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Reviews of Beware the Devil’s Hug

“Terrorist plot, spirituality, sex, intrigue and suspense place this novel at the top of the list of books to read.

“The story begins with the apparently innocent doings of a bum: but he’s much more than that.  He possesses supernatural abilities and plays an important role in a cast of multi-faceted international characters.  A planned meeting of a new organization whose goal is to seek peace by diluting religious dogmas is under threat of destruction in an Islamic terrorist plot.  With a hostage as leverage, the extremists set their plan in motion using a trusted member of the organization. Will the member fulfill the mission to save his loved ones or be used simply as a decoy in a much broader scheme?  Timely and provocative, packed with interracial, erotic and bizarre relationships, this novel keeps the reader in a constant state of suspense.

“The author weaves a tale with credibility and realism.  I give this book a five-star rating and expect to see it on the bestseller list.”

Review by Abe F. March
Author of :
To Beirut and BackISBN 1-4241-3853-1
They Plotted Revenge ISBN 13: 978-0-9822722-2-0
Journey Into The Past
ISBN 13: 978-0-9822722-8-2
Website: Http://www.abemarch.com

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“An intriguing tale of human spirit, divine intervention, and the real, raw reality of existence.”

“Once again, Marvin Wilson manages to captivate his audience with a style that is fresh, direct, and provocative.  Finding a hero in the unlikely body of a bum, and then endowing that figure with supernatural powers is a move only Wilson would make.  His characters are dynamic, moving, risqué, and ultimately burned into the reader’s psyche as everlasting images of hope, despair, eroticism, and downright humor.

Beware the Devil’s Hug is an intriguing tale of human spirit, divine intervention, and the real, raw reality of existence.  Kindness is opposed by insensitivity, poverty by wealth in countless forms, and isolation by the overwhelming urges of mankind’s sexual drive.  The web the author weaves of rogue characters seemingly without purpose or objective and the oftentimes bizarre circumstances of their lives is depressingly fascinating.  But the novel’s deus ex machina, the homeless man around whom the story is built, offers with open palms a magical realism and a spiritual hope like is rarely seen in literature today.

“Wilson’s newest tale, Beware the Devil’s Hug, is a humorous, strange, and unforgettable journey through the human race on the wings of an otherworldly redemption.  This is a must read that brings with it revelations that you may not expect, but will nevertheless open your eyes and charge your heart.

Brian Doe, author of The Grace Note and Barley and Gold, co-author of The Waking God Trilogy.

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“More Twists than a Chubby Checker Concert”

“Readers, be warned: almost nothing in Beware the Devil’s Hug is what it appears to be. Figuring out what is, well, that’s the fun part. Iam, the protagonist, can be interpreted as a deistic figure who has chosen to spend his time on earth as a slovenly, repugnant beggar who wanders the streets enacting life-altering changes on select individuals, using his supernatural hug. The story soon draws a few of the recipients of these spiritual awakenings together, as the plot morphs into a tale of international intrigue and a war between the essences of good and evil. Wilson masterfully builds the tension and renders you powerless to stop reading as the characters soon find themselves the targets of a global terrorist conspiracy. Will Iam be able to prevent the disaster once it’s set in motion, or will his human frailties lead him towards an even more devastating and personal tragedy?

“On the surface this story is a thriller that even the most casual summer reader will devour, but it’s also a fuming indictment of humanity’s twisting and corrupting influence on the world’s religions, and a rousing call to arms, citing unity and compassion as the only tools required to fight back against the mess we’ve made. Ultimately, Wilson has crafted a story of redemption, how the human spirit intertwines with the infinite to seek salvation here on earth, a message that can inspire each of us to become our own savior, one small hug at a time.”

Review by Jeff Gephart, author of Out of Dark Places and The Second Life

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“… a style similar to Mark Twain set in the 21st century”

“There are many stories that are entertaining, but few reach the heart of the reader and asks the question, would I give my life to help total strangers who may not appreciate my gift to the them.

“Author Marvin Wilson delivers in his latest novel, Beware the Devil’s Hug, that is reminiscent of a style similar to Mark Twain set in the 21st century. The protagonist, Iam, is sent from another dimension to help people who are blinded from living a life they were robbed of while attempting to thwart a plot to kill hundreds of people at a rally in Detroit, Michigan.

