Book Review: Keeping the Lights on for Ike by Rebecca Daniels

Keeping the Lights On for Ike by Rebecca Daniels

Publisher:  Sunbury Press, February 2019
Category: Memoir, History, Military, WWII, and Biography

ISBN:  978-1620061145
Available in Print and ebook, 284 pages

Daily Life of a Utilities Engineer at AFHQ in Europe During WWII; or, What to Say in Letters Home When You’re Not Allowed to Write about the War

Most people don’t realize that during the war in Europe in the 1940s, it took an average of six support soldiers to make the work of four combat soldiers possible. Most of what’s available in the literature tends toward combat narratives, and yet the support soldiers had complex and unique experiences as well. This book is based on personal correspondence, and it is primarily a memoir that creates a picture of the day-to-day realities of an individual soldier told in his own words [as much as he could tell under the wartime rules of censorship, that is] as well as giving insight into what it was actually like to be an American soldier during WWII.

It explores the experiences of a non-combat Army utilities engineer working in a combat zone during the war in Europe and takes the protagonist from basic training through various overseas assignments—in this case to England, North Africa, and Italy as a support soldier under Eisenhower and his successors at Allied Force Headquarters. It also includes some reflections about his life after returning to Oregon when the war was over.

The soldier involved is Captain Harold Alec Daniels [OSU, Class of 1939, ROTC] and most of the letters were written to his wife, Mary Daniels [attended U of O in the late 1930s]. They are the author’s parents, and she inherited the letter collection, photos, and all other primary source materials after her mother’s death in 2006.

Amazon
Barnes&Noble
Powell’s
Indiebound
Sunbury

Guest Review by Laura Lee

The author of this book, Rebecca Daniels dedicated it to both of her parents and I can’t think of a more fitting tribute to two people who led such extraordinary lives.
In the 1930’s, two people, a man and a woman lived in the same town and attended the same high school without ever meeting each other. The two did not meet until college, when Alec, a reserved and quiet engineering student and Mary, a journalism major who longed to be a mother one day, were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend.

But, of course, every good story has to have a little heartbreak, and shortly after the pair were married, the United States entered World War II. Like so many men during that time, Alec was drafted into the war. But, rather than being sent to the front lines, he was sent to a position in a support troop. Being an electrical engineer and a member of the ROTC meant that Alec had a special set of skills that were best used in one of the many troops that provided support to the combat soldiers on the front lines of the war.

These troops covered things like administrative, logistical and infrastructure duties that made it so the soldiers in the trenches had an easier time staying alive. It’s a seldom talked about aspect of the war effort, and one that Rebecca Daniels covers beautifully not just from the perspective of a daughter but, through the usage of letters and cards between her parents from that time, from the perspective of Alec himself. Though Alec was not able to discuss much about his whereabouts or his work in the letters that he sent home to his new wife, his love for Mary was clear and it is through these letters that the narrative gains a very sweet and humanizing element.

I highly recommend this incredibly touching read! You can’t go wrong with this one! I give it 5 stars, more if I could.

Praise for Keeping the Lights on for Ike

“The book moves swiftly along, while at the same time capturing the frustration of their prolonged separation. The historical timeline provides just the right bit of historical context to these war years behind at the tail of the army. This is not the typical WWII combat book.”- The Montague Reporter

“The lack of military detail — the focus on everyday life and on the relationship between Alec and Mary — ends up being one of the book’s greatest assets. Many works of history detail the story of great battles. Fewer dwell on individual wartime experiences.  The book is also strengthened by the affection expressed in Alec’s relatively inarticulate yet moving letters to his wife on the home front.”- Tinky Weisblat, Greenfield Recorder, author of “The Pudding Hollow Cookbook,” “Pulling Taffy,” and “Love, Laughter, and Rhubarb”

“Carefully researched history and a beautiful remembrance of one soldier’s letters home. A poignant and personal look into the lives of two very private people and an extraordinary first hand example of why it’s called the Greatest Generation. In detail and in truly first class research one is left with the sense that they know these two people very well. Not only is this a well written historical account of World War II, it is a touching and gentle love story from a remarkable author with a most deft touch and turn. Got five stars from me. So worth it.”-W. Richards, Amazon

“This book made me feel almost like I was right there with Alec and Mary as they experienced that time of their lives. My parents, being the same age, also had a similar experience and I thought of them as I read every word. The author cleverly brought to life their story and for that I shall be forever grateful.”- Sunbury Press Reader Review

About the Author

Rebecca Daniels has been a university professor for many years who has also simultaneously had a vital creative career in the theatre. Throughout her career, her work has always been a mix of performance, teaching, and her own writing.

