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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)

Nicole Evelina Webpage:
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The Whiskey Sea
Broken Ground
Playing St. Barbara

THE MOONLIGHT PALACE: A Young Adult Historic Novel ~Liz Rosenberg and Amy McFadden

Friday, October 10th, 2014

“Let’s agree right here at the outset that memory is made up of one part perception, one part intuition, and one part pure invention.” (Page 9 of PDF uncorrected advance copy)

THE MOONLIGHT PALACE is a delightful read and an historic look at an International city and provides a global perspective to historic events of the early 1920s.   Agnes Hussain lives in the Kampong Glam Palace in Singapore with her British Grandfather, her Chinese Grandmother, and her Indian Muslim Great Uncle Chachi, along with 3 male students who are boarders.  The rest of her family, including her Mother, Father and Brother all died in the influenza outbreak many years ago.  Agnes, descendant of the last Sultan of Singapore, is 17 and thinking about how to keep her family alive and well, how to repair the Wedding Cake looking palace after she graduates from high school in the spring near her 18th birthday.  The background story is full of the rise of Mao and the torture of Chinese within the city.   Agnes’s British Grandfather was awarded the Palace for his outstanding military work and diplomatic care and concerns during his career in Singapore.

Agnes is very forthright and opinionated and she has adventures as she takes on her adult role in caring for her family, who are very protective of her.  Her family background and the diversity of the boarders renders the reader a wider view of the Singapore Community and how they treat and accept foreigner’s into their society.  A young British emissary wants the Palace for himself.  It is a very different reveal of the 1920s; THE MOONLIGHT PALACE explores one family during a period of great transition in the world.

“I am one-half Chinese, One-quarter Indian Muslim, and one-quarter British…” (Page 4 of uncorrected PDF advanced copy)

I started a mother daughter book group for each of my daughters and we worked on reading more worldly reads and not just the commercial books being advertised.  We studied the dynamics of the situation of the book we were reading and these gatherings proved to be a very fun experience.  We often included foods associated with our discussion and topic.   Chicken Rice would have been our menu for sure!  I believe that everyone would have appreciated this story and the mom’s would have enjoyed the story as well.  Oh! To live in a Palace!

TLC Book Tours  sent me the advanced reader’s PDF copy for this review.  It was very interesting to see what the finished copy looked like when I went to the final copy site. A well written book and I am sure that it would make a good gift – THE MOONLIGHT PALACE.

From the Publicity Material included in the PDF:

“Liz Rosenberg was born on Long Island.  She has written more than thirty books for adults and young readers, including novels, poetry, and nonfiction. Liz teaches English at Binghamton University, where she won the Chancellor’s Award for excellence in teaching.  Her first husband was the late Novelist John Gardner, author of Grendel.  Her second husband was the brilliant teacher and writer David Bosnick.  She lives in Binghamton, New York, with her daughter Lily and their two shih tzus.  Her son, Eli, is an actor and magician in New York City.  In 2014, Rosenberg was a US/UK Fulbright Fellow at Queens University, in Belfast, North Ireland, UK.”

Amazon’s Author’s page for Liz Rosenberg
Wikipedia for Liz Rosenberg

Imaginary Life
The Quick
The Garden Plot

THE COST OF LOVE AND SANITY: a novel (ZANE Presents) ~Jaye Cherie

Monday, February 10th, 2014

THE COST OF LOVE AND SANITY is allowing me to break my rule about only reviewing books that I found some worth in reading.  This book actually caused me a sense of alarm about the story and the main character.   I decided to divide my review into 2 parts which are:  the positive words I want to say about an author’s efforts and secondly what caused me alarm.

Alex the main character of the book has goals and she is working those goals and succeeding.  She is now 35 years old and realizes that she would like to add a husband and/or a baby to her career goals and those ideas becomes her primary focus.  Alex is busy watching how other people achieved these goals and are planning their futures.   Our girlfriend has a best friend who is quite different from herself and this creates some balance to her thinking.   The career problem she must resolve is how to keep her manager position in a recruiting firm which is looking at downsizing.   Because Alex is focused on her new goals, she takes a tired, trite solution and adds some fresh ideas and works hard to help the firm turn its numbers around.

I appreciated the author’s efforts in highlighting an ethnic young woman’s view of the world.  I believe Alex’s focus on the “things” which proved her successful was important in this time of history and will draw other young readers to the book.  The problems that she must resolve are consistent with the boundaries of Alex’s life and expectations.

I did very much like the perky little fashion descriptions before each event, meeting or date.  The fashion name dropping was what my youngest child would love about the story, which would get her to read a book!

This story is just a pure entertainment read, which might get those in their 20s interested in reading and it has an ethnic overtone which could interest gals of color.

Alex is a worrier, who is almost incapable of problem-solving, particularly not on a professional level.  She is not able to connect with her co-workers and is rude and surly to others.  How Alex got to a management level with her lack of respect for co-workers and her inability to think beyond the limits of herself is scary stuff. “ME, me, ME, me, ME, me and more ME” is the driving motivation of this gal and it is rather boring to read.   This individual is not suited to being a mother and yet that is what is driving her.  Thank goodness she realizes she is dependent on men for  her problem-solving skills and directing changes in her life, and thank goodness GOD answers her prayers with 2 men  who assist her in changing her communication skills and in easing some of her circular worry behaviors.

