Articles for the Month of May 2019

Inconvenient Memories: A Personal Account of the Tiananmen Square Incident and the China Before and After by Anna Wang

 

 

In writing this fascinatingly informative book, the author Anna Wang has fulfilled a promise she made to herself long after the terrible massacre at Tiananmen Square, Beijing, a promise to tell her story about the events at that time.

Born in China in 1966, a few years later than myself in England, Anna has really opened my eyes through her memoir to how different life is in East Asia.

The author was abandoned by her mother into the care of her grandmother who lived in Beijing. It is through Anna’s recollections of her childhood and youth, that we discover how strict the upbringing of Chinese children is, and also what living conditions were like in the capital city during her youth. Perhaps the most eye-opening part of this whole book for me was to discover the different ‘regimes’ which Chinese people have to, and still do adhere to, and the class distinctions and restrictions imposed on its people by the government, and their policies.

It wasn’t until she was accepted into Peking University in Beijing as a microelectronics major that Anna experienced protests for the first time. The death on the 15th April 1989 of a former Communist Leader Hu Yaobang, who had worked hard to move China toward a more open political system, and had become a symbol of democratic reform caused the initial uprising in Tiananmen Square. This commenced with the students marching through the capital to Tiananmen Square. From that beginning the uprising grew, hunger strikes, and rally’s caused Premier Li Peng to impose martial law on 19th May.

Anna’s memories of these times are full of fear, with troupes roaming the street, innocent citizens shot, families decimated, and a city in lockdown. On the 4th June, 1989 the demonstration ended when Chinese troops fired on civilians and students. The true death toll has never been released…

At the time of the incident, and after, she worked as a secretary at Canon Beijing, and then went on to have a successful writing career. She has had published other books about her life and experiences, and is married to Lao Xin who she met when he was a student of literature in college. The couple have two children, and with her own vivid childhood memories, their future is paramount to her.

Throughout her extremely interesting life this determined woman, with strength and fortitude, has intermittently lived in Beijing, and also in America, New Zealand and Canada. Through her vividly detailed accounts the author gives her reader a real insight into life in China, and being Chinese. For me, an added bonus was that her recollections of her grandmother’s stories to her during childhood, gives a fascinating glimpse into early 20th century life, including the custom of foot binding.

I would highly recommend this fascinating book to anyone interested in history, memoirs, and life in China through the 20th, and into the 21st century.


About the Author:

Born and raised in Beijing, China, Anna Wang received her BA from Peking University and is a full-time writer. She has published nine books in Chinese. These include two short story collections, one essay collection, four novels, and two translations. An English translation of her short stories, Beijing Women: Stories, was published in 2014. Inconvenient Memories is her debut book written in English.

About the Book:

Inconvenient Memories is a rare and truthful memoir of a young woman’s coming of age amid the Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989. In 1989, Anna Wang was one of a lucky few who worked for a Japanese company, Canon. She traveled each day between her grandmother’s dilapidated commune-style apartment and an extravagant office just steps from Tiananmen Square. Her daily commute on Beijing’s impossibly crowded buses brought into view the full spectrum of China’s economic and social inequalities during the economic transition. When Tiananmen Protests broke out, her Japanese boss was concerned whether the protests would obstruct Canon’s assembly plant in China, and she was sent to Tiananmen Square on a daily basis to take photos for her boss to analyze for evidence of turning tides. From the perspective as a member of the emerging middle class, she observed firsthand that Tiananmen Protests stemmed from Chinese people’s longing for political freedom and their fear for the nascent market economy, an observation that readers have never come across from the various accounts of the historical events so far.

Available from Amazon in Hardcover, Kindle and Audiobook formats https://www.amazon.com/Inconvenient-Memories-Personal-Tiananmen-Incident/dp/0996640576/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1559118435&refinements=p_27%3AAnna+Wang&s=books&sr=1-1&text=Anna+Wang 

Cries of Mercy (Cries Series) by Angela Beach Silverthorne

 

New Release

Can Bren and Joseph’s love for each other and faith in God overcome all?

