#BookReview and Giveaway, The Divine Adventure

GIVEAWAY WINNERS:

I decided to give away two copies, so Cathy Westrich and Louise Bélanger are the winners! Cathy and Louise, I will be contacting you by email.

BOOK REVIEW

The Divine Adventure: Spiritual Practices for a Modern-Day Disciple contains 12 chapters that will help you get closer to God. The chapters dig deep into embracing God’s Grace, demonstrating Grace to others, adventuring with God, forging hidden strength, giving, fasting, and more. At the end of each chapter are exercises for the reader, entitled Your Turn, which helps you examine your own thoughts and experiences in each area, and Spiritual Practice, which gives the reader a task related to the topic.

This is a very helpful and meaningful guide that shows the reader how to dive deeper into every area of your Christian life. In fact, the chapter on Searching the Scriptures talks about “getting wet,” when it comes to reading the Bible. As the author says, dive into the scriptures instead of just “lounging on the beach,” and the Bible will come alive for you. The chapter on Pilgrimage: The Lost Art of Adventuring With God, really spoke to me because I’ve been a bit of a traveler all my life, mostly for work. The author talks about her own travels and how she would seek to go on an adventure with God, and the people, events, and places He brought into her life a a result. Her travels sound much richer than mine.

There is also chapter on Meekness, which is described a “Forging Hidden Strength.” I need to read that one several times, as I’ve never been known as “meek.” This is obviously the most important chapter in the book for me, and the area I need to work on the most. Meekness is more than just avoiding confrontation. It’s about letting God step in and solve conflicts or problems instead of trying to solve them yourself. The author’s example of this shows how she stepped back from something she very much wanted and ended up getting something better. The chapter on “Fasting” is interesting, as it goes into the history of and different approaches to fasting. There are also chapters on Giving, Worship, Community, and more, and each one is a helpful resource for anyone seeking enhanced relationship with God.

I received two free copies of this book from Baker Books. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rebecca Friedlander

In 2004, Rebecca Friedlander moved into a garage apartment, set up her potter’s wheel in a little room below, and started to seek God and pursue art.  Her motivation was simply to have a life completely offered to God, and capture whatever flowed from that space.  Nearly two decades later, she’s still a full- time artist, finding joy in using a variety of artistic mediums to tell stories about God’s love.  

Whether booking a one-way ticket to Ireland to film about Celtic history, shooting makeovers with 50 women around the world to tell stories of transformation and hope, or interviewing Christian music pioneers about their life lessons, Rebecca is passionate about telling stories that bring identity and truth in Christ.  

Rebecca is a published author with Baker House Publishing, and her films have been shown on every major English speaking TV network in the world, including TBN, Day Star, GOD TV, Pure Flix, and more.  Her recent project includes renovating a log home in Texas for spiritual retreats and workshops, and starting a non-profit called The Potter’s House Creative Ministries where she speaks and ministers weekly at the cabin.  ​She has a BA in Creative Christian Arts and a master’s in Celtic Studies.

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Self-Published Saturday: June 26, 2021

Happy Saturday! My choice for Self-Published Saturday this week is a wonderful book by Grace Mattioli called The Bird That Sang in Color. It’s a gorgeously written novel about finding true meaning in life. As always, just a reminder that self-published authors have to do it all. Their job does not stop at writing the book. They are in charge of cover design, marketing, finances, budget, and everything else. Your support means so much to them, so if you do buy the book, please remember to leave a review. Reviews are crucial for self-published authors.

The Bird That Sang in Color is the saga of a family dealing with death, conflict, grief, alcoholism, and depression. Donna’s father is an alcoholic and she carries that into her married life to Frank, who has a problem with alcohol as well. Donna is devoted to her children and her brother Vince, a talented musician and artist. Donna has long encouraged Vince to get a “real” job, a house, and the other trappings of success, but Vince continues to go his own way. After Vince’s death, Donna finds a picture book in which Vince has drawn different scenes from his life. For Donna, this shows the truth about Vince’s life, and also about hers.

Though the beginning started out a little slowly for me, this is a fascinating story that asks tough questions. What is success really about? Who is really dead and who is really alive? What is real happiness? Do material things make you happy, and are they fitting substitutes for joy and passion? What makes you truly happy? Most importantly, this book asks the reader to look inside themselves to see their own life pictures, assess their lives, and decide what is important and what is not. And for that, it gets five stars.