Her groundbreaking book on women directors and the effects of gender on their work is currently still in print [Women Stage Directors Speak: Exploring the Effects of Gender on Their Work, McFarland, 1996], and she has been published in several theatre-related professional journals over the years as well. After her retirement in the summer of 2015, she was finally able to focus all her energies on this book.

Website:  https://rebecca-daniels.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rebecca.daniels.9

Giveaway

This giveaway is for 1 print copy open to Canada and the U.S. only. There are also 2 pdf copies open worldwide. There will be 3 winners. This giveaway ends August 1, 2020,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus June 12 Kick off & Excerpt

Miller Amazon June 15 Review

Lu Ann Rockin’ Book Reviews June 16 Review & Guest Post

Dino Goodreads June 17 Review

Bee Book Pleasures June 18 Review

Waqas  Goodreads June 19 Review

Am Goodreads June 22 Reviewe

Betty Toots Book Reviews June 23 Review & Interview

Linda Lu Goodreads June 24 Review

Jas International Book Promotion June 25 Review

Bookgirl Goodreads June 26 Review

Gud Reader Goodreads June 29 Review

Amy Locks, Hooks and Books June 30 Review & Excerpt

Michelle Reading Authors Network July 6

Dawn Bound 4 Escape July 10 Guest Review

Dee Donadees Corner July 15 Review

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus July 17 Review

Kathleen Celticlady’s Reviews July 20 Guest Review  & Excerpt

Amber Imaginative Mama’s Dragonfly July 28 Review & Excerpt

Mindy Room Without Books is Empty July 29 Review

Danielle Urban Book Reviews July 31 Review & Guest Post

Book Review & Giveaway: Teetering on Disaster by Michaela Renee

Teetering On Disaster by Michaela Renee

Teetering On Disaster by Michaela Renee

Publisher:  Bowker (January 11, 2019)
Category: Memoir/Self-Help/Non-Fiction
Tour dates: March/April, 2020
ISBN: 978-0578430805
Available in Print and ebook, 316 pages

Teetering On Disaster

Description

Michaela Renee Johnson was just 12 years old in 1992 when a financial slump forced her family to move from an upscale area in Sacramento to a 27-ft trailer in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, with no electricity or running water — so no Nintendo or MTV. It wasn’t exactly the life that every adolescent dreams of, but it was, in fact, their reality.

Michaela chronicles these formative years (and beyond) in her often humorous, constantly candid true story, Teetering on Disaster. As the young Michaela navigates her way through the inherently melodramatic teen years, she must come to terms with relieving herself in the woods, shaving with a 10-cent borrowed razor in an irrigation ditch and taking what she called “bird baths” with a jug of water.

Somehow, in the midst of disorienting change, she learned to focus on what she was gaining instead of what she had lost. And in the end, she gained profound wisdom about her family and the world around her, and uncovered the truth about her own ability to thrive in the face of life’s inconveniences.

But the effects of her unorthodox upbringing don’t end at adulthood, and Teetering takes readers along as a grown Michaela stumbles upon a few “Mr. Right Nows,” gets divorced in her twenties, and ends up right back where she started: a small mountain town in the middle of nowhere.

Teetering on Disaster is a heartfelt, coming-of-age story written to inspire others to live a courageous life of authenticity and to speak their truth with grace. Michaela’s book is an unapologetically honest, authentic tale that will make readers laugh out loud and cry — sometimes at the same time.

Guest Review by Linda Lu

A joyful, thought-provoking and uproariously funny good read. I love when I find a book that just makes me feel like I am having a great time reading. Michaela Renee Johnson wrote a memoir here that, in a different author’s hands, might have come across as kind of sad and maudlin but she made it fun and life-affirming. With the talent that she has for picking out the silver-lining in every situation, I can only imagine that she is really great to have around in real life.

Here’s what happened, Johnson’s family owned a small construction business that made them comfortably middle class in early 90’s southern California. Until the stock market collapsed on Black Monday. Suddenly Johnson’s parents were selling everything (including their house) in order to avoid filing for bankruptcy. One day, Johnson arrives home to find a “27-foot Terry trailer” waiting in the driveway. Her parents had bought it with the intention that their whole 5-person family would live inside it for the foreseeable future. Of course, Johnson is horrified by the idea of living full-time in what is, essentially an RV.

What follows are faithful re-tellings of her strange and unique childhood and how it affected her adult life in unexpected ways. There was no part of this memoir that I did not love but I especially loved Johnson’s absolutely crazy childhood stories. At one point, her family lived without water or electricity in the trailer which meant that she had to do things like going to the bathroom in the woods and learning to shave her legs in an irrigation ditch. I couldn’t believe how her family managed to survive during such hard times and not kill each other. I can’t even imagine going through something like that with my own family. Yikes! I highly recommend this book if you like a good, funny, crazy memoir! This is a 5 star read.

