The Moving Words Reviews

Critics in the book industry are essential in building up the credibility of an author. Because of their honest and unbiased review, sometimes if not often, their remarks could either make or break an author’s confidence to penetrate the competitive world of books. However, if an author would constructively take the criticism and see the silver lining, then everything will be on the right track towards success. But what if the author receives an admiring review? It could be the starting point where the door of opportunities will flow…

These are the reviews we did for our authors. These are our entries for our upcoming The Most Moving Book 2022 Award:

Bee Gone by Connie Corcoran Wilson

Bee Gone: A Political Parable by Connie Corcoran Wilson is a short illustrated story that reflects the US political scenario. This humorous tale is not only a reminder of the consequence of our collective decision but also how destructive it can be. The story follows an ambitious, cunning drone bee who aspires to rule the hive by overthrowing its current Queen. All other bees know the capability of their Queen. But Donnie does not play by the rule. He conspires with others and manipulates the bees very easily. While in power, his destructive policies and selfishness affect the hive badly. They lost their honey, money and Queen. Fed up with Donnie’s incapability, other bees rise against him. Will they able to restore the glory of their hive?

This political parable teaches us one important lesson, the consequence of our choice. We have to make the right decisions at the right time. Otherwise, the consequences will be beyond our expectations and control. If the power is given to the wrong hands, it will backfire and ruin our lives and livelihood. There is no better way to convey this message other than presenting it through bees and beehive. The hive thrives through the collective effort. It depends on Queen’s ability to manage the population and her selflessness. It cannot survive without her. The whole system will derail if she is removed. This is what exactly happened in politics. You can manipulate anyone with lies and fake promises. If we fall into this trap, it will never end well. We have enough proof for this fact.

Bee Gone is certainly one of its kind. The story encapsulates the political situation and conveys its message clearly and accurately. The illustrations are elegant and beautiful. They capture the meaning of the tale and amplify it many times. One thing I noticed while reading is how cleverly the illustrator presented the facial expressions of the characters. These visually appealing illustrations are certainly the highlight of the story.

The strongest feature of this story is its extraordinary narration. The rhyming words which are almost like a poem singing the story to the readers. This is exceptional creativity from the author’s side. She manages to simplify the complex political scenario and its consequences via this parable.

The Beautiful Blonde Library Angel by Phillip Parcheminer

A very personal and inspiring read which is a touching memoir that amalgamates the themes of spirituality and self-help. It is a poignant and true story of the author Phillip Parcheminer, navigating the pits of darkness and making it through the adversities.

The book opens with him coming across an angel whom he calls the beautiful blonde library angel one day, without the knowledge of how it was going to change his life. The storyline explores how this encounter made him reclaim his confidence and physical well-being to start with. As the plot proceeds, we as readers witness how this ultimately sets him to the path of writing and leads him to the start off his spiritual reawakening. The narrative of the story is extremely intriguing and personal. His experiences with social anxiety rings close to the heart. Following his two-and-a-half-year journey so closely was transformational for me and was extremely thought provoking.

The story held my interest from the very beginning. It has a spot-on introduction and I constantly wanted to find out where it goes. It was extremely well paced and the writing flows fluently. It was really inspirational and probes one to wonder how a sudden encounter or muse can sometimes steer you in the right direction or has the power to pull you out of the darkest times. The writing is simple, suits the genre and is easy to follow. Definitely provides readers with a wholesome and soothing reading experience.

The Holy Spirit Calling by A. L. Istener

The Holy Spirit Calling: A 40-Year Journey with the Holy Spirit by A.L. Istener is a book of Divine Energy. It is a collection of ‘words’ from the Holy Spirit received from the prayers of the author. The author has been receiving this heavenly wisdom for more than 40 years. She puts together all the knowledge she received over these years in this book. These words are sent for a purpose. It is meant to be kept and presented to a wider audience. The Holy Spirit is always trying to speak with us. We are always praying for our needs. We never try to listen. Those who listen shall hear. This is the truest testimony of this fact.

Everything we need is already here. Every bit of knowledge we will ever need is here. But only few people can see it. Those who see it and understand are the chosen ones. Then they will start to glow with that knowledge. They could find the presence of God within themselves and others. The Divine Power flows through them. While reading these verses, we can feel that energy. It is the pure form of love.

These verses deal with a wide range of subjects. We can find the answer to every dilemma here. These are the deepest essays on pain, doubt, weakness, suffering and fear. The Holy Spirit addresses all our shortcomings and presents the solutions to us. These words convey strength to the readers. It encourages, supports and confirms our soul.

You cannot read this book absentmindedly. You have to stop at each page and think about the underlying meaning of those words. When you meditate on them, you can unfold their hidden layers. Each of them is filled with pure joy, love and peace. Let that eternal light flow inside you.

Jesus loves His children and He mediates our sufferings. These are the guiding words from the Heavenly Father. Read them and understand them. This will light your path brighter than ever.

Louder Than Thunder by Cheryl K. Hawkins

A raw and evocative firsthand account of the events of the catastrophic Hurricane Katrina and its ensuing weeks of a harrowing ordeal for everyone involved.

