Monthly Archives: June 2013

A cat Tales and Whiskers interview

I was asked my opinion on a book written by 13 year old author Ciellia Naden. Her mother is a writer friend and an accomplished YA author in her own right. I sat down with Mother and Daughter this week to ask some questions about Ciellia’s first Novel “Cat Tales and Whiskers” Here’s what I found out. As I was talking to her mother I found out that Ciellia’s first manuscript was a home school assignment which of course led to the following question of mom

For Cynthia: What made you decide to assign your kids a book to write as a home school assignment?

Neither of my children like writing assignments, and it always seemed to be tough when I’d assign them a specific topic to write about, so I figured this would be a good incentive to get them to write. I told them that they could write about anything they wanted to and when they were finished, I’d have it edited for them and published. I sure wish I’d had an option like that when I was in school.

For Ciella: What did you think when mom gave you that assignment?

I was kind of disappointed because I didn’t really want to do it.

For Ciella: What made you choose witchcraft and spiritual warfare as your topic?

I wanted to create a story that had a Tim Burton feel to it, but Christian. Tim Burton is my favorite director.

For Cynthia: What surprised you most about your daughters publishing adventure?

Well, like I said before, I had already told them both that they would get published. I was surprised at how little we had to change though. My editor only made a few suggestions here and there. She said she enjoyed the story a lot.

For Ciella: Can we expect to see more adventures of Ash and the town of Soulville?

Maybe. ( I have been informed that a second tale is all ready being written on since I ask that question and received my “maybe” as an answer)

I was suprised to learn tht Ciella has been diagnosed with dyslexia and asked her to explain the challenges that causes to writting.

I don’t know if my spelling is right or wrong. Spelling is hard for me because the dyslexia makes it hard to memorize words that I can’t sound out. Plus, sometimes I switch letters around. Like I’ll spell a word that should begin with p with a b.

For Ciella: Who’s the better storyteller you or mom?

I don’t know. This is my first story, so I really don’t know.

What was the hardest part of publishing your story at thirteen?

Mom’s been doing all the publishing parts, so it hasn’t been hard at all. I did have to use my own money for the cover pictures though. I liked creating Ash’s story. At first I struggled with it and didn’t think I could do it, but God gave me the strength to do it. I disliked that my mom and our editor had to change a few things. I’m most surprised by myself and that I actually finished it and it’s being published.

Cynthia: How does it feel to have another YA writer under the same roof? Any feeling to compete with your daughter?

Oh no, not at all. I’m totally excited for

her, and I’m technically the co-author anyway. There were a few parts of the story that I helped her with.

Cynthia: What’s next for you as an author?

I’m currently working on the sequel to “Patty Gayle and the Legend of Kingsley.” I’m right at 17,000 words in. I’d like to have it completed by the end of summer and publish it in the fall. I’m also currently working with producers to get all 4 of my current works in audio format. Once complete, they will be available to download from Amazon, iTunes, and And just in case anyone is wondering, we will be searching for a narrator soon to produce “Cat Tales and Whiskers” as well.

Are you planning a repeat of this assignment in the coming year?

No, not unless she just wants to write another book. It’s up to her. Her brother will be continuing the assignment because he didn’t finish his yet. His is a much longer book.

Well as promised let me offer you my review of this young woman’s book

As a former youth pastor I have been asked by scores of teens to read their manuscripts and give them my opinion on them. I must admit this is one of the best I’ve read written by a young teen. Cellia Naden has written an engaging little book with lots of action and suspense that will keep you or your Young Adult turning the pages.  Following Ash as he gets to know his new town and stumbles into a demonic confrontation with a demon possessed scarecrow was as action packed as anything I’ve read.  The spiritual insights this young girl has behind the veil into the world of angelic and demonic battle blew me away. Yes, parts of the story were simple and a bit innocent, but it was refreshing to see a thirteen year old who wasn’t so wise in the ways of evil, as to get it all right.  If your Young Adult likes “Goosebumps or Thriller” style books this one is for them. If as an adult your hankering for those simple yet spooky reads of your childhood this book is for you.  A great first book by what I hope is an up and coming young artist with many more tales to tell. Five big Stars from this Pastor.
Grab your copy here


The Wishing Well Curse (review)

As Promised here is my review of Lynn Donovan’s new book “The Wishing Well Curse.”wishing well curse cover

The Wishing Well Curse was my latest read. The publisher sent it to me and asked if I would read it and give one of my infamous Pastor’s Perspective reviews on it. I didn’t realize they were infamous but I did agree. Once I read the story I understood the reason for the request. There are some spoilers in this review later on I will warn you before they come so you can stop reading there if you want.

