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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Holiday Gift: Imperfect Echoes Supports Amnesty International

Imperfect Echoes
Subtitle: Writing Truth and Justice with Capital Letters, lie and oppression with Small

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Cover and Internal Art by Richard Conway Jackson
Genre: Poetry 
ISBN: 9781515232490
Available on Amazon as e-book or paper
Finalist USA Book News
All Proceeds Support Amnesty International



Holiday Gift for the Thoughtful Person on Your List


REVIEWED BY MARLAN WARREN, originally for Midwest Book Review

Narcissus knows her reflection
well. She forgets to peer

under burkas, in our jails,

in the beds of the abused,

deeper, deeper into the pond...

—Howard-Johnson, Carolyn. Narcissus Revisited. 
Imperfect Echoes.



Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s “Imperfect Echoes: Writing Truth and Justice with Capital Letters, lie and oppression with Small” is just perfect. This Los Angeles award-winning poet lays out the landscape of her contemplative thoughts, feelings and reactions with such honesty and deceptive simplicity that they have the effect of offering a peek into her private journals. What puts this poetry on par with leaping tall buildings is the fact that each poem manages the feat of conveying personal and universal relevance at once.


Do not be scared off by the prospect of political rhetoric masquerading as literature; this is not one of those books. Although the book's subtitle may strike some as rather lofty, it is a quote from Czeslaw Milosz's poem, “Incantation,” in his anthology, “The Captive Mind,” which reflects Howard-Johnson's poetic themes. She has divided her prolific poems into a Prologue plus four sections: “Remembering What We Must; “Nations: Tranquil Self-Destruction”; “Acceptance: Waiting for the Gift”; and “Future Stones of Distrust.”



Howard-Johnson deftly blends the "Truth and Justice" observations with the "Small" moments of "lie(s)" and "oppression" as they intersperse through her poet's journey. The poems in “Remembering What We Must” address the stark realities of war and global misery, which Howard-Johnson treats with her practiced light touch that floats like the proverbial butterfly and stings like an outraged bee. 


In “Belgium's War Fields, she compares the reasons for bygone wars to our present day confusion: “And now a war that takes from the mouths /and hearts of the stranded, the homeless. / How different from those who / marched with snares or flew flags / in a war when we knew / why we were there.”


In the “Nations: Tranquil Self-Destruction” section, “The Story of My Missed Connection in Minneola” brings to life a brief rest stop during a road trip, which seems rather amusing at first as the wife relieves her bladder and the husband declines the coffee with “Let's skip it. Coffee's / probably been stewing for days...” but hits an unexpected bump of overt bigotry when the roadside store owner confides in them (in between the screeches of his pet parrot) that he left Los Angeles to get away from the “ragheads.”

In the “Acceptance: Waiting for the Gift” section, “Relatives” takes on the ways in which "Small" minds can make a family dinner feel like a stint in Purgatory: “Perhaps you won't invite me back / if I mention that infamous / uncle. You know, the one who killed / three of his wives /but is candid / about who he is, / how many he's killed, / the methods he used / and never gets invited to dinner.



In the “Future Stones of Distrust” section“Rosa Parks Memorialized” opens with “On the day our September losses / reached 2,000, a tribute / to Rosa...” and asks “If she were alive now.../ would her solo / be enough or do we need now a choir singing, / thousands screaming...?”



Imperfect Echoes allows readers to witness a poet's lifetime revisited in memory and with fresh wisdom. If the topics of oppression, prejudice and war seem to some "overdone," Howard-Johnson responds in her Prologue poem, “Apologies from a Magpie”:


Magpies are born to sing others' songs

stained notes, imperfect echoes—

until the world begins to know

them by heart.



Note: Proceeds from the sales will be donated to the non-profit human rights watchdog, Amnesty International. 

ABOUT THE REVIEWER


Marlan Warren is an L.A. journalist, novelist, playwright, screenwriter, blogger, and publicist with Roadmap Communications and Book Publicity by Marlan. She reviews for the Midwest Book Review, and her blogs include “Roadmap Girl’s Book Buzz” and “L.A. Now & Then.” Her press releases are published in Broadway World Book News and the BBC Record. She is the author of the novel, “Roadmaps for the Sexually Challenged: All’s Not Fair in Love or War,” and the producer/writer of the acclaimed documentary, “Reunion.” Marlan is now in production for the documentary “What Did You Do in the War, Mama?: Kochiyama’s Crusaders,” based on her play “Bits of Paradise.”

ABOUT THE NEW BOOK REVIEW

The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Debra Eckerling Shares Blog and Goal Setting Expertise

TITLE: Write On Blogging
SUBTITLE: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog 
AUTHOR: Debra Eckerling
AISN: B01MSP9HTN 
LINK: http://bitly.com/WriteOnBlogging
GENRE: Non-Fiction: 
CATEGORY: Blogging & Blogs and Writing Skills



All an author has to say to me is “tips” and I’m sold. They make easy reading and I nearly always find something among them that is new to me.