Cheryl Hawkins’ Louder than Thunder portrays a very personal and poignant experience of a daughter and a 70-year-old wheelchair-bound father, Emile during the 2005 Hurricane Katrina. Her epistolary writing and usage of vivid language evoke a sense of immediacy, therefore, transports the readers in the time and place of the events. Cheryl, an elementary school teacher, and a very active church member takes the readers back to the 26th of August 2005, in the usual hot and humid New Orleans. The news channels were consumed with all kinds of warnings for the upcoming potential Category 5 hurricane. Everyone in the neighborhood had been panic buying for essential supplies and immediately evacuated for security. Meanwhile, with Emile’s admirable faith in God and Cheryl’s obedience to her tenacious father, her responsibility as his daughter ruled. Together, the two ended up riding out the storm in their home.

Although you’ve heard numerous stories and testimonies of the horrifying Hurricane Katrina from its survivors, Louder than Thunder amazingly conveyed the author’s feelings and thoughts. Cheryl included her personal conversations with God that would surely cause you to have an epiphany of how amazing God’s handiwork is. This concise yet unfiltered book shows a variety of emotions of how each and every one of us behaves under stress. Looters were driven by greed while others showed hospitality. Cheryl recounts numerous scenarios of how God answered her prayers starting from randomly finding a pack of eight “C” batteries and right when she thought she’ll never find one, God led her to the infant and toddler’s section and saw a battery tucked in between two baby car seats where you’d least expect it to be. Along with Jene, who offered her phone, within 30 seconds after she prayed to God that she needed one to contact her family in Georgia. A nursing home that offered a place to stay that would accommodate both of them, and a lot more answered prayers were depicted in the span of 15 days together with the instruments that God provided which she describes as the hundreds of unsung heroes that have risen to the occasion during the storm. She takes us with her journey from the moment the storm hits, to what seems to be people operating in survival mode, witnessing the goodness of people until they finally found their desired haven.

The title perfectly suits the story as it conveys the extensive anguish and turmoil the victims had experienced. The heartbreak of leaving the things and the people you love as she shared the story of the Dawson family and the story she overheard on the plane. Readers can definitely feel the deafening silence as the author narrated the story of an elderly woman, all by herself, who called for rescue at a radio station when they suddenly heard a crash – then a static noise. My heart fell as she writes: a deafening silence. The silence was louder than the thunder from the hurricane.

A lot of us question God for all the tragic events that happen to us. Most of the time, we see ourselves asking why God allows this to happen and chances are, we give in to those feelings and surrender ourselves to the enemy thinking that God isn’t there for He allows this to happen. Louder than Thunder teaches us to surrender ourselves, not to the enemy, but to God. Not giving in to temptations of the enemy but giving up and ask for God’s help in carrying the things that are unbearable for us, flawed human beings. Cheryl, not only shared her personal thoughts and conversations with God but she incorporates excerpts of bible verses that would surely guide and remind the readers of God’s promise. In times like this where we are faced with a global crisis, this book is a must read with the potential to greatly impact the lives of those who read it. A highly recommended book with a heartwarming perspective of how a tragedy has turned into a blessing by humbling ourselves before God and getting a grasp on the situation of why a loving God allows suffering…

Shadows of Passion by David Scott

Shadows of Passion by David Scott is a historical fiction, blending passionate romance with intriguing crime drama. Set in 1973, the story follows the life of Harold ‘Harry’ Richards, an introverted high school senior and his relationship with his teacher, Cindy La Forge. Frank La Forge, Cindy’s estranged husband is a mid-level engineer at NASA. He is involved in a top-secret project and this attracts KGB’s attention. He is caught in the web of blackmailing and this invites the FBI’s surveillance. Who will come to the top in this game? Who will prevail and who will suffer?

David Scott has skillfully woven multiple threads of parallel stories in this novel. He has artistically blended various complicated issues such as romance, crime, murders, mental health and drug abuse in a single story. Harry and Cindy’s romance has multiple layers. This unlikely relationship is perceived as adultery by the outside world. But in reality, they are connected through deepest human emotions which no one else can comprehend. The intensity of desire for both physical and mental intimacy is portrayed beautifully in the story. These two characters are very well written. Their individuality is explored to a great extent.

How can you complicate a passionate romance? David Scott has the perfect answer: introduce a crime thread to the story. KGB indulges in people’s lives ruthlessly. They don’t care about the lives they crush on the way. They simply see their mission. The author accurately portrays how easily these secret organizations manipulate people for their needs. The plot also sheds light on the psychological techniques they used to manipulate others. The trap is set not only for catching the prey but also for keeping it there for the rest of its life.

The novel displays impeccable storytelling skills. It is essentially a good thriller. It keeps you on the edge of the seat with suspense. You cannot predict the climax. It is unique and befitting to the story. These characters will stay with us even after the closure for sure.

Boyhood Adventures by Aaron L. Carter

Aaron L. Carter’s second edition of Boyhood Adventures is a book that is well named. The main characters treat the reader to equal measures of humor, drama, excitement, and suspense. Set in Texarkana, Arkansas, in 1953, three eight-year-old boys seek escape from boredom by exploring haunted venues.

Boyhood Adventures tells the story of Lee Farmer, Dennis Williams, and Frank Cherry. Each boy reacts differently to their nocturnal exploits to a local cemetery, an abandoned asylum, and a haunted mansion. The author skillfully uses historical events such as the Texarkana Moonlight Murders to season the reader’s mood.