Kindle Unlimited members can download this book for free or you can purchase the Kindle version for only 2.99.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Grace Mattioli

Grace Mattioli is the author of two novels–Olive Branches Don’t Grow On Trees and Discovery of an Eagle, and a book of short stories, The Brightness Index. Her forthcoming novel, The Bird that Sang in Color, will be released January 17, 2021.

Her fiction is filled with unforgettable characters, artful prose, humor, and insight about what it takes to be truly happy.  She strongly believes that if people were happier, the world would be a better place.

She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and her cats. She worked as a librarian for over twenty years and has had various other job titles, including jewelry designer, food cart owner, shopkeeper, book seller, substitute teacher, art school model, natural grocery store clerk, short order cook, food server, street vendor, barista, and a giant Twinkie! 

She has been writing creatively since she was a child and has participated in various writing workshops and classes. Her favorite book is Alice in Wonderland. Her favorite author is Flannery O’Connor. Her favorite line of literature comes from James Joyce’s novella, The Dead:  “Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.”

LINKS TO BUY THE BIRD THAT SANG IN COLOR

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#Blog Tour: The Spinster’s Fortune

THE SPINSTER’S FORTUNE BY MARY KENDALL

*Book Review at the bottom of the page

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Publication Date: April 6, 2021
Darkstroke Books
Paperback & eBook; 227 pages

Genre: Historical Mystery

Moonlit alleys, shadowy tunnels, and buried secrets…

Summer of 1929.

Of supposed unsound mind without a penny to her name, Blanche Magruder lies alone in a home for the aged and infirm.

Meanwhile, her house, a crumbled ruin in the heart of Georgetown, Washington, D.C., is pillaged nightly by thieves looking for treasure rumored to be hidden there.

A distant niece, Margaret O’Keefe, is tapped as executor and soon becomes embroiled in the hunt for recovering monies, taking it on as a welcome escape from her financial and marital woes.

As Margaret discovers caches in unlikely spots throughout the house, family mysteries begin to unravel. She questions whether Aunt Blanche is an insane fool or a daring genius, yet Margaret must also wrangle with her own hidden truths.

Pressed towards a convergence of their pasts and presents, the two women must ultimately face down a fateful discovery in order to rectify their lives.

Shrouded in gothic undertones and dark artifice, THE SPINSTER’S FORTUNE is a tale that takes the reader on a strange journey through tangled webs of family deceit. But where does it end?

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mary Kendall

Mary Kendall lived in old (and haunted) houses growing up which sparked a life-long interest in history and story-telling. She earned degrees in history related fields and worked as an historian for many years. Her fiction writing is heavily influenced by the past which she believes is never really dead and buried.

Fueled by black coffee and a possible sprinkling of Celtic fairy dust, she tends to find inspiration in odd places and sometimes while kneading bread dough.

The author currently resides in Maryland with her family (husband, three kids, barn cat and the occasional backyard hen) who put up with her mad scribbling at inconvenient hours.

THE SPINSTER’S FORTUNE , a mystery set in Georgetown, Washington DC, is her debut novel and is a twisty, tangled dive into a web of family deception murky with gothic undertone

#BOOK REVIEW

This is an intriguing historical mystery set in 1929 in Washington D.C. It is loosely based on the story of the real Blanche Magruder, who actually hid treasure in her house for her relatives to find. Although it is set in 1929, through Blanche we are transported to the Civil War era and other events during her life. Each character is fascinating in his or her own way, but none more so than the spinster sisters, Emily and Blanche. Margaret’s story, including the treasure hunt, her shaky marriage, and her growth as a person, is in itself a captivating tale. The attempts of others to benefit off of the carefully hidden treasure is interesting to watch. This story has it all–a hidden treasure, well written characters, intrigue, lies, and a shocking surprise. This book is so well done that I was surprised it is Mary Kendall’s debut novel. I can’t wait to read her next one. I received a free copy of this book through Hall of Fame Virtual Book Tours. My opinions are my own.

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*Kindle Unlimited Subscribers can read it for free, or it’s only $3.99 to buy.

#Book Review: Echoes of Home: A Ghost Story

Echoes of Home is an intriguing Ghost Story about an abandoned cottage and the secrets it keeps. Les Wills has just finished burying his mother when his brother Jonathan arrives, late, and bearing the gift of a new start for Les at Elphin Cottage, a home in the Scottish Highlands. When Les finally travels to this out of the way place, strange things begin to happen, and he sets out to solve their mystery. 

