A Woman's Voice

Book Reviews ~ Apart From Love

uvi Author Uvi Poznansky is an artist! There is no doubt about it. As I read “Apart from Love”, I was drawn into a masterfully created piece of artwork. This is no ordinary novel. It richly depicts the product of a dysfunctional family and how they are drawn together, yet so repulsed by each other.

There is a quality so deep and raw in “Apart from Love” that it’s almost impossible to put this book down. In my opinion, Uvi Poznansky writes like a painter. She starts with a clean canvas and dabs a little paint here and a little paint there as she develops her characters and creates her masterpiece. Her strokes then become broader, more passionate, more vivid and vibrant as she continues to let her characters’ stories unfold. She draws you in to a deeper level than you might actually want to go as she ignites the fire to your own love, passions, and fears.

Ben, the 27 year old son grudgingly returns home many years after the divorce of his parents, Lenny and Natasha. He finds that there is a mutual attraction between his father’s young wife Anita, and himself. Their stories, along with Lenny’s are related in a narrative as each person has the opportunity to share his side of the events that take place. “Apart from Love” reminds me of a movie I enjoyed many years ago…Cat on a Hot Tin Roof because it is a well-written drama that could take place on a stage similar to this movie. In “Apart from Love” Ben states…”In our family, forgiveness is something you pray for, something you yearn to receive but so seldom do you give to others.” There is definitely a great need for forgiveness both on the giving end as well as the receiving end in this novel.

Similar to any other work of art, the artist leaves so much of themselves in their work. Author Uvi Poznansky has done just that! Kudos to her on a job well done!

Inspirational Author & Book Reviewer ~ Dolores Ayotte

Book Reviews ~ The Tarnished Shooter

The Tarnished Shooter by Author Charles James

Within the first few chapters of this well-written book, I found myself identifying with the author. I personally know what it is like to be born on the wrong side of the tracks…to have people look down on you. I have experienced the hardships of poverty and the shivering cold of a house that was impossible to heat in the cold winter months despite the old coal burner that perched itself in our small living room. I can also feel the sweltering heat of the summer months when it was necessary to sleep on the floor in the screened back porch because of the unbearable heat upstairs in our small basementless wartime house packed with eight people and the occasional relative looking for a roof over their head.

I know full well what it is like to live in an undesirable neighborhood where the police patrolled on a regular basis to keep their eyes on the juvenile delinquents who lived in the area. I hung out with these guys against my parents’ wishes because I never felt that they were inferior to me. My favorite hangout was just next door where my best friend lived with her single parent mom and her eight other siblings on social welfare. It is how I got my “street smarts”. It’s how I learned what “not to do”. There was no way I was going to end up in reform school like some of the other neighborhood kids. Yes…I can definitely relate to the plight of the main character in this novel. He’s got a story to tell…and he is doing an excellent job of telling it.

Choices…rising above the plight that we have been born into and choosing a better life. Not easy to be sure. Overcoming abuse…child abuse of any kind is beyond words and never acceptable. It shapes our lives and once again teaches us what “not to do”. Yes…we are not all born with silver spoons in our mouths, however…just like in “The Tarnished Shooter”, we can find the silver lining in the clouds above us if we have the desire to do so. Yes…if tough luck is the hand we’ve been dealt we can be tough skinned in the way we react to it…or better yet…tough minded enough to have the courage and audacity to rise to the challenge in order to become a new and changed person. Some lessons in life are tough lessons to learn but to quote an old adage “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” in order to turn their lives around.

Perhaps, this is the reason why the actual testimony in this book hits so close to home. So many choices, not all of them good but there is hope for better ones to come! Tough, tarnished, and truthful lead to determination, personal growth, and the desire to leave an imprint. The words that talented Author Charles James pens as he inspires his reading audience with this heart wrenching and thought provoking story do just that. To quote the author himself… “Everyday decisions hang on a thin string, pulling each and every one of us into an unknown future. Right or wrong, every choice we make today will effect many tomorrows. This compelling story of adversity, adventure and the consequences of the choices one makes, is based on actual events.” At long last…listening to the “lighter voice” pays off. Good stuff!