Published by Page Publishing, Aaron L. Carter’s story depicts the boys’ varying reactions to their activities. Dennis, the adventure seeker, is relentless in his pursuit of adrenaline. Lee has become addicted to excitement and will follow Dennis almost anywhere if it means he doesn’t have to listen to another episode of The Bickersons. Frank is the antithesis of Dennis. While he is reticent to join his friends on a visit to the local cemetery, he thrives on his relationship with his two friends.

One of the compelling features of this book is in the narration. The author has cleverly woven pieces of his personal life into a fictional story. The introduction presents key characters. The first two chapters give a clear picture of Texarkana history and lifestyle. Upon this foundation, he builds thrilling adventures which put the boys in great jeopardy. As the boys react to each gripping scenario, the reader can easily discern the personality, strengths and vulnerabilities of each boy.

The humor in this book is delightful. I found myself laughing until my face hurt. Frank’s character is especially amusing. On an emotional level, I found the relationships between the boys, their parents, and their school teacher very touching.

In a nutshell, Boyhood Adventures offers a beautiful journey through human relationships, and rewards the reader with a surprising plot twist at the end. Readers will enjoy it.

Wee Willie One Sock by John Petrie and Jack Petrie

Sometimes, everyday happenings can be quite the intriguing little mysteries in a child’s life! In Wee Willie One Sock by John and Jack Petrie, that is just the case! When Wee Willie walks to the kitchen wearing only one of his socks, his mom Janet gets the investigation going. What could have happened to Wee Willie’s One Sock?

In their frolic sleuthing, Janet and Wee Willie search all around the house for clues and eventually hear a puzzling sound – the origin of it can be traced all the way to the two prime suspects. No spoilers from me, but here is a hint: they are furry creatures who love to play!

Wee Willie One Sock is a short story, but it packs a lot of fun that will catch your kid’s attention through sheer curiosity and beautiful full-page pictures in watercolor drawn by Penny Weber. Oh, and there is more to the story than the story itself. The authors take the opportunity to teach children the usage of basic structures of questions, prepositions of place, and household vocabulary, making the book a great tool to teach all of those while the child enjoys their time with the mystery. In fact, Wee Willie One Sock is also a great book for young or even adult readers who are learning English as their second language for the same reasons and can be used by any teacher or tutor as a lighthearted way to get their students started in reading in English.

As the authors say in their description of the book: writing can be fun. And so can be reading! Wee Willie One Sock is a heartwarming tale and a great gift for children of all ages, even though it is the youngest ones who will enjoy it the most. And if you like quality material such as this book, be sure to check the authors’ other books for children!

Season with My Savior: A Devotional Journal by Amy Jo Wrobel

Seasons with My Savior by Amy Jo Wrobel is a Christian devotional journal that beautifully scripts the author’s journey of finding her faith in all ups and downs of life. Faith is divine. It uplifts the devotee in ways that no one can imagine. The Divine Hands have the power to help the needy and support us in every vulnerable moment. God will show the right path if you truly believe in Him. This journal is a testimony to this fact. Throughout this journal, the author recollects the kindness that was showered upon her by the Lord. Be in poverty or sickness, the Lord heals the body and spirit with His heavenly blessing.

Life is a cycle. We have to pedal through happiness, pain, anxiety, suffering, sadness to move forward. They are the different seasons which will repeat one after another in our lives. No hardship is permanent. We have to move forward and experience each of them. Sometimes the journey will become too hard and it will not allow us to move an inch. In those moments, we have to find our inner strength that shapes a common man into a warrior. The source of that inner strength will come up from within. It is called faith.

On each page, the author remembers a single incident from her life on how God has mediated her suffering almost miraculously. She begins by citing a Bible verse that she found helpful on those trying times. Through those scriptures, she finds God’s grace in her life and others. She is grateful for the kindness that was showered upon her. This makes her humbler and kinder every day. She pours this godly energy through these pages. After every second journal entries, the author has left some questions for the readers to answer. Along with this, the author also urges us to believe and write a prayer wholeheartedly to the Lord.

These journal entries not only make us think but also help us to find our inner peace. We can easily relate to the author’s experience and this ignites a flame of hope inside our soul. With this newfound light, we can move forward better than ever.

The Last Matriarch: Bob White by David L. Simmons

The Last Matriarch: Bob White by David L. Simmons is a beautifully crafted, action-packed thriller. It takes you to the behind scenes of political rivalry and power struggle entangled in the darkest secrets of the criminal underworld.

Bob White, a Southern politician is implicated in the murder of Dr. Ray Williams. The evidence against him is mounting and the underworld vows revenge. With the detectives on his tail and the criminal underworld on his neck, he has to act sensibly to save his career and life. Meanwhile, the Matriarch of the south, Johnnie Mae Dixon is obliged to rescue Bob from this life and death situation. With so many hidden hands, pulling strings for their selfish motives, who will win in this game of deceptions?

This is undoubtedly a well-written story. The author perfectly captures the complexity of the criminal underworld and politics. Here, the business cannot be separated from personal lives. People take sides for profits. They manipulate others for their own advantages. It is impossible to believe anyone. Under all this chaos, there exist some deep emotional connections. They are built with love as well as blood. This is the game-changer in the story. Johnnie Mae Dixon is a woman of strong character and authenticity. She has years of experience playing this ugly game. She reads people well and her calculations never fail. There is a well-made reason for everyone’s obedience.

