Book Review: ‘How Can You Mend This Purple Heart.” by Terry Gould.

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: “How Can You Mend This Purple Heart?” By Author TERRY GOULD. T.L Gould.

 

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Winner of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation’s James Webb Award for distinguished fiction

In this riveting first novel, author T. L. Gould draws on his experiences in a military hospital with severely wounded Marines recovering from the Vietnam War. He has created a plain-truth, no-holds-barred narrative, stark in its simplicity, detail, and humor. From dressing changes and morphine drips to off-site forays under a fence and into neighborhood bars and brothels, Gould chronicles the precipitous journey to recovery of the men of Ward 2B: how they learned to walk again, to love again, and to triumph over crippling injuries.

How Can You Mend This Purple Heart is not a story about combat in the jungles of Vietnam. It is a story about boys who returned from combat as men—men who left the better part of their youth, a bit of their souls, and a lot of their flesh in a battlefield on the other side of the world. It’s a story about their longing to recapture the spirit of boyhood and rekindle the optimism and fearlessness of youth. And it’s about their struggle to be whole again—or at the very least, to feel whole. It chronicles a journey of love, redemption, sorrow, and joy; a journey of pain and anger . . . and a journey of hope. But most of all, a journey of the human spirit and its triumph over the most impossible odds.

How Can You Mend This Purple Heart is a tribute to all the combat-wounded veterans of past and present conflicts. May they find the strength to continue their lives’ missions and know that the entire nation is grateful for their sacrifices.

 

The human spirit standing tall.
This 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Review is from: How Can You Mend This Purple Heart? (Paperback)
I am privileged to own a copy of this book. Privileged indeed. Bookshelves hold the things we treasure; those books that linger in our memory and raise a smile, or cause our throats to constrict with unshed tears, our chests to tighten in helpless anger.

‘How Can You Mend This Purple Heart” does all of those things and more.

Do not read this book if you are looking for bloody scenes of war, they exist, but they exist in the memory of the men who returned from that war torn apart from planted mines.

They exist in the screams of night terror that echo through a hospital ward filled with men who survived the blasts, but not intact. They exist in the agony of knowing that for these men, life can never ever be the same again.

Do not read this book if you are looking for an easy read of mate-ship. It exists, but in the way of all things cruel and true, the mate-ship grows from shared terror, loss of limbs and shredding of innocence. Once the trust is established it can never be rent apart again.

Do not read this book anticipating only sadness; oh yes …  It exists, but in the way of the gallant and often surprising ways men reach out with unspoken need it is tempered with humor.

I laughed often during this journey of a book. I cried as well. but mostly I closed the final page with a feeling of kinship with the broken men who refused to just lay down and die. I closed it still angry about a war that they should never have had to fight.

I closed it with a smile at their kinship: and with hope for their futures.

I closed it with reluctance.

I recommend it with a certainty that the human spirit shines strong within those that have seen the worst man has to offer. I recommend it with a heartfelt hope, that their  indomitable  spirit will help prepare those whose innocence remains intact.book-cover-how-can-i-mend-this-broken-heart-terry-gould

Book Review: ‘Trafficking’ (Powell Book 1.) By Bill Ward.

Hello! Thank for stopping by. I always like to share a little about the author when I review one of their books.

Meet Author Bill Ward.

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Bill’s love of reading commenced at a very young age. He credits his Gran for encouraging his interest by regularly taking him to the local library after primary school. At boarding school, when the lights went out in his dormitory, he was often encouraged by the other boys to tell stories. English Literature was always his favourite school subject.

A long and successful career in IT saw him live and travel all over the world. With hindsight it was the start of his writing fiction but they were called business proposals in those days!

Having always enjoyed different cultures, the one life lesson Bill has learned is “wherever you go you will find good and bad people. This is not determined by colour, race, religion or country.”

Recently retired from the corporate world, Bill has finally fulfilled his lifelong ambition to become an author and has now written two thrillers, with the expectation of many more to follow.

Bill lives in Brighton, UK with his German partner and has seven daughters, a son, two horses, a dog and two cats! When he’s not writing he’s probably watching his football team West Brom, who he has now been watching for over fifty years!

