My Review of A MOTHER’S HEART by Eichin Chang-Lim

A Mother’s Heart

By

Eichin Chang-Lim

 

Much has been said and written about motherhood, but not nearly so much about a mother’s heartbreak when she learns that her perfect child is not so perfect after all. A Mother’s Heart by Eichin Chang-Lim is the true story of how one courageous woman copes with such a revelation, when her first-born is pronounced profoundly deaf due to a genetic disorder called Waardenburg syndrome.

This book was written to help others who are facing life with a genetically disabled child to understand and deal with what lies ahead for them, and to let them know that they are not alone. But this story is one of hope and triumph, not defeat. The author shares her own experience from the birth of her special needs child, through his childhood and up to the present, where he has become a young adult out on his own.

A Mother’s Heart is written in an honest, straight-forward manner, and the author is completely open about the ups and downs, anguish and joy, the guilt, the anger and all the other emotions and roadblocks associated with raising a special needs child. Her tale is often heart-wrenching, but more often it is uplifting.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has or knows a special needs child or simply is curious to know what it is like to have and raise such a child.

Review: Cretaceous Clay and the Black Dwarf by Dan A Knight

e8df851aee7e1aa181cb84e26a0d9351_400x400Dan A. KnightCretaceous Clay and the Black Dwarf by Dan A. Knight is an intriguing and original Science Fiction tale not to be missed by fans of the genre or anyone who enjoys a fascinating and engrossing futuristic mystery.

Black Dwarves are going missing, but are they running away or is something more sinister afoot? Inspector Lastrayed of Nodlon Yard suspects the latter, but the question to be answered is who would kidnap and possibly murder black dwarves? And why only black dwarves who are synthetic biological androids grown in laboratories to be cheap sources of labor?

When the answer to those questions continue to elude the good inspector, he calls on the services of an old and respected friend, the infamous Elven magician, Cretaceous (Jack) Clay and his butler side-kick, Patrick Morgan, who just happens to be a black dwarf, to aid him with the investigation.

The first real break in the case comes when actual tangible evidence is left on the scene when a black dwarf, Evan Labe disappears from his apartment. Finally, they have proof of foul play, but the plot thickens because it appears that the crime was committed using magic and Clay is the only person known who has “real” magic.

I very much enjoyed this highly imaginative Sci-Fi Mystery which has the flavor of a futuristic Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, and I’ve no doubt you will, too.

bd4b8262b89d7f7d511478c5130873ae895d39c3, Large Clay Cover

 

Blurb:

Jack Clay hunts a warlock who escaped from hell by possessing an innocent black dwarf.

Jack entertains thousands in the Circus, and he lives in Babel Tower high above Nodlon. Half-elf, and half-human, Jack is the only magical being in the Solar System. Surrounded by flying cars and high-tech, finding a useful market for a magic talent wasn’t easy for a man who is neither biot nor human.

Nodlon is not a paradise for non-magical biots! Biots work jobs no one wants to pay for, and Evan Labe is a biot. Evan is a black dwarf: a short person with a black chip in his forehead to keep him in his place. He dreams of a better life, but how will he find it? Tempted by an infomercial, Evan falls into a trap.

Nimrod once ruled the fertile crescent with an iron fist and a reign of terror. Now, he takes Evan’s body, and he returns to Earth! This time he raises an army to conquer the Solar System! Soon an epidemic of missing dwarves plagues Nodlon, and the trail leads to murder and a mysterious Black Dwarf.

Freedom must wait! Jack must hunt a foe with powers from beyond this world and stop him before it is too late.

Will Jack save Nodlon? Will he stop the Black Dwarf?

So begins the strange and quirky odyssey of Cretaceous Clay!

Biots are people too!

 

Review by: Carol Marrs Phipps

Guest Post: A Forest Path, a Living Throne and a Magic Fairy Stone

A Forest Path, a Living Throne and a Magic Fairy Stone

by Susan Waterwyk

 March 30 2014 032

Our little acre in the Sierra Nevada is called Dragonwood for the twisted serpentine manzanita trees that live in the shadows of towering ponderosa pines and other evergreens. From my bedroom window I can see a path into the forest…a magic path.

The magic begins each morning when I open up the drapes. The morning sun sends glory-rays that penetrate the shadows and light the path to tempt me to walk into woods. Every path into the forest is a path to magic, for every forest is a kingdom of shadows, cool, silent, sheltering life.

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The deer that visit me each day are the ones that made the path. Soon the mother doe will be followed by the spotted fawns, and every Spring, one or two mothers will find shelter in my woods and birth their babies here. To see a newborn fawn take its first steps in life is magic indeed.

mama deer 005

Walking down the shaded path, I soon reach my little brook, dry now and waiting for the rain to return so it can flow again. Across a two-plank redwood bridge and up the other bank is a magic place —the Throne of the Goddess.

