Many thanks to Carrie Kurtz of Carrie K’s Book Reviews for her wonderful review! So glad she loved it.
Book Reviews: REVIEW EXCERPT:
“There were honestly so many interesting things in this book! It kept me wanting to read and I found myself trying to sneak in extra times to read a chapter or two. As a matter of fact, I “went to bed” early so that I could finish it last night!
I will certainly be recommending this book! Not just to children or middle graders, but to anyone who enjoys reading science fiction, fantasy, action, magical type genres.”
“Hey all! Recently I’ve had the good fortune of being given an awesome MG time travel adventure to read (check out my review of The Ravenstone here) and now the talented authors Mark & Diane are doing an interview for me. (Seriously guys, y’all should become book reviewers. The perks are so cool.) In any case, less rambling from me and more from the lovely authors themselves!”
What were you like as a kid?
MARK: When I was in elementary school I was practically invisible. Average height, average weight, average looking and quiet as a mouse… when I was at school, at least. In Junior High I grew so fast people didn’t recognize me in the fall after summer vacation. My newfound size brought with it confidence. By the ninth grade my English teacher told me I had found the power of words but not the wisdom to wield them. Fortunately, she liked me in spite of myself and did her best to give my verbal skills direction. I hope I have lived up to her expectations. Thank you Mrs. Campbell, wherever you are.
“I love reading about the 13-year-old twins Nadia and Aidan who live in Cold Spring, New York. They stumble upon a mysterious dark stone, hidden underneath a mirror in the attic. There is something magical about the mirror that only the twins can see. There is an old wizard in the mirror who beckons them. With him is a black raven. When the wizard disappears a single black feather is lying on the floor. How is that possible? Follow me and find out!”
“Diane Solomon and Mark Carey have made a formidable team creating a very original story line that links together very well. The use of a mirror and twins is very clever but also do check out the twins names and see if you can find anything unusual about them. It is this attention, the going that extra mile, that makes this book very special. The detail of what life would be like in the past is super, with writing that is very appropriate for middle grade readers. There are times in the book that will give an adrenaline rush but won’t leave the young readers frightened. This book really gave me goose bumps which I have got again just writing about it. An awesome read!”
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: a guide to the homeopathic treatment of CFS/M.E.
Do you know of anyone suffering from CFS, or ME as it is called in the UK? I want to spread the word; homeopathic treatment is so powerful in the treatment of CFS, and in fact, it was a complete cure for me and many clients I worked with over the years. Please share this with anyone you know who might benefit. Thank you.
The author writes both from personal experience as a sufferer of CFS and as a practitioner who has helped many who have been afflicted with it. She states the facts and research clearly and lays out an incredibly detailed approach to regaining health. This is a must read for anyone with CFS and for all complimentary health practitioners. It should also be read by traditional medical providers.
I bought this book because a friend’s daughter has CFS- has been sick for years. The author seems to really know her stuff, writes well and the book is pretty easy to read. There are lots of links and resources. And there is info in there about the homeopathic approach that is probably not available anywhere else, unless maybe in professional homeopathy books.
I hope it helps my friend’s daughter. It is awful illness – wrecking people’s lives.
Having a friend with CFS, I have witnessed her struggle, over more than a decade, with the traditional orthodox medical approach – they have been little to no help to her at all. Her deep dives in alternative and complementary healthcare have provided more relief. She has yet to go to a good homeopath, and I am suggesting to her that she take this book to a homeopath and get to work!
This book focuses on the homeopathic treatment of CFS, and what a powerhouse of information it holds. It is clear, concise, well laid out, easy to read and understand, and chock full of links and resources.
As for the naysayers of homeopathy, they (loudly) claim that high dilutions of a homeopathic remedy have no molecules left of the of the original substance. Ms Solomon’s section on “Homeopathy and Research” addresses that point. She presents several recent pieces of research that confirm there ARE nanoparticles (1 part per billion) present in 30c potencies of remedies, and higher. This quote from the book sums it up: “Dogs can smell substances in parts per billion or even trillion. . This is verifiable science and what the legal world calls ‘Back Letter Law.’ If animals can detect a substance in such small quantities, why is inconceivable that the human immune system can detect a substance even in great dilution?”
If you have CFS or know someone with the illness, you really should check out this book.
I’m only half way through Ms. Solomon’s book and I’ve learned so much about the wide variety of western medical treatment and homeopathy. It’s an easy read and filled with great references for further research. A must read for those who seek healing and want to learn about a variety of healing techniques.
What a story! Diane’s message needs to be shouted from the rooftops so that anyone dealing with CFS can find their way to it. Homeopaths, Naturopaths and MD’s could better help their patients with the material in this book. Thank you Diane, for you heartfelt clarity in bringing this information forward!
What a wealth of information! Hopefully this book will show up as a reference for everyone researching Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – a truly complicated illness. If I got nothing else out of this book, it was a true appreciation of not only what a CFS patient suffers, but also the COMPLEXITY of its diagnosis, treatment options, possible origin(s), etc. etc. etc. Whether a practicing Homeopathic doctor or patient, an allopathic physician, a CFS researcher, or, like me, someone who is keen to learn as much as possible about homeopathy, this book has a great deal to offer. Thank you, Diane, for putting so much together in one resource!
This is a welcome to book on a controversial and puzzling condition. It also comes from a unique perspective of someone who has suffered with the illness, recovered and is now helping others get better. It is comprehensive and well written by someone who is an expert from both sides of the patient practitioner equation.
Modern life has given rise to chronic health conditions as opposed to the more acute illnesses of previous centuries. Modern life is more insidiously toxic than at any time in the past with many tens of thousands of new chemicals in the environment the effect of each let alone in combination is not fully understood.
Conventional medicine has failed to truly identify and find effective remedies for this, as is the case with many chronic conditions. Holistic medicine recognizes the multi factorial origin of this malady and can produce a multi factorial and individualized and effective solution. Diane uses the perspective from her knowledge of homeopathy, herbs and Nutritional medicine to provide solutions that can be tailored to the needs of the patient.
This illness varies from a short lived and inconvenient malady to a serious long lasting and life threatening disease.
As someone, who like Diane has suffered with the condition and who has been fully cured her book provides hope and the way forward for those who led a full and productive life and have been stricken by this most debilitating of diseases. Highly recommended.
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“This novel kind of reminds me of those Magic Tree House books I used to love (anyone remember those? Or am I too old?). Except, with more sophisticated plotting and writing.
“There was a lot of suspense and mystery. The bad guys were terrifyingly bad and the good guys were cute and smart and good. Older readers may find that a bit too simple, but for the middle-grade category, this novel is up there with the greats.
“Conclusion: If you’ve ever wanted to go on a magical time travelling adventure with a pair of smart, inquisitive twins (or are doing some Christmas shopping for young, avid readers) be sure to check The Ravenstone out!”
Diane Solomon was recently invited to write a guest blog for Lorna of The Writing Greyhound. Having recently read Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear?” it really got her thinking.
“Maybe ideas float around our combined consciousness, as a species, to be received by those with the best antennae! We are radio stations, attuned to pick up the frequencies of ideas. When I was very young, as a singer-songwriter in the UK, I had the chance to work with Tommy Boyce, the songwriter who had some terrific hits with the Monkees in the seventies. He nailed it for me. He said, “In the middle of the night, if I get a song idea or lyric, I better get my butt out of bed and write it down, or it will go back up the chimney and come down Paul McCartney’s chimney.” READ MORE at THE WRITING GREYHOUND
About the book:Imagine a raven appearing out of thin air and guiding you to an exquisitely carved icon that glows with ancient light and pulses with shamanic power. This is how the adventure begins for Nadia and Aidan Shaw, 13-year-old twins, who live in idyllic Cold Spring, New York. Armed with the power of the Ravenstone and their own special gifts, they embark on a harrowing quest across centuries, at the bidding of a mysterious old shaman. They must depend on their courage, their faith in their friends, and luck… or is it destiny?
If they succeed, what they bring back could change the course of human existence.
Being creative is often a calling. Are you compelled to create, be it art, music, poetry, fiction? Then you must do it. You must do it to fulfill your passion in life. Without it you may feel dead, unfulfilled, trudging through the three-foot mudslog of life, day by day, without experiencing the joy of your own heart.