Inspirational Author & Book Reviewer ~ Dolores Ayotte

BOOK REVIEW ~ UNCOVERED No More…clothed by God ~ November 2, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

TITLE: UNCOVERED No More ~ clothed by God  (a true story)

AUTHOR: Cara Ann Coffey

PUBLISHER: Tate Publishing & Enterprises

UNCOVERED No More ~ clothed by God ~ is a soul-searching, non-fiction book by author Cara Ann Coffey. At the age of forty-two in the year 2008, at a very low time in Cara’s life, she started to question the meaning to her life. She feared that she was losing her mind as she grasped to hang on to her sanity. Almost as long as she could remember, she had walked “in obedience to God” as best she could, yet her Christian life seemed to be filled with much suffering. Cara enjoyed a fulfilling marriage to her husband, Curtis, the father of her ten children yet Cara was tormented by other challenges taking place in her life.

As soon as I learned that Cara is a housewife and homeschooling mother to ten children spanning a period of twenty-one years, I instantly had admiration and respect for this devoted and loving woman. Cara’s story is both heart warming and heart wrenching. She writes about her struggles with her inner demons as she attempts to get a better understanding of herself and her inner struggles. Cara shares her childhood memories and the events that helped shape her life. She tells of the painful loss of her older brother to heart disease when he was still in his teens. His untimely death plagued her for years as she worked through her incredible grief. Cara then goes on to share her experiences with having her mother-in-law live with their family over a period of twelve years. At this time, Cara is also trying to make some sense of her mental anguish and the challenges she faces within the Body of Christ, the Christian Church, as she tries “to determine God’s true will”.

From the first page to the last one, everything I read points to Cara’s heart being as pure and innocent as the cover and title of her book.  Cara has been honest and forthright in every word that she writes. She is absolutely correct in her understanding of a loving relationship with God. She has bared her soul in UNCOVERED No More and due to that fact; she is now clothed by God in the perfect love that He offers. Cara has opened up her heart and soul and exposed her vulnerability. By doing so, she has demonstrated her victory with the help of Jesus Christ over her inner demons and has gone on to tell her well written, thought-provoking story. Cara’s journey is an inspiration to us all.

To learn more about Cara’s story, please visit Amazon.


BOOK REVIEW ~ Collecting Innocents ~ October 28, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

TITLE : COLLECTING INNOCENTS ~ The Second Novel in the 911 Abduction Series ~ 211 pages

AUTHORS : CK Webb & DJ Weaver

PUBLISHER : Suspense Publishing


Once again, Webb and Weaver have shown their skill and prowess at developing a suspenseful and thrilling novel. This mother/daughter duo have managed to captivate their readers by thickening the plot when necessary with many twists and turns in order to keep them on their toes. I was riveted to the page as I read Collecting Innocents and you will be too. It drew me back over and over again as I was eager to discover the threads from the past and how they would link up to the present crime. Webb and Weaver have skillfully woven a web of  suspense, fear and mystery. Collecting Innocents is a must read!

This second suspense novel in the 911 abductions series is a real thriller. It is a follow-up to Cruelty to Innocents where the stage was set with a series of mysterious disappearances of young children. These previous abductions always took place at the scene of an emergency situation in Aberdeen, Maryland when their caregivers were preoccupied with helping others.  Due to this crisis, an emergency agency was formed by Sloanne Kelly and her fiance Shawn Tyler called Saving Angels Agency after the abduction and murder of Sloanne’s best friend’s daughter.

Collecting Innocents is a continuation of this same plot. This time; however, not only children but also their parents and automobiles, are strangely disappearing after emergency calls from 911 Call Boxes on a stretch of highway  between Florida and California on Interstate 10.  These highway crimes take place in the short distance between Slidell Louisiana and Vidor Texas. The novel starts off with the mysterious disappearance of Tammy Pruett and her young daughter, Moira. There have also been two other similar abductions but no one seems to see the connection in these crimes with the exception of Lieutenant Jake Mackenzie, better known as Mac to his friends.

Mac is a former employee of the Maryland, Aberdeen Police Department and well aware of the abductions that took place there just over two years ago. He has the uneasy feeling that some how or other these new crimes are connected to the past and what took place. They are hauntingly familiar and he cannot put his uneasiness to rest.  Unable to convince the Sheriff and other police departments  of his suspicions, he reaches out for aid from Shawn and Sloanne and their capable staff at Saving Angels Agency. The gruesome details of the cases unfold in such away that fear is instilled in everyone involved. Shawn and Sloanne once again have the opportunity to put their experienced investigative team to work. Along with the capable help of Birney Sullivan, the former news reporter from Maryland, Aberdeen, these three experts work together to help solve the case.

