Book Review “Cargo” Jen Castleberry

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The earth has been reduced to a singular continent, governed by extra-terrestrials, collapsed by nuclear weapons residue and wracked with radiation sickness. Only one viable territory remains, and access there is restricted by a mysterious selection process. Everyone hopes to be chosen for transport. Everyone but Cass.

Seventeen year old Cassidy Hartinger has spent the past eleven years living in a government-maintained bunker. She should be thrilled when a handsome transporter arrives to take her to the Reservation. So why does she feel like he’s dragging her, kicking and screaming, straight into the anti-paradise?

Faced with gun-wielding survivalists and elemental catastrophes, will Cass make it more than two steps out of the bunker? Will her journey to peace and safety in the Reservation turn out to be the most perilous thing she’s encountered so far?

Fast-paced action and a tumultuous teenage romance will keep readers begging for more installments of The Reservation Trilogy!

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First lines: The extra-terrestrials are aggressors. They’re hostile, right from the start. That’s what my father tells me. He says hostility is potent when it’s quiet; he says the ETs are as quiet as mice.

Castleberry delivers a fast paced dystopian with characters that pop out of the book and come alive. The story pulls you in and the book holds you pretty well. When I saw this was a dystopian novella I worried that there wouldn’t be enough room for world building, character development and the like. In some ways I wasn’t wrong.

The very first page sets the pace for Et’s to be an integral part of the story. So, you can imagine my confusion when at the end of the book I had still not read about a single one nor was much else really said about them other than the off-hand wonderings if each person Cass meets is fully human. I think the author made a mistake when she decided to make this story a novella instead of a full length book. 

The scene struck me as apocalyptic and destroyed. The buildings abandoned or blown up. The travelers dangerous and abandoned by any kind of government system. The climate appears to be scorching and almost inhabitable. There’s a real survivor string to it all. 

I really wanted more information about pretty much everything in the story. Explanations are hap-hazard and glimpsed at. I was dissatisfied to say the least.

My advice to the author would be to bring the book back to square one and format for a full length novel. The novella is lacking in too many areas and there is no real ending either.

All of this is a damn shame since the book definitely hooked me. I want to read more. I want to know more about the world and it’s characters. I want to know about the ET’s.

I’m giving this story 2 stars.

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The Technical Data:

Title: Cargo | Series:  The Reservation Trilogy |  Author(s): Jen Castleberry |Publisher: Create Space Independant Publishing / Publication Date: 4-22-2016 |Pages: 182 (Print) | ISBN: 978-1523797271  | Genre(s): Sciene Fiction / Dystopian | Language: English |Rating: 2 out of 5 |  Date Read: 8-25-2016 |Source: Copy from author

Indie Author Spotlight – Brian Kindall

Brian Kindall is the Indie Author reviewers are always on the hunt for. His storytelling is unique and addicting. His characters are those hidden gems that squirm their way into your psyche and never let go. Check out my review of “Delivering Virtue” to find out more.

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As a young man, Brian Kindall was undone by love. Oh, was she ever divine! Dark hair. Blue eyes. The smile of an angel. But then it all fell to ruin. For years afterward, the broken-hearted sap spent his time wandering about and scribbling self-absorbed tragedies that no one really cared about. His prose was impeccable, but useless to the world. Then one day, as if by magic, he matured. He peered into the abyss, became a father, got some perspective, and has been writing nothing but brilliant, entertaining novels ever since. These books – some for kids, some for grown-ups – are brimming with the absurdity, beauty, and mystery of life. Mister Kindall has become a master at playing humor against pathos, fairytales against reality, all for the sake of a good read that will surely enhance the life of any reader lucky enough to delve into the author’s adventure-laden pages.

He is the author of adult fiction novel DELIVERING VIRTUE, a Foreword Reviews 2015 IndieFab Book of the Year Finalist, and middle grade novels BLUE SKY, and PEARL. Moving, memorable fiction all. He resides on the shores of a pristine mountain lake with his wife and three kids somewhere in the middle of Idaho.

Want to know more? Check out his website!

http://www.briankindall.com/

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WARNING! This interview has spoilers!

The Interview

Q – DELIVERING VIRTUE is definitely unique. What gave you the idea to begin writing it?

