Thursday, October 31, 2013

Book Review & Interview: Journey To Jazzland by Gia Volterra de Saulnier

About The Author:

Born and raised in Fairhaven, Massachusetts and attended University of Lowell (now University of Massachusetts, Lowell). It was there that I learned to love jazz. I have been performing jazz and other kinds of music for over 20 years, throughout the New England area. I live in North Reading, Massachusetts with my husband Richard, and my son Charlie.

BWB: Many authors relate their characters to people they know. Is this the case with your characters and do you see yourself in any of them? 
Well, most of the characters of this book are instruments, but yes, the main character Windy is a reflection of myself since I am a flute player, and since the Flute is a Wind instrument, I decided that Windy would be a good name. Also, she has a lot of curiosity about jazz and I was a lot like that too.

BWB: Who is your most favorite character from any book of all time?
Oh so many to choose from, but for picture books, I would have to say Max from “Where the Wild Things Are” and for older books, I really love “Harry Potter” series. However, when I was growing up, my top favorite character has to be Sherlock Holmes.

BWB: If your book was to become a movie, which actors/actresses do you see playing the parts of your characters? 
I think I would want to keep it animated like the book, but I can totally see like Della Reese playing “Ebony Piano” and possibly Geena Davis playing “Windy Flute” – one can dream right?

BWB: Where can readers connect with you? 
I’m on Facebook with my fan page at and I’m on Google + and Twitter under @giazzpet

BWB: Everyone wants to know the story behind the story...What's your story? 
This story is based on my learning of how to play jazz. In College, I was told that Flutes don’t play jazz, so I did it anyway. I think it takes a lot of chutzpah to just do what you want, sometimes you just have to take those risks in order to do what you love.

BWB: What is an absolute must-have when writing? 
Pen, Paper and sometimes my computer helps, but tea is nice too.

BWB: Using the letters in the word SUMMER, describe your book. 
Oh I love a challenge: S: Smart, U: Unique, M: MUSIC M: Magical, E: Educational and R: Really cute!

BWB: What message do you hope readers will take away from your book? 
My main goal here is to get music back into Elementary schools and bring back the idea of Jazz to kids. I want parents and grandparents to remember this great period of music that should not be forgotten from our history.

BWB: What can we expect in the future from Gia Volterra de Saulnier? 
Friends are already asking for a sequel. I do have one or two more ideas in my head, but I do want to keep a musical theme going here. Maybe “Journey to DixieLand” and “Boogie on Down to BluesTown” is also in my head.

Genre: Children's Book
Publisher: Flying Turtle Publishing
Release Date: July 1, 2013

Book Description:

Join Windy Flute, Spitz Trumpet and their friends as they travel to a legendary place where music is joyous, creative and free.

My Review:

Journey To Jazzland is a very cute read. If you still have kids at that age that you are reading them stories or they are just beginning to read, then this is a book that you will want to put in your library.

Windy Flute finds herself wanting to play different notes than what the conductor wants her to. When he asks her is she thinks she's in Jazzland, she sets off on a journey to find this magical place. Along the way she finds other instruments that also want to take this journey with her, and by the end, we find that beautiful music can be formed when they all play together.

This sends a great message to kids that they can do anything they put their minds too and it's okay to think outside the box, and my favorite, to be a leader not a follower. Ms. Volterra de Saulnier did such an amazing job with this story, and I have to say that the illustrations and colors are just fantastic.

This is a definite must-have read to add to your shelf and it's a fantastic read with a fantastic message.


One day during an orchestra rehearsal, Windy Flute was playing a piece of music and her mind started to wander. Over and over, she had practiced this piece and played this piece. Feeling bored, she felt that she wanted to be a little different.
Then something special happened. She began to hear notes that weren’t on the page of sheet music on her stand! When she started playing what she heard, Windy realized these new notes made her feel better. The harmonies and the melodies were the same, but the music moved differently. Before she could figure things out, she was interrupted by a stern voice.
Excuse me, Ms. Flute, do you mind playing with the rest of us? Where do you think you are — Jazzland?” said Mr. Conductor, scowling down at her.
After the rehearsal, Mr. Conductor gave Windy a severe look and stomped off the stage.
Windy turned to her friends in the woodwind section. “What’s Jazzland?” she asked. She was still thinking about the good feelings she got from playing different notes.
It’s a myth,” said Mr. Bassoon.
That’s right,” said Mr. Oboe, “It’s a legend. It doesn’t really exist.”
            “I think it exists,” said Spitz Trumpet.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Feminine Transitions by Alyscia Cunningham (Book Tour & Giveaway)


Alyscia Cunningham is a lifestyle photographer. Her main focus 

is human images and how it can be incorporated with light and 

shadow. She tends to use dramatic lighting in many of her 

images because it fosters greater interaction between you and 

the photographs, as you tend to analyze it a little more. 