This captivating story is set mainly in the Scottish Highlands, although Les, the main character, doesn’t arrive there until about 20% into the book. There were times when I felt the pace was slow in the first half of the book, but after reading the story in its entirety, everything fit together and made perfect sense, and the pace itself was just right.

I am not a fan of horror and do not review it, and I would categorize this as paranormal, but not horror. It is also historical fiction, as the Great Famine of 1845- 1849 and the Highland Famine of 1846 – 1856 were very real and greatly impacted this story. Another theme in this book is solitude, and the story drips with palpable solitude, including Les’s solitude, ghostly solitude, and that of Clais Cottage and its surroundings. This is very well done by M.L. Rayner. The impact that class differences had on the poor leaves no doubt as to the evil that comes from thinking oneself above others. The character Michael Coull serves as an ending to some of the solitude in this story. He is also a connection to the land and the teller of its stories.

As I am descended from Appalachian settlers arriving in America from Scotland, Ireland, England, and Wales, this type of tale reminds me of mountain stories I’ve heard, told in almost musical fashion, of ghosts or mythical creatures who haunt the Smokies. I can definitely feel a musical rhythm in this Scottish tale. 

I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good ghost story as well as fans of historical fiction and Scottish history. I downloaded a copy of this book on Kindle Unlimited, where subscribers can read it for free. 

I have rated this 4.5 stars, rounded up to five on sites that do not have a half-star option. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

M.L. Rayner

Born and bred in the county of Staffordshire. Matt is a keen reader of classical, horror and fantasy literature and enjoys writing in the style of traditional ghost stories. During his working life, Matt joined the ambulance service in 2009, transporting critically ill patients all over the UK. After writing his first novel, Matt was welcomed into the family of Question Mark Press publishing and now dedicates his time on future releases. His hobbies include genealogy and hiking, and he enjoys spending time with his wife, Emma, his children, and his family.

CONTACT M.L. RAYNER

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Self-Published Saturday: June 19, 2021

Today’s Self-Published Saturday feature is The Search for Synergy, the first book in The Talisman Series by Brett Salter. As always with self-published books, be sure to leave a review if you decide to read it. Reviews are extremely important for self-published authors who have to do all of their own marketing.

#BOOK REVIEW: The Search For Synergy

Rome is a 14 year old boy who suddenly finds himself seeking out fire and danger.  When he accidentally sets the neighbor’s tree on fire in an unusual way,  he catches the eye of a schoolmate, Julian.  Julian begins watching Rome closely and soon discovers what he suspects is true.  Rome is a dragon, and Julian will be his knight counterpart, once they achieve Synergy and get their full power.  They are descendants of dragon and knight families of old.  Together, they can save the world from dark forces that are coming.  Rome soon meets Mr. Jones, who has been training Julian for this moment since he was seven years old, and they begin to try to unlock the secrets of Synergy.

The whole concept of hidden dragon and knight families with special bonds and powers from the time of King Arthur is exciting and interesting.  The beginning 30 percent or so of the book is spent on Rome learning about who and what he truly is.  Then the first epic battle between good and evil happens, and it is awesome.  I enjoyed this hidden world where dragons are real and live among us, knights are still training to save the world, and evil creatures keep trying to break through into Earth from the void.  

The friendship and bond between Rome and Julian is believable and fun.  The evil creatures we’ve seen so far, the Garms, are powerfully described.  Rome’s fantastical transformation is a joy to read and experience along with him. This start to The Talisman Series reminds me a little bit of Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and The Chronicles of Narnia.    I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series, Riders of Fire and Ice. 

Although I have seen this book described as middle grade fiction, which would be roughly ages 8 – 12, I think kids under the age of 13 should read it only with parental supervision, and I would categorize it as young adult instead of middle grade.  The battles with evil creatures could be scary for young kids, and the fact that Julian has been trained by Mr. Jones since he was seven and the two of them keep a lot of secrets from his parents set off some alarms for me. 

Even as someone who is in her 50’s, I truly enjoyed the start to this young adult series.  After all, as C.S. Lewis said, “No book is really worth reading at the age of 10 which is not equally—and often far more—worth reading at the age of 50 and beyond.”

I have rated this gem of a book four and half stars, rounded up to five on sites without a half star option.