Debra Eckerling’s new book, Write On Blogging,does that for me, but it does a whole lot more. It’s a short book, but it’s complete—a whole lot more than tips. 

I like that Eckerling doesn’t assume an author knows anything about blogging. She takes her tutorial from the needs of fresh (and scared!) beginnings like opening a blog to developing blogging skills that even a veteran will appreciated. 
She also keeps a blogger on track with practical advice like “You want to develop a long and lasting relationship with your blog, and also open the lines of communication with your readers” found in Chapter Eight titled “Stay on Track.” 
She also brings the same goal-making skills she offers her clients to this slender book—things like scheduling, priorities, commitment.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who blogs. It will either put bloggers on track or help keep them there. 
MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR

You will find Debra Eckerling:
Listen, watch, or read show notes from Write On Online’s Guided Goals Podcast. Sign up for her Write On Online Newsletter
MORE ABOUT THE REVIEWER

Carolyn Howard-Johnson brings her experience as a publicist, journalist, marketer, and retailer to the advice she gives in her HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers and the many classes she taught for nearly a decade as instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program. The books in her HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers have won multiple awards. That series includes both the first and second editions of The Frugal Book Promoter and The Frugal Editor won awards from USA Book News, Readers’ Views Literary Award, the marketing award from Next Generation Indie Books and others including the coveted Irwin award. How To Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically is the newest book in her HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers.

Howard-Johnson is the recipient of the California Legislature’s Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award, and her community’s Character and Ethics award for her work promoting tolerance with her writing. She was also named to Pasadena Weekly’s list of “Fourteen San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen” and was given her community’s Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts. 
The author loves to travel. She has visited eighty-nine countries and has studied writing at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom; Herzen University in St. Petersburg, Russia; and Charles University, Prague. She admits to carrying a pen and journal wherever she goes. Her Web site is www.howtodoitfrugally.com






ABOUT THIS BLOG

The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Animal Stories 2 Inspire Anthology



Tales2Inspire Garnet
Series: The Crystal Collection: Stories that Tickle the Funny Bone
Edited by Lois W. Stern

ISBN-10: 1530811198Genre: Nonfiction: Short Stories/Anthology
Available on Amazon



Heartwarming short stories by several authors about loving and being loved by pets,
By Author-Zone
5.0 out of 5 stars

If you like animals, this anthology is a must read. If you don't, but you end up reading these beautiful stories anyway, you may end up loving them too. Different authors contributed to this edition with a mix of animal tales ranging from birds to cats and dogs to horses and elephants, and others. I happen to love animals so it was easy for me to immerse myself in these fabulous short stories mainly representing personal experiences or others learned from family or friends. If anything the tender, and humane way animals were loved and treated by their masters - as depicted in each of the stories - made me think that there have to be more kind people in this world than evil ones and that animals are here for a reason - humans being part of it. The treatment of performing elephants was the exception, that is until they became useless and ended up in Sanctuaries - where their lives changed for the better.

When I learned from Glenda Reynolds about her story "I Chose the Best of the Litter" published in this anthology, I proceeded to buy the book. Of course, I read her story first. I simply loved it! As sad as it was for me to read about the beginning and the end of her pet companion, I admire the way in which she described the beauty of the "adoption," the joys the pick of the litter had brought to her household, and then the heartfelt narration of the final decision.

After reading Glenda's loving tale, I felt compelled to read the entire collection. I am glad I did.

Our Creatures New Role
By D. Diderot
5.0 out of 5 stars

Truly absorbing and charming real life vingetts that our human minds to the utterly emotional world of animals. Recommended to me by the author who knew mr trough the scientific treatises of animal consciousness, my appreciation runs deeply as this titles and others have been a pleasure to have read. Today’s culture naturally grasp of animals as feeling and thinking creatures. As science has come to understand the creature cognition is driven by the stat gleaned by their remarkable perceptual sensations, intently more sophisticated than any human. In 100 years, society has reversed our previous assertion that we humans occupy, sit atop the animal kingdom, in a crowned position, currently viewed as in no way the exceptional creature whose exclusive conscious demonstrates all others as the feeling, carrying, thinking and doing member of the animal family. Each story opens up the emotionally charged interactions of animals with people and each other.


