Monday, July 26, 2010

Working toward my breakthrough...

I am writing songs and trying to finish my adolescent fiction novel. I think I will be finished with it soon. Its a pretty interesting story which I will share once it is complete and I officially register the copyright. I am working on getting my adult fiction novel published. I wrote this book when life threw me a curve ball. It was a great motivator for me and guided me to where I am now. Hopefully I will have "Vengeance is Mine Says the Lord... except in the 'hood," published during 2010. If not, it will be released in 2011. I am really excited about it and have received some good feedback on it by those who have read the manuscript.

I have also been doing book reviews which I've shared on my blog. I hope that everyone has enjoyed reading them. I read fiction books and nonfiction books but prefer fiction. I am open to most genre. I love to read and am trying not to limit myself to one particular genre. If you are interested in buying the books or anything else on Amazon.com, you can get to their website via my blog.

Minister Steve is in the studio working on his CD. He is also ministering this Friday at the 5th Annual Lincoln Park Music Festival in Newark, New Jersey. The event is from July 30th-August 1st. He will be ministering on July 30th and is making changes to his website (www.ministersteve.com). He is working diligently to get his CD finished so we can take his career to the next level. I am so excited about all the progress he has made and look forward to the direction he is getting ready to go in.

I have been writing songs almost daily. It never stops, LOL!! My mind stays busy thinking of what song to write next. There are times when I am reading and something pops up or when I am walking and the trees sway a certain way an idea comes to mind. I am beyond thankful for being able to write songs. I am working with my friend, Martin Dominguez Ball, on my songs. He is an amazingly talented musician. He has a band Larrama and has played in various venues.

God has placed me in the right place with the right people. I am being inspired by new friends and old friends. When I even think that things might not go as I have planned God shows me different. Working with Martin has allowed me to fully embrace the possibiity of songwriting success. We've completed three songs. Two are country and one could be pop, rock or country. You can listen to them by going to directly to my page on www.soundclick.com and search Stacey P.

I am working toward my breakthrough. I am a social worker by profession but my goal is to transition into the music industry. I already shared that vision with God so I know it will come to fruition!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Fruit of the Dendragon Tree... great fantasy read!!

I don't generally read fantasy fiction but I'm so glad that I took a leap of faith with The Fruit of the Dendragon Tree. It was extremely worth it. This book grabbed my attention as I immediately became lost in a world of mythical creatures--witches, werewolves, vampires, elves and a dragon. Each character more vivid than the next. Each scene as if I stood in it myself. The faces of the characters as clear as someone standing next to me. The heat of the dragon's breath filled the room with each page I turned. Every battle felt as if I was there as I experienced sadness, hope, fear and anxiety along with the characters. I was afraid to put the book down because I wanted to know what was going to happen next. There were so many twists and turns that left me guessing I read fervently to the end.

Jake Patel's mother was dying of cancer. He is angry but hopeful. His dad has pretty much accepted the fact that his precious wife is going to die. Like we all do at least once in life, Jake makes a bargain with the universe to spare his mother's life regardless of who has to die in her place. Jake refuses to lose hope as he thinks his father has. Jake's classmate, Jenny, is an untrained witch who comes to his aid in his efforts to save his mother's life. As a result of her help, Jake's transported to Tiramonde which is a world he isn't familiar with or even expected to see.

Upon his arrival to Tiramonde, he is guided by a young witch, Ureth, who informs him that the only thing to save his mother's life is for him to grab fruit from the dendragon tree. The only problem is that the legend says removing the fruit will release the dragon, Kildraig, who protects the tree. Easy, huh?

David, Jake's father, wakes up to find Jake is gone. He leaves is ailing wife to search for him with the help of Jake's friend, Jenny. However, he ends up being transported to Tiramonde as well. He doesn't immediately find Jake. He has to venture on a dangerous journey to meet his son. However, Jake is then faced with the task of deciding which of his two parents will survive.

