DWED: First, tell us a little about yourself.

Jill: This is always the hardest question to answer. Funny, I can describe my characters to a tee, but when it comes to describing myself I draw a blank. Okay, I grew up in a large family on a farm in Washington state and LOVE the northwest area. I currently live in east Texas with my husband of 19 years and two teenage boys.

 DWED: Have you always aspired to publish a novel?

Jill: I started wanting to write young adult or romance books when I was a teenager. I actually wrote a “novel” with my twin sister and best friend. Then, in High School I had a few teachers that encouraged me to write descriptive stories. I fell in love.

 DWED: Would you say the journey to publishing was easy or hard? Why?

Jill: I’m Indie published right now, so the hardest part of my journey is editing and marketing.

 DWED: Who or what would you say inspired “The Pride Series”?

Jill: My inspirations are my kids and husband. I love telling them stories.

DWED: How was the concept of “The Pride Series” born?

Jill: I have always been a “story teller” in my mind. This may sound weird, but most of my stories come from dreams. Shortly after my mother died, I started having vivid dreams. Taking my husbands advice, I started writing them down.

DWED: How does “The Pride Series” stand out? What does it offer and more importantly what can viewers find within it pages?

Jill: Have you ever visited a place where the people are so friendly, you just wanted to stay and not return home?  

Nestled in the rolling hills on the coast of Oregon, Pride is the perfect setting for this series.  The series follows the less than perfect Jordan family, Todd, Lacey and Iian, and the people they grow to love.  Lasting Pride discovers the exciting adventures of family friend, Ric Derby, and the path that leads him and Roberta,  the woman sworn to protect him, to the safety of Pride. 


Synopsis: This is the story of a twenty five year old ranch horse that was injured and pretty much left to die. He was brought to a stable and sold, even though no one really expected him to survive. He was reborn into a merchant of hope. His amazing spirit and calmness have helped many people over the next 13 years as he became the most amazing mentor and therapy horse. This is Pie's story as he tells it about the most amazing second chance at life and his travels through it. You will meet his person, a shy young girl who he helps grow into adulthood. He will introduce you to the other horses and people that helped shape his journey. His influence has known no bounds throughout this last 13 years and he continues to shine his light even at the ripe old age of 38. This is a feel good story about life, love, second chances and giving back.



Rating- *** 3.5 stars


My thoughts:

This made for a very interesting as well as humorous read. The story is told through the point of view of a Horse named Pie, this idea very unique and original for an Adult read.  It, to me, was entertaining, informative and cute all intertwined with instances being described as only a horse’s mind could conjur.

There were instances my heart melted, tugged, broke. I was on a rollercoaster of emotions from laughter, to “Aww’s” to feeling as if I could see each occurrence through the horses eyes as if I were the horse itself.

Kandy has a neat hand writing style where it flows easily, very well written and relatable. I found I enjoyed this book, despite my first initial reaction to being unsure if I would.

Author Links





Rating- *** 3.5 stars

Synopsis: "Ever wonder what it takes to be uniquely and passionately yourself in a world determined to make you like everyone else?

Grace Martin intends to find out as she stumbles from one humbling life lesson to another. With a peculiar, but supportive guide and mentor named Mrs. Pettermint, Grace slowly breaks free of traditional family and religion and courageously explores life, relationships, and various spiritual traditions seeking solutions that make her soul shine. Finally, just when the peak of her journey seems within reach, her beloved mentor dies leaving her nearly $50 Million Dollars—but the only way to claim that inheritance and find the peace Grace craves is to face the fierce criticism of her past, the betrayals of the present, and the thousands she serves as a New Thought Minster.

Finding Grace reveals that in order to find grace, a woman must surrender her fears, doubts and attachments and learn to walk the transformational journey into her own soul."



My thoughts:

This book was a very humbling, stimulating, emotional, and endearing read. It was almost like reading a guidance book on self discovery as Grace is mentored in all categories of self worth.