“Iam can see inside people. He understands when a man is not what he seems, not at all what people believe of him or her. He can sense maniacal egotism, narcissism, greed, lust for power, and egregious intent lurking in the heart of man just as easily as a sweet and innocent soul.

“Suspense, intrigue, greed, betrayals and more fill the pages with a diverse cast of Christian, Muslim, and Buddhist, and racial diversity. Beware the Devil’s Hug is a story based on faith, trust, and forgiveness.  To quote one of the characters, ‘It’s wonderful to have friends, to know for real people in your life who take the time to care about you.’”

~ Review by Stephen Tremp, author of The Breakthrough Trilogy

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” … you will question reality, ponder your idea of right and wrong …”

“Hugs—they bring comfort to many, disgust and horror to others and a feeling of safety to still others.  Some hugs can invoke all these emotions.  One hug can’t change an entire life—or can it?

“In Beware the Devil’s Hug, Marvin Wilson has once again brought together an unlikely cast of characters whose lives entwine in such a way they weave the very tapestry we call life.  Love, hatred, pain and laughter are the threads that bind the tapestry tightly, making it impossible for even one of the characters to remain untouched by all the others.

“For those familiar with Mr. Wilson’s work, you won’t be surprised that he does not skirt issues that may cause controversy.  He presents what is, leaving his own ego and thoughts completely out of the picture and allowing the reader to fully experience each issue from a perspective within their own soul.  Before your experience, for this book is truly an experience, is through, you will question reality, ponder your idea of right and wrong and, if you are willing, get to see the world from perspectives you thought were much different than your own.

“For those not looking for a spiritual revelation, that is fine too.  The storyline is full of drama, action and a twist that I never saw coming.  Beware the Devil’s Hug contains something to please almost any reader, male or female, young or old.  It is definitely an adult book, but only the most prudish or narrow-minded will find it offending.  Marvin Wilson may not skirt the difficult issues, but he handles them with finesse and a genuine empathy found rarely in today’s world.  Marvin Wilson is a modern day Richard Bach – inviting the human race to question, strive and dream—but most of all to open their minds and hearts and embrace all the wonder that lies within each soul.”

~ Review by Joyce Anthony, author of Storm, and professional book critic

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“It will make you laugh, cry, ponder some of life’s critical questions, and smile.”

“Beware the Devil’s Hug has an interesting cast of varied characters from many walks in life. The old smelly homeless man known as simply ‘The Old Man’ or ‘Iam’ is a true gem and the star of this novel. He has been around for more than one hundred years, but none of the other people he is involved with would know, or suspect, that. He wanders the streets and begs for a large portion of this tale. He never seems to let the nasty disposition of some people get him down. Iam also has a wonderful ability to heal, create peace, love, forgiveness, and understanding in the most unlikely of circumstances. I fell in love with him almost from the beginning and even asked the author where I might find my own old smelly homeless saviour.

“The story takes many twists and turns. The characters can be anyone. The lessons learned are humbling, poignant, and apt. There is a little something for everyone regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof. It will make you laugh, cry, ponder some of life’s critical questions, and smile. I found it a delightful read. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to be entertained and doesn’t mind learning a lesson about humility or introspection along the way.”

Review by Michelle Malsbury, author, The Swindler, BSBM, MM

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“… you ask yourself, which is truth and which is a lie? What does it all mean?”

“The Old Man wagged his hand in the air. ‘That is of no significance. I am here to ask to take this man’s place. Please—kill me instead.’” Thus we start our journey through the world created by Marvin Wilson in a book in which even names are elusive. But, each word hits harder than a punch from George Foreman. What does it all mean? As you weave your way down the path before you, there are glimpses of truth, but then you ask yourself, which is truth and which is a lie? What does it all mean?

“This is not a book to be taken lightly. One can just read it, but it will lose all its power. Read this in depth and you will be revealed to yourself. Are you really who you say you are? This story is a mirror into one’s own soul and the trip might prove painful. However, rest assured; by the last sentence you will see yourself and those around you in a much different light. That old man you keep seeing on the bench, is he the one? Maybe that old lady pushing the cart? What action is due on your part when you see them? Do you ignore them, or are they asking for help that only you, the enlightened reader can provide?

“Find out for yourself just how powerful a book with cryptic names can be. Marvin is a very good writer as you will discover. Once you have read it and experienced the kind of worlds Wilson creates, you’ll also want to pick up Owen Fiddler and I Romanced the Stone.”

