Monday, March 31, 2008

Living Consciously, Dying Gracefully: A Journey with Cancer and Beyond

by Nancy Manahan and Becky Bohan
ISBN: 9781592981793 - Beaver's Pond Press, Inc. (2007)
Reviewed by Vicki Landes for Reader Views (1/08)


Living Consciously, Dying Gracefully Was a Reader Views 2008 Reviewers Choice Award Winner



Nancy Manahan and Becky Bohan team up to write a beautiful tribute to the life of Manahan's deceased sister-in-law in "Living Consciously, Dying Gracefully: A Journey with Cancer and Beyond."  The authors hope not only to remember their loved one in print but to share her extraordinary passage from unthinkable diagnosis to dignified death.
"Living Consciously, Dying Gracefully" is the touching story of Diane Manahan – wife, mother, grandmother, sister, colleague, and friend – and her deliberate pathway toward the unavoidable end of her life.  Stricken with cancer, Diane received the short gift of remission before the disease returned with a vengeance and ultimately caused her death.  Although countless families have had to endure such a painful ordeal, Diane's story brings an enlightened hope and calming peace as she looks at her situation with an unusual perspective.  To most, death is the ultimate unknown – terrifying and avoided in conversation.  Instead of settling in this mindset, Diane chose to live and love each day to the fullest while openly communicating her final wishes on most of her burial and memorial services.
"Living Consciously, Dying Gracefully" is not only a deeply heartfelt story of a woman's life but a guidebook for those facing similar situations and would like to intentionally leave behind a beautiful legacy.  Both Diane's story and the authors' lessons from her life touch the soul and encourage the heart to see death as more than merely 'the end.'  Manahan and Bohan write with such emotion and love that I found myself mourning Diane's death but conversely, rejoicing in her conscious life.  They perfectly capture this woman's spirit with their style, one which brightly radiates from each page.
Since death in inevitable for everyone "Living Consciously, Dying Gracefully" is a book many adults will find of great interest, especially those having to watch a loved one suffer from a terminal illness.  Further, those undergoing a disease themselves and wanting to approach their deaths with more purpose would also greatly benefit from reading this book.  I found that the most profound aspect of Manahan and Bohan's writing was that Diane – a non-violent person – didn't view her treatments as a 'fight,' a 'war' going on between her medicine and the invading cells, or that she was a victim of cancer.  Instead and more positively, she was simply living with cancer – a peaceful journey full of love and mature acceptance even during her conventional and complementary therapies. 
"Living Consciously, Dying Gracefully" is probably the most profound book on death I've ever read.  Manahan and Bohan present a beautiful story of their loved one while offering hope to others that may be facing similar circumstances.  A life lesson for anyone wanting to leave a more powerful heritage behind, "Living Consciously, Dying Gracefully" tugs at the heartstrings, lifts the spirit, and pulls the conscious mind towards a more meaningful life and dignified ending. 

The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.

Sacred Grief: Exploring a New Dimension to Grief by Leslee Tessmann

ISBN: 9781932690538 - Loving Healing Press (2008)
Reviewed by Irene Watson for Reader Views (2/08)




This simple, yet extremely powerful book, presents a gentle way to discover within oneself a path of recovery from loss, be it from death or any other loss.  Tessmann's tender words resonate throughout the book, leading the reader to a place of healing and direction to move forward with life.
Tessmann starts off with her own story, a story of struggle with the losses through death: family, friends, and a pet dog. But, there were other losses in her life; her daughter to substance addiction, husbands through divorces, and a job.  Her final loss that brought her to re-discover herself was the loss of her father.
Through re-discovering herself, and coming to terms with grief, Tessmann was able to create a relationship with grief.  This becomes the first step she advocates and gives simple explanations and steps on how to create this relationship.  Tessmann says "…our initial reaction to finding ourselves in this process might be fear, anger, or dread."   She further claims that often our relationships to grief are based on our own "myths and critical assessments" therefore causing us to refrain from addressing our issues.  With clarity and gentleness, Tessmann guides the readers into thinking of their own situation, their own adversity to embracing grief, and moving past the false beliefs and fears, and finally creating a healthy relationship with grief, making it, as she calls it "Sacred Grief."
For me this was a book, although only 172 pages, that took a long time to get through.  The writing is uncomplicated, yet I felt like the author was right there with me, telling me of her experience, and tenderly encouraging me to look at my own grief.  I've been through a variety of techniques in the past to move me into and through dealing with my grief, but never in a way Tessmann's book did.  I felt the study guide was very essential to help me through the process and I encourage every reader to stop after every chapter and contemplate the questions, seek the answers within, and then move to the next chapter.  This is a must to truly experience the potential "Sacred Grief" has. 
I highly recommend this book to anyone that has experienced any type of loss in their lives and is willing to look at the loss through a different set of eyes.  Tessmann, in "Sacred Grief," will lead the reader to a place of compassion for oneself , create a relationship with his/her own grief, and ultimately  create a place of understanding and a healed soul.