By Jodie
Amazon Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars


Interesting true stories
By Sharon Miner,
Author
A collection of amazing stories about not just the typical animals like dogs and horses, but also birds, pigs and even elephants! Includes photos and bio for each contributing author.By Amazon
4.0 out of 5 stars

Love these short stories
By Charlotte Gressley
Love short stories? Love animals? Looking for a great gift? Buy this book and any in the collection. These authors are great.
5.0 out of 5 stars

MORE ABOUT THE TOPAZ COLLECTION

 Learn more:

Tales2Inspire website

Facebook page

Twitter
https://twitter.com/Tales2Inspire2  

Book Trailer
https://www.youtube.com/user/WinningTales   


MORE ABOUT THE EDITOR OF TALES2INSPIRE

Learn more about Lois W. Stern:

Amazon author page



MORE ABOUT THE NEW BOOK REVIEW

The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Award-Winning Author Advocate Gets Five Stars from Vine Reviewer

How to Get Great Book Review Frugally and Ethically
Subtitle: The ins and outs of using free reviews to build and sustain a writing career
By Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Author's Web site: http://HowToDoItFrugally.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/carolynhowardjohnson

Series: The multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers
Genre: Nonfiction: How-To/Writing/Marketing
Pages: 340
ISBN? 978-1-5369-4837
Available as paper and e-book on Amazon
Five-Star Review



Reviewed by Joy V. Smith, a Vine reviewer for Amazon


It's hard to do justice to this book because it covers so much territory. I've been reviewing, promoting, and marketing for a long time, but I learned a lot more in this book; and even as I was reading it, I used the Tweet, etc. icons function on my Amazon buy page, per her suggestion. Thank you, Carolyn!

She tells you how to use endorsements and blurbs--and blurb excerpts--in promotion--and how long an excerpt should be (fair use) and how to use ellipses in these excerpts. (I knew that about ellipses, but not everyone does.) I appreciated the Amazon info about the excerpt length she shared.

Re: Networking: I've written blurbs for books and acknowledgments and received acknowledgments; she gives tips about that and more; and she addresses the importance of exposure and frequency. "This is a process, not a project."

I also learned more about Amazon Prime and may use it. Oh, and that "As seen in ..." tip is another one I can use right now. I'll be rereading it again. And I learned more about reusing your Amazon review.

So much into, including the Ten-Best Lists tip. (One of my books was listed on MyShelf.com; I'd forgotten that!) Oh, oh. I haven't kept track of my book reviews. I could have had a notebook for that!

The Questions and Answers section is very helpful; and then there are the Appendices:

"... Each publishing occasion that calls for a query...is different. Ditto for each circumstance that requires a media release. Thus, the samples (templates?) in my appendices are merely suggestions. ..."

I've only scratched the surface! This is a must-read book for writers; I know I have to read it again. I wish I had a print copy 'cause it'd be full of flags! Highly recommended.


MORE ABOUT THE REVIEWER

Joy V. Smith has been writing stories since she was a kid. Her stories and articles have been published in print magazines, webzines, anthologies, and two audiobooks. Her books include Detour Trail, Strike Three, Sugar Time, and The Doorway and Other Stories. She is also an Amazon Vine reviewer.

You can find out more at her Web site: http://www.joyvsmith.com/ and her writing blog: http://pagadan.wordpress.com/



MORE ABOUT THE NEW BOOK REVIEW

The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.


MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carolyn Howard-Johnson brings her experience as a publicist, journalist, marketer, and retailer to the advice she gives in her HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers and the many classes she taught for nearly a decade as instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program. The books in her HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers have won multiple awards. That series includes both the first and second editions of The Frugal Book Promoter and The Frugal Editor won awards from USA Book News, Readers’ Views Literary Award, the marketing award from Next Generation Indie Books and others including the coveted Irwin award. Her next book in the HowToDoItFrugally series for writers will be How To Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically.

Howard-Johnson is the recipient of the California Legislature’s Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award, and her community’s Character and Ethics award for her work promoting tolerance with her writing. She was also named to Pasadena Weekly’s list of “Fourteen San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen” and was given her community’s Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts. 
                 

The author loves to travel. She has visited eighty-nine countries and has studied writing at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom; Herzen University in St. Petersburg, Russia; and Charles University, Prague. She admits to carrying a pen and journal wherever she goes. Her Web site is www.howtodoitfrugally.com. She tweets under @FrugalBookPromo and tries to like or retweet everytime an author includes her moniker in the author-related tweets. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Romantic Stories Perfect Gift

Letterbox Love Stories
Authors: Jenny Twist, Lindsay Townsend, Cara Marsi, Marie Laval, Gemma Juliana, Helena Fairfax, Denyse Bridger, Rose Anderson, and Lynn Crain. 
Genre: Romance, anthology
ASIN: B01HJ41MKQ
Buy Link: myBook.to/LLS



Reviewed by Lynnette Sofras for Manic Scribbler



 Since I was already familiar with some of the authors featured in this anthology, I knew I could look forward to an entertaining read when I received this book, and I’m glad to say I wasn’t wrong.  It’s a diverse collection of stories ranging across genres, place and time and thematically linked by the arrival of a letter bringing unexpected news and adventures – what a great idea. 