Likewise, the use of close ups creates a sense of intimacy and 

usually draws a greater emotional reaction from you.

Website | Facebook


"Life on the planet is born of woman"

Adrienne Rich

For women, aging brings with it an inner 

grace and beauty that is more than skin 

deep. From birth to old age, women 

transition through many physical, 

psychological, and emotional phases that 

are recorded on their faces.

Feminine Transitions: A Photographic 

Celebration of Natural Beauty is a 

refreshing and inspiring, full-color, hard 

cover, book of photography. Its pages 

present a series of portraits that reveal the

elegance and subtly honest beauty of 

female faces between the ages of 7 weeks and 103 years. 

Copies will be available and mailed in September 2013 (exact date TBA).

Never before has a book so vividly projected the images of women in all 

stages of life in a way that reveals who they really are as women.Feminine 

Transitions unmasks women and exquisitely demonstrates that young is 

beautiful, old is beautiful, and natural is beautiful.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Jack Canon's American Destiny by Greg Sandora

I’m originally from the Portland, Maine area and lived and worked there for years before moving to Southwest Florida. I am currently working on the sequel to Jack Canon’s American Destiny – which will be titled Jack Canon Clean Sweep. The sequel will be available in about three months.

My Dad and Mom were artists, my father painted and my mother wrote poetry and loved to garden. Most Saturdays we loaded up the 1970 Chevy Impala to trek to a one man show somewhere or other. I took a different track graduating with a business degree; owning and operating an Award Winning Franchise Fitness Center. Currently a professional manager I am living in Florida with my beautiful wife and children, and following my passion.

Some of my other projects include a children’s book called Sammy the Sea Turtle – about an infant sea turtle taken from his nest the night he was to find his way to the sea. Sammy lives with the family until their son – the boy who took him, graduates from high school. On that day Sammy, backpack in tow – begins the long journey home.
My second project in the works involves angels – a man during a visit to Bar Harbor Maine encounters an angel; quite accidentally, he is told – she was not supposed to make him aware of her existence. Only three others have ever seen the real thing. Naturally he falls hopelessly in love with the beautiful creature.

Genre: Thriller and Suspense, Political Thriller
Publisher: Itoh Press
Release Date: March 18, 2013
Amazon Kindle | Amazon Print |Barnes & Noble
Book Description:
It’s the steamy summer of 2016 in Washington, D.C. just days before the Democratic National Convention. A long and painful recession has left ordinary Americans suffering, spawning the hottest Presidential Contest in history. Jack Canon, a man born into privilege, a witness to great social injustice is going to be President of the United States–no matter what! Desperate and corrupt, the leader of the free world orders a hit to slow him down. The plan backfires–the wrong people are dead–a manhunt points to the unthinkable–The President of the United States.

Rewind one year, Jack’s focus on redistribution of wealth and energy has made him powerful enemies. Once his friends, Rogue Billionaires, Oil Sheiks, the Mob, all want him gone. The current President wants him alive–thinking he can win against an unabridged liberal. A Universal Raw Nerve of wealth vs. poverty is exposed becoming a thrill ride as deep machinations of espionage, geo-politics and deception, even murder play out. Kind and charismatic, Jack’s just naughty enough to have you falling for him like one of his loving circle of loyal friends. Of course he’s flawed, a dedicated family man, faithful to one woman, but in love with two. Is it his fault his best friend is impossibly jaw dropping beautiful? Think the crime and passion of the Godfather meets the romance and innocence of Camelot. A story that could spark a movement, a book that can seed a revolution. A heart thumping climax so shocking you’ll pull the covers and draw the shades! One things for sure, through all the drama and suspense, you’ll be pulling for Jack!

