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Guidelines for a Writing Critique Group

Rediscovering the Joy of Reading

Those who love dogs will understand the deep connections we form with our beloved pets. Alex The Mutt chronicles the relationships of the author with a few of these members of her family, all rescue animals. The first ones set the pattern for the level of commitment, and the joy that results when we welcome a rescue dog into our homes. The last one, though, becomes a greater challenge, turning to heartache when Perlin has to admit that Ty cannot remain with her. Don’t let that deter you from reading, however. Ty does find a “forever home” where he is happy.

Perlin writes with a sureness that leaves no doubt that she lived what she speaks. Her love for and dedication to her dogs is boundless and comes through clearly.

This is a short read, but animal lovers will resonate with the warmth and intimacy Perlin portrays.


This is not your average “girl meets boy” story. And, though you may believe in “love at first sight” this romance does not run smoothly when that happens. The attraction between Jayne and Lyel may be deep and instantaneous, but both have barriers that stand in the way of “happily ever after” Jayne has just come off a nasty relationship which has eroded her ability to trust. Lyel has a secret that he cannot share. But true love requires trust – on both sides.

When Jayne gives Lyel that trust without knowing his secret it shatters her when he disappears after three blissful days. She is left to build her life back up on her own and shows her underlying strength in doing so.

Since this is a love story, and since the author has already told us Lyel comes back to share his secret, I know I am not sharing any spoilers by telling you that they do resolve their issues and achieve their version of “happily ever after”. Yet, it’s not quite what you’d expect. And Vera Mae keeps us in suspense about it until almost the very end.

Vera Mae weaves her story with skill and a deep understanding of human nature and the nature of inner strength. One requirement of mine, for any story I read, is that the characters are real, and develop throughout the book. In this the author gets full credit. I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I think you will, too.

My Stand-alone

My Stand-alone

It’s that time of year and I’m feeling generous. Until Dec. 31, 2016 all my ebooks will be #FREE via Smashwords at https://www.smashwords.com/

Here is the link to my page:  https://www.smashwords.com/

The first in the Earth’s Pendulum series, Back From Chaos, is always free and needs no coupon.

The second, Through Kestrel’s Eyes, will need coupon code RP64N

The third, The Dreamt, Child, will need coupon code JR95M

My fourth book, Labyrinth Quest, is not part of the series and stands aone. It will need coupon code QA22V.

I hope you will enjoy these and share the codes with your friends and aquaintances as well.

Have a safe and happy holiday season and may 2017 be good to you.





This delightful read had me spellbound. It’s been a while since I read purely for pleasure and this was the perfect book for that. It has elements of magic, time travel, romance, and mystery –all beautifully blended in a way that makes the reader believe.

I always look for characters I can relate to, ones that develop as the story progresses. In this, too, Ziedel performs, whether we slip back into the Civil War years or live in modern times, whether the decisions and actions of the characters are propelled by magic or by real relationships in the past or present, I never doubt. The characters are real while I I am with them.

Zeidel never resorts to gimmicks or coincidence to move the story forward, in spite of the temptation magic might provide. Each incidence of magic serves a purpose. As well, her descriptions of her surroundings, both past and present, are deftly portrayed without becoming flowery or overwrought.

Zeidel writes with a deceptive simplicity that I love.

Highly recommended.

This is a story that will create very diverse reactions in those that read it. It is deep, involved, and may offend those with a religious bent who do not take kindly to conspiracy theories involved the Roman Catholic Church.

I was not one of those. I recognize it for what it is:  fiction, almost a fantasy, in the vein of the Da Vinci Code. Like that book it is complex, with dark secrets, skewed interpretations of doctrine, and characters that will stop at nothing, even murder, to keep those secrets and move their heretical cult’s cause forward. Unlike that book, it is written with greater skill.

Ambroziak’s writing is complex and detailed. The reader must pay close attention as the story moves back and forth in time in order to explain without giving too much away. That she does and still keeps the reader guessing attests to her considerable skill as a writer.

If I have one criticism it is that almost every character has more than one name, depending on what stage of life they are at and who they engage with. While I occasionally found that confusing I do understand why it was necessary. Those who love complex stories with intrigue and secrecy will likely find this an asset rather than a distraction.

This book is definitely not for everyone. Yet it was well researched, skillfully written and will appeal to many, especially those who like to be challenged a bit.