Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Saga of Peter the Woodsman by A. Hansley Jr.

The Saga of Peter the Woodsman by A. Hansley Jr. is a classic tale of myth and magic, sword and sorcery. We first meet siblings Alex and Wes in modern times, taking the bus home from school. When a strange hooded figure boards and leads the bus in the wrong direction, they immediately jump off. Lost and cold in dark woods, they seek shelter from a sudden intense storm. At the only cottage they find, an old man takes them in and begins telling an incredible epic story that lasts all night and takes them into another world.

Peter is a simple woodsman, hard-working like his father and grandfather before him. One day while walking with his mule, Peter meets a spirit named Dualla. The spirit brings Peter to Helicon, the mount of light. Peter realizes that in Helicon, his mule becomes a mighty stallion, and his axe radiates with magic as though filled with pure energy. Peter, too, is transformed. He meets Calliope, muse of inspiration, and her spirit guards. Calliope welcomes Peter, but calls him Pendragon.

A wise and powerful wizard named Mystagog tells Peter why the spirits have given him total power and the title of Pendragon the Champion. In return, Peter is asked to join their fight against the forces of evil. The dark forces are lead by Lord Evil the First, and his servant wizard, Myrmadon.

Many battles over many centuries ensue as Peter repeatedly answers the call to serve and defend Helicon as its champion. Lord Evil's capacity for cruelty seems endless. Evil is stopped by Peter but is not defeated, as Evil's campaign to destroy him, along with the nine sister muses, and Helicon rages for millennia.

Author A. Hansley Jr. has written a captivating tale with an intriguing plot filled with plenty of tension and conflict, wonderful character development, crisp dialogue and an unrelenting pace. He puts us right there, too, with vivid sensory descriptions and strong, scene-setting narrative.

Will Peter defeat Lord Evil at long last and end Evil's reign-of-terror and destruction? Or will the Woodsman ultimately fail the people of Helicon? And what part do Alex and Wes play in the final battle of good versus evil? You'll have to read it to find out.

Geared to the 8-14 set, The Saga of Peter the Woodsman will be loved by young readers. A. Hansley Jr.'s writing talent and vast knowledge and use of Greek mythology will also keep even the most sophisticated adult reader enthralled.

476 pages (October 29, 2008)


William R. Potter, Basic PLUS Author

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Peace in the Storm by author Deirdre Kelley

Peace in the Storm by author Deirdre Kelley tells the often traumatic story of divorce from a drug addicted and abusive spouse. We meet Amy Alexander as she walks away from the courthouse and the battle to save her marriage. She is free of the violence and fear of her husband, Brandon. However she can't help worrying about her future and whether she is strong enough to make it on her own and take care of her two sons.

Over the next several chapters we learn about how Amy's children deal with an absent father and their memories of how Brandon hurt their mother mentally and physically. Fifteen-year-old Marshall seems to be the perfect son and student; hard working, mature, understanding, a good Christian teen. He steps into his new role as man of the house and is glad his mother no longer has to endure the bruises and the fighting. Like most seven-year-olds, Sean loves video games and playing with his friends. He struggles with the belief that since his father doesn't visit, and yelled at him for no reason, that his father must hate him.

Peace in the Storm is well written with good character development and believable dialogue. Deirdre Kelley does a good job showing the stress and fear involved when dealing with a violent, unpredictable ex-husband. She also draws a clear picture of the joy of a new beginning, of rebuilding and reaching out to help others. Throughout her struggles, Amy discovers a great strength in prayer and the new friends she makes along the way. Just when you think the Alexander family will be okay, Brandon begins harassing and threatening the family for money to support his and his girlfriend's drug habit, culminating with Sean's disappearance one day after school.

Peace in the Storm is a wonderful work of Christian fiction. I understand that in difficult times, many people lean on their faith for direction. However, I occasionally felt the religious passages pulled me from this otherwise interesting story. I recommend Peace in the Storm to those who enjoy stories of faith-inspired strength and survival. I hope to read more from Deirdre Kelley.

