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So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff

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Fairy Tales

The Prodigal
Read my review here.
Order the book from GoodReads.com.
Then go vote for The Prodigal
at BookBundlz.com!

Michael Hurley’s astoundingly good novel, The Prodigal was chosen as a finalist along with four other novels by reviewers for the 2013 annual BookBundlz Book Club Pick contest. The finalists were announced on August 1.  This is an annual contest to select the best novel for thousands of book club members around the world.  The reviewers selected the finalists, but the winning book, to be named on September 1, will be determined solely by the greatest number of votes from the general public between now and August 31. People can sign up at the BookBundlz website to vote once per day and see where each of the five finalists stands in the running day by day.  Here’s where you go to vote: http://www.bookbundlz.com/votingpage.aspx

As many of you know, I have used The Prodigal as a favoured book recommendation to my followers on GoodReads and have been happy to do so. I hope those of you who have received the recommendation have purchased the book and enjoyed it as much as I have.  If not, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Winning this contest means enormous exposure for the book and the author, which explains why Random House and other established publishers have 3 out of the 5 books in the finals. This is an AMAZING FEAT for a self-published author. michael hurley
Good Luck to Michael, and The Prodigal!!!!!!!
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Review: Wicked by Jillian Kleine Der Löwe (A Seven Deadly Sins Novel, Book 1)

wicked
Click the cover to purchase the book.
Come on, Live a little! Do it!
You KNOW you want to!!!

When was there placed before your eyes the idea of most fervent love, the male and female embracing each other so closely that they could no more be torn asunder, but through unsearchable love became one?  – Arthur Edward Waite The Golden Tract

After a few weeks of tweaking and tightening with Jillian, as her proofreader and editor, Jillian proudly placed Wicked on Amazon.com for sale. She should be proud! This is a wonderful, wildly creative novel. Jillian has a very distinctive voice in this novel. Her turn of phrase is enhanced by a ‘wicked’ sense of humour as she carries you back through billions of years of creation – then turns creation on it’s head.

In Wicked angels and demons and creation (oh, my!) have been around since the Big Bang (yes, there really was one of those, you mean you really doubted it?). How boring is that, the same old same old, eon after eon? One must what one must, and if you are a Half-Angel, Half-Demon, Half-Elf and Half-Goddess (hum? Yes, yes, that is quarters, but then, you weren’t there when it happened, were you?) and have lived as long as Sev has (well, that isn’t really her name, but hey, if you, well, wouldn’t you get bored and want to change your name too?) and you are stuck on Earth for no reason you can remember, it sucks to be tasked by grandpa Yahweh to kill off your husband, Lucifer. Yes, that Lucifer. Hum? Didn’t know Lucifer was married? Oh, yea, baby! The love of the millenniums, don’t ya’ know.

What follows is by turns funny, sad, exciting and ultimately awe-inspiring. Angels and demons are, after all, just human in their own way, right? That whole ‘created by the same creator’ clause in the contract. With all the shortcomings, pain, longing and heartache any self-respecting celestial being should suffer. The metaphysical equivalent of Romeo and Juliet, Sev suffers as she pines for her great love, Luc, while Luc himself suffers the slings and arrows of self-flagellation, longing for things that were and were not, and should never have come to pass, if it ever really did and it wasn’t just a figment of his imagination. Or Sev’s. Or maybe Yahweh’s.

Overall, this is a metaphysical romp of the ‘well, yes, that’s what was said, but realllllly’ sort that was both exciting and frustrating to edit. Well, what can I say? No contractions?! I guess being a celestial being trying to speak English without an accent is sort of irritating, huh?

If you have a wicked sense of humour, this is definitely the book for you. If you don’t have a wicked sense of humour? Grow one. You really don’t want to miss this tour-d-force of laughs, snide commentary, misunderstandings on a universal scale and moments of great and abiding love. Throw all your expectations out the window of the Enterprise NCC-1701A (Hey, I like originals) at warp eleven, settle in, and enjoy. You won’t regret it!

Highly recommended.