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Trafficking is big business and those involved show no remorse, have no mercy, only a deadly intent to protect their income.
Afina is a young Romanian girl with high expectations when she arrives in Brighton but she has been tricked and there is no job, only a life as a sex slave.

Facing a desperate future, Afina tries to escape and a young female police officer, who comes to her aid, is stabbed.

Powell’s life has been torn apart for the second time and he is determined to find the man responsible for his daughter’s death.

Action, violence and sex abound in this taut thriller about one of today’s worst crimes.

My review 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟An uncompromising, fast paced explosion of a book!

Lets be clear from the outset, this book deals with Human Trafficking; with all its inherent violence, degradation and shattering  control over freedom, using fear and pain to reach those objectives.

It is not a comfortable topic, but the Author doesn’t try and pretty it up for generic consumption, he tackles it head on with great empathy, revealing the utter degradation that keeps these girls silent, dis-empowered, and often forgotten.

The characters aren’t so much written, as they are etched, with a light touch, this author has beautifully drawn each of the central figures, with layer after layer of pain and anger  simmering as an intensely volatile brew just beneath the surface.

Author Bill Ward gives us Afina, he shows us her fragility, her desperation, her fear, yet her grants her a defiant will, lest we become too complacent and write her off to the dirt of the lifestyle she was forced into.

This author makes us care about his characters including their imperfections.

Powell is a man driven by revenge. His daughter is dead, he seeks retribution, whatever it takes to achieve it.

His child died whilst attempting to save Afina. He wants Afina protected to make his child’s death count for something.

We understand the demons that drive him.

The author weaves his web carefully, constructing its threads and leading us forward, in this relentlessly fast-paced explosion of a book.

If you enjoy uncompromising thrillers, this book is for you.

As for me … I’m off to grab book 2.

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A miracle I want to share. Christmas Morning 1966. 2:00 A.M.

 I want to share something very special with you. faint-echoes-christmas-miracle

CHRISTMAS MORNING 1966: 2:00 AM.

The Christmas season is the harshest of all when you live on the streets.

On ANY streets … In ANY town.

A miracle happened in our small dark world that hot and steamy Christmas morning all those long years ago.

It was not a ‘miracle’ of biblical proportions, yet for us, it was a miracle that we would hold in our memories forever, to be taken out and looked at whenever life grew harsher.

I have taken the chapter from my memoir, and I am sharing it with you here.

I hope that it makes you nod in understanding.

I am smiling through my tears as I remember…..

 “Faint Echoes of Laughter” Book 2 of the “Standing Tall & Fighting Back.” Series. Non-Fiction. Memoir.

Chapter 7

Christmas was barely a week or so away, and the mood wasn’t good.

Christmas out here meant different things to each of us I guess.

My memories of Christmas’s past were all bad. Even last year when I’d been on the streets alone for barely a month had bad stuff attached to it, yet it hadn’t been nearly as bad as the ones I had lived with back in the home I called ‘hell central’.

I asked Baby Jenny to come for a walk with me down to see Big Mike. I wanted to ask him if he could scrounge up some left over decorations to put up in the ‘palace’ to lighten the mood up a little.

He gave me a thoughtful nod, and said he’d “see what he could do.”

He spoke to Jenny…”I swear you get prettier every day, Jenny. Don’t let Sassy here teach you any bad habits.”

Jenny grinned at him too shy to respond.

I kept my mouth shut except for a “Gee thanks … Big Mike”

He smiled and wandered off, and we headed back up to the palace. We spent a lot of time outdoors during the heat of the summer. The cooler breezes from the water were good. The heat inside our metal home was dreadful.

When a week had passed and we hadn’t seen Big Mike we figured that he had forgotten. It was disappointing; but he didn’t owe us anything; and after all he had helped us out with Momma and other stuff like wood for the fire in winter, so we didn’t really expect the decorations, we just hoped for them.

Jenny was extra quiet. I wondered if she would ever be able to talk about why she was here. I didn’t ask her. I hadn’t discussed my background with any of them, even Jamie. So I understood that it was not open for general discussion.

Christmas Eve dawned fiery red. It was going to be a very, very, hot day according to the radio forecasts, with a cool southerly change expected later in the evening.

We all headed up to Hyde Park very early and took a Christmas bath in our favorite fountain. At least the palace wouldn’t stink quite so badly for Christmas day.