One of the best features of this story is its storytelling. The plot revolves around so many different characters. The author creates suspicion and only reveals their backstories, one at a time. It is interesting to note that how well he connects all these characters. He built a closely knitted, one large family with Johnnie Mae at the center. If one knot is misplaced, it will eventually affect the overall strength of this group. The wise matriarch knows this and acts accordingly.

Every scene is scripted flawlessly. The author explains every minute detail with utmost clarity. Reading this tale is like watching a fast-paced action movie. The detailing was that much perfect here. The author presents every character with a little bit of caution. They all have an arc of suspicion hovering upon them. Even Bob White is not exempted from this. Hats off to the author brilliance.

Overall, this is an impressively penned story, which keeps you guessing on what will happen next and surprise you with unpredictable twists.

Mootoa’s Moons: The Other Woman by Susan Quilleash

Mootoa’s Moons: The Other Woman is a perfect science fiction tale which connects the reader with exciting intergalactic adventures. The Earthers have discovered the way to travel faster than the speed of light. They are approached by a new species called Mxtel to create a collaborative society and build trade relations. Together with other planets, an association the Confederated Sentient Peoples (CSP) was founded. They have a military and exploratory arm called the Federated Fleet. The Fleet employs several space ships called scouts. One of such scouts is Lorili. Due to an unforeseen incident, two of its engines are lost along with its engineers. They are forced to seek help from a nearby planet called Mootoa. Mootoans are fundamentally different from humans. They have different approaches for calculating time, gender roles, sexuality, etc. But they have similar physical appearance as humans. The Earthers crew must find a suitable engineer from Mootoa and repair their ship for survival.

This story has an unusual beginning. It does not follow the typical storytelling style used in science fiction literature. All the characters and the premises are introduced at once. The story begins in a crisis. This crisis shook the entire crew in both personal and professional terms. They are forced to seek help for their survival. This approach of introducing the crisis in the beginning made sure that I will stick to the plot from the very first page. This also gives good pace for the narration.

One of the best features of this story is its emphasis on diversity and inclusiveness. Often the sci-fi stories talk about space explorations for supplies and human survival. But here we can see another side of this possible existence and that’s cohabitation and cooperation of different species for survival which are all treated with equal respect. There’s no superiority struggle which is the basis of their technological advancement. Humans in this world are curious about other species. They are eager to learn and explore. This way the author brings the idea of what it is really meant to be civilized.

Overall, this was an exciting read with a humorous touch. This well-written plot also gives a new perspective and insight to human space exploration tales.

Sex, Science, Society, and Reproduction by Barry S. Verkauf

A lot has changed in the recent decades. From the boomer generation to the millennials of now, the way people behave and make decisions throughout their lives has been more and more influenced by scientific advances and developments in conception and contraception. The roles of women, men, and their children are now incredibly different than those of people from the 1800s. What is good and bad in it is up for personal discussion, but Dr. Barry S. Verkauf offers the reader a detailed, scientific and interesting approach to the numbers, facts, and concepts that allow the readers to have a glimpse of what the future can bring for humans as a reproductive and societal species and come to their own conclusions on the subject.

Dr. Verkauf’s book, Sex, Science, Society, and Reproduction: The pill that changed America, is a very well-illustrated trip through everything you want to know about the history of contraception and fertility, the developments in the area through the years, and the impact of such developments on the American and western societies. The author uses his own experience and knowledge as a solid basis to deliver a pack of indispensable information that makes his book valuable to fertility and infertility available with a full panorama of contraception, all for an affordable price.

Now, if it sounds as if Dr. Verkauf’s book has too much information and could be a difficult read, think again – the doctor has a way with words that makes the reading experience very light and pleasant. He uses many pictures to demonstrate statistics, but also to simply show the reader tidbits of contraceptive methods and their effects on families, the mainstream media, and personal decisions. Needless to say, the author’s skillful approach makes Sex, Science, Society, and Reproduction: The pill that changed America a must-read for adults of all ages and areas of expertise – and it is perfect for medical students who are into obstetrics and gynecology. Also, as mentioned above, even readers from other western countries can enjoy the read, since America’s 1940s-2020s behavior, culture, and scientific researches have been reflected in many western countries and shaped their views on fertility and infertility choices.

El Secreto De la Vida (Spanish Edition) by Sorocaima Salerno

El libro ha sido toda una revelación. Lo que más me ha gustado y con lo que más he conectado a nivel personal es con las explicaciones que dan sobre los grandes misterios del universo.

El libro aporta las visiones de los grandes místicos de la historia tales como Buda o Jesucristo. Este libro aporta una serie de conocimientos que van más allá de los conocimientos que aportan otros libros. Otros libros no son de real utilidad, son mero entretenimiento. Este libro en cambio te ayuda a avanzar en tu camino de desarrollo espiritual y te aporta los conocimientos necesarios para poder hacer esa transición. Eso sí, cabe destacar que esa transición es totalmente individual. Ese camino hacia el interior de uno mismo es una gran aventura en la cual este libro es partícipe y facilitador.