Cries of Mercy is the third in the Cries Series written by Angela Beach Silverthorne, a Christian woman whose faith and character shine through in this incredible series.

The story is set in the small town of Silverton, a close nit Christian community, and the chief protagonist is Bren, a young woman whose life the readers have watched evolve in this series. She suffered a traumatic childhood, however found sanctuary at The Haven, where, through the teachings of her grandmother ‘GG’ she discovered her faith in God, and realised that she was a Lighten, which means a warrior of God, and to signify this she carries a crescent-moon birth mark. As a young woman Bren graduate as a nurse, and returns to The Haven to be the village midwife, and then eventually marries Pastor Joseph.

The scene is set at the beginning of this book with Bren reflecting on her marriage, honeymoon and deep endearing love for her husband Joseph. However, their past has also been tinged with great sadness as she has been pregnant three times, and each of her sons have died before or just after birth. These tragedies, although heart-breaking for the couple have united them through Christ and their deep faith in God.

Silverton is thriving and wonderful things are happening in their church and at the New Beginnings Empowerment Center. Some people believe that a jail should be built for troubled souls but Joseph strongly believes that the way through to these people is through rehabilitation. Empowered by His Spirit Joseph wants to increase his ministry teachings, however Bren is afraid initially. For her, memories of past incidents emerge, however, knowing her husband’s resolute faith in his path in life, she relents and Joseph starts doing tours.

As is usual in such a caring community, the residents each have their own stories, and have overcome demons and troubles. However, some of these have re-emerged from the past, and even Joseph discovers some buried family secrets which are set to shake the lives of those he loves. Birth and death are a part of life as we are reminded every day, and when a much loved member of the community and friend is diagnosed with terminal cancer there is much sorrow, yet even amidst the sadness there is joy when Bren discovers that she is with child again, and together the couple pray for a safe delivery of their baby.

As Joseph’s ministry to his flock and tours are increasing, there is unrest and faces from the past arrive in Silverton, bent on causing mayhem. Yet resolute, Joseph finds strength and values the advice of his good friend Dominique a Franciscan Priest, and together they fortify and strengthen the villagers in their fight against the demons of Satan.

As family secrets are revealed, and puzzles from the past are solved, the mysteries unfold, leaving Bren and Joseph looking forward to overcoming everything and being a family unit, but will their dreams come true?

This captivating story, although part of a trilogy can happily be enjoyed alone. It is a wonderful story in which the community of Silverton comes alive, and its characters, their lives, loves and experiences are richly described by the author, making it a truly outstanding read.

 

About the Author:

I was born in West Point, Georgia, but hail Eastern North Carolina as home. Writing has always been a part of my life. As soon as I could hold a pencil, I was writing. I’m a firm believer that reading and writing go hand-in-hand. I devour books in all genres, but I love stories that focus on reality within families. I want the story to be real, even if it’s messy and painful. That’s real.
In 1970, I married by teenage sweetheart, Dallas. Our family has grown from three daughters to three wonderful sons-in-law and nine grandchildren. In the large bulk of time between marriage, family and retirement, we moved ten times. I’ve worked various jobs–fifteen years with Hospice; ten with Literacy; six with Habitat for Humanity; three as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for neglected, abused and abandoned youth; and as a Director of a preschool for at-risk children. I have served with Pamlico Emmaus, taught Sunday school and written countless Bible studies. My joy is teaching seniors who actually end up teaching me. Isn’t that the way God truly intends it?
Between all the moves and a full life, I’ve always craved learning. I attended five colleges, finally graduating from the State University of New York, Albany, with an English degree. Every school I attended, I’d fall in love with a new discipline–accounting, microbiology, creative writing, Shakespearean studies, or Young Adult Literature. Each of these were tentative, a hobby. My lifelong learning has been within the Word of God. That’s my passion.
Like most people, life has thrown me into a lot of deep pits, health crises, death, anger, frustration and insecurity. In each of these seasons of life, I have grown to realize that all my effort and angst did nothing to ease me through them. Only waiting on God’s timing, trusting in His plan, and working in His kingdom has helped me maneuver through these hard times. Trust me, nothing prepares you more to be a comfort to others than the trials and sufferings you have been through and will experience. It gives life credibility. It braids your life to others. What a joy to know if we allow God to use us, he will take every struggle and heartache, and turn it into glory for Him.

