Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Book Review - 65 Sayings Inspired From My Night’s Dream

65 Sayings Inspired From My Night’s Dream

By: Fatai Oladapo Adebanjo
Publisher: Digital Publishing of Florida, Inc.
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 978-1-937183-74-5
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: August 1, 2013

There is nothing to fear but fear itself. One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. There are many sayings that have become the backbone of America’s history. These sayings came from men and women who offered the world inspiration, hope and a driving determination to be better.

From Abraham Lincoln to JFK and beyond - there are a list of human beings that have graced us with their lives, and left a lasting impression because of the faith they embodied.

While reading this book of sayings, I was truly reminded of how dreams can become reality. Whether a person calls it a visitation from the Divine, or simply a dream where they wake up because they suddenly know whatever truths they may not have known before and need to write them down - it doesn’t matter. What does matter is sharing the information with others, and this writer has done just that.

This small book is filled with unique insights into various areas of everyday life and concern. Are these solutions to all the problems we face as humans and as a nation? No. What they are is a way to change, envelop or understand another point of view.

Opening yourself up to a different point of view is important. If it doesn’t happen, we cease to learn. From the social classes to the fight to attain wealth - each saying comes along with a description to better understand the author’s point, as well as a Lesson to be learned from each saying. This is about personal reflection. This is about giving yourself the chance to see a ‘light’ that you have perhaps missed along the way.

There are so many excellent sayings in this book that it’s near impossible to pick just one for a review. However, being from a small town where wealth and the difference between social classes was immense, the author has one saying that really struck: “There is a trace of hard work in wealth acquired by a man, no matter how he made his wealth.” Some will shake their heads immediately at this. Some will talk about the ‘upper crust’ who actually did nothing except be born into the family and inherit the wealth that was left behind by someone else’s hard work. The truth of the matter is, it goes far beyond that. The Lesson is interesting, as the writer points out that hard work is not the only key to wealth. Being optimistic, prudent, disciplined and patient, comes along with it.

Such is the recipe for success.

Quill says: An inspirational learning tool that offers readers a chance to see all sides of various situations so that learning can continue.

For more information on 65 Sayings Inspired From My Night’s Dream, please visit the author's website at:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Book Review - The Pipers and the First Phase

The Pipers and the First Phase (Volume 1)

By: Kuir ë Garang
Publisher: The Nile Press, Calgary, Canada
Publication Date: August 2012
ISBN: 978-0-9916789-0-7
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: July 30, 2013

Kuir ë Garang serves up a bounty of fluid language and prolific insights as he immediately entices his readership into his compelling story of The Pipers and the First Phase.

Little Michael, Christopher Fox and Isaac Burns have no idea their paths are destined to cross in Panda, Africa; a third world space in time located near the Northwestern coast of the African continent. While their respective journeys may be unique, the common element provides each man tangible wisdom and knowledge in the end. However, nothing short of a convoluted weave of corrupt and politically charged African experience is imposed upon each man as the story migrates toward the end destination that has been paved.

The reader is further introduced to Little Michael when he is a young man. He is conflicted by what his Pandian roots mean and questions the worthiness of his heritage. He reflects upon his teen years and the course of destruction he could have accepted as his life—selling drugs for one. After a few scuttles with the wrong side of the law, Little manages to make a life for himself. He is a bar/restaurant owner and is learning how to accept the benefits of profits from running a steady and legitimate business. Christopher Fox is no stranger to Little. They are childhood friends and while their young adult lives delivered them on opposite roads, the roles have been reversed. It is now Chris’ turn to seek help from his African friend Little Michael. Racially charged hate and the color of one’s skin was a common wedge the two faced growing up together. Little’s skin was the darkest of ebony in contrast to Chris’ lily whiteness. They were friends and color of skin was a non-issue. Chris grew up to become a notably honest and devoted police officer. Sadly, his career came to an abrupt halt after the failed transport of a coveted M16 collector’s piece to a politically connected dignitary.

It is at a moment when Isaac Burns; notable philanthropist and strategic capitalist, enters Chris’ world that hope is possibly resurrected in his universe. Motivated to distance the space between his own imminent abject poverty, Chris gratefully accepts the offer of employment with Mr. Burns. What none of the three men know as their destinies align, is each one is being watched closely by a powerful group—a group committed to the cause for a stronger and more liberated Africa. Who are the Pipers beyond the definition of "...a group of Pan-Africanist minded individuals, who have taken it upon themselves to 'rid' the world of capitalism..." and how will each man's life be changed forever in The Pipers First Phase?