The novel has some timing errors but I think that might just make me concerned. Lots of local expressions which I had to look up such as:  “chopping it up” and “started beefing” and  a few of these colloquialisms were used in both personal situations and sometimes at the office.  Fortunately her new boyfriend and male co-worker were able to move her forward in her relational skills and a more professional outlook at the office.

I just found Alex to be a lesson for me about how mature women have opened the door for the next generations and how they need to be vigilant in mentoring and maturing the career women of the future. I have noticed this type of female character in several recent novels but they are not the main character.   THE COST OF LOVE AND SANITY   is entertaining.

I wrote this review because I believe there are lots of young girls who would love this book and it just might get them reading.   The book is entertaining.

Jaye Cherie on Facebook
Cherie also writes about entertainment and has another novel to her credit:  THE GOLDDIGGER’S CLUB

tlc logo I was given a copy of THE COST OF LOVE AND SANITY by TLC Online Book Tours and the author for review.

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.

Sharing is a good thing!  Thank you for those tweets and likes.

Recommended Reading: (lots of reviews under the RR tab at the top of the page!)
The Best of Daughters
The Lady’s Maid 
The Beautiful Heist 
He’s Gone

THE PACT: No One Should Ever Have To Stand Alone ~Mitchell S. Karnes

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

This story begins with almost too many problems for any eighth grader to deal with at any one time, and yet Scott Addison does just march into his new life and move forward.  I think that boys have a huge territorial problem to deal with when they enter a new school system, mid – term, particularly during the teen years of uncertainty and confusion.  Scott’s father has died just a few months into the start of the school year and his mother moves away from their life in Iowa City to be closer to her parents in Southern Illinois.  Scott arrives at his new school just in time to see the smallest boy in his class being slammed into a holly bush and his lunch bag being destroyed.   Other kids are not getting involved with the 4 bullies, but Scott just steps into the fray and sends the 4 scurrying.   He has made 4 enemies and 1 new friend.

The boy in the holly bush attack – Paul, also loves to play the role-playing fantasy game Warriors and Thieves and introduces Scott to 2 high school fellows, Chris and Luke, who are also game players.  They become quite a team; a welcome relief from past and present struggles.  I believe that many readers will enjoy the game playing segments in this book and I felt included in the process and found excitement as they built their story lines and their community.  Good problem – solving tools being developed and yet they were still young boys and they were not perfect.

THE PACT is also about father – son relationships.  So many of the father figures portrayed in the media these days are often too remote and powerful or buffoonish characters.  Scott’s father was very focused on his son and was concerned about teaching his boy about his work as a popular fantasy writer; wanting Scott to become a good and moral person who could succeed in a culture and a society.  He also wanted his son to be able to accept and carry on his legacy as a writer.  Chris’s father was also a college professor and highly valued his son’s intellect and reasoning skills, but was distant and remote.   One father was abusive to his son and another wanted his son not to be a sissy artist but a “real” man who used his hands at “real manly” work.  It was very interesting to watch the boys try to accept their father’s expectations and work to manifest them within their parent’s modeling.

The women in the story are respected and kind but none are leaders or exceptional, several are bright.  THE PACT is definitely a white, middle class tale and I think my daughters would have enjoyed reading this book when they were in about 4th or 5th grade.  It is not a story about big city issues and male behaviors in poverty or marginalized situations.    The fundamentalist Christian youth are also addressed and the boys make their opinions known and they discover ways that are acceptable for their own, diverse beliefs.  THE PACT is a very good story about problem-solving and maturing in a community.

Differences in people are addressed in this story and in the fantasy games.  Acceptance is a big idea and being open to learning is stressed.   I so enjoyed the English teacher in the story and liked her rewards from the Hero.    The issues of computers, science, math, poverty, inequality, racism, global partnership are not addressed in this story at all and yet it is full of big insights on the personal level.  Mitchell S. Karnes did a good job of telling this story and the book is catching on as there were only 4 copies of the book left on AMAZON’s shelf as I write this review.    I know there are lots of young readers who would enjoy THE PACT.

Michell Karnes on LinkedIN 
Michell Karnes page on TLC online Book tours

Mitchell S. Karnes resides in Tennessee with his wife and seven children. He is an English teacher and the Pastor of Walker Baptist Church.

(TLC logo)  This book was sent to me by the author and TLC online book tours for review.  The author is offering a copy of his book for a comment on this blog site.  This book is part of a series of stories with the same characters and Book Two THE DRAGON’S PAWN is scheduled for release April 3, 2014.  Thank you TLC and Mitchell S. Karnes for the opportunity to read – THE PACT.

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. – See more at: http://patriciaswisdom.com/#sthash.DsiDqYI8.dpuf

Recommended Reading:
The Sowing 
The Highest Tide
Confessions of Joan the Tall