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A Broken Childhood and A Broken Childhood II: Forgiveness
 by Lydia Ola Taiwo

 Two books that contain some of the most painfully true words you will
 ever read.

 Lydia Ola Taiwo is a survivor – a survivor of physical, mental
 and emotional abuse at the hands of those who should have loved and
 protected her.

 A Broken Childhood is the gut-wrenching story of Lydia’s
 childhood, and chapter after chapter describes what can only be
 called, the soul of a truly evil woman: her mother.

 Lydia was a child that never experienced a hug, a mother’s kiss,
 a welcoming embrace. There was no one to dry her tears, allay her
 fears, or hold her hand. She was a child who grew up watching other
 children take for granted the love and care she never had.

 Thrown on the floor, her teeth broken, her body cut and scarred from
 the wire used to whip her, Lydia knew anger, depression, even thoughts
 of suicide. But within her, she found a glimmer of strength, an inner
 resolve to pull her through the darkness. Incredibly, she came to
 forgive her parents and now her life has become a light for others to

 “Sorrow may last the night but joy comes in the morning. There
 is always a light at the end of the tunnel. However, many people give
 up too soon and do not get out. Many people end up dead. And yet, if
 you are successful in getting out then what else can you do but
 forgive? That is what I had to do to be able to move on with my life.
 I thank God that the latter part of my life is far happier than I
 could have ever imagined and this is because I have forgiven all those
 who have hurt me.” Lydia Ola Taiwo

A Broken Childhood and A Broken Childhood: Forgiveness not only
 chronicle terrible abuse, but are books that will inspire, guide and
 lead you to a better place.

It seems today there is an epidemic of abuse in many forms. The worst form is child abuse. The victim is small, easily intimidated, easy to manipulate, easy to harm. The abuser is a bully, and bullies always pick on the victim least likely to fight back. The most egregious abusers are parents.
Author Lydia Ola Taiwo knows about the worst of these - the parents, for they are the ones who abused her. A childhood spent in fear of a parent coming home, fear of footsteps coming down the hall, fear of what pain would be inflicted next.

In her book, A Broken Childhood, Ms. Taiwo gives personal and intimate details of a life lived as a victim. Often harrowing, and always gut-wrenching to those of us who value their children more than their own life.

Readers however will be delivered from the darkness, much as the author has been. Hers is not a self-deprecating story. Lydia's story is about overcoming the odds, of showing herself and others how to rise above some of the worst odds a child could face and succeeding. She succeeds on so many levels readers will find themselves cheering her on and perhaps a few readers will find their own ladder out of the darkness from her words.

Fascinating New Novel by Mingmei Yip

Chinese born author Mingmei Yip has brought China to life for millions of readers. Her books portray an authentic China and a culture that many only know from Hollywood movies. She uses women characters to tell her stories and these women give wonderful layers of depth to her prose.

Many of her books focus attention on the "courtesans" and their lot in life - sometimes good, sometimes bad, often emotionally brutal if not physically.

Her novels speak of longing, of love and of roads not taken. In Song of the Silk Road, her character if offered a three-million dollar reward for taking a journey. This journey however, is not without stipulations and in the process of traveling an entire new lifetime is born.

Mingmei's own life could be a literary classic -- from her days in China to her immigration to the United States in 1992, her family history reads like a thriller novel. A grandmother in the running a Pepsi-Cola factory in the hey day of Vietnam, rubbing elbows with the world's power brokers. Her mother leaving for eight years, her father gambling away family fortunes.

In her latest book, The Nine Fold Heaven she follows a young woman, Camilla. She is abandoned at an orphanage at the age of four and is plucked out of there to be trained as an assassin by one of the most notorious gangs in Shanghai. Camilla is a spy, a singer, a lover, and finally a mother, going through multiple metamorphosis' throughout the book.

While the gang initiation was strong, they were never able to completely subdue her emotions, like they were other inductees. Camilla always had that spark of love buried very deep and when her child is born the floodgates of emotion are released. She will do anything to get her child back and to find a safe haven for them.

Giving a great insight into Chinese culture and bursting many stereotypes along the way, Ms. Yip gives the reader a deep, moving, sometimes sensual, sometimes heartbreaking glimpse into Asian society.
Mother of Mercy by Lee Charles will make your skin crawl, make you leave on a few lights in the darkness, and leave you wanting him to make this a series. For thriller and mystery fans, this book will leave you guessing until the very end.

Jaded police officers Carl Kercheval and Sam O 'Malley play off each other like a favorite pair of worn gloves. Although this is a thriller with a serial killer, the interplay between characters gives readers the occasional smile. Even secondary characters, have depth and dimension, and you'll find yourself rolling your eyes, and banging her head on the table right along with them.

Catholic priest Father Newman, is asked to join the police task force as he is not only a Catholic priest, but also a psychologist. His heart however, has some dark places, and his emotions are bubbling just below the surface, lending much more tension to the book.

The serial killer at the center of Mother of Mercy didn't just happen, he was made. Readers are taken along his path until he snaps by "diary" style entries from the killer, giving readers a gruesome insight into his shadowed mind. There are lots of dropped 'clues', but this serial killer is smart, and he hides in plain sight. He kills, tortures and abuses out of a skewed sense of love and redemption. He completely believes what he is doing is the work of the Blessed Virgin. Although he absolutely hates what he does, but knows he is victims only way to forgiveness and redemption. He is saving their souls from damnation.