Over all I have to say I absolutely LOVED this book. Lynn Donavan is a writer to keep an eye on. I think she is going to rocket up the indie author charts and maybe even cross over into the mainstream charts as well. The story is well thought out and extremely well crafted. It was one of those fun, entertaining, cant put down reads that we all love. Let that be a warning to you though once you start it you won’t want to stop till you get to the end. The story is about a young man who inherits his great uncles estate provided he accepts the challenge to “break the family curse.” Nothing is said about what the curse is at first so that is part of the fun of the read. The book is fast paced and the concepts are fun yet deep. So if you like a read that both entertain’s and makes you think this is definitely the book for you.


Now for the pastor’s perspective part. This book deals with some subjects that some in the Christian world may find controversial. Specifically Ghosts, Salvation of a Ghost and generational curses. Let me say that I saw nothing here that was heresy but can understand how some Christian’s may be made uncomfortable by the concepts presented. Two of the Characters in this book are Specters trapped in this realm after death something that many Christians feel is unscriptural. I personally don’t feel that and would suggest you check out my blog for my belief of what scripture teaches about the subject.

As for the Salvation of a Ghost it was something I’d never considered before, after all who would? Apparently Mrs. Donavan would. I will say I found the concept intriguing and the explanation given by the Pastor V character made since to me. Since the dead hadn’t crossed over to eternity then Salvation would still be an option but again this isn’t a provable hypothesis. I will go with what Mrs. Donavan herself said when I asked her about it . “The story is fiction it’s not meant to be doctrine.” Good answer.
Generational curses on the other hand are scriptural and we as believers need to quite sticking our head in the sand about such an important topic. That’s all I will say about that.

I look forward to reading many more books by Lynn and cant give this one enough stars because I’m limited to five. It deserves at least twice that many.  Get your copy for only $2.99 here

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Posted by on June 10, 2013 in Book Reviews


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Interview With Indie Author Lynn Donovan

Today start’s the first of a series of monthly author interviews and book reviews. I will be reviewing a Novel and sitting down to chat with the author so that we can all get to know them a bit better. This month I invited Lynn Donovan, Author of the Christian gothic mystery “The Wishing Well Curse to my campfire to sit and jaw abit about her book and writing in general. I must say this sophisticated lady surprised this ole mountaineer by accepting and not even flinchin’ when I directed her past the outhouse to the campfire and its stump chairs. I didn’t however have the heart to tell her that the “cookies” she commented on and kept munchin’ were actually organic dog snacks for the Lazy hound at our feet.