A Very Offended Rant

I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t.  –  Audre Lorde

Speaking very generally, I find that women are spiritually, emotionally, and often physically stronger than men.  –  Gary Oldman

The link below is to a post from the site of a blogger I have been following for a while. To be perfectly clear, the  particular post I am responding to was not posted by Gabriel, but on his site in response to a blog he wrote about the effect of porn on human relationships; “Why Real Men Shouldn’t Fanaticize About Women”. The full post may be accessed at:

thttp://syl101.com/2013/07/12/why-real-men-shouldnt-fantasize-about-women/?replytocom=3349#respond

Gabriel makes some exceptionally good points regarding the detrimental effect of porn on the ability of men to having loving, realistic relationships with women. I would also point out that his points should also apply to women and their addictions to porn – yes, it is out there, we just don’t talk about it is all. Women can become just as addicted to porn in the books they read. The typical erotica novel hero is no more realistic than the typical female porn star. And the typical male is not totally ripped while still being totally in touch with his feelings. Or totally alpha, but this whole ‘totally alpha’ thing turns my stomach anyway so we won’t go there. Does the typical “real” female truly want to be tied up and beaten and humiliated every night before they can get off? I would certainly hope not, or that would be a truly bad sign about where we are going as a society . . .

Anyway, the following is my rant. Read it or not, respond to it or not, I believe I have some solid points in response to what I believe to be a completely twisted vision of what male/female relationships should be about. And I would greatly hope I am not the only person to think this way, or I am going to be really frustrated with the whole situation!

A man who graduated high in his class at Yale Law School and made partnership in a top law firm would be celebrated. A man who invested wisely would be admired, but a woman who accomplishes this is treated with suspicion.  –  Barbara Streisand

================================

The following is my particular rant, and doesn’t reflect on Gabriel in any way, but to the post by Dota on July 30, 2013 at 4:56 PM. You can scroll down to see the comment.

This is the post:

This is indeed a good article and you’ve raised several good points. Porn does destroy self confidence and is ultimately a destructive and self defeating activity.

I believe (as you do) that most men today view porn because they cannot seem to respect women. While I agree with you that men should ultimately respect women, I do not believe that the modern North American woman makes it easy to respect her. Our grandfathers never objectified women because women back then made excellent mates, nurturing and loyal. Today’s North American/Western European woman is an overgrown child with ADD who is lacking in character, moral fiber, basic etiquette, and over all integrity. Today’s women want to participate in behaviours that were unacceptable 5 decades ago (drinking/smoking/cussing in public) but still want men to respect them in the way our grandfathers respected their women.

I think the juncture where we disagree is that you believe porn makes men disrespect women, and this is true to some extent. I believe that 5 decades of Feminism has made the modern woman so undesirable, that most men gravitate towards porn as a result.

But porn is indeed a cancer upon society and one that seems to be winning.

_________________________

Hold the phone! Wait just a moment. Back up. You have GOT to be kidding me! What planet do you live on? They must do some really interesting drugs there . . .

Have you really READ history, or do you live in a la-la land of “Leave It To Beaver”? Where women wore house-dresses and high heels to cook and clean and said “yes dear” and had sex in the missionary position and never, NEVER, EVER had an orgasm? And drank vodka and took pills to dull the pain of being totally, unequivocally unfulfilled? Where women of intelligence and wit, instead of being college educated and reaching their potential, becoming doctors and engineers, became baby factories and domestic slaves? Who turned a blind eye while their husbands screwed their secretaries and had second families on the side while their wives pretended they didn’t know? These same women who, when their husbands died, or left them, were left with children to feed and raise, who had no skills or training to provide the money to do so?

Is the fact that I gained a Bachelor’s degree and a Masters degree and held down a corporate position reason to not respect me? Or the fact that I made my own money, was respected for my intelligence and contributions to society, to charity and to scholarly works reason to disrespect me as a woman? Maybe it is my love of 20-year-old single malt Highland Scotch and having my needs met in bed? Does that make me undeserving of respect? Or maybe it is the fact that I left a husband who expected the very things you seem to crave in a spouse – total, uncomplaining submission, while he totally controlled my access to money, who wanted to control what I wore, where I went, who I saw and whether or not I had an orgasm, just like his own father did to his mother. Does that make me unworthy of respect, when I went out on my own, got a job, a home, and gained the aforementioned degrees and personal and public respect?

How much has society lost, treating women like they would their dogs, training them to obey, to snap to commands, to fall within a narrow boundary of acceptable behaviours? What have we lost, decreeing women to be second-class citizens? Cures for cancer, diabetes, heart disease? Answers to world poverty or peace or how we are going to be able to handle overpopulation or addressing our coming energy or pollution problems? Men certainly haven’t done a bang-up job of any of that. Men are seemingly incapable of living beside one another without destroying anyone they find to be different than themselves, or to have something that they want for their own. Wars over oil, religion, land. Cultures where women and children are raped and murdered in response to rape and abuse that was out of their control. Male oriented religions that demean and objectify women, men in dresses, waving texts designed and written by men, that curtail the rights of women over even their own bodies. Societies that allow men to murder their own wives because they were taken by force and raped by a stranger or a neighbor or an “enemy”?