CK Webb was born and raised in Mississippi, and dreamed of writing like the greats; Emily Bronte, Edgar Allan Poe, and Stephen King, to name a few. CK joined the US Navy and traveled the world, but eventually returned to settle down in the tiny town of Millport, Alabama. A self-proclaimed ‘reformed bad girl’, this thirty-something writer now shares her life with her husband and two beautiful children.

CK also enjoys spending time with her friends, family, and book club. Although CK delights in preying on the fears of others and enjoys killing people…thankfully she does it the legal way; in her novels. She has just completed the first two novels in the ‘Innocents’ series which she co-wrote with her best-friend and mother, DJ Weaver. CK writes in a variety of other genres.

Originally from Pascagoula, Mississippi, DJ Weaver relocated to north Mississippi in 1980. She attended Mississippi University for Woman and Mississippi State University, studying paralegalism and Human Resources Management.  DJ recently completed two books in the three-novel Innocents series, Cruelty to Innocents: The 911 Abductions and Collecting Innocents, which she co-wrote with her daughter and best friend, CK Webb.

DJ writes in a variety of genres. When she isn‘t writing, DJ develops and maintains WebbWeaver Review blog, where she reviews books and interviews published authors regularly. She serves as co-chairwoman of WebbWeaver Book Club. DJ also writes book reviews for Suspense Magazine. DJ is a 50-something year old mother and grandmother who works part-time and makes her home in Millport, Alabama.

Websites: http://theinnocents.weebly.com WEBWEAVER

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GROWING UP AND LIKING IT ~ Book Review ~ October 25, 2011 by Loraine Lotter

Growing Up & Liking It is inspiring, motivating and definitely worth reading if you are in need of a life changing lesson or two. The book is full of great quotes and tips on how to cope with every day’s problems, stress and let-downs and truthfully, it was just what I needed to perk up my day. It was like a breath of fresh air.

I love the author’s laid-back writing style. You can tell that Dolores is an inspiring, humble and excitable person, accepting the challenges in life and embracing them in faith. Growing up and liking it is full of great stories, making the book so much more stimulating to read. Each line, each little joke, whether it be a factual story or not, will make you smile and keep you captivated just as it did with me.

It encourages us to stay positive, no matter what the circumstances may be. Your problems will never be bigger than you, for God will not put a hindrance in your way if you cannot handle it. I love Dolores’ advice as it is true and encouraging. The book really helps and influences you in such a way that you will accept who you are when you finish reading it. It will encourage you to think before you act so that you will make the right choices in life.

It will stimulate you in a way you can only imagine, helping you find peace and balance by following the easy, simple steps provided. Packed with loads of tips for relationships and a happy marriage, this book is really inspirational. This book is all about laughing at the small things in life, learning from every choice you make and living life to the fullest. It’s definitely a must-read for anyone who needs a little encouragement and advice in life.

Book Review by Author Loraine Lotter.


BOOK REVIEW ~ My heart, his soul ~ October 24, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

Posted in BOOK REVIEWS by doloresayotte on October 24, 2011
Tags: , ,

My heart, his soul…the first novel in the Heart and Soul saga  by author Loraine Lotter is a well written, fictional novel for the young adult or the young at heart. It starts off with the seventeenth birthday party of a typical rebellious teenager by the name of Abigail, better known to her friends as Abi. Abi doesn’t have a lot of patience for family gatherings. She succeeds in exiting the scene when her father gives her his nod of approval. She manages to arrange a trip to the racetrack with her good friend Gabriel.   Gab would much prefer to be more than just Abi’s friend but she has no interest in complicating their friendship by putting it at risk by ever entertaining the idea of any kind of romance. At the racetrack, a handsome young man catches Abi’s eye.