It was tempting to just jump in the ocean so close to the Palace, but Big Mike had warned us all about the sharks, so we didn’t dare.

Sydney Harbor wasn’t the safest place to swim. We planned on heading down to the Botanical Gardens for a swim in the lake that evening. We figured there wouldn’t be many people around because it was Christmas Eve.

The sky began to look dark and threatening early in the afternoon. The southerly buster was heading up the coast rapidly. We were all unusually quiet and sitting around outside in the shade of the container when we heard the sound of vehicles heading toward the Palace.

We headed around the front to see who had arrived and watched in stunned amazement as Big Mike and two of the other guys whose names I can’t recall, began unloading boxes of stuff from their cars and placing it in the shaded opening of our tin home.

Big Mike looked uncomfortable; if possible, he was even gruffer than usual. “You lot need feeding up, so we brought you some stuff.”

We were all too stunned to say much at all, these hard men were all smiling and a little red faced. I swear if they could have, that they would have scuffed their shoes in the dirt like little kids with embarrassment.

Big Mike shook Jamie’s hand and accepted the ‘thank you’ from him.

I was speechless which wasn’t a common occurrence, I just grinned like mad and gave the guys a hurried “Thanks.”

They were the unlikeliest Angels you would ever see, sweaty and dirty after a long hot day’s work, the sight of them unloading the Christmas goodies and punching one another in the arm in a gesture common amongst males remains etched starkly in my memory.

Big Mike reached into the front seat of his car, and pulled out a parcel that was wrapped up in Christmas paper, with bright ribbons attached. He walked over and handed it to Baby Jenny.

She looked confused and wasn’t sure what to do with it.

“The women picked this out for ya, little one.” Big Mike said.

Jenny still wasn’t sure what to do.

“Go ahead and open it, Jenny.” Jamie said.

“Um, later. Later. Okay?” she replied looking very unsure of herself.

She looked at the men, and gave them one of her sweet smiles, “Don’t matter what it is. I never had a present before, so…Um…Yeah, thanks, thanks a lot.”

The men seemed to understand that she needed to be alone when she opened it.

As for the rest of us, we tore into those presents and boxes like there was no tomorrow…squealing in delighted surprise with everything we found.

There was more food than any of us had ever seen.

Tinned Hams, fresh pineapples, cherries and plums. Cooked Turkey and Cranberry sauce …with all the trimmings. Fifteen red t-shirts all large sizes. Paper plates, and plastic knives and forks, a can-opener. A Cooler packed with ice, a radio and spare batteries. A big crate of beer and bottles of Coke.

That night, we all huddled around the new radio; it was bigger and put out a better sound than the small transistor we had been using, we sat drinking the beer and singing our version of Christmas carols, none of them repeatable. Trust me.

Jenny sat on her sleeping place; she was a little tipsy as well having been allowed one-half of a small bottle of beer. We glanced at her as she picked up her present and watched the look on her face as she unwrapped it.

It was a baby doll, all soft and dressed in bonnet and booties with a pretty pink knitted dress. “Just what we needed, another fuckin’ mouth to feed.” she said…but the smile on her face could have lit up the entire city.

We were fed, content, and a little overwhelmed and unsure at the kindness of these people.

Typically, we questioned the motive behind it. We all wanted to believe that maybe, just maybe, they had done it for no motive other than the wish to make this Christmas a good place for us to be. It was an alien experience but a welcome one.

We had only sampled a little of the huge amount of food, deciding to save the rest for Christmas Day

That night we were all tipsy. Strangely quiet as we bedded down for the night. I think we were all a little overwhelmed by the generosity of these men.

It was around 2.00 am Christmas morning I guess when I felt something was wrong. Whatever the something was, it wouldn’t let me sleep. I couldn’t place it immediately. It was a strange sense of something missing, and it troubled me.

Jamie was on watch; I climbed over the others and hunkered down next to him. Jamie smiled at me and said, “You too hey, Sassy?”

“Yeah, I guess–what is it? Something’s different.”

We sat a while just listening. Then Jamie said, “Oh shit! It’s Jenny, she’s not crying!”