Acclaim/Awards Teetering On Disaster by Michaela Renee

Best Indie Non Fiction Novel, Shelf Media Group

Non Fiction Author’s Association, Silver Award

San Francisco Book Review, Prestigious 5 Star Award

San Diego Book Awards Best Un-Published Non Fiction

Praise

“Throughout Michaela’s autobiographical story, she sent me through a rollercoaster of emotions. Not being able to identify on a personal level with the extreme of both of her situations in each half of the book, I still felt that as a human being I could sympathize, and it helped me to have a greater appreciation for what I currently have. Michaela’s story had me happy at all of her highs, sad at the many losses, and emotionally confused concerning her relationships. What it all boils down to is that at times, being a grown-up, and a female, can be very difficult.”- Rachel Dehning, San Francisco Book Review

“I really did laugh, and cry, while reading this. I was able to relate to the experiences of the author, even though we are twenty years apart in age; the early years… amazing experience that family went through, creating a precious, ever-lasting bond between a young woman, her parents, and her two younger brothers.
Her humor and positive attitude, her extreme frankness and humility (touched with a bit of narcissism) draw one to her.
She, like the sweet doggies of the Great North, she is ever pleasing, forgiving, hard-working and never tiring. She relates to the dog world so much, calling herself Rio’s mom, that she probably won’t mind being compared to a canine. 🙂 Being a dog lover myself, I think of it as the highest compliment!
I wish I had her strength, her sense of humor and wit, her looks, her intelligence, her resilience and determination; I wish I had her ability to seems so Angie-Jolie-transcendent, and yet admit to being a little Grace-Adler-(Debra Messing)-ordinary … striking and competent, clumsy and insecure… God bless her!!
I wanna go through struggles and come out looking like Michaela Renee! One you just can’t help admiring.
Very inspiring. You just know she is going to be JUST FINE! She has spirit! She has spunk! And she IS LOVED… she will never be alone 😉 When she least expects it her true love will curl up next to her, and he won’t have four legs!”- Marcy Lundy, Goodreads

“Laugh out loud funny, interesting & touching. Teetering on Disaster is like a Modern day “Swiss Family Robinson meets Jerry Springer”! You could know the entirety of the story and Kayla’s writing style, quick wit, raw truth still entertains. If she wrote recipe’s we wouldn’t need the food channel. Buy it for every chick you know and earn major points, but make sure you keep one copy for yourself! Not just a “chick” book – man up and enjoy!”-Rick Harris, Amazon

About the Author

Michaela Renee Johnson is a licensed psychotherapist, Be You Find Happy podcast host and an award winning published author. She inspires happiness by encouraging people to speak their truth with grace, and live a courageous life of authenticity.

Her business Be You Find Happy holds workshops and conversations on happiness in spite of life’s setbacks and has landed her speaking opportunities across the nation.

She lives in Northern California with her husband and son. She enjoys traveling and has visited 19 countries; she loves the ocean and everything in it. She rarely finds herself without an activity whether it be hiking, yoga, tinkering the garden, golfing, reading or spending time outside.

In her most simplest she loves poetic quotes and all things metaphysical.

Website: http://www.michaelarenee.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michaelareneej
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/michaelarenee

Amazon
Barnes&Noble
IndieBound

Giveaway

This giveaway is for one autographed print copy and 2 ebook copies of the book. Print is open to the U.S. only and ebook is available worldwide. There will be 3 winners. This giveaway ends April 21, 2020,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Mar 2 Interview & Kickoff

