Regina Shen: Resilience


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Regina Shen: Resilience

Within the world created by author Lance Lrlick your thoughts are not your own, your ability to fend for yourself is decided by others and freedom of speech and many liberties are only afforded to those who rule. Young people are placed in schools within a cast system, given jobs that most would never be able to endure or accomplish and those that are deviant, deviate from the norm are often eliminated or severely punished. Imagine living in a world where information is filtered by those that are in charge, books cannot be read if what they offer differs from their beliefs, and schools are aloud to impart knowledge that those that are considered wiser allow. Trying to learn more than you are supposed to learn and teaching young minds to flourish is not allowed. But, Regina Shen is unique and possesses qualities that often get her…

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JUST REVIEWS STARRED REVIEW OF TRAUMA


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Trauma: Michael Palmer and Daniel Palmer

Within the pages of this emotionally charged novel many people will experience traumas in different ways. Some in response to an event that has left them devastated, maimed or even in denial of the events that led up to experiencing this trauma. People can go into shock; their emotions can become unpredictable, flashbacks to events that trigger behaviors that are violent and physical systems that hamper their daily lives. Many of the characters you will meet in this novel will experience traumas that most of us might not be able to handle. The authors did extensive research on combat Post-traumatic stress disorder which many men and women that having served in the military suffer from when reentering society. Some find it hard to cope with reality. Others become despondent, violent and often imagine they are still at war. Many veterans suffer despite the help…

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The Sins of Castel du Mont


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The Sins of Castel du Mont: Rosemary Bracco Greenaum Kohler

Within the calls of this ancient Castel there are many secrets that are about to be revealed and lives that were controlled, changed and destroyed by the many inhabitants of this magnificent castel. As the author relates the story of her birthplace she unfolds the many different secrets, sins, betrayals, lies and deceits that will forever haunt her, the reader and the ghosts that lie within the walls. The inhabitants lived in stone house outside. An even higher wall surrounded the castel’s walls and the totaling fireplaces that were installed warmed most of the rooms. But, in 1895 where our story begins we meet the Parisian , Count Du Pons, a famous fighter of royal blood and we shall learn more about this man, the love of his life and how they met and what happens when a jealous rage…

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Great Resource


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Publicity From the Trenches: Sherri Rosen

Jon Taffer and Robert Irvine both create miracles for both failing bars and restaurants. Jon creates a new bar, with a perfect brand, realizes the demographics of what is needed and focuses on the target population where the bar is located.  Robert Irvine with his design team will come in and do the same with a failing restaurant. Providing hands on help to improve customer service in the front of the house and creating a menu that will   target the population where the restaurant is located.  Both of these men create something for bar owners or restaurant owners and a great publicist can do the same for an author who has written his /her first novel, memoir, inspirational book, book with a message or self-help book. Creating a campaign that would match your target audience, your potential readers and much more is the job…

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ONLINE INTERVIEW WITH LEIGH HICKOMBOTTOM


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SPOTLIGHT: ONLINE INTERVIEW WITH LEIGH HICKOMBOTTOM

Fran: What is the message that you hope readers will come away with after writing this book?

Leigh: The message I hope readers walk away with is that regardless of where they are in life and circumstances endured, all things are possible. I want readers to know they have the ability to live their dreams and still be connected to God/source which is not separate from them but within them. Finally to take their lives in there own hands living authentically caught in the rapture of self-love regardless of outside pressure of whom others want or say they should be.

Fran: Tell us the five most important things you learned during your school years?

Leigh: The five most important things I learned during school years:

1 People hurt us and we hurt others (not always intentionally) but this is ok and part of an…

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Where Freedom Rings


Where Freedom Rings: A Tale of the Underground Railroad

The courage of one woman to stand tall and fight for what she believed in. The fate of four slaves during the time before the Civil War was held in the hands of many people. As the story opens we meet Kelsa Colver, her husband Wade sons Paul and Diamond who are living on a rich plantation working for a cruel and evil master. The Mallards live in opulence and enjoy giving parties, eating the best of everything and drinking expensive wines. Treating their slaves with cruelty, embarrassing fathers in front of their sons and using a whip to teach them lessons is not even the half of what these slaves had to endure. Each parent was required to put in more than a days work and each father too. Any deviation or anything but full compliance would result in severe punishment. But, Kelsa was strong minded and as we meet her when speak with her master’s wife, we learn that she knows how to pretend to agree with her words, state she is lucky to work for them and live there and each one learns the true meaning of hate, prejudice and injustice.