A – Honestly, I was just sitting at my desk one morning when this voice came into my head speaking the book’s first line. I wrote it down, read it back to myself, thought hmm, that’s intriguing. And then, with the voice still dictating, I wrote some more. In about thirty minutes I had the first chapter. That’s when the character stepped up and said, “Salutations and bonjour. My name is Didier Rain and I am in search of a medium for my long and sordid tale. I will warn you from the get-go, mine is not a pretty story. There will be myriad troubling incidents to describe. The task is bound to lead you to considerable worry, doubt, sleeplessness, and possibly some subsequent ridicule, assuming anyone should ever stoop to read it as a book. And yet, as with all soul-plumbing ventures, there will also be opportunities for transcendence, secret satisfaction, and much ribald hilarity. Are you the man for the job?”

How could I say no?

Q – Didier Rain’s name is just as unique as he is. How did his name come to you?

Rain is a poet, so it follows that his name should have a certain poetic rhythm and symbolic meaning. Didier is pronounced Dee-de-ay in French. If you say his name aloud – Dee-de-ay Rain – you will find a nice little galloping sensation happening on your tongue. Rain – the stuff that falls from the sky – plays an important role in the book. It seems emblematic of heaven-sent redemption, and you’ll notice that it’s a scarce enough commodity on Rain’s adventure. Also, Didier is derived from the word desire. No one is more full of longing than Didier Rain. He is the profound embodiment of an everyman suffering mortal desire. So Didier’s name simply means Desirous Rain.

Q – The cover of the book speaks volumes. After reading, I felt the cover works as a bit of foreshadowing. Was this intentional?

My wife Kristin designs our covers. She assures me that this one breaks many rules according to the standards of your well-educated designer. But there was something just so right about this cover that we couldn’t let it pass. It gives a sense of the book’s conflict between good and evil, it gives a sense of the book’s quirkiness and it’s one-of-a-kind flavor. Hopefully it’s intriguing enough upon first glance to suck you in. Once a reader has read the story, they’ll see that yes, definitely, the cover did indeed forebode the peculiar adventure held inside.

Q – In the book, it seems that everyone Didier has “relations” with or attempts to, passes away. Is this circumstantial or intentional? Is this a result of the prophecy?

At the outset of Rain’s wilderness journey, he is given a set of rules he is to follow according to the prophecy he has been chosen to fulfill. He is warned that carnal pleasure will lead to severe punishment. But Rain struggles with his animal nature. His carnality gets the better of him again and again. It would seem that the many “beings” with whom he couples are the real victims of his indiscretions. But if you think about it, although they die, at least now they’re enjoying paradise. Rain is the one who is truly punished. After each encounter, he is left heart-broken, confused, and a little more alone. He is left to carry on with his epic struggle through the wasteland. As to whether or not it is divine punishment, that’s a question Rain begins to consider more and more as the story goes on.

Q – When you write, is the story already present in your mind or does it slowly materialize as your writing progresses?

There are generally two kinds of writers in this regard – those who lead, and those who follow. I used to try to be a leader. I would plot out everything, make outlines, draw diagrams. That’s a safe and sure approach for getting through the process of writing a novel. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that being a follower leads to more surprises and freshness. It also takes a lot more humility and daring. It’s a little scary not knowing what’s going to happen because you have to have faith that your muse is guiding you down a worthwhile path. With Delivering Virtue, which is a road trip book, it was easier than usual because I just followed along with Rain on his trip. I knew basically where he was heading, but the many odd characters and perils he encounters along the way, as well as some of his more poetic insights and spiritual speculations, were each a big surprise. That makes writing a lot more fun. That makes you feel like you’ve hooked up with something bigger than yourself. The book probably wouldn’t have come out with such originality if I had tried to stuff it into some predesigned mold.

Q- In the story, Rain is captured and raped by three men. I felt this was a bit glossed over. Were these men a type of punishment for Rain’s debauchery?

Rain is a master of repression. All of the past traumas in his life have been submerged in the deepest and darkest regions of his soul. So when he’s abused by the three wild men, I think he just automatically dismisses it and moves on. After all, he has a job to do and can’t be bothered. But you’ll notice soon after his encounter that he turns introspective and becomes quite seriously ill. It’s as if all the poison of his sublimated sufferings are coming back to him with a vengeance. That’s when we get his long cathartic tale about his childhood. That’s when we learn why Rain is the despicable, yet empathy-inspiring, person we come to, if not love, at least like.

 

Q – Do you have any writing quirks?

