A Woman's Voice

Book Reviews ~ Positive Thinking (Discover the Magic of Positive Thinking)

Posted in A WOMAN'S VOICE,BOOK REVIEWS,BOOK REVIEWS ~ OTHER AUTHORS by doloresayotte on May 28, 2014

Frank MullaniPositive Thinking ~ Discover the Magic of Positive Thinking by Author Frank Mullani

What a wonderful motivational book! It is definitely one that I can relate too as I am an inspirational/self-help author myself and I found the tips in this book on positive thinking most helpful.

Author Frank Mullani goes to great lengths to stress the power of the subconscious mind and the importance of retraining it to have positive thoughts and end goals. He believes it is necessary to learn new habits in order to bring a more positive approach into the conscious mind. We have all been negatively affected to varying degrees by our past and are constantly influenced by this negative frame of reference. In order to bring about the desired change, it is a good habit to get past our possible negative self-image. In doing so, we must dig deeper than the surface/conscious level to bring about true and lasting positive changes in our lives.

This gifted author provides numerous suggestions and tips on how best to conquer and overcome these past negative influences in order to have a full and rewarding life based on positive thoughts and experiences. He touts the benefits of meditation, visualization, and setting positive goals. I like his idea of initially taking small steps in order to achieve our goals and then going from there to achieve even bigger ones. He states that good ideas come to mind long before the dream is realized. There are many thought provoking ideas in this easy-to-read handbook. Good stuff!

Inspirational Author & Book Reviewer ~ Dolores Ayotte


Book Reviews ~ End Result (Hero Series #2)

Mel ComleyEnd Result (Hero Series #2) by Author M. A. Comley

I have only read one previous novel Virtual Justice (Justice Series Book #7) by seasoned Author M. A. Comley and I am delighted to have the opportunity to read another one of her intriguing mysteries. In this new series, the Prologue to “End Results” grabbed my attention right from the onset. The unexplained murder sets the pace for what is yet to come. Once I started reading this fictional crime novel, I had a tough time putting it down.

Moving on to Chapter One with the introduction of Hero Nelson, a supervisor for the Met Police Department, I was further drawn into the story line and the mysterious murder of Stu Daws. Garroted to death, the police seem to have little to go on but DI Nelson has the nose for crime solving. After the birth of his twin daughters Zoe and Zara, he is unable to take a leave of absence until he solves this crime. Julie his partner is distracted these days due to a personal crisis going on in her life but Hero Nelson forges ahead with his due diligence as he makes every effort to get to the bottom of this heinous crime. Now he has been informed of another death in his area…

DI Hero Nelson and partner DS Julie Shaw work in tandem along with the other copper members of their team to discover the connection between these two murders. It doesn’t take long for Hero to get to the realization that Cathy Daws is the common thread. He certainly has his suspicions that Daws’ wife Cathy is involved but she has a rock solid alibi to add to his frustration in solving this case. Regardless…he is relentless in pursuit of justice as he digs into the case to try to piece together the puzzle of clues in order to ferret out the murderer…or is it murderers? Only time will tell. He needs a break to crack this case wide open. Stan Foster might be able to help out there but…a third murder takes place. Once again, Cathy Daws has a “cast-iron” alibi. To add to Hero’s frustration, what can he do to help his twin sister Cara out of the fine fix she’s in, the one that could result in the end of her career?

I just love a good mystery and talented Author M. A. Comley has delivered just that. I realize that “End Result (Hero Series #2)” is the second book in this crime solving series but it is a stand alone novel and I never felt short changed by not reading the first one. Although, it does give me the itch to go back and do just that. However, I am going to revisit the first novel in the Justice Series. Today, I just downloaded a copy of Cruel Justice (Justice Series #1). I need another great mystery novel to read and this author sure knows how to deliver one!

Inspirational Author & Book Reviewer ~ Dolores Ayotte

Book Reviews ~ Hidden Treasures

Hidden Treasures by Author Louise Dupont

Louise Dupont

I very much enjoy reading true stories that hit close to home. Debut novel by Author Louise Dupont is one such story. Although inspired by a very sad event in the life of this talented author and devoted mother, Louise manages to draw from the tragic death of her son Andre in order to glean…not only the “hidden treasures” in his life…but in hers as well. Andre Dupont, overcome by depression committed suicide at the young age of twenty-one years of age. This once vibrant young man could no longer endure the personal pain he was experiencing and decided to take his own life.

As difficult as this choice may have been for Andre and his family, he managed to leave a wonderful legacy to those left behind. Louise Dupont, a mother who personally knew the debilitating effects of depression, chose to look for the “hidden treasures” in this unexpected and tragic death of her dear son. She has succeeded in penning a picture of Andre’s life and the positive influence he had on those who crossed his path. His adventurous personality and engaging smile certainly warmed the hearts of many as he touched their lives.