I downloaded a copy of this book on Kindle Unlimited where subscribers can read it for free.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brett Salter

Brett Salter’s background in writing stems mostly from the inspiration he found as a kid in Fantasy and Sci-Fi books. These include The Chronicles of Narnia, The Xanth Novels, The Time Quintet, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and everything from Shakespeare to Dr. Seuss.  In his formative years, he joined several punk rock bands and wrote songs, poetry, and short stories aplenty.  As an adult he took on a dare and wrote The Talisman Series.  He has published four books in this series so far:  The Search for Synergy, Riders of Fire and Ice, Windy City Ruins, and The Battle for Verdana.

BUY THE ENTIRE TALISMAN SERIES ON AMAZON (Kindle Unlimited Subscribers Can Read It For Free)

THE TALISMAN SERIES WIKI FAN PAGE (SPOILERS!)

*REMINDER: AS ALWAYS, IF YOU DECIDE TO READ THE BOOK, PLEASE LEAVE A REVIEW. THE AUTHORS APPRECIATE THIS SO MUCH!

#Book Review: Celestial Persuasion

This is such a brilliant combination of historical and women’s fiction, as well as a tribute to Jane Austen’s Persuasion.  It begins in England in the Regency era and travels to Buenos Aires, in the beginnings of a fight for the South American colonies’ independence from Spain. 

Brilliant, but unable to go to college because she is a woman, Abigail Isaacs has few choices other than to study astronomy in her comfortable English home. However, upon the death of her father, Abigail writes to her brother Jonathan, who is serving on a ship called The Argo. Unfortunately she is told by none other than Austen character Captain Wentworth that her brother, a friend of Wentworth’s, has just passed away under violent circumstances because he was Jewish. Abigail is surprised to find out that her late father and brother had invested in property in South America, and that they were part of a secret society that wants to free Buenos Aires from Spanish rule. She eventually decides to travel to Buenos Aires on the frigate George Canning, along with her loyal companion, Mrs. Frankel. They are also accompanied by her brother’s associates, José Francisco de San Martín and Raphael Gabay de Montoya. St Martin and Montoya are part of a Freemason-affiliated secret society interested in freeing Buenos Aires from Spanish rule.

I was immediately transported to the Regency era in Britain, and then to South America at the time of Spanish rule. The characters all came to life and the places were described in such vivid detail that I felt as if I were there. The descriptions of the ship voyage were especially real and fascinating. The customs, rules, and prejudices of the Regency era were described in sometimes painful detail, especially the racism against Jews, which was evident in circumstances that occurred early in the book. Jewish traditions, terms, and customs are explained throughout this captivating novel. 

The bow to Jane Austen comes not only in the inclusion of Wentworth, but also in the language and tone of the book. There is also a surprise in the book that nobody will see coming.

I was blown away by the author’s remarkable ability to write a prequel to Persuasion, add in Jewish traditions and history, expertly combine historical, literary, and fictional characters, and eloquently surround it all with the South American independence movement. I would highly recommend this to fans of Jewish and South American historical fiction, as well as to readers who love strong female characters. 

I received a free copy of this book from the author. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

Kindle Unlimited subscribers can download the book for free or it can be purchased outright for only $2.99.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mirta Ines Trupp

Mirta is a second generation Argentine; she was born in Buenos Aires in 1962 and immigrated to the United States that same year. Because of the unique fringe benefits provided by her father’s employer- Pan American Airlines- she returned to her native country frequently- growing up with “un pie acá, y un pie allá” (with one foot here and one foot there).

Mirta’s fascination with Jewish history and genealogy, coupled with an obsession for historical period drama, has inspired her to create unique and enlightening novels. She has been a guest speaker for book clubs, sisterhood events, genealogy societies and philanthropic organizations. Sharing her knowledge of Jewish Argentina has become her passion.

Besides being an avid novel reader, she has had a lifelong love for choral music and is a devoted Beatles fan. Follow Mirta on Amazon, Goodreads, Pinterest and Instagram for interesting tidbits and photos.

MIRTA INES TRUPP’S WEBSITE

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#Book Review: Keeping The Lights On For Ike

Rebecca Daniels shares the letters, thoughts, and memories of her parents, Alec and Mary Daniels, mostly during the time when her father was serving in Europe during World War II. Accompanying each letter or story from her parents, Daniels provides the rich history of what was going on in the war, the country, and/or the military at that time. The history is well researched, and the letters of her parents are an interesting look at what it was like to write letters that they knew were going to go through a censor. 