200 pages

AuthorHouse (May 16, 2005)


William R. Potter, Basic PLUS Author

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Don't Mess With Earth by Cliff Ball

Author Cliff Ball draws on his considerable knowledge of history, folklore and Christianity to craft a convincing retelling of humanity's time on Earth.

Told mostly from the point of view of a newly sworn-in U.S. President, we learn that Earth has existed under the shadow of secrets and lies for thousands of years. As Noah was building his wooden ark to escape the flood, a highly developed race of people called Terrans was designing starships and planning to leave the Earth entirely.

The Terrans travel to an Earth-like planet and set up a colony, naming it Terra. They explore their new system and meet many friendly cultures. They also meet the Ragnor, a race obsessed with military conquest. The Ragnor attack Terran ships relentlessly and without cause.

Soon the Terrans return to Earth to see if their human cousins have advanced. They find Egypt at the time of the Pharaohs and decide the earth humans are far too primitive to help Terra fight the Ragnor.

Some Terrans decide to interfere with human development and pose as Earth people. From the times of King Arthur to Genghis Khan, Terrans make their mark on history.

Centuries later, a spy base is set up on Mars. From Mars, the Terrans watch as the Great War explodes in Europe and later as World War Two engulfs the entire planet.

The Ragnor visit Earth in cloaked ships and begin abducting and experimenting on humans. Tales of abduction and UFOs spread around the globe. A Ragnor scout ship crashes in New Mexico in 1947. The Americans develop the Area 51 program at Roswell. The project's mandate is to use the technology from the downed alien craft to defend the United States against her enemies.

Sixty years later, a secret starship is ready, the crew trained, and the newly elected Present must address the nation and the world. He orders the ship to attack Earth's alien foe. Is one advanced ship enough to match the combined fleets of both Terra and Ragnor? Is America on the brink of its greatest military victory since D-Day? Or is it doomed to fail like no other combat mission in history?

Ball has written an intriguing new take on history. He keeps the pages turning, explaining historical events in his own unique style. The story builds to an explosive climax that won't leave you disappointed.

I recommend Don't Mess With Earth to Sci-Fi and alternative history fans.
Reviewed by WR Potter for Reader's Choice Reviews.

Zodoff-The Power of Three

Imagine a not-too-distant-future when the population of the world is controlled by leaders who watch our every move, demand to know every detail of our lives, and forbid us from doing some of the very things that make us human.

Imagine if these leaders enforced this control "all for the good of the child," as the children lost their independence, childhood joys, memories, and history. Imagine if intelligent beings from faraway worlds had been watching us, watching how
humans treated Earth and each other.

And imagine what would happen if these aliens decided it was time to try to save humankind from itself, enlisting the help
of a select group of children from around the world to try and achieve the most important mission of all.

Author Julie Hodgson has created a truly memorable, thrilling story that is sure to
delight fans and capture imaginations with its messages of warning and of hope.

Reviewed by Erin Hynd for Reader's Choice Literary Reviews

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pinky by MJ Daley Prado

Pinky, A Girl-Power Hero

Despite decades of advances in the woman's movement, there are some who still believe that girls are weaker or less smart than boys of the same age. Children's author and illustrator MJ Daley-Prado saw a need for a strong, young, female character and Pinky fits the bill.

This empowering story is geared for audiences aged 4 to 9 and will also appeal to older children. My four-year-old daughter and six-year-old son loved it! Pinky is well on her way to becoming a bedtime favorite in our household.

Pinky packs a wallop; both in the boxing ring and in the book's wonderful message. She isn't afraid to do things her way; i.e., streaking her blonde hair or concealing her identity in the championship match. Don't think of calling her a tomboy, as Pinky isn't happy to copy the boys - she sets out to beat them. Ignoring her Mom and Coaches' warnings, Pinky enters the State Boxing tournament to compete against the guys! Will she win? Can she overcome the doubters and gain the crowd's support? You'll have to pick up a copy to find out.