Needless to say, she is very enthralled when she discovers at the beginning of the new school year that he is attending the same school as she and her friends. His handsome looks and incredible sapphire eyes not only capture Abi’s interest but also the attention of her best friend Calleigh. This turn of events is certain to create the typical teenage jealousy and animosity. The new boys name is Derrick and he appears to have an aura about him that Abi can’t quite put her finger on.  At seventeen, he lives alone with his brother but other than that, very little is known about him.  Gab has made it very plain to Abi that he does not want her to have any kind of relationship with Derrick but Abi is mystified as to the reason why. At first she thinks it is jealousy but she soon realizes it is far more than that.

There are many unanswered questions about Derrick’s apparent secrecy and private life. This is when the novel takes an unexpected turn as an intriguing sci-fi twist is added to the plot of this captivating read.  Loraine Lotter, then methodically lets the plot of My heart, his soul, unravel in order to entice her readers into wanting more. The conclusion acts as a cliff-hanger for the sequel, The Betrayal,  in the Heart and Soul saga.

To learn more about Loraine Lotter or to purchase her book please visit Amazon or her website.


BOOK REVIEW ~ It’s All About Me – Giving Thanks Daily ~ October 3, 2011by Dolores Ayotte

It’s All About Me – Giving Thanks Daily is a wonderful daily devotional written by author Shawn Boreta.  Shawn has chosen to share her spirituality and gift with her readers. She shares her intimate relationship with God in order to help others know a better way so that they too may find the joy, peace, and comfort that she has found.

Shawn’s devotional is full of applicable biblical quotes that reach out to people in a warm and comforting way. She has chosen to live one day at a time and her words of inspiration encourage others to do so as well. Every morning I sat quietly in my rocking chair as I read Shawn’s peaceful and encouraging words. Yes…peaceful is the word that is best used to describe the feeling I attained after these early morning encounters with It’s All About Me – Giving Thanks Daily. 

Shawn states at the bottom of each page “Your journey to daily gratitude begins with your decision to find something good in every situation”. Shawn knows exactly what she’s talking about because we have so much to be grateful for and it’s good to be gently reminded of this fact.  Her daily devotional has been a great inspiration to me and her honesty and openness are a great gift to us all.

To learn more about Shawn, please visit her FB author’s page.


BOOK REVIEW ~ Love And Acceptance ~ September 26, by Dolores Ayotte

TITLE: Love And Acceptance ~ Nonfiction – 206 pages

AUTHOR: Annette Robertson

PUBLISHER: Take Publishing & Enterprises

Love And Acceptance is a heart-wrenching, true story written by Annette Robertson, about her dysfunctional childhood and her struggles with mental illness. It is apparent that Robertson has a deep faith that sustained and guided her throughout her trials and tribulations. Although, she admits that she wasn’t raised with a strict Christian background, she was always aware of the presence of a loving God.

Robertson professes that at one time, she “only identified, and felt safe, with unhealthy attention”. When at an all time low when her life was like a living nightmare,she attempted to commit suicide and failed. She eventually learned how to be healthy and love herself when she accepted her mental illness for what it was. At the pit of her despair, she likened herself to a “shattered vessel” and when she gazed into the mirror she was consumed with “self-loathing”.  Sexually abused as a child, Robertson cried out to the “Great Physician”, the “I AM” for  complete healing and after years of counselling, her prayers were answered. In doing so, she was forced to work through the pain of her past before she could be truly healed and move forward. Love And Acceptance is a true testimony of God’s love for all His children and the redemptive power of the love and acceptance Annette found in her relationship with Him.

Robertson is a survivor. She knows what it is like to be a victim and the restorative effects of becoming victorious. She has managed to work through her past pain with the help of God and lead a full and rewarding life. It was not easy for her to achieve the sought after peace of mind and contentment that she so richly deserved but she never gave up. With her faith and love for God, she managed to find it. Robertson has shown her courage and tenacity in this well-written book, as she reveals her inner most self when she shares her life struggles, her lessons, and her deep abiding faith and love for God with her readers.

If you are interested in purchasing Love and Acceptance, please click: Amazon

BOOK REVIEW ~ Last Resort ~ August 22, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

Posted in BOOK REVIEWS by doloresayotte on August 22, 2011
Tags: , , ,

TITLE ~ Last Resort

AUTHOR ~ B.J. Robinson

PUBLISHER ~ Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.

