Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Leslie Hachtel Historical Time Travel with a twist

A Dance in Time: Book Four of the Dance Series

Released November 2017
EBook .99
Print $8.99
Historical romance
Historical time travel
Book 4 in a series, stand alone
Buy the book on Amazon

About the Book:
Lady Grace imagines escaping her cruel husband and miserable life. A portal into the past offers her so much more than she bargained for. Including meeting the man of her dreams whose life is at risk. Can she save him? Can he rescue her?

My Review:
Although I was asked to review this book, I was intrigued by the story and might have picked it up on my own. It is the fourth book in a series, but the first Leslie Hachtel book I've read. I like time travel stories, and the unique idea of traveling back in time from a time already long past was intriguing. The story was nicely done, full of romantic notions, pirates, lovely and spunky heroines with a punch, and juicy hints at romantic interludes. Although the author made appropriate nudges about the first three stories in this series, I never felt as though I was missing something, and am enticed to check out the other books as well as more of the author's work.

This is historical fiction from the early seventeenth century Britain, back in time to a moment of King Henry Viii. I changed my mind a couple of times about the identity of the smuggler ring, so that was a sweet success of a mystery to me. Nicely done, told in alternate viewpoints between the two main characters. Good research without getting boggy in detail. For those who like historical romances. Clean, with a lot of innuendo.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Song of the Shepherd Woman review

Song of the Shepherd Woman

Song of the Shepherd Woman 

Carlene Havel
Sharon Faucheux
Biblical fiction
ISBN 978-1979693301
256 pp
9.99 paperback
.99 ebook

released November 2017

About the book:
In the first century, Channa’s stepfather gives her to her maternal great-uncle Avram to raise. Avram is known to be a peculiar, perhaps dangerous, man. His wife Yael cannot speak. Nevertheless, they are kind to Channah and teach her how to care for sheep. When her stepfather unexpectedly announces her betrothal to a Jerusalem tanner, the girl is forced to leave the only home she knows. 
Channah looks forward to a loving husband, but soon learns she is to be Enos the tanner’s second wife. The beautiful first wife is barren, and she resents her youthful rival. Channa struggles to adjust to marriage and city life, cherishing the hope of someday having her own child to love.

My review:
Song of the Shepherd Woman is a loving and faithful look at life in first century Biblical times. Havel and Faucheux have teamed up on several novels about biblical characters. All have been diligently researched and are thoughtful recreations of the period and possible events. The other characters have been well-known: Rahab, and Michal. The shepherd woman, however, is a typical country woman affected by profound events. Her uncle, generation earlier, was witness to an astonishing sight, but subsequently lost his faith.

Excellent writing aside, the mindful story made me think deeply about events surrounding the birth, life, and death of Christ, and how everyday people might have heard and reacted to his ministry. Channa lived only two miles from Jerusalem, yet, as a young woman fleeing from a disastrous trouble, had no idea exactly where home was. I found this poignant and very truthful. Often what we are seeking is within reach, and we are unaware. Avram lost his faith for a simple reason—he knew all the boy babies had been killed and assumed the savior was among them. Also very believable.

This story is painfully realistic on many levels. Don’t get too entrenched with anyone, just love the moments. Told from Channa’s viewpoint, this beautifully, haunting story is sure to help you dig deeper into your beliefs and appreciate the ordinary lives in the first century.

About the Author:
Carlene HavelCarlene Havel writes Christian-themed romances and historical novels set in Biblical times. She’s lived in Turkey, Republic of the Philippines, and all over the United States. Carlene worked for a banana importer, a software development company, and everything in between. She attended several colleges and universities, including one that—surprisingly—granted her a diploma.

Friday, December 29, 2017

New YA story from Tim Fox


Kindle $3.05
Young adult adventure, geared for ages 10-18

About the book:
Abandoned by her troubled mother, twelve-year-old Tracy moves to her Great-aunt Lynette's farm in southwest Wisconsin. At first lonely and feeling distant from the stern old lady, things change with the appearance of a stray cat. With the help of her neighbor, Mallory, and a conservation warden named Jamie, love begins to grow between Tracy and her aunt, and a friendship blooms among the unlikely group. Kitty and Tracy then begin exploring their surroundings—the farm, and a nearby wooded canyon. The adventure that follows solidifies their bond, and forever changes their lives.
Inspired in part by true events, A PLACE FOR YOU is a story of growth in love, friendship, and courage.

