Mark Glamack is an animator, businessman, director, producer, writer, and patented inventor. He has worked in every area of the animation industry. Over the last twelve years he has created, written, and developed two motion picture projects and a television series. Also, he invented (Scoreguide) which doubles as a marketing tool that brings commerce to the golfer and the golfer to commerce. It also provides low cost advertising for the Dot-Com market.
From 2000 to 2003, Glamack dedicated full time developing a new means for reversing runaway productions. This new process and invention blends a far-reaching business model with the technology that supports it.
From his early beginnings at Walt Disney Productions, Glamack experienced a level of quality unprecedented in the industry and the attention to details needed to achieve it. While there, he worked on the animated classic “The Jungle Book and animated many of the special effects for the combination live-action/animation “Bed-Knobs and Broomsticks.” He also worked on the EPCOT promotional film, animation inserts for “The Wonderful World of Disney,” and “The Story of Walt Disney,” a Disneyland attraction.
In 1999 he was nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Special Class-Animated Program for “Life with Louie.”
Drafted out of Disney to serve in the Viet Nam War, Glamack spent a year as a medic with the First Air Cavalry Division based thirty miles from the DMZ. While in Viet Nam, he photographed and directed an ambitious documentary entitled, “Is Freedom Just a Word?” He was awarded the Bronze Star.
In 2003, Glamack completed his sixth elected term as Governor for The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Appointed by the President as Vice-Chair for the ATAS Activities Committee 1991 – 1992. Served on the Budget, Awards, and Membership Committees.
Born and raised in Rochester, New York, Glamack attended Art Center College of Design, UCLA, PCC, Sherwood Oaks Experimental College and various animation courses.
Mark Glamack’s philosophy includes the belief that future business successes in the entertainment industries will depend largely upon our abilities to compete on a global level through competitive production costs. “Also, we need to positively motivate, educate, enlighten, and inspire through entertaining content with more positive celebration to the human spirit.”
Having stated the above, I assure all of you that I’m not here to sell anybody anything I wouldn’t buy myself. If you do buy “Littluns,” I hope that it will touch your heart as it has for countless other readers. I only included it here as an introduction of what is important in my life.
I’m here because of what Christ’s truth, love, hope, joy, enlightenment, and hearts desire have brought into my life, and hopefully I can contribute a little something to yours.
Littluns and the Book of Darkness
For All Seasons and All Reasons.
Littluns are mythical little people (little one’s) only about three-feet in height, but more importantly representative of God’s perfect creation; what He intended for us all on Earth as it is in Heaven. Their secret homeland is paradise found (and kept) with peace and prosperity the norm and not the exception.
On what should be a pleasant Scavenger Hunt outing, five “Littluns” journey down from their secret mountaintop homeland, only to find themselves trapped within the darkness that is consuming the land below, spreading terror, destruction and extermination in its path. Five Littluns sacrifice everything in this most crucial journey and adventure of a lifetime.
After the sky had fallen onto the land below, and eventually Satan being incarcerated to a bottomless pit, the world enjoyed peace for a thousand years. Soon afterward the beast was released once again. To now complete his purpose while entering the realm of the living, along with the necessity of possessing the body of a human host, it becomes necessary for the Evil One to place most of his more dark powers into his newly created Book of Darkness because no living-being could possess those evil words and survive. But through a twist of fate, his book becomes lost and now to fulfill his mission he must have his book back at all costs.
A multi-award winning family friendly book including two “Mom’s Choice” awards, Littluns: And the Book of Darkness” is perfect for readers of all ages looking for a very different reading experience. It’s a one-of-a-kind adventure depicting true friendships; full of valued choices between right and wrong, good or evil, God’s light in contrast to Satan’s darkness.
For the “Young Adult” and grown-up Christian and secular reader, Littluns are an ageless example of courage under the worst possible conditions and what it means to love and be loved under God.
Genre: Literature & Fiction, Religious & Inspirational Fiction, Christian, Fantasy, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Christian Books & Bibles
Allan is a professional actor, educator and former stand-up comedian. In addition to Steel, Blood & Fire, As Flies to Wanton Boys and Corpse Cold, he’s also written plays, screenplays, online articles, dialogue for computer games, greeting card sentiments and more.
Steel, Blood & Fire has been praised by Kirkus, Midwest Book Review and Fantascize.com. Allan holds a Master of Fine Arts in acting from the National Theatre Conservatory and a Master’s in Teaching from Seattle Pacific University. He is a huge fan of Shakespeare, Steven Erikson, Joe Abercrombie, Glen Cook, George R.R. Martin, Tad Williams, and R. Scott Bakker.
Allan lives in Seattle with his wife and son, where he enjoys walks on the beach, reading in the garden and puttering around on his computer. Oh, and naps. He LOVES naps. In fact, he’s probably taking one right now.
On the march, around the campfire, and in the taverns, they tell incredible stories about Tarmun Vykers, the Reaper – how he’s never been cut in battle, how he once defeated hundreds of men by himself, how he exterminated an entire people over an insult. These stories make Vykers seem like a god, but he is a man, an arrogant, ruthless and bloodthirsty man. For all that, he may be the only thing standing between the human race and utter annihilation at the hands of the mad wizard who calls himself the End-of-All-Things. Against this backdrop, smaller, lesser folks struggle to fulfill their own destinies, folks like Aoife, burdened with a secret so dark she is driven to do the unimaginable and seek an alliance with fey powers no mortal has ever encountered.
Are you a fan of: Grimdark, Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series, Steven Erikson’s The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Glen Cook’s Chronicles of the Black Company, or Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicle? If so, grab your copy of Steel, Blood & Fire now!
Book Review: This book has a very well thought out plot engaging the reader in unexpected twists and turns including love stories and epic battle scenes involving twenty-four well developed characters.
Steel, Blood & Fires opens with unspeakable violence as Tarmun Vykers, A.K.A, “the Reaper” a legendary warrior is in the stocks (in bonds, under guard). One must be warned that this is a work of dark fantasy, horror and mythology with adult language and graphic violence.
Author Allan Batchelder has done very well laying out this book with easy to follow headings (much like the way a play production might be laid out). The story pivots back and forth from what is happening with his main characters: the legendary warrior named Tarmun Vykers, Aoife Cestroenyn (An A’Shea or “Mender,” sister of Anders), D’Kem (a washed up Burner), Janks & Company, Long, A.K.A, Long Pete, Spirk Nessno (An idiot and friend to Long), Anders Cestroenyn (the self-proclaimed “End-of-All-Things) and Arune (A spectral Burner who shares Vykers’ body).
I would like to share a quote from this book that will help draw you in without spoiling the story. This quote come from one of the the chapter four headings titled ‘The End, On the March’.
