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Joanne Mazzotta "Joanne Mazzotta" (West Warwick, Rhode Island)

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Echoes Of Madness
Echoes Of Madness
Price: 1.85

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stolworthy Does it Again, 6 April 2014
This review is from: Echoes Of Madness (Kindle Edition)
In his usual style Stolworthy introduces us to a live scenario with distinguishing measures of vivid images.
He launches the reader to Finch, the soldier who reckons with war in his own special way after being primed by war itself. In his customary way Stolworthy gives a character portrait of each player in the story, and creates a recognizable group of participants as the story unfolds and discloses the path to the heart of it all. On the way to that path I felt more and more curious as to the outcome of the lives of those characters. My main attraction to this author is the way he draws pictures with words. The way he describes impending doom, war, fear and death itself, is often a breath changing experience.

It is 1916 in the crescendo of WW1. ECHO’S OF MADNESS are made real in this grand book and as war follows the main character, his life carried it into the folds of his existence while he awaits the burning desire to find the murderous and corrupt Captain Windward. While Finch’s life takes turn after turn and his relationships are all stained by his military doings, the end will make this book a praiseworthy read.

Hidden In Plain View
Hidden In Plain View
Price: 1.85

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possible and Probably However Hidden, 8 Feb 2014
Roy Stolworthy did it again with HIDDEN IN PLAIN VIEW.
His art speaks volumes to the craft of writing, as in all of his works. Again I wasn’t disappointed by his bleeding pen. Stolworthy has a way of taking a reader to the rain, the dark of night and the sensation in each verbal landscape, without a hitch. Though this novel is fiction, I couldn’t look away. On the first page he tells us how Amanda Prentiss died while Alex Catchpole, minister of defense had his hand under her skirt in the backseat of a taxi.

Gabriel Horn materializes and brings us to his murderous profession by way of Stolworthy’s talent for word placement. Horn is made up and yet so real in his strong passion for life and London itself, where the story takes place.

HIDDEN IN PLAIN VIEW is a perfect title for the workings of British government doings. While I could see it as clear as a naked woman in a window, I was still brought to shock and the potential while a murderous man snuffed out lives like a human gas chamber without regret or fear. For nothing more than the sheer pleasure of killing, Gabriel Horn, devoid of conscience blew the doors off the truth about political good... and enjoyed the hell out of it. And yet, his actions reached out to expediency. The main character seems to have no God.

Exciting read along with the sensory effects allowing the reader to see, taste, smell, hear sounds, and experience each scene clearly and with complete disregard for reality outside this book. The reason for my 5 stars include Stolworthy’s penchant for the formation of words that bring me to the heart of this story that include a semi poetic language and delivery.
Could it all be true? Indeed, as the build up to the events sews you into the scene as they unfold.

Horn isn’t just any killer. Killing is his business, and business is good.

The AL-EX Project (Alternative Existence): Testing the Limits of Dream Control
The AL-EX Project (Alternative Existence): Testing the Limits of Dream Control
by C.M. Donaldson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.80

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreams Speak Loudly, 30 April 2013
The AL-EX Project (Alternative Existence) Testing the Limits of Dream Control

If you have ever been curious about the power of the subconscious mind, how it works and how it plays a part in our dreams, this is the book for you.

CM Donaldson is the author of a new way of seeing the existence of an alternate world in this story of a man who made his life's work an investigation of the meanings of dreams and how they can serve him, no matter how weird or impossible his visions became while in a dream state.

Alex, the main character along with his cohort the "Scientist" dug deep for answers in the center of their mission, The AL-EX project, to record and question dream visions like, the meaning of the taking white lion Alex met in his dream state.

The symbolic clues lie within the long hours in a lab while Alex is asleep and dreaming, hooked up to probes while the Scientist is able to record the dream on a monitor. Fascinating!

I have always been interested in the reason we dream and have studied Carl Jung's theories that spoke to dreams being metaphors and or symbolic expressions coming directly from the subconscious mind as a disclosure that can be applied to waking states. The AL-EX Project uncovers the life of Alex during his obsession with the research and study of an alternate existence and reveals the calamity and his reactions to the anguish that implanted itself in his waking existence. His struggle with depression rings true.

CM Donaldson writes in conversational British speak, which is appealing and sincere. Before the 5th chapter you are in the story without realizing it is fiction. But it is science fiction with a soft sense of reality. There are no demanding scenarios that tax your independent knowledge of life on this planet. Without having to learn new words that take in the possibilities that life on other planets have a language of their own, she allows the reader to deem that it is possible to believe The AL-EX Project seems quite realistic. The surprise ending gave me the chills all over my body. Great read!

