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The Strange Curse of Breda by Steven Arnett - Book Review

Book Description:

It’s 1971 and a horrible murder has occurred near the town of Breda in west Michigan. A young woman, Jane Lucas, has been dragged into the woods and stabbed. The letters ZOSO from the Led Zeppelin album have been written in blood on her waist, which leads the police to think it might be a cult murder. Suspicion falls on the commune located on a farm near the town. The shock and horror townspeople feel after that murder, though, are nothing compared to the shock and horror people feel when another murder and then another murder of the same type occur. 
The Strange Curse of Breda is about those murders and how they are finally solved. As each murder occurs, the level of fear in Breda intensifies, to the point that the townsfolk either flee the town, arm themselves to the teeth, or fall into an almost catatonic state of fear. The county sheriff, the state police, and even the FBI are baffled. However, Jim Leiden, a young man who runs a small grocery in Breda, finds a clue that may link all the murders together: The hanging of a man named Obadiah Kurtz that occurred in 1889. Jim researches the story and finds that the victims are descendants of the people who were responsible for hanging Obadiah. After Jim’s discovery, he’s in a race against time to try to get the police to believe him and find the murderer before he can kill the only person in the whole world who really matters to him: His beautiful fiancĂ©e Julie Veere, who happens to be one of those direct descendants! 

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Author Bio:
Steven Arnett was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1951 and enjoys writing fiction and poetry. He has degrees from Michigan State University and the University of Maine. He currently lives in Johns Creek, Georgia, with his wife, Delphine, and daughter, Vivienne. His novels Winners and Losers and Death on Lake Michigan have both received 5 star reviews from the Readers Favorite Web site.

Book Review by Carmen:
Here's the thing about this book: From the beginning of this novel, you know who the killer is; what you don't know is why they're doing it. You get the idea that it's for revenge - but revenge for what? 
At the beginning of the novel, you get a small snippet of a hanging that took place in the 1800's, and from there you jump to the 1970's. This book focuses a lot on the murders that take place in this small town called Breda, as well as the detective, Bill Mathers, that tries to solve these murders. 
This was a fairly quick read as well as an enjoyable one. I ended up giving this book a four star rating and got a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

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Nora's Promise by Sedona Hutton - Book Review

Book Description:
She trusts animals more than men. He runs through women like tires. Will an orphaned child force them to change gears?
With her sister’s death, Nora’s life changed in an instant. Forced to raise her orphaned nephew, the animal rescuer doesn’t expect to be dumped and fired by her kid-hating boyfriend/boss. After her own close call and a message from beyond, Nora introduces the little boy to his handsome, fast-living absentee father.
Davey Johnson is a hot-shot NASCAR driver who never wanted to be slowed down by fatherhood. But when he finds out he has a nine-year-old son, he vows to be a better father than his old man. When his first efforts fail in a big way, he enlists Nora’s parenting help. But what starts as a chore transforms into something way hotter than a final lap.
When Davey’s sponsors clash with Nora’s vegan ways, he’s forced to choose between his passion for racing and his love of Nora. Will they be able to blend their lives or will their romance run right off the track?

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Author Bio:
Author Sedona Hutton finds inspiration in the beautiful Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and curly-coated retriever. In addition to writing, she's a Reiki Master and a certified Chopra Center Meditation instructor. She enjoys reading, yoga, gardening, and experiencing the great outdoors on boats, motorcycles, and Jeeps. Sedona pens a "Peace, Love, & Joy" blog on her website.
Sedona Hutton's novel Cloud Whispers was a Finalist in the 2018 Readers' Favorite Contest, an Official Selection in the 2018 Summer eBook Awards for New Apple Literary, and Shortlisted for the Books Go Social Best Indie Book of 2018.

Book Review by Carmen:
I enjoyed this book, despite some of the supernatural elements that I felt shouldn't have been there, though thankfully, they didn't make a lot of appearances in the novel. I enjoyed the romance between Davy Johnson and Nora Williams, though I felt as if Davy sacrificed a little bit too much for Nora, though I guess that's how love goes sometimes. Steph Daley had a nice warm motherly personality and I liked how her side of the story ended. I ended up giving this book a four star rating and got a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

*Please be sure to support the author by buying their books and connecting with them on social media.

