RoseHill Manor – Book Review

You may remember a delightful excerpt shared with FVP readers recently by author, Sharol Louise HERE.  I have since had the pleasure of meeting her and of reading this Historical Romance that is bursting with humor and fun. Here’s my review…

ROSEHILL MANOR   -reviewed by Sheri J. Kennedy aka Kennedy J Quinn

RoseHill Manor - front cover 1650 x 2550At long last I have found a new Jane Austen novel! While not literally written by that English master of ironic humor and social commentary, ROSEHILL MANOR’S witty dialogue, snappy strong women and diabolically clever predicaments bring the immense pleasure of Austen’s writing back to the page.

The charade orchestrated by the earl’s young sister is so absurd that one can only give it credibility due to author, Sharol Louise’s masterful persuasion of the depth ‘Miss Violet’s’ loyal devotion to her friend, and the fullness of the reality bestowed upon RoseHill, which gives room to believe the story’s truth is stranger than fiction.  This is a novel where the characters rise from the action and the action rises from the characters in perfect measure. The scene is set, the zany, stubborn and lovable characters emerge and the plot twists out of well-crafted words painted on the reader’s canvas in luscious clear color rich with emotion and fun.

The tension between affection and abhorrence, vulnerability and pride is an excellent driver for the relationship between the protective pompous earl and the indefatigable Miss Violet. Theirs is the best romance I’ve read for many years, and is an instant classic. With range of emotion from devastation to triumph ala PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, it again begs to be compared to the best of the best.

I guess it’s obvious I loved it. I enjoyed it from beginning to end, and I hope I forget some of the unforgettable details soon so I can read it again! This is a must read for Historical Romance fans and anyone who enjoys a good bout of laughter.

You can purchase the ebook HERE or the hardcover HERE

You can find out more about Sharol Louise and her other charming books at sharollouise.com HERE

Release Party You Won’t Want to Miss! Dawn of Steam: Gods of the Sun

Dawn of Steam Gods of the Sun coverThe second book in the Dawn of Steam series, DAWN OF STEAM: GODS OF THE SUN will be out soon, and the RELEASE PARTY is SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 27th, at the AFK E&E in Renton, starting about 4 PM. This will also be Author, Jeffrey Cook’s 40th birthday, so we’re hoping some of you lovely people can come out and help him celebrate!

You may remember the photos from the party for the first book, DAWN OF STEAM: FIRST LIGHT. (see one below). CLICK HERE to see all the fun. And don’t miss out on your chance to attend this next one on Sept 27th! Steampunk attire encouraged.

Authors, Jeffrey Cook and Kennedy J Quinn

Authors, Jeffrey Cook and Kennedy J Quinn

A note from the Author:

Gifts are neither required nor expected, just looking forward to some time among friends, fans and family amidst book stuff– and to turning a nice, round number’s worth of old, or something.

Hope to see you there!

Jeff

 

 

And here’s a new rave review of the first book in the series:

DAWN OF STEAM:  FIRST LIGHT

This step back into an alternate reality is a delight from beginning to end. The vivid characters and captivating adventure tempted me to rush through the book, but the well-rendered regency/steampunk hybrid style was so delicious that I meted out small portions to savor every word.

As if crossing the wild west of America via dirigible is not enough excitement, the author has added entanglements in the Spanish threats to New Orleans and dabblings in other historical events with researched accuracy and madcap twists.

I especially liked the unquenchable Sam Bowe, but each character was dear and bigger than life. I found myself missing them when, alas, I reached the last page. I’m thrilled that the sequel is soon on the way, and I will definitely hitch a ride on this continuing expedition!

Top hats off to author Jeffrey Cook and to Sarah Symonds. This is a new favorite, and I find myself recommending it to anyone who will listen.

-Sheri J. Kennedy

Roots Entwine – Now Available!

FVP Featured Author, Victoria Bastedo‘s new YA Fantasy novel ROOTS ENTWINE is available for advance purchase and on Kindle. The official release date is August 21st 2014.

Congrats to Victoria! I can’t wait to read it… You can get your copy HERE!

READ MORE ABOUT IT in this review by Blogspot’s READ AROUND SUE. Click HERE or on the image for more….

Read Around Sue Review-Roots Entwine

Thanks for Reading! 100 Posts

post-milestone-100-1xFreeValley Publishing has just reached our 100 post milestone on WordPress. I’d like to mark the occasion with a big THANK YOU!  I appreciate your follows and likes and comments, and I appreciate the time you take to read and enjoy our posts.

I’d also like to remind you that we’re open for submissions of your content to be posted on our home page with links to your sites and/or publications. We’re looking for short-stories or short excerpts that stand on their own to be enjoyed by our readers. The work remains completely yours and is only shared here.

More complete guidelines can be found on our SUBMIT YOUR STORIES page. Send yours today, and be part of our next posting milestone!

-Sheri J. Kennedy, FVP Site Editor

New Theories of Everything – Book Review

 “new theories of everything” by John D. Barrow  -reviewed by David S. Moore

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    I have read several of John Barrow’s other works, including “Pi In The Sky.”  He is a very fine writer, and he has a knack for explaining complex mathematical and scientific concepts in terms that a lay reader can absorb.  Prof. Barrow is Professor of Mathematical Sciences and Director of the Millennium Mathematics Project at Cambridge.  His specialty is cosmology, and he is one of the foremost researchers in the field.  In short he is amply qualified to speak intelligently about the subject of the mathematics and the philosophy of theories of everything.