I named the twisted manzanita, the Throne of the Goddess, because the first time I sat on it, seventeen years ago, I felt like a goddess watching all the life around me, the butterflies and bees visiting the tiny pink bell-shaped flowers of the manzanita, and listening to the ever-present bluejays and the tap-tap-tap of the woodpecker.

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I told Hubby I wanted stones steps leading up to the throne with white crystal quartz on either side of the stairs. I had planned to sit here often and think divine thoughts and create beauty in the Universe. That’s what a goddess does, right?

“Stone steps, lined with quartz, I can do that,” he said. “Is there anything else Your Divinity requests?”

“Yes, I want a pool to reflect the moon so I can invite the fairies to dance.”

“A small pond, I can do that,” he nodded thoughtfully, “but it’ll only be seasonal with the rains….”

“And I want a mighty waterfall to plunge into the moonlit pool.”

“A mighty waterfall?” his voice full of doubt.

“Yes… at least eight hundred and fifty millimeters high.”

He did the math. “Okay, I can do that.”

That was seventeen years ago. Working on the weekends, a little at a time, everything came to pass. We even placed standing-stones next to the throne and a small stone bench next to the pond. When my granddaughters were born, I held them in my arms while I sat on the throne and told them a fairy tale or two When they grew older they sat on the throne and created their own stories of princesses, castles, dragons and fairies.

blog pic, Waterwyk

The years pass quickly…. Time took its toll on me. These old bones don’t walk the path as often as before. It takes more effort to climb the steps and sit upon the throne, but I feel blessed to have experienced so many magic moments here at Dragonwood.

I’ve sat beside the little pond at night and seen falling stars reflected in the water. I’ve listened to the soul-soothing music of my little waterfall.  Magic mushrooms and fairy rings have appeared over the years. Last Easter, the fairies gave me mushrooms shaped like little brown cups. My husband said maybe they were offering cups of love and hope. We needed it then, and we need it even more now. This may be our last Spring at Dragonwood.

Easter 012

The full moon just before the Spring Equinox was perfect for the fairies to come visit. We decided to walk the path and look for mushroom fairy rings and to take some pictures for this blog.  Alas, not one mushroom was found.

“When it was wet it was too cold. Now it’s warm but too dry,” he said.

“I’m still wishing for a fairy ring.  This time we’ll take some pictures.”

“If we get more rain… if the fairies show up… if they decide to give you a fairy ring and not something else like the cups last year.”

“Don’t be so pessimistic! They always show up.”

“Maybe they’ve already been here.” He pointed to the ground near the standing stones.

“A lichen covered rock, pretty.”

“Not the big one! The smaller one.” He picked it up and gave it to me.

March 30 2014 016

It looked like it had been hand painted with lichen!! I promise with all my heart that we did nothing to enhance the features. We picked up the stone and just took the picture. The smiling face was a gift of love. Then, in the lower center, I noticed an image that looks like a side view of a butterfly. I told Hubby that is the gift of hope! He said the image on the lower left looked like a symbol for our home, a tree on a hill with distant snowy mountains above it.

“Maybe the fairies are telling us to not give up yet. Maybe we will be able to keep Dragonwood,” he said.

March 29 2014 007

“Where there is love, there is always hope.”

Blessings of life,

Susan Waterwyk

P.S. My magic path into the woods inspired me to paint pictures, write poems, and eventually led to writing books. Here is my favorite poem and painting.

photo (6)

 Twilight Magic

 Along a winding shaded path

As twilight deepens into night

The trees begin their evening song

And from the branches fairies come

To guide me with their glowing light.

Now strolling down this magic path,

Where flowers only bloom at night,

I watch the fairies tender care

Of blossoms in the pale moonlight.

A flicker here…a glimmer there

Of wings a-flutter on the air.

From hollow trunk and mushroom top,

The fairy folk observe my walk,

And as I pass beyond the wood

Into a glade, I hear

The music of the pipes and flute

Come drifting to my ears….

 

The multi-talented Susan is also the author or two wonderful fantasy/sci-fi books, Lantamyra and A Tale of Two Worlds. She is currently writing the third and final book of this magical trilogy.

Large Lantamyra cover

Blurb for Lantamyra

For the chance to journey to another world, Tylya Lansing is willing to give up everything on Earth, including her lover, Josh Hamilton. All she has to do is find her grandmother’s crystal scepter, lost for decades in a rugged Sierra Nevada canyon. Since she was a child, she has heard stories of Lantamyra, a world where magic is created with myra crystals, where mind expansion is granted crystal powers, where keepers and wards respect and protect life. Once the scepter is found, she journeys to this earth-like world that is recovering from an ice age. Areas of the planet have been terra-formed by the mysterious Keepers of Akosh to provide sanctuary for the endangered species of two other worlds—humans from Earth and dragons from Lanluong. She learns that Earth is about to experience catastrophic changes from earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and Lantamyra may provide the only hope for humankind to survive. Tylya is determined to learn the ancient Akoshic Secrets of the Ways, a mind-expanding process necessary to control the power of myra crystals and to become a keeper of dragons.

