Book Review: From Silt and Ashes by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

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Image ©Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Here’s the second part of my book review excursion. After I learned how important reviews are for authors, I decided to get over myself and write more of them. Original or not, every review counts, right?

I find myself in agreement with most other reviewers of Rochelle’s books. They are page-turners, full of action, with great characters, drama and feeling.

The sequel to ‘Please Say Kaddish For Me’ is no exception.

It’s ‘From Silt and Ashes’ by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Very brief summary: The story still follows the fate of several Jewish families, but some of them have now moved to the United States. Meanwhile the terror in Czarist Russia continues and affects friends and families that stayed behind. Read more on the Amazon site or visit Rochelle’s author page.

Continue reading “Book Review: From Silt and Ashes by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields”

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Book Review: Please Say Kaddish For Me by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

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Image ©Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

For the longest time I had trouble with reviews and seldom left feedback.  I usually thought, it’s all been said, I could only parrot what other people have already written, and they can do it better than I could.

This may be true, but now I’ve learned that comments really help the writer. Who doesn’t want to know if and how their writing affects the reader? Likewise, I had no idea about what’s involved in publishing books; feedback for books we like is important. I am willing to do better in the future. This is not going to turn into a book blogger site, but the occasional review will show up. And I urge you, dear readers, to do the same. When you find an author you like, please help to spread the word by leaving reviews and comments.
 I’ll start with a book (the first of a series) I wanted to read for some time, and now finally did.
It’s ‘Please Say Kaddish For Me’ by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Very brief summary: The story follows the fate of several Jewish families in Czarist Russia. Despite cruelty, terror and heartache, love and joy can’t be suppressed. Read more on the Amazon site or visit Rochelle’s author page.

Continue reading “Book Review: Please Say Kaddish For Me by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields”

Recommending: The Idea Factory by Ryan Lanz

Every writer knows the Eureka moment when something we hear, read or see causes a bright flash in our imagination and kindles a new story.

“I want to write this down,” grabs the idea and runs with it–usually. But not always. Sometimes,  ideas just won’t come. The writer needs help.

Aidea-factory-2-sm short while ago I had the pleasure to help a bit on the Beta launch team of ‘The Idea Factory’ by Ryan Lanz. To many of my Blogger friends, Ryan will be well-known for his  blog ‘A Writer’s Path,’ where he offers and collects a large variety of tools and information for writers. I’ve talked about his site in the past. Whenever I need information or tips about the art of writing, his is among the first blogs where I seek to find it.

‘The Idea Factory’ is a book with 1000 prompts, but it also is a lot more. It encourages the readers to mine their own story ideas, and it gives good pointers to where these treasures are hidden. If you know how to look, you’ll find that ideas can be found everywhere.

After the section about generating ideas come the prompts. The book has a great variety of prompts from many genres: fantasy, history, science fiction, mystery, you name it. There are serious prompts, funny prompts, and outright silly prompts in there. While I was reading, I wanted to start writing about some of these prompts right away.  Others made me laugh, shake my head and wonder, could I possibly make something out of this? A challenge! I’m sure that some of the stories with these prompts will make their way here to my blog.

So, whether you want to find an idea for a story, flesh out your existing story with sub-plots, find ideas for practising your writing, are up to a challenge, or need ideas for blogging–you’ll find something in this book.

If you are looking for a stocking stuffer for yourself, or your writer friends, check out ‘The Idea Factory’.

 

 

The Directory is Growing!

Ryan Lanz from A Writer’s Path made a list of reviewers. This is a great list, check it out.

A Writer's Path

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If you were a follower of this blog last month, you may remember how I started a directory for book reviewers. The goal was to create a listing of dependable book reviewer blogs, where an author, self-published or traditional, could submit their book to. With the hassle of research out of the way, it provides a quick list for authors to go down the line on who to contact about reviewing their book.

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For the Love of a Dog

A few weeks after my father died, one of my mother’s dogs was killed by a car. A visitor had come to help sort out my father’s affairs, and unbeknownst to anyone, Jenny the exuberant Irish Setter had dashed out the door, running free and wild and no doubt, full of innocent and cheerful abandon. She was killed half a mile down the road, in front of the church where my father’s service was held. My mother, stalwart and noble after my father’s death, sobbed so hard and for so long after her dog’s death that it seemed as if her grief would physically rip her apart. I thought at the time, as did many, that Jenny’s death allowed my mom to truly grieve the death of her husband. I don’t think so now. My mother loved my father, but their relationship was burdened with disappointments and perceived betrayals. But Jenny? Jenny sparkled with nothing but joy and devotion. She asked for little and gave everything she had in return. These were no hard words late at night, no angry glances or saturated silences. No baggage. She loved Mom; Mom loved her: simple as that.” (Patricia McConnell)

Reading this passage in Patricia McConnell’s book “For the Love of a Dog” makes me cry again and again, because it is so true. Our dogs love us, we love our dogs, and when they die, a part of our hearts goes with them. Continue reading “For the Love of a Dog”

Blogging 101: Increase your commenting confidence

Today’s assignment: read six posts written in response to yesterday’s prompt, and leave comments on at least two of them. — Done now, there are so many interesting blogs out there–and so professional–feeling shy again. Did comment, will follow up on at least one of them.

Dear Readers,
You can find the part about the truth serum in the midst of yesterday’s meandering thoughts, but it was rather short, to the point, and not really fit for any follow up (although I still would like to have that answer). But anyway, in case someone from Blogging 101 comes here looking for an interpretation of the daily prompt: here’s one I have a bit more to say about than the Truth Serum:

When reading for fun, do you usually choose fiction or non-fiction? Do you have an idea why you prefer one over the other?
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Isaac.Asimov01” by Phillip Leonian [1] from New York World-Telegram & Sun.[2]United States Library of Congress. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection. Call number: NYWTS – BIOG–Asimov, Isaac, Dr. [P&P]. Reproduction number: LC-USZ62-115121. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Isaac Asimov was a biochemist and one of the ‘old’ masters of ‘hard’ science fiction. He wrote fiction, non fiction, and was an advisor for Star Trek. If you can have it all, why even chose between fiction and non fiction? For me, there’s an answer under the cut.

Continue reading “Blogging 101: Increase your commenting confidence”