A simple request to send someone to help Kelsa prepare for a party would bring to light what many tried to do during this time, gain their freedom. But, plans are not always followed, many cannot be trusted and all too often those that try to escape find themselves facing the barrel of a gun or even worse. Every step of the way we can feel the pain, the frustration and fear within the hearts and minds of Kelsa and her family as a decision is made to gain what so many want their freedom. A young slave girl named Noreen is sent to work with Kelsa, talks about finding her way to freedom and her fate is sealed when caught. But, Kelsa is relentless and won’t give up as she finds herself on the road to freedom with her family.
Learning about a group that will help her and starting their journey was dangerous. Hoping not to get caught a miracle in itself as both of her boys embark on this journey but somehow manage to get into all sorts of trouble along the way. As you hear them speak in hushed tones and understand their plight you begin to hope that someday they too will have a better life. As quoted many times in this novel that in the Declaration of Independence :All men are created equal.” If that is the case and it is, why weren’t black people given the same rights as white people? Why were they forced to work for taskmasters that were cruel? Why did Kelsa have to hide the fact that her sons were learning to read? Why didn’t her youngest son understand the importance of what she was doing and what about him made him different than the other children?

A simple piece of paper stuffed in a loaf of bread with the words GO would start them on chain of events that would place them in danger, give them the courage to go on and show them they kindness of many and the deceptions of some. Murdered slaves, cruel slave owners, corrupt police and some that cared enough to risk their lives and their positions, and abolitionists that helped them along the way, Where Freedom Rings is a powerful novel that reminds us of what so many went through before the Civil War at the hands of those living in the South because they could. Auctioning off family members for money, beating slaves into submission, degrading them in public and not caring about their welfare are just some of the issues brought to light in this novel by author Steven Donahue.

Listening to the couples speak about the slaves and what they think ought to happen to them gives you pause for thought. Someone even thought that Kelsa needed attention But, many situations got out of hand, some of the men tried to approach Kelsa and at times Wade just stood there and said nothing. Maisey, the oldest servant working for Ms. Virginia learned early on to steer clear of comments, talk and gossip. When several slaves disappear or escape and the master, Mr. Wilkensen comes to the Mallard house to search and investigate things spiral out of control, fits and guns rise and the end result will surprise readers.

A young Abolitionist named Isabel takes the lead as she picks up the family in her stagecoach, fends off the law, deals with her irate husband who is angered when he finds them in his home and then hands them off to someone else stating that she helped them because it is the “right thing to do.” Diamond is young and has yet to understand what is really happening and often wonders why he is treated differently by the other kids and Mr. Mallard. Having to leave her home they head for a freight train and are helped by a man named Norman as the Colvers once again set off in the darkness of night in search of freedom. Finding a place to stay, hunting for food and learning how to fend for themselves until they came to a lawman that would try and end it all. But, Deputy Seaver was different, kind and what happens will surprise each and every reader when fighting for their lives, having to use force, possibly killing their foe and then finding themselves hoping to be free. Mildred takes them the next leg of the way and the boat they go on is their hope to finding their way to the North. But, not everything goes as planned, when Paul disappears, a search is on and then the boiler on the boat explodes and everyone has to find safety in a lifeboat. But, Mildred is loyal to the family, pretending they are her slaves, she won’t leave without them but the end result will bring tears your eyes.

Throughout the novel we find Kelsa in many different situations and who learns that her will to find freedom, her desire to fight for her family might lead her to do things that she never dreamed. As Isabel can no longer house them they are turned over to Norman, then Mildred and finally find themselves in the home of a family that would take them in for a long time. Using different names and hoping not to be discovered they wind up in North Carolina which is still considered the South. But, when they state that their master no longer exists, they are given their freedom by the authorities even if only for a short while.

Juniper Harris would prove to be more than just someone who takes them in and her family becomes their’s too. But, the authorities catch wind that they are there, the danger is real and what happens will force them to have to leave one more time. Imagine meeting Harriet Tubman and being part of the Underground Railroad to freedom. Hearing her words, understanding her job and praying for the family every step of the way. Along the way they learn the true meanings of trust, friendship, loyalty and betrayal and deceit. When leaving the Harris’s they find themselves at a convent and meet Sister Katherine who tries to protect them but a corrupt Priest who does not believe in their cause turns them in. Freedom comes at a high price as the corrupt Priest sends the law to their doorstep and the Mallard’s will haunt them from far away. A bounty for their heads and they are told they are going to have to go back because their fate is sealed. But, what happens will terrify readers as the family stands tall, the bounty hunters learn their strength and the fate of one young child turns tragic. Outlaws, slave hunters, those that are humane and a hidden truth that will rock their world, Where Freedom Rings sounds a bell loud and clear that many have learned from the past, some are still caught up in the same web in places today and one family named Colver will fight to the finish until they finally hear the bells of freedom ring no matter where they have to go and how far they need to travel.

William Sill and Harriet Tubman helped many who wanted to gain their freedom. As you hear their voices and learn the fate of this family many will remember what so many endured as some will recall family members that lived during this time, others that might have had family that were slave owners and some that would understand the true meaning of the words: Created Equal. As Paul and Diamond learn many hard lessons and their parents try their best to guide them the past will catch up in the present and the end result will let everyone know that some dreams come true and others need time as not everyone even today believe the words: All men are created equal. A great book for kids to read in Middle School and High School as a starting point to help them understand the Civil War and the differences between the North and South. A country divided. People on different sides and a nation that still needs to mend even today.

Fran Lewis: Just Reviews