Thursday, September 4, 2014

Dancing on the Head of a Pen by Robert Benson

Cover Description

In this masterful blend of the practical and the spiritual, Robert Benson invites you into the work and rewards of a writer’s life. More than a primer on effective writing, Dancing on the Head of a Pen is a winsome guide to the place in the heart where the life of the spirit meets the life of art.

My Review 

"A writer does not have to write a book tomorrow morning when he goes wherever he goes when the bell rings to announce the time has come to write. A writer cannot write a book tomorrow. A carpenter cannot build a house tomorrow morning either.
What a writer has to do today is write a few hundred words. And then do the same the next day and the next." — Robert Benson

I finished this book in one evening! There was no putting it down. I couldn't have asked for a more encouraging book on writing. Reading his book was like sitting beside your neighbor who you grew up with who genuinely cares about you and your writing. Sipping lemonade while watching the birds in the yard on a bright and wonderful day. 
He doesn't pump himself up and say what a great writer he is because he does it a certain way. In fact, he encourages you to do what you can and to not try and do what everyone else does. If you can't write 600 words, write 500. As writers we each have our own way. But we must keep writing everyday. If its a novel, journaling, blogging, etc,. 

I  love the life stories, tales, and quotes he shares. He was so relatable, much of the book I was saying "I thought I was the only one!" Or "I never thought someone else would be like that."
One of my favorite chapters was with the three hats. Baret, Gamer, and Fedora. 

He also points out the important things, not just for writing but at the same time they are essential to any writers, and persons, life. 

"My work may be the center of a universe, but is not the center of the universe. I do not like this truth, but I believe it." — Robert Benson

Keeping our priorities. Get out of the bunker hole, pull out your walking stick, and go outside. You never know what you might see or who you will meet walking down the street, but get out and mingle with the rest of the world. 

The book is light, refreshing, and downright uplifting to any writer at any time of his or her life. 
For me, it came at the perfect time, an answer to my prayers. I feel encouraged, enlightened, and ready to keep on writing. This is one of those books that years down I will say helped shape my writing path. 

"Only once the writer lets literature shape her can she perhaps shape literature." — Ms. Dillard. 

Robert Benson's writing is like watching your best friend and though to some it might seem silly, in your head and heart you know your exactly the same and you love them all the more for it. Thank you Mr. Benson for writing such a wonderful book, sharing your thoughts and a piece of you with all of us!

I give this book a full 5 out of 5 stars. 

I received this book for free from the publisher’s in exchange for this honest and unbiased review as part of their Blogging For Books program.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Butterfly and The Violin by Kristy Cambron

Cover Description
A Mysterious
painting breathes hope and beauty into the darkest corners of Auschwitz—and the
loneliest hearts of Manhattan.

Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at
the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire for
distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young
girl—a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes.

In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with
William Hanover—the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul—who may
be the key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together Sera and William
slowly unravel the story behind the painting’s subject: Austrian violinist
Adele Von Bron.

A darling of the Austrian aristocracy of 1942, talented
violinist, and daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks
everything when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her
life of prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and
barbed wire.

As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds
beauty in the most unlikely of places: the grim camps of Auschwitz and the inner
recesses of her own troubled heart.

My Review

I've mentioned before, I'm a fan of World War 2 stories. I've never really understood why that is but I think I got a glimpse of it through this book. 


God is always there. He may be silent, you may not see that light at the end of the tunnel, yet, but if you keep the faith and praising God, you will one day see it. Never give up hope. 

I liked Sera, she was very relatable. Her experience with heartbreak and the results that came thereafter. A great many of us have endured and struggled the same way. Putting up walls, throwing ourselves into work or play and searching for answers that will bring us peace. But like Sera, the only answers that will truly give us peace are the ones given to us by Jesus. 

William was just, wow. I really liked him. I won't spoil anything for you, I'll only say this. I love the first meeting between William and Sera. I could see myself being in that exact situation and having met someone the exact same way and think as she did. At least, in my fantasy world I could imagine that happening to me. He isn't without his faults those. One chapter I could not believe what he had done. My heart stopped and shattered all at once. I thought I had been a fool to believe in him *clears throat* I mean his character, in the book. (Kristy really knows how to grip your heart)

I absolutely love Adele's story. From her romance with Vladimir, to her strong heart for the God, to her courage to help those being persecuted at the risk of her own life.  
Through out Adele's trials, she was encouraged to keep her hope alive because that, her faith in Jesus, the Nazi's could never take away. And she, like anyone else in her situation might come to feel, felt ready to give up. But God gave her a gift, one meant to keep her, and those like her, alive. 

Honestly, I can't begin to tell you how amazed I was by this debut novel by Kristy Cambron. Had it not been mentioned, I would have thought this to be her 10th novel rather than her 1st! 

I noticed the byline on the cover said "A Hidden Masterpiece Novel". Well, that only means one thing: more books! The stories continue! I immediately looked up the series on Amazon and sure enough her new book, a sequel, is set to release April 7th, 2015! Not even a year from the first book publication. Just in time for my birthday too! I'm definitely setting my calendar for that date!

Oh no! I forgot one other important beloved character! Penny, Sera's assistance. She made me smile and laugh. I hope she makes it into the rest of the series. She added a nice sisterly spice element to the story. It wouldn't have been the same without her. 

I also liked looking up the songs she played and listening to them as I read. Especially, Adele's final song "Mandellssohn: Violin Cocerto in E minor"*. It gave it so much depth. 
I loved the book cover for this as well. 

I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars!

I received this book for free from the publisher’s in exchange for this honest and unbiased review as part of their Blogging For Books program.