two year old.

BOOK COVER LAUNCH: The Bridges of Death by M.C.V. Egan


TBOD-frontcover

“M.C.V. Egan twists truth and fiction until you question your perceptions…it is a story of real love, triumph and search for self.” – Beckah Boyd @ The Truthful Tarot

On August 15th, 1939, an English passenger plane from British Airways Ltd. crashed in Danish waters between the towns of Nykøbing Falster and Vordingborg. There were five casualties reported and one survivor. Just two weeks before, Hitler invaded Poland. With the world at the brink of war, the manner in which this incident was investigated left much open to doubt. The jurisdiction battle between the two towns and the newly formed Danish secret police created an atmosphere of intrigue and distrust.

The Bridge of Deaths is a love story and a mystery. Fictional characters travel through the world of past life regressions and information acquired from psychics as well as archives and historical sources to solve “one of those mysteries that never get solved.”

Based on true events and real people, The Bridge of Deaths is the culmination of 18 years of sifting through conventional and unconventional sources in Denmark, England, Mexico and the United States. The story finds a way to help the reader feel that s/he is also sifting through data and forming their own conclusions.

Cross The Bridge of Deaths into 1939, and dive into cold Danish waters to uncover the secrets of the G-AESY.

Learn more about this book and the special 75th anniversary re-release at www.thebridgeofdeaths.com.

TBOD-comingsoon

Join us as we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the crash of the G-AESY and the start of World War II with a month-long history-laden event that will entertain, educate, and enlighten you! As part of this event, a revised version of The Bridge of Deaths, this award-winning and highly-acclaimed account of the events of that fateful day in 1939, will be re-released.

If you would like to be a part of the month-long anniversary event from September 1 to September 30, please go here: http://bit.ly/TBOD75Event.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MCVEganM.C.V. Egan is the pen name chosen by Maria Catalina Vergara Egan. Catalina was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1959, the sixth of eight children, in a traditional Catholic family. From a very young age, she became obsessed with the story of her maternal grandfather, Cesar Agustin Castillo–mostly the story of how he died. She spent her childhood in Mexico. When her father became an employee of The World Bank in Washington D.C. in the early 1970s, she moved with her entire family to the United States.

Catalina was already fluent in English, as she had spent one school year in the town of Pineville, Louisiana with her grandparents. There she won the English award, despite being the only one who had English as a second language in her class. In the D.C. suburbs she attended various private Catholic schools and graduated from Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland in 1977.

She attended Montgomery Community College, where she changed majors every semester. She also studied in Lyons, France, at the Catholic University for two years. In 1981, due to an impulsive young marriage to a Viking (the Swedish kind, not the football player kind), Catalina moved to Sweden where she resided for five years and taught at a language school for Swedish, Danish, and Finnish businesspeople. She then returned to the USA, where she has lived ever since. She is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Swedish.

Maria Catalina Vergara Egan is married and has one son who, together with their five-pound Chihuahua, makes her feel like a full-time mother. Although she would not call herself an astrologer she has taken many classes and taught a few beginner classes in the subject.

She celebrated her 52nd birthday on July 2nd, 2011, and gave herself self-publishing The Bridge of Deaths as a gift.

Find M.C.V. Egan and The Bridge of Deaths at www.thebridgeofdeaths.com.

I’m Baaaaack! At Least Temporarily


Hi to all those who visit my blog.
I appreciate your patience as I took a few weeks off for a major revision of ULTIMATE GAME, A Trey Fontaine Mystery. It’s now in the hands of beta readers, so I have time to breathe and check on my poor, ignored blog.
Next week I’ll use the comments from the beta readers to do a polish, and then the manuscript is off to the editor. I’m hoping I managed to make it into what she wanted.
If not, it will be stuck in a drawer for a while, until it’s cold enough so I can do a better edit.
Hope to get a review or two in after sending this to the editor.
In the meantime, I’m enjoying reading THE FIERY CROSS by Diana Gabaldon–this is the second time I’ve read it–and hope to read the rest of the series before I purchase the newest addition, WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD in June.
Has anyone out there read this series?

Are there authors following me who read my first book, ULTIMATE JUSTICE, A Trey Fontaine Mystery?
What are you guys reading now?