Category Archives: book review

Giving Props To A New Tribe of Memoirists


Hello Authors and Happy Friday! So, I popped over to visit my good friend, RODEO CARLSON’s murder & mayhem mystery books site, only to find out she has a new book on the horizon, amid everything else going on over there. There are personal blog insights, pic of mouth-watering culinary eats, online classes forming and free stuff to boot. I downloaded an editorial calendar for authors and plan on putting it to good use 🙂 Rodeo, you rock! Just sayin’

Go here to see what I’m talking about~http://rodeocarlson.com/

Today I’m giving props to a new tribe of memoir writers by celebrating their author status , with a focus being on the memoir. I feel like it takes courage, true grit and a passion for other people to turn your life story or particular slice of your life into a memoir.

Without further ado, here are a few of the authors I’ve come to know through their voice, blogs and personal stories. Remember I’ve been doing this book/writers blog for a minute and couldn’t shout out everyone I’ve connected with, but just know you’re doing the thang!

Congratulations going out to:

Lynette Davis at reflectionsbook.org for Even Rain Is Just Water: A Memoir. Coming: Summer 2016

Mary Perez at Reflections From The Heart, maryaperez.com Running In Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace

Darlene Greene at www.inamaegreene.org for Blood Relatives: Breaking the Cycle; Breaking the Silence

Nine Rubies by Mahru Ghashghaei

Kathleen Pooler at Memoir Writers Journey –krpooler.com for Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse

Mandy Smith at healingbeyondsurvival.com for Secrets in Big Sky Country: A Memoir

Pat Mckinzie at pattymackz.com/wordpress/ for Home Sweet Hardwood: A Title IX Trailblazer Break Barriers Through Basketball

Chris Thrall at christhrall.com/blog for Eating Smoke

 Linda Diane Wattley at http://www.lindadianewattley.com/  for Soldier With A Backpack: Living And Dying Simultaneously.

Ms. Faith Elle Walls at http://www.msfaithelle.com/ for Ten Lessons My Mother Taught Me Before she Died

Karen Tyrrell at www.karentyrrell.com
for Me & Her: A Memoir Of Madness

Thanks for sharing your memoir with me via interviews, book reviews and PR requests. Either by hook or crook, we connected and I appreciate the experience. I’m sharing the cover of your books below.

 

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A Progress Report And Book Recommendation


Happy Friday, Wordsmiths! I can’t believe it’s the end of the week already. Seems like I was celebrating another “Born” day, just yesterday.
Oh well, like sand from an hourglass so are the days of our lives. I confess, I’ve wanted to use that quote from the popular soap for the longest time 🙂

I have a bit of news to share with my wonderful readers, along with a book recommendation. First, allow me to take you back to the Summer of 2014 when I shared that my poem, Brown Girl Challenge, had been selected for inclusion in the Michele Obama anthology.

I recently received an email from the authors of the anthology; Rose C. Thevenin, Paula Marie Seniors and Michelle Duster, who is the great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells, by the way. Well,  It’s a green light, people. The authors found a publisher for their book!

The title of the book is “But I Went, I Did Fine” – Michelle Obama: From the Southside to the White House.  How The First Lady Impacted and Inspired African American Women and Girls
I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it! Okay, so…just sayin’ though. 🙂
This is the book I highly recommend for y’all  to put on your 2016 reading list:
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 Soldier With A Backpack: Living And Dying Simultaneously, by Linda Diane Wattley, begins with the horrific molestation of a little  girl.  At the age of four, Linda is taken from  the comfort of her bed in the middle of the night. She is carried to her parent’s bed and sexually assaulted by her father. I’m reading this and I’m crying, literally breaking down… I cry for that little girl and for every little boy/girl child who have endured the trauma of sexual abuse .
The author guides us through the dysfunction of a family and the suffering that follows a child whose innocence is taken. She shares informative and enlightening messages on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, affecting those who  are traumatized by sexual abuse and other traumatic experiences, like our military men and women.
 There’s never been enough information about post traumatic stress disorder. As a young nurse in the 80s, I witnessed doctors who were baffled by patients suffering  from PTSD. The cases were rare and treatment questionable at best. Doctors only resolution at the time, seemed to be strong sedation and wrist and ankle restraints. I applaud the insights  the author shares about PTSD in her book.
Go here to visit the author’s website: http://www.lindadianewattley.com/
Go here to purchase a copy for your reading enlightenment: https://www.amazon.com/author/lindadianewattley https://www.facebook.com/Lindadianewattleywww.lindadianewattley.comproduct/B015QP2WEK?ref_=k4w_ss_details_rh