Now, through the gift of his mother’s book about his life, Andre continues to live on and impact even more lives. When sharing Andre’s story, Louise succeeds in narrowing the space between this life and the next by bridging the gap between the two worlds. Although, she may no longer see Andre face-to-face, their heartstrings remain forever bound by love. His life lives on through the fond memories and pictures so eloquently shared in “Hidden Treasures”. Louise has chosen to rise above her sorrow and see the blessing in knowing that her son no longer suffers. This thought manages to take the edge off her loss.

It takes a courageous person to share her story so honestly and openly. Author and mother, Louise Dupont has done just that. Kudos to her for opening her heart to others, not only in memory of her son Andre, but in much the same way as he did himself during his short life.


Book Reviews ~ The Shift

M A Ricks
The Shift by Author M. Ann Ricks

The Prologue to “The Shift” immediately grabs the attention of the reading audience and sets the pace for what is to follow. Xion is deep in dreamland as she experiences first hand, the persecution and death of Jesus Christ on the cross. The vividness of the dream/nightmare is so very real that Xion feels like she is there in person witnessing this most life-altering event that so affected the entire world.

Veronica, Xion’s mother is somewhat estranged from both her daughter and her parents, Zeborah and her step-dad Richard. After graduating from college in New Jersey, Xion decides to remain there instead of returning to live with her mother. Xion has chosen to live closer to her grandparents in an effort to be part of a more normal family life. When Veronica receives a call from her daughter that she should come home and visit with her mother and step-father…the familiar, upsetting, emotional merry-go-round of feelings immediately starts to turn. She is not eager to face the demons of her past as she vividly recalls memories of unpleasant conversations with her mother. Veronica feels extremely inadequate and knows she has been a disappointment not only to her mother Zeborah, but to her daughter Xion as well.

As an only child, Veronica knows what she is required of her but…does she have the strength and courage to go back and face the music? Will she ever come home and be a real mom to Xion and a genuine daughter to her parents? Maybe then, both she and Xion would truly believe in the power of prayer and accept Jesus Christ into their lives. Both are reluctant as those around them continue to pray for this realization. Veronica thinks her past sins are unforgivable and Xion wants to discover her faith in her own way and on her own time schedule. But the dream continues to haunt her even during her awake moments….

Three generations of women…Zeborah, mother to Veronica….Veronica, mother to Xion, Xion, daughter and granddaughter to these two women with incredibly painful pasts. Each with memories and secrets they’d just as soon forget…some so deeply hidden…even unknown to themselves. Connected by blood and determined to be who they are, they are seemingly unaware of the unique presence of Cinque and Christophe and their endless guidance. All three women fighting both mental and spiritual warfare…so many secrets yet to unfold if they are to move forward in their relationship with Jesus Christ by embracing the truth that shall set them free. “The Shift” is about to take place when Officer Bo Pillar enters into Veronica’s life and Delia visits New Jersey to make her claim. Her visit changes it all…

Talented Author M. Ann Ricks has done it again! You will not want to miss a word of this incredible Christian romance novel with its many unpredictable twist and turns. She has managed to pen another captivating fictional novel filled with the supernatural presence of a loving God and His gift of salvation. This quote from the book packs a powerful punch… “God is changing the atmosphere and using His people to bring His plans to glorious fruition”. Yes indeed…that is exactly what He is doing!

Inspirational Author & Book Review ~ Dolores Ayotte

Book Reviews ~ Marriage Takes Three


Marriage Takes Three by Author G.E. Hamlin

I feel the need to admit that I am a romantic and if there’s one thing I enjoy it is a love story. Secondly, I enjoy the story even more so if it rings true! Fiction or non-fiction, credibility and authenticity go a long way with me. Debut novel “Marriage Takes Three” by talented Author G.E. Hamlin offers both.

Darla and Randall have a tumultuous marriage. After seventeen years, it appears that their relationship is coming to an end. Randall, a recovering alcoholic with close to two years of sobriety under his belt, loves his wife and has every desire for his marriage work. After joining AA and then finding his faith, Randall is striving to be a better husband to Darla and father to teenaged son, Paul. However, Randall is not Darla’s first love. High school boyfriend, Jack Collins is determined to make his past claim on Darla as one of his top priorities. Better known as successful country western singer, J.J. Collins, he is making advances on Darla and causing much friction in Darla’s unstable and already stressful marriage to Randall. Presently, she is managing to fight off the temptation to give into Jack’s persistence in pursuing her but…

Darla, on the other hand, has a dark and deeply hidden secret. Paul’s surprise discovery is a shock. The unknown is about to be revealed and is destined to upset the already wobbly apple cart. Can her marriage survive this revelation and worse yet…does she really want it to?