I’d love to tell you that I always drink a tankard of blood before I sit down at my desk, or that I only write in the nude. But I’m afraid it’s not that weird. The one quirk I have is that I always work on a desk that is completely uncluttered. No pictures, no reference books, no scraps of paper with inspirational sayings. It’s just me, my computer, and a bare table pushed up against a blank wall. I try to rely completely on what I know, or what’s hidden in my memory. Call it a blank canvas. I can always check the work for accuracy later in editing. A good example is Rain’s vocabulary. It’s so much more extensive than my own. And yet it came out of me as I was writing. Somehow I knew those grandiose words from somewhere. If I had written the book with a thesaurus on my desk, continually thumbing through the pages to find just the right word, I know his language wouldn’t have been nearly so spontaneous and fun.

Q- What kind of music do you listen to when looking for inspiration?

Country music story songs – the kind with ironic endings. They’re hokey and quaint and I always feel a queer nostalgia when I hear one of them. I too often intellectualize my writing. I make it all philosophical and highbrowed. A more basic outlook on life – one infused with the virtues of a country western ballad – grounds the writing. It reminds me of the essential emotional needs of an audience. Every time I hear a country song and find myself moved, I realize people just want a good story that they can relate to, one that makes them feel something visceral, and not just intellectual.

Q – Other than writing, what hobbies do you enjoy?

Writing is so cerebral that when I’m not doing it I try to balance it out with activities that are not cerebral at all. I’m lucky in that I live in the mountains of Central Idaho at the edge of a national forest. When I’m done with writing for the day, I can push away from my desk, strap on the skis in the winter, or the boots in the summer, and just head out the back door into the mountains. Literally. I don’t even have to drive anywhere. I’ll trudge for hours through the snow, climbing, breathing hard, exploring new routes, following animal tracks.

Just for fun questions:

Q – If you could time travel, where would you go and what would you do?

I think it would be great to go back a thousand years and live as a Native American before the Europeans showed up. I know there were hardships in that life, but there was also a simplicity and closeness to nature that I sometimes crave in this mind-

boggling information age. None of the other more famous historical periods are as attractive. I’ve lost any desire to make a mark in history books. I don’t think that’s what a good life is all about. Being connected to the big picture seems more important. An elemental life seems ideal.

Q – Imagine you are stranded on an island. What three things would you most want with you? (other than people, food, shelter and the necessities for life)

It’s funny you should ask this one. In high school I wasn’t voted most likely to succeed. I wasn’t voted best-dressed or most athletic. I was chosen as the person you’d most want to be stranded with on a desert island. So I’ve had some time to consider this. I would have a hacky-sack. (I’ve always wanted to get ridiculously good at a useless skill.) I would have a language course for some obscure dead language that no one speaks anymore, like an offshoot of a language once spoken by a nomadic tribe in the taiga forests of Siberia. And I would have a copy of James Salter’s A Sport and a Pastime. That’s a book I can read over and over merely because of the style and beauty of the writing. The story’s not thrilling, but the way Salter put it together has always struck me as stunning. Of course, the book is seriously erotic as well, and a man alone on a desert island could well go stark raving mad reading certain of those passages too many times.

Q – If you could shape shift into anything, what would you pick?

Either a Sperm Whale or Stephen King.

Q – If you could live in any book or movie, what book/movie would you pick?

I have an old book called Snow and Rock. It’s an illustrated manual on alpine climbing by the great French alpinist Gaston Rébuffat. It was published in the 1950s and the images of wool-clad men clamoring over mountains, captured as they were with the film stock and printing processes of the period, combine to make a dreamy Kodachrome surreality. Everything is sky blue and stone gray and snow white. Rébuffat calls it “a world apart.” I’ve always wanted to inhabit that lofty world.

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Delivering Virtue New Cover

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Hilariously inappropriate, squirmingly irreverent, and oddly charming, DELIVERING VIRTUE will deliver you on an epic journey out of your comfort zone and into a mystical transcendence you didn’t see coming.

 

 

 

 
Didier Rain, bumbling ne’er-do-well and dissolute poet, is hired by The Church of the Restructured Truth to deliver a child-bride across the American frontier of 1854 to their prophet Nehi in his stronghold at the City of Rocks. The landscape is rife with hooligans, carnal temptations, and acts of God or Mother Nature that threaten to avert Rain from fulfilling the righteous prophecy.

 

The Booklist – 5 Books You Should Read

Since it is well known that I am a voracious reader, I often have people ask me for book recommendations. Due to this, I’ve decided to start a weekly list of books that I have personally reviewed. Each book has received a minimum 4 star rating from me. If you have read any of the books I’ve listed, please let me know what you thought of them in the comments! 