– Review by Ron Berry, author of, Laughs From Corn Country, and Math for the Family.

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“Beware the Devil’s Hug introduces readers to a mishmash of deftly-drawn, misguided characters who are prone to bad decisions and worse circumstances.  But as one homeless man proves, things are not always what they seem.  This book is part-magical realism, part-spirituality and part-social commentary; and remarkably, Wilson’s cornucopia works harmoniously to create an utterly engrossing and enlightening story.”

~ Jen Knox, author of Musical Chairs (a memoir), and the novel, To Begin Again

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“Marvin D. Wilson has created an intriguing allegory centered around a Christ-like figure who, despite his abilities to heal and forgive, is much more human than divine. Beware the Devil’s Hug is sometimes irreverent, sometimes uplifting, but always a fascinating read.”

~ Steve Lindahl, author of A Motherless Soul

~~~~~

“This is a journey of awe and inspiration!  Marvin Wilson has penned an intriguing and imaginative tale. Beware the Devil’s Hug is part parable, part allegory, and it brilliantly calls into question one’s truth, faith, and essentially one’s personal belief system in an often jaded world. Beware the Devil’s Hug will surprise, mesmerize and challenge one’s precepts in ways that many of us just might need to be challenged.”

~ L.M. Ross, poet, and author of Manhood: The Longest Moan, and The Moanin’ After

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“With his unique creative vision, Wilson paints a touching and amusing portrait of a being seldom viewed as funny.”

~ Peggy Ullman Bell, poet, and author of, FIXIN’ THINGS- A Novel of Women at Gettysburg, and Sappho Sings

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Reviews of Owen Fiddler

Owen Fiddler, A Journey Best Not Taken… But a Book Well Worth Reading

There are times when reading a book, you happen upon an unexpected lesson, and a shining gift wrapped up in darkness. Its wisdom comes from the voice of its writer. It makes you think, discover, nod your head and relate as you read along. I just completed such a novel. It reached my inner voice, gave me a lesson in humanity, in faith, and in mankind. The book is called “Owen Fiddler.” It’s actually written by a fellow blogger, Marvin Wilson. While I was aware that Mr. Wilson was a writer, until now, I didn’t realize the fully loaded caliber of his gift. This book is the real deal. It has more than left a lasting impression on me. Owen Fiddler has branded my spirit, like a cautionary tattoo.

This is the tale of a man who is a drunken, gambling, womanizing malcontent. He has no redeeming qualities whatsoever, and yet something about his story compels you to read further. As the novel begins, Owen is awakening from another of his habitual stupors. He’s falling down drunk, crawling around on the floor, being sick enough to call a few toilet yodels, all before heading off to another thankless day at work.

Right away, as a reader you find nothing to root for in this cat, and he only gets worse.

Owen has no luck, and never had any. He blames everyone for his station, but himself. He is one of those tedious people who never seemed to take life or his responsibilities very seriously. As Owen stumbles off to his soulless gig, he is busy cursing the world and damning his place in it… but then something quite unexpected happens. The hapless Owen sees a pocketbook on the ground, picks it up and discovers it’s filled with thousands of dollars in cash!

He can’t believe his sudden change of fortune. He chooses not to listen to that quiet inner voice of common decency. He doesn’t even search the contents for any I.D. He simply takes the money, tosses the pocketbook aside, and goes on this way with plans to spend it on endless boozing and wild fits debauchery.

However, this one act of selfish uncaring leads to a tragic set of events. Here, the author takes an ironic twist in storytelling and it is a brilliantly effective one. Without giving too much away, finding the money leads Owen Fiddler on a journey into a deeper darkness.

The novel shifts back in time to when Owen was a boy and details how so often the choices we make in our youth can haunt us for the rest of our lives. Owen is abusive to everyone, has little regard for his mother and brother, and cheats at games played with his friends. He steals a bike from the neighborhood, and runs away when the cops show up at his home. In running away, Owen unknowingly enters into a newer darker strange world filled with runners and pimps, dealers and hardcore criminals. No longer homeward bound, the boy doesn’t look back. Instead, he becomes a street kid who embraces the fake freedom of never going to school and doing as he damn-well pleases. His life now consists of having sex with loose women before his time, and running drugs for the big boys uptown. Once busted by a plain-clothes cop, juvenile detention awaits him. Life there is worse than ever, and when he finally emerges, he is a hardened teen, unready and unwilling to embrace a new life with his family.