It is no surprise Kuir ë Garang's credentials include the fact that he is a South Sudanese poet. Poetic cadence comes alive across many pages in The Pipers and the First Phase. He has painted heart-wrenching scenery of the aftermath of rebel destruction in South Sudan as equally as he glorifies the description of the magnificent Nile river with a mere few words: "...Yes, that's the great Nile. Envied for complete control by everyone..." His character descriptions are rich and full-bodied whether they hold center stage or a minor supporting role. The Pipers and the First Phase contains controversial subject matter - be it the nuance toward multiple corrupt entities wanting their piece of the African pie or simply the question of: Is the philanthropist truly doing the work for the people (or not)? I applaud Mr. Garang for writing this story in spite of such notions. He has written it with great heart and soul and demonstrates amazing patience in allowing the entire body of work to unfold in a manner that will surely leave the reader with a desire to reflect positively on the final outcome.

Quill says: The Pipers and the First Phase is an intricate body of work that leaves the reader with a hunger for the "next" phase.

For more information on The Pipers and the First Phase (Volume 1), please visit the website:

Monday, July 29, 2013

Book Review - Finding Colin Firth

Finding Colin Firth

By: Mia March
Publisher: Gallery Books (Simon & Schuster)
Publication Date: July 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4767-1020-4
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: July 2013

Colin Firth...Mr. Darcy...what more is there to say if you’re a female? (Long pause so you may capture the swoon-worthy image in your mind...) Colin may not have a large part in this novel, but he’s that pedestal that women seem to seek no matter what age they are.

This tale focuses on three unforgettable women:

Bea Crane is handed a letter one year after her mother has passed that tells her she’s adopted. Wham-o! Nothing like finding out news like that when you’re all grown up working at Boston’s Crazy Burger. Emotional turmoil sets in, but Bea does find out the information she needs and heads to Maine to face the mother who gave her up many years ago.

Veronica Russo got pregnant too early in life and the small Maine town she lived in STILL won’t let the past go. Even though she’s moved back to start over again, Veronica still has to hear whispers (just like every small town that is unable to let go of gossip to save their lives). Veronica is loved for her amazing elixir pies that have awesome names, like Amore, Hope, Spirit and even Cast-Off. These pies are ‘magical’ to some. While making/eating the pie all you have to do is think about what you desire, love, or don’t want anymore and your wishes can come true. (Much like the movie, Chocolat. Ah, Johnny Depp - another long pause...) Moving on...

Gemma Hendricks seemingly has it all; a loving husband who wants nothing more than to move to the burbs to be near his mother so Gemma can live the stay-at-home mom, 2 kids, 2 cars in the garage, white picket fence, American family life. Trouble is, Gemma is a reporter and doesn’t want that life. She gets so angry about her husband’s constant whining that she heads up to Maine to visit a friend of hers. Of course, it’s not just the whining, she’s also pregnant and has no idea what to do next.

In this small town of Boothbay Harbor Gemma finds a new outlook on life by working on a news story about the girls staying at Hope House, a home for pregnant teens. Bea and Veronica meet and have to deal with questions from the past. And a fantastic cop named Nick is in the mix who may just be the ‘catch’ that Veronica can nab with one of her Amore pies.

Colin Firth is coming to film a movie in Boothbay, so the people are all a-buzz about his visit. But these three women hold your heart during this tale with so much wit, humor and intelligence that Colin is never really thought about (well...barely thought about. Okay, I’m lying.)

I do have a negative. There are no recipes. I want those elixir pies and I expect this author to send me the formulas ASAP! (Or just send me Colin Firth and we’ll call it even).

Quill says: Location is stunning; characters are unforgettable; plot is woven perfectly. Bravo!

Another Special Award Offered Through the Feathered Quill Book Awards

Here's another of the special awards offered in our award program. Have you nominated your book yet???

The Write Companion Award for Best Overall TOP PICK - Adult, Children's and Young Adult categories: Originality is key. Falling into a stereotypical plot or character is difficult for an author. That is why this award is given to the author that makes that lasting impression. Based on pure originality, this award seeks the writers who - like Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas or Preston and Childs' inventive detective Aloysius Pendergast - have created a character who makes that lasting impression on readers. Do I smell sequel? The winner will receive marketing on all Amy Lignor's websites: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, TWC, Pinterest, as well as a free consultation regarding their next book project. This comes with a free edit/polish/notes/suggestions of their next book. If there is not a project as of yet, the consult will be given to answer any author's questions when it comes to publishing, agencies, independent books, self-publishing - a conversation regarding the here and now of the industry that may help them in the future.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Books In For Review

Here's a nice sample of the books that have come in recently.  Check them out, then stop by in a few weeks to read the reviews!