Pinky's message is clear and Prado's beautiful illustrations keep even the youngest reader's interest peaked. Prado is the author of six children's books, including Grandma, What Is Cancer?

I highly recommend Pinky for early readers looking for a girl-power hero. Pinky K. Henderson is a heroine who will entertain children and charm adults alike.

MJ Daley-Prado lives in Maryland with her teenage daughter. Daley-Prado writes stories that she hopes will help children and families during difficult times.

Daley-Prado donates 50% of the royalties from the sale of Grandma, What Is Cancer? to The Johns Hopkins Breast Center in Baltimore, Maryland and to The Dream Foundation in Santa Barbara, California, in memory of her mother, Shirley A. Daley, and her sister, Shirley A. Danlag, who both lost their lives to cancer.

MJ Daley-Prado

William R. Potter, Basic PLUS Author

Beyond Genesis by Allen Epling

In Beyond Genesis, author Allen Epling attempts to solve the decades long debate between science and religion, Creationism versus Evolution. Epling proposes that the book of Genesis is historically accurate. The problems lie in the interpretation and translation of ancient text originally written in Hebrew. Epling goes on to suggest that if interpreted correctly, the Book of Genesis would fit with what is considered true in scientific data.

Epling draws on his considerable formal education and life long study and research of religion, history, and the work of earlier religious scholars to explain the mysteries of Genesis. He explains how the first two chapters of the book of Genesis describe two different creation events: the first around 12 billion years ago when God creates Heaven and Earth in a burst of light known as the "Big Bang," with man-like creatures (Neanderthals, etc.) beginning nearly 2 million years ago. The second Creation Event took place around 6 thousand years ago when God created the Garden of Eden, Adam and domesticated animals.

Epling uses new discoveries in genetics and science as evidence to back his hypothesis that both scientific theory and religious belief about creation are correct.

Is Allen Epling's interpretation of Genesis the true version? As of now, we have no way of knowing for certain. His theories are as believable as anything presented by academia, science, or religion. I urge you to pick up a copy of this compelling argument, to keep an open mind, and to make your own decision.

I highly recommend Beyond Genesis to anyone open to alternative religious theories and to those who have allowed science to cloud their faith. Allen Epling.

William R. Potter, Basic PLUS Author

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Smoke And Murders by Douglas Chandler Graham

Blain Hodges, Teresa Hodges, and their two young daughters were brutally murdered in their home in Vinton, Virginia in August 1994. Earl Bramblett was arrested, tried, convicted and executed for the crime. Author Douglas Chandler Graham is convinced Bramblett was framed and is on a mission to find justice for Bramblett.

Smoke And Murders is a fictionalized account of the crime. Many of the characters are sketches of people close to the case. Except for the murders, much of the story is made up.

Graham has included all the ingredients of a first rate, hard boiled mystery. From the crime scene on we meet corrupt cops, drug dealers, a careless medical examiner and a long list of intriguing, believable characters.

It is set in rural Virginia in a small town where the haves avoid the have-nots and gossip and speculation is the favorite pastime. The town elite demand a conviction and for the problem to go away. A State Police investigator has hand picked his suspect and quickly brings the mayor and local cops onside.

Graham draws on his considerable research of the evidence and knowledge of the case to form a plausible theory as to what he believes really happened. His hypothesis is played out in this fast paced, enjoyable read. He brings together all the players and cleverly sets the tone for the sequel, leaving the reader wanting more.

I highly recommend Smoke And Murders to fans of True Crime and Murder Mysteries and I look forward to the sequel, "Three Trailers Down" (November 2009).

13: 978-1605942490

Smoke and Murders

Douglas Chandler Graham is a certified private investigator and bodyguard. He lives in Florida.

William R. Potter, Basic PLUS Author

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Rose of the Adriatic by K.M. Daughters

In Rose of the Adriatic, author K.M. Daughters takes us back to the setting of her debut novel, Jewel of the Adriatic. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of pilgrims each year journey to the village of Valselo, Croatia where three visionaries have daily visits with Mary, Mother of God.