The precarious events of Owen’s story are harrowing and filled with the terrible details of what can happen when we fail to acknowledge our blessings, refuse to accept the onus of our actions, and neglect to live up to our potential.

Owen is good at only one thing: sex. His earlier experiences taught him well in that department, and with this skill he is rarely at a lack for fast-food companionship. What he does lack is the vision to look inward and to believe in something real and necessary for his own personal happiness.

What is so fascinating about this book is that for all his peccadilloes, everyone knows an Owen Fiddler. He’s that cat who doesn’t give a damn; the one who will always find some lame excuse for his behavior, and curses most anyone who comes into his path. He dismisses his mother’s love and rejects his caring stepfather. He despises his younger brother for being everything good and decent that Owen clearly isn’t. Once he finds a kind and beautiful woman who actually loves him, and he cheats on her during their honeymoon. He is his own worst enemy, and yet he doesn’t have the clarity or the guts to realize it.

I didn’t much like Owen, the man. But I loved Owen Fiddler, the novel.

Of course, even a troubled soul like Owen can’t go through his journey without some sort of redemption, and it is here the author surprises, astounds and enlightens his reader.

The closing chapters of this superior story elevated the form of visual-spiritual-transcendent writing for me. It was so otherworldly, so perfect in detail, so imaginatively rendered that it stunned my eyes and warmed my soul.

I used to think that for something to be Great, it had to make me cry. I’m not an easy crier, so to find greatness was always a challenge. This book didn’t make me cry (though the final confession scene between Owen and his ex-wife Jewel DID make me a tad misty). No. Art is truly Great when it makes us think of things differently, view them with new and different eyes and challenge the old perceptions we once held.

Author Marvin Wilson managed this SUPERBLY with the story of Owen Fiddler. The writer uses an eloquent language to elevate his tale. His descriptions are often poetic and lyrical to the point where they reach elegance, even in a story that reveals so little beauty until its memorable conclusion. He took me into a world I always knew existed, but always did my best to avoid.

Being one who doesn’t like to be hit over the head with religion lessons, Owen Fiddler made me appreciate that The Word doesn’t necessarily need to bombard us in order to be FELT, digested or absorbed. This is a morality tale at its finest.

Wilson, as the writer-storyteller became a wicked force, a sexy force, a spiritual force, and most of all, an Enlightened force. Once turning the final page of this opus, I could honestly say I felt CHANGED from having read it.

What more can any writer ask from an audience?

If you want an unexpected surprise, I would highly suggest you pick up Owen Fiddler by Marvin Wilson. In it, you will find deceptively wrapped in a shroud of darkness, one of life’s most shining gifts.

By Lin M. Ross, poet, and author of Manhood: the Longest Moan and The Moanin’ After

***

Owen Fiddler – “Gripping, Gut-Wrenching, and Frequently Hilarious.”

I hate it when authors waste a good redemption story on sinners who are just not very sinful. Either that or they euphemise everything the character does or says so as not to offend the delicate sensitivities of their readers.

Well, you won’t find any of that in this book. Owen Fiddler is bad news with a capital B, and author Marvin D. Wilson tells his story with raw, honest language and descriptions that make Owen’s ultimate transformation a truly marvelous thing to behold. I also love that the spiritual messages in this book aren’t hindered by the shackles of organized religion and its abundance of hypocrisy.

Anyone who believes in the value of the human spirit will appreciate Owen’s journey, and they’ll enjoy reading his gripping, gut-wrenching and frequently hilarious story.

By Joyce Sterling Scarbrough, author of True Blue Forever, and Different Roads.

***

Everyone can relate to Owen Fiddler

Describing Owen Fiddler as an interesting portrayal of how one’s actions can impact others lives, is truthful, but lacking. This novel is a character-driven tale of one man’s negative existence. The reader is challenged to find any redeeming qualities in the main character, Owen Fiddler. He is not a man many would befriend.

Owen Fiddler is not a happy man. The world is against him every step of his life. Everyone can relate to a bad day. There are just days when you wake up and nothing goes as it should. Owen Fiddler experiences that every day. He has no good days. Therefore, none of his actions are his fault. He’d be happy if the world would just let him.