Wake up and smell the coffee. In your little Leave It To Beaver world, women weren’t “respected”. They were paid less even when their work product was better than a male coworker. They weren’t safe on the streets, and if anything happened to them through no fault of their own they were denied legal recourse. They were abused at home with no recourse to women’s shelters or even the comfort of family members. Their children were abused as well, and all the little perfect people you envision turned a blind eye – including family members and priests. Apparently, your vision of “respect” is putting women in “Their Place” where they bow down to you as a cook, maid, breeder and body slave.

I am old enough to remember those days, and believe me, they were NOT the gumdrops and kittens you seem to crave. Wake up. I suggest you do a bit of reading of the “non-fantastical” variety. Take a look around you at the women and children who are STILL being mistreated by men who think they own their partners, just like they own their dogs and their pickup trucks. I am willing to give a male just as much respect as he shows himself to be deserving of. I am also willing to make sure that I rip his balls off should he show me disrespect, just as I would expect to be brought to task for not showing respect for any male who showed himself to be deserving of same. The key word here is deserving. You, Dota, are not deserving of my respect, because you do not respect me. And that is the whole point – just because you have dangly junk does NOT automatically make you deserving of respect. A mans mind, heart and actions are what decide their respectability, not their Y-chromosome.

In the words of Maya Angelou;

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.

Review: Veiled Eyes (A Lake People Novel) by C.L. Bevill

Veiled Eyes C.L. Bevill – An atmospheric, wonderful tale

veiled eyes
Click the cover to order.
If you are a discriminating reader of
atmospheric tales, you MUST read
this book…..

Louisiana is, in her heart, a mystical, magical land. In the bayous, where government and politics hold little sway, the real beating heart of the land resides. Here, the songs of her blood sing out in the voices of the birds, the roar of an alligator, the sound of the wind in the leaves. Her skin is this land of water and warm air, her hair the Spanish moss, growing lushly from the limbs of cypress trees rising full and strong from the bayous. She breathes the scent of water and growth, flowers and fecundity. And in this land of age and history, even the people of the lands are strange and wonderful in their own way – and some are frightening beyond all reason. For bad reasons, but for what they consider good ones too. Frightening.

Anna St. Thais knows nothing of this land, or its people. Abandoned on the doorsteps of a church in El Paso when only a few weeks old, Anna is alone her whole life, battered from pillar to post, from orphanage to foster home. Life has never been easy, and her luck has never been good. However, she has always had a ‘little friend’ living in the back of her head, helping her to make decisions, warning her of danger. And a voice in her head that visits her on occasion, sneaking into her dreams and touching her heart.

When we first meet Anna, she is hitchhiking across the country, trying to reach New Orleans where her foster home friend, Jane, has offered her a new job and a new home. It’s tough to keep your job as a car mechanic when the bosses jerk-off son drops a car hood on your hand to try to take your job away and give it to his just as jerk-off friend. And, with her usual string of bad luck in full force, she is mugged, robbed, had her car taken – and she hasn’t even made it all the way across Texas yet. Forced into hitchhiking, her ‘little friend’ in her head, that usually protects her from making bad choices when it comes to trust, checks out and leaves here alone. Alone, to accept a ride from a psychotic.

Terrified, drugged and in pain, the presence is back with a vengeance, determined to rescue Anna, whether she believes the presence exists or not. What follows is a story of mysticism and history, of stories and family. This is a beautifully written story, blending the voice of the Lake with French Cajun patois, with a smoothness and depth that draws in the reader and sooths the soul.

This is a fantasy, but it is much more. It is a tale of history and belief, of stories and hope. The people Anna comes to know, her unknown family, are a family in truth – a group of people bound by blood and belief, and by an incredible talent that turns their face from the world.

You can’t love every person in a tale, but as a whole, these people I truly loved. They are close and caring, determined to protect their family and their way of life. The story is complex and richly written, and draws in the discerning reader immediately. There were some issues that were a bit confusing, when it came to the italics used for mind-to-mind communications, however, I am not sure that those problems weren’t due to formatting for Kindle. I have seen that sort of thing often. Otherwise? I fell into the book to the point that I could nearly feel the breeze off the bayou against my skin. It was wonderful, lush and rich as a bite of praline.

 Highly recommended.