The importance of letters and the post office in general really resonated with me as well. In this day of smartphones, Facetime, and quick emails, few people really think about hand-written letters, but they were the lifeline of families during WWII. Both the soldiers and the families waited hopefully for the post, and when it finally came, drank in the only communication with their loved ones they may have had in weeks or even months.

One of the most poignant quotes for me came from Daniels’ father about the nature of war. I myself have never been in a war zone and would not presume to know what it is like, but his words rang true for me. When talking about a Christmas celebration during the war in December 1942, he said: “…The dinner was a great success and everyone forgot their trouble for a moment and had a grand old time. You see, Mary, a war isn’t all that you think it might be. You just have to be in one to understand how people live almost as they would if no war existed, except for short periods of extreme activity.” Of course, he couldn’t put anything more descriptive than “extreme activity,” or it likely would have been censored.

The letters and snippets of stories from Mary Daniels showed a woman of deep thought with real writing talent. I am the spouse of a retired military member, and when Mary described what it was like living near a Navy yard, that instantly brought me back to my own time living on military bases, and my own visits to Navy shipyards. Mary’s writings that were provided show she had a talent for connecting with the reader.

This is a well-researched and interesting memoir, and really provides a window of what things were like for World War II era couples, separated for so long but trying to keep the lines of communication open.

This is a great tribute from Rebecca Daniels to her parents, and a thoughtful history of what life was like at that time.

I downloaded the book on Kindle Unlimited, where subscribers can borrow it for free. I also received a PDF from the author. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rebecca Daniels

Rebecca Daniels (MFA, PhD) Rebecca Daniels taught performance, writing, and speaking in liberal arts universities for over 25 years, including St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, from 1992-2015. She was the founding producing director of Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland, OR, and directed with many professional Portland theatre companies in the 1980s. She is the author of the groundbreaking Women Stage Directors Speak (McFarland, 1996) and has been published in multiple professional theatre journals. In 2015, she retired from teaching and moved to the Pioneer Valley in western Massachusetts where, in 2018, she completed the manuscript for Keeping the Lights on for Ike, a book based on her father’s letter home from Europe during WWII, which was published in 2019 by Sunbury Press. In 2019, she also served as literary manager and co-producer for Silverthorne Theater Company in Greenfield, MA. Lately, she has been working on two full-length plays and recently completed a memoir called Finding Sisters (to be published by Sunbury Press in 2021) that explores how DNA testing helped her find her genetic parents and other relatives in spite of being given up for a closed adoption at birth. 

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Self-Published Saturday: June 12, 2021

Here is my weekly installment of Self-Published Saturday, which is devoted to helping self-published authors promote their books. As always, if you decide to buy this book, please make sure and leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and any other site where you review books. This week is devoted to Book 2 in the Juche Series, The Weeping Masses. You can find a link to my review of Book 1 and the Link to preorder Book 3 at the bottom of this page

THE WEEPING MASSES

This is now the second book of the  fantastic Juche series, which the author says is currently planned as a nine book series. As the book opens, something terrible has happened to Areum’s sister Nari, and Areum is reeling, trying to take care of her family but also burning with the desire for revenge.

 The  terror at the camp continues, and Areum does what she can to survive.  When she and Nari are assigned to a work group, more challenges arise.  Areum struggles to protect her family and herself as the terrors of a concentration camp rain around her.  She begins to make difficult choices and uses her skills as a gymnast and martial artist to survive. However, she takes risks for which there must be consequences. She also makes alliances which she knows may fall through at any moment.  Will Areum and her family survive, and what new horrors lay in wait for them?

This excellent dystopian series continues to shock and provide a realistic look at an evil military dictatorship. The first 20 percent of this book is very dark and bleak, but you have to expect that from a concentration camp.  Then the story picks up steam and the author throws in little glimmers of hope in the midst of all the darkness.  This is a realistic read and makes you wonder what you would do to protect yourself in a situation like this.  Areum is thrust into many ethical battles by her cruel overlords.  Areum’s struggles with evil captors, difficult choices, and her own rage are well written by the author.  Surprises abound in this novel, and the reader will be on the edge of their seat.  I would recommend this to anyone interested in dystopian fiction or historical fiction, as you will recognize the Kingdom of Chosun as a country that exists today.

This book is available on Kindle Unlimited, where subscribers can borrow it for free.  It is also only $3.49 to purchase outright on Kindle.

