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MADAME PRESIDENTESS: An Historic Novel ~Nicole Evelina

Monday, November 7th, 2016

“Rising out of the shame of an abusive childhood, Victoria Woodhull, the daughter of a con-man and a religious zealot, vows to follow her destiny, one the spirits say will lead her out of poverty to “become ruler of her people.” (TLC Book Tours)

48 years plus, before women were allowed to vote, Victoria was born in Ohio. Her life was not easy and her father, family, and her husband repeatedly abused her.  The spirits kept telling her that she was going to have an amazing future and become a leader and she listened and believed.  Her stories has been left out and written out of the history books in this country, but many winners have repeated her drive and lessons over the years and women politicians have benefited from her tactics and endeavors.

I always believe that storytelling is the best way to share history and this book falls heavily into that category.  The language is definitely directed towards young adult readers, and other than the sex and abuse might even be a good read for middle school readers.  I found I was looking up interesting pieces of information about Victoria Woodhull on Google and referred Internet sites.  I was surprised I had not read about her earlier with my extensive research for the re-publishing of THE WOMEN’S BIBLE.   Abuse of women, human rights were such huge topics in the post Civil War Period of our history and I would have thought there would have been more on her efforts.

This book is another TLC Book Tours read and I was pleased to have an opportunity to read and review this story.   I think many readers will find this a good read and savor the opportunity to celebrate another woman who featured prominently in US history.

About Nicole Evelina

“Nicole Evelina is an award-winning historical fiction and romantic comedy writer. Her most recent novel, Madame Presidentess, a historical novel about Victoria Woodhull, America’s first female Presidential candidate, was the first place winner in the Women’s US History category of the 2015 Chaucer Awards for Historical Fiction.

Her debut novel, Daughter of Destiny, the first book of an Arthurian legend trilogy that tells Guinevere’s life story from her point of view, was named Book of the Year by Chanticleer Reviews, took the Grand Prize in the 2015 Chatelaine Awards for Women’s Fiction/Romance, won a Gold Medal in the fantasy category in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and was short-listed for the Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction. Been Searching for You, her contemporary romantic comedy, won the 2015 Romance Writers of America (RWA) Great Expectations and Golden Rose contests.” (TLC Book Tours)

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Broken Ground
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INCENDIARY GIRLS: Short Stories ~Kodi Scheer

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

“A fresh take on the vagaries of the human body and the human spirit.  Scheer spins inventive tales, laced with a dose of magic.”   Danielle Ofri, MD. PHD; author of What Doctors Feel

INCENDIARY GIRLS is a gathering of short stories, primarily about women, the power of healing, science and medicine and the quirkiest, magical twists I have enjoyed placing before my eyes.  I have always known that I love to read but I didn’t know how much I loved the short story genre until I began reading Scheer’s book.

Recently short stories have given the characters a huge roster of problems to deal with and then often left me puzzled or wanting something more.  INCENDIARY GIRLS gave me enough of the character to truly engage and enough weight to the dilemma of the story to make me think and speculate but not enough to keep me awake all night.  I could relate to each of the women and had a laugh out loud moment of sheer delight with several of them.  The young woman victim in a genocide experience in 1915 defeating the Angel of Death, who is the narrator, at the age of 12 just touched many empathetic buttons  and I was so thankful to have read each page and found a sigh of recovery.

In our busy world, I truly believe the short story can activate our minds with finesse and charm; keeping our thinking skills well exercised.

The Story Titles:

  1. The Fundamental Laws of Nature
  2. Transplant
  3. Miss Universe
  4. Gross Anatomy
  5. When a Camel Breaks Your Heart
  6. No Monsters Here
  7. Salt of the Earth
  8. Modern Medicine
  9. Primal Son
  10. Ex-Utero

I just have to share this quote from the words of praise on the inside cover – do not know the author “In Scheer’s hands, empathy and attachment are illuminated by the absurdity of life.  When our bodies betray us, when we begin to feel our minds slip, how much can we embrace without going insane? How much can we detach ourselves before losing our humanity?  Scheer’s stories grapple with these questions in each throbbing, heartbreaking moment.”

I am sure both of my book groups would find weirdness in these stories, and that the discussion which followed would be animatedly connecting.  I am sure that medical students would find a special interest in these shorts!

Short Stories are great brain nutrients!

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s  from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket. Donations also welcomed. Thank you for your support.

tlc logo An unproofed e-copy of this book was sent to me for review by TLC Online Book Tour and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. It was a delightful privilege to review the short stories found in – INCINDIARY GIRLS.

Kodi Scheer Online
Kodi Scheer on Facebook
Kodi Scheer on Twitter

Sharing is a good thing.

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MY MOTHER’S FUNERAL: a memoir ~Adriana Páramo

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

MY MOTHER’S FUNERAL is the third book I have been asked to review by CavanKerry Press LTD. I have enjoyed each proceeding book and I knew I was in for a treat with this newest arrival.  I was not disappointed. The Press is dedicated to bringing voice to lives and the arts as a non-profit literary organization.

