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“Secrets in the Sky”: A Review of Imagine That: The Magic of the Mysterious Lights by George Yuhasz

  “Secrets in the Sky”: A Review of Imagine That: The Magic of the Mysterious Lights by George Yuhasz. Illustrated by Egle Bartolini (Outskirts Press, 2019). ISBN: 978-1-9772-0267-3 Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world .—Albert Einstein Human beings have always been Starwatchers. Skygazers. From stone calendars like Stonehenge to elaborate cosmologies and creation mythologies involving the Moon and Sun to the personification of the constellations as humans and animals, humankind has been fascinated with the Sky from the very start of our journey here on Earth. Pictographs in ancient caves are the first Sky Stories. The procession of the constellations marked the cycles of both agriculture and religion, giving birth to countless rituals and traditions. There is also a fascination with the Sky at work in the lives of Dreamers and Visionaries. A child who is labeled one or the other is also referred to as a Skylarker, a

“An Innovative Twist on Epic History”: A Review of Immortal Alexandros (Book Four of the Ptolemaios Saga), by Alexander Geiger

   (Ptolemaios Publishing and Entertainment LLC, 2021). ISBN: 978-0-09892584-8-7 It’s always interesting to read the end of a main character’s arc, rather than its start (David Chase’s The Sopranos ). We meet in Immortal Alexandros an Alexander the Great whose cumulative battle wounds (including numerous blows to the head) lead him to paranoia, violence with staff, and a relentless march to the Mediterranean over seven years. As age, disease, harsh environments, and constant battles decimate his army, I reflected on the “Myth of the Great Man” that’s caused suffering and death throughout human history. Immortal Alexandros presents a historically accurate physical world, with immersive descriptions of open-air markets, harems, battlefields, the Hindu Kush, and other locations. Equally immersive are descriptions of Zoroastrianism, military tactics, and medicinal techniques. Like William Hurt’s accent in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village , I found the language at first to be too mo

“Your World is What You Make of It”: A Review of Ronin Cleans His Room like a Ninja, by Chris Roy, illustrated by Lucas Romão

   (HRPR Blackberry Publishing, 2021). ASIN: B09FKTCVZP When I was a boy, I was lucky enough to have a giant finished basement in which to play. My grandfather, a talented wood-worker, made my brother and me a big toy box (you had to be careful, because if you didn’t lock the hinges, the heavy lid came down on your head while you were digging to the bottom for some action figure you needed RIGHT NOW). After a long day of active imagination and deep-immersion play (which I never outgrew: I am a writer, actor, and content creator), it was then time to clean up. Uh-oh! What a mess! Hundreds of toys spread throughout the room and my Dad on his way home from another long, frustrating day at work. Suddenly, it was a shift from the free-reign of imagination to the discipline of having to follow the rules in a hurry. My solution? I would take two of my father’s barstools (the cool kind, with circular seats that swiveled) and drag them over to the toy box. Instant garbage truck! I would p

“Ghosts Must Tell Their Stories”: A Review of Tainted Harvest (Simone Doucet Series Book 1) by E. Denise Billups

(Next Chapter, 2021). ASIN: B096M2H3PP If I’ve learned anything in my 11 years as a paranormal investigator, it is that a high percentage of hauntings are the result of a ghost—a sentient being with emotions, moods, and wants—who needs to tell their story. The reasons vary… unresolved issues, revealing a secret, acknowledgment, and the seeking of justice are the major motivations, with the last being the subject of this review. Tainted Harvest is a ghost story in the grand tradition. It takes as its time and place (in addition to the present) the Deep South during the U.S. Civil War. Cities in the South (Savannah, Charleston, Harper’s Ferry) owe their atmosphere and personality to the aftermath of the war and the stain of slavery. Their navigation of the history of slavery and Jim Crow alongside the tourism industry has been the subject of countless academic studies. The ghosts of slaves and the oppressed are everywhere. In the North, Civil War–era hauntings tend to be contained t

A Review of Spirit of a Rising Sun by K R Galindez.

  The Spirit of a Rising Sun , by K. R. Galindez, is a Game of Thrones–style fantasy adventure maintaining a brisk pacing of action and intrigue within a well-built story world full of rich detail. The (s)hero of the story is Oyza, daughter of a minister and main foil for the villainess, Liviana, an ambitious warrior-ruler known as Blacklance. At the opening of the story, Oyza is in a dungeon and Liviana is the reason. In the dungeon, Oyza meets Yars, a thief and witchdust addict with a taste for rum (think Disney’s Aladdin for adults). Yars is the charming, reluctant hero archetype, the drunken rogue whom the heroine with high ideals slowly molds into shape in time for the big battle. The world of the book is rich and complex, with its own book titles, oaths, different ages and epochs, and snippets of languages and songs. The countries are all at war with one another or uneasy allies, and their ministers and priests are each making political power moves within the countries the

“An Inspiring Story for Us All”: A Review of Bald is Beautiful: A Letter for a Fabulous Girl by Carola Schmidt; Illustrated by Dian Ovieta

    (2021). ISBN: 978-1-985021730 Carola Schmidt, a pediatric oncology pharmacist and author of several children’s books, including others on cancer, brings hope and passion to all of her works. She has been on the front lines and has used both her expertise in the field (she also writes nonfiction for the scientific mega-publisher Springer) and her big heart to craft stories that inspire confidence and positive action. Bald is Beautiful: A Letter for a Fabulous Girl reinforces the positive feedback and support that everyone needs—most especially youth battling cancer. Since the biblical story of Samson and Delilah, power and identity have been associated with hair. And, as we know from personal experience and film/TV, cancer treatment often leads to hair loss. When the heroine of the story is faced with losing her hair, it is an opportunity, not to mourn loss, but to have a Hat and Scarf Shower to celebrate creativity and self-expression. Many of us have hat and scarf collectio

“Divine Guidance”: A Review of An Angel Told Me So (Volume 1) by Wilma Jean Jones and Michael McAdams

    (Bloomington, IN: Balboa Press, 2017). ISBN: 978-1-5043-8603-6 Over the past eight months, I have reviewed several books produced in conjunction with a higher energy. Celestial beings, spirit guides, aliens, the Brotherhood, God… they go by different names, depending on the channeler or medium’s worldview and belief system. You’ll notice that what the receiver calls themselves also changes. I am married to an acknowledged and publicly tested psychic medium, so I have a deep interest in this subject. I have studied Esther Hicks/Abraham, Darryl Bashar/Anka, and many others from the lens of my lifelong training in theatre. I study voice, mannerisms, vocabulary, syntax, and gesture. I mention Esther and Darryl because I believe they are true to their word. Many others are easily outed as frauds. Because I believe she has done much more harm than good, I’ll name one—JZ Knight, who professes to be channeling an entity called Ramtha. She isn’t. It’s much harder to make a judgment—to