“After seeing his general off, Anders climbed a small hillock and surveyed his host. What they lacked in training and skill, they more than made up for in numbers and ferocity. Either his magic had worked especially well upon his unwilling draftees, or humans were all more savage than they cared to admit. Looking out upon them, he saw them huddled in large, teeming masses around myriad bonfires. They were always ravenous for food, of course, but also for sex and violence. The End-of-All-Things would be happy to destroy them all, once they had served their purpose.
Pivoting to his left, he held out his arms and a slave laid the infant into them. It was a funny looking thing, this child. And would get funnier still, by the time Anders was through with it. He had decided, after some thought, that it was time he created something for a change. He would be the end of all things presently in existence, but this child would be the first of his new race, beings made especially to serve and obey him. Worship would not be required, as he felt he would probably kill large numbers of them whenever he got bored. Perhaps he should also create a competing race and pit them against one another!”
A must read for those who want to remain on the edge of your seat. I, Theodocia McLean endorse Steel, Blood & Fire is book one in Author Allan Batchelder’s Immortal Treachery series. I purchased this book from a Kindle format on June 11, 2017 and wrote this review on June 15, 2017.
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Literature & Fiction, Horror, Dark Fantasy, Mythology & Folk Tales, Epic Fantasy called “Grimdark.”
Jeff W. Horton was an Information technology professional for twenty-five years before deciding to pursue his lifelong dream of being a writer. Since becoming an author and screenwriter of family-friendly fiction, Jeff has written two screenplays and eight published novels in several genres including apocalyptic-fiction, science-fiction, religious fantasy, and romance thrillers.
His current list of works includes:
The Last Prophet
The Way of Nacor
The Dark Age
The Great Collapse
When he’s not penning his next novel, Jeff enjoys spending time with his family, going to church, and reading. Among his favorite authors are many immediately recognizable names including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Michael Crichton, Tom Clancy, C.S. Lewis, Ted Dekker, and J.R.R. Tolkien. Jeff Horton is a member of the North Carolina Writers Network.
Featured Book: Heaven’s Oasis
Claire is dead.
She’s been the love of Kevin Foster’s life for as long as he can remember; his soulmate, and his best friend.
Before she dies, Claire, an archaeologist, goes on an expedition to the Middle East and comes across evidence supporting the existence of a biblical, antediluvian site the ancients called Heaven’s Oasis, and that certain ancient artifacts can lead her to it. Claire believes that finding this site will help prove the Bible’s veracity, and provide indisputable evidence of God’s existence.
Following her unexpected death Claire’s expeditions become public knowledge, and the subsequent assaults against her reputation from the scientific community and the media are both brutal and relentless.
Furious at the public ridicule and to prove she was right, Kevin decides to pick up where Claire left off in her search and to finish what she started. He’s willing to sacrifice everything, even his life, to restore her reputation and to honor her memory.
A billionaire arms dealer named Kain Masterson has also been searching for the Oasis, however, intending to keep what he finds for himself. The deadly competition soon becomes a struggle just to stay alive in the race to find the artifacts, follow the clues, and ultimately to find Heaven’s Oasis.
I’m an Oklahoma girl who spent thirty years living in the deep South. I’m an observer. Everything can be the basis of a good story. Story ideas are everywhere. No need to give you my dates like I’ve passed from this life. I’m here. It’s now. Let’s read.
I write stories for children. The golden age of adventure when they can still use their imagination is between the ages of six and twelve. I love creating worlds for them to explore. Reading is so important. It is the gateway to their future.
I live with my husband and two cranky cats in northeast Oklahoma.
Featured Book:Little Worlds of Magic by Mary T Kincaid
The story about making new friends in a new town.
Mason Garcia struggles to find new interests and make friends away from his surfing and his beloved ocean. In a town with no surfing he finds a spooky park just down the block from his new house. Is it haunted?
Can everyone see the Punwees?
He sees them through his bedroom window. They open a door in a walnut on the tree and stand on the branch of a tree. Spend time in the world of little people. Imagine that there are little people all around your house, yard, and school. Mason is sent to counseling because no one else sees the little people, and his parents think he is having trouble adjusting to the move. Is it always better to talk to someone about what is going on in your life?
Can Mason find someone to play video games with beside the little people who are very competitive?
Everyone serious about something knows what it is like when they meet people who are not as serious as they are.
Practice your reading with this adventure. A good story to read in chapters. This fantasy will expand your vocabulary and introduce you to Mason’s world.
About The Author I’m an Oklahoma girl who spent thirty years living in the deep South. I’m an observer. Everything can be the basis of a good story. Story ideas are everywhere. No need to give you my dates like I’ve passed from this life. I’m here. It’s now.
Let’s read. I write stories for children. The golden age of adventure when they can still use their imagination is between the ages of six and twelve. I love creating worlds for them to explore. Reading is so important. It is the gateway to their future.
I live with two cranky cats in northeast Oklahoma. I’m a widow.
Book Review: Little Worlds Of Magic helps children understand the struggles of moving and leaving their friends behind.
Main character Mason lives in a loving military family where travel is part of life. His parents are wise to encourage him to make new friends in hopes that his imaginary friends will no longer be needed.
As a grandparent who moved around a lot as a child, this book not only brought back memories but will make a great Christmas gift for my 7 year grand-daughter who reading well above her age.
Author Mary T. Kincaid has a wonderful imagination and her love for children shines through.
This is the second book that I have read by Mary T Kincaid. I give this book five stars. I believe that a child as young as seven (who can read) and perhaps as old as twelve will enjoy this easy to read book. One hundred and fourth six easy to read pages with beautiful black and white illustrations by Doriano Strologo.
Theodocia McLean endorses Little Worlds of Magic by Mary T Kincaid. I purchase and reviewed this book from a print book. This review was completed on November 11, 2016.
Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author C. G. Haberman
C. G. Haberman was born and raised in south-central Nebraska. For ten years he taught the biological sciences in two Nebraska high schools. He left education to take a position with the Nebraska environmental agency and over the next ten years moved through the ranks. His positions took him throughout Nebraska while working on surface and groundwater quality issues, wetlands, and a uranium mining proposal.
After Nebraska, C. G. worked in Washington and South Dakota, expanding his environmental work into the areas of enforcement, air quality and hazardous and solid waste. Before retiring he returned to teach for ten more years as a community college instructor and as an adjunct at a liberal arts college in Hastings, Nebraska. Using his education and experience, he involved students by presenting real-life issues through Problem-Based Learning and hands-on field experiences.