 

 

Review: Saxon’s Bane by Geoffrey Gudgion – Not Recommended

saxon's baneSaxon’s Bane starts out well. The anthropology is done well, and the Saxon history is spot on. Some of the history of the Old Ways is well done: The Old Way teaches us that all living things are sacred, that there is a life force in everything and connecting everything. Gudgion speaks of the Christian church, and how they took over, folding the myths and religion into the church to pull the locals into changing to the new religion of Christianity. How so many of the Christian tenants, such as Easter, as timed and based upon the Old Ways in order to fold what they called “pagans” into the New Religion.

I was well pleased to read the first part of what the book covered, and settled in, thinking I would enjoy the book. Then, Gudgion got completely off track, and totally ruined the book for me. From being solid and well versed in both the Old Ways and the New, he suddenly turned to stealing the sacred from the Old Ways, turning to the old saw of Wicca being “evil” and “devil worshiping.” This based upon the Horned God of the Old Way being turned into the “Devil” by the New Religion. Since the church said that the Horned God was the Devil, well then, it must be so, right? OH, how ignorant and how very nauseating.

Gudgion uses superstition and hated to turn the story into simply another ignorant rant against the Old Ways, having a sweet and caring follower of the Old Way say of Esbat: It’s used for a ritual curse”  and going downhill from there. His knowledge of the Old Ways is patently ignorant and false, especially as even the most careless of searches clearly delineate the definition of Esbat as being 180 degrees from what the author tries to make it out to be. The word Esbat is of French origin, from s’esbattre, which loosely translates to “frolic joyfully.” In addition to frolicking, this is a time to commune with the gods, give thanks, and enjoy the Cake and Ale Ceremony. In no way is it designed to “devil worship” or perform “ritual curses.” Wiccan is not about that.

Christianity defined Wicca and witchcraft as “evil devil worshiping” as a way to override the Old Ways and place Christianity in it’s stead. Those burned at the stake and otherwise murdered were mostly healers, herbalists and other practitioners of the Old Way, caring for their families, villages and animals.  Real Wicca was, and is, all about celebration, healing, honouring the seasons and positive influences. Only those who wish to defy and insult Christianity conduct Black ritual, and those people are NOT true Wiccan – they are basing their whole ritual in the Catholic church and it’s teachings, not in Wicca. Were there ritual sacrifices in the old days? Most assuredly. They were carried out by every religion, from Mayans to Egyptians, Saxons to Christians. What else is the hanging of Jesus on the cross if not a sacrifice?

I can’t decide whether Gudgion had a split in his psychology halfway through the novel, or if he intended to draw in the reader and then pounce with his superstitious nonsense. Or if someone else picked up the book half-way through and finished it themselves – someone with no knowledge and less intellect. Gudgion is “superstitious” in that he indulges in a total lack of research and/or knowledge in his statements, pushing belief of an unfounded psudoreligious doctrine as truth. One character, a sick and twisted individual, turns what should be a time of beauty and thanksgiving into something deviant. That is a sick human, not a sick religion. Any religion may be twisted – see The Spanish Inquisition for example, or the Mayan cutting out of the hearts of slaves.

Overall, I was deeply, deeply disappointed. I truly wanted the book to continue to be wonderful. Instead, I was left with a foul taste in my mouth and a heavy heart.

NOT RECOMMENDED.

Goddess of the moon, queen of the night,
keeper of women’s mysteries, mistress of the tides,
you who are ever changing and yet always constant,
I ask that you guide me with your wisdom,
help me grow with your knowledge,
and hold me in your arms.

The moon is the symbol of the mother,
and she watches over us day and night.
She brings the changing tide, the shifting night,
the flow that changes women’s bodies,
and the passion of lovers to their beloved.
Her wisdom is great and all-knowing,
and we honor her tonight.
Keep your watchful eyes upon us, great mother,
until the cycle returns once more,
and bring us to the next full moon,
in your love and light.
–  Drawing Down The Moon

The Prince’s Man – Cover Reveal – Deborah Jay

The gorgeous cover of “The Prince’s Man” has been revealed! Beautiful, isn’t it?