The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Killer-for-Hire: The Final Chapter of the Alabama Twins Murder Case

by Barbara Lunsford
ISBN: 9780980119107 - Mystery Crime Scene (2007)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (2/08)





Betty Wilson was the wife of a well-liked doctor in Alabama. When he was murdered, she was tried and convicted without real evidence linking her to the crime.  A man did confess to murdering her husband.  This man initially said that Betty and her twin sister were involved with hiring him.  He later recanted this, and said that he acted on his own and it was a burglary gone awry.  The man didn't think that Betty's husband would be at home.  Betty had never met this man, however, knew about him through her twin sister that was trying to help him out.  Schizophrenic alcoholic and a conman, the man said that he implicated Betty because he was forced to.  He was threatened with going to the electric chair if he did not. 
 
Not all of the pieces tied his story together.  Dennis Johnson had heard this man bragging about burglarizing the home of this rich family.  He didn't think too much about it until later on he discovered that there had been a murder and Betty Wilson was wrongfully convicted.  Dennis contacted supporters of Betty's to try to help.  His own character was torn apart once he started trying to help.  Betty had several people trying to help her.  Her story in prison is very painful because prison conditions are absolutely horrible in Alabama.  Corruption and abuse run rampant in the system.  Being a wealthy white woman has not helped Betty with the inmates. 
 
Betty's supporters have tried to help her with appealing, but meet many dead ends. They have discovered that there are people trying to prevent the truth from being told so they can protect themselves.  There are also a lot of people after Betty's money, and this is not discovered until after they have taken thousands of dollars.   The whole story is fascinating and very sad because it is true and happening in our times. 
 
"Killer-for-Hire" had a profound impact on how I view our justice system.  Prior to reading the story of the Alabama Twins, I always assumed that a prosecutor would only pursue cases where he/she had enough evidence to convict.  In this true story, politics and corruption heavily play into the conviction of an innocent woman.  I happened to read this book while I am serving jury duty.  It has given me a completely different perspective on our system.  If this case happened to one person, I think that it can be assumed that it has happened to many people.  The book also opened my eyes to how prisoners are being mistreated.  I hope that this isn't the case everywhere, but some of the prison employees are worse than the criminals.  Safeguards should be put into place to stop this abuse. 
 
"Killer-for-Hire" is a very interesting story.  Betty Wilson has her issues, but being a murderer is not one of them.  I think that readers will find this book fascinating.  You can also go to a website to read more and sign a petition for Betty.

The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.

Stories at the Edge of Time by Alan Robbins

ISBN: 9780595471072 - iUniverse (2007)
Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (1/08)




 
I'll be the first to admit that short stories usually cannot hold my attention for very long. More often than not I'll read one or two in a collection; then decide that they are all the same anyhow and I'll give up. Well, this was not the case with Alan Robbins' collection of science-fiction short stories "Stories at the Edge of Time." The nineteen stories held my attention throughout the entire collection and I enjoyed them immensely.
 
The stories are diverse and extremely engaging. Most of them seem to deal with time, be it the passage of time, the relativity of it or some other aspect of it. They are all fresh and very different from each other, yet linked by superb writing and boundless imagination. It would be a tough call to decide which of the stories could be my favorite. Part of me would be in favor of "Sudden Insight," the story of a mathematician on the brink of a huge discovery – which never happens. Or maybe it could be "The Dead Got It Good," of the "suave detective and hard-nosed dame" genre that I've always enjoyed so much in the vintage detective novels.  But wait, we cannot forget "The Time Phone!" Would it not be nice to be able to telephone into the future? Or would it be? Then we have "Uncle Jack Eats a Mummy," a very insightful story about immortality. If this one does not make you stop and think, you are probably beyond help. While all of those stories I've just named, as well as all the rest of them, enchanted me, amused me and made me wonder, I would probably pick "The Edge of Time" if I truly had to pick one only. As an avid reader I love the premise of stories and reading being able to change our fate – and that's exactly what happens in "The Edge of Time."
 
So – pick "Stories at the Edge of Time" and immerse yourself in it – I am pretty certain that your universe will experience a little shift as well.