Excerpt from Chapter Five: Annoyed that her warning was shrugged off so easily, the queen brought her head close to Tylya. “You will pay for your training with your labor, but you will pay a higher price to become a keeper. It will change you in ways you cannot imagine…”

Lantamyra is an intriguing story with plenty of drama, humor and memorable characters and exciting scenes. Written for mature adults more than young adults, Lantamyra is not formula fantasy, no stereotypical evil villains.

Excerpt from Chapter Eight—Nightkeeper Kyra Starszyn: “This night belongs to lovers and dreamers, a night when threads of love are woven into a tapestry of fantasy, a night to magically transform in the character you wish to play.”

My Review for Lantamyra

Fall in Love with Lantamyra; I Did

 

Lantamyra is uniquely different from most other fantasy worlds. It is not break-neck action or violence racing you and your heart through every page. It is, rather,  a page-turner of discovery and delight. The author, Susan Waterwyk, masterfully crafted the magical and at times whimsical world, to enchant, captivate and fill your senses with a place alluringly different, peopled with characters and creatures so fascinating that you can’t help falling in love…with Lantamyra.

From the moment Josh Hamilton, Tylya Lansing’s long-time love, finds her grandmother’s crystal scepter you are catapulted into a world where dragons rule and humans serve. But there is neither tyranny nor coercion involved in the relationship, which is almost a symbioses of harmony in which they live and work to achieve their common goals and the welfare of all.

Lantamyra is full of great wonders like the crystal star-ships and the vast myra crystals that are so powerful they are not only energy for the ships but give the keepers and the dragons their magical abilities. You’ll even meet the Keepers of Akosh, ancient magical beings and the founders of Lantamyra who have  the ability to open doorways into the crystal realm. It was they who originally discovered the amazing giant myra crystals on Lantamyra which are capable of powering vast star-ships to search for more “living worlds”.

Many other marvels will captivate and astound you during your visit to this incredible world, such as the wee fairy folk (not too bright, but definitely beguiling), the mants (rather frightening and venomous beasties), and the scarp (a seafood delight of monstrous magnitude) and much, much more.

So what are you waiting for? Open a portal and send for a dragon to carry you away to Lantamyra today. But be warned: you may not want to leave.

 

 

 

A Tale of Two Worlds, Amazon Imae

Blurb for A Tale of Two Worlds

“The Earth, once asleep, has awakened, from deep in her belly come cries; her mountains and valleys are shaken and seas rise up to the skies.”

The ancient Keepers of Akosh can do nothing to prevent the catastrophes. They have known since the sinking of Atlantis that the living world of Earth would awaken. Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis threaten the people of the Earth so the Keepers spent thousands of years terraforming the primitive world of Lantamyra to serve as a sanctuary for the refugees from Earth. Now the Gathering begins.

The dragons that rule the three Great Houses of Lantamyra need the giant myra crystals from Atlantis to strengthen the large array in the House of Gaia Jade to be able to return to their homeworld, Lanluong. The Keepers of Akosh authorize a mission to Earth to locate and retrieve the crystals before the earthquakes bury them deeper in the abysmal depths of the Atlantic Ocean.

Recently arrived from Earth, Tylya Lansing has been trained in the Secrets of the Ways and knows how to use the powerful myra crystals. She is now a keeper of dragons in the House of Gaia Jade, and her first-hand knowledge of modern Earth makes her the best candidate to command the mission to find and retrieve the lost crystals of Atlantis.

Tylya’s lover, Josh Hamilton is also from Earth and trained in the Ways but chose not to serve the dragons. He is a crystalseeker working in the mine at Queen’s Heart located near an active volcano. The job is extremely dangerous since long exposure to myra crystals causes crystal sickness, and worst of all, ghosts of seekers are hungry for living energy and they wait in the myra crystals to feed on him.

My Review of A Tale Of Two Worlds

I was enthralled from the very opening paragraph of a Tale of Two Worlds by Susan Waterwyk. This author artfully weaves together just the right balance of descriptive prose and dialogue. She creates a world so vivid and tangible the reader soon feels like a participant in the tale, rather than a mere observer.

A Tale of Two Worlds is the second book of Waterwyk’s planned trilogy about the fantastic world of Lantamyra where dragons rule fairly and justly over the humans that share that world with them. But, Lantamyra’s history is tied to two other “living worlds”, the dragon homeworld, Lanluong, and the human’s homeworld, Earth.

Long ago when the Keepers of Akosh learned to travel between the stars in their fantastic spaceships powered by giant myra crystals, they searched far and wide for other “living worlds” like their own.  In time they found a number of these “living worlds” and used their great myra crystals to open portals to travel between them. Unwittingly, the keepers upset the balance of the dragon homeworld causing great upheavals which threatened the very existence of the dragons by the constant use of the portals.