My review:
Tim Fox’s second adventure story for young people set in Wisconsin, A Place For You, is a sweet story for the young girl reader who loves cats and mysteries. Loosely based around the story of a leopard raised in India and released into the wild who comes to her former handler for help during a flood, Fox’s story opens with a viewpoint reflection from a sick housecat looking for help. Tracy, a tween girl recently taken from a neglectful parent and placed with a great-aunt, answers the cat’s plea, and a lesson in responsibility, friendship, and love changes what could have been a long, lonely summer into one of adventurous fun.
Fox also introduces his readers to Big Girl, a cougar raised by humans and released to nature. Big Girl recognizes that Tracy and her kitty are no harm to them, and eventually recognizes Tracy as a kindred spirit and instinctive helper.
Self-published. My review copy had a few easily fixable minor errors. Recommended particularly for about fifth graders who love adventure stories, aren’t afraid of adding to their vocabulary and in particular, love cats.

About the Author:
I live in southwest Wisconsin, not far from the Baraboo Hills.
Hiking and exploring Wisconsin’s state parks and wilderness areas, and working out (especially lifting things!) make for good times.
I was a teacher for 17 years. I’m now a personal fitness trainer and an “Olympic-style” weightlifting coach who runs a gym in his garage.
I live with my wife, Tammy, our three kids–Brian, Ben, and Abby, a chubby old cat named Ringo, and ex-stray kittens named Kitten and Oscar. On the web: http://www.journeysiceageadventure.com/

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Review of Blues to Blessings by Suzette Webb

Blues to Blessings: Moving from Fearful to Faithful by [Webb, Suzette]

Review of Blues to Blessings: Moving from Fearful to Faithful
By Suzette Webb

c. 2017
Light of Mine Publishing, Chicago, IL
Spiritual autobiography

ISBN: 978-0-9961127-2-7
$4.99  eBook
$14.95  Print
Buy on Amazon

About the Book:
Blues to Blessings: Moving from Fearful to Faithful inspires people to leap from their comfort to their miracle by renewing their faith and trust in the Lord. With fitting Bible verses and engaging, powerful stories, it guides the reader to a place of deeper connection with God and with themselves to ensure they are living the fulfilling, purposeful life they were meant to live. For more information, visit www.bluestoblessings.com.

My Review:
The author approached me to ask if I would consider posting an article on my blog. I was impressed with her content which was about evaluating your life, supposedly in time for its name day on October 16. I happened to be in the middle of a move and, unusual for me, ended up missing the date, but posted anyway. Read it here. Suzette was gracious and later asked if I’d considered reviewing the book that inspired the message. To be honest, I work with many authors of the same type of material and was a little hesitant to read another one.

What I found was a raw, emotionally packed journey. Webb told her story with emotional candor, sparing no one and nothing, not even herself, as worked through self-discovery to learn what was causing her to sabotage her outwardly perfect life. Financially secure, upper class, married with children in a nice home in Chicago, Webb had achieved everything she thought was the epitome of success during her dysfunctional and abusive childhood in New Orleans. But more than being passed over for promotions during the economic downtown that was the early 2000s, more than increasing dissatisfaction with her career path, even more than reigniting her religious faith, she realized the only way she was going to effect a positive change in herself was to go deep and heal pain she wasn’t aware she’d harbored.

Even though I wanted to tread lightly through her story, I found myself eager to pick it back up every time I had to put the book down. I was fascinated by the way Webb learned to evaluate her motives and shared her life lessons with her readers. Written in an engaging manner, readers are encouraged to participate in the transformation process, the same way a butterfly moves from egg to flight.

Recommended for those who appreciate biographies with deep lessons, self-exploration and evaluation, and spiritual matters.

About the Author:
An image posted by the author.
An accomplished entrepreneur, Suzette Webb founded Light of Mine (“LOM”) in 2006, a company that designs and manufactures high-performance lighting systems for military armored vehicles. The opportunity to support our military men and women has been an honor for her both professionally and personally.