65 Sayings Inspired From My Sleep's Dream by Fatai Oladapo Adebanjo One day Fatai fell into a deep sleep and discovered something marvelous and unusual. In his dream, he saw a classroom with empty chairs, and saw a quote on a chalkboard. The quote, which was written anonymously on a chalkboard said, "A drug is a root that comes from money in such a level." This led to a turning point in his life. Fatai, who never knew how to write, suddenly received inspiration that made him write 65 of his own sayings, their meanings and the lessons to learn from each of them. "I believe God wrote the quote on the chalkboard in the dream, to teach me the inspiration to write mine," Fatai said. Fatai will donate part of the proceeds from the sale of this book to the Charity to promote ONE LOVE globally.

Saving Faith by Patrick Garry Because of a misguided medical diagnosis as an orphaned child, Jack Fenien was never adopted. Now, two years after leaving the orphanage, he works as a repossessor for a used car dealer. One night, he enters a bar looking for Ev Sorin, whose car Jack has mistakenly towed. Expecting violent anger, he is surprised when Ev reacts with indifference; but as Jack soon discovers, Ev - a disgraced journalist - has bigger problems on his mind. The next day, in the same courthouse to which Jack and Ev have gone to arrange for the release of Ev's car from the impound lot, a nurse and young woman sit in a crowded courtroom opposite a row of lawyers, asking the judge to keep alive a comatose patient whose true identity is unknown but who has been given the name Faith Powers. After the hearing, Ev seeks out the nurse - not for years has he done a real story, and he feels a sudden urge to be a journalist again. It is an urge that will connect Jack with Clare, the troubled young woman who appears to have an almost fanatical attachment to Faith. Intrigued with Jack's role as a repossessor, Clare sees him as a kind of modern moral prophet. Although the characters initially focus on investigating Faith's real identity, they eventually come to use Faith as a catalyst for changing their own lives. But not until a seemingly random shooting occurs in the city do the characters become truly immersed in the mysteries of the patient and of each other.

Courage by Disko Praphanchith Courage chronicles the tale of two friends over the span of a lifetime. There is Jenny Park, a Korean-American girl whose search for her identity in this world alienates her from her Korean kinsfolk. There is Daniel Fischer, an intense, thoughtful, and brilliant young man whose mind separates him from the rest of his peers. The two meet early in life and form a deep loving friendship. As time passes, however, it is this very friendship that becomes their greatest source of pain where an inability to voice their love for one another drives them apart. Years later, and Jenny is a broken woman living under the tyrannical hands of her husband. Her life is hell, and each day is spent uselessly tolling away without meaning. When Jenny sees Daniel one night, however, memories of love and friendship stir deep in her heart. With these memories suddenly rekindled, Jenny flees from her husband, travels back into the world, and attempts to reunite with the boy she once loved and knew. Heartrending and deep, Courage infuses an emotional rawness in examining human individuality where personal identity is repressed. The novel moreover contemplates what it means to accept the inevitable loss of friendship in life—as well as what it means to simply love.

The Magdalene Mystery by Christine Sunderland Ten years ago a gunman opened fire in a parking lot, killing her parents. No one ever found out why. But a trip to Rome might reveal the truth. Thirty-year-old Kelly Roberts receives a mysterious envelope from her late godfather, director of a news service dedicated to exposing media lies, summoning her to Rome for a promising legacy. After losing her job, Kelly, a single parent, fears for herself and her five-year-old son. She could sure use the money implied in her godfather's letter, but she can't afford to go to Rome, she can't leave Matt, and she can't take him with her. Even stranger, the note says to contact Daniel Weaver, a professor familiar with Rome. To receive the legacy, Kelly must first locate her godfather's hidden research on Mary Magdalene. Accompanied by thirty-five-year-old Daniel, Kelly embarks on the journey of a lifetime, finding clues in Rome basilicas, the Apostles' Creed, and her godfather's letters. But she is shadowed by another professor who preys on the young, both online and on campus. Desperate to find the manuscript that could expose him as an academic fraud, he is willing to do anything to keep that from happening...even murder. Unlock the Magdalene mystery...and the power of historical truth.