 

Quote for today:
If you want to change the world pick up your pen and write – Martin Luther King Jr.
Peace, Blessings and Prayers…

 

Two New Book Releases To Kick Off Your New Year


thdog readingHappy Friday, Creatives!

So, we’re in the middle of those dog days of winter and by the way, Happy New Year 2016! I hope you’re not letting the cold melancholy and sluggish weather keep you from your creative juices! If you can’t write at the moment, at least do a good deed for someone and read a book or two.

Dontcha know, some of my best friends are  readers. “Ruff”

Speaking of the latter, I have two new books by two different authors  that landed on my desk recently, that I think y’all might like.  Although, I’m not in the zone to do book reviews, right now, I keep receiving these amazing books. Never look a gift horse in the mouth!

indext the vicious cycle I read The Vicious Cycle over the holidays and it is an awesome true life account of one woman’s mission to re-educate and prepare inmates about the reality of the real world, once they’re released from prison. This book is based upon the author’s real experiences coming from living that life.

For more information about the author, feel free to visit her social media sites:

TargetEvolution.org

The second book is one I hope to read when time allows because the subject matter seems more aligned to my purpose brand. Here’s a snippet from A Monk’s Way:

n9q5_bookcoverart_1“Insightful and at times enlightening, “A Monk’s Way,” posits an alternative to blindly following the conventional dogma of organized religion and presents readers with the tools to ultimately cultivate a more meaningful relationship with a higher power.”

For more on this author visit www.clarkeide.com and follow him on Twitter @clark_eide.

I receive many books from public relations people, on behalf of their clients, either looking for a review or offering an author interview. In most cases, I will offer the author space on Clara’ writer’s blog to promote their work and also give y’all an opportunity to read these books. I know, sowing those seeds girl, sowing those seeds!

Are you a relative new author, having difficulty selling your books with folk in your inner circle? If you are, I invite you to join the conversation happening on Friday the 15th, where the topic asks the question:

“Are authors being supported by their friends and colleagues in their book sales? If not, why not? ” Seasoned authors we value your input and want to hear your take on the subject as well.

Send your responses to clarawriter@att.net to be included in the conversation.

Today’s writer quote:

“My urge to write is an urge not to self-expressionism but to self-transcendence. My work is both bigger and smaller than I am.” — Susan Sontag

My Experience As A Beta Reader


Are you in the market for a Beta Reader? Let’s discuss terms.

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Good morning! When a writer and new author asked me to be a beta reader for her memoir recently, first of all I was honored and second of all, I wondered what the heck had I gotten myself into for agreeing to do such an important task.

Needless to say, the experience was a win/win for both parties. A Beta Reader is a person who brings a clear set of eyes to the manuscript to look for typos, grammatical errors,  confusion, cohesive mishaps and overall reader likability , before the author sends it off to an editor for final proofing, or places it in the hands of a publisher.

My experience led me to read a great slice of authentic storytelling, offer my unbiased opinion and help out a colleague who needed an honest evaluation of her memoir.

