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Archive for September 7th, 2016

A Confession

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A Confession by William Aicher

How far would you go to clear your own conscience? Would you destroy another’s integrity purely to ensure your own absolution? In ‘A Confession,’ we are confronted by a man who’s reached the limit of what even he can rationalize as within the limits of his own morality. Having reached his breaking point, he reaches out in desperation to purify his own conscience, spilling the secrets of his life that have formed the man he has become – even if doing so means destroying others in the process.

In this modern tale of amorality, William F. Aicher takes us through the memories of a man who, while having lived a life of confident righteousness, now questions the very fiber of which he is made. Taking inventory of a life defined by substance abuse, love, sex, politics and a newfound ease of inflicting public shame with the help of social media, ‘A Confession’ invites the reader to take a seat and listen to a man come to grips with his own secrets.

As these truths are exposed, the rationality and logic behind them begins to unfurl, leaving both the narrator and reader ultimately questioning if indeed any of us can claim to be truly good.

William F. Aicher is the author of the upcoming novel, A Confession, and two previous books. He works a “day job” as the Chief Marketing Officer for online sheet music retailer, Musicnotes.com and is also a champion of intellectual property rights in the digital age. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2000 with degrees in philosophy and journalism and lives just outside Madison, WI with his wife and three sons.

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Book

My Review

4 Stars

We start the story with the narrator asking “Am I a good person?” We then follow along as he talks about different experiences in his life, some good, some bad and some questionable. But as you read you are drawn into this life. Yes, he does things that make you wonder about him yet before you start judging him he also points out that we have done stupid and questionable things in our own lives.

This story is engaging and makes you think about both the narrator’s life. I admit that I was not very fond of the narrator and the choices he made in life. But as you read the pieces of the puzzle for the narrator’s life start to fall into place and quickly you come to a surprising ending that wraps everything up nicely.

I really enjoyed reading this book. This is one book that will make you think more about yourself and the things you have done in your life. Could you ask yourself “Am I a good person?” and have an honest answer like the narrator has done in this book?

To purchase A Confession make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads and William Aicher’s website.

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I received A Confession for free from Sage’s Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review.

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Purrball Meets Burrball in Brazil by Anne Zoet

Visiting Brazil, an earthquake hits and separates a family from Purrball, their beloved cat. Purrball’s mad dash leaves her lost in a jungle where she becomes fast friends with a very clever sloth named Burrball. The two quick-witted animals embark on a journey to find Darryl, the loving and loyal boy who longs for his adorable missing cat. Witty word rhythms and rich illustrations make Purrball Meets Burrball in Brazil an engaging read-aloud story. An alluring tale of friendship, family, ingenuity, and persistence.

Anne Zoet

Anne Zoet is a freelance creative director for both technology giants and countless startups in the Silicon Valley. Her passions are art, words, travel, the environment and animals – all of which came together naturally in the creation of Purrball Meets Burball in Brazil. In addition to her human family, Zoet shares her home with three domestic cats (though sometimes she wonders if they’re not just a bit wild).

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My Review

5 stars

Purrball is on a trip with his family to Brazil. But when they arrive and earthquake scares him and he runs into the forest. In the forest he meets a sloth that he calls Burrball. When Purrball ran off, mom’s cell phone was tangled around him. Purrball has a plan to have Burrball help him to call mom for help.

This is the cutest story. It has wonderful illustrations and a nice rhyming story that is easy to read. I read this to a 3 year old and he was fascinated with the story. It worked well because he had never heard of a sloth and we did research on the internet for more information.

If you are looking for a great story for young children, look no further. This will keep their attention and have them looking for more information.

To purchase Purrball Meets Burrball make sure to check out Amazon and Goodreads.

PR By The Book

I received Purrball Meets Burrball for free from PR by the Book in exchange for an honest review.

Purrball Meets Burrball in Brazil

Anne Zoet author of Purrball Meets Burrball in Brazil

 