Páramo actually writes her mother’s biography within her memoir and that is such an amazing story line in its own right.  As an anthropologist, (first a geophysicist engineer) there are details within the culture that we would miss with our outside eye and which the author cleverly includes giving us depth.  The author’s relationship with her mother is not an easy journey.  Carmen, the very vocal mother,  married at 19 to her passing through dance partner, then packed a trunk full of her things and followed him to another city, through a revolution (The Violence), it was a very radical start point.  They were awakened the first night (staying in a brothel) and had to make a wild escape from the guerrillas, drug lords or a jealous husband and the trunk was abandoned.

Carmen decided right then and there to be a good wife and to never complain about her husband.  She would just make due. In reality her husband was a contractor and drove a bulldozer.  He travelled far and wide for work, funds to bring home, other women, dancing and drinking.

One son was born and then 4 daughters, a pregnancy every time he returned home to share some money with the family.   He did not want any more children and the family lived on a wish and a promise.  The schedule of Carmen’s day included in the book is exhausting  to study and the children all took treats to school to sell to keep the family in food.  When the son was 19, father came home once again and Adriana was the 6th child. When Adriana was about 5 her father stopped coming home all together.  The older 4 children went to school at night and all went to work during the day.   The older 3 girls supported Carmen and the 2 youngest daughters for all of their lives; until the youngest left Columbia for Alaska.

Carmen worked herself to exhaustion making sure each of her children had a full university education.  She had many, many rules about men and sexuality and then opinions about everything else.   She never wanted her children, especially her daughters to be a “beast of burden or a mule”; hand washing, starching and ironing the school uniforms because her family was poor not filthy. There was only basic education for her and she understood how limiting this was towards living a good life.

MY MOTHER’S FUNERAL is primarily about Páramo’s years under her mother’s care and wisdom.  For a few parts of the story I was a bit upset that she did not help with the care of her mother as she became disoriented and old, rather Páramo left the country to lead her own life.  Carmen was rather awful to her care givers in her later years and the few minutes of phone calls from sisters and mother did not give Páramo a full picture of all the fired assistants and nursing care.  We can easily read that her siblings are still supporting Páramo emotionally even at the funeral and wake, and yet it is her voice which is able to distance itself and tell us the story, making this a wonder full memoir to read.

“I owe everything I am to the women in my family – to my sisters and Mom.”

You will find a good read and a good cultural study in MY MOTHER’S FUNERAL

Adriana Páramo’s Blog  
Adriana Páramo on the Web

(TLC LOGO) I give great thanks to TLC online book tours and CavanKerry Press for the opportunity to review this book.

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s  from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket.  Thank you.  Donations also welcomed.

Related Reading
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Revere Beach Elegy  
The Paper Garden
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THE NORTH ROAD: The Blue Child Series ~June O’Brien

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

THE NORTH ROAD is a Native American dream story which is compelling and revealing.  June O’Brien has taken some of the major offensives perpetrated against the tribes and the earth and put them into a wondrous tale, which portrays how the First People are recovering and healing themselves and the earth.  It is the second book in the Blue Child Series following ON THE MOUNTAIN  which I reviewed earlier in the week; both books can stand alone as good reads.

Ruby, Agnes and Grace are three sisters who have been living with their Grandparents and were trained in the family heritage, tribal mythology and magic.  Their survival skills were part of the daily ritual.  All three women are very capable and skilled and they know how to drum and sing to the spirit.  They see the signs.  This is a story of the three using their skills and knowledge to counter an attack from a group of beings who wish to control everything and everyone and are now involved in a large power grab.  It is a story about taking the healing-spirit child to a most powerful Medicine Man in the Southwest of the United States and then driving back to home on the Olympic Peninsula.  Each woman discovers her true vision, spirit, and work which needs to be undertaken.  The emotions are real and the danger.

“The women who think of themselves as sisters are part of a long lineage that helps to hold the world in place.”

We are introduced to the LILIN people in this story.  They are the overseers of the earth and all the people upon the earth.  They control what happens and have computer programs to watch when something gets in their way.  They are being driven these days by a Red Spirit who wants the ultimate control, which involved the finding of the Blue Child and her spirit guide.  They have been “messing” with the spirit medicine found on THE NORTH ROAD.   Gregory and Madge are interesting additions to their family tree and they are discovering a new truth about their lives also.   This part of the story adds some spying, tracking, and car chasing to the adventure.   Oh yes!  Those tricky coyotes are in full voice!

I believe that many folks will enjoy reading THE NORTH ROAD.

June O’Brien is a member of the Nansemond Tribe and knows plants and medicine. She knows the mountains and writes poetry about her life journey and her roots and dreams.  She has degrees in psychology and counseling and has written two books of poetry.  O’Brien is a dream consultant and knows how to capture a story from a spirit guide.

June O’Brien on Facebook
The Blue Child Series on the web

The book is a part of my own library and the author assisted me in getting a Kindle Copy to read.  Thank you.  Such a good adventure on a Winter’s night – THE NORTH ROAD.

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s (giving away a free tote bag this season with all orders) from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket.  Thank you.  Donations also welcomed.

Related Reading:
On The Mountain 
When Women Were Birds
The Crown 
The Lemon Tree