Tragic by Robert Tanenbaum Prizefighter tough. Street-hustler smart. Pit-bull vicious. Longshoremen’s union leader Charlie Vitteli is like a cold-blooded villain straight out of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Busting heads on the docks of New York as a brash union organizer, taking no prisoners as the newest president of the North Ameri­can Brotherhood of Stevedores, Vitteli clawed his way to the top of the heap—and no one’s going to take him down now. Not if they value their lives. Like Vince Carlotta. The union boss’s fiercest rival has accused Vitteli of embezzlement, election rigging, and other abuses—and even called him a crook at a union meeting. Now Carlotta is just another corpse on the waterfront—allegedly gunned down by an armed robber. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Vitteli is somehow involved. But proving it is a whole other story. Enter District Attorney Butch Karp and his wife, Marlene Ciampi. Drawn into the case by a friend who manages the East Village Women’s Shelter, Marlene speaks to the abused girlfriend of a man who may or may not have been hired to kill Carlotta. Marlene follows her lead to three different assassins contracted for the hit. But connecting them to Vitteli—and proving it in court—could be the death of anyone who tries . . . unless Karp can uncover the one tragic flaw that could bring down the curtain on this Shakespearean villain once and for all.

Discovery Channel Sharkopedia: The Complete Guide to Everything Shark Meet the most incredible creatures in the sea! Sharkopedia takes you inside the exciting world of sharks. From Discovery Channel, the people who bring you Shark Week every summer, learn everything there is to know about these awesome predators. The book includes more than 400 photos of sharks and all 498 known species of sharks.

Book Review - The Meme Plague

The Meme Plague: Memento Nora Series - Book III

By: Angie Smibert
Publisher: Skyscape (Amazon Children’s Publishing)
Publication Date: August 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4778-1660-8
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: July 28, 2013

The subject of youth rebellion has appeared as the plot in many YA books over the past few years. But this one series has most certainly gone beyond the same-old, same-old when it comes to the subject. Not since the extremely popular Maze Runner series has a plot been so intense.

For those who are unaware, Books I and II introduced readers to an array of characters who were beyond intelligent. They have each gone through something tragic, with a loss in their backgrounds that range from a parent to a home to their own memories. But when these friends come together they can literally overpower the evil people who are trying to control others by putting a chip into each person’s head.

The combination of government and police are using fear to make people conform. And these chips are a way to make sure people forget bad things, and insert new ‘happy’ memories of things that never happened.

This group of friends, however, were smart enough to find a way around the chip. Broadcasting a concert, they were able to embed a signal that erased the chip’s effects.

As we open on the grand finale of this series, a radio is playing that tells all listeners that summer is over, school is starting, and the evil Mayor is running for election. With a company called TFC, the Mayor and his so-called Patriot Party uses mind control tactics to hack a person’s brain. If you know the wrong thing, a black van simply pulls up, takes you to the Big D (which is a detention facility), and then gives you a pill so you can happily forget everything you shouldn’t know and go on your way.

Micah Wallenberg has just finished his community service and is headed home when he sees a very strange sight. A cardboard coffin procession is walking down the street toward the Big D. On one of the coffins is carved Jonas W. (his father’s name). Suddenly an explosion occurs and a strange thought enters Micah’s mind: 'Did his father betray his country?'

Velvet is a girl who’s sick of knocking on doors in support of the Mayor when she’s working for the other side. Add in Winter, Nora, Aiden, Spike - all of these friends who are standing together to stop the tyranny, and you have a story that is out of this world cool.

Although this is a series, Book III is stand-alone simply because the author has done a great job catching people up on all the action that’s already occurred. The one thing that will constantly be running through your head, however, is how easily a government could do something like this if they really wanted to. After all, we are in the digital age…

Quill says: Exhilarating and intense. The author weaves feel-good fiction with suspense to give readers a triumphant victory.

Book Review - Whistling Past the Graveyard

Whistling Past the Graveyard

By: Susan Crandall
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: July 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4767-0772-3
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: July 2013

It is so rare in this day and age of werewolves, vampires, serial killers, etcetera, to receive a book that’s beyond witty, highly intelligent and downright charming. There’s a reason why books become ‘classics;’ it’s because people simply can’t stop reading the book. And because of the beauty of the story, they want to pass that book along for generations to come.

This is a classic. This is the Deep South at its finest, with characters from different backgrounds joining together for a road trip that will literally change their lives, as well as the lucky reader who’s along for the ride.

Starla Claudelle’s mother left her when she was only three-years old. Lulu was a woman who wanted more than her small town and motherhood; she wanted the chance to head to Nashville, stand on the stage, and become the next American country legend. She promises Starla that one day Momma will be the best of the best and she and Daddy will join her in Nashville to live in a big house as one big happy family.