PM-EBOOK_FLAT

GLITERARY GIRL MEDIA PRESENTS
COVER REVEAL:  THE PRINCES MAN by DEBORAH JAY

JULY 2nd

$10 AMAZON GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY!
OPEN TO READERS AND BLOGGERS
a Rafflecopter giveaway

ABOUT – The Princes Man

Award winning novel, THE PRINCE’S MAN, has been described as ‘James Bond meets Lord of the Rings’ – a sweeping tale of spies and deadly politics, inter-species mistrust and magic phobia, with an underlying thread of romance.
Rustam Chalice, hedonist, dance tutor and spy, loves his life, never better than when he’s bedding a gorgeous woman. So when the kingdom he serves is threatened from within, he leaps into action. Only trouble is, the spy master, Prince Hal, teams him up with an untouchable aristocratic assassin who despises him.
And to make matters worse, she’s the most beautiful woman in the Five Kingdoms.
Plunged into a desperate journey over the mountains, the mismatched pair struggle to survive deadly wildlife, the machinations of a spiteful god – and each other.
They must also keep alive a sickly elf they need as a political pawn. But when the elf reveals that Rustam has magic of his own, he is forced to question his identity, his sanity and worst, his loyalty to his prince.

For in Tyr-en, all magic users are put to death.

resized photoABOUT – Deborah Jay

Deborah Jay writes fast-paced fantasy adventures featuring quirky characters and multi-layered plots – just what she likes to read.

Living mostly on the UK South coast, she has already invested in her ultimate retirement plan – a farmhouse in the majestic, mystery-filled Scottish Highlands where she retreats to write when she can find time. Her taste for the good things in life is kept in check by the expense of keeping too many dressage horses, and her complete inability to cook.

This summer will see publication of her debut novel, THE PRINCE’S MAN, the first in a trilogy and winner of a UK Arts Board award. She also has non-fiction equestrian titles published under the name Debby Lush.

LINKS:
Website: www.deborahjay.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeborahJay
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DeborahJay2

Review: Legend of an Iron Tower and Other Fables . . . by Natalia Dobzhanska

The road of life can only reveal itself as it is traveled; each turn in the road reveals a surprise. Man’s future is hidden.” Anonymous

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

legends dobzhanska
Click cover to order!

I don’t often wander the halls of poetry, tracing my fingers along the walls, breathing the scented air. And perhaps this is not poetry, not in the strictest sense. But to me, these words are poetry, touching my heart, my mind, my soul. A beautiful weaving of words, reaching inside you, touching those hidden places where love and grief and longing reside.

The nature of evil, of grief and loss, of exhaustion and despair. And yet, through all, a deep vein of goodness and light, of Heaven and Earth and all things between.

Natalia Dobzhanskas words speak to these times, to times of pain and times of love, an an overweening hope for redemption. Her words, filled with the horror and beauty and loss of her Ukranian homeland….. a land which, in 1657–1686 suffered “The Ruin” a devastating 30-year war amongst Russia, Poland, Turks and Cossacks for control of Ukraine. Where once again, as always, the people suffer the pain and death while those in power drink the blood and hopes and lives of the poor.

There are touchstones amongst these stories, words which caress the soul of each fable. For each, a line which touched me . . .

The Carrier
Oh, when will I be a carrier of Joy?”

Legend Of A Sea And A Cliff
To join her and fly to the heavens where the flaming star is twinkling to us, calling us. . .”

Together
And it bloomed so beautifully, though it was a guest from the south, and it did not fear the frosts…”

A Wrapper
And, seeing that, the wrapper went drunk with still more pride . . .”
And she was grateful to the wind . . .”

Boots For The Refuse Collector
“. . . can trolls, someone may ask, can trolls really do good deeds?”

Lilac
. . . that its dust flew to all ends of the Universe, together with the light stolen from Niall . . .”

A Hunchback
Oh, I am foolish, so foolish!” he reviled himself. “For the sake of illusory dream, I have wasted my life!”

The Gift
Can anybody fail to notice how special she is?”

Re-Lig… (Angel Incarnate)
The moment of the fall was long – but still, it was only an instant . . .”

Story Of A Little Girl And A Fairy-Tale Castle
. . . then it turned and dragged its way back pensively – to where a fairy tale lives and ends . . .”

The Man In Whom A Dragon Lived
The dragon entered his heart along with an evil intention.”

Legend Of A River And Desert Wind
The Wind whirled and gusted, spilling out all his bitterness against the ungrateful, ungracious humans . . .”

The Man Who Had No Face Of His Own
And he decided to go to a sage and ask him for advice about who he must look like now.”

Ballad Of A Sad Princess
And the sunrays broke her still wet tears into a rainbow, and the rainbow struck her in the eyes. . . “

 Poem Of A Cloud And The Sun
And the Cloud wept for the sprouts, and the sun let her go – “

 Legend Of An Iron Tower
Grief is always grief. Sorrow is not joy . . .”

Doors
. . . the course of time will never cease, there will be no turning back to the past, will never be . . .”

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