Christmas for Joshua by Avraham Azrieli

I loved the character of Rusty Dinwall from the very first page. He is a well-respected, compassionate man, a heart surgeon, and a loving husband and father.

Indeed, after falling in love with Rebecca, over twenty years before, he even renounced Christianity, embraced her Jewish faith, and is now president of his local Reform synagogue. A happy and contented man leading a devout life, and helping others.

This story begins on Thursday September 24th, it is Rosh Hashanah Eve (Jewish New Year). Rusty and his wife Rebecca are looking forward to a Skype call that evening from their daughter Deborah who is away at university, and cannot join them for the celebrations. However, Deborah is not alone when she makes the call, and introduces them to her future husband Mordechai, an Orthodox Jew.

Deborah and Mordechai announce that they will be marrying on 20th December in New York, and then coming back to her home in Arizona for their honeymoon.

Although initially surprised at the swiftness of the wedding, Rusty and Rebecca arrive in New York excited at the forthcoming celebrations.

With their daughter happy and radiant nothing, it would seem could possibly spoil such a perfect day, that is, until Rabbi Mintzberg arrives. When the elderly orthodox Rabbi announces Rusty is a shaygetz (not a full Jew), Rusty is shocked at his words, and dismayed at the ramifications they will have on such a special day.

Reeling from the repercussions, hurt, confused and surprised at the reactions of those around him, he suddenly discovers that religious intolerance is evident even within the same faith. Searching for answers, and pondering his past, Rusty decides that he is going to make the young couples celebration of their marriage in his local Reform synagogue, a night to remember, which it is, in more ways than one…

As a parent, it is easy to understand both Rusty and Rebecca’s reactions, and ways of coping to the news of Deborah’s rapid marriage, and her decision to become an Orthodox Jew. Their natural reaction is to protect her but as an adult does she need their protection?

This book highlights very clearly how hard things can be for mixed faith families at special occasions, specific times of the year, and at family celebrations, which should be happy. However it also celebrates the strength of marriage, and commitment couples should make to each other.

This book is very different to the other spy thrillers I have read by this talented author, however, I have to say it is simply a wonderful story which is uplifting, yet heart rendering at the same time, and I would highly recommend it, whatever religion you follow.

About the Author: 

Avraham Azrieli’s new novel, Deborah Rising (Harper Collins, 2016), portrays the dramatic (and unlikely) rise of the first woman to lead a nation in recorded human history. A graduate of Columbia Law School in New York City, Azrieli tried many complex court cases before his first novel, The Masada Complex (a political thriller) was published in 2010. A full-time author since then, his other books include the Israeli spy novels The Jerusalem Inception and The Jerusalem Assassin, as well as Christmas for Joshua (a family drama dealing with interfaith conflicts), The Mormon Candidate (a political thriller), Thump (a courtroom drama featuring sexual harassment and racism) and The Bootstrap Ultimatum (a mystery involving the commercialization of Memorial Day). He also authored Your Lawyer on a Short Leash (a guide to dealing with lawyers) and One Step Ahead – A Mother of Seven Escaping Hitler’s Claws (a WWII biography, which inspired the musical By Wheel and by Wing). Azrieli grew up in Israel, where he received extensive Talmudic education, served as an intelligence officer and, after attending law school, clerked for the Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem. Residing primarily in the United States since 1990, he currently lives near Washington DC with his wife and children. Like Ben Teller, the protagonist in The Mormon Candidate, Azrieli often rides his motorcycle in the mountainous forests of western Maryland. To learn more, visit http://azrielibooks.com/

About the Book:  Life couldn’t be better for Rusty Dinwall–a heart surgeon, amateur pianist, and volunteer synagogue president. But when his daughter’s wedding takes an unexpected turn, life spins out of control, shattering everything he believes in. A dramatic story with memorable characters, Christmas for Joshua tackles the conflicts inherent to interfaith marriage, modern parenting, and religious intolerance, taking the reader on an entertaining and thought-provoking journey through a uniquely American Christmas experience.