She also produces and hosts a devotional podcast called B Moments, which airs daily on Moody’s Christian radio station. This unique devotional allows time-crunched people to pause, reflect on their faith, and set positive intentions for their day. B Moments encourages listeners to take a moment to “Be still…to Be fed by the Word of God, and to Be grateful.” For a catalog of these daily devotionals visit www.bmoments.org.

Suzette holds an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, and a BA in Communications from Loyola University, New Orleans. She serves on the Board of Directors for International Teams, and is a member of Chicago Women in Publishing (CWIP). She is also a fund development services consultant for By the Hand Club for Kids, a faith-based after-school program that helps children who live in high-risk, inner-city neighborhoods have abundant resources and a fulfilling life. Suzette and her husband live in Chicago and have three sons. Visit her at: www.bluestoblessings.com.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Last Minute Christmas Buy for your reader Song of the Shepherd Woman with Carlene Havel

CarleneHavel writes Christian romance and historical stories set in Biblical times. I’ve been a long-time fan of her biblical fiction, from The Scarlet Cord about the story of Rahab to Daughter of the King, the story of Michal. Carlene shares some background on the creation of her latest release, Song of the Shepard Woman.

About the Book:
In the first century, Channa’s stepfather gives her to her maternal great-uncle Avram to raise. Avram is known to be a peculiar, perhaps dangerous, man. His wife Yael cannot speak. Nevertheless, they are kind to Channah and teach her how to care for sheep. When her stepfather unexpectedly announces her betrothal to a Jerusalem tanner, the girl is forced to leave the only home she knows. 
Channah looks forward to a loving husband, but soon learns she is to be Enos the tanner’s second wife. The beautiful first wife is barren, and she resents her youthful rival. Channa struggles to adjust to marriage and city life, cherishing the hope of someday having her own child to love.

A brief interview with the author:
Carlene, tell us how Song of the Shepherd Woman came about.

Carlene: What if events robbed a young man of his faith? What if he based his subsequent actions on a false belief? Suppose he learned the truth late in life. What if he was given another chance after he thought all hope was gone? Perhaps such a man could unwillingly take responsibility for a helpless child, a little girl who reminded him what simple trust looked like? These questions rattled around in my head, forming characters who became Avram and Channah in Song of the Shepherd Woman. After I fell in love with them, there was no choice but to write their story.

Song of the Shepherd Woman became a labor of love. Sharon Faucheux wove her historical research into my narrative, resulting in a story we hope readers will enjoy. We are offering this full length novel at an introductory price of 99 cents for a while, and it’s available just about everywhere ebooks can be found. 

Buy on Amazon or through Books2Read

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Why Preventative Healthcare is Important

Hi, all - taking care of ourselves is a good idea. Healthline is a trusted website that provides good content. We're not going commercial in any way, just sharing solid information. And, yeah, I'm guilty, too. I live two hours away from my doctor, but have a virtual doctor visit available through my insurance. And just like the video at the survey site says...trying to get an appointment for a new doctor is crazy. It took nine months-no lie-with one health system out of Milwaukee WI to get established with a new internist. What country am I living in, again? But there are alternatives. Check the links and listen to the information. It's good.


Why You Should Get Regular Check-Ups

If you hate going to the doctor, you’re not alone. A survey by the medical scheduling company ZocDoc found that 80% of Americans delay getting preventative care, or forgo it all together.  Work responsibility was cited as the number one reason people cancel check-ups, while others cited not scheduling check-ups due to the difficulty of getting an appointment, or trying to self-treat with advice from the Internet. 

Despite all the obstacles to regular doctor visits, check-ups and preventative care are crucial pieces of maintaining your health long-term. 

Here’s a few reasons why you should make regular check-ups part of your routine. 