As soon as the Keepers of Akosh realized what they had done they set about rescuing as many of the dragons as they could, relocating them to the safety of Lantamyra where the dragons ruled and lived in peace with the Keepers of Akosh and humans who had come there from Earth to serve dragonkind.

But the dragons longed for the day they might return to their own world of Lanluong and the Keepers felt honor bound to fulfill the dragon’s wish as soon as it was feasible. First however, they had to recover some of the giant myra crystals from the ancient site of Atlantis where the crystals had been submerged under the sea since the isle’s untimely demise.

Once the myra crystals were recovered there was one problem. There would be repercussions for using the crystals on such a massive scale again, only this time it would be planet Earth that would undergo horrendous upheavals that could entirely wipe out the human population. So the Keepers of Akosh had trained a number of chosen humans to aid in the “gathering” of a select number of the human race in order to prevent their extinction from the coming disaster and transport them to Lantamyra where they would be safe. In A Tale of Two Worlds this destined time is at hand.

A Tale of Two Worlds is a highly imaginative and enchanting tale surely destined to become a classic that the reader will remember long after the final page. It is time for “the gathering”. Read A Tale of Two Worlds and hope you won’t be left behind.

 

Review: A STUDY in STEEL, by Eliana Siobhan Vale

A Study in Steel ...cover

 A Study in Steel by Eliana Siobhan Vale is a captivating and uniquely imaginative sci-fi tale that is very well told by a first-time author. Fans of this genre will not beEliana Vale (Pic) disappointed, but will looking forward to the next book written by the talented Ms Vale.

Before the last human war science and bio-technology advanced to the point where it could create genuine replacement organs and limbs for human beings. In fact, using this new technology they could create and replace any body part.

It didn’t take long for other ‘human improvements’ to be created once the new bio-technology had been approved and accepted. Implants were manufactured that would allow people to enhance themselves with technology such as watch screens and communicators which were built directly into their wrists. Many other modifications were also created to help humans to improve themselves and enhance their abilities. At first it was simply a new fad, but over time many people began to look at these new technological enhancements as a necessity. However, there were still many people who did not agree that the bio-tech improvements were a good idea or even at all desirable. Thus, two factions were created, the unmodified humans who considered themselves the true humans began to call themselves the “Souls”. The enhanced humans, or cyborgs considered themselves superior because of their enhance abilities and began to call themselves the “Darwins”.

And so it went until the cyborgs grew to large enough numbers that the Souls began to feel threatened by them. Eventually this led to open conflict and finally to all-out war, and the battle for control of planet earth had begun.

The war raged for years, but the cyborgs with their technological advatages proved to be the victors. The surviving humans were forced to go into hiding, but they were mercilessly hunted by the Darwins. Souls who were captured who refused to allow themselves to be enhanced were simply used as spare body parts for the cyborgs.

As time passed the cyborgs became convinced that they had enhanced or exterminated all the remaining humans so they settled down in what they termed the “System of Two Worlds” which they called the city of Duplicity. This consisted of a once great, but now ruined city above ground ruled by Darwins called “Moderators” where the poor and the more disreputable lived, and a newly constructed and extensive city below the city under the ground in what had once been the subterranean railways where most of the cyborgs lived.

The cyborgs now turned their attention to creating more and improved “Tech Flesh” and even more enhanced replacement body parts which eventually led to the creation of entire synthetic beings they called “Drives”. The Drives were programmed to carry out a specific function or job. Some Drives became “Servers”, others became “Boot Drives”, “Search Engines”, and even “Viruses” and “Malware”.

The Darwins were convinced by this time that they had been correct all along and were destined, due to their particular “evolution” to rule over Earth for the life of the planet.

They were mistaken.

I enjoyed this book immensely and am certain that you will, too. If you like futuristic scenarios and fast-paced science fiction, you will love this highly imaginative tale. Though…you may never look at your computer, its components or its systems in the same way ever again.

Reviewed by:

Carol Marrs Phipps

Review: A TALE OF TWO WORLDS by Susan Waterwyk

A Tale of Two Worlds, Amazon Imae

Blurb:

A Tale of Two Worlds

“The Earth, once asleep, has awakened, from deep in her belly come cries; her mountains interview 007 (3)1Waterwykand valleys are shaken and seas rise up to the skies.”

The ancient Keepers of Akosh can do nothing to prevent the catastrophes. They have known since the sinking of Atlantis that the living world of Earth would awaken. Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis threaten the people of the Earth so the Keepers spent thousands of years terraforming the primitive world of Lantamyra to serve as a sanctuary for the refugees from Earth. Now the Gathering begins.