What I liked about this story is that it focuses on something we are afraid to discuss--death and loss. Jake never loses hope and does what every child wishes they could do when dealing with a sick parent. When you truly love someone whether its a child, parent or partner, we suggest we will go to the end of the earth for them and that's exactly what Jake did for his mother and his father for him. Cancer kills many people and this book is a great read for those dealing with that issue or have done so previously. Love does conquer all and Jake's experience is a clear reflection of such. He never loses hope!

This story is colorful and exciting. There is definitely a need for a sequel. The basic principles of love, honesty, and truth meet vengeance, power and dishonesty as the two worlds collide. The ending will completely surprise you. The lengths that Jake and David go will make the reader question how far they'd actually go to save the life of a loved one. Me, I would fight until the end for those I love unless of course its a dragon I have to go up against. What about you?

Well done, Mr. Deepan, and thank you for donating partial proceeds from your book to Breast Cancer Research...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Juvenile fiction... Five Stars for Max and Menna...

Max and Menna
Shauna Kelley
Publisher: Lucky Press
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9780984462735
Pages: 198

Max and Menna is a great juvenile fiction book that I would readily share with teens. This book is a wonderful story about a set of twins growing up in the South in the early 1980s. Although set in the 1980s, the racist views of the townspeople make it feel like it takes place much earlier. It feels like the 60s! Menna and Max live in a house with an alcoholic mother who never notices them unless its to beat or ostracize them and with an older sister lost in a cycle of physical abuse stemming from both her mother and boyfriend. This story addresses issues that affect many people in our society--poverty, alcoholism, substance abuse and racism--forcing these children, like others, to be resilient. They are forced to take care of themselves and find their own way as many children do living in their conditions.

What I find interesting about this book is that the racism is different than what is overwhelmingly portrayed in most books or in movies. The racism in this book isn't about black and white issues. There is a young black girl in the book who is discriminated against but she isn't the focus. The focus is on the relationship between the Native American and white people in the town. This is a new outlook on racism in our society.

Max and Menna meet Nick one summer on the hill in the woods. Nick is a Native American boy that lives on the other side of the fence, literally, which the townspeople refer to as the reservation. Max and Menna live in horrible conditions but Nick's house is almost inhabitable. Like the twins, he lives in a home without his father, alcoholism and extreme poverty. Their lives are mirror images of each other although they are separated by the fence. The three become inseparable and the story becomes alive as we witness racism, alcoholism, poverty, abandonment, and love through the eyes of a child.

I think this book should be shared with preteens and teens as well as adults. I strongly feel this well written coming of age tale will allow the reader to see things from another perspective when interacting with people who are different from them ethnically and racially. So many people make judgments before ever interacting with someone who is different from them. Judging a person by the color of their skin or religion doesn't allow you to truly see the person inside.

When reading this book, the reader feels an array of feelings--anger, fear, sadness, anxiety, happiness--because the story is vivid and each character is so real. The reader is thrust into a world that could and still does exist. The reader gets lost in the book traveling along with Max and Menna cheering them along their journey.

I would love to see this book on the big screen. Great job Ms. Kelley shining the light on adult views through the most vulnerable people in our society...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Interesting Christian Paranormal Read... 5 Stars!!



Rabbit:Chasing:Beth Rider
Ellen C. Maze
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Published:2009
ISBN:9781432751018
Pages:354

I’ve often wondered what makes vampires so intriguing to humans. Is it the sheer mystery of it all or the sensual way they are portrayed in books and movies? I wish I knew the answer because I’ve never been drawn to them as others have. It makes me wonder if I am missing something. I read one of the Stephanie Meyers’ books because I wanted to see what all of the hype was about. Although I thought the one story I read was a good book, I had no desire to see the movies that were written from the books. However, I read Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider and definitely want to see it on the screen. The author opened my eyes to a unique and interesting new world leaving me thirsting for more as I read the last page.