This suspense novel starts off on a hot, humid day in Bridal Wreath, Florida. Faith Grace Roussell has returned to her hometown after her broken engagement.  Her fiance, who considers himself to be a man’s man, has cheated on her and Faith calls off the wedding. On Faith’s return to Bridal Wreath, she is happy to be reunited with her best friend and confidant, Nan Gray. At a church gathering, Faith has the opportunity to meet her next door neighbor, Matt. He immediately intrigues her but Faith is definitely not looking for a new romantic liaison. Within less than twenty-four hours, a series of suspicious events take place. A stray bullet, a middle of the night intruder and the trashing of Faith’s shed, concern Matt as the plot quickly thickens.

The suspense mounts as Matt showers her with protection because he soon realizes that someone is definitely out to hurt her. In fact, there is more than one person out to get Faith but she is not the one in real danger. In reality, it is Matt’s life that is at stake. Someone is stalking them both. As the suspense continues, the evidence points to Fred, Faith’s abusive ex-fiance. He is a very elusive and focused stalker. What will it take to stop this jealous man who is determined to win Faith back?  He is like a driven maniac after his prey. What will be the Last Resort and how far will he go to get his way?

B.J. Robinson writes with flair.  She manages to incorporate her own love for God in a well-written, romantic, suspense novel.  She uses delightful expressions such as a “beautiful smile that reached his eyes” to describe the likability and genuineness of Matt’s character and personality.  The sunshine in Faith’s eyes match the love and twinkle found in Matt’s. The use of such descriptive analogies adds to the intrigue found in this novel.  B.J. Robinson also manages to add some real life people in her novel. Her deceased mother and sister are mentioned which enhances her story line and gives it more authenticity. She also includes her loveable dog, Sunflower, in order to further add to the storyline and give a very personal appeal to this enjoyable mystery novel.

To learn more about Last Resort please click here.


BOOK REVIEW ~ Roses Are Red ~ June 20, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

AUTHOR: Rose Anne Daniels ~ A True Story

TITLE: Roses Are Red ~ Survival & Recovery By God’s Grace ~ 117 pages

PUBLISHER : Tate Publishing & Enterprises

It’s hard to describe how I felt when I received this book in the mail. It was definitely with eager anticipation. I met Rose Anne Daniels on-line through a Christian Authors Group. We are both Tate Authors and we agreed to swap and review each other’s books. I didn’t even realize that she was a Tate Author until I received her book. It’s irrelevant. What is relevant is why I was drawn to Rose and her book in the first place. Rose’s book is about dealing with mental illness and overcoming the odds in order to have a full and rewarding life despite this debilitating condition.  I very much wanted to know Rose’s story and now that I do, I can only feel utter respect and admiration for her.

Rose is a survivor. In Roses Are Red, she shares her “journey through mental illness, divorce, depression, and unemployment caused by bipolar disorder as she sinks to the lowest of lows and seeks to rebuild her life”. Rose is honest and open with her experiences as she starts off sharing her life as a young girl still living at home. She marries her one and only boyfriend whom she has been dating since she was fourteen years old. When she was a young girl, her mother suffered from mental illness and was treated with “shock therapy”. Now after the birth of her children, Rose, a registered nurse, becomes a patient in a hospital for the mentally ill herself. Her story is heart wrenching and true.

She shares her trials and tribulations as accurately as she can remember although she admits that some of her memories are foggy. Rose fought the odds and with the help of  some very kind people, she eventually got back on track and turned her life around. Rose is now in her fifties and is still working as a registered nurse in a rehabilitation unit for brain injuries.  She is the proud mother of two children and three grandchildren.

The last chapter of Rose’s book is titled WholenessIn it she states, “My definition of wholeness would have to come from the mission statement at my current workplace: to see life beyond disability. This is not the same as seeing life without disability. To see without the disability would imply denial of the illness.” I find this analysis to be forthright and refreshing. To me and obviously to Rose as well, to deny the illness would be to deny a basic part of our being. Wholeness is embracing the illness and the challenges it has to offer. Effectively dealing with those challenges results in the feeling of wholeness. This is exactly what Rose has managed to do. Yes indeed…Rose is a true survivor!

If you would like to learn more about Rose by reading Roses Are Red,  her book is available on Amazon. I provided the link below.


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