However, Starla can’t count on her father. He basically lives inside himself, working on an oil rig in the Gulf where he spends most of his time away from her. The only person Starla gets to see on a daily basis is her grandmother, who is more military than cookie-maker. Grandma has a way of finding all Starla’s faults and punishes her with restrictions whenever Starla even attempts to have a good time. Grandma is so sick of her that she threatens to put Starla away in a reform school, lock the door and throw away the key.

What’s a girl to do? Well, you see Starla - even though she’s only nine-years-old - does have some of Lulu in her. She has a sassy demeanor and a desire for a better life. And in the summer of ‘63, fearing the reform school, Starla finds the courage within herself to head down the road and out of town as fast as she can.

Starla wants her life to change; she wants that promise Lulu made so long ago to come to fruition, but what she finds in her escape is something even better. Eula is a black woman who’s making her own way down the road with a white baby in tow. Offering Starla a ride, reality comes to the surface as the young girl with the big dreams realizes what life can hand you…and how with strength and hope she can change her fate and become her very own star.

This is one of those beautiful tales that offers the entire spectrum of sadness to elation. Each word seems to be a new lesson in life, and the characters work off each other brilliantly.

Quill says: In the age of sci-fi and fantasy, this book is a breath of fresh air you’ll never forget.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A GREAT New 'Put Me In the Story' Offer

Okay, on this one, I'm speaking from personal experience.  I "Put" my daughter in the story, using Kristi Yamaguchi’s debut picture book, Dream Big, Little Pig. 
Here's the cover of our personalized book

I had reviewed this book back in the spring of 2011 and gave it a strong recommendation.  Now, you can put your child in the book, with his/her name taking center stage as the best friend of 'Little Pig,' along with a picture of your child in the front, a dedication 

Here's the dedication page (tilt is my scanner's fault, it's not the book)

AND the best part, have his/her name appear right on the front cover!  The process was super simple, took just a few minutes, the price was quite reasonable, the book came quickly and it looks great.  

One of the book's pages with Holly's name inserted

I highly recommend the 'Put Me In the Story' program to get young readers REALLY excited about reading their special book.  Below is the press release about the new books added to the program.  Check it out and enjoy.  - Ellen Feld

Personalize Your Very Own Berenstain Bears Book!  
With Put Me In The Story Personalized Books, Make Your Child the Star of Treasured Children’s Stories!
CHICAGO – July 16, 2013—A personalized edition of The Berenstain Bears® beloved classic, Home Sweet Tree, is now available exclusively at Put Me In The Story, which takes nationally bestselling children’s books by celebrated and award-winning authors and integrates personalization—creating customized books that make your child the star of treasured children’s stories.
Now parents will be able to create a personalized book that integrates their child’s name throughout the classic story. The book also includes a dedication page at the front allowing customers to insert a personal photo and message plus a special page at the end where you can include a picture of your child’s home.
“The Berenstain Bears’ family tree house is perhaps the most iconic residence in the world of children’s books,” says Mike Berenstain. “Home Sweet Tree gives kids a guided tour and lets them imagine themselves living there, as well!”

Custom print orders of Home Sweet Tree are available now, priced at $32.99. It’s a simple three-step process to order a book. Just go to, choose from our catalog of popular children’s books, and personalize the book with the child’s name, photo, and personal message. The book is then printed and shipped to you! For a limited time, customers will receive 15% OFF* their entire order!

Sourcebooks recently announced the addition of Sesame Workshop’s Elmo Loves You to the app and website, along with My Name Is Not Isabella and My Name Is Not Alexander, the New York Times bestselling picture books by Jennifer Fosberry.
You can also create and order personalized editions of many of the books available at Put Me In The Story on the free iPad app.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Book Review - Plague in the Mirror

Plague In The Mirror

By: Deborah Noyes
Publisher: Candlewick
Publication Date: June 2013
ISBN: 978-0763659806
Reviewed by: M.A. Thomas
Review Date: July 2013

What would you do if someone looks exactly like you, but behaves in a completely different manner? In the chilling story, Plague in the Mirror by Deborah Noyes, seventeen-year-old May is faced with such a dilemma.

May is spending time in Florence, Italy with her best friend, Liam and his mother, Gwen. Gwen is a medieval literature teacher, working on a historical travel guidebook in Florence. Since May’s parents are in the process of getting divorced and forcing her to choose between them, she needs the diversion of spending time with her friends. One night, she is awakened by an apparition standing by the foot of her bed. May is petrified when she realizes that it is the figure of a ghost girl who looks like her identical twin dressed in an old-fashioned gown. She tells Liam her room might be haunted, but she is unwilling to go into further details.