Becky What U Talking Bout Willis Mar 3 Review

Lu Ann Rockin’ Book Reviews Mar 4 Review & Guest Post

Susan Amazon Mar 5 Review

Amber Amazon Mar 6 Review

Michelle Reading Authors Network Mar 9 Review

Wendy Wall-to-wall books Mar 10 Review

Katy Goodreads Mar 12 Review

Gud Reader Goodreads Mar 16 Review

Karen Amazon Mar 23 Review

Jas International Book Reviews Mar 26 Review & Interview

Miller Amazon Mar 31 Review

Serena The Write Review Apr 1 Review

Amy Locks, Hooks and Books Apr 8 Review & Excerpt

Dawn Bound 4 Escape Apr 14 Review

Betty Toots Book Reviews Apr 17 Review & Excerpt

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Apr 20 Review

*This schedule is subject to change

Teetering On Disaster by Michaela Renee Johnson

Book Review: Lovely Chaos by Joe Montaperto

1980s New York City. A paradox onto itself. Gritty and violent – yeah – but also crackling with excitement, intrigue and – especially – possibility. For a young guy open to that kind of energy, this was a city that could be absolutely intoxicating. 
Nineteen-year-old Joey Montaperto journeys over from his nearby downtrodden New Jersey town, seeking to escape the dreary negativity of his surroundings. Enrolling in a prestigious Russian drama school, he is determined to become the next great actor in the Stanislavski/Moscow Art Theater tradition. It doesn’t pan out exactly the way he plans, though, and after a time there, he hits the streets even more conflicted and alienated, seeking answers. 
He finds a gig as a nut vendor in a grimy Hell’s Kitchen location and dreams of a better life. Subsequently introduced to the ancient texts of Eastern spirituality (The Upanishads) by Vassant, an elderly, brilliant, but drunken Indian scholar who also works as a nut vendor, he becomes fascinated. When Vassant dies unexpectedly, Joey vows to continue his quest for a Master, joining an ashram in the city, while working at the connected health food store. Devoting himself entirely to the rigors of spiritual practice for the next year, he sits in daily meditation – until one day he is rocked by a major epiphany. 
Oh my God! I could sit here in my white yoga pants and meditate for the next 40 years, and still not reach enlightenment! Then what?! What about travel? Adventure? Life?! Upon that realization, he dives headlong into what he believes to be his true calling – stand-up comedy, embracing the comedy circuit and the whole lifestyle that ensues. While performing, he also hits the seedy Hell’s Kitchen bars – dancing, drinking heavily and mixing with the denizens – the pimps, prostitutes, dealers and other comics who populate the bar. He learns quite a lot from these characters, but still maintains his spiritual practice. 
Quickly rising up the ranks of the comedy scene, he is consumed by the lure of fame, by the rush of performing. Now, he has to get onstage. He is jonesing. This is his life. Out on the streets at all hours of the night, he has to defend himself against the hordes of crackheads roaming the streets, soon even relishing the violence, the rush of revenge. He gets involved in a romantic affair with the sultry Vanessa, a Puerto Rican former streetwalker – who is also transgender – and revels in that scene. It fuels the rush, but it’s still not enough. Nothing ever is. He can’t come down. Finally, disgusted with the comedy club scene, the comedy bookers, the rough streets, and his annoyance with no matter what club he goes to, it seems Jon Stewart and Dave Attell are already regulars there, blocking his way. 
A chance viewing of the movie ‘My Dinner With Andre’, makes a life-changing impression on him, and he becomes spellbound by the film, the book, and it’s conversations about exotic travels, and mystical experiences at the spiritual community, Findhorn. He excitedly applies, but finds it is way too expensive, and is sadly resigned to staying in the city. He is unexpectedly reprieved when he hears about Omega Institute, a holistic community in rural upstate New York. Abandoning everything, he then jumps on an Amtrak to begin the adventure of his life.

 

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Joe Montaperto has had an interesting life. He’s from New Jersey and in the 1980s he studied acting in New York, among other things, before taking a class on improv and finally found his place in the world of stand up comedy. 

In Lovely Chaos, Joe shares the craziness of the life of a young man in New York in the 1980s. He’s a good storyteller and I enjoyed his stories. His writing is a little rough around the edges and tends to jump from one story to the other often, but he has great descriptions. He made me laugh a lot!

 

 

Joe reading from his first book

 

 

About the Author

Joe Montaperto was born in Brooklyn, New York, and moved with his family at the age of 11 to Roselle, New Jersey – where the subject of his first memoir – The Edge of Whiteness – takes place.
After studying acting at the Sonia Moore Studio of the Theater, he grew tired of the depressing Russian plays, and moved on to a job as a nut vendor in the Hell’s Kitchen streets, before studying to be a monk at a NYC ashram; eventually leaving to pursue both stage and film work in New York. Afterwards, embarking on what he believed to be his true passion – stand-up – on the city’s comedy circuit, where he worked with Jon Stewart, Dave Attell and John Leguizammo, among others, in the edgy, crack-riddled 1980’s. Drinking, dancing, and getting beat up by crackheads on the late night city streets, eventually led him to create a one-man show, Four Degrees of Disconnection, based on his experiences and some of the characters he encountered along the way, which ran at several theaters in Manhattan in the late 1990’s.
Burnt out from the intensity of the New York art scene, he set out on a long-awaited spiritual sabbatical, living at a couple of Buddhist monasteries before escaping to South America. There, he spent quite a bit of time exploring the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazon jungle, teaching English and becoming involved in several eco-projects.
He has been an avid freeloader for many years at The Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in upstate Rhinebeck, New York, among other establishments, and is currently featuring his second memoir, Lovely Chaos, in a planned trilogy, which explores his spiritual and stand-up comic adventures in the gritty streets of 1980’s New York.