So many women go through a period where they feel stuck; hating themselves, their looks, their decisions, their upbringing or background. Finding Grace was not just a fiction book about its title character being led to self empowerment, but also like an outline in finding the simplicity as well as love of ones self.

Many of the feeling Grace exhibited were a mirror to what an adolescent girl goes through. I would define this as a read any mother and her daughter should read.

The situations and characters are very relatable, personable, and exceptional.

It’s almost like reading a road map to a more humble and accepting existence. While here in our own reality we question ourselves and everything as far as our purpose as Grace had done in Finding Grace.

Very well done Kathy.

Author Links:


Synopsis: In 1899, stunning Kathleen Colby finds herself forced to embark on a perilous adventure with her disabled sister across America. During this unparalleled journey from Alaska to New York, she encounters compelling, dangerous characters, meets an attractive man of many secrets, and discovers what it is to be a woman in the late 1890s. This amazing trip will eventually change the naive Kathleen into...the new woman of the early twentieth-century.


Rating- *** 3 stars

My thoughts:

While historical fiction for me can be a hit or miss, this book was in a more favorable light.

Liliana has got a talent that both stimulates and educates the reader all the while drawing a picture of how great history can be tweaked to fit the imagination.

I loved the way she took a period before our time and worked it into a very lovely story, transporting the reader as if they were actually there. I felt like I was watching the scenes front and center, following the characters as they progressed through the story. It wasn’t one of those stories that is so convoluted with history that it gave you a headache. I felt like it flowed beautifully and I could grasp onto each piece.

While I don’t want to include spoilers I will tell you this: Liliana has done a very great job on this book and I do look forward to other works from her.


Author Links:

Liliana Shelbrook


Twitter: @LShelbrook

Like Me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/



In detail:

I love the lead in for the novel. J. K. Rowling starts the story simplistically with a cat with marking upon her face, sitting on Privet Drive waiting for what, the reader at first did not know. Only to be submerged in a first bit of magic as Dumbledore, one of the most powerful wizards in his time, greets this mysterious cat after extinguishing all the lights on the street.

They wait…and for what the reader is grasping on the edge of their seat to know. Why is the mysterious cat that sat for days upon days without so much as blinking suddenly changing into a well seasoned witch, approaching the wizard Dumbledore with odd questions about a family and their whereabouts?

We soon find out, that Harry Potter has lost both of his parents, orphaned by a magically devious man who shall not be named, and whisked away into the night to safety where he is left on the doorstep of his estranged Aunt’s door.

This opening while satisfying and very well detailed reminded me of many stories along the lines of orphans from Annie to Oliver Twist, where children are fragile and frail left to their own vises in a cruel, cruel world.

Later we visit Harry as he is older, a scraggly unkempt and unwanted house guest living in a cupboard below the stairs of the Dursley’s house as they treat him like dirt beneath their fingers. They barely feed him, work him to the bone and chastise him on a regular, even going to such lengths to ignore the bullying their own son does to poor Harry.

As eloquently as this story is written, this reminded me of Cinderella, a girl beaten down by life and family forced to work for them like a servant. Criticized and ridiculed until finally she is able to run free. This can be said too for Harry Potter as he gets his chance at freedom when an Owl Post comes for him with his acceptance to Hogwarts a school for witches and wizards.

Though the road to getting to school was not that simple, His Uncle Vernon Dursley tried desperately to keep that lifestyle from him. Vernon as well as Petunia his Aunt didn’t want Harry to know he had wizards blood flowing through his veins, they didn’t even want to hear the word Magic.

So as the letters announcing Harry’s acceptance into the school began to flow in, the Dursley’s left finding places to hide only to be followed by the letters. Eventually Harry gets his letter and is rescued by Rubeus Hagrid, the same man who rescued him from the empty shell of what was left of his home when his parents were killed.