The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Organic for Health

ISBN: 9780595473083 - iUniverse, Inc. (2008)
Reviewed by Vicki Landes for Reader Views (1/08)




What's on your plate these days?  Caught up in the New Year's weight-loss-resolution craze?  Substituting baked chicken for fried or opting for a healthy salad instead?  Author Sandy Powers says it's just not enough!  Amid that lower-cholesterol poultry and pile of innocent-looking veggies lurks a terror so offensive, you won't believe it's FDA-approved.  Hormones, antibiotics, synthetic pesticides, irradiated components, genetically modified organisms, reprocessed sewage – and you kiss your mother with that mouth?
"Organic for Health" is a jarring look at what we eat everyday, even those fresh foods considered 'healthy.'  For those already knowledgeable in all things organic, it's a gentle reminder to stay on track.  But for people like me, it's a horrifying glimpse into what my body's had to process over the years.  Chronic health problems, low immunity, and even that invading cancer battling our systems make much more sense when Powers describes what all we eat in addition to our intended meals.  Put down that fork and slowly step away… 
Unlike health how-to books that rival the size of medical textbooks, "Organic for Health" is easily ingested in one sitting for quick application.  Not only does Powers give you a well-organized down and dirty (literally) of non-organic foods, she starts you off on the right path with a mouth-watering variety of recipes as well as advice on transitioning your grocery shopping habits without breaking the bank.  Further, she provides a thorough glossary for quick reference and additional sources for supplementary research. 
Sandy Powers notes she is living proof that the switch to organic foods is life-altering.  Faced with breast cancer and a required surgery, her situation was further compounded with risky liver problems.  Now, she lives cancer-free and her liver is better than ever thanks to an organic lifestyle.  With the number of health problems, costs of medical care and prescriptions growing at a staggering rate, most people can no longer avoid taking a serious look at what they eat and would benefit from Powers' example.  Even healthy parents will find this book eye-opening.  As a mother, I found that the most shocking information in "Organic for Health" is that children have a higher sensitivity to these food additives - measured and packaged with an adult's body in mind. 
Genetically-altered additives, pesticides, antibiotics, and reprocessed sewage – and that's just breakfast!  "Organic for Health" will convince even the most indifferent eater that organic foods are the way to optimal wellbeing.   

The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.

Unlocking the Mystery of Skin Color (A Strictly Natural Way to Dramatically Lighten Skin Color Through Diet and Lifestyle)

ISBN: 9780979210303 - Thiênna, Inc. (2007)
Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (2/08)




The first time I truly and really became aware of importance and influence of skin color was when I moved to USA 8 years ago. Growing up in Europe skin color just wasn't an issue, or at least not one that would merit more than a second's pause when one met somebody of a different race. I have to admit I never gave it much thought, and even after reading Thiênna Ho's book, I found myself quite surprised that my home country ranks among those with the absolute lightest people on the planet. Skin color was not and still is not anything that defines a person in my eyes, but unfortunately I had to learn that in certain parts of the world it truly matters enormously. Whether we like to admit it or not, life in the USA is easier if you happen to be lighter skinned. I am not going to moralize nor preach about this issue; suffice to say that I do understand why a person would want to lighten her or his skin if they could do it safely.
Thiênna Ho's "Unlocking the Mystery of Skin Color" carries a long subtitle, namely "The Strictly Natural Way to Dramatically Lighten Your Skin Color Through Diet and Lifestyle." While the cover photos failed to convince me that the color change in Thiênna Ho's own case was quite this dramatic, I see absolutely nothing wrong with the diet and lifestyle changes that she recommends. All of us would benefit from eating smarter, moving more, eliminating toxins and stress from our life, taking nice long baths and indulging in massages – which are some of her tips.
It is obvious that Thiênna Ho performed an outstanding amount of research while developing her method and writing her book. Just a glance through the over 40 pages of endnotes shows the great number and diversity of sources used in writing "Unlocking the Mystery of Skin Color." The book is actually quite interesting reading for the general public as well, dealing with diverse topics such as the great variety of the human skin colors, melanin, influence of sulfur on the skin color, the role of the environment as well as several chapters on nutrition and lifestyle. The surprisingly easy to read and understand style contributes to the feeling that this book should not be intimidating to anybody – it is written in such a way that a general reader can get enough useful information; and the more advanced or a professional one will find another nearly 100 pages of data, tables and sources in the appendices.
Regardless of whether you pick up "Unlocking the Mystery of Skin Color" because you truly want to lighten your complexion or out of sheer curiosity, I am certain that you will learn a lot of both useful tips and fascinating trivia about an attribute that we all posses and which oftentimes defines us - even when it should not.