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My Review

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My Review

Private Lucky Cover

My Review

A Howl for Mayflower Cover

My Review

Hooray for Diffendoofer day Cover

My Review

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How’s my list? Place your two cents below!

⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓

Book Review “Fling!” Lily Iona Mackenzie

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Is it possible to come of age at 60 or 90? Is it ever too late to fulfill your dreams? When ninety-year-old Bubbles receives a letter from Mexico City asking her to pick up her mother’s ashes, lost there seventy years earlier and only now surfacing, she hatches a plan. A woman with a mission, Bubbles convinces her hippie daughter Feather to accompany her on the quest. Both women have recently shed husbands and have a secondary agenda: they’d like a little action. And they get it. Alternating narratives weave together Feather and Bubbles’ odyssey. The two women head south from Canada to Mexico where Bubbles’ long-dead mother, grandmother, and grandfather turn up, enlivening the narrative with their hilarious antics. In Mexico, where reality and magic co-exist, Feather gets a new sense of her mother, and Bubbles’ quest for her mother’s ashes-and a new man-increases her zest for life. Unlike most women her age, fun-loving Bubbles takes risks, believing she’s immortal. She doesn’t hold back in any way, eating heartily and lusting after strangers, exulting in her youthful spirit. Has Bubbles discovered a fountain of youth that everyone can drink from? *Praise for Fling!* Fling! is both hilarious and touching. Every page is a surprise, and the characters! I especially loved Bubbles, one of the most endearing mothers in recent fiction. A scintillating read. ~ Lewis Buzbee, award-winning author of The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop and faculty at University of San Francisco MFA program

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First lines: Isle Of Skye, 1906. Malcolm- Heather MacGregor’s grandfather on her mother’s side- told anyone who was willing to listen that his granddaughter hadn’t been born the usual way. She’d danced right off one of his paintings, landing in the family’s potato patch, except the ground was too barren to produce much by the time she came along. It wasn’t a promising beginning. 

Mackenzie brings to the table a novel that has a little bit of everything. Hippies, brujos, romance, history and so much more. Each character is vibrantly alive even when they shouldn’t be. It’s a tale of realism, magical realism and the allure of Mexico.

There seems to be a bit of a trend with the women of the MacGregor clan. They are all eccentric and free spirited. The rigors of everyday routine drown them. They need action and adventure. 

Bubbles is a character all her own. She’s a very old lady on the outside but on the inside she may as well be a teenager. Her vitality is contagious and in some way, I think she was carrying around those memories of her family and her belief is what brought them into substance.

Feather was a tough one to get a handle on. She was the character I felt like I knew the least. Her personality always felt contradictory. For awhile I would feel like I had a good handle on who she was and then she would change and I felt discombobulated. 

The novel perfectly captures the people and traditions of Mexico. I could feel the baked earth beneath my feet. I could smell the foods cooking. Mackenzie does well with description.

There was a lot I enjoyed about the book and a few things I felt could of been done better. I’m granting it 4 stars.

4 star

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The Technical Data:

Title: Fling! | Series:  N/A |  Author(s): Lily Iona Mackenzie |Publisher: Pen-L Publishing / Publication Date: 7-1-2015 |Pages: 272 (Print) | ISBN:  978-1942428299 | Genre(s): Magical Realism / Womens Lit | Language: English |Rating: 4 out of 5 |  Date Read: 8-23-2016 |Source: Copy from author

 

Trauma, Shame & The Power Of Love

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Bronze Medal Winner of the 2016 Global Ebook Awards.

Awarded the Readers’ Favorite® 5-Star Seal (2015).

There is a reason books that recount the regrets and advice of the dying strike so deep a chord: people who have nothing left to lose can tell their stories with a sincerity and unpretentiousness we crave but that is all too rare. In “Trauma, Shame, and the Power of Love,” Christopher Pelloski relates his own downfall from a prominent physician-scientist in the field of radiation oncology in a similarly candid way.

Without fear of losing society’s good opinion—having lost it already—Pelloski has the freedom to be sharply honest in his observations of himself and the world around him. To the question “Why would someone with so much going for him risk, and then lose, everything, by sinking so low?” he offers a gut-wrenching, soul-baring answer that dissects his decades-long downward spiral and examines it from perspectives that range from the historical to the molecular.