Book Review & Giveaway: Girl from Spaceship Earth by Patricia Ravasio

x

x

Girl From Spaceship Earth by Patricia Ravasio

Publisher:  Chapman Park (September 11, 2017)
Category: Memoir, Non-Fiction, Social Activism, Women Empowerment
Tour dates: Sept/Oct, 2018
ISBN: 978-0999046302
Available in Print and ebook, 299 pages

Goodreads

x

x

The true story of a life intertwined with the utopian ideas of an American genius.

A mind-blowing two-day interview with iconic futurist Buckminster Fuller in 1982 Chicago leads an overeager advertising copywriter to promise she’ll share his urgent messages with the world. She has no idea what she is getting herself into, scarcely understanding what he is talking about.

When his dire predictions come true on America’s worst day (9/11) she must face up to her commitment, which morphs into a fiery obsession thanks to unsettling discoveries about Bucky’s archives further confirming the truth of his warnings. Her outsized passions threaten her relationships and her sanity as she grapples furiously to bring his ideas back into the world.

This heartrending karmic tell-all memoir is about climbing out of comfort zones to find your own voice and make a difference in the world. It also gives readers a charming introduction to the ideas of a long lost genius you’ve probably never heard of.

 

Praise Girl From Spaceship Earth by Patricia Ravasio

Named Adventure Book of the Month by Hipcamp, October, 2017

“This is a well written, easy to read, girl empowering non fiction story that engages young adult readers.”-ToadHallLibrarian (WorldCat)

“An amazing personal journey that will simultaneously break your heart and mend it.” – Contempobook

“This world changing book makes a great holiday gift.”-Life…Successfully

“This is a great book! Pat Fields is a fledgling journalist who gets the opportunity of a lifetime to interview Buckminster Fuller. He gives her more than just an interview, he gives her a mission to save the world. This book would make such a great movie. 5 stars!”-Crimson, Goodreads

x

x

Guest Review by Katy

 

What a fantastic read! I read this in about a day because I just couldn’t put it down. I have to say, I was a little skeptical going into it. I don’t know anything about Buckminster Fuller and I’m not that interested in architecture, but this book was not just a dry non-fiction work that laid all the information out like clothes hanging out to dry.

I truly felt like this memoir brought me on an incredible journey. It read like a novel.  I learned a lot about Buckminster Fuller in an interesting, engaging way and it also had an excellent plot. It took me about halfway through the book before I realized that it really was a true story that had actually happened! It was so incredible I just assumed it was fiction.

The story revolves around a female copywriter named Pat Field who scores an interview with the famous architect in the early 1980’s. She expects it to be a normal interview; but of course, things don’t quite go as planned. Dr. Fuller turns out to be more of an eccentric–and more of a genius– than she anticipated. Rather than a straightforward interview, Fuller delights her with notions about man’s relationship with nature and then darkly predicts the downfall of America as we know it.

Pat promises to properly warn the country in her article but forgets to use the information that Fuller has given her. Later, as some of Fuller’s predictions come true in the form of the September 11th attacks, Pat remembers her promise to “Bucky” and vows to use his insights to help protect the earth. This book was fast-paced, exciting and well-written. The 1980’s setting in particular was spot on. I really felt like I was in that decade while I was reading it. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes a thriller with a bit of a historical bent or just an excellent plot.

x

x

About the Author


Girl From Spaceship Earth by Patricia Ravasio

Patricia Ravasio has won awards for her radio journalism, advertising copywriting, real estate sales and community volunteerism. This is her first book, which she decided to publish on Election Night, 2016, when she realized how quickly time was running out on humanity’s clock. The Mother of three happy and ferocious grown Bucky girls, Patricia lives in Northern California with her husband of thirty years and two dogs.

Website: https://buckyworld.me/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/patravasio
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GirlFromSpaceshipEarth/

Buy Links

Amazon
Barnes&Noble
BookDepository

x

x

Giveaway 

This giveaway is for the winner’s choice of one print or ebook copy of the book. Print is open to Canada and the U.S. only and ebook is available worldwide.This giveaway ends October 31, 2018, midnight pacific time.  Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

x

x

Follow the Tour

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Sept 4 Kick off

Monica Writers and Authors Sept 5 Review & Interview

Daneille Urban Book Reviews Sept 6, Review, Guest Post, & Giveaway

Lu Ann Rockin’ Book Reviews Sept 7 Review

Dawn Bound 2 Escape Sept 10 Excerpt

Dawn Bound 4 Escape Sept 11 Guest Review by Sal

Debra 411 Books, Authors, Publishing Sept 21 Guest Review by Beth, Excerpt,  & Giveaway

