August 11, 2015

All We Lack


Author: Sandra Moran

Genre: General Fiction

Published by: Bedazzled Ink

March, 2015; 252 pages

ISBN: 9781939562920, Softcover

ISBN: B00UXXRFPW, Kindle Edition


All We Lack is a story of double lives, secrets, and the possibility of redemption. It’s a journey involving a bus trip, which quickly becomes a metaphor for the main characters’ lives. Each person on the trip carries concerns and fears about the past, but they also bring hopes and dreams wrapped in possibilities—potential for lives without loneliness and isolation.


The story begins at the end, quickly returning us back to the beginning of each person’s story to help us understand what has set these characters on this fateful journey. As we progress toward the already revealed climax, we learn about uncertainties, loneliness, and how each person has come to be so separated from the reality of their lives. As they trek from all over the country to make the connecting leg of the trip to them all together, we discover fascinating interconnections already exist. As they draw closer to their destination in Boston, we see the enormity of the risk or danger each person has identified and has begun to act upon in an attempt to find happiness.


Four people: a traumatized young boy, bound for a new home with an aunt he is convinced doesn’t want him; a deeply closeted Midwestern funeral director who struggles to pry open the closet door in the hopes of reclaiming the love of her life; a socially inept former EMT who battles addiction while pretending to be something he isn’t to win the lottery of love; and a woman, whose domineering husband, an unhappy marriage, and a secret affair drive her to abandon her old life and risk everything for a chance at happiness, all move toward an unknown future, hoping to find what they lack. In the process, we find these characters cicumstances to be pitied, but the confessions each person makes about an imperfect life moves us to be more sympathetic to them.


All We Lack gives us insight into the human psyche and the human condition. It’s a story that begins with an aura of desperation and hopelessness, but even as it ends in the tragedy revealed at the start, it moves beyond it, and culminates with a measured optimism—leaving the tale lingering long in our minds as we try to figure out what the future holds for the characters. Even with all their faults and failings, we want to know they have found what they seek. We want them to succeed. This story from award-winning author, Sandra Moran, starts out simply, eventually unfolding to reveal a rich tapestry of a tale, which takes up residence in the reader’s soul.


Anna Furtado
is a book reviewer and author. Her published novels are available from Bella Books and on Amazon and at other bookstores online, as well as at other independent bookstores. To find out more about Anna and her writing, please click here

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The Caphenon


Author: Fletcher DeLancey

Genre: Fantasy/Sci-Fi

Published by: YLVA Publishing

March, 2015; 374 pages

ISBN: 9783955332532, Softcover

ISBN: 9783955332556e, eBook


In the opening scenes of The Caphenon, we meet Andira Tal, the highest ranking official on the planet of Alsea. When the surprising call comes, announcing a space vehicle has just fallen from the sky, Tal travels to the crash site with a large military contingency. The expedition begins as a defensive investigation of something the Alseans hadn’t even known to exist, a spaceflight-capable ship. However, the inquiry soon turns into a rescue mission.


Injured Captain Ekatya Serrado disembarks from her nearly destroyed Protectorate ship, the Caphenon, hoping two things: not to be killed by the aliens surrounding her disabled space vehicle and to be able to convince these people to help her injured crew still on board the ship. Among them is Ekatya’s lover, who shouldn’t have been aboard in the first place, but who may prove to be Ekatya’s greatest resource in communicating with this new race of people—if they can find her—and if she’s still alive.


As the two races become familiar with each other, the Alseans discover the crew of the Caphenon is not to be feared. However, they also learn there are other aliens who are—and subjugating the Alseans would be a bigger coup than the evil Voloth could ever imagine. In an effort to help her people come to terms with the Voloth danger, Tal struggles to do what must be done to save Alsea, while Ekatya wrestles with duty, responsibility, ethical dilemma, and frustrations over the political wrangling of the Protectorate powers-that-be.


In this first book of the Chronicles of Alsea, DeLancey has built a well thought out world with a rich historical and cultural background. She has peopled it with a nuanced population, and has them unexpectedly visited by a skeleton crew of alien visitors with a whole history and culture of their own. She has written a captivating place with even more intriguing inhabitants, evidence of a world building process done with thoroughness and planning, integrating it all into the story to weave a complex tale.


The scenes portraying the adversity visited on the Alseans is packed with heart-pumping engagement, which reads like an action-packed movie or computer game. The insights into the Alseans as individuals and as a people will delight those who are intrigued by psychology, and those with a paranormal bent will not be disappointed. When all these aspects are combined in a mixing bowl and stirred together to form The Caphenon, Book One of the Chronicles of Alsea, a multifaceted tale results. It will entertain, intrigue, and make the reader ponder parallels not unlike our own lives and culture today. This is a rich page-turner, likely to leave the reader delighted with the prospect of Book Two to come.




Books on Fire by Anna Furtado

Copyright 2015