Este libro me ha despertado cosas en mi interior que desconocía. Me ha ayudado a descubrirme mejor y a entender de una manera más clara qué sucede en este mundo. Nos dejamos llevar por la locura y la vorágine del día a día y no paramos a pensar ni a mirar. Es importante tener esos momentos de espiritualidad individual y es por ello que le estoy infinitamente agradecido a este libro. Ha sido casi una terapia personal para mí. Considero que me ha hecho mejor persona y considero que me ha ayudado a expandir mis áreas de conocimiento. No quiero decir que ahora sea más listo, sino que creo que tengo más espacio para albergar nueva información que hasta hace poco desconocía que existiese. Ha sido todo un descubrimiento y me atrevería a decir que hasta casi un reto el descubrirme interiormente de esa manera.

Sin duda recomiendo leer El Secreto de la Vida: Desarrollo de la Conciencia Espiritual por Sorocaima Salerno y pido a quien decida leer el libro que lo haga con una mentalidad abierta y con ganas de crecer a nivel personal y espiritual. Confiad en el poder del libro y sed conscientes de sus efectos en vosotros tras terminarlo.

These had been our official entries for The Moving Words 2021 Award:

Slaves, Masters, and Traders by H. Ann Ackroyd, Winner of The MOST MOVING BOOK AWARD

Told through multiple persons of voice and from three different locations, Slaves, Masters, and Traders by H. Ann Ackroyd is a historical fiction that explores the subject of slavery. It is set in the backdrop of 1800 AD and through the power of words the author presents us the experiences, culture and life of Africans prior to enslavement in their homeland West Africa and in Louisiana after enslavement.

The narrative is moving and pivotal. The author not only has thoroughly researched on the topic but also has an immense knowledge and understanding of it which reflects in her writing. 1800 AD is the darkest era of history but we still fail to gauge the extent of the harsh conditions Africans had to go through. And this is where Slaves, Masters, and Traders sets itself apart. It provides an accurate representation and builds a story around it. It does not tamper with the representation to fit a narrative.

The story is told through slaves, masters and slave traders and that made my journey as a reader more enriching and raw. The characters are crafted in a detailed manner and the descriptions of the setting are vivid. The author has a very lucid style of writing which makes it an easy read.

With the issue to racism brought to the forefront in the current times, I’ll recommend everyone to give it a read. This book completely consumed me emotionally and is an experience in itself. It is going to stay with me forever.

Dark Against the Sky: A Climbing Boy’s Story by Stephen Hauge

Dark Against the Sky: A Climbing Boy’s Story is a heartwarming tale of hope, determination and perseverance. Tommy is a climbing boy (young chimney sweep) working in the streets of London. He is a child, stolen from his parents and trapped in this hard labor, overseen by a cruel and greedy master sweep. Tommy and four other boys form a band of brothers to help each other through this hopeless daily grind. But Tommy has a dream, a better plan for the future. He wants to reunite with his family and so embarks on an epic adventure to regain his lost life.

The title perfectly synchronizes with the story and its characters. Set in 1834 in London, this novel transports you back to the darkness of unforgiving poverty and child labor. Yet Tommy’s determination and focus are unwavering. He is fueled by the ray of light coming through each chimney he sweeps, as he knows the hardest climb often presents him the best view of blue sky. And the story is also structured like a chimney climb: darkness at first and the constant, rewarding challenge to find the ray of hope.

The characterization is mesmerizing, with the protagonist and the many supporting characters being well portrayed. Among the many features that also set this story apart are its meaningful conversations and descriptions. They underscore the level of research the author has used to build this evocative novel.

Overall, Dark Against the Sky is a perfect slice of art drawn through inspiring characters and powerful themes

This is Yakutat by Kadashan

Yakwdaat Aya: This is Yakutat by Kadashan is a collection of fictional tales masterfully woven by the author and seasoned by his own life experiences as an inhabitant of a small village of Tlingit Indians in southeastern Alaska. It is a remarkable and very illustrative painting of their culture, their people, and their struggles.

Don’t think, though, that Kadashan’s tales are fantastic and epic, nor are the challenges his characters face mythical beasts, made up for the sake of fun; no, Yakwdaat Aya: This is Yakutat allows us to see how the Tlingit have faced struggles that are common to us all – namely the day-to-day survival fight we all go through – but in a way harsher environment and how those hardships have shaped the secular Tlingit people. The author shows all that with impeccable writing, layered with beautiful descriptions of the character’s routines that offer us not just a glimpse, but a full-motion video of that time in rich detail. The description of actions and scenarios is so well-made, that it is easy to transport ourselves to the situations lived by each character.

I can’t stress enough how tasteful the “seasoning” of the author’s life and observations is to his tales. While you know the stories are fictional, there is just so much down-to-earth, passionate penmanship here that it’s impossible to think that they are entirely made-up. They are not, as I suspect Kadashan may have lived and met some of the people that inhabit the small, yet giant in itself, world of the stories. What crowns my suspicion is the final tale, which is dedicated to someone very real and exhibits an important figure’s whole soul through a few pages. I will not spoil it here, of course – all I can say is that it concludes the book by showing the core of the Tlingit spirit, and again, through a vast choice of words, yet so simple in its nature.

I recommend Yakwdaat Aya: This is Yakutat by Kadashan to pretty much everyone. It’s heartwarming, endearing, and definitely human. Have an imaginative seat with Kadashan and let him tell you the tales of a land of majestic bears, river fishing, and seal hunting. Amidst your trip through his words, you will find a portrait of the People of the Tides that you literally cannot find anywhere else.