Available from Amazon in Paperback https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Joshua-Avraham-Azrieli/dp/146360288X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483977915&sr=8-1&keywords=Christmas+for+Joshua

and Kindle format https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Joshua-Interfaith-Marriage-Controversy-ebook/dp/B005V72LXG/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1483977915&sr=8-1

Barnes and Noble in Paperback http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christmas-for-joshua-avraham-azrieli/1106754334?ean=9781463602888

and as a NOOK Book http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christmas-for-joshua-avraham-azrieli/1106754334?ean=2940046562569

Kobo.com as an eBook https://www.kobo.com/fr/en/ebook/christmas-for-joshua-a-novel?open=true

iBookstore (Apple) https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/christmas-for-joshua/id965367156?mt=11

Books-A-Million http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Christmas-Joshua/Avraham-Azrieli/9781463602888?id=6743207748429

Walmart  https://www.walmart.com/ip/Christmas-for-Joshua/28718231

Indiebound http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781463602888

Circus Elephant: Realizing How Powerful You Truly Are by John Holley Jr.

513lLlnNeDL__AA160_What an intriguing title, I thought, and then I started to read…

Coach and author John Holley Jr. delivers his inspirational message through a unique and totally captivating story, that of the life and training of a circus Elephant.

How strange, I hear you say, yes, but it works so well. The messages the book contains are explained clearly and so interesting that it held my attention right from the start.

Whatever your goal, whether you want to take control of your life, emotions, body, finances, or in your relationships this book gives you the power to succeed. It contains well written advice, a wealth of inspirational stories, and examples of people throughout history who have turned the tide on themselves, sometimes against incredible odds.

The author has given you the power and inspiration you need and armed with this book, the rest is up to you.

About the Author: Coach, speaker and author John Holley Jr. (some of you may know him as @CoachJohnHolley) was born and raised in Tampa, FL. He is probably better known as a motivational/self-help author (Circus Elephant), but his love of poetry and romance novels played a part in him writing Situationships. John being a single man who has never been married, has been through his fare share of relationships and knew there are so many people who can relate.

http://www.coachjohnholley.com/
Twitter/Instagram: @CoachJohnHolley

About the Book: Circus Elephant contains proven steps to realizing how powerful you truly are. Coach and author John Holley Jr. shows you his most effective strategies and techniques for mastering your emotions, your body, your relationships, your finances, and your life.

You are invited to share in this short story collection of inspiration. Circus Elephant teaches lessons of self-mastery that will enable you to take control of your life and harness the power that shapes your destiny. This book might just very well serve to be the inspiration for you to kick start your journey towards greatness.

 

    • Teaches the importance of finding examples of greatness

 

    • Advises you that it will be difficult, but you’ll be better for it

 

    • Explains why you should surround yourself with the right people

 

    • Informs you on the significance of patience

 

    • Proves there is so much power in never giving up

The goal of

Circus Elephant is to convince readers that they are

powerful beyond measure

      and to motivate them to take charge of their own lives. These stories are bound to be examples and serve as encouragement and a catalyst for those who are in need.

Start today to a happy, healthy, unstoppable you.

Available from:

Amazon in Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/Circus-Elephant-Realizing-Powerful-Truly-ebook/dp/B00JYHY7YA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1426930446&sr=1-1&keywords=the+circus+elephant

and Audible http://www.audible.com/pd/Self-Development/Circus-Elephant-Audiobook/B00SN8KHY0/ref=a_search_c4_1_2_srTtl?qid=1426930556&sr=1-2#publisher-summary

 


The One of Us by John Needham

The_One_Of_Us_cover_latest_001NEW RELEASE:  The One of Us by John Needham

A compelling and fascinating story.

 

About the book: Jim and Maureen Harrison ache to have a child. Glyn and Sioned Rees want a brother or sister for their daughter Lowri. But for both couples, further pregnancy is impossible. So what to do?

The answers to both their dreams are sucking their thumbs in the Strawberry Field children’s home in Liverpool: foundlings, twin baby boys. Glyn and Sioned adopt one, whom they bring up in Wales. Jim and Maureen adopt the other, rearing him in north Yorkshire.

And so the boys are brought up in very different social and family environments, developing markedly different personalities and aspirations. But are they entirely different? After all, they are monozygotic: identical. Does their genetic commonality confer similar character traits deep down? John Needham’s third novel explores nature/nurture theory, weaving it into an absorbing, at times exquisitely moving tale of brothers.

Readers of his previous book, Forebears, will be re-acquainted with warm-hearted, buff, call-a-spade-a-bloody-shovel Yorkshire lass Helen, now taking a larger role, telling her story from an earlier time.