Hagrid takes Harry under his wing and helps him prepare for school. He promises to see Harry soon, a boy who is now overly ecstatic to be breaking away from his terrible family.

Throughout the novel we are introduced to the many main characters of the Harry Potter Series.

Draco Malfoy- from a pure bred wizarding family that mostly practices the dark arts and was in league with the dark lord when he was in power. Draco becomes one of Harry’s enemies inside the Hogwarts school.

Hermione Granger- one of Harry’s best friends who at first can be seen as obnoxious and bossy.

Ron Weasley- comes from a poor pur blood wizarding family and is Harry’s best friend

Fred & George Weasley- mischievous twins

Severus Snape-a professor at Hogwarts who hates Harry for unknown reasons.

Neville Longbottom- Who I must say had more of a presence in the books than he did in the movies.

As well as many others. And as we get to know these characters we also get a first year’s course on Magic as Harry takes his. We experience Harry’s first broom ride, and his first taste of fame which leads up back to the core of the story.

Harry Potter known as the boy who lived despite being cast with a very deadly curse Avada Kedavra, had no knowledge of the events that transpired around his parents death. He now knew that they hadn’t died from a car crash as his Aunt and Uncle had told him growing up, but that Lord Voldemort a Dark sorcerer had killed them…killed them trying to get close enough to Harry, who had been no more than a year old then, but the curse backfired and instead destroyed Lord Voldemort. A name no witch or wizard dare speak out loud in case it would conjure him.

Harry was never used to so much attention. He was used to being ridiculed, verbally abused and forced into punishment. He was not used to cheers of encouragement or everybody knowing his name.

The tales of how he lived was told even before he knew his own past. And with positivity in the wings, one must know there is always negativity. Draco Malfoy along with his crew Crabe and Goyle make Harry’s life at Hogwarts very difficult. There is also Professor Snape who seems to despise Harry for reasons unknown.

Not to mention the mysterious happenings on school grounds as a troll finds its way into the castle on Halloween. A mysterious beast guarding a trap door down the third floor corridor, and a stuttering Professor who can’t stand the touch of Harry. Yes, very mysterious indeed. Until we learn of the unique quality of power the Sorcerer’s stone possesses, and Lord Voldermort’s plot to steal it in order to regain his strength as well as immortality.

But who could be Aiding Lord Voldemort the dark lord that everyone had thought to be dead?

Find out by reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and seeing the coinciding movie. Both I know you will love as the book may be more detailed, but the Movie is an adventurous endeavor I can say will tickle the eyes and senses.

Follow DWED as we showcase the Harry Potter series both books and movies throughout the month of May. Also stay tuned…we dare to have a giveaway! One you won’t want to miss!!!

DWED: First, tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in Queensbridge which is located close to Astoria in Queens. I moved to Freeport, Long Island at the end of 7th grade.

I currently work in Law Enforcement. Being in that profession allows me to meet people every day, and it puts me in a lot of situations that are interesting and I can learn from them.

I published my first book in 2008 entitled "Times Have Changed and Life is Strange. It is currently used in two schools on the Lower East side of Manhattan.

My favorite books are Richard Wright's Native Son, Eric Jerome Dickey's Cheaters, Milk in my coffee, and Between Lovers.

My favorite movies are Fight Club, Love and Basketball, He got game, Forrest Gump, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Paid in Full, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Django Unchained, Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill volumes 1 &2.

I’m married to my wife Lauren and I have a daughter named Jaelynn.