The story is entertaining on the page, but it is deeper for those who want to look. Whether you are spiritual, religious, atheist, or totally unwilling to accept there is more to living than what is experienced here on earth, this novel will resonate.

Marvin Wilson has created a colorful cast of characters in Owen Fiddler. The reader experiences the world as Owen goes through it. The author focuses on a few central characters which allows the reader to see the same situation from different perspectives. It’s an engaging novel and the reader is grabbed with the opening sentence.

I recommend reading Owen Fiddler for a spiritual perspective on life that will cause you to think about your own actions and behavior. Whether or not you believe in God, a higher being, heaven, or any type of life after death, you will walk away from this novel having at least been inspired to glimpse the possibility.

By Lisa Haselton “womanryter” – professional book reviewer and critic

***

We All Pay the Fiddler

Marvin Wilson is a “tell it like it is” writer. Owen, the main character in the book, thinks the world is against him; he is the victim of life, circumstance, government, the environment and just about everything else. He takes no responsibility for his actions or his life. We all have an Owen in us. But Mr. Wilson shows us all is not lost, there is hope. Winner of an AVATAR AWARD for SPIRITUAL EXCELLENCE, you owe it to yourself to read this book, “before” your tab must be paid.

By Phil Harris, author of The Waking God series, Jesus Taught it Too, and many others.

***

Reviews of I Romanced the Stone (Memoirs of a Recovering Hippie)

A Must Read!

Raw, down-and-dirty, and unfiltered, I Romanced the Stone is the story of an aging hippy and his descent into the madness of becoming a crack user. Marvin Wilson had used just about every drug known to man during the Peace and Love Years of the 60s so what would one little experimental hit from the crack pipe hurt? He soon found out that smoking crack cocaine wasn’t the same as smoking marijuana, the main drug of choice for the “tune in, turn off, and drop out generation.” Marvin is a very lucky man in the fact that he is still alive to tell this compelling story. “I Romanced the Stone” is a must read for all who have even THOUGHT about taking that first hit from the crack pipe.

By Kristie Leigh Maguire, author of Affairs of the Heart, Cabin Fever, Desert Heat, and others.

***

“Red Dressed for Undressing, Dripping With Salaciousness …”

“from one nightmare to another” in I Romanced the Stone, Marvin Wilson carries us through the horrors of addiction to the glory of salvation in a rollicking, sometimes terrifying journey to joy.

A great reference book for anyone involved in “The War on Drugs” no matter in what capacity. I plan to obtain a copy for my police officer grandson as well as my eldest son who has overcome his personal addictions. [first to drugs and then to “That Old Time Religion.”

By Peggy Ullman Bell, poet and historical fiction author of Sappho Sings, Fixin’ Things, and others.

***

A Wake Up Call

Marvin Wilson destroys all the stereotypes of drug use on both ends of the scale. He is neither part of the Hollywood/New York “elite” associated with upscale drug abuse, nor is he a part of the underclass. He is just an average middle class guy who fell into a bottomless pit.

His recovery from drugs and the recovery of his marriage is an inspiration for anyone who has felt that their lives had become hopeless. His book takes the reader on a ride of emotions as he shares a truly remarkable story of despair and redemption.

This is a must read.

By Walter Sorg, Radio Talk Show Host.

***

Reviews of Between the Storm and the Rainbow

“I stumbled upon Marvin’s blog clearly by accident and found his words to be like verbal magnets pulling me into this world he inhabits. It is a terrain full of wisdom, humor, homespun philosophy, good common sense, a poetic sensibility and uncommon spirituality. Reading this man’s work makes it easy to become a confirmed ‘Marvaholic!’”

L.M. Ross, poet, and author of Manhood and The Moanin’ After

“Marvin Wilson’s award-winning Free Spirit blog not only surprises and shocks you; it tells it like it is, with a generous dollop of love.”

Jean Henry Mead, author of A Village Shattered and Escape

“I can count on one of three things from my daily visit to Free Spirit … a smile, a feeling of spiritual growth or something to make me think deeply. Many days, they are all rolled into one.”

Joyce A. Anthony, author of Storm

“It’s an adventure reading what Marvin Wilson writes on Free Spirit since you never know what to expect from him, other than something that will delight, amuse, enrich or inspire!”

Connie Arnold, poet, and author of Beautiful Moments of Joy and Peace and Abiding Hope and Love

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