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WHAT OUR READERS ARE SAYING . . .
I took at once to the heroine, Destiny, who is born, along with a twin brother of considerably less power - though with an equally strong will - to a mother who comes from a long heritage of sirens.
While Destiny is a siren, her brother is a demon. She loves him, though she knows too well that while she is motivated by a genuine desire for good - along with a fairly healthy ego, that is, and a strong sex drive, that is – Dustin is motivated by a will to destroy.
This evil in Dustin is made worse by the fact that he feels unloved –his mother is disappointed in him, for as a boy he shows no particular talents and an unappealing streak of malevolence – while she is justly proud of her daughter. Not only that, but the siren family has a secret enemy in a disinherited part demon who covertly strives to undermine them through his influence on the boy; and the bitter, rebellious Dustin, an under achieving male in a dynasty of strong females, makes for an apt pupil.
Destined, as her name indicates, to be one of the strongest of the sirens of her family, the heroine is as strong and independent as befits a girl growing up in the early twentieth-first century; she is also both kind and family oriented. She is quite simply great hearted.
This is a heroine who, besides her occult powers, is lovely, an outstanding scholar, aided by her eidetic memory, a gifted musician, witty, sensual, cultured and morally aware – but never for one second does she come across as a ‘Mary Sue’. She faces all the feelings of angst, and loneliness and is as tormented by the family conflict by which she is surrounded as any human girl. Her older relatives scold her and take her for granted.
Worse, Destiny seems unable to find true love. She can have any man she likes – that is one of the powers of the siren – but there is a caveat: ‘as long as she likes him dead’.
Destiny dreads this generational curse; she knows that even her devout Grandmother, rebel against her sirenhood –has caused deaths; love, sex and reproduction for the siren must not be mixed: reproduction itself is hazardous, for a male siren is never strong and admirable.
When Destiny does find true love – after many hilarious sexual adventures - this problem becomes truly urgent for her.
Meanwhile, the story moves through the battle between the twins over the fate of the family’s property empire – is it to be used for good or evil? The tensions mount as the story moves to its inexorable climax of violence and sorrow.
Here are a few of my favourite quotes: -
‘ “Death has no impact on character. I’m still insanely jealous, although I’m no longer vain…”Well, at least the afterlife produced some degree of self-awareness.”’
‘Both evil and its antidote reside in the human heart. The best part is, the antidote can be presented as a gift’
‘I wish there was a book I could refer him to, with a title like ‘Emotional Intellgience for Paranormals’.
‘Grammie used to punish Mama with the silent treatment, and once an entire year had gone by without their speaking to each other…’
There are many more excellent quotes. I recommend this book to all fantasy lovers who want a strong heroine and love a laugh. I’m looking forward to the sequel.
I couldn’t put it down. It is paced perfectly. What a terrific read!! Bradford Snell, former Senate investigator; author, The Streetcar Conspiracy: How GM Deliberately Destroyed Public Transit
Gripping! Leon Robertson, Ph.D., author, Injury Epidemiology
“Coyle’s Folly” is a great read – hugely entertaining and enlightening to a public generally unaware of the devious misbehaviour of big business. Kelley knows his ground well. Douglas Stewart, international attorney, author, The Brutal Seas: Organized Crime at Work
An exceptional piece of work and a thoroughly enjoyable read. Keven Liles, trial attorney, Watts Law Firm
Two thumbs up! Donald Slavik, trial attorney, SlavikLaw.com
Wonderful! Keep ‘em coming! Susan Baker, MPH, founding director, Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy
Everyone faces grief at one point or another in her or his life. But how to handle it? Here, Elissa Bishop-Becker draws on her own experience to help others with an effective approach known as Transformative Bereavement. Walking the reader through the four stages -- Loss, Return, Reconnection, and Creation -- she draws on stories from her clients, friends, and contacts to explain the process of recovery from grief.
"The Grief Spiral changed the way I think about bereavement. As a professor in the College of William & Mary counseling program, I would recommend this book to all of my students as a supplementary text and to all my friends as a guide to dealing with life’s many changes. It is full of wisdom and experience, a must for anyone who is alive!"
