Back on Track

New reviews coming soon! I'll be importing my work from the past two years, but in the meantime,
I'm reclaiming my small place on the web.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Poetry Review

A Trilogy of Poetry, Prose and Thoughts: For The Mind, Body & Soul
by Joseph S. Spence Sr.
ISBN-10: 1420803948
Review by Heather Froeschl

"A Trilogy of Poetry, Prose and Thoughts" is a family affair. This trio of authors offers their varying voices to readers with poetry and words in creative expression. The book is filled with snapshots of moments presented in written form.

Joseph Spence shares his thoughts on the melting pot of America, the wonders of holiday foods, and vacations on the beach, in rhyme and rhythm, humor and contemplation. He has a style of self-assured ease with the written word, and seems to enjoy his craft immensely. Jonathan Parrish Spence offers his youthful works on being drug free, his love of music, and moments from his middle school days. His work shows promise as a poet and author. Jonathan's style is exploration of the written word and seeing what he can do with it. Sheila Parrish Spence gives readers thoughts on the island feel, the professions of motherhood and lawyer, and love for her children and family. Sheila's style is mellow and easy, full of life and wisdom, and inspiring imagery.

The book is an interesting collection of poetry, but more so a collection of styles. It is full of little pictures created in the mind, moments in time to share with the reader. A handful of typos does little to distract from the joy of experiencing this delightful read.

Poetry Review

by Nahu
ISBN-10: 1598001566
Review by Heather Froeschl

Poetry is accepted in endless emotional responses. In my opinion, if successful, a poem can mean different things to each reader. What one takes from a poem reflects who or what the person reading is. In the book "Wavelets" by Nahu, the author offers up a rich smorgasbord of delicacies to be reflected upon by the individual, appealing to the broad interpretations that will result.

Topics covered in the poems range from the universe to the flight of birds and touch upon emotions of introspection, love and reverence. Each work creates a feel of its own, to be appreciated differently by each reader. Each poem offers a moment in time, a concept of spirit, and an awareness of soul.

Nahu reveals his many interests, from zen-like truths to consciousness, spiritual paths to teacher-student learnings. His book is truly a unique offering to lovers of poetry and those who can appreciate the artistically written word. "Wavelets" is one of the most inspiring works of poetry I have read in a good long while.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Romance Review

Lunch With Cassie
by Janet M. Henderson
ISBN-10: 1420861972
review by Heather Froeschl

Love sometimes brings us to precarious places in our lives. For Cassie, daughter of a Congressman, it came during a precarious time. Finding her love, a blind doctor who would treat her heart in more ways than one, was only the beginning. Finding out how much love her heart could hold could take a lifetime. But with the help of those who covet her attention it happens in a heartbeat over the course of nine years.

Secrets run rampant in Cassie and Jeff's lives. His former girlfriend, Angela, refuses to loosen her hold on him, while Jeff's best friend, Jonathan, refuses to forget a deep attraction to Cassie. As the years go by the triangles of deceit grow bolder and even bigger secrets go untold. When children are brought into the picture the stakes are raised. Will Jeff and Cassie's marriage be able to stand the strain? Will happiness and destiny find a home in Cassie's heart once more? Attempted kidnappings, near misses with death, and billions of dollars add to the turmoil in "Lunch With Cassie."

Author Janet M. Henderson offers a romance novel with a bit of a twist. Her well-rounded and believable characters will have readers turning pages in order to reveal their secrets. Her plot twists and turns with suspense and just enough tease, revealing all in due time. This well written novel is full of raw emotion, passion, and lifelike drama. There were a few moments when the book felt a little drawn out, but in the end it turns out that everything is as it should be and wouldn't be as good without the details. Readers can be assured that they are in for a satisfying visit with Cassie. I recommend this book to anyone seeking an escape into a world of love, primal attraction, dreams fulfilled and exciting suspense.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Non-Fiction/Enlightenment review

2012: You Have A Choice!: Archangelic Answers And Practices For The Quantum Leap
by Sri Ram Kaa & Kira Raa
ISBN-10: 0974987212
Review by Heather Froeschl

You may have noticed a trend of people being called to find some deeper meaning in their lives, some reason for being. You may have had this call yourself and found yourself being aligned with others who share your interests and are on the similar paths to spirituality. Authors Sri Ram Kaa and Kira Raa explain that this is because the Earth's energies are honing and we are getting ready for ascension in or near the year 2012. What does this mean?

Enlightenment for some, a choice to not be so by others, and still a choice to help others along the path. Which will you be? With guiding words from Archangel Zadkeil, through the authors, and words of help from the authors themselves, readers will be able to make their own choices.