The Journey Into Freedom by Jason Mahr - Book Review

Book Description:
"How Can I Overcome My Struggle?" 
This is the question that has been asked over and over again since Jason's TEDx Talk "Pornography Isn't Your Problem" was released in the summer of 2016. People from all over the world have contacted Jason seeking advice after viewing a talk that has been seen by millions. This book is the first step in the answer to that question. Jason shares his personal journey that led him to healing through shame-free relationships and essential life coaching.
Passionate about helping others overcome their personal constraints (it doesn't have to be porn), Jason shares with you how a broken spirit and humility can lead you to a place of identity that you never thought possible.

Where to Purchase:

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Author Bio:
My guess is that you found this page by watching my TEDx talk "Pornography Isn't Your Problem".  Since the release of my talk, life has changed dramatically.  I accepted a job as a youth pastor while continuing on the path of helping others overcome similar challenges in their lives.  Thank you for your encouraging notes!  I can't respond to them all, but I want you to know that it means a lot to me!  I'm excited for the future and the great things that are happening as a result of the popularity of my TED talk!

Book Review by Carmen:
This was a very quick read. It doesn't go into a lot of detail and touches lightly on basic things - that points a person in the right direction. I ended up giving this book a three star rating and got a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

*Please be sure to support the author by buying their books and connecting with them on social media.

Discovering Pain’s Purpose An excerpt from The Pain Companion by Sarah Anne Shockley


In the twenty-first century, one might wish that pain were an easily treatable nonissue. It is not. Millions of doctor and emergency room visits stem from pain, and addiction to pain medications, which is rampant in the United States, and often takes root when someone in pain is attempting to manage unremitting discomfort.

In The Pain Companion: Everyday Wisdom for Living With and Moving Beyond Chronic Pain (New World Library, June 2018), author Sarah Anne Shockley, who has personally lived with chronic pain since 2007, offers fellow pain sufferers a compassionate and supportive guide for living with pain that can be used alongside their ongoing medical or therapeutic healing programs. We hope you’ll enjoy this excerpt from the book.

# # #

In the Western allopathic medical world, physical pain is treated almost entirely from a material standpoint.

In our highly technological and sometimes formulaic culture, we think we will fix our pains if we can just land on the right approach from a confusing and often contradictory variety of programs, pharmaceuticals, cures, and techniques: Pop these pills, take this yoga class, read this book, start eating this, stop eating that, get off the couch, relax more, get out more. We tend to treat pain solely with physically based remedies or to mask it with chemical inhibitors.

Our doctor usually asks us where and how it hurts, and we are encouraged to describe the pain only as it is manifesting in the body. It is a rare Western-trained doctor who asks the patient how they feel about the pain emotionally, what was going on in their life just before the onset of pain, or a myriad of other inquiries into the patient’s emotional, psychological, and spiritual state of being.

One of the reasons that we usually don’t treat physical pain with anything more than physical remedies is that, most obviously, it is experienced in and through the body. Physical pain is so overwhelming for the sufferer that it appears to point only to itself. This seems logical. Yet, while we do live in a physical body, we also consist of a mind and emotions, and many believe we have a spirit or soul as well.

Despite the lack of clear boundaries between these aspects of the self, we have developed different therapeutic approaches, models, and remedies for each, as if each could be addressed uniquely and apart from its impact or reliance on the others.

Consequently, the prevailing medical language refers to the body as a thing, an object, an impersonal lump of flesh. Its physicality is somehow unrelated to the parts of us we can’t see, but which we may, nevertheless, consider the essence of who we really are. The body is inexplicably, but fundamentally, treated as separate from the inner us.

Similarly, we talk about our conditions, our pain, and the organs and systems of our bodies as if each had a life of its own as a disparate entity.

We name our conditions and refer to them by those names, as if we have been invaded by an outside force that remains distinct and separate even though it is completely interwoven with our bodies, our thoughts, and our feelings. Our condition literally lives in us and with us, yet we speak of it as something that could be pointed to and catalogued and extracted.