DWED: Have you always aspired to publish a novel?
Yes, when I was in the 8th grade, my English teacher Mrs. Marcus gave the class a poetry assignment. My poem was on basketball. I don't remember what I wrote, but I remember my teacher was blown away by it. She encouraged me to keep writing. She was one of my most influential teachers, and I promised her if I ever wrote a book, I would write a poem about the Holocaust for her (She was Jewish, and had family in it) my dream was to publish a book. I continued to write throughout high school and college. My college professors told me I had talent, so I decided to go to open mic's and perform my poetry. Hearing people cheer for me and appreciate my words, inspired me to want to keep writing. My first published book was “Times Have changed and Life is Strange.” It was a poetry book. I wrote a poem for Mrs. Marcus called “Holocaust” keeping my promise. The poem “Ugly” from “Times Have Changed and Life is Strange”, is the poem that inspired me to write “Monster” I reflected on my life, and felt this would be a good story that would teach and possible change people’s lives.

DWED: Would you say the journey to publishing was easy or hard? Why?

I would say the journey was difficult. When I first started to pitch my novel to agents, I was turned down left and right. I felt like I wasn't good enough. I felt like quitting. One agent finally talked to me, and told me that while my writing was good, it wasn't great. He told me to make it in the book business I needed to be great. I thought long and hard about just giving up on my book, but then I thought about all of my friends, and even some strangers that thought that my novel was really good. I reminded myself that this is my dream, my passion, and if I sold one copy or a million, I would publish this book. I learned more about my craft by studying books on writing. The fact that I accomplished my goals of finishing the book and publishing it is a success for me. I self-published the book, but I have been blessed to receive great reviews for it. People are actually getting the points of my book, and I'm so happy that I have written a book that people are enjoying. When strangers message me on Facebook and tell me how much my book has changed their lives or how much they enjoyed it, I think back to those times where I wanted to quit. I'm proud of myself for believing in my own abilities, and accomplishing my dream after going through so much rejection. I may never be number one on the New York Times Best Seller List, but the fact that I can have an impact on the people who have read my book, makes me extremely happy.

DWED: Who or what would you say inspired “Monster”?

"Monster" is based off my life and experiences. After enduring some pretty interesting experiences, I believe that "Monster" is a story that can benefit everyone and it's a story that needed to be told. I was inspired to write it to teach people. I feel that people can learn from my mistakes. I wanted people to learn that:

1.      Every action has a consequence- It can be good or bad, but there is a result for everything we do.

2.      We need to take time to truly heal emotionally and mentally after a break-up. If we don't we are bound to bring that pain into future relationships.

3.      We need to be conscience of our actions. We never know the effects they can have on other people.

4.      In order to move forward in life, we have to learn to let go of negativity, and to forgive ourselves.

DWED: How was the concept of “Monster” born?

The poem “Ugly” from “Times Have Changed and Life is Strange”, is the poem that inspired me to write “Monster” I reflected on my life, and felt this would be a good story that would teach and possible change people’s lives.

DWED: How does “Monster” stand out? What does it offer and more importantly what can viewers find within it pages?

I think viewers will find that I poured my heart and soul into this book. I think people will realize that while I do what them to be entertained by the book, that I really want them to learn from it, and see that it is much more than smut. I think what makes my book stand out is its realistic dialogue, the lessons taught within the book, and it delves into the mind of why some men become womanizers.

DWED: At length how would you describe the feedback for “Monster”?

Monster is receiving great feedback. People from different states, even parts of Europe have emailed me (authorbenburgessjr@gmail.com)to explain how my book has changed their lives or they learned from it. To know that the words that I wrote can have such an impact on someone’s life, is an amazing feeling.

DWED: Would you say you have a unique style of writing?

I think I have a unique style because I try not to write about the typical urban fiction topics (Gangs, drug dealing, etc) there is nothing wrong with those topics, but I try to focus on things that almost everyone can relate to. I also like to share my poetry as a bonus in the back of my novels. I think it gives the reader a little more to think about and enjoy when the book is over.

DWED: what kind of messages do you try to instill in your writing?

The message that I try to instill in my writing is, as people we should always strive to be better. We should always want to become better versions of ourselves. I also want people to see that whether they like it or not, no one is perfect. At some point even the “good guys/girls” aren’t so good. I try to make my books very realistic.