Anna Babic is one of the Visionaries. Young, beautiful and fully devoted to Our Lady and to serving God; Anna is treated like a celebrity by villagers and visitors alike. Matt Robins is a non-believer whose faith was shattered as a child. He has traveled from the U.S. for one reason; to prove the daily conversations are nothing more than pure nonsense. Matt is a doctor, a scientist and stem cell researcher. Rumours of miracle cures do nothing to convince him to call off his testing of Anna in hopes of finding scientific proof of a hoax.

From the first meeting with Anna, Matt cannot help but be mesmerized by her beauty and her honest soul. His attraction to her is immediate and he endeavors to shake off his reaction to her in order to carry out his work. Anna is certain that Our Lady has called Matt to Valselo to find his lost faith. Anna wants nothing more than to serve God and to one day have a family of her own. She begins to believe that Matt may be the man meant for her. Day by day, Matt works harder to finish his work, and to ignore his growing feelings for Anna.

Can Matt continue to disregard all that he sees and feels? Can he keep up his conviction to finding a fraud? Is this skeptical American the answer to Anna's prayers for a husband and family? Can she help him to open his heart and mind to his faith?

Rose of the Adriatic is a wonderful story of lost and regained faith and of a love created. I highly recommend it to those who loved Jewel and to anyone who enjoys faith-inspired fiction.

White Rose Publishing

July 2009

Print ISBN: 1-60154-639-4

William R. Potter, Basic PLUS Author

The Stormy Side of Theodocia by Theodocia McLean

In The Stormy Side of Theodocia, author Theodocia McLean describes the first twenty-three years of her life with vivid detail and uncompromising honesty.

We first meet this well-mannered young animal lover as a two-year-old in 1956. She is twice adopted and known as Theo, as her full name is not revealed to her until she is sixteen. She is an average child with normal problems like bedwetting and carsickness. She enjoys everything that girls her age enjoy like dolls and kittens and dressing up.

McLean draws you in with her exceptional descriptive skill. You feel like you are one of her friends playing with her in the playhouse, riding bikes and taking turns on the swing. The warm memories bring fond thoughts of your own childhood. Then the scene hits hard and deep as pre-teen Theo is the victim of sexual assault by an older neighbor boy.

This isn't the only instance of this type of abuse. It happens repeatedly, leaving the reader sad, disturbed and even angry. Where are the parents, teachers, the church, and other adults? None come to Theo's aid. There are many traumas-some by others and some by cruel fate. All leave a lasting scar.

Instead she is shipped off to a private school where blue-eyed children were blatantly favored over brown-eyed children like her. Where children are punished for feeling sick and the punishment is a day confined to bed with nothing more than buttered crackers to eat.

This is more than a retelling of abuse and neglect. This is an inspirational story of unimaginable perseverance. Many of us, if forced to experience these terrible traumas at such a young age, might find escape as an adult in alcohol or drugs or give up entirely.

Not Theodocia McLean. She shows a colossal level of courage and determination to survive and to flourish. She marries the love of her life and soon has a son. Marriage and motherhood bring a measure of stability and love to her life that she had not known.

She begins to worry about the loss of sizeable chunks of time in her day. In the last few pages, the family is packed and moving again and we are left to wonder if the time lapses and interrupted concentration are the first symptoms of future problems caused by the many traumas.

In closing, McLean tells about a diagnosis of Bi-Polar Disorder and a later diagnosis of DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder). The tone is set for the upcoming Stormy Journey; a sequel featuring the network of personalities that live inside her.

The strength needed to write her story, reliving each painful moment, is extraordinary. Hard to put down and impossible to forget, I highly recommend that you read The Stormy Side of Theodocia.

ISBN: 978-1-4303-2580-2
Copyright 2007
Published by Lulu

William R. Potter, Basic PLUS Author