If there is one quote that deeply touched me in this fictional love story, it is this…“Righteous anger is good. The other kind is like taking poison and expecting it to kill the other person.” At last, Randall decides to take back the power in his marriage and refuses to be a victim…he makes a very profound and life altering decision. The other man, namely Jack Collins, no longer has a place in his marriage to Darla. Randall makes a conscious choice that, yes indeed…“Marriage Takes Three” and that third person is God. A God-centered marriage is definitely what his marriage requires to survive. With the help of long time friends Lonnie and Vicki, Darla might just agree…

Another image that will forever stick in my mind in this captivating novel is the description of the picture of Jesus that Randall notices hanging on the wall behind Pastor Bill’s desk. The artist depicts a “laughing Jesus”. All the pictures I have ever seen of Jesus are serious ones. However, in my mind’s eye, a laughing Jesus is exactly what I envision! I thank gifted Author G.E. Hamlin for sharing her view of Jesus this way. How refreshing!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for my honest review.


Book Reviews ~ Princess Natoree and the Tree Climber

From the first page to the last, I was captivated by this great little book. I don’t think I have ever seen such a bright and colorful children’s book. The story of Princess Natoree, only child of King Oska and Queen Emma, is both heart-warming and educational as it contains a moral lesson that is beneficial for all to learn.

King Oska is very protective of his only child and very much wants what’s best for her. He is not as generous in spirit as his lovely wife Queen Emma, who has every desire for Princess Natoree to be happy. Princess Natoree loves all the children in the kingdom and enjoys playing with them on a regular basis. King Oska does not like this arrangement and is selective in choosing whom she may play with…this restriction brings some sadness to Princess Natoree because she misses being with her friends. One of her very dear friends is a fragile boy by the name of Matura who walks with the help of a wooden crutch.

In order to ensure that Princess Natoree marries an ideal man, King Oska decides to set up an endurance test. The winner of this test will then become the future Prince to ten year old Princess Natoree. Queen Emma is not enthusiastic about this arrangement as she prefers Princess Natoree to marry for love. The challenge set up for all the young boys to try and qualify to be the Prince is that they must scale the tallest tree in the Kingdom. No one is able to manage this tough physical feat except…

Talented J.B. Babo has done a fine job of teaching a lifelong lesson “about overcoming all odds to do extraordinary things”. I can’t wait to read this gem of a book to my grandchildren!

I received a free copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

Inspirational Author & Book Reviewer ~ Dolores Ayotte

Book Reviews ~ Cruising Panama’s Canal

Cruising Panama’s Canal by Authors Al & Sunny Lockwood

Turning tragedy into travel is the motivation behind “Cruising Panama’s Canal”. Married authors, Sunny and Al Lockwood were hit by a car at a red light. This unfortunate automobile accident served as an eye-opener to them. It was the impetus to live life to the fullest as it could suddenly end tragically with many desired adventures yet to be fulfilled. Al’s dream of sailing through the Panama Canal soon moved up on the “bucket list” and plans to take this wonderful trip were in the works. What better time than now?

As with most trips, a little research is required and then the fun begins…

“Cruising Panama”s Canal” reads like a daily journal or diary. It is an ideal handbook for those contemplating taking a cruise. Sunny Lockwood takes the time to explain in step by step detail exactly what it takes to plan such an exciting excursion. The pre-planning, the lay-out of the ship, what to expect as far as food and accommodations are concerned, the activities offered, etc. are found in this easy to read and well-written book based on their own traveling experiences.

Al Lockwood, on the other hand, has a sweet tooth. With that in mind, he has taken on the arduous task of eating a variety of delicious desserts and explaining in full mouth-watering detail such delectable delicacies as the chocolate eclair and Sacher torte. He also does a great job of elaborating on “transiting the Panama Canal”.

The protocol, the required attire, the ports visited, along with some great pictures really add to the pleasurable “vacation” the readers receive when they vicariously travel along with Al and Sunny while cruising through the Panama Canal. This is the perfect guidebook for baby boomers or anyone else…whether young or not so young…who plan on taking a cruise. The information provided will help any novice get an in-depth grasp of exactly what to expect should they follow the same course as these two enjoyable authors.

Inspirational Author & Book Reviewer ~ Dolores Ayotte

Book Reviews ~ Tadeo Turtle

Author Jan Cox
One of my favorite genres to read and review is children’s books and “Tadeo Turtle” lives up to my expectations of a well-written and enjoyable book for the young child. Author Jan Cox is a former elementary school teacher who has tapped into her area of expertise to pen a great children’s book. It is filled with her own handpainted illustrations and a story with a simple life lesson that is bound to benefit its young reading audience.