DWED: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

I would say my favorite character would be Ken Ferguson, because his character was based off of myself, and my past experiences.

DWED: Who is your least favorite character in your book and why?

I would say my least favorite character would be Jesse because her character was based off of numerous people in my past who knew who to press my buttons and annoy me.

DWED: What can we look forward to seeing from you throughout 2013?

You can look forward to me constantly working on new books to stimulate people’s minds with. I’m working on my next book “Love and Happiness”, and I plan to have it published by February

DWED: What would you say to all aspiring authors like yourself?

I would say to never give up on your dreams. If you want to be a writer, learn the craft. Research, read other successful authors, learn what makes them successful, take a class, read books, but never give up on writing the story you want to tell. There will be times when you want to quit, when you feel like your work isn’t good enough, and you are just wasting your time. When you feel like that, work harder. Learn what you need to improve. Listen to criticism, even if some of it is not flattering. You don’t always have to apply everything you hear in regards to criticism, but it is important to keep an open mind and to not have pride block you from improving. We can always get better.

DWED: Is there anything we haven’t covered that you would like your readers and potential readers to know about both your work and yourself?

I currently don't have a website, but here are the links to my author page, and my Monster's fan page:

Monster's Fan Page


Author Page


These are the links where you can purchase the book:

Android Devices:



https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/283252 : Make sure the adult filter is off or you won’t be able to find the book


The Phenomenon that is Harry Potter has enchanted many with its magical wealth of books and movies, characters that boggle the mind and a Cast of Actors that upheld the true nature of these fictional characters unflinchingly.

So without further ado, I present the Books &Characters of Harry Potter.

Book 1: Originally titled the Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone later renamed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Synopsis- Harry potter is an ordinary boy living with his Aunt & Uncle who treat him like a sack of dirt, they along with their son, make it a habit to keep poor Harry miserable while he sleeps in a cupboard under the stairs. One day this all changes as he find out he is a Wizard and has been accepted into Hogwarts a prestigious school for Witches and Wizards. In this book we follow Harry on his journey of discovering his birthright, his fame, how his parents died, and who is behind their death.

Book 2: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Synopsis- Harry potter is at Hogwarts again for his second Year. He has made some friends and enemies, he is still coming to terms with his life and its ever revolving changes, yet once again he finds himself in danger, as a hideous secret that has been thought as only a myth in the wizarding world is found to be true and people are starting to be petrified by an unknown beast lurking in the castle. A beast that only Harry can hear.

Book 3: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Synopsis- Harry potter is attacked by a gruesomely ugly flying beast that seems to suck out the harsh memories of his past while riding the Hogwarts express to School. It is later found that a prisoner who has the thirst for Harry’s death has escaped from Azkaban a prison for Witches & Wizards, in search of him. We follow Harry as he seeks the truth on another puzzle piece connected to his parents death and this notorious escaped prisoner.

Book 4: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Synopsis- Harry potter is once again in the lime light. Somehow in the dark of night his name was slipped into the Goblet of Fire in order for him to compete in Magical, but deadly challenges in the Triwizard tournament. As his friends turn against him, the houses in Hogwarts shun him, and a mysteriously disfigured teacher of the Dark Arts tries to guide him, Harry finds himself facing death once again, only this time doubt and fear seem the most of his undoing.

Book 5: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Synopsis- Harry potter is in danger once again. Slated to return to Hogwarts once the summer is over, he finds himself being attacked by Dementors forcing him to use Magic outside of school grounds, thus getting him temporarily expelled from school. We follow Harry as he fights for his innocence as he is on trial by the ministry of Magic, which is also having its own issues, and comes face to face with an undercover organization of Witches & Wizards  fighting against Lord Voldemort Harry’s nemesis. The group is led by Albus Dumbledore, the head of Hogwarts School and the very man that Lord Voldemort is afraid of.