Cover of Snow
Cover of Snow
by Jenny Milchman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 21.16

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Under the Cover of Snow, 10 Mar 2013
This review is from: Cover of Snow (Hardcover)
Cover of Snow: A Novel (Hardcover)
This story of hidden truths and long-standing lies began with the suicide of a police officer, which caught my attention immediately. His death was "ruled" a suicide. The small town mentality of "The Good Old Boys" appear to be set in their ways and yet, what began as a suicide continues with questions. Jenny Milchman takes you to the reasons for them.

The account of his death, who found him, what happened when that person did, and the manner in which it happened will arouse a reaction from the reader because it was horrifying, shocking and yet, possible.

When a family member is suspicious, and feels the need to investigate the unlikely probability that the dead man had reasons to want to end his life, the story moves ahead with the search to find out why he died. Nothing in his life spoke to depression, addiction, mental problems, shame, unhappiness, financial difficulties, or any other of the obvious reasons a man would take his own life. His death made no sense.

The dead man's wife began the process of uncovering the secrets kept hidden in a town with some weighty moral debts to pay. Digging for those secrets could have cost her more than the loss of a husband.
A good read for those who enjoy the breakdown of a mystery. Find out why Nora's husband hung himself.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 26, 2013 11:12 AM BST

Walk Forward
Walk Forward
Price: 1.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remnants of Inhumanity, 9 Feb 2013
This review is from: Walk Forward (Kindle Edition)
When I began to read this true tale of loss and loyalty, I felt the heartache of a man named Herman Chimowicz who survived the holocaust and returned home without his wife and nine-year-old daughter. I got caught in the story because a wife was assumed dead, and a daughter was not.

During the years after the war while he half heartedly began the process of repairing his life, Herman questioned returned prisoners of the concentration camp in an effort to hear news of his daughter and got none. Herman still refused to have his daughter declared dead.

In the author's desperate attempt to find her biological sister, Walk Forward reads like a long letter to her. She spoke to her of her family, their love for her, their travels, and lineage, while never letting go of the hope that Eugenia was alive. You learn of the carnage and the suffering of World War 2 survivors from this author's personal vantage point built with bits and pieces told to her by her father, and other family members.

The story takes you on the impossible odyssey yet gives a detailed account of the events of one of the most horrific wars in history, from the cattle trains loaded with dying human beings to the death chambers where the terrified, bewildered victims met their dark destinies.

Rosa Raskin leaves no clue unexamined regarding her oldest sisters whereabouts in her intense research where she reports everything, including exact dates of events of the Holocaust in motion - right down to the tattooed numbers on the arms of some of the survivors.

Raskin illuminates the reports of a hell by design, choreographed by a mad man, in striking detail. She seems to be talking with Eugenia over tea about her father's beginnings while paying testimony to her father's love for his first born, and she does it well. She speaks to the reign of Hitler and how this family of devoted Jews intended to migrate to Israel and while the notion may have saved them, they in turn could not conceive of the horrors that followed their delayed plans until it was too late.

This true story has a way of keeping your attention on one of the millions of families separated from their dreams by Hitler's insanity... You get to know these people and care for them, most especially Herman, the man who survived the worst imaginable while never letting go of his belief that his nine year old daughter Eugenia did too.

Herman did survive but the question remains in the center of his daughter Rosa's book; Did he ever really heal? His daughter Rosa endured her father's legacy and his nightmare when she gave it a voice in her beautiful love letter to her missing sister.

Goodbye Junie Moon
Goodbye Junie Moon
Price: 3.33

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Life Unedited and Astounding, 30 Jan 2013
I read this intense saga wondering how in God's green this story will end. The author, June Collins puts you in a posture that keeps you reading without distraction. Don't let the prolog fool you. The sexual scenes are a prelude to the story that takes you to the place where most Americans dared not go, and it is necessary to go there.

June Collins takes you with her to places in the world most people in the western world do not know about, or think of. She brings you to the inequalities, the prejudices, and the injustices in countries in Asia, from Manila, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Taipei, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Korea, Japan and finally, Vietnam; while she gently allows you follow her through her embryonic conditionings as an Australian native.

Her childhood sorrows and young adult shocks draw the outline for the buildup of her stunning portrait that could have cost her life.

Collin's writing gives a clear vision to the reader - of the Vietnam war in plain English from the prospective of a woman who seemed to have no fear. A flow keeps you reading while she seems to be speaking directly to the situations she found herself in, or rather, where she finds (herself)

Born to a mother who was every bit a lady with staunch moral codes and home based values, it seems unlikely that she could have turned some of the incredible corners she did, which lays to rest the old myth that there exists a nature verses nurture promise. The rendition of her childhood could not have dictated her life as a traveling exotic dancer. Her story would cause Freud to put his notes into the fire.