This book caught and held my attention from start to finish. It was well written and Ms. Maze’s amazing story telling ability flowed off each page. The story is engaging and the reader is thrust into a world with best selling author, Beth Rider and vampires living off of human donors. Beth Rider wrote a series about the Rakum and how a group of them found Christ. This goes against what the majority of the Rakum believe and her mere words enraged some of them.

Beth Rider is going through life living her dreams. She is writing and has become a best-selling author with her book series about the Rakum. She is at the top of her game unaware of the effect her words are having on her readers. Specifically one reader, who is a Rakum or vampire, becomes quite angered by her book and changes her life forever. He feels that her words are a threat to his kind and wants her to die. As a result of his anger, he meets Ms. Rider and informs her of how he feels. He goes further to make her a Rabbit by marking her with his blood. Being marked with the blood of an elder makes you prey for other vampires sometimes resulting in suicides of the Rabbits. The life of a Rabbit is stressful and they end up taking their lives.

It is then that Beth Rider's peaceful life turns into one where she is in immediate danger. She has become prey for all vampires who smell her scent and become intrigued by her mere presence. Her life has changed and she is clueless why it has happened. The question then becomes… will Beth survive?

After becoming a rabbit, a simple stroll through an airport brings Beth to the attention of a Rakum. He becomes attracted to her because of her beauty. He also becomes interested in knowing why she has been marked. He feels that no creature as beautiful as she could do anyone harm. He doesn’t feel she should be placed in such a horrendous position. He becomes lost in her beauty and is drawn in to protecting her from his brethren.

The characters in this book are solid and each scene is more vivid than the next. The story comes with moral twists and turns, romance and Christianity. The book shows characters embracing religion, which readers don’t usually see in vampire books. It is an interesting take on things. Ms. Maze is extremely talented and I highly recommend this fantasy novel with a new twist to vampire love. Is love the answer to why we are drawn to vampire stories? That’s something to think about. What do you think?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mexican Madness by Andrew J. Rafkin... GREAT summer read!




Mexican Madness
Andrew J. Rafkin
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Published: 2010
ISBN: 9781432755096
Pages: 469

Are you’re looking to go on a summer reading adventure? If so, I think I’ve found the book for you! With his third book, Mr. Rafkin keeps you on the edge of your seat with a racing heart trying to figure out what’s going to happen next in this wild, yet believable adventure.

A group of doctors go off on their annual fishing excursion in Mexico City and come up with more than an afternoon meal. What they find is more than they bargained for in the form of a human body. They find a man’s mummy-wrapped body instead of the yellow-fin tuna they sought. After finding the body, they find more bodies opening them up to an adventurous underworld where human organs are more valuable than life itself. Their little vacation is immediately interrupted as they are thrust into a world of corruption, spies, the sale of human organs and terrorism, as more bodies manage to surface.

The doctors aren’t strangers to criminal behavior. They are members of O.R.C.A., an independent worldwide agency created to combat terrorism, drug-trafficking and eco-sabotage. This adventure that started at the end of a snagged fishing line throws them into their toughest task. They go from a pleasant, relaxing trip to a job trying to destroy people who are trying to attack the very core of America. They use all their greatest efforts to do whatever they can to keep this from happening and conquer the people committing such a heinous acts.

This book is your typical good guys verses bad guys story focused on a topic—the sale of human organs--that is quite frightening. To think that this could actually happen in our world where reprehensible things do occur rocks your very core just imagining the possibility. We, Americans, walk around with a na├»ve level of safety. We never think anything that happens in others countries coulhappen here. This book might make the reader think differently about that.

Mexican Madness is filled with suspense, crime, vivid characters, terrorism, and events ripped directly from the headlines. The story flows naturally and is filled with twists and turns allowing the reader to get lost in the madness of it all. As soon as the reader thinks they know where the author is going, like a roller coaster, the story unexpectedly goes into another direction dropping you deeper into the madness of the story. Although unbelievable the author makes this story quite believable… Five stars for this fast-paced thriller… get your copy today!!