Sunday, June 17, 2018


                                         HAPPPY FATHER'S DAY! 

This is an observation that should be recognized every day, not just one day set aside by the government. Fathers have an important role in their childrens' lives, especially their sons.

One of my favorite books is Iron John  by Robert Bly. Using the fable by the Brothers Grimm, Mr. Bly shows how man is to pass on to his sons how to be a man. It is a drive that is deeply set in the brain. In it the father teaches about hunting, protecting, and how to be responsible.

In my novel, Novy's Son the reader will learn what can happen if a father does not know how to be a loving, giving, supportive and respectful father.  The understanding of the father's role (the Iron John) was lost somewhere along the family line. The main character Murray (aka Michael) is always seeking love and approval from his father. This endeavor begins from the time of his birth and even after his father's death. 

Antisocial and rebellious behavior becomes Murray's way of getting his father's attention. The more this behavior is exhibited, the angrier the father and the vicious cycle continues.

Occasionally the role of the father might be taken on by another family member or friend. Uncle Leon was such a person for Murray. The uncle passed on the Iron John and the rebellious behavior did not exist. Unfortunately, Uncle Leon passed away when Murray was a pre-teen leaving a large hole in the young boy's life.

Dad raised his voice, his jaw tightened, and his eyes looked up at me coldly. knew had stepped over an invisible line. “Take your elbows off the table now, and do not say another word.”
Tears began to flow. stopped eating and put my hands in my lap. both loved and feared my dad, and even at that young age, I longed for his affection and approval. I was not trying to be bad or defiant. I just wanted to understand why elbows on a table were so wrong.

Disturbed by Dad’s rising voice, Buddie entered the kitchen. “What is all the commotion about?”

He told her, “Murray is being very naughty, questioning my authority and knowledge of how one should behave.” He went into detail retelling the whole story, finishing with what a bad boy I was to disturb Buddie’s time ofrest.
Mother patted my head and said, “I am sure Murray did not mean anything. He is just a curious little boy, aren’t you? Now tell Dad you are sorry and finish your breakfast. We need to leave soon for my appointment with Dr. Daggett.”
wiped the tears from my cheeks. “I am sorry. just don’t understand...”

“That is enough, Murray,” were Dad’s final words while he folded his napkin, rose from the table, and left the kitchen. This kind of event had happened many times in the past and would occur in the future again and again. Dad had his rules. Sometimes questioned them, seeking to understand them.
I remember being told that Dad did not have the happiest childhood, which was reflected in how he raised me and how he was unable to interact with many people. Dad was born out of wedlock in 1890, during the height of the Victorian Age, a child of a famous sculptor and his mistress, who was also his model. Dad was not close to his father, who devoted most of his time to his first love, sculpting. My grandmother, Albertina, had come from Sweden at young age with only her mother, and her rare beauty had attracted my grandfather. She died when Dad was studying engineering at MIT, leaving him angry, lost, and lonely.

On June 28 the main character, Murray will be on the Lisa Burton Radio show. Be sure to watch and learn more about this most unusual man.







Monday, June 11, 2018


I am pleased to introduce author, poet, blogger Joan Noeldechen as my guest this week. She is sharing some of her incredibly beautiful and poignant pieces of poetry. She has poetry published in June Cotner's anthologies from 1997 through 2017.


The First Thought

In the dawning moments
of each day
my heart fills with gratitude:
thank you God
for my space.


No one knows
where they are going.
We only know
we're on a journey
to our own true selves.

Unconditional Dividends
I remember
to embrace
in all its forms,
I forget love
flows back to me
after the giving time
falls away.


A plot of earth
waits for me
to plant my seeds
before the sun.
The garden calls
to my heart,
as I play joyfully
in the soil,
dreaming of
their sweet flowering.

The Inner Flame

I am not  more than
a wisp
to the world,
to God
I am a flame of hope and promise
in a darkened room.

Twitter: @etowahdoma1
Amazon Author Page:

BIO: She is the author of screenplays, plays, essays, editorials, and prose since 1976. From 1979-85 Joan appeared in over twenty-five plays and is related to Hollywood television producer, singer, and musician Dick Noel, musician Ann Percival, and graphic novel artist H.C. Noel. 
She has been a member of American Poets and is a graduate of Flagler College.  Her books are available online at,,, and         
She has been published in many of June Cotner’s books ( and gift items since 1997.  

Sunday, June 10, 2018


It is with great pleasure and honor to host John W. Howell and Gwen M. Plano today for their book, "The Contract." I read it prior to publication and am now finished reading it in its completed form. It is an interesting, exciting, and spiritual plot. I gave it 5 stars.