Breaking Free from the Inner Critic by Kalie Marino

Breaking Free from the Inner Critic is a revolutionary book to rewire our brains to overcome our innermost limitations. We have been programmed by our environment from the very first moment we were born. From there onwards, we absorb the thoughts, teaching, emotions that people around us expressed towards us. We derive meanings from these experiences. Soon this becomes the foundation of our consciousness. This in turn infuses anxiety, fear, and negative emotions in our mind. This inner critic drags us behind from everything that we want to do in our lifetime. This book presents powerful tools to reprogram our mind to break free from the limits we created over time.

The author gives a new perspective to self-improvement. I realized the extent of inner critic’s influence in our thoughts and activities. Our environment is feeding the inner critic more subjects to explore each day. We are consuming more criticism than positivity. This was an eye-opener for me.

The book is written in a perfect structure. The author supports her claims with real-life examples, events from history and theology. The first part of the book is dedicated to the analysis of criticism and how we are addicted to it and wired this trait in our brain. The author supplements her arguments by giving psychological evidences. After a thorough explanation about the nature of this addiction, she then moves on to the symptoms. The next part concentrates on the solution of this problem.

Overall, this is a well-written book. The author adopted an interactive style of narration rather than a monotonous one. Throughout the book, every techniques and ideas are presented with a pinch of humor. This tone helped me to glide through the pages very easily.

The Princess and the Swan by Ryke Leigh Douglas

The Princess and the Swan by author Ryke Leigh Douglas tells us the story of Wendelyn, a cheerful princess who lives an idyllic life in her father’s kingdom while she waits for her perfect charming prince to appear so that they can lead a happy life together. Her undying yearning for such a fate leads her to take questionable and risky decisions in order to make her fateful love happen as fast as possible. Eventually, the pretty princess goes through big trials to shape her as a true lady and to test the strength of her will.

The story in this book is a heart-warming fairy tale much akin to those of simpler times of after-school afternoons in our childhood – and it brings back those very same feelings of wonder of yore, with fantastical worlds, magical beings, and happy endings. In these days where our children and teenagers are faced with harsher realities than we had in our childhoods, The Princess and the Swan is a balm of spiritual tranquility and a chance of dreaming – both things that kids nowadays have been increasingly deprived of. And it’s not about drenching our kids in illusions – it’s just about telling a story that allows them to be pure and imaginative children, and The Princess and the Swan offers exactly that. The illustrations are simply wonderful with variety of colors and shades.

There is another side to this book other than what story it depicts, though. The way in which Mrs. Douglas tells the story shows us that an enjoyable tale can also be a great vehicle to help children in their learning. She is an experienced writer of stories for kids, which is proven by her careful and thoughtful choices of vocabulary and construction of sentences, both aspects aimed at presenting a book for kids and teens that can actually improve their syllabus, reading, and writing skills, as well as teaching words that have been gradually forgotten and ignored by the youth as means to express themselves. Again, these are different times from those in which we were children, and the communication created through the instant speed of internet messaging is done in very basic terms, wherein a single word such as “cool” is used in any and all instances where more elaborate expressions like “incredible”, “superb” and “delightful” could have been used instead. Thus said, The Princess and the Swan is a very enjoyable read for kids, yes, and it is also a great way to have them get in contact with a richer – and 100% safe – vocabulary.

Moreover, I can definitely recommend this book for students of English as a second language, because it is both simple and rich in fine writing. A languages teacher can use this book for ESL classes to a good extent since The Princess and the Swan is filled with class-planning opportunities in its structure.

To sum it up, The Princess and the Swan by Ryke Leigh Douglas is certainly worth your and your kids’ time. Opening its pages was like traveling back to so many gleeful moments of being a child, and I am glad I’m now able to share that experience with my kids through one of Mrs. Douglas’ finest works.

Across the Rift by H. Ann Ackroyd

Across the Rift: World War Two Novel in Rhythmic Prose (Colonial Historical Fiction Series) by H. Ann Ackroyd is set at the backdrop of World War 2 that explores the lives of the members of the same family living at different countries during the war.

It explores the impact of the war on them, the society and on people around. It builds on the theme of love, loss, hope, family, and redemption. It also investigates the similarities and differences of experience with changing locations, local politics and class. This exact narrative makes this book immensely compelling and utterly moving. It instigates your mind and provokes your thoughts. It makes you dissect the historical events through a completely unique lens.

Like her other books, the author has thoroughly researched on the topic before writing on it. That combined with her knowledge and understanding of the African heritage and culture, made reading it an experience in itself. The book will challenge your preconceived notions at every stage and completely consume you emotionally.

Another thing that makes the book stand out is the refreshing style of writing. It is written in a very different but nonetheless intriguing style that the author calls the ‘rhythmic prose’. It made my reading experience even more pleasant. Will definitely recommend this book to everyone.

Sketches of a Small Town by Clifton K. Meador

A memoir, an absolute whirlwind of a read, at times laugh out loud hilarious and at others poignantly sad…

I only recently moved to the US, but since I have always had such a keen interest in history, I have been devouring the stories of the country I’ve found myself in. Never had I imagined that the tales of this land could engage and enthrall me to such an extent, I have often felt as though I could spend a lifetime looking into them and still have countless more to find. This memoir is a wonderful addition to my journey into the past of the USA, a snapshot of a time that seems so far away but still touches us today. I enjoyed the real and candid insight into the realities of segregation and the insight into life in the deep south for the generations before us. A truly moving, entertaining and above all, honest, account of a life well and truly lived, a gem for future generations.