Morgine Amazon Sept 25 Review

Jeff Amazon Oct 31 Review

 

Book Review & Giveaway: A Journey to Yonder by Nidhi Kaur

Book Title: A Journey to Yonder by Nidhi Kaur
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 130 pages
Genre: Memoir / Poetry
Publisher: Independent (Createspace)
Release date: September 2017
Tour dates: Jan 3 to 19, 2017
Content Rating: R (for explicit sex scenes written poetically and in good taste)

 

Book Description

A Journey to Yonder is the tale of one woman’s refusal to allow the challenges of her past to define her present. She grows up with a special needs sibling and loses her childhood home, and we then follow her through an abusive relationship and into the most unforgiving of human trials.

With experiences that leave you feeling so alone, how do you hold on to hope? How do you go on?

Nidhi Kaur’s compelling use of both poetry and prose intimately welcomes readers into this moving story of spiritual rediscovery. Poems are sprinkled throughout the story, guiding readers through intimate and stunning moments of truth. Kaur reminds us that if we offer our trust completely to God, we are never alone.

The author of the spiritual collection of poetry My Wedding with Truth, Nidhi Kaur once again delivers an emotionally enlightened journey through the human heart. Miracles can be seen everywhere in this world, and Kaur helps us remember to keep our eyes open in this riveting story of redemption.

To read more reviews, please visit Nidhi Kaur’s page on iRead Book Tours.

 

Buy the Book:
 x
x

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I don’t remember reading a book like A Journey to Yonder before. It is a mixture of fact, fiction, and poetry. I like the author’s writing style and how she blends prose and poetry to weave a spiritual tale.

The first part of A Journey to Yonder takes place in India and is about a girl’s life of loves and trials, as well as some of the customs of India. When her brother is born deaf, he has to go to another town to go to a good school for the hearing impaired. Her father’s goal is to save enough money to move the family to the U.S. where her brother would get an even better education and the family would be together. That doesn’t work out and she ends up in an abusive marriage with nowhere to turn. It’s a heart-wrenching tale and I had to read the end of that section twice because I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

The second part of the book tells of some of the horrors women in India can endure. I knew some things about India’s culture, such as arranged marriages but I had no idea how women are treated.

The last part of the book is inspirational and is about faith and hope. Despite all she faced in the past, she knows that putting faith in God can heal us and that we’ll never be alone.

Although this isn’t the type of book I usually read, I’m glad I chose to read A Journey to Yonder. It is inspiring and full of beautiful poetry and I always enjoy learning about other cultures.

x

x

About the Author

 

Nidhi Kaur is the author of My Wedding with Truth, a collection of inspirational poetry. After discovering the healing power of the written word, Kaur began exploring the power of the divine through her poems.

A Journey to Yonder combines prose and poetry to explore Kaur’s challenging trails of life and her search for miracles in every moment of time.

Kaur lives in Fremont, California, where she works as a software engineer.

Connect with Nidhi: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

 

 

Enter the Giveaway!

Ends Jan 27, 2018
 
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

x
x
x

 

 

Audiobook Review & Giveaway: The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald

Author: Betty MacDonald

Narrator: Heather Henderson

Length: 9 hours

Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press⎮2015

Genre: Humor, Memoir

synopsis

When Betty MacDonald married a marine and moved to a small chicken farm on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, she was largely unprepared for the rigors of life in the wild. With no running water, no electricity, a house in need of constant repair, and days that ran from four in the morning to nine at night, the MacDonalds had barely a moment to put their feet up and relax. And then came the children. Yet through every trial and pitfall – through chaos and catastrophe – this indomitable family somehow, mercifully, never lost its sense of humor.

A beloved literary treasure for more than half a century, Betty MacDonald’s The Egg and I is a heartwarming and uproarious account of adventure and survival on the American frontier.

buy-links

Buy on AudibleAmazon

author-bio

Betty Bard MacDonald (1907–1958), the best-selling author of The Egg and I and the classic Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle children’s books, burst onto the literary scene shortly after the end of World War II. Readers embraced her memoir of her years as a young bride operating a chicken ranch on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, andThe Egg and I sold its first million copies in less than a year. The public was drawn to MacDonald’s vivacity, her offbeat humor, and her irreverent take on life. In 1947, the book was made into a movie starring Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert, and spawned a series of films featuring MacDonald’s Ma and Pa Kettle characters.

MacDonald followed up the success of The Egg and I with the creation of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, a magical woman who cures children of their bad habits, and with three additional memoirs: The Plague and I (chronicling her time in a tuberculosis sanitarium just outside Seattle), Anybody Can Do Anything (recounting her madcap attempts to find work during the Great Depression), and Onions in the Stew (about her life raising two teenage daughters on Vashon Island).