Pelloski chronicles the evolution of his devastating legal battle alongside his concurrent journey of recovery from childhood sexual abuse. He shares with us the lessons he learned from these experiences in the hope they can serve as both a warning and an invitation: a warning to abuse survivors not to follow his dark path of silence, and an invitation to society to deal more openly with the multitude of painful issues that have shaped not only his life but also, tragically, the lives of so many others.

Those brave enough to set aside their prejudices and preconceptions will be richly rewarded and challenged by this work.

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This book has been personally reviewed by AlliesOpinions! We felt it brings much needed awareness to the “War on sex crimes”! To see the review, click the title below.

Trauma, Shame and the Power of Love

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Review Stats

Amazon: 4.4 Stars!

Goodreads: 3.8 stars!

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About The Author

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CHRISTOPHER E. PELLOSKI earned his medical degree from the Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago in 2001. He was accepted into the Radiation Oncology Residency Training Program and eventually joined the faculty at the University of Texas – MD Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston, one of the top cancer centers in the world. After his recruitment to the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2010, he ran a full clinical practice, supervised his own basic-science research laboratory, and served as his department’s Residency Program Director and as the Director of Pediatric Radiation Oncology.

Pelloski is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and subsequently suffered throughout most of his life with undiagnosed and untreated Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, with Dissociative Features.

In the summer of 2013, his personal, public, and professional life came to a painful reckoning.

Find out more!

Author’s Website

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Pelloski is currently working on a second book!


This book has the AlliesOpinions official stamp of approval. We recommend this book!

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TTT- Ten Books From My TBR

This prompt comes from the ever resourceful “The Broke and Bookish”. Each week there is a different theme! It’s a fun way for bloggers to connect and readers to get to know us better! It helps the writing community get a little extra promotion for their work as well as give some pretty great intel to readers looking for a new read!

Top Ten Tuesday Heart

The original prompt is below:

Ten Books That Have Been On Your Shelf (Or TBR) From Before You Started Blogging That You STILL Haven’t Read Yet

My twist:

Ten books from my TBR list!

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

Fling Cover The Virgin of the Wind Rose Cover  Johnny and Jamaal Cover  Elphie and dad Cover

Dreaming of wakig up Cover  Arms from the sea Cover

Beyond the rainbows end Cover  Pathosis Cover

Deranged Cover  The man i had to kill Cover

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What’s on your list?

Book Review “Trauma, Shame And The Power Of Love” Christopher E. Pelloski, MD

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Bronze Medal Winner of the 2016 Global Ebook Awards.

Awarded the Readers’ Favorite® 5-Star Seal (2015).

There is a reason books that recount the regrets and advice of the dying strike so deep a chord: people who have nothing left to lose can tell their stories with a sincerity and unpretentiousness we crave but that is all too rare. In “Trauma, Shame, and the Power of Love,” Christopher Pelloski relates his own downfall from a prominent physician-scientist in the field of radiation oncology in a similarly candid way.

Without fear of losing society’s good opinion—having lost it already—Pelloski has the freedom to be sharply honest in his observations of himself and the world around him. To the question “Why would someone with so much going for him risk, and then lose, everything, by sinking so low?” he offers a gut-wrenching, soul-baring answer that dissects his decades-long downward spiral and examines it from perspectives that range from the historical to the molecular.

Pelloski chronicles the evolution of his devastating legal battle alongside his concurrent journey of recovery from childhood sexual abuse. He shares with us the lessons he learned from these experiences in the hope they can serve as both a warning and an invitation: a warning to abuse survivors not to follow his dark path of silence, and an invitation to society to deal more openly with the multitude of painful issues that have shaped not only his life but also, tragically, the lives of so many others.

Those brave enough to set aside their prejudices and preconceptions will be richly rewarded and challenged by this work.

trauma shame and the power of love Cover

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First lines: It was Tuesday, July 16,2013. I was away at a scientific conference at the University of Colorado, in Boulder. I had just returned from a poster viewing session where I talked with fellow scientists and had a few cold beers. My family was back in Columbus, preparing to fly out and meet me the next day, after the conference wrapped up. 

The first thing I ask of anyone who picks up this book is to keep reading. Don’t let the shock factor of the charges against Dr. Pelloski trick you into prejudging and closing the book. Dr. Pelloski has done a bad thing. At no point in time does he ever attempt to downplay his crime. He has done bad but, he is also doing a world of good with this book. I ask that you, dear reader, remember that the world we live in is a series of grey areas. Very few people can be conveniently cornered off as all bad or all good. Good people can do bad things.  

