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: Chloe: Never Forget

Today I help close out the blog tour for Chloe: Never Forget by Dan Laughey. I will be sharing an extract of the novel.

Book Description:

An off-duty detective gunned down. A dead woman. A student missing, feared dead. And now, a former policeman in search of his past. All these people, dead or alive, have one thing in common. D.I. Carl Sant must discover what it is.

A series of cold-case enquiries leads D.I. Sant and his colleagues to investigate a botched assassination plot dating back to the 1980s. The deeper they dig into the case, the more secrets are revealed, including shocking connections to the infamous National Front. 

Meanwhile, the memory of former P.C. Tanner, survivor of the assassination horror, is beginning to recover. Sant must find Tanner, and find out who is behind it all – before his superiors lose their rag and more lives are lost.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


The following extract is from Chapter 5 of CHLOE: NEVER FORGET. It’s from the point of view of an elderly gentleman who has spent his later life trying to forget his former years as a policeman. But then someone visits, and now he’ll never forget.

Your name is Nigel Fleming. You think.

Your visitors are few and far between.
The consultant specialist or whatever she’s called pops her head around the door once in a while. The postman is a friendly chap too. The neighbours stick their noses into your business too often, but that can’t be helped.

What you almost never get is a new visitor.

You never answer the door to cold callers or charity beggars or meter readers. For all you know, the cretins might invite themselves in, raid your fridge, piss in your toilet.

God forbid.

And yet the other day, believe it or not, a new visitor did come your way. A young lady. Or was it two? One girl or two? Perhaps two was wishful thinking.

Ha ha! Mrs Fleming will be jealous!
Yes, you were flattered. Don’t deny it, Nigel.

And they asked you so many questions. And showed you pictures of their lives. Other people’s lives any road. Stories of lives once lived.

And they played music to you. Other people’s music any road. Not very good music. But music all the same. They even gave you an iPod thingy.

And then they showed you a video. A home video. Their video. Not a very good video. But a video all the same. They didn’t give you that.

The whole experience was exhausting quite frankly.

Frankly, it was.

Can you remember any of it? Not much, sadly.

But you do remember one thing. They warned you to keep a low profile; not to speak to strange people; not to answer suspicious calls.

They did have a way with words. And they were so sincere. So utterly fretful about your welfare.

They’ve done something to your brain, Nigel. Those two young ladies, if you weren’t seeing double, have frazzled your senses something rotten.

And now you’re sat up in bed and the nightmares have returned and you don’t know what’s hit you. Not yet.

TICK TOCK TICK TOCK.

Your body clock is ticking, but your brain-dead head is coming to life.

Halloween, Nigel. Buses, Nigel. Police officers killed, Nigel. Police officers wounded…

And now it’s on the radio. The news is playing tricks with your mind.

TICK TOCK TICK TOCK.

They’ve found a dead body, Nigel. A dead woman, Nigel. A dead woman called Marie Jagger, Susan Smith, Sheila Morrison.

Sheila, Sheila, Sheila.

Is that really her name? Her real name?
What is your real name?
Nigel Fleming? No.
What is it?
It’s time you remembered.


About the Author:

Dan Laughey is a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University where he teaches a course called ‘Youth, Crime and Culture’ among other things. He has written several books on the subject including Music and Youth Culture, based on his PhD in Sociology at Salford University. He also holds a BA in English from Manchester Metropolitan University and an MA in Communications Studies from the University of Leeds.

Dan was born in Otley and bred in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, a hop and a skip away from the Leeds setting of his Chloe novels.

His crime writing was purely academic to begin with. He’s written about media violence and tackled the age-old concern about television and video games influencing patterns of antisocial behaviour in society. After years of research and theoretical scrutiny, he still hasn’t cracked that particular nut.

He’s also written about the role of CCTV and surveillance in today’s Big Brother world, the sometimes fraught relationship between rap and juvenile crime, football hooliganism, and the sociocultural legacy of Britain’s most notorious serial killer – the Yorkshire Ripper.

All in all, Dan’s work has been translated into four languages: French, Hebrew, Korean and Turkish. He has presented guest lectures at international conferences and appeared on BBC Radio and ITV News in addition to providing expert commentary for The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph.

Contact Dan:
Twitter:
@danlaughey

 

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