Author Paula Becker was granted full access to Betty MacDonald’s archives, including materials never before seen by any researcher. Looking for Betty MacDonald, the first official biography of this endearing Northwest storyteller, reveals the story behind the memoirs and the difference between the real Betty MacDonald and her literary persona.

narrator-bio

Heather Henderson is a voice actress and audiobook narrator with a 20-year career in literary and performing arts. Her narrations include the NYT bestseller (now also a feature film) Brain on Fire; and Sharon Creech’s The Boy on the Porch, which won her an Earphones award and was named one of the Best Children’s Audiobooks for 2013 by Audiofile Magazine. She earned her Doctor of Fine Arts degree at the Yale School of Drama, and is co-curator of AudioEloquence.com, a pronunciation research site for the audiobook industry. In 2015, Heather was a finalist for a Voice Arts Award (Outstanding Narration, Audiobook Classics), for her narration of Betty MacDonald’s The Egg and I.

egg-graphic-1

review

I chose to listen to the audiobook after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

The Egg and I is a delightful memoir about the first couple of years of Betty MacDonald’s marriage. Despite her misgivings, they bought a remote ranch on a mountain and started a chicken farm.

Even though the work was grueling and it was lonely, Betty kept her sense of humor and her husband loved the life they were living.

Readers nowadays may be offended by the way she talks about Indians but they need to keep in mind that this book was written in the 1940’s, and her view was accepted back then. She actually wrote that she hated the Indians. I’m not sure why she wrote that since she talked nicely about a couple of them later in the book. But I suggest not reading or listening to The Egg and I if you can’t get past that. It did rub me the wrong way but I know people talked like that 70 years ago and it was considered “okay,” so I looked past those comments and was still able to enjoy the book.

Another thing that stuck out as something that wouldn’t be accepted today was when they went to the fair and she put her baby in the truck to sleep and left her there to look at some things at the fair. Or when she left the baby lying with the dog when she went to care for the farm animals. Times sure have changed!

Betty MacDonald’s description of her neighbors, the Kettles tickled me. We lived in northeast Tennessee when I was a teenager and we often drove in the mountains and saw farms that looked like she described the Kettle’s home. My dad always commented how funny it was that there’d be a farm like that next to one that was really nice.

The narrator, Heather Henderson, has a pleasant voice and I enjoyed listening to her. She did a great job of using different voices for different characters. I especially liked Pa Kettle’s voice.

I enjoyed listening to the Egg and I and I hope to see the movie sometime.  Continue reading

Book Review: One of the Few by Jason B. Ladd

2016-11-06_18-37-00

A Marine fighter pilot embarks on the greatest mission of all: the pursuit of truth.

Jason B. Ladd realizes that while he’s ready to defend his country, he is unprepared for his most important decisions as a husband and father.

In One of the Few, Ladd pulls from his extensive military training to offer a compelling defense of the Christian faith as he warns seekers to avoid spiritual apathy and offers effective Christian tactics for withstanding spiritual attacks.

Filled with deeply personal stories, this compelling book comes directly from the spirit of a man with the soul of a marine, the mind of a fighter, the heart of a father, and a commitment to Christ.

Available on Amazon.

 

2016-11-06_18-40-12

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free ecopy from the author. All of the opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

One of the Few is a memoir by Jason Ladd. Since my nephew was a Marine and went to Iraq, I thought I might find this book interesting.

There were a lot of engaging stories about Jason’s life and his lack of  faith growing up. I enjoyed the stories, especially about him learning to be and being a fighter pilot.

The main reason for Jason sharing his life story is to help other Christians jump start their faith or to lead others to the Lord who are searching. He did a great job connecting the stories to faith and Christianity although there were a few stories in which he tried to make that connection that didn’t quite flow right.

One of the Few is thought-provoking and inspiring. Any Christian will enjoy reading it and it would be a great read for anyone curious about Christianity or is needing some encouragement in their faith. There’s an audiobook version available and I think it would be great to listen to over and over for inspiration.

 

2016-11-06_18-41-21

 

About the Author

2016-11-06_19-38-57Jason B. Ladd is an award-winning author, US Marine, and Iraq War veteran. Ladd served on active duty with the Marines for fourteen years and has flown as an instructor pilot in both the F/A-18 and the F-16 fighter jets. He is the founder of Boone Shepherd, LLC and creator of IndieListers.com, the largest live online database of book promotions results built by authors. He and his wife, Karry, are the parents of five children.