Lynn, Welcome to the campfire I must say it’s an honor to meet ya and get the chance to talk with ya about yer book.
“Thank you PG, I’m glad to be able to be here. I must say your place is umm colorful.”
Yeah we like it up here in the mountains. I hope you didn’t have any trouble finding the place?”
“No the directions were very clear . I did have a small bit of trouble trying to find ‘the old hickory tree homer cut down’ but other than that very clear.”
Great, Well I know you’ll want to get off the mountain fer night falls so lets just jump into it shall we?
What genre do you consider “The Wishing Well Curse” to be?
I consider it Paranormal/mystery/with a hint of romance. But I have been told by those who know more about this than me, that it is Gothic Paranormal. So…
Yeah them experts love to correct us fer sure.
What made you chose to write in that genre?
Honestly I didn’t. The idea came to me from the song “If You Could Read My Mind, Love” by Gordon Lightfoot. The line goes, “…like a ghost from a wishing well…” This got me thinking about a guy who inherits a house and finds a woman near a wishing well. She is being tormented by another guy on the grounds and the hero rescues her from the guy, then finds out they are ghosts and she crosses over. That’s not how my story goes, but that was the original thought. After I wrote it, I started researching genres to find out where it fit. I’ve been known to do things backwards.
That’s all right they been telling us Mountain Men that fer ever.
Some parts of your book will be considered controversial by some Christians. What answer would you give them about that concern?
It never occurred to me that these parts of the story were controversial until my editor pointed that out to me. I was more concerned with insulting Native Americans with the indian story/folklore part of the plot. (Silly me!) But upon being told this would give issue. I sat back and thought about this.
My response is simple, really. This story is fiction. Not non-fiction. I did not experience this stuff and now am writing to tell the world what happened to me. It’s a made-up story about a made-up guy.
Now that’s a great answer. (Lynn and I talk more about some of those contraverys but that’s over on my askpastorgeorge blog where spiritual discusions belong.
In “The wishing Well Curse” you have a Harley riding, biker clad pastor who advises Zeke named Pastor V.  Was there a real life Pastor V who inspired your literary one?
Yes. And he knows he was my muse. In fact I sent him and his wife a copy of the paperback. His name is James Vickers. (See how I turned his name around, James Vickers became Vince James.) He lives in Colorado Springs is a member of my church. He and his wife, Michele, are leaders in a motorcycle life group in the church called, Cruisers for Christ. He’s physical appearance is Pastor V’s and they wear leather and ride their motorcycles to church. He is an awesome man of God and was perfect for my character.
Sounds like my kinda Preacher you’ll have to introduce us some day.
It would be my pleasure. I think he’d get a kick out of meeting a buckskin and coon cap clad minister as well.
Well, I ain’t always dressed like this but up here at the home-place it just feels right. The Wishing Well Curse makes mention of a small but well known story in the Bible the story of Jabez. What made you think to use that story as part of your tale?
For the past four years I have been reading the bible from year-long reading plans. One day, about two years ago, I was reading 1 Chronicles and was (sorry God) bored with the tedious details. I’m not a bean counter. I’m so glad God is, because I know these things are important. But I’m not. Anyway, reading along, bored with the listings, I stumbled on 1 Chronicles 4:10. WOW! What a nugget for my soul. I have issues with my childhood and I realized this passage was my freedom from those issues. I took the enlightenment to my pastors and they surprised me further with the knowledge that others have gone before me and have written about the power of the Jabez’s prayer. Who knew?
So, when I was plotting out The Wishing Well Curse, I automatically turned to this curse breaking passage and realized it fit perfectly with this story. So I wove it into the plot. It helped immensely moving the plot through to the resolution. I think.
I have to step back and tell you that I don’t really think this was my doing. I’m not this smart. God planted these ideas in my head and this story is all for His glory.
Yeah God does do that on occasion don’t he?
Yes He does.
When you’re not writing insanely thrilling novels how do you spend your time?
(Lynn starts laughing at this question almost choking on her dog bisquit, hmm ,I mean cookie, wink wink.) I am a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister and prayer warrior. I live with my husband, Paul. My youngest of four children still lives at home while he’s going to college. The other three (two girls and a boy) are grown, have children and one is married. We are very close via texting, Facebook, phone calls and the like. My mother has Alzheimer’s and lives with us. My sister is blind and deaf, the result of rubella measles when mother was pregnant, and is under my guardianship as well. We have a full but small house. So life is always interesting. I am an active member of my church and love to serve God whatever way he directs me. Occasionally, I sing with sign language for the special during the Praise and Worship (musical part of the service). The people have been blessed by this and I enjoy being God’s conduit!
I also, paint with oil. My sister and I attend a painting class at the local college. We enjoy that very much and so far, we are not too bad at what we produce. Several of my paintings are posted on my Facebook page.
I read, garden, crochet and sew quilts. My husband and I love to camp. We have a tear drop camper we built our selves and we get with other tear drop campers and enjoy the great outdoors.
What is your writing process? Are you a plotter, a panster or some mixture of the two?
I think I’m a plot first type writer, because an idea comes to me from weird sources. Like this one from lines in a song. But the scene where Zeke saves the guy from the ditch, I heard something like that on a radio news cast. Sometimes ideas come from dreams. Then I do the “what if…” thing and work out how this idea might actually work into a story. But once I have that down to a small degree (I’m not a big outliner, just general idea sort of gal.) Then I visualize my characters, like a movie in my head, and—I tell everybody—I follow them around and write down what they do and say. Sometimes they stop talking to me and I have to wait until they let me in. (I suppose that’s a little writer’s block.) but with patience, and mundane chores, they start talking and doing again. So I run to the computer and start writing it all down.
Now fer the most important question of them all, what is your writing snack food of choice?
I drink iced tea all day long after my two cups of coffee in the morning, and I love to have one Sonic large diet coke per day. Other than that. I try not to snack, but just can’t help myself. I love pretzel twists, toast, Cheeze Its, Wheat Thins and slices of block cheddar and sliced apples, popcorn, yogurt, fruit, chocolate, etc., etc., etc… Not all at one time, of course. This is just what I choose from, generally, when I get up to get a snack. By the way have I mentioned how good thses cookies are?
Umm, Thanks. I make them myself.
You are one of several Authors working with the new AltWit press publishing house. Why did you choose to publish with them instead of a more established trade house or going completely independent?
Pauline actually contacted me. I know! That NEVER happens! But it did. She visited with me about her goals and ideals for AltWit Press. I did a little research and found that she had a solid plan and I appreciated her commitment to her authors. So I submitted The Wishing Well Curse to her and she accepted it.
I’m sure our readers would love to know how you got to that point. Would you care to share it with us?
It all started the beginning of 2012, I sat down and started writing. This story and another was in my head for a long time. The Wishing Well Curse had come to me over twenty years ago. So
by the end of April I had a first and VERY rough draft. Now, back up a little. Six years ago, my husband and I worked for his parent’s at a GMC dealership. He did a search for Plymouth parts one day and got a web site about tear drop campers. Yeah, really. Goooo Google! He showed it to me and we agreed that would be TOO cool. We built a camper and started going to TD gatherings. There was an online forum where we connected with other TD campers, etc. On this forum is a published author, Lynn Coleman. I messaged her and asked for advice. She directed me to ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) I joined them and began downloading resources to help me improve my writing. That got me connected to Jeff Gerke. I googled him and found he had a Forum, Where the Map Ends. On there, I was invited to an off-shoot critique group. They were the biggest help ever! They critiqued this story and TORE IT UP! I mean helped me improve it for publishing. On this critique group was a member, Pauline Creeden. She had a young publishing company and offered to the group to submit short stories about a clockwork dragon. I submitted a story and she liked it. I asked her if I could give her some more and she said yes. I gave her three more. (I couldn’t quit thinking of stories with the clockwork dragon.) Then another member, Jennette Mbewe submitted one to her and she accepted it too. Jennette and I collaborated on one story and Pauline accepted it. Finally, Jennette submitted one more of her own. And the book was published October 2012.
This brings us to the conversation with Pauline and The Wishing Well Curse submission. Talk about following your Destiny! This has been an amazing journey! And it was ALL GOD!
What is the greatest complement a reader could ever give you?
Well, I love to hear, “I love the story.” But, I want to cry and lay down in humble prayer when I hear, “This made me think.” “Or I didn’t believe in destiny but now I’m reconsidering it.” Stuff like that where God reached the person through the story. Because I truly mean it when I say, this is ALL FOR HIS GLORY.
Most Authors are also readers so what are the top three books in your to be read list?
THREE? I am currently reading Swiss Family Robinson. I just finished Thorns of Eden. I’ll read almost anything. I love mysteries, Sci Fi, fantasy, speculative fiction, steam punk, ghost stories, historicals, romance, westerns and I LOVE time-travel stories. I have read all of the Harry Potter books more than once. I’ve read nearly all of Steven King’s books. Bag of Bones, reminds me in a small way of The Wishing Well Curse. And James Patterson, I’ve read all of his books for adults and my son has read all his YA books. I don’t like war stories, erotica or violence. Because I have grown up with a handicapped sister, I don’t enjoy stories about special needs people, especially if they are being mistreated. It’s just too close to home. The movie Radio, I have never seen, in fact I walked out on it. It’s just too close to my heart and I can’t handle it emotionally.
I start every day reading the bible. I call it my Coffee with Christ.
Speakin’ of which would you like another cup?
Um, No thank you. This is a bit strong for my taste.
How can fans connect with you?
Facebook: MLDonovan
FB Authorpage: LynnDonovanFGG (that’s For God’s Glory)
Twitter: @MLynnDonovan M Lynn Donovan
Also, connecting with will keep you connected on all our publications as they are released.