The dragons that rule the three Great Houses of Lantamyra need the giant myra crystals from Atlantis to strengthen the large array in the House of Gaia Jade to be able to return to their homeworld, Lanluong. The Keepers of Akosh authorize a mission to Earth to locate and retrieve the crystals before the earthquakes bury them deeper in the abysmal depths of the Atlantic Ocean.

Recently arrived from Earth, Tylya Lansing has been trained in the Secrets of the Ways and knows how to use the powerful myra crystals. She is now a keeper of dragons in the House of Gaia Jade, and her first-hand knowledge of modern Earth makes her the best candidate to command the mission to find and retrieve the lost crystals of Atlantis.

Tylya’s lover, Josh Hamilton is also from Earth and trained in the Ways but chose not to serve the dragons. He is a crystalseeker working in the mine at Queen’s Heart located near an active volcano. The job is extremely dangerous since long exposure to myra crystals causes crystal sickness, and worst of all, ghosts of seekers are hungry for living energy and they wait in the myra crystals to feed on him.

Tale of Two Worlds, Review

Tale of two Worlds, Thumbnail


I was enthralled from the very opening paragraph of a Tale of Two Worlds by Susan Waterwyk. This author artfully weaves together just the right balance of descriptive prose and dialogue. She creates a world so vivid and tangible the reader soon feels like a participant in the tale, rather than a mere observer.

A Tale of Two Worlds is the second book of Waterwyk’s planned trilogy about the fantastic world of Lantamyra where dragons rule fairly and justly over the humans that share that world with them. But, Lantamyra’s history is tied to two other “living worlds”, the dragon homeworld, Lanluong, and the human’s homeworld, Earth.

Long ago when the Keepers of Akosh learned to travel between the stars in their fantastic spaceships powered by giant myra crystals, they searched far and wide for other “living worlds” like their own. In time they found a number of these “living worlds” and used their great myra crystals to open portals to travel between them. Unwittingly, the keepers upset the balance of the dragon homeworld causing great upheavals which threatened the very existence of the dragons by the constant use of the portals.

As soon as the Keepers of Akosh realized what they had done they set about rescuing as many of the dragons as they could, relocating them to the safety of Lantamyra where the dragons ruled and lived in peace with the Keepers of Akosh and humans who had come there from Earth to serve dragonkind.

But the dragons longed for the day they might return to their own world of Lanluong and the Keepers felt honor bound to fulfill the dragon’s wish as soon as it was feasible. First however, they had to recover some of the giant myra crystals from the ancient site of Atlantis where the crystals had been submerged under the sea since the isle’s untimely demise.

Once the myra crystals were recovered there was one problem. There would be repercussions for using the crystals on such a massive scale again, only this time it would be planet Earth that would undergo horrendous upheavals that could entirely wipe out the human population. So the Keepers of Akosh had trained a number of chosen humans to aid in the “gathering” of a select number of the human race in order to prevent their extinction from the coming disaster and transport them to Lantamyra where they would be safe. In A Tale of Two Worlds this destined time is at hand.

A Tale of Two Worlds is a highly imaginative and enchanting tale surely destined to become a classic that the reader will remember long after the final page. It is time for “the gathering”. Read A Tale of two Worlds and hope you won’t be left behind.

Review by:
Carol Marrs Phipps

Deceit: Review

Deceit 3

Deceit is an intriguing and highly enjoyable Alternate History Thriller by W.C. Hewitt based upon the tragic sinking of the Titanic and the events that lead up to it. If you are a fan of download W.C. Hewittintense thrillers, you won’t want to miss this one.

Andrew Hoyle is a reporter for the Atlas News Agency who is assigned to cover the raising of the H.M.S. Titanic. He is also fortunate enough to be one of the few news people invited to inspect the interior of the ship once it has been raised.

Within the interior of the Titanic, Hoyle discovers a small, square metal box covered with over 90 years of rust. He secrets it on his person and takes it with him when he leaves. When he pries open the box Hoyle is at first disappointed to find that the box only contains an old photo of a couple dressed in turn-of-the-century clothing and an oilcloth packet with a yellowing parchment. The ancient paper was addressed to one Sir Rodney Deanne, Head to British Intelligence and signed Elizabeth Brunette and Christopher Ryan.

In an attempt to research information on the names on the parchment Hoyle is once again disappointed as the records are sealed and protected under the Official Secrets Act. However, he discovers that Elizabeth Brunette, now deceased, is survived by an only daughter named Sandra who also uses her mother’s surname of Brunette.

Hoyle pays Ms Brunette a visit hoping to learn the answers to this mystery, but Sandra claims her mother was merely a secretary to a barrister, and had never been employed by the government in any capacity.

Nevertheless, she shows Hoyle to her mother’s old desk where she kept all of her papers and personal documents. In short order he pries open a locked drawer to reveal not only Brunette’s personal documents, but also her diaries which detail an incredible, long-hidden conspiracy to sink the Titanic.

