RECENT REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS

  • Because I Had To
    David Bulitt
    Because I Wanted To ...keep turning the pages!
    FIVE STARS
    March 22, 2017

    "I thoroughly enjoyed Because I Had To. Though completely unfamiliar with the adoption, abortion, twin, sibling rivalry, mental illness themes, David Bulitt made these themes come alive. Bulitt made you care for, hate, empathize, envy, and lust after his characters. The opening chapter will grab your attention and keep you turning the pages.
    Because I Had To has something for all types of readers, men women, mothers, fathers, siblings, children, 20-somethings just starting out and even jaded, middle-aged lawyers. The plot follows a year in the life of a troubled, twenty-something, adopted, twin girl-young woman, following the sudden death of her loving father. We meet her aloof mother, her perfect twin sister, her therapists, and our narrator: her dad's lifelong friend "JB" - "Uncle Bro" a middle-aged divorce attorney questioning his "WHY."
    Though Bulitt could have relied on time-worn cliche's in creating his characters, he does not go there, instead giving us just enough insight to allow us to stop and think about who these people are, why they are making the choices they do. Bulitt does not preach to us when we might think those are the wrong choices. His characters play the hands they were dealt. Personally, I loved the asides about JB's divorcing clients, the judges before whom he appears and their "quirky" persona's and situations, even if those vignettes do little, if anything, to advance the story or Jess' character.
    I read David Bulitt's first novel: The Card Game first and glad that I did, as it introduced and gave depth to Jess & JB that one might not get from merely reading Because I had To, or reading them in the reverse order. Both volumes are well worth reading. I look forward to his next work!" ~ Harvey Jacobs, Amazon

  • Uncertain Futures
    Edmund Berger
    4/5 Stars This book covers the world economic crisis in 2007. Edmund Berger puts forward some compelling theories and reasons why it happened. His assessment of Marxism is interesting too. His history of the beginning of Capitalism is fascinating, but it all comes down to greed by the bankers, other people and institutions. Iceland went another way by closing down the banks. Today the country is thriving after going through hard, difficult times. The world didn't end for them. I can't see why other countries didn't do the same.
    Unfortunately the financial sector has tentacles which spread to all areas of governments in many countries, especially US and UK.
    The US frighteningly has players from the big banks in charge now. Will they learn from the past? I hope so.
    Recommended. ~ Eileen Hall, NetGalley/GoodReads/Amazon

  • Catherine of Braganza
    Sarah-Beth Watkins
    History is more interesting when spiced with royal drama.

    “Catherine of Braganza: Charles II’s Restoration Queen” by Sarah-Beth Watkins is a short biography of Queen Catherine of England, who reigned from 1662-1685. Her marriage to King Charles II, a king on shaky ground as he had previously been usurped, was an alliance match. The book focuses much on her struggles as a foreign bride – she was a princess from Portugal – and the problems of being a Catholic noble in the hostile, Anglican-leaning English courts. I found myself finishing the book in a matter of hours, as Catherine's history was so engaging that I had to know how it turned out...

    ~ Diana Fossett, Dixie Sun News -The Voice Of Dixie State University

  • Witch's List, The
    Andrew Cairns
    That old black magic! I was captivated from the beginning. It combines multiple genres very well. A great story. ~ Rachelle, NetGalley

  • That They Might Lovely Be
    David Matthews
    David Matthews’ excellent first novel is about love unknown, about sin and its consequences, about grief and even about redemption. Although there is war, suicide, loneliness and despair, it is a deeply hopeful novel.
    The story is romantic but is far more than just a romance. The mute son of the schoolmaster, who may or may not really be the illegitimate son of his spinster daughter, is at the heart of the novel. His character develops as he discovers speech, grows and eventually is able to form a mature relationship; escaping from the claustrophobic family home and seeing his first adopted refuge destroyed by war.
    This is a very good read. The dialogue is particularly well written and realistic, the era is evoked perfectly and without artificial information being used to prop up the action. The perfect material for a film or mini-series, That They Might Lovely Be is a delight to read. ~ Fr Richard Peers, blogger, Director of Education in the Anglican diocese of Liverpool

  • Spirit Trap, The
    Veryan Williams-Wynn
    ** I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review**

    French Revolution? Check. Trapped ghosts? Check. Time-slip elements? Check. Catacombs and castles? Check. Romance, danger, and thrills? Check. Young adult fiction? Check.
    SIGN ME UP!
    I was incredibly excited to read this book, and it did not disappoint. The plot was original and fresh, especially coming from a genre that's been exhausted by endless dystopias and paranormal angst. Even the love triangle was enjoyable. Williams-Wynn's writing is beautiful, lyrical, and sucks you into a fascinating, atmospheric worlds. It's escapist fiction at its best, and I really need the author to keep writing so I can read more!
    ~ Mary Johnson, Goodreads

  • Deconstructing Dirty Dancing
    Stephen Lee Naish
    I read this all in one sitting! A must for any Dirty Dancing fan! I particularly liked the snippets of information that I did not know existed such as alternate deleted scenes and the reasons for their exclusion. The romantic in me would like to believe that the ending is real to the film's narrative though and is not just Baby's fantasy! Interesting and enlightening read! Would recommend!
    ~ Jo Cameron-Symes, NetGalley