    But be forewarned – this is not a book for the unprepared.  It is written for the lay reader, by which I mean that there is a general absence of mathematics.  But he does make some assumptions about the reader’s background knowledge.  His subject is the forefront of modern physics.  A “theory of everything” in the context of this book is a theory of modern physics which attempts to explain every known physical phenomenon.  As Prof. Barrow explains with clarity and insight, there are many physicists who believe that it will one day be possible to explain every observable physical phenomenon on the basis of just a few very basic principles.  The purpose of the book is to define what any such proposed theory of everything would look like, and how it would be used.  While it doesn’t overwhelm the reader with mathematics it does delve rather deeply into the fundamental principles of mathematics and philosophy as they pertain to the future of physics.

    For those who are not prepared to plunge into the mathematical seas that form the basis of modern physical theories, this book is a welcome reprieve.  It does a masterful job of explaining why so many in the world of physics think that we are on the verge of reaching a new and profound understanding of the physical world.  And it does equally well at explaining the complications that any theory of everything must resolve if it is ever to deserve the name.  Physics is clearly going through a major transition.  The two great theories that were developed in the twentieth century – General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics – are fundamentally at odds with each other.  This conflict was recognized not long after their formalization, and it has yet to be resolved.  Prof. Barrow makes it clear that much of the turmoil in contemporary physics is due to this conflict.

    I heartily recommend this book for readers who have a general acquaintance with physical theories and who are interested in knowing where physics is going.  He won’t tell you what the final theory of everything will be like, as no one presently knows.  But he will help you to understand the problems that physics is trying to address, and some of the approaches that have been taken in attempting to solve them.  Prof. Barrow does a marvelous job of showing what the limitations of our knowledge are likely to be.  I think this book is a good counterbalance to Lee Smolin’s book “The Trouble With Physics.”  Smolin’s point is that string theory has yet to produce anything testable.  Barrow’s book talks about string theory as one type of theory of everything and provides some background that you won’t find in Smolin’s book as to the motivation for string theory.  A key point that Barrow makes concerns the process known as renormalization in quantum mechanics.  In certain problems involving the interactions of particles the summations of energies exchanged result in a great many infinite values.  Renormalization assumes that these infinities cancel each other out.  This process “works,” and it has been able to produce results that have been tested in experiment to a very high degree of accuracy.  But no one feels good about a process that just ignores infinities as if they weren’t important.  Prof. Barrow mentions that two string theory researchers – Brian Greene and Ed Witten – showed that string theory eliminates these infinities altogether.  Although no experiment that could confirm superstring theory has yet been conducted – or devised – this seems like a very significant result.

    Physics does seem to be poised to arrive at some dazzling revelations in the near future.  This book will prepare the reader for the onslaught of ideas to come.

To find out more or purchase this book CLICK HERE

You can find out more about the author of this article DAVID S. MOORE

The Reverent Atheist – Book Review

MUCH MORE THAN DOGMA – by Sheri J. Kennedy, aka Kennedy J. Quinn

The Reverent Athiest coverIn this scholarly and thoughtfully presented look at religion, David S. Moore considers much more than dogma. A portion of the book is centered on the root of various beliefs and examines texts they are based on or observations which have given rise to systems of theory or supposed Truths. This reader can appreciate such study; my own was intensive in Philosophy of Religion and other philosophical and religious studies. Mr. Moore’s overview shows many of the points clearly, and will be especially enlightening to those newly introduced to such critique of religious texts.

What specifically interested this reader was the relationship discussed between religion and the need within humanity, both at a societal level and an individual level, for comfort, guidance and order. I had never contemplated how an atheist would view their inner motivations and moral compass. Unlike the antagonistic view of atheists the author refers to, I have always viewed atheism without animosity. But since I was only atheist in a brief existential crisis, I didn’t square what my belief system and inner life would center on instead of belief in God or whether I would find it fulfilling spiritually. The discussion is intriguing.

There was one point that wasn’t set to rest in the essay for this reader. I didn’t understand the phrase on the cover of the book, ‘Belief in God does not require belief in the existence of God.’  I think I am following Mr. Moore’s idea that guidance and fulfillment spiritually doesn’t have to be based on an existent God, but I don’t understand why God is postulated as real for the purposes of these motivations and comforts. God is real but does not exist, is what I took away from the book. He states at one point that God cannot exist within physical reality logically, but he allows that he may be real outside our universe and be fully transcendent. Being transcendent, he cannot influence us directly or he would exist in our reality, he asserts. I didn’t follow this particular conclusion. I could allow that influence could exist in our universe without physical existence. A great example of how this essay gets one thinking, but overall I don’t see where the semantics of existence verses reality or transcendence changes the conclusion of how to live.

 My understanding is that Mr. Moore is asserting the reality of the principles and spirituality often associated with ‘God’ as a compass around which to build a life of devotion, service to community and so forth. Whether or not there is an actual God—which he states there is no convincing grounds for within our universe—seems immaterial to this devotion, in my opinion. If I am understanding correctly, then the question I’m left with is, why use the word God at all? One could allow for a transcendent creator, or power that is no longer with us, or believe in none of that and maintain the same awe of what we witness in this world. Again it’s intriguing, and it shows the quality of Mr. Moore’s presentation that it elicits thoughtful response.

This is a stirring and passionately written essay. There are points of view rarely touched upon, and in topics of religion and philosophy that’s refreshing indeed. I found, A Hymn of Reverence, at the end of THE REVERENT ATHEIST very moving. It’s a fitting conclusion to underline humanity’s need for spiritual significance, the center of this excellent look into the expression of an Atheist’s soul.

You can purchase THE REVERENT ATHEIST 

Find out more about FVP Featured Author, David S. Moore