Although much has been written in recent years about body/mind/spirit integration, particularly in connection with the rising popularity of traditional Asian medicine and acupuncture, the Western medical approach is only beginning to adopt the concept that treatments need to include and address the whole person. Ultimately, therefore, while hugely beneficial in many cases, our scientific approach to life and to health has taught us to compartmentalize our bodies, our lives, our selves, and our pain.
Meanwhile, a growing number of people are not finding relief from pain medications or medical treatments of any kind, and doctors are finding a growing number of painful conditions, such as fibromyalgia and thoracic outlet syndrome, that are difficult to diagnose clearly or treat successfully. Additionally, we have been conditioned by our culture to keep going no matter what. We are not taught to listen to the body, or to our emotions and feeling states as they relate to the body, and certainly not to listen to or honor pain. We override the body’s signals routinely by working too many long days, by overeating or undereating, and by using various substances to feel energized when we’re exhausted or to calm down when we’re hyper.

In a society driven by schedules and fairly rigid work and educational structures, it’s probably a natural consequence that we would develop a medical system that makes getting back on track as soon as possible one of its top priorities. Nothing seems to be wrong with that on the surface, but what if, by doing that, we are sidestepping a significant purpose within the process of healing? What might be the consequences of ignoring the body’s signals, its method of communication? What if, instead of killing, or utterly eradicating, pain with pharmaceuticals, we used medications primarily to reduce pain to a manageable level, so that we can still hear what the body means to tell us in the language of pain? By not honoring the body’s inner timetable and how it relates to our whole self, we might be derailing a deeper meaning held within the pain. If so, then it is possible that this inner purpose unfolds only when we respect it and give it the time and attention it seems to be asking for.

# # #
Sarah Anne Shockley is the author of The Pain Companion. In the Fall of 2007, she contracted Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS), which is a collapse of the area between the clavicles and first ribs, and has lived with debilitating nerve pain ever since. She has been a regular columnist for the Pain News Network and is a regular contributor to The Mighty, a 1.5 million–member online community for those living with chronic illness and pain. Visit her online at www.ThePainCompanion.com.

Excerpted from the book The Pain Companion. Copyright ©2018 by Sarah Anne Shockley. Printed with permission from New World Library — www.newworldlibrary.com.

The Amulets of Sihr by Abu Bilaal Yakub - Book Review

Book Description:
As the world plunges into darkness,
How will mankind survive the purge?
Of that which is evil...
Of that which is wicked...
Submerge into the unknown. Enter the realm of the Unseen. Prepare to face the evil beyond the veil...
Arisen is he. From the ashes of war. Avowed is he. To destroy the world of man.
Of beast and creed...
Of blood and clay...
Of sin and deed...
Of Fire and Ash...
Of Jinn and Man...
The battle has just begun!
An impulsive leap of faith coerces Mukhtar to free four slaves from their captors. Little does he know how remarkably this would shape his destiny.
As the turmoil within him unfolds, his mother unveils her most guarded secret - an ancient and powerful Amulet. Once belonging to his long-lost father, the Amulet sets Mukhtar upon a path unraveling a grim and dark past of his bloodline.
Now, at the crossroads of good and evil, he must face his life's greatest trials and tribulations in order to save the empire from the brink of annihilation. 

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Author Bio:
Kenyan born, Canadian author began writing short stories, songs, and poems since he was 12 years old. After earning an apprenticeship with Mercedes Benz, he studied Mechatronics Engineering for two years before specializing as a Diagnostics Technician for the global luxury vehicle manufacturer.
With a love for graphic design, film-making, animation, and music, he channeled his creativity into pen and paper and began writing his first novel. After nearly ten years of working on his manuscript, he finally makes his debut with The Amulets of Sihr, an Epic Fantasy combining fact and fiction, controversy and concurrence, embedding some of his own experiences with the occult and unseen into a stunningly immersive anecdote.
He is open to constructive criticisms, intellectual discussions or just a fancy chat!

Book Review by Carmen: 
A lot of this story takes place in desert-like surroundings; having a fairly Middle Eastern setting with a fantasy element to it. One thing to keep in mind if you happen to pick this book up is that there is a bit of scene setting in the beginning of this novel. This novel also has aspects of paranormal to it; there are times where you dive into the world of occult. I get the idea that there might be a second book following this one, since by the end of it, there are still one or two loose ends that need to be resolved. I ended up giving this book a four star rating and got a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

*Please be sure to support the author by buying their books and connecting with them on social media.

