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Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

Pure Trash – Book Review


New review for PURE TRASH…

Dawn Delivers

Here’s another little review for a recent read – and this time I would like to tell you about
PURE TRASH (Historical Fiction) Short story prequel to DOG BONE SOUP by Bette A Stevens

Blurb: It’s PURE TRASH (Historical Fiction/short story), a Compelling Prequel to the novel TrashDOG BONE SOUP. The year is 1955. Remember the Good Old Days? You know, the 1950s and ‘60s, when America was flying high. The All American Family lived a life filled with hopes and dreams and life’s necessities too. Shawn Daniels isn’t your typical American Boomer Boy. No, Shawn is a poor boy. He can’t join Boy Scouts or sports teams. There’s not even enough money for necessities. Besides, Shawn doesn’t have time for that. But when chores are done, there’s always fishing!
In this short story, Shawn and Willie Daniels are off on a Saturday adventure in search of trash to…

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Another 5✰ Review for DOG BONE SOUP by Bette A. Stevens


Poignant and Inspiring!

Dog Bone Soup by Bette A. Stevens is not just the story of Shawn and his struggle to get a decent life, it is a family saga of adventures, sacrifices, togetherness and resilience. It is inspiring as well as poignant, a rare combination to create. Henrietta emerges to be a wonderful mother, giving all the care and attention to her kids though she had zero moral support from her self-centered and alcoholic husband, more interested in watching T.V. than looking after his own children.

The story is set in the 50’s when moccasins could be freely used to discipline children! Despite the challenges of poverty and meagre food, nobody has any complaints except Mr.Daniels. Life was hard and Shawn being the eldest in the family suffers the most yet he stands like a rock when he is old enough to handle his father’s violence.

A streak of thin light shimmers throughout the story, assuring the reader that struggles bring the best out of us. The hope never dies, as kind people keep trickling in to provide work and life-time lessons to Shawn and Willie. Characterisation has been handled very well and one person who stands out is Mrs Ashley, an old lady with the heart of gold, a book lover who fed the poor boys, read stories to them and even taught them how to use a typewriter when they accompanied their uncle to help in cutting the trees.

This book is relevant for the present generation for two reasons—one it acquaints them with history and the way people strived to wriggle out of domestic violence, lack of love and tough situations. Two, how comfortable life is today for children with no fear of moccasins! ~Balroop Singh, author

This review is from: DOG BONE SOUP (Historical Fiction/Ages 11-Adult): A Boomer’s Journey (Kindle Edition)

  • Take a ‘Look Inside’ and grab a copy of DOG BONE SOUP (available in paperback $10.99 and eBook $3.99 OR purchase paperback and download eBook version for #FREE) at YOUR AMAZON today http://bit.ly/1HGpCsZ

  • Find out more about Maine author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens and check out her books (children’s literature, children’s activity book and fiction for ages 10-adult) at http://viewauthor.at/BetteAStevens

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Two More Summer Reads: Blogger book reviews


I’ve just finished reading Mae Clair’s mystery “Eclipse Lake” and have Sally Cronin’s story collection “What’s in a Name?” on my TBR. You’ll want to heck out these awesome authors and get reading! ~Bette A. Stevens http://www.4writersandreaders.com

Myths of the Mirror

I usually read in bed at night and pass out after one or two chapters. One book can easily take a whole month to read. Not so while on vacation. Here are two more reviews of blogger books that I read during my trip to Colorado. Enjoy.

Eclipse Lake

by Mae Clair

A blend of mystery and romance with strong characters.

Eclipse Lake is one part cozy mystery and one part romance. The story focuses on Dane Carlisle, a teenage lost-cause who grew up and turned his life around to become a multi-millionaire. He returns to his hometown with his adopted son, hoping to make amends with his older brother. But memories of the teenage Dane persist, and the discovery of an old skull raises more suspicions about his past. Set against Dane’s dark history and the current turmoil is his fairytale romance with a spunky photo-journalist who’s in town shooting pictures…

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Dog Bone Soup by Bette A. Stevens


New review for DOG BONE SOUP!
Thanks to talented author Cathleen Townsend for a lovely surprise! By the way, friends, DOG BONE SOUP is currently on sale for only 99c/99p thru June 30, 2017 ~Bette A. Stevens http://www.4writersandreaders.com

The Beauty of Words

Dog Bone Soup coverDog bone soup was the meal Shawn hated most at his house. Not only because the soup was weak and thin, but because they had to eat like this to put money away. And they had to hide it, too, since if Shawn’s dad got wind of it, he’d take it and blow it on liquor and women.