About the Book:

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”-1 Cor. 13:7

Can love endure all things?
Is love powerful enough to withstand a full-on assault to the heart?
How can love recover from an unimaginable horror?

When Joseph and Bren’s idyllic dreams begin to shatter, questions too deep to answer rise. Dark unholy secrets surface. A forgotten darkness filters through the subconscious dredging up insecurity, failure, rejection and fear.

Trudging through valleys of loss, brokenness, disappointment and pain, Joseph and Bren cling together, keeping God’s word close. The shield of faith they’ve built remains strong when evil attacks and revenge seeks to destroy. Any doubts Joseph or Bren have cease as they changed their questions into a “how”. How can we serve You, Lord? How can we be obedient when our hearts are breaking?

In their moments of deepest agony, God shows Joseph and Bren that all things are possible with Him. His love, grace and mercy are real, and His redemption power is tangible and available to all who seek the Almighty God.

A profound love story that probes into the heart of humanity. Romance. Deceit. Heartbreak. Hope.

Cries of Mercy is available from Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Cries-Mercy-Book-3-ebook/dp/B07RJTDRCB/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=cries+of+mercy&qid=1558087734&s=digital-text&sr=1-5

A Future With Hope by Carl S. Armato

A Future  With Hope by Carl S. Armato

A Future With Hope – what an excellent title for this book, it sets the tone perfectly for the inspirational and educational content.

The author, Carl S. Armato was diagnosed in the mid 1960’s with type 1 diabetes at the very young age of 18 months. However, the knowledge that their son was the youngest child ever to be diagnosed with diabetes in St. Mary Parish, Patterson, on the Gulf Coast in rural Louisiana enthused his parents, Lucien and Leona Armato, with a determination, and that was to change the whole family’s diet and lifestyle to fit in with the diagnosis. Their positive attitude followed Carl through the years and gave him the faith that he was master of his own destiny, not diabetes!

Although a pediatrician, Dr. Carmen Posada had an interest in endocrinology for type 1 diabetes and with her support and tutelage his mother learnt how to check and control his sugars, something which he in turn would learn and have to do throughout his life.

However, he was determined not to be defined by his diagnosis, and with the support of his family, friends, and wife Christi he has enjoyed his life, and enriched the lives of those he has known over the past 52 years.

With a philosophy that knowledge is power, he has become an expert on diabetes, so much so that in 2012 he became CEO of Novant Health, a hospital which outperforms all hospitals in the same data platform in terms of diabetes care. Embracing changes in technology and always happy to offer advice and support, it wasn’t until a few years after becoming CEO that he opened up about having the disease himself.

In writing this book, the author has culminated a lifetimes experience with the disease at all ages, which in itself offers the reader a real insight into the dedication to diet and exercise that is critically important to manage the disease, and how dangerous not paying attention to it can be. Throughout he stresses the necessity of having a good support system. Indeed, his family, friends and wife have also contributed to the book which gives other perspectives, and the admiration and respect he has earnt over the years from the medical profession and his friends is to be admired.

My husband has type 2 diabetes, and did for a period of time have type 1, so I am very aware of how the disease can make you feel. This book is incredibly uplifting, it is very easy to become depressed about the need to take sugar readings regularly, and the lifelong diagnosis, the positive attitude the author has embraced is an example to us all.

Interesting, well written, and full of information and inspiration, this book is a must read for not only those who have diabetes, but also their families.

About the Author:

Carl S. Armato chooses to live his best life because of, and not in spite of, his diabetes. Diagnosed as a toddler, he thrived under his parents’ determined care and their conviction that the disease would not derail his future.

They were right. Carl is president and CEO of Novant Health, one of America’s largest and most respected healthcare organizations, and serves in myriad professional and civic roles, locally and nationally.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Carl lives on a ranch in Clemmons, North Carolina, with his wife, Christi, dog and horses, and enjoys frequent visits from his extended family and three children. He often speaks on topics related to leadership and diabetes, emphasizing a strong support system and active community involvement as keys to a healthy, fulfilling life.