Several books I've read this year took me to Vietnam, but this one takes me there as a woman. Her initial introduction to a war torn country in the 1960's was horribly frightening, but she tells of it as if it were a stormy day in a park. She was a woman alone in Vietnam during a devastating war, to entertain troops. At first, I couldn't make up my mind if June was courageous, audacious, or just plain crazy. I sensed no fright, but rather extraordinary curiosity and fascination on her part. It was as though her guts crossed paths with her good sense, while she exchanged her sarcasm with her conduit, O'Halloran - the man who brought her there unaware she would not allow him to prostitute her many talents, became the springboard to her fate in Vietnam.

From the read I learned how deadly honesty could conceivably be. I speak strictly for myself as one who has not traveled to places this author brought me to, until I read this astonishing story. Nothing in June Collins' book is predictable when she finds herself in Vietnam for three and a half years as an entertainer... While the horrors of that war, the underhanded politics of that war and the extreme experiences there saddened me deeply but not as deeply as when she placed violets on her dead baby's grave.

I'm not sure which impression moved me the most; her story, or that woman who survived her story!

The most profound quote in June Collin's narrative is, "Like the old saying goes, `You've never really lived until you've nearly died.' Unfortunately, only five stars are allowed as a rating for a book. A great book!

Pond Life
Pond Life

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great short stories by a talented author!, 3 Nov 2012
This review is from: Pond Life (Kindle Edition)
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling collection, good writing style, November 2, 2012
By Joanne Mazzotta (West Warwick, Rhode Island, USA) -

This review is from: Pond Life (Kindle Edition)

After reading the first page of Sam Kate's short story Celesta, I knew I would have to read his entire collection. As he has a bizarre conversation with himself and his psychiatrist, the beat outwits the reader and prevents us from stopping to take a breath. While he describes Celesta, you forget it is fiction for long spells and you're not sure Sam Kates is the starry-eyed author or the main character as he describes insanity. That is good writing!

Within the next short story Kate measures the readers imagination with another page-turner that reads like certainty. Though I am not one to indulge in books that border on science fiction, Kates manages to keep my attention with The Third Coming, while telling the tale of a possible alien who wants to bring Jake, a 19 year old boy, to his world by asking him to give him his mind for a moment. He captures the reader with sentences like "In the moment before his overloaded brain burst, he would suffer an instant of such complete insanity that he would not know oblivion when it engulfed him within its infinite grasp. He screamed." I had to read on.

In Sam Kate's next short story I learned the Barton method and laughed to the end.
Pond Life is a mixture and variety of shorts, and each one of them is nothing like the one before it. An amazing book filled with an unusual blend of fine writing. Do not let the title fool you. It is more than Pond Life.

Coming Home
Coming Home
by Roy E. Stolworthy
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Story About Death - A Story About Life, 23 Oct 2012
This review is from: Coming Home (Paperback)
I began this book knowing Roy Stolworthy wrote it. I knew it would difficult to put down because I have read two books authored by him; and it was. Coming Home is more than a war story; it is a deep look at humankind. It harks back with metaphors much like the efforts of legends that gave us the interior truth about humanity by men like Shakespeare, C.S. Lewis, and Carl Jung, while Stolworthy led me to the journey of Thomas Elkin.

Within a dazzling effigy of a storyteller, Roy Stolworthy gives a bare and raw account of the jeopardies of World War 1. He creates images and builds momentums so intense that you cannot look away. With unique portrayals of a kind of hell that only exists in battle, he was able to redefine fear in a way I have never seen or heard before.

A young boy being face to face with the enemy who wanted him and his comrades dead, and whom held no mercy for human life, they met a boy with less respect for his own, and that made him dangerous. He had no fear of hazards of combat. He welcomed them, and that fact was rich with irony when he earns honor for bravery while his morality seems absent.

A main character with a secret takes the reader to his fifteenth year of life when his brother Archie dies in a way that make even the freakiest accidents seem average ways to die. As I read of his horrific situation, by the third chapter I saw that I was not following Thomas but rather, he was following me.

Stolworthy gave me a clear view of the mental and emotional workings of each character, most especially Thomas who was frantically trying to fashion his death, scribing that event with his pen of guilt for the death of a brother. What better place to commit suicide unnoticed, than war? Moreover, what better way to do it... and be a sanctioned as hero, while posing as someone he was not?