I will not disclose the harrowing details of this torrid thriller, but rather I will recommend that you read it for yourself. If you like edge-of-your-seat action and hair-raising chills, you’ll love Deceit.

Review by:

Carol Marrs Phipps

The Junk Picker By Jan F. Drewniak & Don Drewniak

41+JOb3PQ-L._SY346_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_The Junk Picker by Jan F. Drewniak and Don Drewniak is a well-written, witty and highly enjoyable tale. Reading these adventures of Johnny, “Pinball” Drewniak put me in mind of a number of beloved sitcoms from the past such as I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Andy Griffith, etc., but better because this story is true. The resemblance is not because The Junk Picker is really like any of these sitcoms, but rather because it is written with the same warmth and good humor.

The young son of Polish immigrants leaves home at an early age and through perseverance and hard work develops a great number of marketable skills. Most notably, an eye for collectibles and antiques. This talent leads his friends and admires to call him a “collector” and his critics to call him a “junk picker”. Read this wonderful tale for yourself and then you decide.
I highly recommend The Junk Picker to people of all ages who like to sit back and simply read and enjoy a good story…and come away smiling.

Reviewed by:
Carol Marrs Phipps

Review: A Born Victim

A.Born.Victim.Cover

If you crave heart-pounding, realistic thrillers with believable characters, A Born Victim by rprRP Rochford, may be just what you’re looking for.

Gill Brogan is an unremarkable 27 year-old divorced mother of two who works hard to pay her bills and care for her children, but she has the unfortunate history of being fired from one job after another. She also has a history of being targeted for bullying and mistreatment by her peers, co-workers and her ex-husband, all of which, understandably, make her timid and insecure.

It seems that nothing in Gill’s life ever turns out well, even though she is sure she is not at fault. Perhaps she has just been born to be a victim of everyone else’s abuse.

Meanwhile, someone has been torturing and murdering young women in Britain and posting the sadistic crimes on the Internet for the viewing pleasure of whoever will pay for the opportunity to watch.

Cyber Crime Investigator, Mike Watson, and Police Investigator, DS Lucy Taylor, are determined to discover who and put an end to the heinous crimes before any more young victims meet the same fate.

But the perpetrators prove to be incredibly illusive incredibly clever at covering their tracks,  leaving not even the tiniest  piece of traceable evidence as to their identities at either the crime scenes or online. As the investigation wears on it seems more and more that someone has finally A.Born.Victim.Coverfound a way to pull off the perfect crimes while rubbing it in the faces of the authorities who seek them. But who? Can Watson and Taylor even realistically hope to track down the perpetrators who have thus far eluded an entire police force? And can they do it before Gill Brogan or any other young woman is tortured and murdered to gratify the perverted appetites of the sick lowlifes who enjoy watching?

A Born Victim is a roller-coaster ride of chills and appalling revelations that will keep you holding your breath and turning pages into the wee hours that you’ll not want to miss…but be warned, it is not for the faint of heart.

Carol Marrs Phipps

REVIEW: Jade and the Deva: Hidden Wings

 photo (1)

Jade Nova is just an ordinary 17 year old girl with aspirations of becoming a film maker some day. Well, that is if you overlook the fact that her best friend is a Deva who grows her own body, except for feet, she was still working on those. That’s D-e-v-a, not Diva, a spirit being whose job is to engineer nature. And if you also ignore she spends a great deal of time with a huge insect-like being, nature spirits, a tree spirit, a giant magpie, and sometimes flies inside a glowing, living orb she names Orbit and even travels in an organic spaceship.

Jade’s acquaintance with the Deva and other nature spirits began in her early childhood when the Deva, who she had named Sammy Pong seemed to be merely a magical invisible friend who made things grow at an astounding rate and talked to Jade in her head. But one day Sammy Pong went away and soon so did Jade’s memory of her.

But, Jade and the Deva were destined to be reunited and when they were Jade could not believe her ears when she found out what the Deva wanted her to do. She was just a teenager after all. How could Sammy expect her to make a film about the Deva and the nature spirits and their desire to reunite with humans so they could work together to stop any more species on the planet from becoming extinct before their time? A film that would be professional enough to get the attention not only of the people she knew, but also of the people of the entire earth? Especially when her mother thought she had become some kind of nut case and her ex-bestie was convinced she was some kind of witch?

Jade and the Deva: Hidden Wings  by Keith Tutor and Jade Fishburn is a delightfully creative and unique young adult fantasy that could certainly be enjoyed by people of any age. If you have a desire to read a tale that is refreshingly original, I highly recommend it.

Review By:
Carol Marrs Phipps

 

 

Interview with Author Susan Waterwyk & Review of Lantamyra: A Tapestry of Fantasy

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?interview 007 (3)1

I am Susan Waterwyk. I was born in Texas (the big flat part). I now live in the gold country of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains (one of the most rugged and beautiful places on Earth).

Please tell us a little about yourself (something different not contained in your bio).

