Sunday, May 22, 2016

Rachel Nunes' Ongoing Struggle Against Plagiarism

Author, Rachel Nunes
I've already written quite a lot, since August 2014 about my friend Rachel Nunes' ongoing struggle to hold a plagiarist accountable for stealing Rachel's book, changing the POV, adding a few sex scenes, and then trying to pass the book off as her own.  Even so, plagiarism is a very serious thing, and I feel like it needs to be mentioned again.  Even though a plagiarist doesn't physically sneak into someone's house and take things, it is still a horrible, dishonest thing to do.  In my opinion, the punishment should be more severe than it already is.  Because plagiarism is considered a civil thing rather than a criminal, Rachel Nunes has to provide the finances to hold the plagiarist accountable.  But other ethical writers and readers can help her, by contributing to her gofundme account that author David Farland encouraged her to set up.  Consider following the link here to help her bring the plagiarist to justice, and hopefully discourage would-be plagiarists who could see, by our solidarity, that we will not tolerate such dishonest and unethical behavior without there being serious consequences.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Magnificent World of Spirits by Marlene Bateman Sullivan

The Magnificent World of Spirits by Marlene Bateman Sullivan was an insightful and eye-opening read.  It gave many different first hand accounts of people who had had near death experiences and had interacted with spirits during the time out of their bodies.  One account that really stood out to me, was that of a soldier who had been hit with a shock wave during a battle in which most of his comrades were killed.  He was dead for three days, declared dead by a doctor, even.  Yet when they started to bury him, his spirit came back to his body, and he started kicking and thrashing in the bag they’d put him in.  Of course, seeing this, they immediately got him out, and the story he had to tell of his experiences beyond this life, was pretty amazing. 

This story would be enjoyable to anyone who is curious about inspiring near-death experiences.  But I think it may be particularly comforting for someone who has recently lost someone close, and needs to be reminded that the essence of who a person is does not cease to exist at the end of the life of the body, but continues on another plane of existence; not only that, but that the person retains the same consciousness and personality that he or she had before.  The book was well-researched, and skillfully put together. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading inspiring, faith-affirming stories.

Blurbs, Excerpts, and Author Bio for The Magnificent World of Spirits

Blurb for The Magnificent World of Spirits
Life. Death. Life.
Not everyone who visits the spirit world stays there. The Magnificent World of Spirits: Eyewitness Accounts of Where We Go When We Die, gives fascinating glimpses of life beyond the veil by people who visited the spirit world during the early years of the LDS Church.
Filled with stories of insight and inspiration, The Magnificent World of Spirits is a stirring book that combines documented personal experiences with scripture, commentary, and quotes from latter-day prophets and other leaders. This book will bring you peace as you come to understand what awaits on the other side of the veil. After reading this book, you will never think of life—or death—in the same way.

Blurb for Gaze into Heaven (prequel to The Magnificent World of Spirits)
Gaze Into Heaven; Near-death Experiences in Early LDS Church History, is a collection of more than 50 near-death experiences that occurred during the early years of the LDS Church. These documented accounts give fascinating glimpses into the spirit world by those who have actually been there. What happens when we die? What does the spirit world look like? Will we see departed family members and friends? What do people do there? All of these questions and many more are answered in Gaze Into Heaven.

Bio for Marlene
Marlene Bateman Sullivan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor's degree in English. Marlene loves reading, camping, and flowers, and has a super-sized iris garden with over 75 different varieties. She also loves animals and has a pudgy Westie and an energetic Welsh Corgi who somehow manage to co-exist with her four cats.  
Marlene has written a number of non-fiction books, including:  Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, And There Were Angels Among Them, Visit’s From Beyond the Veil, By the Ministering of Angels, Brigham’s Boys, Heroes of Faith, Gaze Into Heaven; Near-death Experiences in Early Church History, and The Magnificent World of Spirits. Marlene also wrote the best-selling novel, Light on Fire Island, as well as three other mysteries, Motive for Murder, A Death in the Family, and Crooked House.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Clockwork Calico: The Golden Owl by Lana Axe

Clockwork Calico: The Golden Owl by Lana Axe
I read and enjoyed a very fun Middle Grade Steampunk recently, titled Clockwork Calico: The Golden Owl by Lana Axe.  It was fast-paced, and full of surprises.  Upper elementary kids and junior high kids would find it exciting and engaging.  Heck, all ages would!

Calico Cogg is a cat whose human friend (according to Calico, cats have friends, not owners) Lionel Cogg has fitted her with all sorts of enhancements to increase her feline abilities.  This is great for her, but dastardly folks, aware of Lionel's skills have other, more nefarious plans in mind. When Lionel is kidnapped, Calico finds herself teaming up with a mouse of all, ahem, people, in order to rescue him, and the cat and mouse team proceed to uncover something even more sinister than they imagined.

This is very well-written, and wonderfully paced.  I enjoyed reading it a lot, and I highly recommend it for all ages!