Carl has authored two books: A Future With Hope about his journey with diabetes and It’s Never Just Another Monday, a compilation of inspiring posts from Carl’s Novant Health team member blog.

About the Book:

A diabetes diagnosis can hit hard but hope is here, woven throughout prominent executive Carl S. Armato’s inspiring narrative of 50+ years of living with the disease. With transparency his goal, Carl recounts pivotal moments that set him on course for a full, active life with diabetes. Diagnosed as a toddler, Carl credits his parents with a family life optimized for his health. Following their lead, he took increasing responsibility for his self-care while still young and now offers time-tested insight to others with diabetes. His experience and anecdotes teach that: Diabetes does not mean different; The first step toward a future of hope is to accept the diagnosis, ignoring it spells disaster; Support is crucial, no one should walk this path alone; People with diabetes have heard plenty about danger, they need to hear of success and possibility. A dynamic leader who gives no indication of slowing down, Carl reveals with candor and humor how valued allies, established habits and the occasional misstep have equipped him to respect the disease while living a vigorous, fulfilling life. His transparency and insights offer a welcome dose of encouragement that can augment the diabetes care delivered by health professionals. In A Future With Hope, Carl proves it’s possible for people with diabetes to embrace their diagnosis without forfeiting their dreams.

A Future With Hope is available from Amazon in Hardcover https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0692153144/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i0

 

Bubbles Galore (Super Speed Sam Book 11) by Monty J. McClaine

Bubbles Galore (Super Speed Sam Book 11) by Monty J. McClaine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bath time can be great fun, especially if there are toys, and plenty of bubbles!

Yet again six year old Jack is up to mischief. Its bath time in the McClaine household, Molly is watching her favourite programme, the Cat Walk Kittens, and mum has just run Jack his bath, bubble bath included. However, once mum has left him to see to Molly, Jack decides he wants more bubbles, he concludes that mum must have read the instructions wrong on the bottle, and so he adds more bubblybath, and for good measure turns the taps up too.

Now, anyone who has done this knows just how quickly the bubbles multiply. Very soon the room fills with bubbles. Quickly Jack realises that it’s a good idea to escape, but poor Sam is left inside.

If you, like our family are fans of this series, you will know that Sam is extremely smart and has been given special powers, and it’s a good thing he has!

Thinking fast, Sam springs into action. However he soon discovers that paws are not very good at turning taps, or taking plugs out, and so he uses his special chant to change into his superhero persona, Super Speed Sam. Chant finished, and magically sensibly dressed for scuba diving, he sets off into the murky depths of the bathtub, hoping, now he is better equipped, although looking rather like a frog, he can save the day. It is not long however before he discovers that he is not alone. Incredibly, his chanting has created a magical underwater world, where the children’ bath toys have come alive.

As this adventure unfolds Sam realises that he must use all his cleverness skills to save the day by stopping the bathroom from flooding. The question is, if he succeeds, what will happen to his new bath toy friends when the water they live in goes down the plug hole?

Yet again, Monty J McClaine, the author of this series has written a wonderful story. It was thoroughly enjoyed, and captured the imagination of my granddaughter today, and I am sure it will be loved by all children who read it.

 

About the Author:

Proud winner of the 7th Annual Beverly Hills Book Awards (2018) in the “Environment” category for The Rescue Elves – The Plastic Pollution Adventure.

Proud winner of the 5th Annual Beverly Hills Book Awards in the “Holiday” category for Super Speed Sam – Santa’s Rescue Dog.

I feel that some of the natural interactions between family and friends are gradually eroding, if not already completely worn away for some. And I was reminded of a C.S.Lewis quotation –

“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”

It also feels like the simple joy of laughing or crying among family and friends is being replaced by beeps, bops and demands to ‘add new features’ or ‘why doesn’t this work?’ or ‘who’s hogging the Wi-Fi?’.