As a book reviewer with over a decade of writing reviews under my belt, I didn’t feel like l was heading for uncharted waters, however, the temptation to avoid book reviewer “critique” mode was hard to suppress. Luckily for me, the author didn’t chastise me for suggesting areas where she might want to tweak a phrase or two:)

Anyone can read a finished manuscript to give honest feedback to its author. Your family members and friends might not be your best choices as they most likely wouldn’t want to hurt your feelings. However, other writers, colleagues and people from your online connections would make good beta readers. Becoming a Beta Reader can also be a lucrative career move for the savvy freelance writer.

thbaby read  What are your thoughts on beta readers and would you recommend this route for authors with completed manuscripts, before publication? If you have served in this capacity, feel free to share your experiences with us.

What I’m Reading For A Holiday Amazon Review


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I will be reading Kathy Pooler’s new memoir, Ever Faithful To His Lead, for an upcoming holiday review at Amazon.com, courtesy of Story Cartel where you sign up to receive free books for review. I’m one of those long time members who always come back to pursue great reading material when time permits- I promise to get the review done! Go here if you’re interested in joining Story Cartel. https://storycartel.com/?awt_l=OcCo.&awt_m=3lB3fBnhAInXk5r

Also, if you’re in the spirit of continued inspirational reading material and gratitude, make sure to pick up my short ebook to read this holiday season on your Kindle or from Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/Authentic-Woman-Story-Clara-Freeman-ebook/dp/B008FF6BH8

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-authentic-woman-story-clara-freeman/1111834210?ean=9781623092276

Happy Holidays!

Always “Treat yourself special!”

A Spartan Up! Review


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Hello All! I trust everyone is enjoying the weather? Here’s my Amazon review of Spartan Up! By now you know what the cover looks like:) I hope you are encouraged to make fitness a part of your daily routine maybe not under such extremes? Your choice.

Spartan Up! A business brand that, according to its founder, offers challenging twists to running marathons and triathlon that are more beneficial than the ‘norm’. Before you can even participate in a Spartan Race, you have to sign a waiver indicating that you are knowingly and freely putting your life at risk in order to push yourself beyond your limitations and ultimately bask in the aftermath of accomplishing your goals, and get physically and mentally strong in the process.
These races are based for the most part on the Military modules of training and follows treacherous and calculating obstacle courses in order to test a participant’s endurance under pressure. The Spartan races are not just for men. Women and children participate in these events as well, only they are less challenging for children.
Joe De Sena is the author and founder of Spartan Up! He states he’s probably been called everything from maniac to sadistic to suicidal. I didn’t read anything about his being called slightly egotistical, but that was probably an oversight.
The benefits to becoming a Spartan are detailed in the book. The objective of the race is to get people off their butts and away from their comfortable and sedentary lives of `normal’ everything, including food and technology.
And, to push them to experience the real world through becoming a Spartan and obtaining fitness and optimum health through the wilds of Mother Nature and treacherous obstacles courses you never see coming.
The book is informative, encouraging, motivates the under-motivated and it has a great section on the benefits of consuming organic and nutritional foods.

Recently, I was in the Author’s Chair at Patti Smith’s blog. You can see it here: http://gridirongrannyfootballfanatic.blogspot.com/2014/05/have-seat-clara-freeman.html#comment-form

I will be on hiatus for the month of June. Thanks for visiting:)

Upcoming Review of Spartan Up!


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Alright, I have to be honest. I’m in the process of reading Spartan Up! for clara54’s next book review and I’m hearing a little birdie going , “Is this crazy or what?!” According to the author and founder of this obstacle race, people have undoubtedly called him sadistic, crazy and even suicidal but every weekend thousands of people participate in this race.

This is the book of Joe De Sena, founder of The Spartan Race and I hope to finish it for review (fair and impartial one) for my readers. In the meantime, I leave you with this bit of digestion; all participants in the race must sign a waiver acknowledging fully, knowingly and freely that they accept all risks, both known and unknown before they’re allowed to join the race. Hmm- is there a method to this madness?

Have a safe and memorable Memorial Day weekend. I hope to see everyone on next Friday for my review of Spartan Up!
Feel free to stop by and share your comments about the author, the race and the book.