Book 6: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Synopsis- Harry potter is once again at Hogwarts and he is being tested. While taking potions he finds a used textbook with notes on how to make the most potent potions. Using this book throughout his lessons he becomes top student. During the course of the book Harry is unsure who the textbook belongs to all the while working together with Albus Dumbledore to hunt for Horcruxes in order to destroy Lord Voldemort.

Book 7: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Synopsis- Harry potter is devastated by the recent death of Albus Dumbledore and has found himself to be hunted by death eaters and Voldemort’s supporters. While hunting Horcruxes with the help of his best friends, he is challenged by hiding out, searching secret dwellings to find the Horcruxes, and a final battle with Lord Voldemort and his followers that may end in his death. It is while searching out these Horcruxes that he finds Lord Voldemort is searching out the three deathly hallows that will make the ultimate death weapon and its user the most powerful being on earth.

Other Books by J.K Rowling with regards to Harry Potter:

-The tales of Beedle the Bard

-Harry Potter Schoolbooks

    -Fantastic Beasts and where to find them
    - Quidditch through the ages

Main Characters:

Harry Potter

Hermione Granger

Ron Weasley

Lord Voldemort

Albus Dumbledore

Rubeus Hagrid

Professor McGonagall

Draco Malfoy

Severus Snape

Revolving Characters:

Sirius Black

Remus Lupin

James Potter

Lily Potter

Petunia Dursley

Vernon Dursley

Dudley Dursley

Neville Longbottom

Seamus Finnigan

Ginny Weasley

Fred Weasley

George Weasley

Percy Weasley

Molly Weasley

Arthur Weasley

Dean Thomas

Parvati Patil

Padma Patil

Viktor Krum

Cedric Diggory

Amos Diggory

Cho Chang

Fleur Delacour

Gregory Goyle

Vincent Crabbe

Lucius Malfoy

Narcissa Malfoy

Cornelus Fudge

Angelina Johnson

Katie Bell

Alicia Spinnet

Oliver Wood

The Bloody baron

Nearly Headless Nick

The Fat Lady


Colin Creevy

Madam Hooch

Sybill Trelawney

Irma Pince

Quirinus Quirrell

Mr. Ollivander

Professor Sprout

Justin Finch-Fletchley

Peter Pettigrew

Marjorie Dursley

Alastor Moody

Sir Cadogan

Marcus Flint

Lee Jordan

Moaning Myrtle

Gilderoy Lockhart

Luna Lovegood

Pansy Parkinson

Bill Weasley

Charlie Weasley

Grawp Hagrid

Bellatrix Lestrange

Kingsley Shacklebolt

Dolores Umbridge

Igor Karkaroff

Madam Rosmerta

Madame Maxime

Rita Skeeter

Barty Crouch

Argus Filch

Madame Pomfrey

Filis Flitwick

Welcome to DWED’s main event for the month of May. This month we will be focusing on the phenomenon that is Harry Potter and his journey on discovering the world of wizards and witch craft.

Like Many I was a new fan of the series only after seeing one of its top grossing films while aired in the theater. The one that won me over was “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”

It was then I found myself enthralled in the world created by J. K. Rowling, as many others before me. So I have decided, though it may be a little late to some, to embark on my own Journey of Harry Potter, bringing his wealth of adventure to the blog, and taking an in-depth stroll through the books, the movies, the characters and their acting counterparts.

I hope you enjoy this month’s theme. Please know that while Harry Potter Books were slated for adolescent view, there is a child at heart in all of us, and there is no age limit to the excitement of brilliant craftsmanship from the world which J. K Rowling created. After all she is an adult, and had she not had such a vast imagination the world would not know this Harry Potter, nor would they know how one can turn an old myth of magic into a stunning world of imagery.

Please stay tuned to DWED’s Blog throughout the Month of May for postings on this exclusive adventure. And do not hesitate to check our Contest page for an exclusive giveaway that would definitely entice the magic within you.

