Category: Review

A Voice as Soft as a Honey Bee’s Flutter by Jan Spivey Gilchrist

A Voice as Soft as a Honey Bee’s Flutter: Inspired by Psalm 46
Author and Illustrator: Jan Spivey Gilchrist

Published: July 8, 2019
32 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: June 25, 2019
Jessica’s Rating:  4 stars

Book Description:

Teaching children to know God and to hear His voice can be challenging. In A Voice as Soft as a Honey Bee’s Flutter, you and your young readers alike will journey through the story of an African American boy who learns to hear God’s voice in the busyness of everyday life. Your little ones will be encouraged to know God and hear His voice while learning to trust Him through the story inspired by Psalm 46.

Jessica’s Review:

This children’s picture book is the true story of the author’s brother that is also based off verses of Psalm 46.  It shows children that God is our place of safety and gives us strength in times of trouble.

I liked how the bee was a constant in the illustrations throughout the story.  The bee shows us how God is always with us.  The colorful watercolor illustrations perfectly helped to capture the moods of the story.  The illustrations bought to life the feel of darkness and fear when called for and then the light of hope at the end of the story. I liked how the illustrations showed us African American characters.  I feel we need more stories that show diversity in characters, especially when the books are for younger children.

This story calls for us to remember to take some time out and remember to “Be still, and know that I am God.” It also encourages Bible reading by mentioning the exact verses that this story is based off of and other verses to knowing more on God.

As this is a story of the author’s younger brother, there is one page that tells us briefly of his life.  He was the middle of five children.

This children’s picture book is recommended. Special thanks to the publisher for granting me an e-arc copy to read and review via NetGalley.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US *Publication Day is July 22, 2019*
Amazon UK *Already published in the UK*

Member of the Family

Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside his Cult, and the Darkness that Ended the Sixties
Author: Dianne Lake
Published: October 14, 2017
Audible

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

In this poignant and disturbing memoir of lost innocence, coercion, survival, and healing, Dianne Lake chronicles her years with Charles Manson, revealing for the first time how she became the youngest member of his Family and offering new insights into one of the twentieth century’s most notorious criminals and life as one of his “girls”

At age fourteen Dianne Lake—with little more than a note in her pocket from her hippie parents granting her permission to leave them—became one of “Charlie’s girls,” a devoted acolyte of cult leader Charles Manson. Over the course of two years, the impressionable teenager endured manipulation, psychological control, and physical abuse as the harsh realities and looming darkness of Charles Manson’s true nature revealed itself. From Spahn ranch and the group acid trips, to the Beatles’ White Album and Manson’s dangerous messiah-complex, Dianne tells the riveting story of the group’s descent into madness as she lived it.

Though she never participated in any of the group’s gruesome crimes and was purposely insulated from them, Dianne was arrested with the rest of the Manson Family, and eventually learned enough to join the prosecution’s case against them. With the help of good Samaritans, including the cop who first arrested her and later adopted her, the courageous young woman eventually found redemption and grew up to lead an ordinary life.

While much has been written about Charles Manson, this riveting account from an actual Family member is a chilling portrait that recreates in vivid detail one of the most horrifying and fascinating chapters in modern American history.

Kim’s Review:

I think this might be the end of my true crime obsession for a little while. People really are horrible and stupid. Ok, let me go back to the beginning. I decided to listen to this audiobook narrated by Dianne Lake herself. I have read Helter Skelter several times and I wanted to learn more about the family itself and the people in it. This book gave great info in a far more personal way. It’s easy to look in from the outside and criticize and judge, but when you get a glimpse of the realities, that definitely changes.

It’s also an interesting view into hippy culture. The 60s were a very different time and the things that people got away with then would seriously ruin their lives if they tried it today. Who lets their 14 year old daughter just up and go to a completely different city with someone she just met?? I mean Lake’s parents literally pushed her at Charlie Manson even though they knew something was off about him. I put my head down on the steering wheel and just tried to breathe out my frustration. I also learned a lot more about Charlie and his manipulative ways. Of course those girls followed him and loved him unconditionally. He gave them what no one else in the world did, love and acceptance. And he played them like a Hawaiian on a ukulele! I could go on and on about this book, but I’ll just encourage everyone to read it! Very informative and disturbing!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK **The UK version is titled slightly different: Member of the Family: Manson, Murder, and Me**

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Blog Tour: The Cinderella Plan

Today I share my review as a part of the blog tour for The Cinderella Plan by Abi Silver.  This Science Fiction/Legal Thriller shows us where our future may go with autonomous vehicles.  This one really left me thinking about this topic afterwards!

**There is also a giveaway going on for those of you lucky enough to be in the UK!**

Book Description:

When James Salisbury, the owner of a British car manufacturer, ploughs his ‘self-drive’ car into a young family, the consequences are deadly. Will the car’s ‘black box’ reveal what really happened or will the industry, poised to launch these products to an eager public, close ranks to cover things up?

James himself faces a personal dilemma. If it is proved that he was driving the car he may go to prison.   But if he is found innocent, and the autonomous car is to blame, the business he has spent most of his life building, and his dream of safer transport for all, may collapse.

Lawyers Judith Burton and Constance Lamb team up once again, this time to defend a man who may not want to go free, in a case that asks difficult questions about the speed at which technology is taking over our lives.

Author: Abi Silver
Published: July 11, 2019
272 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 18-26, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Jessica’s Review:

All science fiction is fiction until it becomes science fact and we are heading in the direction of autonomous/driverless cars. Though is novel is not exactly science fiction, it is more of a legal thriller, but The Cinderella Plan leaves you thinking about that future and the effects surrounding that society.

James Salisbury owns a British car manufacturer of autonomous vehicles and drives one himself. One day tragedy happens: James and the autonomous vehicle are involved in a deadly accident.  Autonomous vehicles cannot have accidents….Or can they?  This is the impasse that James faces as he has no memory of the accident: Was he responsible? If so, then he faces prison.  If he was not responsible and the vehicle was to blame, there goes his business he has tirelessly worked for many years. For James, he loses no matter what the verdict is: guilty or not guilty.

From the start, I was pulled into the story as we experience the accident.  The actual court case was a bit too technical for me, so it dragged at times.  It is obvious that Silver did her research as she wrote this novel.  There are also some unexpected twists that occur. Silver also mentions how autonomous vehicles effect everything, including laws and everyday business. The novel also shows what the positives and negatives of autonomous vehicles are. The Cinderella Plan does really make you think about the future with these vehicles:

Once I finished The Cinderella Plan I was thinking about how soon we might be 100% autonomous vehicles. I honestly do not seeing that happening in the immediate future as I live in a state where you need a vehicle to get where you need to go as public transportation is not readily available everywhere.  In fact, there is a big stigma towards it. These cars would be expensive and the average driver in my state would not be able to afford one.  Autonomous vehicles may be coming soon, but I think it will be a long time before we are using 100% autonomous vehicles.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Lightning Books Website
**Readers can order the book from the Lightning Books website at 50% off (with free UK p&p) if you enter this code at checkout – BLOGTOURCIND

About the Author:

Yorkshire-bred, Abi Silver is a lawyer by profession. She lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and three sons. Her first courtroom thriller featuring the legal duo Judith Burton and Constance Lamb, The Pinocchio Brief, was published by Lightning Books in 2017 and was shortlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award. Her follow-up The Aladdin Trial, featuring the same legal team, was published in 2018.

Read more about Abi and her work at www.abisilver.co.uk .

Contact Abi:
Website
Twitter: @abisilver16

**UK GIVEAWAY**

Win 5 x PB of The Cinderella Plan

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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