So I set out to create a fun and exciting series of children’s short stories, with lots of adventure and splashes of humor, all paced to hold children’s attention whether reading or listening… at least that’s my hope!

Stories that will delight both boys and girls, the young and old, and, of course, moms and dads! Tales that allow a return to simpler values, kid-like imagination for both children and adults and, I sincerely hope, bring families closer together.

About the Book:

When bath time becomes go-time, this super-speeding, frog-like canine springs into action and discovers the adventure of a lifetime lives under the water! In a brand-new shrinking story of magical proportions, Super Speed Sam is going down–the drain that is!

When Jack’s bubble bath becomes an unsupervised disaster, it’s up to the McClaines beloved basset hound, Sam, to spring into action as a bouncing frog-like fiend and get to the bottom of the trouble–and the tub! What could possibly go wrong when a superhero dog dives under the waves? Well, as Sam soon learns, not all the bath toys are friendly and there is a bit more than just bubbles to beware as he surges into action! Will Sam pull the plug in time before the bathroom gets completely flooded? Or will he bite off more than he can chew when he goes paw-to-fin with Jack’s brand new shark toy? Dive into this all-new adventure and find out how bath time became adventure time!

Bubbles Galore is available from Amazon in Paperback and Kindle format https://www.amazon.com/Bubbles-Galore-Super-Speed-Sam/dp/1719050775/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Bloody Coffee by Michelle Dim-St. Pierre

 

Bloody Coffee

In this traumatic and sometimes heart-rending novel we meet a teenage girl called Leigh, whose world has been turned upside down when she discovers that the man she has always known as her father isn’t actually her biological father. This traumatic fact was not uncovered as you might think by accident, but as a result of being given by her mother, her own journals of that period in her life.

Although Leigh lives in New York, she travels to Tel-Aviv where her mother used to be a nurse to track down and meet her ‘real’ father Dr Ezra Sloan. However, by accident or because of the circumstances, (Who can tell?) this confrontation doesn’t go as planned and instead a distraught Leigh finds herself performing CPR on Sloan as he suffers a heart attack. With the ambulance sirens fading into the distance it is a confused Leigh who is left wondering what the future holds.

However, the plucky young lady is undaunted, and despite having to face the wrath of Sloan’s wife and sons, she has the fortitude to continue in her quest to discover the reasons why he is not in her life, and is surprised and confused by what she uncovers.

Leigh’s dogged determination means that her life alternates between New York and Tel-Aviv, and as more and more of her mother’s past is revealed the questions mount up, and a tormented Leigh finds herself desperately searching for answers to her questions.

Throughout, the reader can clearly see both sides of this very emotional story. Although my heart bled for Leigh at times, and her torment was easy to understand, as the saying goes ‘you have to walk a mile in someone’s shoes, before you can judge them.’ As a parent and a mother Sharon’s decision to reveal the truth was a brave one, and with the resulting emotional backlash and recriminations, one has to admire her ability to support her daughter at times. After all everyone is entitled to their own secrets…

The author Michelle Dim-St. Pierre, was born and spent half her life in Tel-Aviv, before moving to America. In this very powerful novel overflowing with emotional turmoil and suspense, she uses her work and life experiences to keep her reader spellbound until the very last page. I highly recommended this book to lovers of fictional human interest stories, laced with intrigue and mystery.

About the Author:

Michelle Dim-St. Pierre was born in Tel-Aviv, Israel, where she spent more than half of her life before relocating to the United States.

She lived through four wars and served in the Israel Defense Forces for two years. Unlike her first year of service in an armored division in the Golan Heights, she spent her second year serving in the medical corps where she interacted directly with the injured soldiers of the Peace of Galilee war and their families. This interaction, along with the exposure to the hospital atmosphere, fascinated Michelle and further touched her heart.

After graduating from nursing school with a BS in Nursing in Tel-Aviv, she practiced internationally for 32 years in various positions in the surgical field and quickly advanced into health care administration. During her career she worked in the Operating Room, Recovery Room, and CCU–along with many other duties.