His book One of the Few was awarded as Finalist in the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Websites: http://www.jasonbladd.com and http://www.OneoftheFewBook.com

 

 

 

 

2016-11-06_18-39-31

 

 

 

Book Review: Don’t Hit Me! by Vanessa de Largie

Don't Hit Me banner

x

x

Don't Hit Me!Title: Don’t Hit Me!
Author: Vanessa de Largie
Publisher: Booktrope
Pages: 88
Genre: Nonfiction/Memoir/Poetry/Journey
Format: Paperback/Kindle

#1 Amazon Bestseller 
# Winner of the 2014 Global eBook Award Bronze (women’s studies) 
# Winner of the 2014 Honourable Mention Award London Book Festival (memoir) 
# Five-Star Review Midwest Book Review 
# Five-Star Review San Francisco Book Review 
# Five-Star Review #1 Amazon Hall of Fame Reviewer – UK 
# 3 out of 4 stars Official Online Bookclub 

Australian actress and author Vanessa de Largie is a survivor of domestic violence. 
Don’t Hit Me is the true diarised account of her time living with an abusive man. The story is conveyed through poems, journal entries and fragments of lyrical prose. The book is a snapshot of domestic violence in real time. Raw, poignant and brave – it’s a tale that will stay with you.

For More Information

x

x

My Review

I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

Don’t Hit Me! isn’t the type of book I normally read but I’m glad I read this one. It is not your typical book. It’s the author’s journal entries during the time she lived with an abusive man, and it really tugged at my heartstrings. I understand how an abuser can make a woman feel powerless and worthless as well as stuck in hell but to read these entries was still difficult.

My hope is that women read this book and watch closer for signs of an abuser, such as when Vanessa’s new boyfriend kicked a friend’s old dog. Or maybe it will give someone who is abused the incentive to get out of that relationship, seeing that even a writer and actress ended up in an abusive relationship but was able to get out of it eventually. It’s also a good wake up call for those who don’t know much about abuse.

 

 

Don't Hit Me! B

x

x

About the Author

Vanessa de LargieVanessa de Largie is a multi-award-winning actress and author based in Australia.  She was introduced into the world of make-believe when she was 3.  Her mother was a film buff, who made her watch films from the 50’s era. Her father, an avid reader and vinyl collector gave her a love of books and music. Combined, her parents influence allowed her to know early on, what she wanted to do with her life.  At 22, Vanessa left her hometown of Perth for Melbourne and within a month, she had a lead role in a play at Melbourne’s La Mama Theatre. Over the next decade, she would begin to hone her craft.

In 2006, Vanessa was cast in the lead role of Nocturne, Night of The Vampire, directed by prolific Melbourne film maker Bill Mousoulis. The film earned her the Best Female Actor Award at the 2007 Melbourne Underground Film Festival.  The film was accepted into the main program of the Athens Film Festival, Cork Film Festival and the Brussels Fantastic Film Festival. Vanessa was flown over as a guest. (Nocturne, Night of The Vampire is now distributed by Troma.)

In 2009, Vanessa was cast as the lead in horror film Context, the film premiered at the Razor Reel Film Festival in Bruges, in which Vanessa flew over as a guest.  Context is part of the extras on the American release of El Monstro Del Mar by Breaking Glass Pictures Distribution.  (Unfortunately it isn’t listed on the dvd’s cover.)  

Later in 2009, Vanessa was accepted into the New Actors Workshop in New York, run by famous film director – Mike Nichols (The Graduate.)  On her return she worked on the film Crazy In The Night starring film director Frank Howson and Prisoner actors Tommy Dysart and Joan Brockenshire.  Vanessa won a second Best Female Actor Award at the 2010 Melbourne Underground Film Festival for her leading role in the film.

In 2011, Vanessa was selected as a Victorian finalist in The Miss Pinup Australia Pageant, where she competed under the title Miss V-Bomb. She was given a spread in Beat Magazine as well as being interviewed by various Victorian newspapers.

In 2012, Vanessa became a freelance writer and mentor for Topic Media, writing over 90 lifestyle articles and winning many writing awards.  That year, she was also commissioned by Australian publisher Hampress to write her erotic memoir Tantric Afternoons.  

Tantric Afternoons launched in April 2013 to rave reviews.  Vanessa followed the book’s release with 4 more titles – Tough ChoicePowers At PlayLascivious and her latest book, Don’t Hit Me!

For More Information

 

Book Excerpt

I speak for female victims of domestic violence. We build forts around ourselves by protecting the individuals who abuse us. I can run away, I can escape. I can report an incident to the police. My own damn fear keeps me nailed in this box.

I want to connect with other women. Can you hear me girls? I am calling your name. Let’s bring out our hammers and set ourselves free.

I can see broken boxes littering the world. 

Women dancing free, uninhibited…without fear.

My name is Vanessa de Largie and this is my story.