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Rave Reviews for Marine Corps Vet’s Debut Novel

Key West author, and former Marine Corps NCO, M. N. SNow’s (sic) genre-blurring novel, The Helper, has been garnering rave reviews.

“My favorite by far,” SNow said, “started by saying ‘I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review, but I liked it so much I bought it!’ The reviewer went on to say that it was ‘an original story that is totally worth reading. She’s definitely going on my Christmas card list,” the author added.

A Reviewers Bookwatch piece called the book ‘a fantastic novel…a powerful book that everyone should get…. an incredibly well-written story, that often reminded me of the same storytelling style of Stephen King.’ It gave The Helper a rating of 10 out of 10.

“OK,” SNow laughed, “maybe that last one is my favorite! Stephen King has always been a guiding light, and to be mentioned favorably in the same sentence as him is an honor.”

A senior reviewer for Midwest Book Review wrote ‘an intricate piece that challenges readers to think about life’s paths and incongruities in a delightful series of encounters that tests the limits of friendship and faith. Readers who want thought-provoking and gritty approaches in their stories will relish this tale’s ability to present a world of contrasts, from the Light to darkness and everything in between.

Snippets from other reviews are a mosaic of positive vibes: superb and heart touching, a refreshing read… mystical and moving, with a dark type of humor, Thank you MNS for a story that was like The Helper for me, a great read…very entertaining, a powerful book…a joy to read, Loved this book!..I hope for more books coming soon!!, I recommend this book to anyone that loves to read on magical realism, science fiction, and fantasy stories, and finally, Do yourself a favor, and buy this one!

The book’s synopsis says The Helper combines contemporary, magical realism/urban fantasy/speculative fiction with an ambiguous spirituality. Two parts Stephen King and Dean Koontz, one part Dennis Lehane’s Mystic River, the story explores relationships between lovers, friends, families, and what Powers of Good there may be. The novel travels from the gritty Lake Superior port-cities and Indian Reservations of northern Wisconsin to the Jewish neighborhoods of North Miami Beach, Florida—from Parris Island to the war zones of Kuwait and Afghanistan.

It is the story of John Sloan, a Marine Corps veteran with a life-long secret that is haunting him. He is a conduit to a healing light that draws him to people on the brink of emotional disintegration, people who are then healed and Helped by this light. His blue-collar world is shattered when he finds that his connection to this anonymous portal has vanished. He is alone, seemingly beyond aid, and in desperate need of a Helping himself.

The book tracks the intersecting lives of John and two other Helpers. His lifelong friend Dusty Hakalla is a mixed-blood Ojibwe, with a secret of his own. His power to help is remarkable, but was once destructively misused. A career Marine, his scarred childhood and momentary abuse of power have left him jaded and bereft. Deena Morrison, also a Helper, is John’s girlfriend. Adopted as an infant, she flees John to find her birth-mother, while carrying within herself her own secret. Another character shadows their lives as narrator, Nan’b’oozoo, the trickster god of Ojibwe legend—at times sarcastic and petulant, at others insightful and humorous.

“And I must not forget my first review,” SNow continued. “I included it on the book’s cover. It’s from Bantam Books writer Tracey McBride, author of Frugal Luxuries.”

McBride wrote, ‘LOVING this story…mesmerizing…quirky…intriguing…at once spiritually uplifting/hope-inducing and gritty, earthy, real. Wow. Just wow.’

“She makes the Christmas-card list too,” SNow said. “And remember, books make for excellent Christmas presents.”

The Helper is available in print, either online or at your favorite bookstore. It is also available in all e-book formats—Kindle, Apple, Nook, etc. Preview chapters Here

Links to these reviews and more are available on the book’s Facebook page Here

The author’s bio includes years as a public radio host and anchor, primarily in the south Florida market, but also for Wisconsin Public Radio. M. N. has had various short stories published, and is also a published cartoonist, a former contributing writer for Reader Weekly (Duluth, MN), and a former Marine Corps NCO. After spending some years at home, in the Twin Ports of Duluth, MN/Superior, WI, writing the book, the author is currently back living in Key West, FL

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