Until We're More by Cindi Madsen - Release Day Blast

We're so excited to be celebrating the release of UNTIL WE'RE MORE by Cindi Madsen! Get your one-click finger ready!


Title: Until We're More
Author: Cindi Madsen 
Age: NA
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Embrace


Goodreads: Book
Amazon: Buy Link


Blurb:
Chelsea is smart, funny, gorgeous, and the best friend I’ve ever had. Ever since she left, I’ve been a wreck. I’ve been focused on keeping my family’s MMA gym afloat while I train and coach fighters, anything to not miss her more. But now she's finally back, along with her grumpy, possessive cat, and things are weird between us.
By weird, I mean I can’t stop thinking about her in that way. She’s in the room next door, and it takes all my control not to storm in there, sweep her up, and bring her back to my bed. Even stranger, I’m pretty sure she’d be into it.
And this time, I’m not going to stop fighting until we’re more.


About the Author:


USA Today Bestselling author Cindi Madsen sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting, revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she'd be even crazier. She has way too many shoes but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they're sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.


Visit her at her website where you can sign up for her newsletter and learn about upcoming releases.


Enjoy,
Carmen. 

Gift of the Shaper by D.L. Jennings - Book Review

Book Description:
Armies will clash, and even gods will die… For thousands of years, the Breaker of the Dawn has been locked away in the ethereal plane of the Otherworld. Now, a young blacksmith’s apprentice finds himself trapped in a war between the noble Athrani, a subset of humanity gifted with the ability to transmute matter, and the malevolent and powerful Khyth, who seek to free the ancient god from his prison. When his father, Olson, is kidnapped, Thornton Woods and his childhood friend, Miera, must leave their small village of Highglade to find him. On their way, they are joined by Ynara and Kethras, cat-like humanoids called Kienari, who use their skills as hunter/trackers to follow Olson’s trail. When it comes to light that one among them possesses the key to the Breaker’s release, Thornton and his friends must defy the might of the Khyth as armies on both sides collide in pursuit of the ultimate prize. Gift of the Shaper chronicles the epic struggle between the existing forces of good and evil, with both sides vying for control of the key that unlocks the Otherworld. The very powers of creation and destruction hang in the balance, and only a heroic effort by Thornton and Miera, backed by the power of the Athrani, can possibly stop the Khyth from unleashing ruin — and the Breaker — upon their world.

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Author Bio:
D.L. Jennings was born in Dayton, Ohio to two Air Force veterans, and is a thirteen-year active duty veteran Air Force himself, serving under the Air Force Special Operations Command. He earned an associate's degree in Korean Studies in 2005 and earned his bachelor's in Global Security from Bellevue University in 2008. He finished writing his debut novel, Gift of the Shaper, while serving overseas on his ninth combat tour. When he is not reading or writing epic fantasy, he enjoys traveling, listening to '90s punk, and watching Ohio State football.

Book Review by Carmen:
This book ended up surprising me slightly. In the beginning of the book, there was a lot of 'setting the scene' going on, with a little bit happening, but nothing hugely mind-blowing - all this that takes place leads up to what happens later in the book. Two things I did find interesting was the world and the Athrani, who were also fascinating at times. I ended up giving this book a four star rating and got a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

*Please be sure to support the author by buying their books and connecting with them on social media.

Only the Willing by A D Critchley - Book Review

Book Description:
Corruption and vice in King’s Cross
In 1970’s Australia, American soldiers on R&R descend on Kings Cross in Sydney, their goal to have a good time and forget, for a while, the horrors of war.
Mike is a deserter from the Australian navy living in the Cross and working for Jack who owns a nightclub. In response to the influx of cash from the American soldiers Jack expands his business to include a restaurant and prostitution business. 
As Jack’s business booms Mike becomes drawn into the corruption and deals that are part of life in the Cross. Prostitutes, drug dealers, corrupt cops, and goodhearted people – the Cross has it all.
Life is good for Mike, but nothing stays the same and happiness is never a guarantee.