In this eery scene of the story, May is taking a stroll, enjoying the beautiful sights of the city when she sees the milky shadow of the ghost girl, Cristofana, from her dreams. May is curious to know where she comes from, so Cristofana takes her back in time to Old Florence to show her the ruinous damages of the Black Death. When May discovers the horrors of the deadly disease, she has a hard time coming to terms with what she is experiencing and feels delusional. Left alone in the Middle Ages, she eventually meets the talented painter, Marco Veronese. Despite their language barrier, they are still able to communicate. May is immediately mesmerized and fascinated by this man.

The constant problem in May's life is her ghost twin, Cristofana, who has a dark personality and will not leave her alone. Cristofana is scared of the disease and wants May to help her. Since they are identical twins, Cristofana feels that fate can be altered if they were to switch places. Assuming May’s identity would provide Cristofana a safer haven. She is intent on taking over May’s life. Despite the darkness and gloom of Old Florence, May is fixated with the handsome painter she met there. She feels obligated to warn him and to save him from the disastrous Plague. Although she knows that the past is immutable, May wants to save lives from the disease. Will she stay in her present time with her friends or travel back to the past to be with the handsome artist, Marco?

I was very happy to review this amazing novel that takes readers back in time to a world of dread and suffering. Plague in the Mirror By Deborah Noyes is a dark story that depicts the historical enormity of the Black Death, in contrast to the beauties of modern Florence. Although I have never been to Florence, Italy, reading this story with its descriptive scenes made me feel I was actually there with May and her friends. If you are in the mood to read a haunting tale that takes you on a dark journey through time and back into the present, I would advise you to get this book. I can honestly say this was a satisfying read created by an artistic author.

Quill says: Plague in the Mirror is a unique depiction of time travel, a protagonist faced with an important decision, and a little romance in the fourteenth century.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Book Review - Wild Nights

Wild Nights

By: Mary Ellen Courtney
Publisher: PorterChance Books
Publication Date: March 2013
ISBN: 978-0-9889536-9-7
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: July 23, 2013

Although men are always said to be having a ‘mid-life crises,’ for the female the questions about love and life come sooner. It’s approximately the age of 32-34 when we really take a tally on things and begin to wonder what the next steps are going to be. The career may be going great but the romance is not - or vice versa. We may wish for the picket fence and 2.3 children, or we may wish for open-road adventures that never end. But whatever the complexities may be, it’s a fact that females are very simple creatures; and for Hannah Spring, her biggest challenge is to find someone on the planet who can understand that.

The Spring family is more than a little over the top. Hannah’s mother can transform from a woman who likes to spread the guilt to a wanna-be hottie with a man on her arm and her body parts not exactly covered by her fashion choices.

Hannah is heading to see Mom, meeting up with her and a few others to set up her grandmother’s funeral. Hannah loved her grandmother - she was a woman who had quirks as well as passion and determination to work hard and raise her kids, after being widowed at a young age.

On the way to the funeral in San Diego Hannah has to deal with a car that simply conks out, which makes her mother more than a little disgruntled on the other end of the phone. In other areas of her life, Hannah is dating a ‘good’ man by the name of Steve, and she is a production designer who works in Hollywood setting up all the locations that play home to the stars.

But when her car dies, she’s amazed to find herself drawn to the truck driver named Stroud who befriends her and helps her get to where she needs to go. (Stroud is the masculine type with the big heart who makes wrong decisions, that every woman always seems to want in their house.)

As the story progresses other men appear in various capacities and through them, friends, her family, and her own brain working out what she wants and who she really is - Hannah’s adventures really hit home.

The author has done a great job with everything from location descriptions to the differences in the characters. She never goes too far into stereotyping, allowing for surprises, and by the time the story is over, the reader will be dying to know who Hannah will end up giving her heart to.

Quill says: Not just a romance; this is a story filled with the full spectrum of emotions that female readers will sink their teeth into.

For more information on Wild Nights, please visit the publisher's website at:

Interview with Author Michael Dadich

Today we're talking with Michael Dadich, author of The Silver Sphere: Book I of The Kin Chronicles

FQ: The first question is something everyone will ask: Are you a Harry Potter fan; a lover of the fantasy adventure?

Harry Potter is beloved to me. That little boy under the stairs shows what a strong will and companions can accomplish, no matter your upbringing, and yes I love Fantasy adventures, as well as sci fi, mysteries, history, horror, things that go bump in the night. C.S Lewis was a huge influence on me as a child and he brought me the priceless gift of the joy of reading.