What do you think was the best advice you ever got on writing? What one piece of advice would you want to pass on to aspiring writers?
Advice received:
Write for an audience of one. (God)
Just keep writing. Fix stuff later.
My advice:
No idea is a bad idea.
Seriously, just write. If you don’t type well, so what? If you don’t have a computer, so what? Whatever excuse you have, so what? Just write and write and write until you reach the end. Then you have something to work with and can learn how to make it publishable. But you gotta have that first draft in order to get anywhere else.
Well I see it’s getting late we better wrap up before the critters start comin’ out.  What can we expect from Lynn Donovan in the future?
I have a sequel to The Wishing Well Curse. It’s titled Thorns of Betrayal. And It is with the publisher now. I am currently working on two stories. One is a Spec Fic titled Fertility Pirates, and a Christmas Themed novella, the working title is: Christmas Grace, Signing Seeds. I’m not sure what genre it falls under. It’s contemporary, spiritual, maybe paranormal, but more … hmm. I’m not sure. Still in line with fulfilling one’s divine destiny.
AND…I’ve got some other ideas tapping me on the shoulder. If only I could write faster! LOL!
 Lynn, Thanks for taking the time to sit down and chat with me today.
Thank you, Pastor George. I enjoyed our time together. You are a great host and I loved the cookies!
Umm, Glad you liked em’ Can’t wait to read more of yer works. You drive safe leavin’ the hollar now.
Tomorrow I’ll post my review of Lynn’s book ‘The Wishing Well Curse” You can get your copy HERE.