What makes you proud to be a writer from Nebraska? I am proud to be a writer from Nebraska because so little is known about this diverse State. My goal is to show, through words, the diversity that exists in Nebraska and the surrounding Great Plains States.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? A friend asked a similar question. The first time was in the seventh grade and the teacher, Mrs. Johnson, encouraged the class to write. My writing for the class involved mysteries. Writing was hit and miss with most of it professional publications except for the environmental reader series for children.
Writing started to take shape after I went back to teaching. It was the time of my wife’s health problems that I began, mostly to occupy my mind during her difficult recovery.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? During the time of my wife’s health dilemmas our daughter inspired me to bring the novel I had written out of my computer to share with the public. That novel became my first: Deadly Circles. Positive, as well as a few negative, comments about the novels drive me to write more and better.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? My environment—literally and figuratively—was the force behind the first novel. I had been fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. Because of the unique situations where I worked and lived and “battled” I can show and entertain the reader from a “been there, done that” perspective.
Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? I derive titles as I outline novels in my head. Once the novel is firmed up in a detailed outline I might change, but that has occurred only once with the fourth in the CJ Hand series: Lake of Lies.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I write fiction: crime, mystery, and historic. All focus on the Great Plains environment.
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? The moment that inspired me to write Deadly Circles came after a difficult time in my environmental career. On a secluded drive across rural, eastern South Dakota I wondered about the happenstance. During that drive CJ Hand was born in Hand County, South Dakota.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? The writing process experience most rewarding is the unfurling of the words as the book develops. An example is the historical novel, The Naturalists, where the character Abner Hayman took the reins and became a major actor, something I had not planned. As I read and researched this book I learned an immense amount about our country (positive and negative) from the mid-1800s to 1899.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? The most rewarding experience was the positive feedback about the dialogue and settings.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? The positive piece of advice is write about what you love and read, read, read all kinds of books. One of the most intriguing I read was a philosophy book entitled: PLATO and a PLATYPUS Walk into a Bar Understanding Philosophy through Jokes 2007 Thomas Cathcart & Daniel Klein http://www.hnabooks.com
Who is your favorite author and why? My favorite author is Robert B. Parker followed by Cather, Sandoz, Steinbeck, Michener, Craig Johnson, Tony Hillerman, and C. J. Box
Please add questions and the answers to any questions that you believe your readers would like to know.
Q: What do you do when I get writer’s block? A: Read. Relax. Listen to Music.
Q: Is Nebraska as flat as the media says? A: No, as long as you get off I-80. The Sandhills are rolling dunes with grass and cattle and wetlands. The Republican Valley holds some real surprises. The Niobrara and the Pine Ridge are gorgeous and wild. The Loess Hills of Iowa are wonderful in the fall.
Q: Why the Republican Valley for your first novel? A: It was where I took college students of all ages to learn and talk water and water war, look at geologic faults, plus it is Cather land.
The 100th Meridian Murders (A CJ Hand Novel Book 5) by C. G. Haberman
After proving his reputation as the top sharpshooter in the world, Ivan Talcott settles in China. Here, he plans to achieve his goal of becoming a multimillionaire by the age of forty. Suddenly, and without warning, he’s told to leave China, and never return. Undaunted, he will aim for his goal in the USA.
While on a hunting trip Nebraska, the sharpshooter agrees to proposal that will fulfill his goal. The hunt becomes his final challenge before he begins a new life. The result of his grisly kills uncovers dark secrets long hidden in the halls of the U.S. Congress.
CJ Hand returns to Lincoln, Nebraska after surviving a brutal attack that left him a battered man. His wife, Dee, encourages him to complete a doctoral degree and form the Great Plains Consulting firm. This new challenge, they hope, will lead him away from a turbulent path to a stable life.
His company gets the boost it needs when he signs a contract for work along the 100th meridian. The study leads him to the deadly path he left years before. The discoveries, while using drones, leads his field and office crew into a threatening, dark world. The people he admires, and to whom he owes his success, return to help. They again face the evil they once thought erased.
The peaceful, rural prairie holds secrets that turns violent. The deadly hunt begins, spilling blood across the western United States.
Cold Coffee Press Book Review: For those of us following criminal investigator CJ Hand, this is what we have been waiting for, and you won’t be disappointed with ‘The 100th Meridian Murders: Volume Five by C. G. Haberman.
Realistic characters, descriptive writing that transport you to the Mid-West, USA, and a well-constructed mystery will keep you engaged all the way to the end of the 60th chapter.
Let me begin by telling you that character Ivan Talcott has studied people well for years and blends into each crowd with ease. He is a business man by degree with a life goal of “building an empire of wealth without government interference”. His professional skills as the top sharpshooter in the world help him secure funds to offshore accounts and keep him on track to become a millionaire by age forty. Called back to the US from China, he accepts a proposal.
Investigator CJ Hand who now suffers from PTSD after recovering from being beaten nearly to death and left to die three years ago returns to Lincoln, Nebraska. His wife Dee stands by his side and encourages him to completes his doctoral degree. He is challenged by his entrepreneurial spirit to form his own consulting firm. One of his first consulting contracts leads him into familiar territory that he thought he had left behind when a man in Keya Paha County finds a human skeleton.
An environment activist group that stumbles into the 100th meridian study wants to know who or what group sponsored the study?
Like any good mystery, it is the readers job to relate to one or more of the characters. Join CJ Hand as crime comes in a secretive fury like the tornadoes that thunder across the Great Plains of the US.
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse ‘The 100th Meridian Murders’ by C. G. Haberman. I purchased this book in Kindle and this review was completed on August 7, 2017.
I encourage you to read: Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 1), Mill Creek Malice: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 2), Dead Man’s Run: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 3), Lake Of Lies: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 4) and The 100th Meridian Murders: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 5) by C. G. Haberman
Lake of Lies: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 4) by C G Haberman
Two teenage boys on a deer hunt in northwest Iowa watch as a trophy buck flees before either can release an arrow. Something in the crumbling cellar frightened the animal. Curious to know what disturbed the deer they open the shelter door and hell erupts. The sudden failure of an outstanding student, his fiancée’s new job opportunities, and a personnel action weigh on CJ Hand. His daughter calls with news of his former wife. A disturbing past leads him back to Lincoln, Nebraska to confront demons. At semester’s end on an icy and snowy morning, his life would change once again. Dr. Trisha Baker becomes the hunter with the intent to destroy a predator. The revenge is for her friends and herself, and to erase the painful memory of losing her fiancé.
Cold Coffee Press Book Review: ‘Lake Of Lies’ is just one of four, hard to put down, CJ Hand Mystery Novels written by C. G.Haberman.
Main character CJ Hand uses his love for, comfort of and the serenity of the back roads from Iowa to South Dakota to capture its breathtaking beauty through his camera photo lens which illustrates lessons that he shares with his ecology and botany students.