There are too many to mention in one review, so I’ll just select the three most memorable.  Madeline Archer is a new author to me and her sweet historical fantasy ‘More than Wishes’ immediately transported me back to the childhood delights of first discovering the stories of the Arabian Nights. I found this story of sibling love and rivalry between twin Djin princes nothing short of enchanting.

Lindsay Townsend writes the most convincing and delightful historical fiction I’ve read in many years and her story set in mediaeval England, did not let me down.  This author has an assured sense of time and place and creates highly believable characters with very real struggles.  ‘Plain Harry’ is a compelling love story – faultless, different, and very satisfying.

Jenny Twist is one of my favourite modern authors, so I’m always eager to read anything new from her and ‘Minstrel Boy’ is one of the most powerfully evocative short stories I’ve read from her.  It concerns an idealistic young soldier-musician who goes off to fight for Spain in the Civil War, and the rather wonderful, feisty Rosa – a young Spanish woman who saves his life and steals his heart.  Beautifully told.  I want to read Rosa’s story and hope Ms Twist decides to write it. 

I could say much more about these stories.  They all demonstrate a very high standard of craftsmanship and I defy any reader not to find something they will love in this collection.  Each one is a substantial read, making the collection excellent value, and one I highly recommend.




ABOUT THE NEW BOOK REVIEW

The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Author Reviews Author's New Book on Getting Reviews!

So, you know as blogger of The New Book Review, I occasionally publish reviews of my own books, but this time I'm leading you directly to the review because I don't want you to miss the chance to win an e-book copy of How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically from Dr. Bob Rich. he published both a review and an interview in his Bobbin’ Around newsletter (and lots of other places!) 

He says, 
“I hadn't heard from Carolyn for some months, and wrote her a "how are you" email. The result is both a review and an interview I posted at http://wp.me/p3Xihq-Nt.

“This was a real interview, although by email: I responded to each of her answers with a new question, rather than sending her a list of questions to answer. I think the result is entertaining, and useful to any writer. Have a read, leave a comment and let us know.

“One commenter will win a free e-book copy of her How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically which you can learn about on her site or http://bit.ly/HowToGetReviews on Amzaon at http://bit.ly/GreatBkReviews

"I am privileged to be the first person Carolyn shared the cover with. She wants to acknowledge the designer, http://desimonedesign.com/."

Bob
Dr Bob Rich
Web site: http://bobswriting.com
Bobbing Around newsletter:  http://wp.me/P3Xihq-1
MY BEST BOOK: http://bobswriting.com/ascending.html
Commit random acts of kindness
Live simply so you may simply live

Won't you m


So, won't you make this your pass it forward for authors everywhere and the publishing world in general. Your good deed. And in Karma-like fashion, you'll be put in touch with Bob, his writing and the good he does for authors.

PS: How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically is now available on Amazon in paperback! 




MORE ABOUT THE NEW BOOK REVIEW

The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Children's Author: Definitely a Readers' Favorite!


A Turtle's Magical Adventure 
by Wanda Luthman 
Children's Chapter Book (ages 6-10) 
ISBN 153083256X 
Given a 5 star review (highest review available) 
May purchase as e-book, audio, or paper on Amazon
(Free on Kindle Unlimited or .99 ebook for a limited time) 

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

A Turtle's Magical Adventure by Wanda Luthman is an adorable storybook for children with an excellent message; that of accepting their flaws and loving themselves, and turning their negatives into positives. Tad the turtle loves swimming, but he was curious to know why turtles are slow on land. He meets a few people who give him different responses, but he still wants to become fast. Steve the snake advises him to meet a wizard who lives deep in Timberwood Forest and Tad decides to listen to him. Will the wizard be able to guide Tad and make him faster on land? Or will Tad the turtle accept himself and be happy?

The story is whimsical and has good life lessons for children. The message of accepting oneself is encouraging for a lot of children, especially those who are unhappy with themselves. It's a good story for interactive sessions in classrooms and school libraries and also makes a good bedtime storybook. The illustrations are vivid and lively, and they give a good pace and movement to the story. They succeed in making the scenes and characters tangible to young readers.

Children understand a concept, moral, and message with clarity when these are conveyed with the help of a story and illustrations. Tad the turtle and the rest of the characters in Timberwood Forest are magical and will enthrall young readers till the very end.

MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wanda Luthman is the author of The Lilac Princess, A Turtle's Magical Adventure, and Little Birdie Grows Up. She blogs at www.wandaluthman.wordpress.com.
Learn more about her here:
Twitter--@wandalu64 

MORE ABOUT THE NEW BOOK REVIEW

The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.