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ONCE UPON A LIE: A Novel ~Michael French

Monday, May 16th, 2016

“Michael French is the author of 25 books, which include adult fiction and young adult fiction, art criticism, biographies, adaptions, and gender studies.” (Cover)

There is tremendous skill in the writing of ONCE UPON A LIE and the hooks captivate the imagination within the first few pages.  The characters are extremely well developed and the reader is able to empathize quickly; they pull at a feeling level as well as moving the story forward. Word usage is intelligent. The suspense is just right and definitely not to thriller level, keeping the reader figuring out what is next.  I liked the mix of voices; first and third person perspectives were finely synced.

The reader is meshed into a huge family drama, well two families with lots of drama and some huge lies to contend with and that makes for a lifetime of attempting to find the truth and a whole realm of situations that do not create relief from the tensions of the stories.

“…the two youths see the trajectories of their lives entwine, unravel, and come together again.  Justice, Alex learns, can be a betrayal.  Justice, Jaleel finds, can be a powerful –but dangerous- rock on which to build a life of honor and courage.” (Cover)

Alexandra is the daughter of a Los Angeles lawyer and a socialite mother and Jaleel is the only child of a black couple living on the financial edge in Texas.  The police are prepping Jaleel, who is 12, to be the murderer of his father – he is on the run.  The two children meet over a cup of lemonade and the author builds a good coming of age story around these two individuals and their survival.  The secondary characters are strong and agile in assisting the unraveling of the lies.

“Michael French is a graduate of Stanford University with a degree in English and of Northwestern University with a master’s in journalism.  A native of Los Angeles, he also is a successful businessman, activist, and, with his wife, Patricia, a philanthropist raising money for programs aiding teachers in Santa Fe, N.M., public schools which are some of the most challenged in the country. They divide their time between Santa Fe and Santa Barbara, CA.”

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for sending me an advanced copy for review.

Connect with characters on Online:
Alex
Jaleel
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THE BOUNCE! A Story of Love, Loss, and the Life of a Global Indian ~Mohan

Monday, July 6th, 2015

“I had uprooted my self from my motherland to an adopted country that had given me permanent residence, but had continued on an accidental globe-trotting adventure. And along the way I had found love, life, and reasons to continue moving forward.  All the while, my life continued to bounce up and down.” (Prologue)

I truly enjoyed reading THE BOUNCE!  Although I know the story is not a full fledged memoir with the names changed, rather it is a life story of a young man who shares the events of his life and career journey and his many travels and posts.  It is an interesting perspective and good to read about another human’s journey in living a full and gracious life.

Raj is a young engineer living in the United States who has just received his green card for permanent residential status.  He has just completed his work for a Telacom group in Colorado and is heading back to India to find a bride and work on the next steps of his career and life.  His bouncing story takes him to 5 different countries and different work stops along the way.

Raj is successful in finding a wonderful wife, via computer match-up, named Priya and she ventures through life with Raj.  When they are moving from Canada back to India to introduce their son to his grandparents, they experience an amazing tragedy.  Their son dies on the long leg of the flight and Raj holds the boy until they land.  The recovery from this loss is another interesting story, which took the couple to Switzerland.

I see that the e-book copy is free on Amazon presently and the author sent me a copy for review.  A refreshing perspective on a differing culture and a very good read to enjoy.  I think I can recommend this book to anyone who likes a life story and good words about recovery from loss.   THE BOUNCE! Was insightful.

Biography:

“Mohan is an Indian American Information Technology executive with a multinational company headquartered in Switzerland. He has lived and worked in five countries across three continents, gaining a first-hand experience of working in multicultural environments.

“Mohan is also a blogger, columnist and writer whose viewpoints and papers have been published in several international technical and non-technical journals. He lives in North Carolina with his lovely wife and adorable kindergartener.” (From Amazon’s book page)

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The Antigone Poems ~Marie Slaight (Illustrated by Terrence Tasker)

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

“I deem this a holy book – written in ecstasy and the madness of genius.” – Grace Cavalieri

I am in the grip of a striking pain in my spine and I think I can’t make one more minute of breath. Then I remember the story of Antigone, a Greek tragedy, and I am reminded I need to read a new book of poems.