Dr Pelloski has written one of the most intimate books I have ever come across as a reviewer. He carries the reader through each event in a very personal way. A lot of memoirs or books that are written to bring awareness to a cause have a detached like narration. Pelloski dives deep throughout the entire book and shines a light not only on his ramifications but the backlash his family members receive as well. Pelloski combs through all the wretched and spot lights exactly how he has hurt others. His writing is intimate, raw and completely honest.

Pelloski, in my mind, is a great champion for this cause. His knowledge of medicine and his first hand experiences combine to shine a beacon of light on this neglected problem society has swiftly condemned without any real thought on the deeper problems. All issues in society are layered. It’s important to remember this if we want change. Nothing is ever simple.

For men, there is a huge stigma for speaking out on sexual abuse. This is an unacceptable reaction that society must move forward from if we are to find any lasting solutions. The current “war on sex crimes”, like the “war on drugs” does nothing to actually solve the underlying causes of the crimes. An alarming number of these cases are of people who have serious unresolved psychological conditions from the abuse they have suffered. These people need more than just our condemnation. They need our compassion.  They need a resolution.

I want to thank Dr Pelloski for his openness and the risks he has taken to write this book. I hope that it has the intended affect and causes a sweeping dialogue among the medical and justice communities. 

Like the “war on drugs”, the “war on sex crimes” is not a problem that we can jail away. Let us all learn from Dr. Pelloski’s writing and solve these issues with out minds and not our emotions.

One passage of the book stands out to me the most. Dr Pelloski is explaining to his friends that watching those videos did harm to more than just him. He is right to point out that as long as there is a demand for those videos, there will be a supply of them.

I would also like to interject another point. A person can be prosecuted for watching only one of those videos. Law enforcement is aware that there are millions of these videos online. Yet, they leave them available and convict the watchers and rarely the makers. It’s a net the police use. Where is the public outcry? Police use this net to catch the watchers because it’s easier to catch them than the makers. Those who are doing physical harm to these children continue to go on harming these kids because it’s hard to catch the abusers. Is that the standard of our criminal justice system? We pursue whats easy? How disturbing! I encourage every police officer to garner their resources and work harder on catching the abusers. Get this stuff off the internet. By leaving these videos online, the police are just as guilty of the watchers for using the victims. Childrens suffering shouldn’t be used to trap easy targets. Get it off, now.

Thank you Dr Pelloski for your honestly and bravery in writing this book. Thank you for choosing me to review it. My heart goes out to you for all the pain that you have suffered. I hope that your children and family continue to heal and life is kinder to you all.

5 stars.

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: Trauma, Shame and the Power of Love | Series:  N/A |  Author(s): Christopher E. Pelloski MD |Publisher: Create Space Independant Publishing / Publication Date: 2-12-2015 |Pages: 266 (Print) | ISBN:  978-1500755539 | Genre(s): Biographies & Memoir | Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 8-20-2016 |Source: Copy from author

Telling The Truth

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If there is one thing in life that I have learned, it is that people will always attack those who tell the truth. This is something that has baffled me for a long time. The older I get, the more I see this happen and the more perplexed I become. 

Often, that person who is telling the truth is doing so to protect others. This, of course, does not diminish the backlash. Whistle blowers are shamed, attacked, threatened and persecuted with alarming speed. 

Few people stop to question the risks the truth teller has taken. Most assume dark intentions and never stop to think….could this be real?

I’ve watched people rally behind the worst of people simply because they saw them as being attacked. Those people never stop to think if the allegations are true. They don’t look beyond the surface. The liar will put on a face and deny everything.

This is another thing that baffles me.

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People expect a liar to admit if they have done wrong. I’ve heard people say, well why would he keep lying? Why would he/she say this or do that….and on and on. 

My counter to that is why would he tell the truth?

Why would a liar out themselves?

It is the burden of the liar to prove that they aren’t lying. If they don’t do that…then…isn’t that confirmation in itself?

It’s one thing for the liar to point to the truth teller and claim they are the liar. But, if the liar really isn’t lying…why not provide proof and be done with it?

When a person relies on grandiose flippancy in the face of a serious accusation instead of showing transparency with proof that the accusation is false…..it’s time to ask questions.

It’s time to ask a lot of questions.