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Author Bio:
Hi All,
My fortunate life.
I live "Down Under" A land of sweeping plains Gum trees and Koala bears. Isolated from everywhere. I've written many newspaper articles and technical papers over the years. 
In 2009 I wrote a book on Organic Agriculture published in Jordan for their Countries farmers. 
I now work for Australian business advisors. I've completed six business volunteer assignments overseas in South East Asia. Teaching Marketing, social marketing to Advising on 'organic agriculture." The people you meet are diverse in nature and a pleasure to work with. Third world countries rich in spirit and endowed with good humour. I've 25 years running my own business, before becoming a business advisor.
Awarded a outstanding lecturing award from the prison service 2013 while working for College at a large prison.
I joined the Navy as a boy and went to Vietnam, then I moved into the Submarine Service and served on 5 'O" class Submarines, fantastic times wonderful shipmates and a pleasure to serve. I'm an Advocate for ex military since 2001-2015.
Serving with many Submariners from around the world USA and UK for instance. Life has had it's up and downs and like most have had my share.
My first novel is a fact/fiction based on WW2 soldier and how it affects him during and post war and his family. My second novel I've nearly finished it and I'm considering crown funding.
It will be available around April 2016.

Book Review by Carmen:
The writing in this novel had it's ups and downs, there were times when I felt things were a little bit rushed, as well as the dialogue not always being great. Overall, the story-line was alright with this book, so I ended up giving it a three star rating and got a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

*Please be sure to support the author by buying their books. 

Falling Silver by A.M. Ross - Book Review

Book Description:
The return of Waterwolf Simon desRosiers is enough to unbalance Karina Redfeather's reclusive lifestyle, but he's inadvertently brought with him a destructive chain of events that will unfold over the next two moon cycles. The four werewolf bloodlines—one so elusive that the other three hardly believe in it—are converging on this remote Northern Minnesota town. A showdown is coming among the Hunters and the four bloodlines, sparked by the most terrifying of them all: the Firewolves. Simon has Karina’s heart, but vigilante Adam Hunter has her attention. Which is the real animal?

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Author Bio:
Anne Maclachlan is an award-winning writer of fact and fiction. Originally from Scotland, she has made her home in the USA, and currently resides in Santa Fe, NM,where she is senior editor at Santa Fean magazine.
She is a competitive flash-fiction writer as well as a creator of academic readers for K-12 and adults. Her magazine features appear internationally, and she has a particular passion for maritime issues and history.
Anne's interactive ESL reading and writing textbook, "Life Goes Wrong for Harvey," is used in classrooms around the world as well as for individual study.

Book Review by Carmen:
I enjoyed the relationship that Karina Redfeather and Simon DesRosiers has; though I would have liked it if there had been a little bit more about the characters with their background, but the story does start off with a very intriguing concept. I ended up giving this book a four star rating and got a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

*Please be sure to support the author by buying their books and connecting with them on social media.

Down the Willow Tree by Elizabeth Robin - Book Review

Book Description:
Lizette's 18th birthday ends with the surprise of an arranged marriage she doesn't want. Her Father has promised her to a man she doesn't know and isn't sure she will ever love. In the late 1800's, Liz knows that not following through will put her family in jeopardy. She finds herself hopelessly tied to an aloof and cold stranger, William Hamilton. 
She arrives at her new home and is introduced to William's two closest friends and business associates Rendt and Jack. She finds herself trying desperately to resist the charm of Jack and only her guilty conscience stands in the way of the blooming feelings they have for each other.
When the very wealthy William Hamilton's obsession with an heir turns dangerous, Liz's on'y comfort in her strange new world is a relationship with Jack that could quickly become unforgivable. She soon finds out that William will stop at nothing to protect what is his and get what he wants.

Where to Purchase:

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Author Bio:
(Please note that I couldn't find an author picture.)
All about me!  I am a lover of books, reading them or writing them I can’t seem to get enough.  After my first day of kindergarten I came home crying because they hadn’t taught me to read that day.
That hasn’t changed since I became an adult, well maybe the crying part now that I can read.
I am married to a great guy and we have two sons. We live in the Midwest where we enjoy all four seasons to their fullest.  We are cottage and boat sport fans in the summer and die hard college football fans in the winter.
I write because I love to create stories and I hope that you will get to escape with me into these tales even if for just a little while.

Book Review by Carmen:
On thing I liked about this book was that it had a nice cover; and overall, the story was quite decent, even though there were occasional punctuation errors/problems. I ended up giving this book a three star rating and got a copy in exchange for an honest review.

*Please be sure to support the author by buying their books and connecting with them on social media.

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