LINK TO BUY BOOK TWO: THE WEEPING MASSES

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LINK TO MY REVIEW OF BOOK ONE, THE DEMON OF YODOK

LINK TO BUY BOOK ONE, THE DEMON OF YODOK

LINK TO PREORDER BOOK THREE, THE STORM OF STORMS

REMEMBER AS ALWAYS TO LEAVE A REVIEW IF YOU BUY THE BOOK. REVIEWS ARE SO IMPORTANT TO SELF-PUBLISHED AUTHORS.

#Book Review: My Name is Cain

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Mother Evelyn needs to solve a major problem, and Hannah, a young nun fresh out of college, is the one for the job. Joining the Inner Circle of the Abbey of St. Margaret is an eye-opener for Hannah, to say the least. Travel with Hannah and her Vatican Intelligence cohorts on a roller-coaster ride around the world as she discovers many secrets including . . .Did Cain ever die? The death of one of the prime characters in Genesis was never mentioned. Is he still alive?Who are the Elohim? How is Mother Evelyn always prepared for what is going to happen?Journey into a genre rarely touched—Christian science fiction

#BOOK REVIEW

My only comment prior to the review below is a question. Am I allowed to use the word “badass” in a Christian book review? Because I did.

This surprising novel starts out with a group of nuns in an abbey, and the reader has no idea they are about to enter a world of intrigue, spies, aliens, extrasensory powers, space travel, and cyber technology. Biblical characters, scriptures, prophecies, and events are woven through it all. The author keeps us in suspense as he expertly unveils one surprise after another. I was absolutely kept on the edge of my seat as a group of nuns revealed themselves to be badass operatives, bent on saving the human race. This book is so imaginative and well written that I was completely riveted to each page. The characters are complex and layered, and the layers are slowly peeled off as they reveal their true identities. The plot is so creative and the story itself is fast paced and hurtles forward to a shocking conclusion. There appears to be plenty of opening for a sequel, and I sincerely hope we get one. Fans of Christian fiction, Science fiction, Thrillers, and the Paranormal will enjoy this enticing, multi-faceted thriller mashup. In this well-written, imaginative novel, Dean Sparks shows us that Christian fiction can be bold, exciting, astonishing, and unexpected.  

I received a free copy of this book via Reedsy Discovery. My review is voluntary.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dean Sparks is first and foremost a Christian. He loves his wife abundantly. Four of his children, all daughters, were born in one year! Dean is thrilled to be a father and grandfather to the family’s six children and five grandchildren. He loves his job as a Chick-fil-A franchisee and has been with Chick-fil-A since 1978. Dean is an out-of-the-box thinker who is worth reading. You can contact him at authordeansparks.com or via e-mail at dean.sparks@authordeansparks.com.

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#Book Review: Peacemaker

Peacemaker is set in North America at some point prior to the arrival of European colonists, possibly in the early 1500s. Okwaho is a young Onondagan boy who left his village of Onontaka with his parents and fourteen other families. They turned their backs on the war-fighting life of Onontaka and wanted to live in peace. This earned the rage of their former chief, Atatarho, who wore snakes in his hair and routinely ordered murderous raids against other villages. But now Okwaho’s best friend has been captured by a raiding party, and the villagers wonder if they ever can truly escape wars. Then a stranger named Carries visits Okwaho’s village. Carries brings news of an amazing man, The Peacemaker, who will soon visit their territory. The village is excited at the prospect of peace, but Okwaho still harbors anger at the loss of his friend. Is peace possible?

I truly enjoyed this book and the many Iroquois legends it shares. The stories are fascinating, and I was captivated by the Peacemaker. The idea of a man called the Peacemaker, who cannot be destroyed, convincing five tribes, the Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca, and Onondaga, to turn to peace and unite as the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) is inspiring. The author uses a fictional character, the young Okwaho, and intersperses his story with Iroquois legends to bring a true message of peace for all to this time. The story of Hiawatha is also part of this tale. I especially enjoyed the legend of the Twins and the story of the snake and the frog. This book is recommended for everyone, as the message of peace is universal.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Historical Novels Review Magazine. My review is voluntary.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joseph Bruchac

Joseph Bruchac is a highly acclaimed Abenaki children’s book author, poet, novelist and storyteller, as well as a scholar of Native American culture. Coauthor with Michael Caduto of the bestselling Keepers of the Earth series, Bruchac’s poems, articles and stories have appeared in over 500 publications, from Akwesasne Notes and American Poetry Review to National Geographic and Parabola. He has authored more than 50 books for adults and children.