Life is a canvas and patience is the first art. As a child I was often content to play by myself in an imaginary world populated with magical beings.  My first major artistic endeavor came in the form of music. When I was ten years old, I discovered, on a neighbor’s piano, that I had a talent for music, and my parents proceeded to give me lessons. I eventually went on to compete in the Van Cliburn Competition.  In high school, I became interested in architecture and did rather well in the science of building. The many paths of life that a teenager takes to adulthood led me away from art and into the mainstream of the working class and raising children, but the need to create art was always in my heart.  When I turned thirty, I began painting imaginary landscapes (or dreamscapes) on canvas. Writing poetry taught me how to paint pictures with words. My husband explained the technicalities of poetry, but I struggled for a long time with meter.  Then one day, while working in my garden, to the rhythm of the rake, I had a revelation from the working meditation, and a poem took its shape about the magic life creates. Writing poetry eventually led to the desire to write a story, but I had no inspiration until I had a dream of a conversation with a dragon.  A few days later, I began writing my first novel.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I love to sit on my deck and toss peanuts (roasted unsalted) to the birds and squirrels that come to visit Dragonwood. We named our little acre in the forest for the twisted red trunks of the manzanita trees. I also enjoy working in my garden, and I still paint from time to time.  

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?

phpWRjFo5AM(1)LANTAMYRA A TAPESTRY OF FANTASY: A story of a sanctuary world where refugees from two worlds (dragons and humans) co-exist peacefully.

Is this book part of a series?

Yes, if two books constitutes a series. I do not at this time have plans for a third book. The sequel is titled: A TALE OF TWO WORLDS.

Would you share a blurb with us?

Eighteen-year-old Tylya Lansing lives in a small town in the mountains of California’s gold country. Her grandmother Lenora claims to be from another world, and the story she tells of Lantamyra are irresistible, the magnificent vistas, the ancient gardens and enormous trees that are treasured assets, festivals that celebrate the seasonal changes, and dragons that play chess.  The most intriguing story, however, is about the women and men that learn to control the power of crystals.

In a rugged Sierra canyon, Tylya finds what her grandmother lost forty years ago (which stranded her on Earth) and it provides the means for them to journey to Lantamyra. Tylya is determined to learn the secrets of crystal power and become a keeper of dragons.

Would you share a short excerpt?

Nightkeeper Kyra Starszyn from Chapter 8: “This night belongs to lovers and dreamers, a night when threads of love are woven into a tapestry of fantasy, a night to magically transform into the character you wish to play. This is the night to banish hatred and all things sad and dark, a night to tell a story and share a whispered secret.” She placed a finger to her lips and blew softly.

Do you have plans for a new book? Would you tell us a little about it?

I am currently working on A TALE OF TWO WORLDS, the conclusion to LANTAMYRA. Earth is beginning to experience the Great Change (tectonic upheavals), and the gathering of refugees from countries all over the world is essential. Tylya and Lenora are in command of some of the missions, which includes a mission to retrieve the lost crystals of Atlantis.  Tylya’s former lover, Josh Hamilton, has taken the dangerous job of crystalseeker in the mine at Queen’s Heart.

How long have you been writing? And who or what inspired you to write?

I wrote my first pages on Mother’s Day 2005. I was inspired by a dream of a conversation with a dragon.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?

Yes, occasionally, and I intend to offer more in the near future.

Would you ever consider writing with a co-author?

It would depend on the type of book and the compatibility with the co-author. I   would be reluctant to sentence another human being to endure my artistic eccentricities.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?

My title LANTAMYRA A TAPESTRY OF FANTASY was created in two parts. I created a few words in an “ancient language” and mixed them together. “Lan” means world or mother and “myra” means crystal. The “Tapestry of Fantasy” was added later to give the reader a clue on the type of book. I designed and painted the book cover on canvas to give the readers a visual dreamscape. I intentionally chose a dark foreground to act as a gravity well to draw the viewer’s attention into the picture and to some of the critical elements of the story , i.e., the dragon, the two moons, the White Queen (mountain on the left), Bodhran Rock (on the right). 

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?

No, the characters are fictitious, but I gave a few of them physical descriptions similar to a few people I know.  All events are fictitious.

Is there a certain Author who influenced you in writing?

Anne McCaffrey is my favorite author, but I have been influenced by many great authors.

Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?

I like all three and each has its advantages.

What is your favorite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?

The three books of the CRYSTAL SINGER series by Anne McCaffrey because of the imaginative world she created and the enjoyable characters that populated it. I have read each book several times.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Why or why not?

It depends on the book and the movie producers.  A few good examples: THE GRAPES OF WRATH, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD  and THE GODFATHER. Bad examples are far too numerous and are frequently described as “loosely based” on the book.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it? (eBook, hardback or paperback)

I’m reading the paperback NORTHANGER ABBEY by Jane Austen. In hardback I’m re-reading A TALE OF TWO CITIES by Charles Dickens. In eBook I’m reading THE COLLECTOR WITCH by Carol and Tom Phipps and LAKE CAERWYCH by J.A. Conrad.

