Cathleen Townsend Blogs About Prayers Were No Help

Cathleen Townsend decided to blog her review of my book. As a published author, she had some very nice things to say about my book.

this volume has superb writing in a line-edit sense—I didn’t have a single wince as I read,

That’s high praise coming from someone who edits professionally.

She also had this to say.

Pacing-wise, the story moves right along, and that is also a rarer thing than I could wish. If you’re looking for a faith-based narrative without a saccharine aftertaste, Prayers Were No Help is a worthy read.

I found the latter sentence especially pleasing, since the goal of my writing is to do that. Rather than smack people in the face with religious doctrine, I try to introduce them to godly living through all-too-common human trials and tribulations that find their resolution in spiritual healing.

Dragon Hoard and Other Tales of Faerie

This book is a collection of short stories, all of them in the vein of myths and fables you might have read as a young child.

I’m not a fantasy buff, but these are very well written stories. I found the tales delightful, with a whimsical quality that made them quite enjoyable. I especially enjoyed the Gargoyle and A Fair Exchange. If you enjoy stories that involve fairies, leprechauns, and trolls, you will enjoy this book.

My First Book Review

Author Kara Liane has posted a review of my book on Amazon. I was stunned to read “I will begin by saying that Paul is a phenomenal writer.” I was not expecting that.

I was pleased to read ” What I liked about this book is it did not beat me over the head with religious references, it was more spiritual; which I suppose those go hand-in-hand anyway, but he wrote it in such a meaningful way.”

My goal, in writing my books, is to portray people in real life situations, dealing with emotional issues that many may relate to. Then, someone enters their life providing a new perspective, which causes them to reconsider the direction their life is taking or brings healing to their heart and life.

Christians are like everyone else. They endure tragedies, they experience loss, they encounter conflict. The difference between them and the rest of the world is the source of their strength. Portraying that in stories is my way of communicating what it’s been like to walk with God for decades.

Portraits of Courage: A Commander-in-Chief’s Tribute To America’s Warriors

My daughter gave me Portraits of Courage for father’s day. I can’t thank her enough. As a veteran of the Vietnam era, I read a lot of books about warriors. This one is different. It contains portraits of men and woman who suffered injuries in combat. Beside each portrait is a vignette of the subject, describing their injuries and how they have overcame the trauma of war.

I cried numerous times when reading their stories, yet I was awed by their strength to overcome. If ever there were a group of people that refuse to take no for an answer, these men and women are it.

I thank God that today’s veterans are not treated like my generation was. It’s hard enough overcoming the damage of war without adding on the hatred of your own countrymen.

A Rose Blooms Among the Thorns

A Rose Blooms Among the Thorns is a powerful story. It brought me to tears several times. The main character, LaRae, escapes an abusive husband only to spend her life running for her life, escaping from him repeatedly. He is never far away, and his words ring in her ears; “You can run but you can’t hide. I will always find you, no matter where you go.

A gut-wrenching story of abuse and redemption, hatred and love, A Rose will grip you in a way that few stories do. At various times I found myself hating her husband and wanting him dead, or terrified for her safety and screaming at her to get out now!

And that’s just the first half of the book. The rest will warm your heart, anger you to the core, and fill you with thankfulness for our loving God. Bet you can’t put this one down.

Regressions

Regressions is the second book by author Jaye C. Blakemore that I have completed. I have to say this. Blakemore is a master story teller. She spins a web that draws you in, and it becomes quite difficult to extract yourself until you get to the last page.

I reviewed Jacqueline and the Judge and said her writing was vivid and descriptive. It is. But it’s more than that. It draws you in to the story and compels you to learn more about the characters and the plot and the story.

Regressions is a story about a female psychologist who begins working with a younger woman who is experiencing memories from a previous life. The story includes mystery, danger, romance and more. I read it in two days.

Both of the books suffer from a flaw—no editing. I’ve corresponded with the author. It turns out it’s not her fault. She used “self-publishing” companies that claimed to include editing in their services. It’s obvious these books have not been read, much less edited. Some of the errors, like using form instead of from, are the kinds of mistakes that authors make routinely and editors should catch in their sleep. Worse than that, they published without even bothering to let her read a proof copy, where she almost certainly would have caught the errors.

I don’t know why, but there’s something about seeing your words in print that makes you focus on the errors. I can read my own writing hundreds of times and miss the same errors hundreds of times. As soon as someone else points them out to me, I feel incredibly stupid, because I know how to spell and use words. Yet there it is, staring at me, exposing my humanity for all the world to see. Or at least the world of the editor that vets my work. Seeing it in print is troubling.

Jacqueline and the Judge

I just read the most incredible book. It’s called Jacqueline and the Judge. It’s not a book I ever would have picked up, but the author offered to help me with my book, so I entered her giveaway contest, and lucky me, I won a copy for free. I started reading yesterday and finished today.

The writing is vivid and descriptive and retains your attention from the moment you pick it up. I love the way the author weaves in the details you need to know throughout the story without being intrusive about what we authors call “info dump”.  The plot is fascinating, the twists in the story are incredible.

By the time the big surprise came, I completely believed the same thing the main character believed. That is the sign of a well-written book. The author has signed options for movie rights on two of her books, so you’ll be hearing more about these from others soon.

Get a copy now. You won’t regret it. In fact, I think you’ll do exactly what I did—I bought her two other books, Regressions, and Double Identity. I’m not going to start reading them yet because when I do, I’m certain I won’t be able to put them down. I’m going to have to schedule reading them so I can get other work done.

Enter the Giveaway Sweepstakes

I’m doing a giveaway at Amazon. You can enter the sweepstakes here: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/fd64076132f8f6f2

The contest last ten days, after which twenty people will win a free Kindle version of my book. You have to enter to win, but the winners are selected randomly. So you don’t have to rush over this minute. Don’t forget to enter before July 7th, or you’ll miss the opportunity.

If you read my book, please post a review. I will appreciate it.

After Saigon fell: Daily life under the Vietnamese Communists

This book was so boring that I couldn’t continue. It’s a dry recitation of facts with no life at all. Even though the author is relating stories about his time in Saigon after the communist takeover, it lacks any kind of vitality at all. I would have thought that a book about that period of time would be filled with danger and intrigue. it’s not.

Lost Years: My 1,632 Days in Vietnamese Reeducation Camps

This is a compelling story of what it was like to live in a Vietnamese Reeducation Camp. The conditions were brutal. The guards varied between brutal and greedy, stealing the precious few items the prisoners had managed to acquire. Food was scarce, and at times the prisoners almost starved to death. The psychological abuse was the worst.

For anyone who thinks communism is a good idea, this book should be required reading.