Review: The Girl From Spaceship Earth by Patricia Ravasio

The Girl from Spaceship Earth

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The true story of a life intertwined with the utopian ideas of an American genius.

A mind-blowing two-day interview with iconic futurist Buckminster Fuller in 1982 Chicago leads an overeager advertising copywriter to promise she’ll share his urgent messages with the world. She has no idea what she is getting herself into, scarcely understanding what he is talking about.

When his dire predictions come true on America’s worst day (9/11) she must face up to her commitment, which morphs into a fiery obsession thanks to unsettling discoveries about Bucky’s archives further confirming the truth of his warnings. Her outsized passions threaten her relationships and her sanity as she grapples furiously to bring his ideas back into the world.

This heartrending karmic tell-all memoir is about climbing out of comfort zones to find your own voice and make a difference in the world. It also gives readers a charming introduction to the ideas of a long lost genius you’ve probably never heard of.

Rating: 5-stars

Review: 

The Girl From Spaceship Earth is a true story. One that is rare. A man with things to share with the planet ends up giving only one live interview. The young female journalist, ends up breaking her promise. But when what he predicts comes true, she rushes to tell the world. By then, was it too late? Could life be saved? The story held a sad, heartbreaking, yet dangerous outcome. And still we see evidence of those predictions becoming reality. I was deeply engaged with this book. The pages made it impossible to stop reading. These are things our planet needs to hear. Read it, now!

Blog Tour: Play for Me by Celine Keating


Interview with Celine Keating

ULM: What inspired you to write your novel, Play for Me?

A train trip across Canada, a kind of concert in motion, jumpstarted the idea. I had begun studying classical guitar, which led to writing for music magazines. When I heard about the train ride and how several bands would be performing, jamming, and interacting with their fans, I decided it was something I just had to be part of and write about. It was quite an experience, and I found myself wanting to explore why music is so powerful for us and about obsession and hardcore fandom. To top it off, on the train I was berthed next to the leaders of two of the bands and had a front row seat to their very explosive romantic breakup – they became the models for my lead singer Blaise and her guitarist JJ. 

 ULM: What was it like creating the main character, Lily?

I actually based Lily in large part on my sister. Her twin daughters were going off to college and she was suddenly confronted with empty-nest angst and the realization thatshe had lost sight of her own needs through years of work and childrearing. I wondered,is it possible to reinvent yourself in middle age, to rediscover your own creative potential? In a way, Play for Me is a cautionary tale, especially for women, of what can happen if you lose touch with your deepest self.

ULM: Since your novel is around the central theme of music, what kind of music do you enjoy listening to? 

While I love most styles and kinds of music of music, my favorite is anything guitar-centric, whether rock, acoustic, classical, flamenco. I also really enjoy singer songwriters.

ULM: How would you describe your novel, using only three words? 

emotional, intelligent, honest 

ULM: How would you describe your other main character, JJ? 

 He’s charming, sweet, needy, super talented, and, ultimately, selfish.

ULM: What advice would you give to other writers?

I advise writing every day, even if just for 15 minutes. One trick I use if I’m stuck is to work off other writers. Sometimes I copy out entire passages I admire and then use that as a base to write something of my own. It’s a great way to improve technique. I also recommend joining a writing group – whether in person or online –for feedback, advice, and support. 

ULM: Do you have any future writing projects that you can share with us, readers?

I’m currently working on a new novel set in Montauk, Long Island, with a broad cast of characters. It’s about the conflicts and pressures – environmental and financial – on a beach/resort town.

ULM: What is it like being both a writer and editor? Which task would you say was easier? How long have you been an editor?

A very interesting question! I think it’s sort of right brain/left brain – both are creative in their way and both also require basic language skills, but overall, editing requires the analytic part of the brain while fiction depends on the intuitive and on the imagination. Happily editorial work doesn’t make the same kind of demands on me that fiction does –of invention and imagination. So they are complementary but very different. For me, editing is easier, because most of it can be learned, whereas fiction is an art, and any art relies on being able to tap into the deeper parts of the self and on honing one’s creativity and unique point of view—and how all of that works is something of a mystery! I’ve been an editor for decades. I started out in publishing as an editorial assistant and worked my way up through various editing jobs. Then I switched to magazine copyediting, and now I work as a freelancer. 

ULM: Being a music reviewer, would say that this had some influence on writing your novel, Play for Me? 

Yes, absolutely. I have been able to do many interviews with musicians for various articles and found their lives and struggles to be quite interesting. So I used a lot of that material in the novel. Also, in writing reviews one has to describe – to people who are listeners but not necessarily musicians – how music sounds. Finding the right descriptivewords and a way to put them together is a unique kind of challenge. The experience writing reviews really helped when I was trying to communicate how JJ’s music sounds to Lily so the reader can imagine it, and also to understand the profound effect the music has on her. 