The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Nightmare That Is Public Education: An Expose of What Really Happens in Public Schools

by Renato C. Nicolai, Ed.D.
ISBN: 9780595436149 - iUniverse (2007)
Reviewed by Deb Shunamon for Reader Views (1/08)




Anyone who is the least bit involved with their children's schooling will have some idea, and opinion, of how well the U.S. public education system is working. An educator with many years of experience in both the classroom and as an administrator, Dr. Renato Nicolai discusses why he feels public schools are failing to adequately educate American students, and what educators and parents must do to ensure that public education remains effective and relevant.
 
Dr. Nicolai does applaud the few dedicated teachers, politicians, and parents who are truly committed to, and are actively providing, an excellent education for students in the public system, but there is sure to be a lot of heated discussion because of his reasons as to why the majority are failing. One emphasized reason is the incompetence of teachers.  Dr. Nicolai refers back to teacher education curricula and speaks to the absence, or low quality, of the basics in classrooms and schools today. From poor physical environments and classroom management, to inadequate discipline, relaxed attitudes towards dress requirements, and low expectations, he feels that it is America's swing alarmingly toward a liberal, permissive, almost-anything-goes bias (p.143), that is undermining the effectiveness of committed teachers, preventing students from learning, and is negatively affecting the entire country by encouraging disrespect and incompetence.
 
Dr. Nicolai uses a lot of alarming vocabulary to express his forceful opinions on the declining state of the American public education system, but also supplies quotes and a research bibliography to add support to his views. Agree with him or not, Dr. Renato Nicolai's "The Nightmare That Is Public Education" will most certainly get its readers thinking, talking, and most importantly from his standpoint, taking action.

The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.

Strategies: A Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Journey

by Tami Brady
ISBN: 9781932690484 - Loving Healing Press (2008)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (1/08)





Tami Brady shares her story with us of her journey with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.  Until she was diagnosed with these disorders, she really struggled with fears about her health and limitations imposed by her symptoms.  She was diagnosed in 1997 and along the way has learned what works and doesn't work for her.  She also made many personal discoveries about herself and how her perceptions of herself and her behaviors can influence her conditions.
 
Nine years ago, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  I already had two friends who had serious cases of it.  When the doctor gave me eight prescriptions to help me deal with the symptoms, I decided that it was time to quit my stressful job and focus on recovering my health.  I saw so many similarities between Ms. Brady's journey and my own.  We both started out with overachieving personality types.  We take on big goals that really just serve to put more pressure on our own health.  For myself, I insisted on getting straight A's through two graduate programs, while sometimes working two jobs.  As Ms. Brady discovered with her own overachieving efforts, it had serious implications on our health.  We also both have gotten into heavy workout routines that our bodies are unable to maintain.  I just went through a phase were I was trying to work out two to three times a day.  I feel like if I am going to be in pain, I will give myself a reason to hurt.  In the long run, as Ms. Brady discovered, this just hurts my self.
 
Another common issue that I see with people that have this disease is as she states, "No one sees scars or disfigurement so it's a shock to most people that you actually have something really wrong with you  That we become incredible actors to mask and hide the symptoms makes the situation that much more difficult."  I know that most people suffering from CFS and fibromyalgia can relate to this.  There are still a lot of professionals that will tell us that it doesn't exist and it is in our head. 
 
Ms. Brady discusses many common symptoms that come with having these conditions.  I think the most common symptom is the pain that occurs in the trigger points.  She also discusses what she calls "Fibrofog."  It brought me great relief to read about this because I have this happen so much, I get anxious that it could be the start of Alzheimer's disease, at forty!  It was a relief to see that it is part of the condition.  The interrupted sleep sessions definitely exacerbate the bouts.  I also share her experience with her legs giving out on her.  Mine happens at times when I get out of bed.  It is a scary experience. 
In addition to discussing what doesn't work, Ms. Brady also discusses what she found helpful.  Moderation with everything definitely seems to be very important.  Reiki is also a good healing practice.  I also practice Reiki. I found that either doing it on my self or others is beneficial.  Healthy eating is important as well.  Getting into fad diets is not the way to go.  Our bodies let us know with pain, that we are doing something wrong. 
 