The CONTRACT between heaven and earth
By John W. Howell & Gwen M. Plano

Thank you, Karen, for inviting us to join you today. We are so grateful to be featured on your lovely blog to share a bit about our new book. If you ever need a blog forum to share information about your books, each of us is happy to do so. 

Available on Kindleand Paperback
Kindle priced at $0.99 for the introduction.

The CONTRACT is a different story for writers John W. Howell and Gwen M. Plano. For either of them, it is their first attempt at co-authorship. After a year of Hurricane Harvey and other challenges, they have created, what they have termed, an inspirational thriller that bridges heaven and earth.  

Here is the blurb:
The earth is threatened with a catastrophic political event which could result in international warfare and destroy all life on the planet. In heaven, a divine council decides that extraordinary measures are essential. They call for an intervention that involves two souls returning to earth. The chosen two sign a contract that they will work to avert the disaster. 

Brad Channing, a Navy SEAL, and Sarah O’Brien, a teacher, become heaven’s representatives on earth. The story follows them as they individually and then together face overwhelming obstacles and eventually end up on a strategic Air Force base in California. It is there that they discover a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. The terrorists have a plan for global dominance, and they are determined to complete their mission. Although military leadership appearsto have the President’s best interests at heart, it is not clear who can be trusted and who should be feared. The action is rough and tumbleas Brad and Sarah try to figure out the culprits for the plot that will turn into a worldwide conflagration unless stopped.

If you enjoy thrillers, this is one with enough twists and adventure to keep you riveted and guessing. If you like your thriller along with a good romance, Brad and Sarah’s initial attraction and eventual love will sustain you as they live out their heavenly and earthly desires. 

Here is an excerpt.

            "I'm leading a private froup up Half Dome in a few minutes. I'm the poster boy for getting paid to do what I love to do, and along the way, help harried folks discover what's important in life."
“I wish I could join your group; I’d like to hear what you have to say.”
“I don’t say much; the mountain does the talkin’. When hikers stand on its crest and look out over the wilderness, most become speechless. That’s when they start to wonder about their lives and the choices they make. They see for themselves that everything is interconnected.” 
“I get what you mean, but some things are beyond our control. Look at the earthquake that hit San Diego and collapsed the grammar school. So many little ones died in that tragedy.”
“And you don’t think human choices had anything to do with that calamity? Most folks live without a thought to our environment. But, on top of that, I believe collective anger manifests. I don’t even watch the news anymore; it’s too toxic for me.”  
“Well, I agree with you on that point. And, it makes sense that strong emotions manifest. Now I really want to join your group, but I’ve got to get back on the road, and find a bicycle.” Sarah stood and extended her hand for a shake. 
“Enjoy the experience, Sarah. No matter what hurdles lay ahead, pursue joy; she will guide you to the happiness you seek. Life’s too precious to lose even a moment.”

Author Bio.

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories.  His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book's central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. The last Circumstances of Childhood is a family life story and launched October 2017. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.
John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.
John's other books.

Author Bio:
Gwen had a lengthy career in higher education, and it was there that she published her first book, Beyond Boundaries, for students interested in volunteer work in developing countries. After she retired, she wrote her award-winning memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love. 

Gwen lives in Branson, Missouri with her husband.  

Gwen’s books.
Available on Amazon at

Tuesday, June 5, 2018


Heather Kindt write YA fantasy and humorous fiction from her home in Colorado. When writing her first novel, she incorporated the iconic parts of The Wizard of Oz basing it on real life people and Route 66 as the yellow brick road. She is a member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

In my novel Ruby Slips and Poker Chips: The Modern Tale of Dorothy Gale, second-grade teacher Dottie goes on a journey of discovering herself. Her hometown of Quandary, Kansas is becoming too much to bear and the glitter of the lights of Vegas are drawing her in like a bug to a zapper. It doesn’t help that she finds herself strangely attracted, but at the same time repulsed by Shay Fields, a teacher who’d rather truck surf than grade papers.

I am not a writer. That’s what I told myself in the sixth grade when I was part of the writer’s club. My story and poem sucked compared to some of my classmates. It was time to put away my pen and pursue other interests. That all changed when I hit my thirties (yes, almost twenty years later).

Two things aligned at that moment in time. I’m a teacher and I was working on my master’s degree in teaching reading. Through that program, I had to write a paper a week and the crazy thing was I had a 4.0! Even though a lot of my grade was based on my ability to put ideas together, my professors commented on my writing ability. Maybe I was better than I thought I was in sixth grade. 