Rating- *** 3.5 stars

My thoughts:

This is a very useful tool as a way to get through or over a divorce. I’d like to think that even though it is labeled for divorce it can be used in any form of breakup or relationship headed down that road.

Don gives the reader not only information pertaining to a loss of love, but tools to manage the heartache while taking it step by step, or day by day.  The exercises involved are influential at best in putting yourself on the right footing and managing the stress and new world of being without your partner. It gives the reader a new definition of utilizing a positive outlook and direction all the while equipping them with a fresh start.

I would definitely pick this book up again should I be faced with a situation of losing a partner and use it as a study guide when powering through the worst of it.

Divorce Blues Recovery- 10 Uncommon Tips to Help you get to Brighter Days
This book is for you if you are divorcing, already divorced or wanting to be supportive of someone going through a divorce. It’s never too late to use this book. Maybe you’re already divorced but have a lot of residual issues that keep holding you back. This could be just what you need to get over your divorce once and for all. If you care about someone who is divorcing, you will find key things that will increase your ability to offer support that really works.

This book can’t take away your pain but it offers hope to help you ease it as soon as possible. Reading the short chapters and practicing the tip you find here each day beats getting stuck and delaying yourself longer than necessary on your journey to feeling better.

The motto that best describes this book is one that one that a reader used after reading the book. “This is what I needed as a tonic!” So if you want real help that will make your difficult journey easier, you’ll find this book a very handy toolbox filled with practical life rebuilding tools.

Purchase link: http://www.amazon.com/Divorce-Recovery-Uncommon-Brighter-ebook/dp/B008G3PDJ6

About the Author:
Born In Toronto Canada 1950
Spent over 35 as a speaker counselor helping people recover their lives after great losses. Finally decided to write so I could potentially help far more then the one on one sessions.
Divorce Blues Recovery is my first book and there are several to follow.
I enjoy people and have always look for opportunities to be of value and add to the situation or person where it is appropriate.


Set against the backdrop of small town America on the eve of World War II, Defiant Heart features two extraordinary characters and one unforgettable love story.

In the spring of 1941, young Jon Meyer's family dies in a tragic accident, and he is sent to live in a small Indiana town.  He arrives to find himself unwanted and shunned.

Mary Dahlgren is the daughter of the town's mayor.  A pretty girl, she could have the pick of the boys in town, including Vernon King, the star of the vaunted high school basketball team.  To the chagrin of her friends, though, Mary has always been more interested in books than boys.  That is, until she meets Jon.

But Jon and Mary are kept apart by an insidious campaign orchestrated by Mary's father, who perceives their relationship a threat to his political aspirations, and Vernon, to whom Jon is a rival for Mary's affections.  For months Jon is subjected to a painful ostracism.  Then, just when the young man's earnestness and perseverance begin to win over many of the townsfolk and it appears that love may conquer all, tragedy strikes.

As the country is caught up in war, so too are the young lovers swept up in events beyond their control, leaving both fighting for their very lives.  If, against the odds, they are to be together, each will need to find the strength, the courage and the resourcefulness that beat only in a defiant heart.

Rating- **** 4 stars

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book. While I sometimes feel historical fiction can be a hit or miss for me, this somehow captured both sides of a complex storyline, both historical and romantic, that kept my rapt attention.

From the minute I was presented with the first page I was enthralled. I felt like Marty gave me more than enough insight into the characters: Mary & Jon, how they came to have such a forbidden love, and the strong efforts they put forth to keep their love strong through the ever deceitful natures of the people trying to keep them apart.

I fell so deeply in love with this story it took merely a few hours to complete. It wasn’t hard to grasp any concepts because Marty kept the reader on an elegantly scripted flow, it wasn’t too convoluted or hard for me to grasp. I felt like the storyline, plot and characters were so in sync there could be no misguidance.

This is definitely a good read.