Review of Jewel, written by Jan Sikes

The Blurb:

For almost eighteen years, Jewel has known little beyond hopelessness and hunger. Barely existing in a ramshackle cabin, on the edge of a Louisiana swamp with her little sister and their mother, she sees no way to stop the downward spiral. When her mother falls gravely ill, Jewel learns that her life is about to take a drastic turn. But will it lead to joy or more devastation?
Take a heart-warming journey with Jewel as she struggles to rise from the clutches of poverty and shame.

My Thoughts: 

A poignant tale that has, without a doubt, played out too many times in reality. An impoverished family that consists of a sickly mother and her two daughters, must come to terms with their reality.

In those days, before the safety net of social assistance, the painful choice was made by Jewel’s mother to send her daughters away, in hopes of a better life.

Jewel was ushered into an alien world of lavish parties and magnificent homes, but everything comes at a price. It’s impossible not to sympathize with this young woman because of her tragic circumstances, and youthful innocence.

An emotional connection with characters is the mark of an excellent book. No issues with that in Jewel. It’s a quick read that wraps up neatly, though it left me with the desire to learn one unanswered question.

I recommend Jewel for the reader who enjoys a short tale of dire straits, desperate measures, and uncertain endings.

Five Stars!

Jewel by Jan Sikes

Meet Jan: 

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Multi-Award winning author, Jan Sikes, has been called a wordsmith by her peers.

She published four biographical fiction books about the journey of two people moving through adversity in order to grow and learn to become better humans. She believes with all her heart there is something worthy of sharing in these stories. Bits and pieces of wisdom, hard-learned lessons and above and beyond all, love…True love that you read about in fiction stories and yet this is truth. The old saying that truth is stranger than fiction fits these stories.

She also releases a music CD of original songs along with each book that fits the time period of the story. Why? Because the stories revolve and evolve around a passion for music.

She has published a book of poetry and art and nine short stories.

She is widowed, lives in North Texas, volunteers at music festivals, has five incredible grandchildren and serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Authors Institute of History, and the Executive Council at Rave Writers’ Int’l Society of Authors. She is also a member of the Writer’s League of Texas and Authors Marketing Guild.

Connect with Jan and purchase her books: 

Amazon.com

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She is also a member of Rave Reviews Book Club

 

Review of Silent Heroes, by Patricia Furstenberg

The Blurb:

How far would you go to save strangers in need? And who really are Marines’ most trusted allies?
Military Dogs would risk their lives for their humans in a heartbeat, but can soldiers do the same when personal struggles and global affairs defy humanity?

My Thoughts:

Patricia has certainly done her homework when it comes to research. Silent Heroes sheds light on the plight of the Afghan people, far better than any newscast. This ‘in your face’ tale may be fictional, but the vicarious journey into the depths of earthly hell cannot be underestimated. I was schooled on the true collateral damage, and that is the personal trauma of all who are dragged into war.

The desperation of a father who seeks his lost children, the terror of a village constantly under threat, and the bond between canine and soldier, are skillfully portrayed. The fact that Silent Heroes broached the subject of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was a refreshing change from the usual, ‘good guy shoots bad guy and remains unaffected.’

What impressed me the most was Patricia’s attention to detail in her explanation of Afghanistan’s history and how the Taliban rose to power. I’d been completely unaware of these facts, despite years of watching news footage. I finished the book better educated and with a greater sympathy for all involved.

There were some areas where past and present tense were used interchangeably, and character perspectives changed suddenly, more clarity could have been given.

Silent Heroes is an intense and action-packed read that anyone with an interest in culture, foreign affairs, and the personal cost of war would find appealing.

Four Stars for Silent Heroes.

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Meet Patricia:

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Patricia Furstenberg is a skilled, multi-genre author, poetess and mother, known for her uplifting, thought-provoking themes and her appealing characters. With a medical degree behind her, Patricia is passionate about mind, brain and education and the psychology behind it. Her writing echoes the realities of life and is accented by ‘creativity and vivid imagery.’ She knows how to ‘capture the reader’s imagination.’ Her prolific writing is described as: positive, diverse, crisp, joyful and uplifting. As a winner of the Write Your Own Christie Competition, the Judges ‘were impressed by her thorough investigation and admired the strength of her narrative; they were impressed by her style’. The judges thought Patricia’s writing style is ‘well structured, with a great sense of tension and suspense’, ‘confident and intriguing’. The Judges were Mathew Prichard, David Brawn from Harper Collins UK and Daniel Mallory from Harper Collins US. She lives happily with her husband, children and dogs in sunny South Africa.

Connect with Patricia and purchase a book: 

Amazon.com

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Pintrest

Email

LinkedIn

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Don’t Fear The Rapids.

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If you find yourself swimming against the rapids, remember that resilience is not built by floating down a placid stream. However, keep a sharp eye out for a safe place to come ashore, for it is in rest that we find rejuvenation.

Six-Word Story

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John answers the call of nature!

The Lonely Mountain gets a Makeover

 

A seed landed on an ancient, beardless Mountain. Upon seeing the specimen, the mountain scoffed, surely nothing would come of it. Such a puny, insignificant thing could not possible affect a massive, immortal being such as he. His rocky exterior was impenetrable. Over the eons, neither rain nor wind, had been able to topple him.

Creatures such as the mountain goat, the eagle, and the mountain lion had lived and died in his peaks. As agile, mighty, and ferocious they may have been, a mere slip of a boulder had crushed more than a few. Who, or what, was this speck of dirt? What right did it have to habitat his body?

Day after day, the winds blew and Mountain waited for the seed to blow away, yet nothing of the sort occurred. Unknown to its rocky host, the seed had found a small alcove and was protected from the wind. It had also found a small crack in the rock and had begun to take root. Tiny string like roots were, at first, the only things preventing a freefall. Eventually the seed outgrew the alcove and was subject to the brunt of the wind’s fury.

The mountain rejoiced, for it thought surely this was the end, but the little beast hung on. Time passed and the tree grew, in spite of, or because of the storms. Mountain was shocked and impressed, he could feel the roots growing deeper inside of him, splitting rock and gathering nourishment from the slightest source.

One day, when spring arrived, Mountain woke up to see that tree was covered in thousands of beautiful blossoms. Such color had never adorned his drab exterior. This time, he rejoiced for a different reason. This time he was glad his friend had possessed the resilience to not only survive but thrive.

And so, it is with you. In this time of pandemic, economic fallout, and great uncertainty, find an alcove and set down roots in whatever bit of hope and joy you can find. Bloom where you are planted!

 

Swept towards Eternity

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Swiftly swept – no say have we; For time’s torrent waits not for thee. Youth flows post-haste – Looks will flee. The soul remains for eternity.

Love is all – the rest’s fool’s gold. Guard thy tongue and don’t let it scold. Warm thy heart’s core – Don’t grow cold. For Heaven awaits with joys untold.