FQ: I read that you began writing, or at least dreaming about this book and concept when you were only 8 years-old. What made you decide to finally release this series?

When I was 8, I started to write short stories. I lived in a busy urban neighborhood, and enjoyed the escape. I created a large map of Azimuth as well. I also wrote, among others, a short, titled Wolver-Mutants, about wolverines exposed to radiation that stalked a small town and a local detective working on the case. I continued to write in college, and had the support of my professor in his creative writing classes; we still keep in contact today. When I graduated, I left his work study to head to Wall St. in a competitive industry to pay the rent. My professors words haunted me when I left, he wanted me to work on the craft and was disappointed. After advancing in my career, and starting a family, I found a dossier from college filled with stories from my creative writing classes, and also my map I made at 8, and my old steno pad I started writing in back then. So I began writing again, inspired by that 8 year old boy that wanted to be an author. Life and its responsibilities and demands can get in the way of your passions sometimes. I learned to listen to that enthusiastic little boy again. I often thought of the story over the years and where I would go with it. After I completed the rough draft, a close friend who is a major publicist was given the manuscript from my wife, and after reading it he encouraged me to pursue my writing, and not to consider it just as a hobby.

Author Michael Dadich

FQ: All of the myths and legends you play upon would lead readers to believe that ancient history and cultures are something you study. Are you a researcher? A librarian at heart, perhaps?

Yes, I love researching when I develop my outlines, and history in general. I believe we are not alone in this universe, and that good and evil does exist, and not just on the mortal plane. I also believe that there is a strong possibility, in the billions of years the Earth has existed, that we were not the first advanced civilization that existed here. So I read a lot, not just fiction for pleasure, but on history and theories that revolve around it. I recently finished some books on Machu Picchu, the Canary Islands, the map of Piri Reis and the Mayans. I find it fascinating.

FQ: There certainly is the factor of the celestial heaven and hell versus the mortal world in your novel. Having said that, what are your thoughts about the YA genre now turning more toward the ‘angel’ and further away from the vampire/werewolf topic?

I loved vampires as a kid (Salem's Lot was one of my favorites) and the supernatural. The genre has been obviously a little bloated of late, both in books and film but I still enjoy it if its a fresh twist. While I was growing up, I would spend summers with my grandparents in eastern Europe. My grandmother was full of tales of witches and ghosts from the old country, and I ate them up. The setting of her village was very old, and had a Transylvania type feel to it.

Angels, yes. I hear they have been trending. The Truth Seekers, many consider as angels. I don't think, regardless of what faith you follow, that life ends when we pass. I believe that quite possible there may be the ultimate battle ahead of us, and there is a struggle between good and evil, and we will all be needed when we are ready. The sequence involving Lucas Denon came to me from a dream I had after a near death experience, involving John Lennon. The dream came when I was hanging on to life. Or just maybe it wasn't a dream, but a journey. It shook me to the core when I awoke. I saw something. I fully recovered from my ordeal, but what I saw did inspire me in developing the celestial backdrop and the world of Azimuth.

I would, however, never attempt to chase a trend, I write what comes to me through the story and my experiences and research. I like to think a lot, and study, before I write, and let it marinate before it all pours out.

FQ: Mr. Dempsey, the librarian in your novel, is a great guy. As an author who most likely loves the ‘smell of the new book,’ how do you feel about the overwhelming eBook Age? Do you feel it’s a benefit to the YA’s, or a negative in the fact that ‘real’ books may be on their way out and replaced by only electronics?

I think print will always have its place, and yes I love a hardcover. Libraries will always exist (I pray) but, as a matter of convenience and cost, I find myself reading on my kindle app on the Ipad more and more. I used to have a heavy knapsack full of print books when I traveled; it is nice to have it in one place, and no night light needed. I do think, for better or worse, that digital will continue to increase in market share going forward but I don't see this as a negative. Words are words. They can entertain you and teach you in more formats now is the only difference, and it is green. When I read a ebook I really like, I go ahead and get the hardcover for my shelf. I do worry about the distractions that young adults face today, with social media, video games and all, I just hope they find the time to read a good book and discover that passion while young as I did.

FQ: The pictures offered in the book: Were you the illustrator?

I am blessed, I feel, to be working with Mallory Rock, who did the illustrations, the cover, assisted on my website, and the book trailers for the Silver Sphere. She is hands on, and we have become good friends in the process. I think she is incredibly talented, and a big part of my support group and process.