There is abundant religious symbolism mixed into the book. You won't find the historic or in-depth analysis here like you would in a Dan Brown book, what you will find is reality. These cops have find out fast what the symbols mean or it will cost more young women their lives.
Set in Wilmington, Delaware, the story is rich with place, and detailed in character. You can call it a thriller, or a mystery, I just call it a darn good read.
The Mind of War is a novel that focuses the readers mind through a prism of life in the Army and to the war zone that follows.

It is written without constraint, with brutal scenes, explicit language and amazing depth. Author Sid Gould might be a helluva soldier, but he has a true calling as an author. Mr. Gould recalls briefly his moments as a youngster in Australia, and his passion about a family legacy of service.

He narrates a story of Army life, sergeants intent on killing you or keeping you alive, bar fights, tattoos and all those 'normal' things many civilians associate with soldiers. What the reader also gets is the gut-wrenching truth about war, sacrifice, and honor.

From Gould's first days in the desert he is assigned to Army War Graves Duty, where he is charged with filling body bags and the only identifier of a soldier is dog tags. He details the pain of seeing comrades killed by friendly fire, the depth of darkness in the desert and the primal instincts that are necessary to survive war.

With uncluttered adjectives, Gould takes the reader from the desert and unfathomable graves duty to the streets of Cyprus, the Falklands, and Northern Ireland. Explaining in humble prose how soldiers can't always save the innocent, even themselves.

The Mind of War lets those who are not soldiers understand how painful and probing their well-intentioned questions are and perhaps gives them an education of how asking nothing can be the best gift.

The return of a soldier to a world no longer his, to no hero's welcome and to a mind of images no one can make disappear, The Mind of War will give non-soldiers an emotional journey, and give those who have experienced the hell of war some solace and connection in his words.

A Fun Read on the Horrors of Middle School

Middle school is hard enough, but when Hal finds out that his dream of getting his very own room can only happen if he gets a good grade on an assignment he works hard to make the grade. But, no one said middle school would be easy!
Hal must write in his journal which will be put into a time capsule and opened years into the future. Hal sets out to warn whatever alien, humanoid or robot may live in that distant future of the perils of middle school. What he accomplishes is to get himself a new nickname: Cartboy and learn lessons the hard way.

This book is reminiscent of Diary of a Wimpy Kid with middle school woes, the kid’s point of view, illustrations and loads of laughs. What would a middle school boy tell the people of the future? Believe me, you’re going to want to know. LOL
I would recommend the book to ages 8 and up. The drawings are charming to hilarious and Hal’s voice will tickle more than your funny bone!

You can find out more about the book here- www.lacampbellwriter.com

breaking17 year old Ember Miller is wanted by the morality police because she was born out of wedlock, and because she escaped the reformatory where the government police threw her to be re-programmed. Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons takes a look into the not-too-far future after a long, hard war turns the government into a totalitarian run, Nazi-like country where citizens fear retribution even for new laws that are made retroactive.

In this second book of the Article 5 series Ember has escaped the government run reformatory where life was about being brainwashed and terrorized. On the run with Chase, her neighbor and first crush, and the young man who helped arrest both Ember and her mother, she is torn between an old life and this new, harder outlaw life.

Breaking Point is face paced and gritty, probably not for young adults under thirteen. There’s death, murder, torture and romance in the backdrop of a terrifying potential future.

The author’s voice is crisp and powerful. You really feel for each of the characters and what they are going through. The sense of injustice is overpowering and you feel yourself nearly becoming Ember as you grown angry, despondent, sad, empowered and a wide variety of other emotions on a roller coaster of events as she discovers herself and her place in this new life.

You can find out more on the author’s website at www.kristensimmonsbooks.com. Oh! And there’s a book trailer for it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2qs8v_S9jo

What a Nightmare! A real one. A girl who is half human, half Nightmare. 16-year old Dusty Everhart feeds on nightmares, when she’s not attending school and drooling over hunky Eli Booker. So when she ends up having to feed on Eli’s nightmares she’s so embarrassed. But, Eli’s nightmares of murder start to come true and Dusty must help him, without giving herself away.

The premise is so fresh, so unique and the author’s writing is fantastic. It’s one of those books you can’t wait to get back to while you’re going about your day. It’s fun, there’s some romance of course and a great mystery. The book is not too intense, but it’s engaging and interesting.

Soul Speak The Language of Your Body

For those of us who believe that there is a higher power, energy and that we can learn to control or harness that energy and use it, this book is a must-read!

The author was in the medical field and the book reflects a very organized, logical and helpful instruction and information delivery.
I suggest you check out this podcast where the author of this book talks about what she does, why she wrote the book and you get a really clear picture of the kind of person she is.

There’s no doubt that the metaphysical and the physical intertwine.  This book is for people serious in learning about being in touch with your higher self and using your power to heal, listen to your body and be in touch with your soul.


Samurai Arts -Dark World
Circle of Seven

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