  • Invisible Hand, The
    James Hartley
    5/5 Stars
    A very different story from most books that I read. Time traveling and Shakespeare wrapped into a love story. Well done. ~ Amber Bennie, Lampshade Reader

  • Consciousness Becomes You
    Angie Aristone
    Roderick Alan
    Imagine for a moment that your consciousness could leave your brain. What could you learn and discover? What could you accomplish if your mind could travel wherever you focused it, to understand anything you desire, directly, from the inside out? How would your relationships improve? What would the world look like if we could all understand one another on such an intimate level? What if you were told that your consciousness not only can leave your brain, but that it already does, and that we are all immersed in a telepathic experience of the world, though few of us realize it? In "Consciousness Becomes You", the authors, Angie Aristone and Roderick Alan, share personal stories, grounded conversation, and scientific research to explain that part of our minds, the connected mind, is connected to everyone and everything. Beginning with how we already experience this connection in life, "Consciousness Becomes You" explores how this connection functions, its uses, and the myriad of ways we all already receive and share telepathic information. An inherently fascinating and impressively informative read from beginning to end, "Consciousness Becomes You" is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Psychology collections and supplemental studies reading lists. It should be noted for students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Consciousness Becomes You" is also available in a Kindle format. ~ Midwest Book Review

  • Pagan Portals - Animal Magic
    Rachel Patterson
    The English are known as a nation of animal lovers, and English witches are definitely no exception. Most of the ones I know not only have pets - or would like to have pets - but frequently use animal magic as part of seasonal rites and celebrations.

    This can be through using the symbolism of animals in pathworkings and creative visualisations, journeying to meet animal guides, drawing on the powers that animals represent for spells, or allowing your own cat, dog or other pet to be present at rituals to add their energy to the event.

    A lovely new book by Rachel Patterson called Pagan Portals - Animal Magic shows a whole variety of ways in which you can work with both real animals and spirit guides.

    The chapters include meditations and spells to find familiars and spirit guides; shamanic techniques of shape-shifting; animal spell working; divination, omens and superstitions; animal magic in rituals, animal deities and animal symbolism. She also covers using animal parts in magic - but this definitely doesn't mean sacrificing them - it just means using things you might find in nature and, if you eat meat, making sure leftover bones and so on are not wasted.

    As publisher Moon Books says on its website, the book offers: "An introduction to the world of animal magic; how to find, recognise, connect and work with the power of animal magic."

    Rachel Patterson is well known for her friendly and easy-to-follow style of writing, and this book is a great addition to her range of previous titles including Grimoire of a Kitchen Witch, A Kitchen Witch's World of Magical Food and The Art of Ritual.

    You can order Pagan Portals - Animal Magic: Working with Spirit Animal Guides via Amazon. ~ A Bad Witch's blog

  • Spirit Trap, The
    Veryan Williams-Wynn
    Bruce Wilkerson rated it
    really liked i

    In the “The Spirit Trap,” the world is animated with unseen forces from a distant path when Tatiana, a young English girl with French grandparents, discovers she is linked to victims of the guillotine during the French revolution. If she doesn’t come to their help, her life will be haunted by their suffering. During her school holidays, a close friend named Marcus accompanies her to Paris where she meets a handsome, yet alienated cousin. Caught between their jealousy and the need to lie to her parents, she explores Paris on a quest to discover the secret of Isabella’s death.

    I loved the book and didn’t put it down till I had read through to the end. The history of Paris, found in the streets and catacombs, really does come alive with this story. After I had finished, I had to wonder if my own dreams didn’t pull me back to another life just as they did for the characters in the “The Spirit Trap”.
    ~ Bruce Wilkerson, Goodreads/ Amazon

  • Fairycraft
    Morgan Daimler
    Fairycraft is an introduction to a magical paradigm based in old fairy lore and modern neopagan witchcraft. Daimler’s approach to the “Good Neighbors” is serious and classic: unflinching in the face of the darker aspects of these entities.

    While recognizing that there are other possible cultural associations for the fairy realms, her focus is on the traditions coming to us from European sources: primarily Celtic, Germanic, and Nordic. Central to these ancestral faiths is a belief in the literal existence of the spirit world as opposed to a psychological model in which the practitioner is connecting to archetypes or aspects of the self — a postmodern approach unknown to our ancestors.

    “Polytheism is a key theology in Fairy Witchcraft and it is one that needs to be fully understood by anyone seeking to follow this path. The Gods are real and as such they have their own personalities as well as agency, which means they can and will directly influence things. And that is a blade that cuts both ways; yes they can act in helpful ways that benefit us, but they can also act in ways that are harmful.” (p. 29)

    The Gentry are a varied lot including many different orders of spirit ranging from benevolent to baneful, but with no hard distinction made betwixt the two. The most basic categorization between the Seelie and Unseelie courts indicate only an association with the bright or dark half of the year, respectively. Regardless of affiliation, each spirit is a unique individual.