Intuitive moments and detailed memories have become part of his life since working for the Department of Justice. While forcing himself to move forward, CJ’s past is never far behind. The news hits him hard when the parole board releases Tom Vaughn and he knows someone must warn Tom’s wife Donette to stay alert.
A call from his daughter Meaghan stirs some of the personal demons that haunt him. A trip down memory lane brings him back to the lake where he and his wife Marnie had spent countless, glorious hours together. He sits and stares out across the lake to the shoreline where the shadows still hold remnants of ice and watches as several boys cast their fishing lines into the cold water with hopes of catching a catfish. The ring of his cell phone brings him back to the present.
His life with his fiancée Dee, his many influential friends and co-workers find their world mostly centered on the Mill Creek State University and the surrounding communities. CJ reluctantly confides in psychologist Dr. Adriane Peterson. Like all psychologists she asks a lot of questions, like “You said there were other students, especially female nontraditional students with sudden grade drops, correct?” He nodded. “The question is: why the focus on Tammy Day?”
Two boys brave the frigid temperature at the southern edge of an abandoned farmstead in hopes to “get the biggest damn buck you ever did see.” Hiding in silence they hold their bows taught with arrows when the approaching deer notice something and their heightened awareness and instincts cause them to bolt. Understandably upset the boys strike out on a new hunt for the source of the hunting debacle and what they discover makes them gag.
It is more than Dr. Trisha Baker who works at Mill Creek State University in the Psychology Center can stand. She sets out to seek revenge for her fiancé, friends and most importantly to “destroy a predator”.
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse ‘Lake Of Lies: A CJ Hand Novel’ by C. G. Haberman. Each book in this crime, fiction, mystery series stand alone. I also have the privilege of reading and reviewing ‘Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 1)’. Dead Man’s Run and Mill Creek Malice are a couple more novels in the CJ Hand series.
I encourage you to read these four CJ Hand Novels sold in both print and e-book. Enjoy the written mastery of author C. G Haberman. I purchased ‘Lake Of Lies’ in Kindle and this review was completed on February 25, 2015.
Dead Man’s Run: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 3) by C. G. Haberman
For CJ Hand, the corral bathed in the morning sunlight is a false sign of the day to come. Minutes after starting his run up Deadman Road, a dense fog shrouds the canyon. In the heavy, gray mist a hushed purr from the road bend behind him forces CJ to take cover in the stand of ponderosa pine and cottonwoods. He waits for the danger to pass. An hour later he stares at a dead man, blood covering the understory of brown pine needles and yellowing cottonwood leaves. The second death lay in front of CJ. The mountain lion is the focus of the first death, but the local County Sheriff realizes something other a mountain lion lurks in Dead Man’s Canyon. CJ Hand and Tom Thies join the county sheriff, investigating the deaths. A Black Hills mining geologist who traveled to the Nebraska Pine Ridge is the key. The first dead man might be the answer. What they find hints at far-reaching impacts for the area and the United States.
Mill Creek Malice: C. G. Haberman (Volume 2) by C. G. Haberman
The animal stench triggers Dawn’s gag reflex. The constant grinding of stone on stone irritably attacks her frayed nerves, and abruptly stops. Odd scratching sounds echo in her half-conscious state. She pulls herself into a sitting position and stares at a cage door. She gasps at the thing peering into her eyes.
A year before CJ Hand arrives as the new instructor at Loess Hills Community College the former professor inexplicably disappears. With the case going cold local law enforcement officers seek help. Investigators run into problems with the strange case involving native plants, and seek CJ’s expertise.
CJ is thrust into a world of pharmaceutical collusion when he finds the rare plant in question, but he also discovers an old ammunition box. When he opens it a nightmare begins. A geocache note inside written in a riddle, places him in the grip of matching wits with a killer. Key to the investigation, and the game, are–a small reptilian creature and the rare plant.
The new General Education Dean adds to CJ’s mental and physical anguish, suggesting the violation of his teaching contract. The summer class begins in two weeks and CJ has a choice to make: stop his part in the investigation or resign from his contract.
Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 1) by Mr. C. G. Haberman
The pall of death hangs over two distinctly different valleys separated by eighteen-hundred miles. One a modest, unknown channel drained by a small cool-water stream and the other a magnificent gorge carved by a roaring river that separates two states. Unknown to a man, tormented by loss and intensifying anger, both valleys hold his fate. A bloody mist suddenly fills a truck cab. It is not the shot but the seconds after that begins change for criminal investigator CJ Hand. Beset with his recent loss and pent-up anger he takes leave from a tangled bureaucratic mess. Trying to find self-worth he agrees to help friends by probing the accidental drowning of a friend’s son. The image of an uncomplicated investigation is quickly shattered. CJ encounters a maze of deadly circles surrounding the death. He begins unwinding hidden tentacles of political power and personal greed gripping Elm Creek valley. Affecting his personal life are two intellectual and intuitive women who help him come to grips with what he has been running from, or toward, for a decade. DEADLY CIRCLES is a fast-paced novel exposing the ugly underbelly of insidious criminal activity.
Cold Coffee Press Book Review: Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel is a fast moving fiction crime mystery that enchants the reader with breath taking descriptive beauty with possible environmental struggles within the Great Plains of the USA.
The main character, CJ Hand was born in Hand County, South Dakota. As a criminal investigator CJ Hand takes the reader on a vivid pictorial trip down the winding rural roads of Nebraska into the small towns where life and love among other things thrive with a cast of over 40 characters. The dialog flows very smooth and this reviewer can visualize this book series becoming an excellent made for TV series.
Enjoy the descriptive beauty of the landscapes and relate with the rural folks going about their daily lives. Just keep in mind that nothing is perfect and even here there festers a quiet under tone of mystery, personal and political greed, crime and an unexplained death.
Haberman weaves a tale that keeps the reader turning the pages with descriptive artistry like in this quote: “A breeze whispered through the pine and cedar trees as he entered the small acreage. Colored lichens dotted gravestones and the stately old trees. He moved from grave to grave reading the inscriptions. Several large round, prairie-hay bales rested in the warm autumnal sunshine in the east half of the cemetery, devoid of headstones. CJ squatted down, grasped a handful of loose hay, examined the dried vegetation, and rolled it between his palms. The earthy, redolent grass brought a melancholy rush. The death of a friend’s son brought him here and a tragic farm accident united him with the woman he loved. He stood in the earthly solitude, stillness within him. A wind gust interrupted the moment. An important task lay ahead.”