Let Me Count The Ways by Boyd B. McNiel

Eye-opening and mind-blowing. When I started reading Let Me Count the Ways in Which We Have All Been Deceived, I was under the impression that the book would be another book in which the author spews his truths and offers little or no basis to what he’s showing. But how wrong I was! The author, Boyd B. McNiel, is a real connoisseur of the Scriptures and the mythos that surrounds it – and that is shown by the very in-depth explanations he offers to demonstrate how we, as God’s sheep, have been deceived through centuries of copious patchwork and decisions made by man in order to hide the Truth of what the Scriptures had always intended to teach us.

With the help of top-notch software and extensive mythos knowledge, McNiel irrefutably proves several points of discrepancy that we, as believers, must pay special attention to. He goes as far as analyzing the roots of Hebrew words which meanings may have been lost in translation (purposely, perhaps), and then associates that information to different versions of the Bible, events in History, geographical data, and insights of astronomy – and it all makes perfect sense.

Among the facts of which we have been excluded, the book discourses about everyday notions we take for granted, such as the names of the days of the week, the months of the year, and even the number of days and hours we consider to be normal – all of it has pagan, misinterpreted or plainly hidden origins. You must read Let Me Count the Ways in Which We Have All Been Deceived with an open mind, for sure; but rest assured that by the end of it, you will be seeing the world in a whole new – and fair to the real guidance of God – light.

The Tale of Tumeleng by Ryke Leigh Douglas

Ryke Leigh Douglas created a great children’s book with an important message for all ages. I really liked it! I believe every single child will fall in love with Tumeleng who has an adventurous spirit and is the cutest elephant that you will ever read about. And have you seen this precious cover?

I recommend The Tale of Tumeleng as it is a great book for you to think about the importance of bravery and how it is ok for children to be afraid, but with the strength of family and friends they can overcome it. Curiously, elephants were always my favorite animal in the planet, they are just enormous majesties and beautiful. I have always thought that they are kind, united and friendly. All great values to pass to the children.

The illustrations are truly beautiful. I recommend this book to all parents to read to their children.

Cuauhtémoc by D L Davies

Descending Eagle starts with the birth of Cuauhtémoc, a child born to Natomis who was destined to change the world as people knew it. The plot builds on the adventures as he learns to fly and ventures into his first battle.

The story is engaging and extremely entertaining. The author David Davies has an impeccable hold over his craft and knows his art of story telling. His finesse and creative thinking reflects in each page. The hook is provided very early in the story and that is enough to keep you intrigued through out. The pacing is fast and you keep turning the pages trying not waste time on breaths. I devoured it in just a couple of sittings.

But what specifically sets Cuauhtémoc by author David Davies apart and immediately catches your attention is the delightful world-building. It is extremely intricate and immensely vivid. That combined with detailed character arcs transports you to the setting instantly. You practically live in the world and get lost in it.

This is the first instalment in the Cuauhtémoc series and I cannot wait to continue reading more of it. I will recommend it to everyone who loves reading A Good fantasy novel.

Colonial Adventure and Other Stories by H. Ann Ackroyd

Colonial Adventure and Other Stories by H. Ann Ackroyd is a compelling collection of novella and short stories. Written in rhythmic free form prose this book explores the British colonial history of Africa, specifically Zimbabwe (the then, Rhodesia). As the author draws from the experiences of herself and her family in Africa, it is very hard to match her narrative. Her understanding of the events and issues reflects themselves on each page. Like H. Ann Ackroyd’s other works this too through its intricate narration puts forward a vivid picture of the culture, lifestyle and history. It is every bit moving and pivotal.

The illustrations are simple yet communicate the essence of the pieces appropriately and in an engaging manner. Each piece strikes a chord with the readers. Especially me coming from a colonized ethnicity myself connected with the feelings of them immensely, even though the experiences differed.

The stories are short and crisp. They are meant to be savoured slowly but I devoured it in 2 sittings. This is a very significant and enriching read. I’ll recommend it to everyone who likes a good piece of literature.

Chasing Quetzalcoatl to the American Dream by Garret Thomas Godwin

Chasing Quetzalcoatl to the American Dream, by Garret Thomas Godwin, is a fictional tale of Trick Hartland, a descendant of the Navajo, showing his life struggles between his mundane desires and the spiritual calling of his soul. The book has Trick’s story told from the very beginning to his 40s, spanning decades of cultural and societal changes that influence Trick in pursuing one path over another and pondering his life goals between achievement the American Dream and chasing the figure of Christ in Quetzalcoatl.

Trick’s story, albeit fictional, serves as a great way to shine a light on our own life choices and decisions, how we are molded by them and how life itself has a way of guiding us through God. Some parts of the book are especially good in illustrating that, such as when Trick gets involved with growing opioid plants while amidst Vietnam War incursions and tarnishes his soul with that; later on, under the guidance of a wise Navajo shaman, he is reborn through his spirituality and seeks to find redemption and forgiveness in his pursuit of Jesus by the Book of Mormon. Due to Mr. Godwin’s poetic experience, this duality can also be seen in subtle hints through carefully handpicked character names, for example.