This gentle, compelling, sometimes poignant novel tells the boys’ stories in parallel as they grow to manhood, converging to a dramatic, heart-wrenching reunion that will wring your emotions dry. 

A heart-warming tale of identical, foundling twin brothers separated as babies and adopted to be brought up in very different environments. The boy’s stories are told in parallel as they grow to manhood, converging to an unusual, emotionally-searing reunion.

***

My first impression of this book was, what a strange title, however, having read it, there could be no more perfect one.

How could Julie have known, way back in 1984 when she left her native Ireland to live in Liverpool that her fancying Paul, at a nightclub, the consequences of that night, and the relationship which followed would change so many people’s lives, including her own?

Glyn and Sioned love their daughter Lowri, yet they yearn for another child. Jim and Maureen are trying to come to terms with Maureen’s inability to carry a baby to term. Two couples who, for two very different reasons, decide to adopt a baby, but each of their choices leave them inextricably tied in a way they could never imagine.

Life has a way of changing just when we think we are settled, and as a result, Glyn, Sioned, Lowri and little adopted Tomos find themselves moving back to their native Wales. Whilst Jim, Maureen and their little adopted son Wayne relocate to Northallerton in North Yorkshire.

This is the story of these two boys, each having very different childhoods, achievements, plans and dreams. As they grow into men, however, it is discovered that they have one thing in common, and in the end, does anything else matter?

I found this story un-put-down-able, it has a very unusual storyline, plenty of twists and turns, and a real surprise ending.

Those of us who love this author’s very humane way of writing are, yet again, treated to another beautifully written story. At the end of the book, as an added bonus, the author has included a couple of chapters of ‘Forebears’ one of his previously published novels, which also features one of the characters in this story.

 

***

About the Author: I have had a love affair with the written word all my life. An avid reader as a child, my passion for print moved up a gear when I was apprenticed into the compositor’s art in the bygone age of hot-metal letterpress, long before the advent of computers, high-tech printing and ebooks.

Much of my career continued in a parallel vein, in copywriting and as a graphic designer. Now retired from all that, I write books: issues-based and exploring the human condition. I have produced two house renovation books although not yet published them, and an autobiography, Wishing for the Better, is being published free-to-read on my website, wordsfromjohn.wordpress.com.

In fiction, my debut novel was Convergence, a story of elderly, interracial love. This was followed by Forebears, a family saga set in the east of England spanning 106 years from the early 20th century almost to the present day.

My third novel, The One of Us, about the trials and tribulations and nature/nurture theory of separated-as-babies, adopted identical twins, will be followed by a fourth that tells the story of another character in that novel.

I live and produce my words in west Wales.

Author’s Website: http://wordsfromjohn.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/nature-or-nurture/

The One of Us is available to purchase from:

Autharium  http://www.autharium.com/Ebook/wordsfrom%20john/the-one-of-us

and in Kindle format from Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Us-John-Needham-ebook/dp/B00OAAUOPW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412837081&sr=8-1&keywords=the+one+of+us+by+john+needham

 

The Surrogates by Consuella Harris

51DXifNWx7L__AA160_A brilliantly intriguing story.

The subject of surrogacy raises various emotions and views in people, depending, I suspect, on such factors as, their sex, religious viewpoint and life experiences.

Many think what a wonderful, selfless thing it must be to carry a child for another woman and bring happiness to a couple who would never have been parents without help. They ask themselves, “Who are these generous women, and why do they do it?”

The more cynical wonder who finances the companies who set up the matches between the surrogates and the adopter’s, and what is in it for them?

However, it’s never as simple as that, there are no black and white answers to be found when dealing with human lives and emotions – we are complicated beings.

Truth be known, like most things, most people, most of the time don’t think about it, and neither did Keith Brown, ex-retired police officer, now successful investigative reporter until he received a phone call from Valerie Scovall, a Superior Court Judge for Cuyahoga County.

Valerie is sure there is a connection between the deaths by natural causes, i.e. heart attack, on the same day, of two prominent public figures.

Meeting her, the next day, in her chambers, Keith agrees to take on the case, and to her requirement that the source must remain confidential. Only one person is the exception to this rule Denise Jones, one of the surrogates.

For anyone interested in people this is a compelling read, as Keith reveals the stories behind Denise, Sharon and Carolyn, three women who decided to become surrogates. However, inextricably entwined are of course, the children they gave birth to, and the people who adopted them.