FQ: It must be a very humble feeling to see this project you’ve worked on for so long finally come to fruition. Do you know how many books will comprise this series before all is said and done?

To see the project come to fruition...I was speechless, and I am still overjoyed with the process so far. The Tannenbaum company, a successful Los Angeles production company, loved the screenplay I co-wrote with an industry veteran, and they have recently signed a shop agreement for the movie rights. I had to pinch myself when they called.

My wife, god bless her, was always in my corner, and in the end I developed a strong support group around me. I have a serious day job, and have been involved heavily in my community as a youth coach and fundraiser, so it is important to have that support when I need to lock myself in a room for days when I'm in mode.

To read the positive reviews and receive some of the awards recently garnered; it really moves me emotionally. I always get butterflies when I read a good review, and I am always humbled and thankful when I receive one like yours.

This set of Kin will go through a trilogy, and then my plans are for a prequel revolving around the first great war on Azimuth, and Hideux's rise.

FQ: And one last question for the fans: Which of these amazing characters do you identify with the most, and why?

There is always a piece of me or a friend in my characters, however Nick Casey really resonates. I lived his transition to a Truth Seeker partly in a dream, and believe many of his actions would come naturally to me. I wrote his character thinking what I would do under the circumstances he faced.

FQ: Thank you for you time, and a great read. I look forward to Book II.

To learn more about The Silver Sphere: Book I of The Kin Chronicles please read the review at: Feathered Quill Book Reviews.

How Many People on Facebook Saw Your Post?

An interesting article from WebProNews on Facebook and how many people see your posts, the purpose of 'likes" and what they mean, etc.  Check it out!


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Book Review - Saving Faith

Saving Faith

By: Patrick M. Garry
Publisher: Kenric Books
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 978-0983370314
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: July 2013

Jack Fenian wasn’t quite old enough to step foot in the Lamplighter Lounge, let alone set one up for Ev as an apology. He owed Everette Sorin big time for getting his car towed, but oddly enough the guy didn’t even seem to mind. Jack was a “repossesor,” an all too frequent employee-of-the-month for Kelly Auto Sales, whose job was always serving up a court order to repossess some poor slob’s car. Ev, a documentary maker, had been jilted by Lyra Benton and the loss of his car was nothing. Seriously, nothing. The two men began to connect and an offer of a ride or two on Jack’s part smoothed things over. One of those rides, a ride to the courthouse was, in retrospect, something they’d never forget.

“She has a name,” Clare Hammond practically shouted out, “she’s a human being.” Jack and Ev got a glimpse of Clare and Irene Valensa as they fought for the life of Faith Powers and Good Shepherd Hospital. If the hospital closed, comatose Faith’s life support would be halted. When Jack was at the orphanage he’d been stuck in an oxygen tent so he could relate. Dr. Leudtke had misdiagnosed him and no family wanted a sick kid. No one cared about him and no one really cared about Faith, an unidentified woman who was found unconscious in an alley. The whole fiasco sparked an interest in Ev and he wanted to know the real scoop. Why were these women so anxious to save Faith?

Irene, Faith’s nurse, was looked upon as “the leader of a group of people interested in saving the lives of patients like Faith,” but a small current turned into a riptide after a drive-by shooting took the life of Emily Zailles. Emily was on the other side of the fence and getting her out of the way ... well, it just might help Good Shepherd, but now the cops were investigating Irene. The story was looking more interesting to Lyra, who was one of CNN’s star journalists, but no way Ev wanted her help. A body on the pavement and one that might be snuffed out by an uncaring society pushed an unlikely duo together. Jack and Ev only had so much time to figure out just who Faith really was in order to save her, but could they? And why was Clare showing up at Jack’s apartment all hours of the night?

This is a mesmerizing story of faith, love, and hope in people who only have a modicum of any of those three desirable elements in their own lives. The “faith” is embodied in an unidentified comatose woman dubbed “Faith,” a woman whose very existence moves those around her to examine the meaning of their lives. The tale definitely has a good hook, one that kept me interested as I too wondered what Faith’s future would hold. The characters quickly became enmeshed in each others' lives after a chance meeting and a quick glimpse into a courtroom. The premise that Jack, someone so young, but so wise beyond his years, would be an associate of Ev and Lyra’s was somewhat unbelievable, yet worked. The twists at the end whirl as they bring a sudden and unexpected conclusion to this uniquely mysterious tale.

Quill says: If you want to reexamine the meaning of life, simply taking at its mysteries through Jack Fenian’s eyes is definitely an eye-opener!

For more information on Saving Faith, please visit the author's website at: