Reynold Bowen

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Smashwords book reviews by Reynold Bowen

  • Fateful Waters on May 04, 2012

    Review of J. M. Anton’s book. Title: Fateful Waters Author: J.M. Anton ISBN: E-book: 978 -1-4762-1077-3 General Subject matter: A romantic story about a young woman who, after graduating from an eastern American university, becomes involved in new relationships in a world outside of the university portals. Alexandra Parker, better known as Lexie, will have to learn how to deal with new people. They will have both good and bad intentions. Theme: The effects of being roughly injected into a new culture. Thesis: The effects of physically pushing two cultures together, and letting everyone try to work out the problems that most certainly arise. The author presents Lexie, the heroine, with the problems of interrelationships between massively different cultures. Lexie knows about farm animals, and their needs, but she knows little or nothing about the Texas panhandle, and is nearly killed in a flash flood, something almost unheard of in the farming area of Ohio. Her friend Melanie Potter will quickly become the prey in a quest by a fortune hunter named David Decker, because her family is wealthy, and his only desire is money. Lexie will also become involved in the everyday life on a modern day ranch, the Rocking R owned by Cutter Ross. The problems surrounding her friend Mel, and her own difficulties finding her way in this new world will follow her throughout the story, and she will have to work them out whenever she can while becoming a sexually complete woman at 24. The characters are all developed in an interesting manner, and all are perfectly real to the reader. They easily show the difference between Americans from the east of the country, and those from the western portion. The story contains a series of incidents, and adventures which will draw Lexie into her new life, while pushing her away at the same time. The Author follows Lexie and her thoughts as much as possible to give the story a chronological order, but will move to other characters, for example Cutter Reed, when Lexie is unconscious, and recovering in the hospital after her introduction to a Texas flash flood. The author will also shift to David Decker in order to give the reader a better understanding of his deceitful manners. In every description the author gives the reader details about the characters in the story, and the setting, so that the reader will have a very good picture of the weather conditions of Texas, and how they differ so greatly with those of the eastern states. The descriptive portions of the story are short, and to the point, so that the reader feels that he, or she is being given just enough help to understand the story, while the author constantly gives small clues to support the problems she gives Lexie. Ms. Anton has a good knowledge of horses, and livestock, so her descriptions are very realistic, and re-enforce any incidents, or problems that she presents to her characters on this ranch. Ms. Anton lives in Ohio, so it is easy to see why her description of the events that happen there, are also very accurate, and believable. The author’s knowledge also includes domestic animals, and her description of the part played by Lexie’s dog is accurate, and well written. Just as the reader thinks that the story may be nearing its conclusion, Ms. Anton brings back earlier problems, and presents the heroine with new possibilities to resolve them. This keeps the reader’s curiosity peeked until the end of the book. Even then, the reader is presented with more situations that will only be able to be worked out in the following book. Ms. Anton has delivered a very good, and highly readable adventure for adults, and this book is definitely worth a read. As this story is part of a continuing adventure for Alexandra, it is highly recommended that the reader purchase not only this book, but also the following books in order to help Lexie solve all the difficulties which life has presented to her. R.B.
  • Backyard Horse Tales 2: Frosty and the Nightstalker on Nov. 11, 2012

    Review of J.M.Anton's book Title: Backyard Horse Tales 2, Frosty and the Night Stalker ASIN: B009QOFKGA Kindle edition, Illustrated by Sandy Shipley, copyright 2012 This book is suitable for teenagers and adults alike. It starts with the thoughts of a young Appaloosa horse as he is anesthetized for his gelding in the 1960s. During his unconscious period he sees a ghostlike figure of a dark horse with a rider who is unrecognizable. The story continues when the young horse meets his first human owner, Marcie, and a relationship starts. Then the book, and the horse, now named Frosty, move to the Hi-Lo Farms where Frosty spends the next 3 years in training, and at horse shows. Frosty asks the other geldings if they also had dreams while they were down for their operations. It seems that Frosty was the only one. Soon, the owner of Hi-Lo Farms tells Marcie one day that he thinks Frosty has an old soul. The dream keeps bothering Frosty until he begins to think deeper about the whole affair. This takes the reader to 1869 when a new Appaloosa is born into the heard owned by the Nez Perce Native American tribe. He becomes Nightstalker, the horse of one of the braves, Standing Bear, and the story of the Native Americans unfolds. The Author reveals the sorrow of these people as the white Europeans tried to perform genocide on the entire race. Throughout the book the reader is led back and forth from the 1960s to the 1870s, and the story becomes more entrancing with every page. This book starts as an interesting tale, and moves to a very competent historical review of the late 19th century in our country. Little known facts from history, and from modern geography are combined to make this book quite compelling. Teenagers will be introduced to a factual history of our west, and adults will have their eyes opened by this author. It is recommended that everyone read this book because it is a very good adventure story, and it corrects many of the inaccuracies that we have learned about our history. Definitely, one book that needs to be read. Reynold Bowen
  • Wind River Refuge on July 18, 2013

    Review of Wind River Refuge by J. M. Anton ©2013 J. M. Anton Smashwords Edition Cover photo by Kellie Anton Graphic design by S. Shipley Thesis: This book is a story about Jax, a young woman who is about to graduate from a university in North Carolina, but decides to go home to her step parent’s ranch in Wyoming for Christmas break. It takes place in the 1970s when the Vietnam War was the basis of many family hardships. The Story: The prologue begins the book by telling the short story about Cindy, a high school cheerleader who decided not to take a ride home from her new boyfriend. Her old boy friend's cousin stepped in and offered her a ride, but as she would not do the things he was expecting her to do, she escaped his clutches, and ran from the car. As she tried to find her coat in the falling snow, she thought of ways that she would make him pay for his ill manners when she saw him again. Unfortunately, she never made it home. The actual book begins when Jax, the heroine, is on her way home from Raleigh, North Carolina, to the Double D ranch in Wyoming. Dexter’s ill-mannered cousin Garret McBride, now back from Vietnam after being badly wounded, has been sent to Denver to pick her up for the final leg of the journey, and he has been told that there is a very angry step mother with a shotgun waiting for Jax, so she had better arrive in perfect health. Jax, and Garret start off on the wrong foot, and their non-relationship goes downhill from there. This becomes even more worrying as Jax returns again in the spring after graduating, and someone attempts to murder her. How Jax finds out who her assailant really is, and how she resolves the problem keeps the reader occupied, and on the edge of his or her seat throughout the story. It is well written, and the realistic characters have the right dialog to keep the story going while the narrative constantly reminds the reader that the author’s heart lives out in the west. The author describes winter, and spring in the Rocky Mountains so well, and with so much enthusiasm, that it is difficult not to want to move there instantly. J. M. Anton’s last book used Texas as a background, while this book moves a few states north, and makes the reader want to read her next adventure not only to follow the exciting story, but also to see where she will go next. Finally, this adventure takes place towards the end of the Vietnam War, and again lets everyone know just how many problems the soldiers of that era brought back with them. This book is a good story, with a plot that always keeps the reader on track until the climax. J.M. Anton, please keep this quality of work coming in your future books. RB