THE ANTIGONE POEMS is a stunning book of art and words based on the Antigone tragedies. We are right there with the King, losing his entire family, and yet gaining wisdom. My pain breaths in and out with the concise brutality of the drama written in the words. Slaight has a mastery in writing of rebellion and anger and confusion, a revolution into incredible words. Each section is illustrated by Terrence Tasker’s drawings, masks really. So a Greek tragedy comes to life in new form. My pain is divided with each stanza into small molecules. Now appealing, I open and close the book to drop into the reading and the release of my physical pain.

This book is a keeper. I don’t imagine it as a gift and yet, for anyone working through pain or hard decisions, it certainly is a guide. I thank TLC book tours for having the authors send this beautiful tome in a timely manner. As I heal, I am keeping it by my side as reference – the breath heals, the words ameliorate the incision.

MARIE SLAIGHT (1954 – ) has worked in Montreal, New Orleans, and Buenos Aires as a writer, producer and performer for film, theatre and music. Her poetry has appeared in American Writing, Pittsburgh Quarterly, Poetry Salzburg, The Abiko Quarterly, New Orleans Review and elsewhere. Slaight is currently the director of Altaire Productions & Publications, a Sydney-based arts production company.

Terrence Tasker (1947 – 1992) was raised in rural western Canada and went on to become a self-taught artist and filmmaker. He co-founded and built the original Studio Altaire, a 90-seat theater and visual art gallery in 1980’s Montreal. He made a series of short films, worked as a set builder in theater and film and held various jobs in construction, mining, finance and industrial installations.

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THINGS YOU’VE INHERITED FROM YOUR MOTHER: A Novel ~Hollie Adams

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

“In her startlingly funny first novel, Hollie Adams takes the conventional wisdom about ‘likeable’ literary heroines and shoves it down an elevator shaft.” (cover)

THINGS YOU’VE INHERITED FROM YOUR MOTHER begins and ends with “Tuesday your mother died. Ovarian Cancer.”  It is a very short book with a book within it or several self –help books within it’s covers, the longest being about the containment and removal of mice within your home; beneficial and humorous in length and depth of writing and success.

Carrie is very confused after the death of her mother and about her life at the current moment.  She is the mother of a 16 year old, Kate, who was born when Carrie was 16.  She is making sure everyone is aware she is “over” her husband, and it is a good thing because his current girl friend is pregnant with his baby and they are getting married.  They want stepdaughter Kate to be part of the family too.  Carrie then proposes to Ben the new boyfriend and decides to have the wedding at Disney World.  Carrie also chooses to contest the dress code at the office and gets fired.  Izzy, Carrie’s rational, organized sister becomes the official truth teller of all the events and stories going around, and no one is actually sure what is real and what is fantasized or created out of Carrie’s mind.

THINGS YOU’VE INHERITED FROM YOUR MOTHER has some very interesting sit-com kind of humor and some good snarky word play.  Things are not going smoothly for Carrie’s transition to being an orphan and then she mixes more alcohol into the not smoothly running transition.  Carrie’s grip on self and reality is not fully realized and it is not a Calgary version of the Gilmore Girls.  There is hope for Carrie as she reaches the end of her mourning story and the self-help book prints out the first line.

The only thing the reader is sure of is that Poncho her Mother’s cat is clearly Carrie’s inheritance and he eats peanut butter not mice!

A very different story and will it will chuckle you to the possibility of a redemption – or maybe just a recovery.

TLC Book Tours asked me to read, review and post my review of this book.  Sometimes one just needs to trust and THINGS YOU”VE INHERITED FROM YOUR MOTHER, I trusted to be good and humorous and I was not disappointed.

About Hollie Adams:

“Hollie Adams is a Windsorite living in Alberta, where she teaches writing and literature. She has studied creative writing at the University of Windsor and has a PhD in English from the University of Calgary. Her writing has been published in several Canadian periodicals including Prairie Fire, The Antigonish Review, Carousel, The Windsor Review, and Filling Station, and online at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Things You’ve Inherited From Your Mother is her first novel.”

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