wishing well curse cover


Posted by on June 7, 2013 in Author Interviews


Redeeming Trail is here.

So my second western novel Redeeming trail went live on amazon today. You can get your very own copy here for $2.99. I thought I would be nice and share the Prolog and first chapter today to peek your interest. So they are below:

Product Details

Rebecca Ryder sat in her front room holding the letter that had just arrived from her son. To say she was shocked by what she read would be an understatement:


I thought I should let you know how things are going. I did what you and Father suggested and prayed about what God wanted me to do now that Nate is gone.

I am convinced I am to continue on to Redemption in the New Mexico Territory and fulfill the call I accepted to work for Pastor Bickel. I know Father thought I would come home now Nate isn’t around to advise me. However, I am confident God wants me to continue on.

Mother, I wanted to tell you, I did find the Grace Hopewell Nate was worried about. I am not sure what his plan was, but she has stolen my heart. I know this will come as a shock to you and Father, but we were married before we left Franklin, Missouri. You read right Mother. I am now married. We will continue to Redemption where Grace will fill the role of school teacher. I will take on the circuit just as Pastor Bickel asked me to.

Lastly, I guess I had better let you know I seem to have picked up a bit of a reputation for being good with my six-gun. While I’m sure Nate would be proud, the whole thing bothers me a bit. I am coming to realize if God gave me this gift, and put me in place to gain this reputation, he must have a reason for it. Please keep me in your prayers, that I will be exactly what God wants me to be. Also, that I will be the kind of husband Grace needs. I know you would love her Mother. I hope to one day introduce the two of you.

Your son,


Rebecca didn’t know what to do. Her son was married. She had prayed for several years that God would give him the perfect mate. She just never expected he would find her on the way to Redemption.

Now she just had to figure out a way to get David to go west so they could meet their new daughter-in-law. She didn’t know how she was going to do it. Her husband hated everything about Redemption. He still blamed Nate and that town for the death of his mother. Well, she would just have to start praying about it now that Nathan had a wife. Maybe God would arrange things and while He was at it, maybe he would reconcile the father to the son.


Diamond Dale Cavanagh sat in the saloon in Independence, Missouri playing five card stud like he did most nights. Only tonight he was having trouble concentrating. There was a guy from the current wagon train who claimed there was a new gunslinger in the territory.

Joe was telling his tale and garnering free drinks with every repeat. “I tells ya the Preacher reaches out and beats him to his own gun and pistol whips him on the head. Kid Cody falls to the ground, out before he even realized he’d been outdrawn with his own six shooter. Then the Preacher walks over to the desk clerk breaks open the shooter and drops all the cartridges in his hand, then gives him the gun. He tells him you should send someone to get the sheriff so this cowboy can sleep it off. Then he turns like an eastern gentleman and offers the school marm his hand and escorts her to dinner purty as ya please.”