"2012: You Have A Choice!" will be different things to every reader. I cannot offer my personal opinion because you may come away with something very different than I. I would not want to sway what readers come to understand by offering my own understandings. I can say that this book offers some powerful guidance. With topics ranging from the existence of soulmates, to the truth about Atlantis, from Karma, to the choices our energies will make, the book offers a great deal of information.

Offered in a friendly, open demeanor, the authors are lighting the way for readers to make their own decisions with eyes wide open. Whatever your spiritual path, religion, or background, there is sure to be something in this book that you will recognize and connect with. Are you ready for a quantum leap?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Ficition/Romance Review

Someone To Love
by Karoline Bethea-Jones
ISBN-10: 0967952301
Review by Heather Froeschl

Can a marriage survive lies, cheating and lack of respect? Would you want it to? Where is the love? Can a person find their calling and ultimately, themselves, after 15 years of marriage? These are the questions that Karoline Bethea Jones' novel "Someone to Love" attempts to answer.

Terry and Stephanie Taylor have been married for 15 years. They have two children, and a lot of emotional baggage. Terry is a music producer, and a player in the womanizing sense. He tries to get from other women what he seems to think he cannot get from his wife. He thinks that she cannot be trusted, and so he becomes untrustworthy in return. Stephanie has a hard time relating to her teenaged daughter and an even harder time dealing with the loneliness she feels in her marriage. She focuses on her young son, but turns to alcohol before turning to a friend for companionship. Will she ever find herself and the self-love to put a stop to the farce of a relationship she exists in? Can her "someone to love" start with herself? Doesn't it have to?

Karoline Bethea Jones has written an emotional roller coaster of a novel. From the very first page readers are immersed in Stephanie's turmoil. Cry with her, get mad with her, and feel her confusion; grow with her. In the background of the moment-to-moment emotion there is a subtle plot evolving. The author promises a sequel and I am sure readers will want to carry on the tale. From the technical side of things I feel the book could use a once over by an editor, but this fact does little to detract attention from the story. This sometimes blatant look at marriage and relationships, and the power of self respect, is a memorable tale.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Fiction Review

The Mouse That Roared
by Dwayne Sr. Murray
ISBN-10: 0976985500
Review by Heather Froeschl

What causes the meek to make a stand? At what point does a person who is pushed to the ground time and time again, refuse to stay down? When does the mouse roar like a lion? In Dwayne Murray Sr.'s novel "The Mouse That Roared," that time has come.
Sandra Lyte defies her prestigious, religious father's wishes. In doing so she embarks on a journey that takes her far from Virginia to New York City, and farther from herself, as she becomes a person struggling to survive. The pattern is set then, to stop standing up to the men in her life, and dealing with what happens.

Only when that becomes something her soul can no longer bear does she begin to understand exactly what she must do, no matter what. The fact that what she must do involves a large drug organization, a mafia leader, the largest and most highly esteemed police force in the nation, as well as her closest friends, only gives her greater strength to roar out loud. Can one woman's revenge be the fire that burns New York City to the ground?

This fast paced book is full of drama, intrigue, suspense and heart wrenching crime. The author's attention to detail in the plot leaves it all too realistic and believable. His treatment of his characters has readers cheering for Sandra while abhorring her foes and crying for her friends. The storyline is an intense ride that is very well written. In execution there were a number of times when I felt a proofreader could have cleaned up the book a bit, but this minor detail in no way detracted from the compelling call to turn the pages.

I very much enjoyed "The Mouse That Roared" and highly recommend it. I hope to hear more of Dwayne Murray, Sr. in the future.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Poetry Review

Soul Inspired
by Joshua Dillaha
Review by Heather Froeschl

Poetry is such a wonderful tool for self-expression, emotional release, and creative art. The written word can evoke the deepest feelings; bring a smile, or tear, and reach out to the reader in many ways. Joshua R. Dillaha has published a collection of his poems, titled, "Soul Inspired." Whether the title refers to the reader's soul being inspired or his own having been and the results are the poetry within, his collection bears his soul and deepest thoughts.

The fifty-seven works of words are an example of a growing, maturing poet. From the beginning page, readers will feel the emotion put into each poem. In rhyme and rhythm Joshua spells out feelings of love, hurt, anger, fear, gratitude and more. On topics including being in the midst of war, watching a lost love marry, and finding his religion, Joshua openly shares his thoughts in the form of a poem.