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse Deadly Circles: A CJ Hand Novel (Volume 1) and you can follow this book up with Mill Creek Malice (Volume 2) as the series continues to unfold under the mastery of author C. G. Haberman. I purchased ‘Deadly Circles’ in Kindle and this review was completed on December 5, 2014.
The Naturalists: A Historic Novel
(The Hayman Saga) (Volume 1) by C. G. Haberman
Where is Nebraska? The measure lies in locating Chicago and Denver, then calculating the midpoint between the two. There exists land called the Rainwater Basin. To find the remains of the best basins requires a calling, the calling to understand the startling dependency of life. In the heart of the United States the last of the Hayman lineage, Chance Hayman, experiences the nibbling erosion and decimation of this North American keystone. The Naturalist begins in the 1820s with a minister full of desire to serve his God. Reverend Abner Hayman is not the normal German Reformed minister. His ministerial sincerity and verve excites his Pennsylvania congregation. As with many successful men he will gain fame and follow a path fraught with temptation, deception, and loss. His path across the rapidly expanding nation leads him to Illinois. There he loses a son to a calling of his own. John Hayman does not scorn the country know as the Great American Desert. Abner Hayman’s son finds a land that fills his spiritual yearning, a land of grass and marshes that is unyielding, but teems with life and promise. It is this young man, the naturalist, who finds love of life, land, and women who is the taproot for the future Hayman families who fight to save the rainwater basins from extinction.
Book Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Crime, History
The Naturalists A Historic Novel of the Hayman Family:
Volume 2 by C. G. Haberman
Gripped by a spiritual call, John Hayman found the land of his dreams. The land tested him, but he learned to live with it and survived to foster a land ethic. In the second volume of The Naturalists, the new era of John’s three sons unfolds and they are as diverse as the land. The youngest, Henry, focuses on what his father dreamed about: a peaceful land covered with grass and marshes. As more people settle the area, Henry faces changing land use that gives little thought to the effects. His life is not without personal heartaches and devastating emotional discoveries. Over the first half of the 20th century, he and his youngest son, Jacob, follow the path recorded in journals that have become the focus for future Hayman naturalists. A deep family unrest threatens to forever change the Haymans and the land on which they thrive. Out of this turmoil, Jacob emerges to face the trying task of altering the path that threatens the Rainwater Basin and his family. Will Jacob’s son inherit a tranquil path to the 21st Century?
Book Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Crime, History
Mary Burton King is a retired Navy officer and a former Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Special Agent who possesses over twenty years of law enforcement experience. Ms. King holds a Master’s degree in Forensic Science from George Washington University (1986), and two undergraduate degrees from the University of Mississippi (1982).
She is the author of her memoir, ‘No Pot, No Window’, as well as the detective murder mysteries, ‘Fool Me Once and Fool Me Once, Final Resolution’. Her latest novel, a thriller entitled ‘Beatrice Belladonna’s Black Magic Web’, was released in March 2014.
Ms. King resides in Pataskala, Ohio, and is currently writing her second thriller novel, ‘The Dark Entity’. She anticipates publication early 2015.
Featured Book: The Dark Entity by Mary Burton King
On a cold winter’s night at a federal prison in East Texas, sixty-one year old Beatrice Belladonna Harlow, a sociopath, voodoo priestess, and convicted black widow serial killer on death row, is brutality murdered in her cell by two prison guards and her body secretly buried in the prison’s cemetery.
Beatrice’s murder initiated an eerie and dark chain of events. In life she was a voodoo priestess; therefore, she will live forever—that is her bestowed legacy. Yes, this voodoo priestess will indeed live forever, but not in her fleshy, earthly body, but as a spirit, an entity. Beatrice’s legacy is dependent upon one thing: another living human being, a host. Immediately upon death, her entity must enter the body of her chosen host. Thereafter, that unfortunate soul no longer has control of his thoughts or actions. And if that isn’t bad enough, a shocking physical metamorphosis takes place.
Years earlier, while sitting on death row, awaiting her execution, Beatrice used her time wisely. She had nothing but time; therefore, she spent countless hours planning every detail of her afterlife. She chose as her host her estranged, thankless, thirty-three-year-old adopted daughter, Lola Marie.
Thus, the night Beatrice was killed, Lola Marie was awakened from a deep sleep by a very bright yellow light floating over her bed. This bright yellow light was her mother’s spirit. In utter horror and unable to prevent what happened next, she watched that bizarre, bright yellow light enter her body. At first Lola Marie thought she was dreaming, but that was not the case. Her mother’s dark entity had just entered and taken control of her mind and soul. She was now possessed.
In the blink of an eye, Lola Marie unwillingly became her deceased mother’s evil puppet and is forced to perform bloody, vengeful, heinous acts for her, even murder. To ensure her daughter’s compliance, Beatrice uses an extremely painful but unique control mechanism, a tattoo. Lola Marie quickly finds herself trapped in her dead mother’s evil web with little hope of escape. Against all odds, can she find a way to free herself from her dead mother’s voodoo clutches? And if so, at what cost to her?
With a plot full of unexpected twists and turns, this high-energy, action-packed paranormal thriller will undoubtedly leave the reader spellbound and craving for more!
Book Review: The Dark Entity by Mary Burton King gives a new meaning to the word “revenge”.
What atrocities lay inside walls of federal prisons and what does it matter to the general population on the outside?
When death row inmate and serial killer Beatrice Belladonna Harlow is tortured and buried alive a short time before her scheduled execution, her spirit travels to the bedroom of her adoptive daughter Lola Marie. The bright yellow light of adoptive mother wakes Lola Marie from sleep. With the precision of her mother’s voodoo priestess spirit, Lola can’t stop the physical metamorphosis as Beatrice enters her body and becomes one with her.
Lola Marie’s Mexican beauty is over ridden by her American/Haitian adopted mother who had rescued her from an abusive orphanage when she was eight. Was this her punishment for ignoring her mother after she was convicted as a black widow serial killer?
Well-developed characters in this paranormal thriller will keep you turning the page as Beatrice possesses her daughter’s body and turns her life upside down with bloody thirsty revengeful energy of Voodoo magic.
Forced to participate in the horrors of Beatrice’s revenge, her legacy while not sealed in blood was sealed by adoption.
Sequel to Beatrice Belladonna’s Black Magic Web, this standalone paranormal thriller is dedicated to the countless victims of human trafficking past and present.
Theodocia McLean endorses The Dark Entity by Mary Burton King. Well researched Mary uses her education and over twenty years of law enforcement experience in the writing process. In addition to this book, please read Beatrice Belladonna’s Black Magic Web, Fool Me Once, Fool Me Once: Final Resolution and No Pot, No Window. This review was completed on November 15, 2015.