Dale tried to ignore the drifter but the tales just kept coming about how this Preacher took out three more men that night in a fair fight. He faced down the Kid’s brother, Black Bart, the next day. Later in the week he took on the rest of the Missouri River gang, killing all but two of them.

Dale folded his hand and walked over to the story teller. “Now I think yer just spinning tales fella. Ain’t no one that fast or good.”

Joe looked at the gambler with the diamond buttons on his shirt. “Lookie here mister I’m a tellin’ ya straight The Preacher’s quick as a greased pig and faster than lightnin’ on the plain. Why iffen an owlhoot meets The Preacher he’s a gonna met God either on his knee’s n prayer or face ta face.”

Dale looked the drifter in the eye and saw he believed every single word he was saying. Just about then the Western Union agent came in a shaking his head. “Well boy’s who’s buyin’ me a round? I just delivered the most interesting piece of news to the Marshal not five minutes ago. Seems like Kid Cody done went and got himself killed.”

“What you talkin’ bout Rusty?”

“According to the sheriff in Franklin some feller named the Preacher just out drew him and shot him dead.”

Dale downed his drink and motioned to the rest of his boys they were leavin’. If there was new talent in Franklin and the Missouri River Gang was gone then it was time for the Cavanagh Gang to increase it’s territory a bit east. Besides Dale needed to see this Preacher fella for himself and maybe add to his own reputation. “Mount up boy’s its time to head out to Franklin. I think we need to see this Preacher for ourselves and test his resolve.”

Twelve men climbed in the saddle and turned east. In a cloud of dust and the sound of thundering hooves the Cavanagh Gang set out for Franklin and a chance to see Diamond Dale brace the Preacher.

six shooter

The wagon train was in sight of Boone Lick. Nathan Ryder halted the train to rest, water the teams and allow the wagoneers a chance to grab a bit of lunch and stretch the kinks out of the drivers. Nathan and Abner walked a bit away from the group to talk about the rest of the day.

“Abner, I don’t want to drive them too hard today. Where is the best camping point for us to stop tonight without pushing too hard? Besides you, Tim, Levi and me, most of these people are used to the easier livin’ in the east.”

Abner Gunderson took off his hat and scratched at the stitches on the side of his head. “I reckon yer right Nathan. Let’s see.” He pulled a map out of his breeches pocket and looked at it for a minute. “I figure we ought to be able to make it ta Arrow Rock round five tonight. That’d be the best place to make camp tonight. It’s got a stream that runs down off the rock and a wide space we can circle the wagons.”

Nathan nodded. “Sounds good. Let’s put some jerky in our stomachs and then round ‘em all up. Once we get there I want us to all eat together tonight and make some decisions. Also, I want to make sure the Richmonds and their servants understand what is expected on this trip.”

“I was a might surprised when ya let that tinhorn and his four wagons join the line. Are ya sure that was wise? That woman’s gonna right drive us crazy I’m a thinkin’.”

Laughing, Nathan nodded. “Yer probably right Ole Timer but I’ll tell ya like I told Grace this morning. If worse comes to worse I can always administer another lesson in life in the west or let you or Levi administer it.”

“That sounds right fun. I wouldn’t mind seeing that dandy try them there Queensbury rules on ole Black Bart fer sure.”

“Levi, Abner call him Levi.”

“Opps, I plum fergot.”

The two men went and got a bite to eat. After they were both satisfied Nathan looked at his wagon drivers and yelled, “Wagons Ready?”

From up and down the line came the answer, “ALL SET.”

Nathan and every other driver mounted up. Nathan, grabbing the reins in firm hands bellowed, “Wagon’s HO!!” Snapping the reigns set Tiny and Mouse to pulling the Ryder wagon westward once more. Never knowing trouble in the form of Diamond Dale Cavanagh and his Cavanagh Gang was heading toward Franklin with bloodlust for The Preacher, David Nathaniel Ryder the Third in their hearts. Trouble was going to find them soon enough and it would dog them this whole trail.


Well that’s all you get for free. Go grab your copy.

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Posted by on June 2, 2013 in Book Reviews