Praise For Jack Canon's American Destiny:

"I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the type to read political novels, but I was surprised by Jack Canon's American Destiny. The book was so well written that I couldn't help but keeping reading." 
~A. Brantley, Amazon Reviewer

"Wow - Great Read and Insight into Politics!"
~The Bookworm

The only thing that gave me a worse vibe than these two was Gene’s taste in decorating. The ceilings were about 30 feet high and three walls held books up to about the first 15 feet, after which was a very large landing around three quarters of the room. The wall opposite the door was made up of five floor-to-ceiling arched windows. The bottom six feet of each had colonial muttons and were partially opened, allowing the outside winter cold to fight with the heat in the room. On the landings above the bookshelves were housed various artifacts of torture.
Gene saw me noticing, “These are from the collection of King Henry,” he boasted.
There were guillotines and stretching racks and other devices all made of aged wood and black iron. Some had big weathered chain links hanging from them and leather straps. There were black iron turning wheels, the sight was gruesome.
Gene motioned to a large axe with a semicircular blade and an unusually long, thick handle.
This is my prized piece of the entire collection – the axe used to behead Katherine, Henry’s youngest bride.” Mounted next to the axe, on a polished cherry post, was a scrap of parchment.
Next to it, carved in gold lettering over black onyx, was inscribed an onlooker. The parchment had faded to an almost illegible degree and was kept behind glass.
Gene said, “The onlooker’s account is sealed in helium, just like the Declaration of Independence, to preserve it. I’ve had it authenticated by historians, expert in the period.” The words were transferred onto the stone.
The eerie account told of the misty morning when the helpless fair-haired teenager, a mere girl, forced to lay under the weight of the wealth of England, was led to her death.
I read the inscribed: Queen Katherine emerged just before nine in the morning. A rain the night before had turned the courtyard muddy to our ankles. The streets containing the foul smell of chicken scratch and horse urine slurried into the mix. Gawkers’ pushed for position and strained to see the delicate fawn-like Katherine as she walked barefoot, clothed only in a very plain and simple linen dress. The exposed skin of her upper chest was so pale I could see the ghostly blue vein patchwork just beneath. The last time I had seen the young queen she was amazing, the most beautiful woman in all England.
Fancily dressed and bright, riding in an open coach smiling sweetly waving to her subjects, I fancied the thought our eyes might have met for a second.
Spill her blood!” A spectator called out. I thought, what cowards this mob, content to stand by and watch. Greedily clinging to their own lives–any one of which could be wrenched from him in a second.
This bitter gray morning, the little Queen made her way slowly up to the old worn wooden steps, pausing briefly, turning sad doe eyes back to the crowd. A pitiful thin waif of a child so helpless and demure, Katherine continued up the stairs carefully gripping the railing as if it were her mothers hand, that somehow she might be swept away from all this.
Once upon the platform, facing the crowd full on, her tiny limbs were exposed and pale, a simple dress hanging over her nearly shapeless frame. She wore no jewelry. Her one remaining vanity, long hair, perfectly combed. The henchman placed her firmly against the block and with a blank and helpless stare Katherine moved her beautiful locks to one side exposing her slender neck.
I waited for her to jump to her feet and scream out in defiance, “What have I done that your precious King isn’t guilty of?”
Laying her head sideways on the block, she awaited her fate in silence.
The black-hooded killer appeared to us like a giant standing over her. A moment before, even the handle of the axe and the blade had been taller than the living little queen. He drew back.
I heard the neck cracking then a thud as the girl’s head crashed to the platform floor. Steam rose from the blood pouring in a warm pool from the lifeless body slumped behind the block.
Gene Hobbs had acquired the only known account of the gruesome event; one can imagine that onlookers must have rushed to write on whatever they could find to recount the scene. The metaphor of the rich over the poor and the machinery of torture in the room made me shudder. Reading the narrative, I felt sickened by the horror of the day, for lost innocence and the tyranny of the time. What a waste of a beautiful young life; what a disgrace for England.

Jack Canon's Destiny
by Greg Sandora

Reviewed by Bikers With Books

The first half of the book gave a lot of the backstory. I found it intriguing to find out how Jack met his wife and learning about his family. I think the pace could have been set a little faster here, but I enjoyed it.