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Book Review “A Howl for Mayflower” Dan Gilmore

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Aging widower Tobias Seltzer prefers to spend his time with dead authors rather than live, but flawed, humans. That is, until the night Mayflower Bryant corners him in the basement laundry of the Coronado and persuades him to dance with her in his skivvies. Almost against his will, Tobias is drawn into the lives of his misfit neighbors – a grieving widower, a pregnant, homeless teenager, a one-handed juggler, a Vietnam vet left brain-damaged by a misfired suicide attempt, a woman on the edge of Alzheimer’s – and discovers that all problems can’t be solved by reading books. Sometimes, the only solution is life itself. Dan Gilmore’s debut novel takes a darkly humorous, painfully honest look at this last-minute journey toward love and self-discovery.

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First lines: My custom that summer when the heat made it impossible to sleep, was to go to the basement to cool off and read while doing my laundry. The last time I retreated to the basement was over a year ago, a night early in September. Past midnight. Silent. 

Gilmore has written an intimately unapologetic novel about the holes of selfishness and ideologies we find ourselves hunched in. His characters flaws, attributes and embarrassing urges are laid bare in a fashion that reminds us all that as humans we are complex and perplexing. Our motives a mixed bag in every circumstance.

There is no black and white to humanity. We are always in the midst of the gray.

I found this novel in many ways a comforting read. That’s not to say that its a fluff read because it couldn’t be further. It was like settling into anothers life. The characters are so deep and real that I felt like I had crawled into the brain of someone else’s body and became privy to their most private of thoughts and inadequacies. 

Each character is portrayed without hesitancy. 

There is a list of things I would like to applaud Gilmore for. 

His portrayal of mental illness is spot on. I want to thank him for being especially unapologetic on this matter. As a populace, we can’t always look upon someones behavior as their intentional attempt to be obtuse. Often, they are damaged and suffering. Gilmore expertly gives the reader a view into this world that I think many really need.

Another thing I would like to applaud Gilmore for is his portrayal of a persons right to die. Mayflower’s mind is deteriorating rapidly. She doesn’t want to wither away and die in pain and confusion. She wants to die on her own terms and I love that Tobias respects and loves her enough to be there for her in her hour of darkness.

In A Howl for Mayflower, Gilmore reminds each of us that we are shaped by those close to us and we shape them in turn. This was a fabulous novel. Gilmore is an author I have now added to my list of absolute favorites.

5 stars!

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: A Howl for Mayflower | Series:  N/A |  Author(s): Dan Gilmore |Publisher: Imago Press / Publication Date: 11-1-2006 |Pages: 220 (Print) | ISBN: 978-0972530385  | Genre(s): Literature & Fiction | Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 8-6-2016 |Source: Copy from author

Private Lucky! The Flying Dutchman’s Memoir.

synopsis

This true story of survival, determination, and incredible luck will lift your spirits and inspire you to never give up on your dreams! Some people are born lucky. Others make their own luck. As a boy, Hank wanted nothing more than to fly like the fighter pilots he admires in the skies over Amsterdam. When the lives of Dutch citizens are turned upside down with the Nazi occupation of Holland, his dreams will have to wait as he witnesses the tragic unfolding of events affecting those around him before finding himself in a fight for his own life. He must go into hiding before his sixteenth birthday despite the fact that he is not Jewish. After the war, his life takes another unexpected turn when he is enlisted by his father in the American Army in Germany where his inability to speak English results in hilarious missteps at every turn. He can roll with the punches if the Army will teach him to fly, but when he learns that pilot training stopped with the end of the war, it seems he’ll never reach his goal. Undaunted, Private Hank evolves into a suave and popular soldier. He learns what it means to be American, arriving in America broke but determined to pursue his lofty goals in a manner only this quirky and very lucky Dutch-American would even think of trying, flying by the seat of his pants to some of the highest levels of aviation.

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This book has been personally reviewed by AlliesOpinions! We LOVED it! To see the review, click the title below.

Private Lucky

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Review Stats

Amazon: 5 stars!

Goodreads: 4.8 stars!

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About the author button

MelissaGuzzetta

Melissa Guzzetta has owned The Computer Tutor Training company since 1998 and has always been an accomplished writer in the technical field, though recently, she has expanded into writing memoirs. She also founded Good Luck Publishing in 2014.

Find out more on the webpage Private Lucky !

This book has the AlliesOpinions official stamp of approval. We recommend this book!

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