My heart was in my mouth. Jamie grabbed the torch and we played it across the others, several of them were already awake, and wondering what the hell was happening. Jenny had cried herself to sleep every night since she’d come to this place. It was a sound we all tried not to hear. She couldn’t be comforted, we weren’t permitted that close. She’d been here for two years now. Jenny was around eight-years-old.

Jenny lay on her side, sound asleep with both arms wrapped around that doll so tight there was no space between them.

That was the first time I had cried in a very, very, long time. I glanced at the others, without exception we were all affected the same way. No one wanted to look at anyone else, shit we were supposed to be the toughest kids on the block! Hell, we were the only kids on the block. That Christmas was the first real day of Jenny’s childhood. From then on, Christmas became Jenny’s birthday.

I’d like to tell you that a miraculous change came over her. That she was instantly transformed. In a make believe world she’d be outside singing all the hits from ‘The Sound of Music’ and wearing a pretty new dress and shoes.  But this is the real world, and the changes took place over time.

Jenny named her doll, Francine.

The greatest change of all; was that, from that night, for all the years that Baby Jenny remained in our world, she never cried herself to sleep again.

 ***

Many years have passed since that long ago Christmas Eve. My darling Jenny has gone.

So many of my Christmas Eves’ over time have been special ones. But the one I recall with tears of happiness on my face, and a smile in my heart … is this one.

Jenny lost her battle with life in September of 2008.

The doll Francine was buried with her.

#RRBC is THE place to be! Lets ROCK in this Writers’ Conference! Join in this amazing opportunity to share and learn.

Rave Reviews Book Club Writers’ Conference & Book Expo! Registrations close NOVEMBER 23rd 2016.

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#RRBC is THE place to be! Join in this amazing opportunity to share and learn. Treat yourself to the Christmas gift that just keeps on giving!

Are you a Writer, Editor, Cover designer or Publicist; a Publisher or Blogger, or a an avid Reader dedicated to finding and reading a selection of the best the online world has to offer? The RRBC WRITERS’ CONFERENCE & BOOK EXPO has something for everyone!

If you checked any of the above then this post is pure gold!

There is an Exciting, ground breaking Conference on its way … DON’T miss the opportunity to take part in just some or all of the following opportunities!

RRBC WRITERS’ CONFERENCE & BOOK EXPO

 FEATURES: Take a look at these amazing opportunities to participate!  Then register for the Conference by NOVEMBER 23rd with YOUR own Booth/Books/Workshop.

 Literary Lingo 101

Marketing 101

Blogging for Success

Editors: Sniffing Out the Right One

Why Your Brand Is Important

Indie Vs Traditional

Formatting Made Easy

Your Best Self-Promotion Tool: Promoting Others

Building Your Author Platform

Writing the Perfect Book Review

Book Blurbs Dos & Don’ts

Social Media Dos & Don’ts

Writing in the Senior Season

Why You Should Never Refuse a Live Media Interview

Cover Design (FREE Session)

*Conference Dates:  December 1st thru 3rd

*Registration Deadline:  November 23rd

Registration Link:  https://rrbcwritersconferencebookexpo.wordpress.com/registration-general-information/register-now/

 Pricing Link:  https://rrbcwritersconferencebookexpo.wordpress.c/registration-general-information/registration-packages-pricing/

NON-MEMBERS:
Vendor Booth Rental – $75/per table
Book Listing (linked title/cover/combination) – $5.00/ea.

REGULAR PRICING (Sept. 16 – Nov. 23, 2016):
MEMBERS:
Author/Vendor Booth Rental – $75/per table
Book Listing (linked title/cover combination) – $5.00/ea

NON-MEMBERS:
Vendor Booth Rental – $100/per table
Book Listing (linked title/cover combination) – $5.00/ea

Sounds fabulous doesn’t it? So don’t hesitate, to participate!

REGISTER NOW!

 

 

 

 

 

RRBC Holiday Train “Book Trailer’ BLOCK PARTY!

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Hi and “WELCOME” to Rave Reviews Book Club’s HOLIDAY TRAIN “BOOK TRAILER” BLOCK PARTY at Welcome to the World of Suzanne Burke in Sydney: AUSTRALIA.

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 This is a celebration. I am here, living, loving and laughing each precious day. I look forward to every sunrise, for it is a gift to be treasured. I could never have done this alone. My capacity to survive would never have been enough on its own. At times it only took the smile of a stranger to help me through another day.