And, we mustn’t forget the men who were the founders of the Lake Shore Parenting Group, the adoption agency who put them together, and their motives, after all, without them, none of it would have happened.

Or of course, Valerie…

A really enjoyable and absorbing story which I would not hesitate to recommend. It is about a controversial subject, packed with human interest, mystery, intrigue and plenty of twists and turns.

The Surrogates is available from Amazon in Paperback http://www.amazon.com/The-Surrogates-Consuella-Harris/dp/1625260849/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1409046130&sr=8-5

and Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/Surrogates-Consuella-Harris-ebook/dp/B00L4MAXYG/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-5&qid=1409046130

and Barnes &Noble in Paperback http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-surrogates-consuella-harris/1119823220?ean=9781625260840

and as a Nook book http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-surrogates-consuella-harris/1119823220?ean=2940149692927

Author’s Website:  http://consuellaharris.com/users/awp.php?ln=718894&p=intro

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/conniegh01

Twitter: https://twitter.com/conniegh01

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/conniegh01/consuella-harris/

 

When the Drum Major Died by Anjuelle Floyd

when the drum major diedA fascinating story.

When I started reading this book, the first thoughts which came into my mind were that, it’s amazing how ignorant one can be, about events which happened in your own lifetime. Being a British child at the time these events were taking place, somehow they slipped into a hole between the history I was taught at school, from ancient up to and including WWII, and the recent history which I remember as an adult.

The main character in the story Florina, is a young colored woman who has married Dr Richmond Austin, and moved to his home town Poinsettia, in the South of America. Her new in-laws are very welcoming and her new home is to be his grandparent’s house. However, she very quickly discovers that her new neighbour Agnes, who is married to the other colored doctor in the town, Macon, used to go out with Richmond, and Florina fears that the attraction is still there. However, she has her own secret, one not even her parents know… A secret which lies buried in her heart and which she can only hint at in her very poignant poetry.

This incredibly absorbing story is set at a very turbulent time for the colored people of America. The Civil Rights movement was strong, and was led by the Baptist minister and activist Martin Luther King Jr., a man who worked tirelessly for, and who played such a strong part in the ending of the legal segregation of the African-American people.

Also all the time, in the background, and twisted inextricably throughout the plot of this story is the Vietnam War which was taking thousands of lives…

However, another element of this story, which was very interesting to me, is that I never realised that there was such color snobbery within the families of colored folk, causing so much tension, prejudices, terrible rifts, and great sadness. This was so evident in this book, where at one end of the spectrum there was immense color pride and at the other the seemingly desperate need to appear white.

This book is amazing, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. For me, it has all the essential ingredients for a good story excitement, intrigue, love triangles, lies, deceit, confessions, betrayal I could go on. However, more importantly for me, it gives a fascinating fly on the wall account of what it was really like as a colored person to live in those times, something I would never be able to experience otherwise.

Available from Amazon in Paperback http://www.amazon.com/When-Drum-Major-Anjuelle-Floyd/dp/1938070011/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1407946089&sr=8-1

and Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/When-Drum-Major-Anjuelle-Floyd-ebook/dp/B00I35FT6Y/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1407946089

and Barnes & Noble in Paperback http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/when-the-drum-major-died-anjuelle-floyd/1118401259?ean=9781938070013

 

About the Author: Anjuelle Floyd is the author of “Keeper of Secrets…Translations of an Incident”, June 15, 2007, a collection of interconnected short stories, and two novels, “The House”, October 15, 2012, and “Seasons in Purdah,” September 9, 2012.
www.anjuellefloyd.com/books/keeper-of-secrets/
www.anjuellefloyd.com/books/the-house/
http://anjuellefloyd.com/

Anjuelle is a wife of thirty years, mother of three, abstract painter and licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in mother-daughter relations and dream work.
A graduate of Duke University, she received her MA in Counseling Psychology from The California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, she has attended the Dominican Institute of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley, California.
Anjuelle received a MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, Port Townsend, Washington. She has also received certificates of participation from The Hurston-Wright Writers’ Week and The Voices of Our Nations Writing Workshops.

A student of Process Painting from 1998-2006, Anjuelle has participated in The Art of Living Black Exhibitions 2004–2011 held at the Richmond Art Center, Richmond, California.