The second thing that happened was I was obsessed over the Twilight series. I’d stay up late into the night because I couldn’t put the books down. A teacher friend of mine compared it to drugs (you become addicted). I wanted to write like that. I wanted to create a story world that absorbed the reader. That’s when The Weaver was born. Like Twilight, it is a YA fantasy trilogy that will hopefully be out later this year. Right now, the first book is in the editing phase. 

My writing journey back home came full circle last year when I decided on a whim to enter the Dan Alatorre’s Word Weavercontest. I spruced up chapter four of Ruby Slipsand sent it in before leaving for Europe. It turns out I won first place and all the help I needed to self-publish my manuscript. My book was published on December 5th, 2017. It’s been an exciting time and I look forward to sharing more of my characters with the world.


Twitter: @hmkindt

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


I have always loved to read and my passion for reading (and writing) has not waned. Today I am presenting two books by Rave Reviews Book Club authors, which I found most impressive. Those of us in RRBC are Indie authors and I believe some of the authors in this club deserve to be on the New York Times best-seller list.

David Carter is the author of dozens of books, but only some of them have been published. He has been writing since a young child, designing his own newspaper filled with family news. As an adult he began writing columns for newspapers and magazines. 

At his website ( you will learn more about his published books, more about him, and read his blog.

I read "Murder Diaries, Seven Times Over," which I thoroughly enjoyed. The main character is Inspector Walter Darriteau who is a likeable, intuitive, and hard-working detective. In this book he must solve the mysterious murders of seven people by a serial killer who has a most interesting background and reason for his killing spree.

      A page turning thriller. This was the first book I have read by Mr. Carter, but it will not be the last. Well edited. Though the story took the reader to past events and then to the present, I was never lost or confused. The reader steps into the mind of the serial killer which was quite fascinating. The story ended well which is not always the case. Each character was well described and I could "see" each of them. The premise of the story and the reasons for the killings was quite interesting. (by Karen Ingalls)

      The northwestern England town of Chester (near the Welsh border) is being menaced by a serial killer. Inspector Walter Darriteau is on the case.

If there is such a thing as a "quiet" serial killer, that is the situation in Chester. There are no cases of multiple stab wounds, or blood all over the walls. A woman is drugged, and her head is completely wrapped in brown tape until she suffocates. Her body is stuffed in a suitcase, and dumped in an abandoned quarry. An old fisherman is pushed into a canal and drowns. An elderly woman is drugged and taken to a quiet patch of forest. The car is left running, and the exhaust is pointed back into the car with the windows rolled up. The police don't know if they are dealing with one or more killers, or their gender. There are the usual taunting letters, specifically intended for Darriteau. The killer/killers have a specific grudge against Darriteau, a native of Jamaica who is nearing retirement age, and wants him to suffer. A fellow member of the police department is attacked at the local race track. Is Darriteau next?

This is also the story of a boy named Armitage, more interested in singing, dancing and flower arranging than in the usual activities enjoyed by boys. Dad runs a failing car dealership, and Donna, his second wife, who handles the finances, has been embezzling thousands of pounds from the company. She also hates Armitage. When he is 11 years old, they are killed in a car accident. Armitage assumes that he will live with Mrs. Greenaway, the owner of the local florist shop, but she says that she does not have the space, or the desire, for Armitage. He spends the rest of his childhood in an orphanage. After he is released, he drifts from job to job. At one job, he crosses paths with Desiree, and falls instantly in love. She feels the same way. (by Paul Lappen)

ERIC HALPENNY describes himself as an engineer by day and an author at night. "To learn to read is to light a fire" is a favorite and inspirational quote by Victor Hugo. Erick hopes that his writing will light the fire of reading, introspection and hope in his readers. 

I read the short story "The Conflict" which tells the story of two best friends who join the Canadian Army during WWI. It typically is not a genre I would be drawn to, but I am so glad that I read this story of war, death, families, and a deep friendship. It was well-written with quotes by various officers and soldiers.

     At the time of this writing there is only one review, written by me. It received the much deserved 5 stars. 
     This is a short story about two Canadians, John and Greg who are best friends. John wants to join the Canadian Army during WWI, but Greg only joins to make sure his best friend, John is always safe. Typically war stories are not ones I want to read, but I am glad I read this one. The story feels real as it takes the reader to the battlefield; the quotes at the end of each chapter add to the truth of an otherwise fictional accounts; and the depth of the friendship is touching. A powerful ending. (byKaren Ingalls)

If you are an author or avid reader, I encourage you to look into joining Rave Reviews Book Club. You will find it a supportive, friendly, and talented group of authors.