California-born Oklahoma raised, author Shirley McLain is a retired RN, enjoying her retirement in Sapulpa, Oklahoma writing poetry, short stories, and novels. She has seen much, not only in her travels but in her survey of the human heart as a nurse, and she comes to this historical fiction novel DOBYNS CHRONICLES with a sound sense of appreciation of the terrain of Texas and Oklahoma, the durability of the pioneer men and women about whom she writes, and a special appreciation for Native American history.
Shirley has a strong love of family both past and present. She is married to a wonderful man who spoils her and she loves it. She has two grown children, six grandchildren and twin great-grand sons. Her wish is to pass on this love of family and the land to her family, as it was passed down to her from her mother.
Shirley also has a fur family of four dogs and three cats. Andy is a Cocker, Angel a teacup poodle, Booker is a Yorkie, and Gus is a Pug/Shih Tzu She says it’s like living with a house full of three year olds. Two of the cats have been bottle raised and all three are short haired “whatever’s.” There’s never a dull or lonely moment. Someone is always into something.
Featured Book:Dobyns Chronicles: A Boy Becomes A Man by Shirley McLain
Dobyns Chronicles is a captivating celebration of the life of Charlie Dobyns. His life began in northeast Texas near Bonham, on the Red River. His Cherokee mother and cowboy father strove to survive on their river valley ranch. Tragedy ended this way of life for Charlie in 1888. Follow him through Chickasaw Territory and on to McAlester in eastern Oklahoma.
This is a story of a changing way of life and adaptations made to survive. Charlie’s strong passion for life and dignity equipped him for survival as he raised his siblings with, likeability and dignity. It’s a story of loss, misfortune, hard times and heartbreak, but also love, determination, kindness, joy and spirituality.
Follow Charlie’s life through the adventures that shaped the man he became, and that of his family for generations.
Book Review: ‘Dobyns Chronicles’ starts out with a picture of an Indian Territory Map which I especially enjoyed looking at. This story gives the reader a true taste of what life was like in the 1890’s. The setting is in Chickasaw Territory, North East Texas and in Eastern Oklahoma.
Turning the page from this map to chapter one, line one, the reader is struck with “OLD AGE IS hell, but it’s something all of us have to go through” and shortly thereafter another line that reads “You never know what road life will lead you down. Pa told me when I was a little boy, “You just have to take a deep seat and hang on for the ride.” He sure told the truth.”
Vivid story telling with beautiful old lines like “the heavens opened up and let loose with one of those toad soakers” draws the reader into the time period. Truer than life characters that pull at the reader’s heart strings as their lives show the harshness and simplicity of times gone by. Shirley McLain’s characters like Charley have a strong sense of family, friends, community and faith which carries him from youth to being the matriarch of a large family leaving behind an incredible legacy.
Life in the 1890’s is based on survival off the land and animals like the pigs that provided food such as “crackling corn bread out of the fried cracklings”. This story will remind the reader what travel was like in horse draw wagons that took days to complete 85 miles. Days gone by with the children had three sets of clothes, work/pay clothes, school/street clothes and our Sunday best. Old time remedies like mudpacks to keep the mosquitoes off and the use of Indian herbal medicine. A time when death was only an arm’s length away due the circumstances of the times. A story of a young boy who is forced to become a man, a time when wages were $20.00 a month and a time where horses, buggies, trains, trolleys and carpetbags were of importance. Your will read great conversations, family letters and experience home, heart, love and a home birth produces a son that makes one man’s world complete.
Story telling is an art form and Shirley McLain is an artist. If you have any sense of history and/or had grandparents or someone older tell you stories than this book will make your heart skip a beat and your mind to go in places where it hasn’t been in while. This amazing family chronicle brought back memories for me growing up with an older generation that kept me spell bound by their stories. I have often thought as a society we have lost the art of storytelling. Shirley McLain has brought encouragement back to my soul. She did her historical research and has family stories of her own no doubt cleverly woven into this story.
Theodocia McLean endorses ‘Dobyns Chronicles: A Boy Becomes A Man’ – by Shirley McLain as an inspiring historical fiction that will send chills up and down your spine, keep you glued to the pages and remind you of an era gone by that must not be forgotten. Review date September 2014.
Mary Deal, a native of Walnut Grove in California’s Sacramento River Delta, now resides in Honolulu, Hawaii. She was Founder and past President of Kauai Writer’s Roundtable. She is also an artist, photographer and former editor of a print magazine and newspaper columnist.
She is the author of six suspense novels: “The Tropics,” an adventure/suspense trilogy, “The Ka,” a paranormal Egyptian suspense, “River Bones,” a thriller that takes place in her childhood hometown area, “Down to the Needle,” a thriller, taking place along the West coast, “Legacy of the Tropics,” a re-write and expansion of The Tropics, and “The Howling Cliffs, a Sara Mason Mystery” and 1st sequel to the award winning River Bones. She has also published “Off Center in the Attic,” a collection of over-the-top short stories and flash fiction pieces. The eBooks, “Write it Right – Tips for Authors, Vol. I and Vol. II are nonfiction references for writers. “Write It Right – Tips for Authors – The Big Book” (a Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Book Awards) brings both of the Write It Write eBooks together in paperback.
“River Bones” was a winner in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards competition and a Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Books Awards. Her short story, “The Last This I Do” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
Her mega-web site, www.WriteAnyGenre.com , is a valuable resource for writers. It covers topics from all creative writing to business writing, including interviews, writing samples and examples. Portions also cover other aspects of creativity, like artwork for books covers.
Featured Book: Hypno-Scripts – Life Changing Techniques Using Self-Hypnosis and Meditation by Mary Deal
The human mind is capable of miracles and people are finally opening to that fact. Or maybe they aren’t miracles at all. They only seem that way because for so long powers of the human mind have been denied.
Do you wish you had the power to become all that you can be? Discover your potential through unleashing the power of your mind. All good intentioned programming works best when you reach a deeper state of mind. The secret is in accessing those states through easy life-changing techniques presented here, in thoroughly explained examples.
A thin window of consciousness differentiates two states of the mind – self-hypnosis and meditation – and this book will show their similarities, and define each condition and accessibility. If curious enough to at least peruse this book, then the ability to learn these techniques are already a part of your consciousness and soon to be recognized. Lucky you! Your subconscious is prompting you to investigate. It is saying that you are capable of deeper states of mind.
Many have tried to focus to learn either self-hypnosis or meditation and failed. Applied concentration and knowing what to expect once entranced may be what was missing. The instructions in this book are meant for those wishing to learn and use the techniques of self-hypnosis and/or meditation for self-improvement. Easy yet powerful scripts are provided to produce desired changes. You can change your life now!