The writing is sometimes intense, sometimes funny, and an ever evolving art. One can see growth here, in the person and the poet. It is clear that the author has a passion for his craft. I expect the future will hold more volumes from Joshua Ryan Dillaha, as his soul continues to be inspired.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Humor Fiction Review

Life is a Buffet: So Save Room for Dessert
by Polly D Boyette
ISBN-10: 0595367976
review by Heather Froeschl

Polly Boyette lives with her sister, Robbie Lee and recently had her mother, AC, move in with her too. Yes, AC is her mother's full name; AC are not initials, and Robbie Lee's name is actually Robin Lynn. But where they come from, folks might have names that seem like nicknames and nicknames that sound pretty normal. And this sets the stage for the stories you will read about in "Life is a Buffet, So Save Room For Dessert."
This short book of short stories is sure to bring a smile to reader's faces. Here are three women living together, each with her own ideas and idiosyncrasies. Robbie Lee absolutely loves fried chicken, AC adores shopping for flowers to plant in the too small townhouse yard, and Polly has learned to laugh at it all. Each story is a glimpse into life in Virginia and some crazy times that involve Polly falling down the front steps in a foot cast in the pouring rain, Robbie Lee driving blind and getting a ticket, and AC's obsession with "daffneydils" (Daffodils). With each story Polly has chosen a quote from the Bible and includes her own interpretation of it, relating it to the tale. It is all so lightheartedly done that you'll find yourself laughing through the entire collection.

This is a Christian geared book. However, if one chooses to ignore the Bible verses and lessons, readers can easily enjoy the stories alone. This likely isn't the author's intention but I feel that non-Christians will still be able to find value here.

I enjoyed the read and found the writing to be enchanting. After all, if we can't laugh at ourselves, whom can we laugh at? Since Polly Boyette has put her experiences out there to be shared, we can all laugh along with her and have something to think about as well.

Fiction Review

Raising Sand
by Betty Davenport Tesh
ISBN-10: 1594537887
Review by Heather Froeschl

Raising sand means to stir up trouble, and like it or not, 65 year old Kate Porter is about to raise some sand. It all begins quite innocently; when her sister, Emmaline, makes the suggestion that now that Kate is retired she should be available to look after their mother and her sister, Aunt Beam. They've been living alone and little things here and there have suggested that they probably shouldn't be.

So Kate goes "home" to stay awhile. Home is Bliss County, North Carolina, where everybody knows everybody and everybody's business is everybody else's. And it's a good thing too or else William Henry and Luther wouldn't have noticed that Darrell Billips hid his car behind the garage. And then there wouldn't have been an investigation, AKA snooping, into why the county commissioners were sneaking around and not allowing the Democratic Process to run their meetings.

Kate has gotten a whole lot more involved in her hometown than just carting Aunt Beam places and making sure her Mama takes her pills. She's become a political activist, and what's more is that she's become reacquainted with a boy she nearly held hands with in high school. What is to become of her quiet life? What is to become of Bliss County?

This wonderful tale, "Raising Sand," by Betty Davenport Tesh, is a breath of fresh air. Small town America does still exist, thanks to folks like Kate Porter and Aunt Beam. And thanks to Betty Davenport Tesh we can all enjoy a glimpse at it. The writing here is down home good and will leave readers hankering for a pork barbecue sandwich and a road trip down south.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Memoir Review

I Have Been Blessed! Hard Work and Happiness
by James M. Hill Sr.
ISBN-10: 0977485994
Review by Heather Froeschl

"I Have Been Blessed!" by James M. Hill, Sr. is a blessing in itself. It brings back the lessons of life that have traditionally been handed down by our parents and grandparents, but in recent generations have been lost due to the frequency of the scattering of families and the shattering of family closeness. Pull up a chair and listen to your elders! There is much to be learned, entertained, and touched by.

This is a book of memoir, an autobiography, of a man who in many ways has been a typical American. He has lived through 92 years and shares his tales of living with ups and downs, life lessons, and a great deal of change. From his early days of gathering eggs laid by hens under the house to his getting stuck in the well while in his 70s, from his taking over the family farm at age 14 to his having great-great grandchildren, James Hill has stories to tell. He well remembers when electricity was brought to the house where he still resides, a house that was built in 1890 for his own great-grandfather. He recalls riding in a Ford model T as well as he remembers riding in his grandson's Porsche.

His stories of growing up as one of ten children, then those of raising his own five, are nothing short of being Walton-like. His admiration for his mother and father and the dedicated work they did for their family clearly shines through his stories. Hill's love for and life with first his wife of 50 years is an endearing portion of the book that tugs the heartstrings. And his enjoyment of life with his second and third wives is inspiring.

Through it all James Hill proves to be a person we would all be blessed to have in our family. He passes the things he has learned on to his readers and shares a story of America as seen from the foothills of North Carolina. The book reads like being at the side of our grandparents, with honesty and appreciation for life. "I Have Been Blessed!" is a touching, enlightening, and entertaining book to enjoy.