Halfway through the story, I felt like the author's voice changed, and there was a lot of bouncing back and forth, and I found myself having a difficult time following the actual storyline. The pace completely changed and I felt like the author was trying to push the story along.

Overall, I thought the story was good, but I think a lot could have been left out and maybe the author would have been better able to keep the pace set and not have lost his voice in the process.

I do like the premise behind the book and will definitely be checking out The Lady of the House, but Jack Canon's American Destiny only gets a quick ride, at 3.75.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Anti-Theist by Christopher Mallard

by Christopher Mallard

Author Bio

The majority of my adult life was spent working in the oilfields of west Texas. In my spare time I taught myself how to work on computers and eventually turned it into a small business which I work from home. What does any of this have to do with religion? Nothing. Where are my degrees in theology, biology, astronomy and philosophy? I don’t have any. I am your common average Joe and that’s exactly the type of reader I’m trying to reach. Does it take a degree in theology to open the bible and see the stories told within as being immoral and violent? Can the common man not see how the religions of the world have done and are still doing immeasurable harm to society?

Author Links

Genre: Religion, Philosophy
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Release Date: 5/15/2013
Purchase On Amazon


This book is the first in a series essentially arguing about the lack of abject morality of religion and its dangers. It’s broken down so each chapter is a topic on its own covering a variety subjects.

Excerpt #1

From Chapter 3 – Disproving God

It’s God’s lack of action, not his actions that disprove his existence. If prayer really worked there would be groups of theists (nuns, priests, imams, whatever) going from bed to bed in every hospital healing the sick. Of course there are religious people in hospitals going along praying for people but a doctor washing his hand before seeing his patients will do more for their survival rates than the prayers offered by their holy men. The evil God monster of Abraham is an all-powerful God and can do absolutely anything except give any type of viable proof of his existence.
Often times a theist will counter with the old ‘God works in mysterious ways’ or stammer on about how he’s not there for us to boss around and do our bidding in vain attempts to get him to prove himself to us but in reality it’s just a bunch of crap. Studies have shown that when sick people are prayed for by fervent believers they are more likely to be healed. Other, more scientific studies have shown that when you allow religious nutbags to carry out their own studies they tend to be skewed towards their religious beliefs. I’m absolutely confident that a prayer method of healing can never stand up to the simple rigors of repeatability.
It is absolutely amazing the wealth of proof to disprove God you can come up with when turning a keen eye upon the absence of God's presence. The millions of children who starve to death, are beaten to death or who are being raped throughout the world is each and every one a testament to the non-existence of a personal God, especially if those children and/ or their parents believe in one of the Abrahamic death cults. And to counter with the idea that God is calling those children who die such horrible deaths to heaven to be with him because he for whatever reason has suddenly decided heaven needs more children is disgusting and vile. If your God is able to ‘see all’ and watch these children die slow agonizing deaths over months or years due to starvation, malnutrition, rape and outright murder and do nothing or to be able to watch children be repeatedly raped by gangs of men and not smite the men on the spot then your God is either not real or quite malevolent. If you the reader were ever attacked by an adult as a child and an invisible hand didn’t swoop in to protect you then you know exactly what I mean. Many victims have often asked, ‘Where was god when x happened to me?’”

Review of Anti-Theist by Chris Mallard

Anti-Theist is a very interesting book that narrow-minded people would be afraid to read. Mr. Mallard brings up some excellent points, and ones you knew, but didn't realize it was a point that you weren't alone on.

I liked the truth behind the author's words and it really makes you take a second look at our belief system. I have to wonder even further now, is our world really more scientific than spiritual?

Mr. Mallard really opens ones eyes to the truth in the bible and the truth we were brought up to believe in. He doesn't preach his truth, trying to convert a person to Atheism, but enlightens you with the truth.

I thought this was a really well written book, and I loved how he stated the facts, listing the actual bible verse he was talking about, giving you his point of view on it then allowing for you to look it up and find out for yourself.

It's definitely a book that keeps your interest, but one you can't read in just one sitting. Because of the way we were brought up to believe, it's almost like a slap in the face with the actual truth. Sometimes you just have to take time to soak it in, think about things, look things up, and then you can continue.

I really enjoyed this book and will definitely keep it as a reference book to have on hand.