“The journey travels a winding path which turns around on itself and appears to backtrack at times. Yet, the Transformative power of this journey can leave one in a mature and energized place that redefines one’s relationship with the lost person (or situation) and provides a renewed outlook and calling in life.”
“Elissa Bishop-Becker in her book, Loss and Growth. The Grief Spiral, shares her philosophy of transformation based on her own story of loss, which touched my soul at a very deep level. She is an inspiration of how she found meaning on what happened to her, and transformed her life into growth. Because her purpose is to bring awareness to our ability to choose how we respond to losses, Elissa invites the reader to shift their paradigm and to embrace loss as a transformative process, through insightful exercises and empowering techniques. As you navigate throughout the pages of this valuable book, you will also be inspired to embrace loss as a meaningful and transformative experience.”
After experiencing multiple losses until her world was unrecognizable, Elissa Bishop-Becker returned to school and received her M.Ed. from the College of William and Mary in 2000. Elissa is a Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor, and co-founder of the Center for Transformative Counseling in Key West. What she is most proud of is having guided many grieving clients through the process, helping them find meaning in their new world.
Like A Rolling Stone
– Melissa Barraza, Key West
"A sweet and kind and lovely little book full of nostalgia.”
–Ricky King, England, UK
"Your book is great – it’s so nice to set some time aside and slide back into the 1960s. The actual girl in the tree house was a big surprise!
A very good basis for a screenplay."
– Dr. Ray McKnight. Key West
"This book made me feel like I was in the company of an old friend. It captures the spirit of the sixties when it was safe then to pick up hitchhikers and to sleep overnight out in a field in an automobile. The author manages to capture the spirit of a time and place Overall that electric-blue Plymouth takes us on a great romp while a certain innocence pervades the wrongdoing. This is a funny and sometimes touching book that will specially appeal to the sixties generation and to anyone who appreciates a story well told. I loved it. It Great work.”
– Terry Berkson, author of “Corvette Odyssey”
“It's a non-stop revisit to a wonderful time. The journey and its surprise ending left me wanting more about those Ohio girls!
I really loved this book.”
– Norman Blumenthal, formerly, Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich
“Bravo: Palpable friendship wells up within me after finishing your delightful tale of a young Mark Howell's dance on life in the glorious 60's."
– Ron Hignight, Florida Keys
“Thanks for the read. It’s a lot of fun and who doesn't love a road-trip story?”
–Holly Frederick, Curtis Brown Literary Agency
“A wonderful coming of age story set against the wild backdrop of the 1960s. Mark Howell's narrative is crisp and clean and
If you want a fast and fun read, this will take you back to simpler times and make you feel good about it!
– Billy Craig, Indiana
"Mark Howell catches the innocence and hope of a time undimmed by cynicism.The sixties generation had it good.
We had choice. We were even listened to by the government. Not so much now! On with the next book….
– Piers Ford-Crush, London, UK
" Delicious storytelling."
– Lynne O'Hara, Vermont
"Mark Howell, former Key West newspaper editor and columnist, has produced a delightful book published by New Atlantian Library.
A trip, literally and figuratively, it's a based-on-memory story that tells of a wild ride cross-country and is a marvel of research.
Howell’s wonderful book leaves a good deal to the reader’s imagination, especially in the denouement. It's really fun and highly recommended.
— Connie Gilbert in Konk Life
Kidnapped in Key West
Key West Green
The Underhanded Stitch
The Butterfly Tattoo
| Webley .45 and Other Short Stories|
Our classmates continue to write books of a wide variety and easily available through the major outlets of the publishing industry … Chip Simpson’s book is titled Webley .45 and Other Short Stories. Chip is a former Marine who served in Vietnam and became a career diplomat. His short stories are well drawn and faithful to the genre. Remember that Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Conrad produced memorable short stories in addition to their novels. A good short story can be a jewel in its own special way.
Dartmouth Alumni Magazine
Class Notes 1962