Tadeo Turtle is a typical fun-loving turtle who thinks that his pleasure is being hampered by his heavy shell. In a dream, Tadeo’s shell accidentally falls into a stream. In his travels he meets up with a CAT who mistakes him for a rat. Tadeo desperately seeks the shelter and safety of his shell. It is difficult to find as it looks very much like the rocks at the edge of the stream. He finds it just in the knick of time before the CAT is able to pounce on him. Tadeo soon realizes the benefit of being content with just the way God intended him to be….shell and all!

I especially enjoy children’s book that are written in rhyme and with a moral lesson as well. Author Jan Cox has done a fine job of including both of these techniques in “Tadeo Turtle”. I also like the idea of the additional fun activity ideas at the end of the book. They will definitely stimulate young children to use their imaginations as they creatively engage in these suggestions…i.e. paper turtle plate, dough turtle, rock turtle, etc. I am also a former teacher and grandmother so I fully realize the pleasure these suggestions will bring.

Inspirational Author & Book Reviewer ~ Dolores Ayotte

Book Reviews ~ The Visitor

The Visitor by Bree Abbington

As so often in life, some of the best gifts come in the smallest of packages. “The Visitor” is one such gift. It is based on a true story and is bound to tug at a few heartstrings. The author of this non-fiction tale has been through a rather difficult year. After fifteen years of marriage, she is divorced from her first husband Matt and remarries Brad on the rebound. After experiencing a series of health issues and stressful business dealings…Brad, after a short eighteen months decides he no longer wants to be in the marriage.

Stressed to the hilt, Author Bree Abbington is spending Christmas with her first husband’s parents along with their two young daughters. This has been a warm family tradition that has stayed the course despite their divorce. It is especially welcomed after the turmoil of the previous year. After a fun-filled, yet exhausting morning, this author decides to escape to her home for a few hours rest before returning for Christmas Day supper. This is when she has the encounter…a personal realization, a spiritual enlightenment with a very “deer” gift!

“The Visitor” is a lovely debut novel by first time Author Bree Abbington. It left me wanting more. Easy to read and very captivating!

Inspirational Author & Book Reviewer ~ Dolores Ayotte

Book Reviews ~ I Will Never Forget

I Will Never Forget by Author Elaine C. Pereira

Okay…where do I begin? For those of us with elderly parents, this well-told and memorable true story is bound to pull at a few heartstrings. Talented Author Elaine Pereira tells it like it is. There is no sugar-coating as she goes to great lengths to describe her mother, Betty Ward’s, final years when dementia proceeds to ravage her once brilliant mind. Betty Ward has certainly experienced her fair share of hardships. First with the loss of David her two year old son due to an unfortunate car accident…tragedy continues to haunt her when in her later years; both her loving husband and son pass away just months apart from each other. Throughout all of her trials and tribulations, she shows the utmost stoicism and strength of character. Betty Ward is definitely a woman to be admired!

When her mind starts to fail, once again she continues to smile as often as possible to hide her confusion and growing anxiety. She makes every effort to mask her symptoms. This memoir by her daughter is most certainly a heart-wrenching story and not one for the faint of heart. Along with her mother’s struggles with forgetfulness, paranoia, and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s, Author Elaine Pereira gives the reader a bird’s eye view of the challenges and frustrations faced by the caregivers. The unconditional love and patience that is necessary during these “death by inches” years is well evidenced in “I Will Never Forget”. It is virtually impossible to fully realize the anguish experienced by those exposed to such a debilitating illness, yet this author does a fine job of doing just that…sharing her heart felt experiences.

As sad as this true story is and as difficult as it may have been to write, Pereira manages to add a dose of levity to the situation as much as possible by going back and forth between the present and the past. In doing so, she succeeds in taking the edge off the seriousness of her mother’s dementia to make, this oftentimes, painful read a little easier to digest. This is an admiral creative strategy as it engages the reader to embrace the reality and devastation of Alzheimer’s while still trying to look at life with the positive philosophy of the “glass half full”. It would seem that the “apple didn’t fall far from the tree” as we get to witness first hand the author’s upbeat and admirable character as she deals with her own losses…the death of her father, her brother Jerry to cancer, and then her loving and vibrant mother to old age and the devastation of Alzheimer’s. The wonderful support of her loving husband Joe and her twin daughters, Christie and Angie, help get her through this challenging time. Great read!

Inspirational Author & Book Reviewer ~ Dolores Ayotte

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