To help us with a healing plan, Ms. Brady offers a series of strategies to help with certain symptoms.  She gives her own personal examples and then offers blank charts so that we can fill in our own information.  This is an excellent strategy for tracking symptoms, causes and treatments. This is a great way for you to organize a program and keep track of what works.  There is an extensive list of resources to help you on your way.  Applying these resources to yourself helps you to take charge of your own health.  "Strategies" is an excellent resource for people at all phases of the disease.  It is a relief to hear someone else share their story, and know that you are not alone.

The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Poodles, Tigers, Monsters & You by L. W. Lewis

ISBN: 9780971157217 - Red Pumpkin Press (2007)
Reviewed by Maya Landers, (age 10) for Reader Views (12/07)




"Poodles, Tigers, Monsters & You," by L. W. Lewis, is a funny book full of poems that both my brother and I enjoyed fully. Humor is prevalent throughout the book, making it an entertaining read.
 
This would be a great read-aloud book, because the rhythm is enjoyable, and there is ever-present humor in all of the verses. Also, most of the poems are short, making it wonderful bedtime book. When you begin to read a poem, it appears serious, but there is always a funny twist at the end, making the poem seem much more comical than at first glance.
 
The illustrations are laugh-provoking, showing the offspring of a poodle and a tiger, pictures of green-toothed monsters, and a barbequed Barbie, and many, many others, all just as hilarious.
 
One of Lewis's poems, titled "The Lion and the Zebra,"goes like this:
"The lion and the zebra got married,
And the wedding turned out fine.
But they weren't married very long,
Only until dinnertime."
 
This shows how the book would also be good for beginning readers, because they could enjoy the poem without having to work too hard. Some of the poems are longer, but they are just as easy to understand.
 
As I read these poems, I was reminded of Shel Silverstein, because at first glance the verses look like nonsense, but then they start to make sense--not in a serious way, of course.
 
There is no consistent plot or character that runs throughout this book. For instance, we do not see the same characters repeating, and some poems are in first person, some in third person, and some even in second person. The characters are not consistent, but they do all have the same voice--humorous and amusing, with a communicative aspect that will please all readers.
If you have read and enjoyed "The Tickle Tree," also by L.W. Lewis, you will love this book. I couldn't say that it was funnier, but it was just as entertaining.
I would recommend "Poodles, Tigers, Monsters & You" to my friends as an alternative to more serious literature, or to my younger brother or one of his friends as a beginning reader book.

The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.

Sunrise by Robert Crooke

ISBN: 9780595464777 - iUniverse, Inc. (2007)
Reviewed by William Phenn for Reader Views (1/08)




A native Long Islander, Robert Crooke now lives with his wife in pleasant Bridgewater, Connecticut. Mr. Crooke first started his writing experience as a reporter for the Long Island Press. He was also the North American press spokesman for Reuters. Robert's first novel, "American Family," received good reviews and became a regional best seller. His writing expertise extends to poetry as well and he has been published in the West Hills Review. Mr. Crooke's latest work, "Sunrise," has won the distinction of being picked as "Publisher's Choice" by iUniverse, Inc.
Stephen Dahl, the narrator of "Sunrise," is an American expatriate living in Paris, France. He lives a decent life, working as a college professor and writer. After hearing about the horrors of September 11th, his patriotism is renewed and though he has strong feelings, he does not go back home right away. But in 2003 after the death of a good friend, Stephen has reason to come back and renew old friendships, especially with an old flame that was married to his deceased friend.
Stephen comes back home to Long Island and relives his childhood and reminisces the good times of his young-adult life, when he worked as a bartender in a club close to his old neighborhood.  Now, he re-visits these places of his youth, thinking of old friends, reflecting on his life and the world around him. He laughs, cries and relives interesting and intimate moments with friends from the past..
"Sunrise" is an interesting adventure into the lives of the Long Island set. I would strongly parallel it to the California Valley crowd on the west coast. There is the usual drugs, drinking and out of control partying along with memories of past lives and love.
The main characters were not as colorful as the Great Gatsby but just as compelling. "Sunrise" gave the reader an insider's look into this group of young Americans and it was quite an eye opener.

The review above was used with permission from ReaderViews.com. Reader Views provides a one-stop service for authors. Besides providing reviews of books, they provide publicity packages, editing services, live interviews, book videos, and book proposal coaching. Their services and staff are highly recommended by the Polka Dot Banner.


The Polka Dot Banner (PDB) is an author's web community especially designed for busy authors looking for Internet exposure but who lack the time or know how. The PDB is a great starter web home that can serve as a stand-alone website promoting your book(s). Or, as a fast-growing author community, the PDB can help direct web traffic to a site you already own. Better yet, they do all the work for you, saving you time and effort.