Book Review: Retired Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist Mary Deal helps the reader understand the power on one’s subconscious. Quote: “A thin window of consciousness differentiates two states of mind-self-hypnosis and meditation – and this book explains their similarities and defines each condition and accessibility. “If curious enough to at least pursue this book, then the ability to learn these techniques are already a part of your consciousness and soon to be recognized. Lucky You! Your subconscious is prompting you to investigate. It is saying that you are capable of deeper states of mind.”
Section One-Hypnosis speaks to the issues of unintentional Childhood Training-My Early Practices, using Inductions and Scripts and Terminology that the lay person needs to know. Quote: “Hypnosis: A technique to still the conscious mind activity of the analytical left brain. To protect us, the conscious mind, the left brain, censures all we receive, know, or transmit. Truth is cloaked in order that we may not be hurt by that which we do not understand or are not ready to comprehend or accept. Our conscious mind protects us from ourselves until we are ready to learn. It is the conscious mind we make quiet in order to access hypnosis.”
About half way through the book I learned something that I could put into immediate practice to lower my stress. I share with you an important quote from Dr. Andrew W. Weil, American medical doctor, teacher and best-selling author on holistic health says on an internet post: “People who are stressed or anxious are actually chronically under-breathing, because stressed people breathe shortly and shallowly, and often even unconsciously hold their breath. By extending your inhale to the count of four, you are forcing yourself to take in more oxygen, allowing the oxygen to affect your bloodstream by holding your breath for seven seconds, and then emitting carbon dioxide from your lungs by exhaling steadily for eight seconds. The technique will effectively slow your heart rate and increase oxygen into your bloodstream, and may even make you feel slightly lightheaded which contributes to the mild sedative-like effect. It will instantly relax your heart, mind, and overall central nervous system because you are controlling the breath versus continuing to breathe short shallow gasps of air”.
This book deals with many topics. I found the Through The Gate: Problem Solving, Allergy Control, Tinnitus Reassignment, Immediate Stress Reduction and The Attic Trunk-Finding Your Gifts most enlightening.
Quotes of Interest from Section Two-Meditation:
“Even the smallest shift in perspective can bring about the greatest healing.” by Dr. Joshua Kai, ND
“Mediation cannot be induced manually. It is the ability of the inner mind or soul when conditioned and trained correctly, and when conditions that prevent us from seeing our true nature are removed.”
It is my impression that whether you believe in Hypnosis or Meditation this book will show you ways to reduce stress and become more aware of your surroundings. Keep this Kindle reference book handy, learn from it and develop your own Hypno-Scripts.
I leave you with this thought from Mary, “Life may not be that joyous, but believing that it is moves you quickly to it becoming that way.”
Theodocia McLean ndorses For Hypno-Scripts – Life Changing Techniques Using Self-Hypnosis and Meditation by Mary Deal for her educated guidance with Hypno-Scripts and her concise writing ability that brings the subject into the readers grasp for self-help. I purchased this book through Kindle. This review was completed on August 1, 2015.
Krista Lynn is a late-comer to the author’s world with a long academic career in earth sciences in her wake instead of years of fiction writing. But, wind has filled all the sails this year, with the release of Blood Stones, the first book in the Haunted Canyon Series. The next book, Cast in Stone is due December, 2016. A short cozy mystery anthology titled, The Talking Board Mysteries, is in the works for early 2017.
It’s no mystery why Krista writes about the high desert of Arizona. She grew up on a gold mine about 60 miles north of Phoenix. The closest neighbor was 6 miles or so down the Agua Fria River, or another 20 miles by dirt road. To say it was a gold mine is technically correct, but very little gold was ever mined. It did, however, keep gas in the jeep and food on the table. The real treasure of this placer gold-mining venture was the lasting impressions of living wild on the desert with her brothers, and a menagerie of dogs, goats, and donkeys. And experiencing the magic and spirit of a rugged, isolated landscape where mysteries are carried on the wind, and whispered in your sleep. Years later, these experiences are the multi-colored threads woven into her series of romantic supernatural suspense set in the high desert of Arizona.
She taught physical geography and GIS courses at CSUF and Fresno City College before taking an Academic Coordinator for GIS Technologies position at UC Davis Cooperative Extension where she built a GIS program to assist agricultural research.
She now enjoys the full-time writing life in California with her husband and a menagerie of dogs, goats and one spoiled horse – and reading, reading, reading! What a joy!
Featured Book:Blood Stones: The Haunting of Sunset Canyon (Volume 1) by Krista Lynn
Deep in the Arizona desert, the love a young woman feels for her mysterious Indian lover grows deeper every year, though her heart stopped beating over a century ago—stilled by the one she loves. What magic could cause this? What ancient Native American witchcraft could hold her spirit captive and make her part of The Haunting of Sunset Canyon? Could the legends of ghost warriors who guard the treasure of the Lost Blood Stones Mine be true?
When Darcy Peel left Dry Creek, Arizona, to go to graduate school, she thought she had left for good. She never imagined she would come back to the small community nestled in the shadow of Prospector’s Mountain. But now she is compelled to return and find her sister who is lost in the red gorge canyon. On her trail to the truth, Darcy meets Alan Brandt, a young deputy who possesses hidden abilities that link him to stories of ghost warriors. Can she trust him to help find her sister as he promises? Or is she being trapped by the canyon’s magic—seduced by her attraction to a man with an uncanny connection to the deadly legends?
Book Review: Blood Stones: The Haunting of Sunset Canyon by Krista Lynn begins in 1911 during the Summer Solstice in Little Springs River at Sunset Canyon, Arizona with a story that sets the stage for a supernatural suspense.
Fast forward 100 hundred and four years later in Sacramento, California where Darcy Peel lives and teaches at a prestigious university. Darcy is forced to return to her rural hometown of Dry Creek, Arizona when her sister, Deanna Peel, suddenly disappears in the desert canyons while pursuing her research. The local headlines relate Deanna’s disappearance to the deaths of other Peel family members who entered the canyon and presume that she is also dead. “Deanna is well known in her community as an activist for desert preservation and anthropological research in the “Canyon that Sees the Sun” as that deep gorge is known from Indian myth”. Some of the locals believe that Deanna “fell prey to the Curse”.
Intent on doing her own expedition to find her sister, Darcy drives the long hours back, stopping alongside the highway a half-mile from her family’s 76 Diner and Gas Station to view Prospector’s Mountain. What awaits her is Déjà vu as she holds up an old Polaroid photo from June 22, 1986 and stares out her windshield at the mountain, then back to the photo. The cloud formation she sees over the mountain top is identical to the one in the old picture which was taken the day of a horrifying experience that happened on the date of the photo.
