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Archive for the ‘Mature’ Category

After the War, Before the Peace

By Sharon Poppen

Copyright 2002 by Sharon Poppen

Published by Xlibris, paperback $22.95 ISBN10 1-4010-6545-7, eBook $9.99 ISBN10 1-4535-8286-X

After the War, Before the Peace is Sharon Poppen’s stunning debut novel set in the years following the American Civil War. With stunning characters who leap off the page and into your imagination and meticulous attention to detail Poppen’s novel is more than the story of one family ravaged by Civil War and left to rebuild their lives in a world that refused to acknowledge things like basic American civil rights, compensation for war crimes or the prosecution of war criminals.

The story of the Farrell family, whose patriarch, as well as two sons fought for the Confederate States of America and the wife and two younger sons left behind in Summerville, South Carolina will cause you to experience the gamut of human emotions from outrage and fear to love and joy. It is a tale of the triumphs, tragedies and deeply personal experiences of a family first torn apart by war, then separated by the need for retribution and revenge. It is a story of love that can overcome any obstacle, as well as love that fails to rise to the occasion and meet the challenges put before it. It is one family’s story that was echoed multiple times throughout a war ravaged country, where, in the author’s own words, “citizen fought against citizen.”

I found myself caught up in After in the War, Before the Peace within the first few pages. I read in bed sick, because I couldn’t put it down. I read it long past bedtime once I was recuperating because I just had to know what was going to happen next. When I awakened in the morning I reached for along with my morning cup of coffee. For seven days the Farrells were an integral part of my waking and sleeping moments and at no point in time was I sorry I had invested so much time and energy into their story. It left me deeply satisfied and looking forward to the sequel Lita’s Story – A Meandering Tale, which is due to be released sometime in the future by Virtual Tales Publishing who incidentally have also picked up After the War, Before the Peace for re-release sometime in 2012. For now though After the War, Before the Peace can be found through Xlibris and on Amazon’s website. Pick up a copy, it’s a wonderful novel I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

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Silent Screams from the Hamptons

By Christa Jan Ryan

Copyright 2008 by Christa Jan Ryan, published by Robert D. Reed Publishers, PO Box 1992, Brandon, Oregon 97411, http:,,www.rdrpublishers.com ISBN 978-1-934759-05-9

Silent Scream from the Hamptons by Christa Jan Ryan is an engrossing tale of one woman’s life, her battle with alcoholism and her subsequent recovery. It is a tale of a life gone wrong early on and finally found after a long and difficult struggle. It is a story of the multi-generational effect alcoholism and dysfunctional families have.

Christa’s openness and willingness to bare her soul to strangers for the purpose of healing both them and her is to be commended. She holds nothing back in an attempt to be honest and to help other to be able to see they are not alone and they too can begin the road to recovery if they are willing to try and to follow the steps.

Here is passage from one of the scenes in the book where Christa’s life begins to get totally of control. It involves a secret trip away with an adult male teacher from school when she was only twelve:

“Late that afternoon, I stood in the lobby of the hotel watching Greg check in and felt a wave of alarm pass through my young body. WHAT AM I DOING? He suddenly looked old. When Greg turned toward me and flashed a lecherous smile, I knew I was in trouble. He grabbed me by the hand and led me toward the room. I didn’t know how to tell him that the deal was off. In the room Greg suggested that I take a shower first. That sounded great; it would give me time to plan my escape. I stripped off my ski clothes and stood under the hot water with my heart pounding in my chest. He came in the bathroom, and I heard him lock the door behind him. “Shit, I should have done that?” I thought. Next thing I knew, he was in the shower soaping me down.

“I’m done,” I said casually as I stepped one foot out of the shower. “It’s your turn,” He grabbed my arm and yanked me back into the shower. “Hey,” I protested. “that hurt.”

“I’m sorry, baby. I just didn’t want you to leave.”

“Please, Greg,” I reasoned, “I’m only twelve. I don’t think I’m ready for this.”

“Christa, you’re not leaving me hanging now. It’s gone too far.” He turned off the shower.

“Please, please, Greg. I’m just a kid,” I pleaded desperately.

For the sake of keeping the review PG I won’t go any further into the story. Let me just say that Silent Screams from the Hamptons was spell-binding. Once I started it I was unable to put it down, I read it from beginning to end, all two-hundred-thirty-eight pages. It is wonderful, fascinating and an absolute must read.

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