But, I hear you ask:“Will someone else like my artistic endeavor?” My answer: Who cares? Seriously. WHO CARES?
A few tips for artists and writers everywhere:
1) Dare to Suck (or Dare to Fail, for those of you appalled by the vulgarity.) As a singer/songwriter, I learned early (after an ego struggle) to trust the creative process and dive deeply into it. You have to dare to be criticized, dare to be silly, dare to be crazy, to be wild. You have to Dare to Suck.
About the book: Imagine a raven appearing out of thin air and guiding you to an exquisitely carved icon that glows with ancient light and pulses with shamanic power. This is how the adventure begins for Nadia and Aidan Shaw, 13-year-old twins, who live in idyllic Cold Spring, New York. Armed with the power of the Ravenstone and their own special gifts, they embark on a harrowing quest across centuries, at the bidding of a mysterious old shaman. They must depend on their courage, their faith in their friends, and luck… or is it destiny?
If they succeed, what they bring back could change the course of human existence.
Many thanks to Dii Bylo, a Top 1% Goodreads Reviewer for her 5-Star review
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
Diane & Mark: For the pure logistics, we are outliners. We use a large board, into which we stick pushpins to hold up postcard-sized cards with scenes, sections, or individual pieces of the story (or sections if non-fiction). Then we can physically see the jigsaw puzzle and move things around until they feel right.
Character is vital: We spend a long time on character development, and each day before either of us writes, at least at the beginning, we tend to read through all the notes and reacquaint ourselves with the character.
Diane: Yes, if I am beginning to live and breathe the character – if I am in the protagonist’s head, and she is in mine – she will write her own actions and words.
But, I want to bring up something else, something required for the writing process for me. It’s hard to define, but essential. My writing seems to stem from what my husband calls my “extreme heart.” My writing process only works well if heart is involved….
Many of the books, written for kids, feature main characters whose behavior is… well, appalling. Diane and I set out to create characters with heart and honor. We put the twins, Nadia and Aidan, in situations where they have to decide for themselves to do the right thing. They take risks for their family and they succeed in spite of their fears and flaws. Our kids don’t have to be snarky to be cool. As your kids read they accompany Aidan and Nadia on their adventure and are intrigued by the mystery they try to unravel. Plus, they learn, along with the twins, about; history, Native Americans, Celts, folk-lore, extinct plants and other environmental science, and more than just a little about morality.
The action is fast-paced. Our younger beta readers couldn’t put the book down. One Skyped us from Oregon to tell us how much he loved it. He even honored us with the comment, “This book is better than Harry Potter!”
We understand why you, as a parent, choose to teach your children at home. You may feel a level of concern about the academic quality of local public schools, quite justifiably! And you may feel that teaching them at home provide a higher level of moral instruction. Teaching them academic facts alone does not make them good people and we all want our kids to grow into people we can be proud of. Those kinds of lessons are difficult to get across to kids without seeming preachy. Here is where a book like The Ravenstone can entertain and teach at the same time.
A fun, suspenseful, entertaining book helps to teach those lessons! And a classic quality book becomes part of your child’s heart and mind, something she will remember her entire life.
EXCERPT: “It’s a magical, hopeful story full of loyalty, courage and heart.” “I appreciate this honor, this depth of character, in an age where so much of our media, books, TV, and movies are full of violence, darkness and a kind of “attitude” or “snarkiness.” I am tired of that! This is a family-oriented book, wholesome even, and very heartwarming.”
What a fun, suspenseful adventure! I got it for my niece, but read it myself first. I got hooked in and couldn’t put it down… It’s a magical, hopeful story full of loyalty, courage and heart.
The characters are well-drawn; the protagonists, Aidan and Nadia, are 13-year-old twins who are sent on a mission to help save their dad’s life work. But, they are also driven by the desire to achieve something great for mankind. They must take great risk, overcome fear, and survive great danger from a magic stronger than theirs.
I appreciate this honor, this depth of character, in an age where so much of our media, books, TV, and movies are full of violence, darkness and a kind of “attitude” or “snarkiness.” I am tired of that! This is a family-oriented book, wholesome even, and very heartwarming.