Shawn worked whenever he could, after school, Saturdays, and summers. His mom worked any housecleaning job she could find, too, and it still wasn’t enough for them to shake the specter of poverty that haunted them and made them a mockery in town. No matter that they were hard-working and sober. Shawn’s drunken father, in and out of trouble, made Shawn a constant target for derision at school.

This is a classic coming-of-age story, about a young man searching for a way to escape his home town. You can read the Look…

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Kim Cox and Bette A. Stevens


Check out these updates from Sally’s Bookstore!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

The first update is for romantic suspense author Kim Cox whose latest release Before We Wed (Style and Profile Series Book 2)  is on pre-order from Amazon for July 27th.

About the book

Just as Sarah Martin and Jon Clayton say their vows, the police crash the wedding to arrest the groom. Jon is terrified and Sarah is heartbroken. Thankfully, their friends support them emotionally and help find Jon an excellent attorney.

When evidence of John’s guilt is found, he swears he’s innocent. But how can he prove it? As if an arrest and pending trial aren’t bad enough, his ex-wife refuses to let him near their seven-year-old son, and has their shared custody agreement rescinded as part of his bail agreement. But when Jon-Jon is injured, Jon breaks the agreement and his bail is revoked.

Sarah sees strange men in Jon’s business one night. One follows her home and…

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Book Review Sunday: Dog Bone Soup by Bette A. Stevens @BetteAStevens


Kim's Author Support Blog

DOG BONE SOUP by Bette A. Stevens

Book Blurb

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DOG BONE SOUP is not only the title of Bette A. Stevens’s debut novel; it ranks high among the paltry meals that the book’s protagonist, Shawn Daniels, wants to forget. Plodding through mounting snow and battling howling winds, Shawn is ready to leave it all behind—living in poverty, Dad’s drinking, life in foster care, the divorce, the bullies…. Travel with Shawn Daniels through the guts and the glories of life in DOG BONE SOUP, a Boomer’s coming-of-age saga. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, but mostly you’ll be glad you read it.


Book Review (from AmazonUK)

5.0 out of 5 starsBeautifully Written
By Amazon Customer on 3 April 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Beautifully Written
The poignant story of Shawn and his family opens as he leaves home to serve in the armed forces. Looking back over his childhood he…

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HOLIDAY SALE! 5✰ Historical Fiction by Bette A. Stevens—Only 99¢ for a Limited Time


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“Stevens’ skill with dialect also makes this book unique. She doesn’t overdo it, but lets it flow like spring water or rain in the forest.
~ Mary Clark, author

Dog Bone Soup by Bette A. Stevens (Historical Fiction/Ages 11-Adult) set in rural New England—only 99¢ for a Limited Time at YOUR AMAZON http://bit.ly/1HGpCsZ.

This 1950s and 60s coming-of-age novel (ages 11-adult) has been likened to Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn by more than one reviewer. You’ll find Mary Clark’s complete review below.

5gold-star3

The Finer Spirit

“This is a wonderfully engaging and thought-provoking story. Bette Stevens’ young boy growing up in poverty in 1960s America, reminds me of another child, adrift on a raft on a mighty river, and the issues illuminated by that author of social stigma, individual resilience, and integrity. Huckleberry Finn is also poor and an outsider, and yet becomes a symbol for the equality of all humanity, and the finer spirit in all of us, in Mark Twain’s hands. I felt a similar quality in Stevens’ distinctive book.

“Stevens’ skill with dialect also makes this book unique. She doesn’t overdo it, but lets it flow like spring water or rain in the forest. Her descriptions take you into the scene and the characters’ minds. I felt I was in the family’s cabin, fishing by the river, riding a bike into town, being bullied and ostracized, and ashamed of a parent’s bad behavior. This book is a rare treat. I highly recommend it.” ~ Mary Clark, author

 Happy Holidays & Happy Reading!

It’s the perfect time of year to download a copy for you—and to gift a copy or two to those readers who are special to youDOG BONE SOUP by Bette A. Stevens—for only 99¢ for a Limited Time at YOUR AMAZON http://bit.ly/1HGpCsZ. You’ll be glad you did!

About the author

Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of Monarch butterflies—an endangered species (and for milkweed, the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).

Stevens is the author of AMAZING MATILDA, an award-winning picture book; The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!, a home/school resource  incorporating hands-on math and writing; and PURE TRASH, the short story prequel to her début novel, DOG BONE SOUP, a Boomer’s coming-of-age story set in 1950s and 60s New England.

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