 ULM: How did you become a music Reviewer?

 I find that pretty interesting. It’s not every day one hears about meeting a Reviewer of music. Breaking in to music reviewing is similar to breaking in to other writing for publications—with a query letter and your clips (already published work)—except that you are requiredto play an instrument yourself. I wrote a query letter to Acoustic Guitar magazine about a CD I wanted to review, and they accepted. After that they asked if I’d like to review for them regularly, and that led to longer pieces and to writing and reviewing for other places as well.

ULM: Where can readers find you and your work online?

 I’m at www.celinekeating.com and I’m always happy to hear from readers. Many of my stories and reviews are available, as well as excerpts from my novels.  


Synopsis:

International Book Award finalist in literary fiction

Indie Excellence Award finalist in fiction

USA Book Award finalist in fiction
“Keating combines the soul-searching of Eat, Pray, Love with the rock ’n’ roll fable of Almost Famous to create a novel of midlife crisis with music at its core.” —Booklist 
Middle-aged Lily impulsively joins a touring folk-rock band, leaving her job and marriage behind in an attempt to find a second chance at life, passion, and art.
It happens without warning: At a folk-rock show at her son s college, Lily becomes transfixed by the guitarist s unassuming onstage presence and beautiful playing and with his final note, something within her breaks loose. After the concert, Lily returns to her comfortable life an Upper West Side apartment, a job as a videographer, and a kind if distracted husband but she can t stop thinking about the music, or about the duo s guitarist, JJ. Unable to resist the pull of either one, she rashly offers to make a film about the band in order to gain a place with them on tour. But when Lily dares to step out from behind her camera, she falls deep into JJ s world upsetting the tenuous balance between him and his bandmate, and filling a chasm of need she didn t know she had. Captivating and provocative, Play for Me captures the thrill and heartbreak of deciding to leave behind what you love to follow what you desire.” (less)

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Play for Me by Celine Keating is a contemporary piece written mostly for women. I can feel the main characters’ emotions as the scenes played out…I also noticed that the writer’s book held her passion for music. Deep, entertaining, and well-told. As I followed the main character, Lily, I got lost within her story. She goes out doing what she loves and ends up entangled in her own problems. Decisions have to be made….and the consequences are intense. Making the novel’s atmosphere that more electrifying. Romance between two that shouldn’t occur, a marriage held by a strong, and destruction of her daughter’s life lay ahead. As I read through the pages and wasn’t sure what advice I would give to Lily. I felt her pain as the plot continued. Celine Keating has a way of luring readers like myself further into the book. 

Play for Me is exactly as it states and the options get harder as one wife slash mother tries living her life and balancing the old with the new. But as with reality, life has a way of knocking us back down to earth. Overall, great read for women everywhere. Easy to relate to and connect with the characters. 

Review: The Skeleton Code

Synopsis:

Early in life, we learn to exaggerate our positive personal qualities and hide or deny our failures and weaknesses. The Skeleton Code is a satirical and humorous look at the many ways we protect our public personas by closeting our personal secrets, an ultimately self-deluding way of life. As a parody of the self-help “success” genre, the book presents facetious strategies about how to cover up our silly and scandalous secrets before turning to The Skeleton Cure.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Skeleton Code by both Alla Campanella and Ken Massey is a great read. The book is a super neat way of getting the past to stay in the past. We are all human. Meaning we’re bound to make mistakes that keep us on edge if ever leaked. Both writers go through every step of addressing skeletons and how to move forward. Their advice and self-guide helps going through the process. Plus, there’s situation of skeletons inside that help us relate to our own skeletons. From there it makes us feel that we can take on the future and not be dragged downward by the mistakes. The help also leads readers into a more productive, positive, and engaging lifestyle. Limit future skeletons. Funny, well-written, and absolutely the best self-help book I have come across in a while. Overall, I recommend The Skeleton Code to readers worldwide. 

Review: Of Stillness and Storm




Synopsis:

It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream—reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. But while Sam treks into the Himalayas for weeks at a time, finding passion and purpose in his work among the needy, Lauren and Ryan stay behind, their daily reality more taxing than inspiring. For them, what started as a calling begins to feel like the family’s undoing. 

At the peak of her isolation and disillusion, a friend from Lauren’s past enters her life again. But as her communication with Aidan intensifies, so does the tension of coping with the present while reengaging with the past. It’s thirteen-year-old Ryan who most keenly bears the brunt of her distraction.