    Whatever their nature the “Other Crowd” are said to respect proper etiquette; and are easily affronted because we may not understand all of their ways. The ethics of Fairy Witchcraft consist of those values which they have been shown to respect in the lore. Daimler names seven in particular: hospitality, generosity, kindness, compassion, courage, politeness, and adventuresomeness. Tales show that those exhibiting these traits tend to come to good ends while those engaging in their opposites are rightfully punished.

    Daimler’s position as a pagan parent also contributes her lived experience to the work. Unlike many magical traditions, Fairy Witchcraft places no age restriction upon practice as historically there were none. Children figure prominently in many myths for good or ill and whole communities engage in local seasonal rites. As religions go, this one is accessible to the developmental level of young children and provides a faith that grows with them.

    However, Fairy Witchcraft is not a tradition for the faint of heart. Once one opens the door to interaction with the wyrd one must take the fearsome with the bright. In example, regarding the famed Wild Hunt, Daimler writes: “In some cases the Hunt might offer to take a living person to ride with them, but the risk of doing so was great; the person might never return or might become a permanent part of the host. Seeing the Hunt could be an ill-omen and the Hunt itself could kill or drive a person mad, but conversely in some areas it was believed meeting the Hunt bravely and politely could earn a person great reward.” (p. 93)
    ~ Katina HaalandRamer., Sagewoman

  • Pagan Portals - Merlin: Once and Future Wizard
    Elen Sentier
    Hi Elen

    Reading your books has so been so enjoyable and touching in so many ways. For many years I have tried to find out about the British tradition but fell foul of New Age pagan groups or online Druid organisations that never felt true to the bone. Simply reading The Celtic Chakras, Elen of the Ways, Trees of the Goddess, and more recently, Enchanting The Deer Trods and Merlin put a stop to any missing links and confirmed what I'd always thought that we had our own strong vibrant tradition right here on our doorstep. I watched you talk in London two years ago, bought a book and haven't stopped since then. I hope over the next few months (or years) we can begin to work together and I can connect more intimately with Britain and her ancient culture.

    Many thanks Elen, best regards
    Jeremy Kiely 14/3/17
    ~ Jeremy Kiely 14/3/17, druidnomad@gmail.com

  • Escape from the Past
    Annette Oppenlander
    I enjoyed this book. I would recommend it and am looking forward to reading another one in the series. ~ Oliver aged 13, NetGalley

  • Arc of the Goddess
    Rachel Patterson
    Tracey Roberts
    Insightful,informative and intriguing, I devoured the book in one sitting. The book is a must read for every one . The book opens the eyes of the reader.
    ~ Rubina Bashir, NetGalley

  • Pagan Portals - Animal Magic
    Rachel Patterson
    I'm a fan of Rachel Patterson, and I follow her blog on Patheos. Patterson's approach to the subject of witchcraft is very practical, no-nonsense, and down to earth. Her sensible writing, bereft of zany woo-woo and fluff is an example that I wish more authors would follow. If you're a witch who wants to read a book about animal guides that gives practical, workable exercises, then look no further. This very succinct book provides enough information to get started.

    Some of the topics covered include what animal magic is and the benefits of practicing it, meditations and simple spells to employ when attempting to figure out which animal has something to teach you, and how to incorporate your guides into rituals and other workings after you've connected with them. Also included is the obligatory brief listing of traditional associations belonging to the more commonly known animal guides, but Patterson encourages the reader to use their own intuition to learn what the animal has to teach them as opposed to relying entirely on a paragraph from a reference book. Much appreciated.

    I would recommend this title to anyone who is curious about animal guides, just getting started working with them, or has been working with them and would like some new ideas to try out and deepen their current practice. Fans of Lupa's works will also appreciate the solid content and no-nonsense approach. ~ Rachel Karfit, GoodReads/NetGalley

  • Pandeism: An Anthology
    Knujon Mapson
    Engaging, thought provoking, and an enjoyable read. I can't wait to buy this for my philosophy loving friends so I can discuss the concepts with them ~ Lily Greer, Faerie Review

  • Beat the Rain
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    Interesting view into a marriage between two troubled people, both difficult to root for. Despite this, their story is compelling and heartbreaking. Insight into desire, needs, relationships within a family, and the choices we make and how they define us. ~ Book Girl, Goodreads Review

  • Escape from the Past: At Witches' End (Book 3)
    Annette Oppenlander
    Annette Oppenlander has a genuine flair for original and compelling storytelling and as with the first two volumes, "At Witches' End" will keep the readers rapt attention from cover to cover. Unfailingly entertaining from beginning to end, and also available in a Kindle format ($5.38), "At Witches' End" is unreservedly recommended. ~ Midwest Book Review

  • Fairies
    Morgan Daimler
    This is an absolute gem. No other modern work gives the reader a better understanding of the fair folk or offers a more comprehensive wealth of knowledge pertaining to their lore. Morgan Daimler continued to be one of my favorite authors. She draws readers in with a mix of personal experiences and practical advice that will be invaluable to anyone who wants a genuine connection with the Fair Folk. ~ Stephanie Woodfield, author of Celtic Lore & Spellcraft of the Dark Goddess, and Dark Goddess Craft

©2016 John Hunt Publishing Ltd.