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn’t finish?

I will never read books that focus on horror, violence and hate. There are many books I have started but never finished. I will not single one out.

What do you think about book trailers?

I thought they were called “bookmobiles.” But seriously, I have not viewed any, so I cannot give an opinion.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

Read your entire story aloud several times, the ear will often catch mistakes in logic, grammar, or anything else that interrupts the flow of the story, and my last advice is edit, edit, edit, edit, edit. I have even gone to the extreme of reading chapters backwards. I start at the end and read one paragraph then go to the one before it and so on, all the way back to the beginning of the chapter. WHY? Because it prevents me from getting wrapped up in my own story and reading over errors that are subtle and easily overlooked.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?

Yes, because privacy is important for me to continue writing.

If your book was ever made into a movie, what actor/actress would you like to see play the main character(s)?

I don’t keep track of the Hollywood crowd anymore; I would have to delegate that task to the casting director.

Have you ever considered writing in a completely different genre? If so, what would it be and why.

No, I write fantasy for the heart and science fiction for the future, no other genres inspire me to write.

Do you think the current popularity of eBooks will last or do you believe it is just another passing trend?

I believe eBooks will endure as long as there are people and computers. It is so advantageous to hold a tablet that can contain many books, change the font size, define obscure or archaic terms, etc. However, there will always be a few humans who love to hold an old-fashioned book in their hands.

Considering Traditional Publishing vs. Indie Publishing, do you think one has a clear advantage over the other? If so, please elaborate.

I have not actually tried to obtain a traditional professional publisher. An attempt at obtaining a literary agent was aggravating enough to encourage me to try self-publishing. Mark Twain and Zane Grey self-published to start their careers, so I felt it was worth a shot. I believe both types of publishing have their own advantages and disadvantages.  A major disadvantage to indie authors is the way that Amazon presents their books. Amazon forgets that they are in the business to sell books. If the majority of reviews are good then those are the ones to display on the ad page. They should make the few bad reviews less noticeable like the ingredients on the back of a can of soup. If Amazon ran a restaurant there would be two signs in the front window: OVER 100 PEOPLE THOUGHT OUR FOOD WAS GREAT!!! and next to it THREE PEOPLE THREW UP AND TWO SAID THEY WOULD NOT FEED IT TO THEIR DOG!! How long do you think it would take before they went out of business?

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what did you do about it?

Early on I experienced writer’s block but not for long, if I was blocked from writing the next scene, I would simply jump ahead in the story and write a scene for another chapter.

 

Where can readers follow you?

Your blog details?  I have a blog on Goodreads.phpWRjFo5AM(1)
Your web site? Not at this time.
Your facebook page?
Your Goodreads author page?
Your Twitter details? @waterwyk
And any other information you wish to supply? Reader questions and comments can be sent directly to Waterwykarts@gmail.com

 

Buy Links for Lantamyra: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009KWM4LW/

 

Carol 1

 

Thank you, Susan, for taking time out from your busy schedule to share with us today. It has been a real pleasure having you here on our blog. I hope you will visit again in the future.

 

Review: Lantamyra: A Tapestry of Fantasy

phpWRjFo5AM(1)Lantamyra is uniquely different from most other fantasy worlds. It is not break-neck action or violence racing you and your heart through every page. It is, rather, a page-turner of discovery and delight. The author, Susan Waterwyk, masterfully crafted the magical and at times whimsical world, to enchant, captivate and fill your senses with a place alluringly different, peopled with characters and creatures so fascinating that you can’t help falling in love…with Lantamyra.

From the moment Josh Hamilton, Tylya Lansing’s long-time love, finds her grandmother’s crystal scepter you are catapulted into a world where dragons rule and humans serve. But there is neither tyranny nor coercion involved in the relationship, which is almost a symbioses of harmony in which they live and work to achieve their common goals and the welfare of all.

Lantamyra is full of great wonders like the crystal starships and the vast myra crystals that are so powerful they are not only energy for the ships but give the keepers and the dragons their magical abilities. You’ll even meet the Keepers of Akosh, ancient magical beings and the founders of Lantamyra who have  the ability to open doorways into the crystal realm. It was they who originally discovered the amazing giant myra crystals on Lantamyra which are capable of powering vast starships to search for more living worlds.

Many other marvels will captivate and astound you during your visit to this incredible world, such as the wee fairy folk (not too bright, but definitely beguiling), the mants (rather frightening and venomous beasties), and the scarp (a seafood delight of monstrous magnitude) and much, much more.

So what are you waiting for? Open a portal and send for a dragon to carry you away to Lantamyra today. But be warned: you may not want to leave.

BY: Carol Marrs Phipps