Darcy has to stay focused on her mission to find her sister as the dark magic of the New Moon at vernal equinox draws near, bringing its strange energy to the mountain, its canyons, and the small community steeped in rich Native American legends. Darcy might just find more than the answers she came in search of when a young deputy named Alan Brandt is willing to assist. Their attraction to each other another is yet another mystery that will need to be solved.
Author Krista Lynn weaves a tale conjured up from her childhood where she lived with her family sixty miles north of Arizona on an old gold mine. The nearest neighbor was twenty miles away. Krista draws from her own memories of an isolated desert life with her brothers, animals and the supernatural desert landscape. Descriptive writing, easy to follow dialog, well developed characters will draw you into this first story in her Blood Stone series and will leave you waiting for her next novel coming soon titled ‘Cast In Stone’.
If you enjoy stories that speak of supernatural legends and curses, suspense and mystery, humor and romance this book is for you. It is a multi-genre geared for young adults and up.
I, Theodocia McLean endorse Blood Stones: The Haunting of Sunset Canyon by Krista Lynn. I reviewed this book from Kindle format. The review was completed on July 6, 2016.
Writing under the nom de plume M. D. Wiselka, Melinda Wiselka is the oldest of four daughters and one of the numerous descendants of a Polish family who immigrated from Wisła, Poland in 1913 to farm in Big Horn, Wyoming.
Melinda has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia over the last decade, visiting, among other places, Warsaw, Poland, the setting of her debut novel, a gay historical romance titled Beautiful to Behold, the first book in the Dark Brethren Series, released in November 2013.
Her second book, a gay paranormal romance titled Darkness Falls, the second book in the Dark Brethren Series, will be released in 2014.
Featured Selection:Beautiful to Behold (The Dark Brethren Series Book 1) by M. D. Wiselka
Star-crossed lovers struggle to survive the German invasion of Poland at the opening of the Second World War.
Since childhood, twenty-four-year-old Owen Linet has been plagued by bad dreams, or rather the same bad dream, of a man called Hector, who claims to be dead. Hector possesses a strange black cloak on which is stitched a series of golden symbols—“Words” that Hector, their “bearer”, claims have miraculous powers when spoken. Hector gifts a Word to Owen—one that he claims can not only take life, but also restore it.
Twenty-two-year-old Polish partisan, Jacek Tarasek, is ordered to follow a suspicious foreigner, a British artist named Owen Linet, who closely resembles a man from Jacek’s past—someone Jacek would just as soon forget. Jacek’s worst fears are soon realized when he learns that Owen is not only his avowed enemy, but something infinitely worse—a devil in human form, with the power to take life with a mere word. When Jacek can’t bring himself to destroy the man with whom he is falling deeply in love, he is forced to confront his flawed understanding of good and evil.
Publisher’s Note: Beautiful to Behold is a male-male love story and contains homoerotic sex acts that may be offensive to some readers.
Book Review: The author of ‘Beautiful to Behold’ writes under the nom de plume (pen name) M. D. Wiselka. This 728 page book takes place at the beginning of WWII, just as Poland is first invaded and is the first in a series.
Instead of a Table of Contents the author has chosen to use Sections (parts) with titles. Each section has title, location, with a date and occasionally the actual time and sometimes the season of the year. This book is actually a mixture of genres including fiction, historical reference, war, gay romance with some paranormal undertones.
Each section follows a well-defined narrative format with easy-to-follow conversations. There are many unique complex characters like British artist Owen Linet who has been tormented by bad dreams. The author’s extensive travel throughout Europe and research into descendants from Poland who later immigrated to the US in 1913 has greatly influenced the setting and story line.
This avid reader would not have typically picked up this book to read, but interestingly I found that the story line held my attention. Although this book comes with an adult content warning due to gay (male-male) romance and adult language I did not find it crude or offensive. The sex is intense, but not overly explicit and the romance is touching and realistic. The author tells a story and within this story weaves a romance.
Like with all my reviews I am careful not to spoil the read. However, I always quote one or two portions from the book that catches my attention in hopes to give the potential reader a sense of this author’s writing style. Early on in the book this line from a main character caught my attention. “Sooner or later, your past catches up with you. His was sitting three rows back from him in a darkened theater, sipping soda noisily through a paper-straw.”
Descriptive excerpt quote from the book: “Owen turned to look out the rain streaked window. Mother was still standing alone beneath the metal awning, her shawl drawn tightly about her hunched shoulders, a brave, if false, smile on her face, which made Owen if not quite regret his decision to go with Dad, once more question the wisdom of it. But she would have Ned and Lily to keep her company, and he could come home any time it pleased him, if he found Warsaw didn’t suit him, if his mother needed him. He lifted a hand to wave to her as the aero plane began to slowly taxi down the runway. Her face was a smear of warm light in the dreary rain, soon gone as the aero plane sped away. Dad looked at him. Owen smiled sympathetically. “Parting is such sweet sorrow.”
A thought on war excerpt from the book: “Jacek had never considered their odds in the light of dry statistics. Had someone told him that the German army was five times the size of the Polish army, that it had twenty times the number of planes, tanks and guns, he would have said, without hesitation, “but we will still win.” He would have said it with conviction, because he believed wars were not won with planes or tanks or guns, but with spirit. Our cause is a noble one. We are in the right. God is on our side, and with God’s help, we will triumph against the Germans, just as we did against the Russians twenty years ago. The keystone of his faith—the justness of his cause. We can’t lose, because we’re the good guys, and the good guys never lose.”
A taste of supernatural excerpt from the book: “Most bearers went the whole of their long existence without once attempting to merge themselves with another, mortal or brethren—and for good reason. Only the most skillful of bearers could do it without leaving some taint of himself in the spirit with which he merged, and, in turn, taking some part of that spirit’s nature as his own. Owen wouldn’t have ventured to attempt it, if he hadn’t had a good deal of practice. It was one “trick of the trade” that Hector, for reasons of his own, had invested a great deal of time in teaching to Owen.”
A snippet of romance excerpt from the book: Jacek let Owen guide him to the bed. He nestled against Owen’s chest, savoring the warmth of his naked body. His drooping eyelids sank shut, quite unwillingly, as he laid his head on Owen’s shoulder. This was something new, something unknown to him. His fantasy Owen, and all the other nameless lovers he’d taken in the darkness of his flat, had never wanted to be with him afterward. They had fled like evil spirits at the words of his prayer. Leave me, devils. I cast you out. I reject you and all your evil promises. “Feels so strange,” he murmured.”
Theodocia McLean endorses Beautiful to Behold (The Dark Brethren Series Book 1) by M.D. Wiselka for the author’s ability to tell the story with detail and human reflection. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on June 9, 2015.