Within the story line of Coming Home, Stolworthy allows us to eavesdrop on Thomas's superiors who castigate young Thomas for putting himself in harm's way and triggering risk to the other soldiers who have come to care for him, which caused them to risk their own life.

I must mention the weather. Roy Stolworthy can describe weather like a surreal refrain. "Raining, raining, forever raining, it became like day is to daylight and dark is to darkness. The raindrops fell, whispering a symphony on the uneven panes of glass, and he thanked God that the fire crackled a smiling comforting hello."

There is no way to review Coming Home in these few words. Find a comfortable chair on a rainy Sunday afternoon and read Coming Home. Find out what happens to Thomas Elkin.

Price: 1.92

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WAR AND LOVE IN ANOTHER CENTURY, 6 Sep 2012
This review is from: FIREHAWK (Kindle Edition)
FIREHAWK begins with war. Nancy Morse offers the year 1757 when the inhabitants of colonies in New England had to fight France and England, neither of which wanted to give up a possible claim so they commission the Indians to shed blood of the settlers in the new world. Then she gives us the young, benign Alice Winslow, a victim steeped in tragedy after witnessing the fatal destiny of her family.

Tavern war talks among travelers, one being a British deputy, another a missionary and a merchant introduce the reader to Firehawk and tell of his rescue of settlers from the French and their cohorts, the Hurons.
Nancy Morse wrote me right into the play by play of a well described massacre as the description of Firehawk speaks to a hero quality akin to D'Artagnan. Alice's mission was to find young Billy, and rescue him from a hostage situation hosted by Francois Bigot after the William Henry massacre when he was kidnapped. She wanted to find Firehawk and hopeful that she could convince him to accompany her to Montreal to redeem her brother's five year old son; she became obsessed by that thought while she was forced to forfeit her own integrity as a bar maid to save enough for his ransom until she snapped and acted out her rage against one of the drunkards who habitually grabbed at her body when she served him, costing her a job and a near death experience on her way home.
Morse lays out the landscape of Central New York that is no match for the current hustle bustle of the highlight cityscape we know today. Her tale envelopes travel though the foliage of the past in Central New York and makes it sound more like one would describe the black Hills of Dakota. Yet, she writes of it in the present tense.
As Alice sets passage to Montreal to rescue Billy, against all good advice from a dark stranger, and against all odds for surviving this journey, she braves a challenge too enormous for even the strongest man. Morse describes her "tenacity, pluck and her bravery," as she paints a portrait of a woman with a made up mind like she is painting a still life of a rebel defined that includes everything a strong woman should be without revealing a shred of limitation no matter how close to the skin it rested.

My interest in this story peaked before I decided which entity was more dangerous to Alice. Was it the French or the Hurons? And my inability to close this book rested on the question of whether Alice would find Billy dead or alive and if she would end up dead in the process.

I learned early in the book that Morse's writing style would continuously sustain my curiosity. Strong expressive writing style kept me caught up in the story line. Well worth reading and enjoy as you get lost in an Alexander Dumas kind of way.

A Physician's Plight:  A Memoir
A Physician's Plight: A Memoir
Price: 2.63

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possible heartbreaking reality, 5 Sep 2012
A young girl with a dream comes forward to walk us through her life and took me into her overdue dream that began with her exodus from her childhood home, and her determined father with a strength I'm not sure she knew she had.
She meets Randir who charms her out of her undeveloped good sense and she marries him only to find out, charm is all he had, and what he used to employ and control her and everyone else. In the eye of that disappointing storm is where her journey and her good sense began to take shape. Katherine Kline takes us with her to medical school and describes her reaction to the intense study while still uncertain which branch of medicine she will eventually choose as her life's career. I was able to walk along with her as she gave me a tour of her lab experiences, hospital and patient exchanges and the extraordinary workload she carried through her days.

As she was able to compromise her living conditions with Randir who has already proven to her better judgment that he was not good husband material, she pushed onward. She learned how well she could multitask after her two sons were born. Questioning her decision to go into aesthesia because exhaustion was constant, this story inspires all women with the idea that they cannot achieve success or set goals. She earned her title as Doctor and not without huge obstacles.

This story keeps you reading her curved and poignant tales of life and death in a hospital environment. Heartbreaking yet I knew these stories were true along with her compassion, especially for the children. Along with her well-documented experiences in her career, relationship with her sons, and finding her footing as a mother and a wife that kept me glued, Kline grabs my emotions and forces me to be a witness to one of the most horrendously excruciating divorces and custody battles I have ever heard of, read of, or seen in my life. A Physicians Plight deserves every star I gave it.

I finished this book with one good thought; I am ever so glad the phone rang that night.

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