My memoir is written under my pen-name of Stacey Danson.

My memoir “Empty Chairs ” is not an easy book to read. The subject of ‘Child Abuse’ will never be an easy topic to discuss. But, if we, as caring, loving, human beings are ever going to have a hope of making a difference, we all need to stop hiding ourselves away from what is undoubtedly a painful and confronting issue.

I have lived it. I ran and hid from it for too many years. It took the love and understanding of people just like you to help me confront and deal with my demons.

YOU … yes …YOU, CAN make a difference, but first you need to remove the shield you hold to your eyes and the protective layer you hold to your heart, and take a look.

Help the children, by helping yourself to understand.

I’d like to introduce you to my book trailer and I do hope that you will take the time to check out my book.

To be eligible to win one of the many prizes on offer please leave a comment on the BOOK TRAILER site.

VIEW BOOK TRAILER HERE

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Stacey Danson, lived through and beyond horrific child abuse. This book tells of her brutal beginnings, the streets of Sydney at the age of eleven were preferable to the hell she endured at home. She ran, and those streets became her home for five years. She was alone, ill, and afraid. Stacey also had an unshakeable belief that she would do more than just survive her life. She would not allow her future to be determined by the horrors of her childhood. She reached out for something different; there had to be more to life; if she could only find it. She had a dream of a life where pain and humiliation had no place. She was determined to find that life. Empty Chairs is the beginning of the journey. Now she is living the dream.

Once again, thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to share your thoughts and comments on my trailer and also, at the bottom of this post if you have a moment.  Good luck on winning my giveaways!  I’ll see you at the next stop of this awesome “BOOK TRAILER” BLOCK PARTY!

EMPTY CHAIRS on AMAZON

Purchase Empty Chairs on Amazon U.K

Purchase Empty Chairs on Amazon.com.au

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#RRBC and ME…color me happy!

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Are you expecting a rave? Good … That’s what you’re getting.

Firstly let me shed some light on my previous experiences online …

My memoirs, ‘Empty Chairs” and “Faint Echoes of Laughter.” were both originally Traditionally published. Sadly, my publisher closed their doors, and my work disappeared from view.

I was gutted.

My confidence levels were at an all time low, and the thought of self-publishing was shoved to the end of my ‘Can do’ list.

I had made some lovely friends on line, and spent the next four-years on my old blog “Soooz Says Stuff” site, blogging, actively promoting contests that I created, promotions, new releases etc. You know the drill. “Soooz Says Stuff” had a total of 287 followers.

I was well in to writing my first thriller, loving the journey but having no end vision for what I would do with it when it was complete.

Like many of us; I was utterly hopeless at promoting my own work. My comfort zone was in bringing attention to the works of folks I admired.

Then, only four-months ago I stumbled upon Rave Reviews Book Club.

I read and re-read the rules of the club, took a close look at what they were doing and more importantly just how they went about it. I liked what I saw.

That was only four-short-months ago.

Let me share a few statistics with you, for both prior to #RRBC & AFTER Joining.

BEFORE #RRBC =June 2016 … 1423 Followers on Twitter. NO new followers in June.

AFTER Joining #RRBC= July 2016 …2052 Followers on Twitter. 629 NEW FOLLOWERS.

I took part in a wonderful blog party tour hosted by #RRBC It was THE most commented on and successful post I’ve ever had. My friend list exploded! My TBR grew huge.party_balloons-29RRBC blog party header must use.

This trend has continued … as at around five-minutes ago, My Followers on Twitter number 3580. I have almost tripled my Followers.

My book “Acts Beyond Redemption” was selected as one of #RRBC’s OCTOBER books of the month. The response and huge support of the #RRBC community garnered me more sales than I had ever had of my book, and the reviews just keep on coming.

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AND THEN! Yes there’s more, I was interviewed live from Sydney to the USA and beyond on rrbc-blog-tag-team-radio-badge

And as if that weren’t enough #RRBC are having another party online this time it’s

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Yes, I am taking part! My trailer and post is scheduled for NOVEMBER 22nd, and I am extremely excited, and why wouldn’t I be?