Intimate and bold, Of Stillness and Storm weaves profound dilemmas into a tale of troubled love and honorable intentions gone awry.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Of Stillness and Storm by Michele Phoenix is a stunning tale. The emotional journey is like a strong current taking readers deeper into the characters’ lives. Sad, heartbreaking, and silent. The pages bring to life one family’s struggles. They started out as one unit and then…into broken pieces. Only time will tell if they ever heal and become whole again. Michele Phoenix has created a beautiful heart wrenching masterpiece. The characters dilemmas are so real,that it’s frightening. Readers like myself will need a box of tissues nearby. A storm so powerful will drag readers into an unforgettable world. A mother’s love, a broken marriage, and an injured child are just the highlights to this story. Communication comes and goes. It left me wondering if the communication between the parents will ever connect once more like they used to…and what will happen if it doesn’t. Captivating, intense, and suspenseful. Of Stillness and Storm is indeed a wonderful novel. The title fits the tale like a glove. I couldn’t stop reading this book. I can’t wait to see what this talented writer brings next. Overall, I highly recommend it to readers worldwide. 

Review: Catch 26

 

Synopsis:

What if you could live your life all over again?

There’s just one catch…

Frannie Turner is a plain, middle-aged housewife married to Stanley, a self-absorbed retired dentist who hasn’t slept in her bed in years. No children to love and be loved by. No exciting career to look back on. Just loneliness and lost dreams. So when the mysterious new hairdresser in town offers her the chance to get everything she’s ever wanted, Frannie figures she has nothing to lose -except her soul. And surely, as a stunning twenty-six-year-old singleton in New York, finding true love within the stipulated year should be a piece of cake, not to mention a hell of a lot of fun!

But New York City is no place for the naïve, and Frannie will soon learn just how dangerous a deal with the devil can be…

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Catch 26 is an outstanding woman’s novel. Every woman will get a kick out of it. Aging, sex, finding love, and selling one’s soul to the devil. This read has it all. Instantly, I was able to connect with the leading female character. Her plights became my own as I continued turning the pages. Her life seemed lost. So lost that she landed right into the hands of the Devil himself.

Imagine being married to a man who doesn’t love back and one who shows how ugly age has made you turn into. This plus, having not ever really loved her husband, leaves Frannie in one of the strongest internal struggles that I have seen characters deal with…her wanting to be loved and to be pretty is strong. But the older she gets the more that fades.

Then fate decides to bring Frannie an alternative that she can’t resist. Catch 26 is about Frannie signing a contract to give up her soul to the devil. All for a chance to be young, fall in love and to have kids. But what if she can’t have kids? Or find love? Then, she will die a torturous death at the hands of the Devil. The events inside this entertaining page-turning read will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Laughing out loud moments to sexy love scenes to feeling fear. The ending of her contract is up and Frannie has yet to find the love of her life. Oh, she will find some men to like and maybe love but just when things go one way…a surprising twist pops up and readers are guessing again. Carol Prisant’s  writing is superb. I couldn’t get enough of the main character’s dilemmas. Her struggles were believable. Finding love is a gamble that may or may not be worth dying for…overall, I highly recommend this novel to all.

Review: The Launch

 

Synopsis:

How far would you go to make your dreams come true?

Watson Sinclair has only been in New York for a couple of hours and already he’s had a small accident in his car involving some distracting cleavage and an inconveniently-placed fruit stand. His best friend JC Dubois is a few blocks away kidnapping the editor of the Royal Features Syndicate. Watson has to pick them up and get back across the Canadian border safely with their prisoner. It didn’t have to be this way.

Watson and JC always wanted to be cartoonists for the daily papers. Their dreams came true when they received a syndication contract for their comic strip. But then months went by and legendary editor Ray Bennett stopped returning their calls. They were faced with a choice: give up and go back to their day jobs or consider drastic measures to get the job done. Like kidnapping Ray and taking over the launch of the strip themselves.

The plan is simple: drive to New York to take Ray and his laptop back to London. Give orders to Ray’s prick of an Assistant Editor. Keep Ray quiet and secure, convince his staff that he is working from home, and keep all this from their wives. They’ve got one week.

If they pull this off and execute a successful launch, their dreams are back on track. If they screw it up and get caught, they go to jail. Nothing like a little motivation.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Launch by Mark Victor Young is surprisingly the best humor adventure that readers will take. This was the first novel, I have read by this brilliant mastermind. His writing forces readers to keep turning the pages. Every page is filled with laugh-out-loud moments, suspense, and intrigue. Readers curiosity will kill them if they don’t read it until the last page. The Launch is freshly told with an air of drama, humor, and tight deadlines that might prove to be the very end for the characters or their new anticipated future they always dreamed of…

Inside, The Launch shows readers just how far some people are willing to risk everything to get what they always dreamed of…they have a plan. Everything is thought out…and all they have to do…is complete each step. If they fail…everything they know will fall apart. Two married men who fall into kidnapping and taking over the comic strips to get their comics published. The question is will it work out or will they fail? Mark Victor Young is a talented writer who brings readers an exciting and intoxicating thrill ride…The Launch. I loved it, and I highly recommend this story to all. I look forward to reading more by Mark Victor Young in the future. His work is indeed one I nor any other reader would want to miss.

 

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