  1. Find problems before they start. Early detection leads to better success with treatment and cure for conditions such as heart disease, cancer, STI’s, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Regular screening allows your clinician to treat problems before they become severe or even life-threatening.
  2. Continuity in your medical records Your physician’s office will keep records of all your visits and can remind you when you need immunizations and screenings. Your primary care doctor can provide your medical records to specialists if and when you need them. 
  3. Develop an ongoing relationship with your doctor. Seeing your primary care physician regularly ensures that he or she will have an ongoing knowledge of your health, and can be on the lookout for any changes that may signal a problem. Familiarity with your physician may also make you feel more comfortable discussing issues that require trust, such as substance abuse problems, domestic violence, or depression.
  4. Ask questions about your health, or discuss any changes you have noticed.  While a variety of medical information is available on the Internet, Google can’t replace asking your primary care physician any questions you might have. If you’re worried about a strange looking mole or a swollen lymph node, seek medical advice from someone familiar with you and your health.
  5. Ensure that you are maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routineMany health problems can be prevented or mitigated by eating nutritiously and exercising regularly.  Regular doctor visits can ensure that you’re checking in with someone at least once a year to make sure you’re eating properly and getting enough exercise. 
  6. Keep up to date on immunizations Vaccines aren’t just for infants and toddlers. Adults may need booster shots for childhood immunizations, tetanus shots, or a yearly flu vaccine. If you’re traveling to a foreign country, you may need additional immunizations that your doctor will be able to inform you about. 

A physical examination is recommended at least once a year, especially for adults over 50. Women should receive regular Pap smears to check for cervical cancer and mammograms starting at age 40.  Men should be screened yearly for prostate cancer starting between age 40 and 50, depending on their risk factors.

Friday, December 15, 2017

New novel by GE Kretchmer

Bear Medicine
G Elizabeth Kretchmer
Women’s Fiction

Ebook $5.99
Print $18.93
ISBN 978-0-9961038-6-2
October 2017, Dancing Seeds Press

Buy on Amazon 

About the Book
Alternating between contemporary and historical times, Bear Medicine is a story about women helping women in a complicated, male-dominated world.

When Brooke sets off on a trail in Yellowstone National Park to train for an upcoming marathon, she is savagely attacked by a grizzly bear. One hundred forty years earlier, Anne accompanies her husband on a camping trip in the nation’s first national park and awakens one morning to find he’s been captured by Nez Perce warriors.

Both women encounter a sacred but savage landscape. Both fall under the care of American Indian women. Ultimately, Brooke and Anne will need to overcome multiple obstacles, with the help of their new friends and native lore, to find what she seeks.

My Review
Seeking and Finding are complicated…discovering what you need and what you want, and how you are needed can result in very different journeys from your starting point. In Kretchmer’s new novel, a simple camping trip, and a week away from distractions turn into life-altering challenges for two women separated by centuries.

The author maintains her story is about women helping women in a male-dominated world. That was certainly true for Anne, the nineteenth century wife who was forced to accompany her husband on an adventure in the wild west. Brooke, the twenty-first century wife, chose her destination, as well as her destiny. In this lengthy novel, Kretchmer weaves a story of how sacrifices in the past provided a haven in the present. Both main characters of different times were enslaved by societal ideals and customs; both discovered they were capable people in their own ways.

While the journeys of both historical and contemporary women parallel the other, the author takes time to flesh out events that lead them on the route to self-discovery. Historically, a widowed Nez Pierce woman and Anne team up to create a new settlement; Brooke finds a place of healing and communal healing as a result of that teamwork. I found Brooke hard to take on many levels. She was a compliant wife to an endlessly clueless and snarky overbearing man who, once on her own, became attractive to several different men in her new environment, even while whiny and needy. Her kids were disasters, but her journey to self-discovery was worth following. I wasn’t always sure where the author was going to take me, and at times, it seems she wasn’t, either.

The setting of the story was lush and rich and the characters nicely developed. Readers who appreciate historical struggles for women’s independence and modern day struggles for women’s assertion will love Bear Medicine. I found myself wishing to spend a couple of weeks at Maggie’s Place, the haven Kretchmer created as the Wyoming settlement strictly for women.

From the Author
G.ElizabethKretchmerBear Medicine is my third full-length work. Originally from Chicago, I’ve also published The G.ElizabethKretchmerG.ElizabethKretchmerG.ElizabethKretchmerDamnable Legacy, a novel set in Alaska about how far we’ll go to achieve our goals and at what cost, and Women on the Brink, a collection of short stories about women facing life’s unwelcome realities. My short work has appeared in The New York Times as well as various anthologies and other publications. I hold an MFA in Writing from Pacific University and a BS in Accounting from Indiana University. When I'm not writing, I'm facilitating wellness-writing workshops, advocating for the environment, or working on my organic farm in the Pacific Northwest.
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