Writing was Michelle’s outlet at first, but it soon became her passion. Recently she left nursing and became a full-time writer. Her international background, along with her military and nursing experience, is always at the tip of her pen. Her first novel, Pinnacle Lust, starts the Pinnacle trilogy. She is also currently creating a cookbook inspired by the Pinnacle trilogy featuring dishes mentioned in the books.

Michelle is a world traveler who enjoys cooking epicurean food and creating original recipes.

About the Book:

Eighteen-year-old Leigh arrives at a Tel Aviv hospital, seeking information about her probable father, Dr. Sloan, who had a cardiac arrest right after they met for the first time.

As she stands next to her father’s bed and watches him, her past, present and future collide.

Despite the advice of those around her, Leigh decides to face the challenges of the legal system in Israel. She obtains a court order for a paternity test and confronts Sloan.

During her quest to find the truth about her biological father, Leigh is exposed to violent religious intolerance, faces life in a country where church and state are not separate, and meets the man who may be her first true love.

Will she change her view of the world she thought she knew? Will she forgive her mother? Will a gunshot change her attitude towards her probable father? And, what will she say to Steve, the only father she ever really had?

Bloody Coffee is available from Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Bloody-Coffee-Michelle-Dim-St-Pierre/dp/163183522X/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=bloody+coffee&qid=1557420496&s=gateway&sr=8-1

and

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bloody-coffee-michelle-dim-st-pierre/1131320894?ean=2940161424711

 

Dynomike: Proud To Be Me: (Children’s Book on Anti-Bullying, Self-Esteem, Self Confidence) by Frankie B. Rabbit

Dynomike: Proud To Be Me: (Children’s Book on Anti-Bullying, Self Esteem, Self Confidence) by Frankie B. Rabbit

My granddaughter and I are great fans of the Dynomike books, she because of the lovely stories and bright illustrations, and myself because of the skill Frankie B. Rabbit exhibits in managing to put important life lesson skills within pages of a book which easily captures the attention of young children.

In this Dynomike book, Dynomike is visiting summer camp, something looked forward to, or dreaded by children each year. He arrives confident that he is going to have a wonderful time, playing and making new friends.

However, this is before Mr. Pop Sour announces that it’s time for kickball. Eager to play Dynomike is excited until he strips in a puddle and emerges covered in mud.

Poor Dymnomike, and if that’s not bad enough a nasty bully called Freckly Frock picks on him and taunts him, which isn’t very nice at all!

What a nasty character Freckly Frog is! His actions make Dynomike slink away, ashamed, and feeling afraid and insecure. The horrible bully has really made him sad.

Then, sitting in the cabin Dynomike realises that this scared person isn’t who he is. He has come to camp to enjoy himself and make friends. Empowered by this realisation, he decides that he will not be defeated and confronts Freckly Frog. When he does his words make the bully realise how horrible he has been.

This little story holds an enormous message, one of believing in your strength and self-worth. Children reading this will gain courage and learn through Dynomike how to deal with nasty bullies, and importantly, how to show friendship to them afterwards and ‘be the bigger person.’

Not only is this story one which all children will enjoy and learn from in a gentle way, but also the author has also kindly given his readers a free Dynomike book at the end.

About the Author:
Frankie B. Rabbit is the creator of Dynomike. He was born and raised in New Jersey where he spent most of his time creating rap music. Frankie grew past rap music so he decided to write children’s books as a new hobby. He then started “DYNOMIKE” – a children’s book series with fun rhymes, vibrant illustrations, memorable characters, and stories to help kids learn life lessons while enjoying our fun stories.

We hope you enjoy the books as much as we did to create them!

About the Book:
From the Dynomike series: Dynomike is excited about his first day of summer camp, but he also worries that he won’t fit in. When his worst fears come to life and he is confronted by a bully, he thinks all is lost for the summer . . . until he realizes his greatest power: his words. Dynomike: Proud To Be Me, uses colorful illustrations and rhyme to show kids how to respect themselves, stand up for themselves, and come out on top when dealing with bullies, in a positive way.
Dynomike: Proud To Be Me is available from Amazon in Paperback and Kindle format https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1091804656/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0