Listen to Anjuelle’s interviews of various authors on Book Talk, Creativity and Family Matters @
www.blogtalkradio.com/anjuellefloyd

Read Anjuelle’s blogs and more about her @ http://anjuellefloyd.com/blog/  and http://anjuellefloyd.com/about/

Through These Doors – The Manoir at Bout L’Abbé by Diane Condon-Boutier

A fascinating story.

MANOR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the book: If these old walls could talk, would you listen? When a house has a story to tell, historical events to relate and lives to share, it should be given a voice; especially when the house is French and possesses a certain “je ne sais quoi”.
“Through These Doors: the Manoir at Bout L’Abbé” tells of the German occupation of Normandy during WWII and the scars left on their unwilling French hosts. A fragile coexistence between the factions struggling for control of Normandy is born, while internal conflicts between certain German officers and their Nazi leaders complicate the impossible relationship between a young French girl and the soldier she finds herself drawn to.
It also speaks of Debra, the American woman who convinces her French husband to buy the manor house in the 1980’s. She finds herself listening to whispers of previous occupants and being accused of insanity because of it. Still, the house will not be silent and Debra submits to its dubious support as her stormy relationship unfolds.

About Diane Condon-Boutier: Diane Condon-Boutier was born in Bay City, Michigan, in 1961. Youngest daughter of a junk food factory shipping manager and a librarian, her favorite activity to this day, is reading a book while eating potato chips. Earning a B.A. from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, in French language studies, history and culture left Diane with a penchant for long walks on sunny beaches and crazy rollercoaster rides in theme parks animated by very large mice.Thus, it is not surprising that an internship to France aiming to perfect the art of French slang resulted in an undying love for the country itself and all things French. Diane calls Normandy her home today. She lives in the countryside outside the lovely port city of Dieppe, where she revels in a daily dose of history and the unique culture the French take for granted.She shares a creaky old house with a few too many spiders and two cats, sometimes harboring one or the other of her adult daughters: Rebecca and Abigail. Their home, named “Le Clos du Hérisson” or in English: “Hedgehog Close” is available for rental under a B&B basis. These rooms are mostly spider free.Diane is also the author of a well followed travel website: www.france-vacations-made-easy.com, as well as several short stories, one of which was published in the Goodreads anthology “Ménage à Twenty”.Her début historical novel: “Through These Doors, the Manoir at Bout L’Abbé” tells of lives spent in her part of Normandy, from contemporary times back through the pages of history to the Middle Ages. It is the first in a series.

 

Those of us, who love old houses, will admit to standing in them, and wondering what tales the house could tell – if only it were possible.

This story, unusually, does just that, and the property in question is the Manoir at Bout L’Abbe in Normandy, France. A majestic building like this, set in its own grounds, would have many tales to tell, for such an imposing building, in times gone by, would need regular maintenance, staff to look after its grounds and animals, indeed, such a property would have supported, at one time, many workers.

The story begins in 1987, when young American, Debra, moves into the house with her French husband Phillippe. The house welcomes the happy newlyweds and in time children, however, over the years, things change with unforeseeable consequences…

However, a house of this age can look back a lot further than that, and earlier in the 20th Century, it had been occupied by German troops in WW2. In a fly on the wall way, the house gives the reader a fascinating glimpse into life in wartime France and through the lives of the Fournier family, we have a chance to perhaps understand a little of the emotional strains of war on the French.

The author has brilliantly described the beauty of the French countryside and its wonderful buildings. Through her historical research and attention to detail, she has produced a very interesting and totally absorbing book. Whether you are interested in France, the war, history, or just want to read a good story, I can thoroughly recommend this book.

Available from Amazon.co.uk in Paperback http://www.amazon.co.uk/Through-These-Doors-Manoir-LAbbe/dp/1478255560/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

and Kindle format http://www.amazon.co.uk/Through-These-Doors-Manoir-LAbb%C3%A9-ebook/dp/B008ND8742/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1392891520&sr=1-1&keywords=Through+these+doors

Amazon.com in Kindle format  http://www.amazon.com/Through-These-Doors-Manoir-LAbb%C3%A9-ebook/dp/B008ND8742/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392827065&sr=1-1&keywords=Through+These+Doors

and Amazon.fr in Paperback http://www.amazon.fr/Through-These-Doors-Manoir-LAbbe/dp/1478255560/ref=sr_1_2?s=english-books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392891656&sr=1-2&keywords=through+these+doors