  1. What inspired you to write this book?
    The story hit me on a day that I took out for myself away from my high tech work. I was having a massage, which is when I zone-out and don’t think about anything. Oddly, this time, I started creating the Purrball and Burrball storyline the more and more I unwound. I was so relaxed that the whole thing unfolded start to finish.
  2. How would you describe the characters of Purrball and Burrball?
    Smart, kind, resourceful and they’re team players. Animals are invariably way more clever than we humans give them credit for. I’ve seen my cats use incredible logic to alter a situation they’re in. I once had a cat run away in a place she didn’t know (the worst weeks of my life searching every day) but she found her way back, though completely unfamiliar with the surroundings. I have another cat, my outdoor cat, who you can see trotting alongside opossums and raccoons in evenings. That scared me so much at first, but eventually we’ve come to see that he has a real relationship with them. He’s so smart and the more I see the wildlife interact with him, the more I see them as clever and accepting and even friendly. The Purrball and Burrball characters came to me before I moved to this area and could witness my cat and his outdoor adventures. But this experience really solidified how Purrball and Burrball should be portrayed as a team. I think that my cat’s experiences with wildlife show that animals are capable of very unexpected bonds with one another.
  3. Why did you choose to write about a cat and a sloth?
    I’m crazy about both domestic and wild animals and it is a passion that just gets deeper all the time. I’ve done a lot of research on cats (on nutrition and behavior) as well as love to build cat structures and make toys for them. And, I do not know who could look at a sloth and not smile! They have the sweetest faces and they have so much more to them than the “sloth” slowness we think of. They’re rather industrious buggers and have some funny quirks, like the wildlife that grows in their fur. I firmly believe they should never be pets and should be kept wild. While the story is pure fantasy (as are stories where animals communicate with phones!), I really want to keep one a pet and the other wild and be true to my feelings about that and it would be so lovely to pass all that along to children!
  4. How do Purrball and Burrball use technology in the book?
    Purrball, the cat, is unable to send a critical text message, so she asks Burrball, the sloth, if he could tap with his toes to write it. Maybe that’s my wish: I wish my cats would find a way to text me what they’re thinking, lol.
  5. Why did you decide to set the story in Brazil?
    It had to be set in the natural habitat of a sloth. I’ve always wanted to see a Brazilian rainforest, so I just created my own. It is roughly in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil and their plane arrives in Sao Paulo. Earthquakes are incredibly rare in that region, so all the more surprising that one happens when they arrive. After setting my sights on this area, I’ve seen dozens of photos of both Sao Paulo and the Atlantic Forest that make me long to go there! It is on my bucket list.
  6. What does your writing process look like?
    It’s very interesting that verse isn’t the first thing that comes out. I think it all through with as much rhyme as possible, but just let the story be written in prose for a few versions until the story gels. I can picture the scenery faster than I can create a rhyme.
  7. What was the most rewarding moment you experienced in writing Purrball Meets Burrball in Brazil?
    It was seeing the art that kids created from my coloring pages! I always loved to draw and I didn’t find coloring pages that interesting as a kid. Now that I’ve seen what some kids have come up with (like one used a gold pen to make a gold mobile phone), I think it can be very creative. I look forward to some freehand drawings, if kids post any to my site (and there’s an option for that at purrballandburrball.com).
  8. What was the biggest challenge you faced in writing this book?
    I’ve done a lot of digital art, but all for technology-related purposes, so letting things take shape (and learning from a very good freehand artist) was new, challenging, and not always what I had wished it would be until I found my style.
  9. You also illustrated Purrball Meets Burrball in Brazil. How did illustrating the book compare to writing it?
    It was a bit easier, given that I’m familiar with creating digital art for business purposes. To have artistic license was amazing and both writing and illustrating were very creative and fulfilling. In sum, illustrating was easier for me than writing, but both were much lengthier than I had ever imagined. I spent a good six months pulling both together.
  10. Did any of your three cats influence the character of Purrball, either in physical likeness or personality?
    All three: one has the coloring of Purrball (I love grey kitties, although I suppose Purrball is a bit blue, really) and she has some cute characteristics—the scene where Purrball is looking up curiously at Burrball is so her! I have another onn who is a squat and roundish cat with intense eyes and sitting frontally she looks like a black and white version of Purrball. And the last cat is the most clever cat you could imagine. I rolled them all into one.
  11. What drew you to writing and illustrating a children’s book?
    My niece and nephew were recently of picture book age and I loved reading to them. I fell in love with books that were both beautiful and cleverly written and also reminded me of the years we live with unconstrained imagination. I love that animals are a big part of books for children. I figured I had a lot to say that could help kids fall in love with animals, like I did from a very early age.
  12. What is the key to attracting young readers?
    It’s letting yourself be one for a moment—a good picture book can transport you back there.
  13. When did your interest in writing begin? What about your interest in illustration?
    Recently, my dad reminded me of the “novel” I wrote and illustrated when I was in fourth grade and a few years ago he found my kindergarten poetry and illustrations. I guess I had it in me a while. He always told me I should write. I didn’t pay much attention to that, but like him, art has been a part of my studies and career and learning to illustrate children’s books is such a logical path in my life.
  14. Which writers inspired you as a kid? Which writers inspire you today?
    As a kid, I loved any book with intense colors with much to take in visually on every page (like Where the Wild Things Are). I was always moved by art at an early age and even didn’t want to move from picture books to chapter books! As an adult, I am in love with words as much as the art, so Chris Van Dusen’s “If I built a” series is the type of book that inspires me to develop both. He is a master at both.
  15. Will we see the duo return in a future book?
    They have many adventures ahead! If a picture book were not a short thing, I’d probably be just finishing up chapter 18 at this time because I have so many ideas for Purrball and Burrball. But yes, there’s one in the works already as well as a few other animal adventures that are rattling around in my head.

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