One of THE most important things to note about the ‘reviews’ is that this club INSISTS on HONEST reviews. If the book is amazing then of course say so. BUT if you can only offer a constructive review and rate it less than 4/5 stars, then you are encouraged to do so. Honest Reviews mean exactly that.

RRBC is achieving something very important here, the club recognizes talent, and does everything it can to promote and share that talent. That support translates into the “bottom line.”

rrbc-plain-badgeI am and always have been a huge supporter of Indie Authors if I admire their work.

I have finally found a warm supportive home where all of us are like-minded. And to TOP all of this amazing stuff, My memoir “Empty Chairs” and Faint Echoes of Laughter” are BOTH sitting comfortably in the TOP 100 in their genre In Kindle in the U.K.

Color me CONTENT! Don’t wait…pop in and take a look at #RRBC this is one place where you get out of the club, exactly what you put into it.

My blog now … this one … has in excess of 7000 followers! Just a ‘tad’ different to the old blog at 287. AND THEN SOME!

So … Do YOURSELF a huge favor…Take a look. I’m so delighted that I did.

Learn much more about #RRBC right here.

MY AUTHOR page on Amazon

Purchase Acts Beyond Redemption for just $0.99 HERE on Amazon

Purchase Book 1 of my Memoir “Empty Chairs” here on Amazon

Purchase book 2 of my Memoir “Faint Echoes of Laughter” here on Amazon.

 

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Book Review: Milele Safari-An Eternal Journey … By Jan Hawke

 Meet Jan Hawke.

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Meet Jan Hawke.

I live near Launceston in Cornwall UK with Toby and Benji the Springer Spaniels – it’s a tie between the boys as to who’s maddest, but as I outrank all of them in being weird anyway it’s not open to debate really.

I’m physically lazy with things that don’t hold much interest for me (so that’s mostly housework and, increasingly, cooking…), but I love where we live, mainly because I chose it for being so quiet and off the beaten track, very close to the moors and quite near to the sea.

I also love books, both to write and to read, the latter of which can be very eclectic (I enjoy Julian Barnes, Kate Atkinson, Jeanette Winterson and will happily admit to Jilly Cooper too) but in the main I’m heavily into SF&F, particularly Tolkien, Terry Pratchett and Julian May, although I can pass on Zombie Apocalypses fairly easily…

…how I’ve chosen to write about Africa for my first novel may be something of a surprise to my friends, but if you read it you may find that all of the above information manifests in there somehow!

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BLURB:

Milele Safari – An Eternal Journey …twines around a single day, in an unremarkable border village that snuffs out the lives of four people and shatters many others, only to draw the survivors back to a different time and, perhaps, a hope of atonement and peace. Step out on the journey and discover an Africa that could have been, is and might one day come to be

My REVIEW. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

This book at first demanded my attention and then utterly commanded it .

Much has been said in previous reviews of this book that may lead a new reader into the false illusion that it is not an easy book to read.

It is the subject matter that is the gut wrenchingly difficult undertaking here. It is not this authors’ unique way of expressing and exposing the storyline, for author Jan Hawke in this her first sojourn into sharing her skill, has a richly compelling voice.

The author has a distinct style, a way of weaving and inter-weaving the enormously difficult task she undertook at the outset to make Milele Safari, if not less harrowing, then harrowing with a sense of real purpose and a clear direction.

Your comfort zone may well be breached. If you are looking for a read that gives breathtakingly stunning visual images, yes … you will find those inside these pages in rich abundance. By the same token the authors ability to craft the horrors of Genocide, to re-create the emotional impact of overwhelmingly brutal acts of man’s ultimate betrayal of his own species will not spare you. My emotions were flayed raw by its telling.

This author gives you no easy fix. Such is the fabric of her characterizations. Each one is significant. Each has a component  necessary to the telling. The sharing of insights from differing perspectives and even those of differing species raises questions, we may be unwilling or unable to answer.

If you undertake this journey with a need to learn and explore, if it’s taken with a willingness to open your mind and your heart, you will not be disappointed.

I will be seeking out further writings from Jan Hawke. I believe she will become a force in writing to be acknowledged and widely read.

Bravo.

 

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Milele Safari on AMAZON

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Twitter: @JanHawke

Jan on FACEBOOK