The way in which this story of inner reflection and finding oneself is presented by author Garret Thomas Godwin embraces the reader and makes them feel like they are actively witnessing Trick’s evolution firsthand. Chasing Quetzalcoatl to the American Dream is very easy to read and the short length of chapters definitely makes it an essential pick for short-burst reading sessions before bed. As it is a pretty lengthy tale, several different characters are presented and some have foreign names which can be hard to remember after reading hiatuses, and to remedy that, the author kindly offers an index of characters at the end of the book for a quick glance that allows you to not lose track of who’s who.

Dondobee or The Adventures of a Leolian Elf by Dale Parry

Dondobee opens with introducing us to Coal, a dirty little urchin living in a black back alley and his invention of a unique musical instrument. An instrument through which he mastered such a melodious tune that all the birds and animals came to listen. One fine night his melody attracted two Leolian Elves who lived nearby. They danced and danced and danced. And came into an agreement with Coal, to be at his service for a lifetime in return of him playing them the music. This tale is about their son, Dondobee, the little Leolian elf, and his adventures in the castle.

The storyline is simple yet intriguing. It not only entertains readers but the narrative strikes them at various levels. It challenges and aspires to redefine beauty in a unique way. It makes readers think and teaches them to withhold their judgment. It also upholds the value of kindness and reiterates how things have value only when it brings happiness to others. These are integral lessons to impart to young readers.

Another thing that stands out about the book is its writing. It is effortless, lucid and has a natural flow to it. The plot never once lost its pace. In such fewer words, the author crafted detailed and amusing characters. I ended up feeling emotionally connected to not only our protagonist but also to others in the story like Coal, Rodo, Sheebee, and more. I adored Dondobee and I think it will be ideal for readers aged between 6 to 14 years. And I will also recommend it to all adults still young at heart like me.

Creating an Atmosphere for the Promises of God by Melba K. Wiggins

Creating an Atmosphere for the Promises of God, by Melba K. Wiggins, is a book for all of us who need to find guidance in our identity as Christians. It teaches us how we can create a Godly atmosphere through our words and faith and through the author’s own experience and examples which are always based on what the Word of God says. It is by no means an easy task, so the author explains what we can do to allow ourselves to project that atmosphere from ourselves and onto others.

This book is an invitation to reflect on our existence and on God’s promises on how to face the struggles of seemingly meaningless everyday actions, negative words, and thoughts.

The book has many positive aspects, but I’d like to focus on some few points. For example, I love how the author doesn’t target her messages to any specific Christian group, but any Christian individual. That, by itself, shows the knowledge she has in creating an atmosphere of Godly resonance. Another good point is that the book offers questions at the end of every chapter, helping us to summarize and better absorb the concepts and messages. The use of the author’s examples helps us to see ideas in practical terms, which is admirable.

All in all, Creating an Atmosphere for the Promises of God is a reliable guidebook and highly recommended for spiritual enlightenment.

Raising Charlie by Kitty McCaffrey

Kitty McCaffrey’s book, Raising Charlie: A Self Help Book for Single Mothers, centers on raising and developing children. This is an interesting and impressive book to read especially for single mothers who want to learn from the experience of Kitty, a single mother herself.

This book is not only about raising Charlie but raising the author’s other kid as well named, Jon. Although Charlie is the main focus because he’s the youngest adopted child, it was also Kitty’s story who had struggled her way through divorce and how she was able to raise her kids from early childhood to early adult successfully despite the many challenges and obstacles that a single parent could have experienced. It was such a painful decision on her part, who had a Near Death Experience and had lost two daughters before the couple’s decision of adopting the two boys (Jon and Charlie).

When the couple decided to separate, the author had to do her best to manage the kids with limited financial resources while working as a full-time teacher in Florida. Her spirituality as a Christian has helped her cope with the daily struggles and routines of raising her two boys while finding additional income to support the family since her husband was not very supportive especially when it comes to the security and emotional needs of the children. Aside from that, it was her wisdom and their togetherness as a team (between her and the two boys) that made their journey meaningful as she was able to focus on her children’s strengths through discipline and positive reinforcement.

I can also say that the author has given much importance on developing the kids holistically in terms of quality education, sports, travel, and the passion for music (the boys excelled in this area). Lastly, learning is also emphasized on raising Charlie with the help of his older brother since they acted as a team.

There are many good points about this book. First, every experience and meaningful anecdotes as narrated by Kitty, there is always a lesson being presented which is quite simple yet profound. Second, the author uses simple words to communicate to the readers whose audience is primarily intended for single mothers and would-be parents in the future about what it is like to raise a kid successfully. Third, the book focuses much on important themes like parenting or responsible parenthood, divorce, child development, and child psychology, religion, spirituality, remarriage and American cultural values.

Workbook for Basic Phonics by Melvine Groves

This book begins with verbally being able to identify colors and then identifying the color words. Melvine puts in the supplemental material for learning the alphabet, digraphs, and vowel sounds. She included activities where students will point, circle, or write colors, numbers, or letters. Also, she uses red to help with identifying vowel sounds. At the end of the book, she has sentences written out for the student to read. The one unique aspect of this workbook is the author’s use of color to help maintain the attention of the students.

The audience of the workbook could be any teacher who is working with pre-kindergarten age students up to first grade. The workbook also may benefit anyone who is working with special education students that need extra repetition of skills.

Overall, this workbook would be useful to reinforce or practice phonics skills that students are learning.