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Sunday, January 26, 2020

Sunday Post, Mailbox Monday and It's Monday What Are You Reading? Jan 27 Edition


Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.


This was a fun weekend. My daughter's best friend got married and we had a great time at the reception. I like dancing so weddings are a great occasion to put on my dancing shoes.

I started watching Cedar Cove which I'm enjoying. Almost done with Season One. And I've been enjoying some good books, too. Hope you all have a great reading week!




Mailbox Monday Edition



Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever-growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.


What I reviewed and/or featured last week:




Currently Reading:

I"m a fan of Mimi Matthews and I'm enjoying this one very much.


Currently listening to: 

Loving this listen!


Stop by and enter my giveaways!

Also posted on the right sidebar.



Hope you all have a great reading week.




Sunday, January 19, 2020

The Nutcracker Conspiracy by Lauren Carr (Review, Author Interview and Giveaway!)


This is the fourth book in the Thorny Rose Mystery series. I'm hooked on all her series now. This one will be released in 10 days but can be pre-ordered. Check out my interview with Lauren Carr below and enter for a chance to win a $50 Amazon GC!


Book Details:

Book Title: The Nutcracker Conspiracy (A Thorny Rose Mystery #4) by Lauren Carr
Category: Adult Fiction, 388 pages
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Release date: January 30, 2020
Tour dates: Jan 20 to February 28, 2020
Content Rating: PG-13 (Lauren Carr's books are murder mysteries, so there are murders involved. Occasionally, a murder will happen on stage. There is sexual content, but always behind closed doors. Some mild swearing (a hell or a damn few and far between). No F-bombs!


Book Description:

Three years ago, the nation gasped in horror when the President of the United States barely escaped an assassination attempt that left two dead—the vice president’s wife and the attempted assassin. Even after numerous investigations proved otherwise, conspiracy theorists argue that the assassin was acting on orders from the CIA, FBI, and every federal agency within a hundred miles of the capital.

Aspiring Author Dean Conway is the last person Lieutenant Commander Murphy Thornton wants to spend his Saturday afternoon when they end up at the same wedding reception table. While their wives tend to bridesmaid duties, Murphy is trapped listening to Dean’s latest work-in-project—completing the manuscript of an investigative journalist who’d disappeared months earlier.

“She was number twelve,” Dean says.

“Twelve?” Murphy asks.

“Twelve witnesses connected to or investigating The Nutcracker shooting have died either in an accident or suicide.”

Two days later, Dean dies suddenly―but not before sending a text message to Murphy:

“13”

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

The Nutcracker Conspiracy is the fourth book in the Thorny Rose Mystery series. The main characters are Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday, but as usual, Carr includes brief appearances of characters from other series such as Mac and Archie as well as Chris Matheson. And Gnarly is back, spending time with Murphy and Jessica. Of course, he is up to no good (a matter of perspective) with his usual antics, but he saves the day on several occasions.

On the night when the daughter of the President of the USA is dancing in The Nutcracker ballet, an attempt was made on his life. Someone intervened and the president was spared but instead, the wife of the vice-president was killed. This event gave birth to The Nutcracker conspiracy. It seems that several people connected to this event end up dead. Dean Conway, an aspiring writer, claims that twelve have already died and he may be next. True to his fears, Dean gets killed and becomes the 13th victim, but alas, nothing is as it seems.

Once again, just when I think that I've figured something out, Carr throws a curveball and I'm left amazed that she can keep me guessing until the end! There are so many twists and turns my head was spinning at one point. And through all of this buildup, she injects humor, both in the form of furry friends, but also in Tristan, the tech wiz. I loved the family connections and sibling fights, the romance between our lovebirds Murphy and Jessica, and Gnarly's kleptomaniac adventures.

Once again, Carr manages to close all plotlines and bring the story to a satisfying end. By this point, I'm familiar with all the characters in all the series, and they've become like friends that I revisit every time I read one of her books. The Nutcracker Conspiracy was another fun addition to the Thorny Rose series and I look forward to the next one!


Disclosure: Thanks to the author for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.





Buy the Book:

Pre-Order Your Copy Today!
The scheduled release date is Jan 30, 2020!


My Interview with Lauren Carr:



LCR: Thanks for joining me for this interview, Lauren! So...I've been reading your books for a few years now and every time I crack open a new release I ask myself, "What plot twist is Carr going to come up with this time?" So my question to you is, Where do you get your ideas for your mystery plots?

LC: Anywhere and everywhere. I am always on the lookout for a mystery plotline. I’m one of those people that if I’m left alone in a cafĂ© waiting for a friend and she’s late, I’ll start imagining why. If she’s late enough, I’ll have concocted an entire story in which she’s been kidnapped by terrorists mistaking her for an ambassador’s daughter. Of course, my explanation will be much more exciting than hers when she arrives to announce that she got stuck in traffic.

I don’t know if that means I’m terribly imaginative or twisted. It all depends on how you look at it.


LCR: You are the author of several series. Do you have a favorite one? How do you come up with the idea for a new series like you did for the Chris Matheson one?

LC: My favorite is the one that I am currently working on. The other day I got into an argument with a writer friend who accused me of not loving Mac Faraday anymore. That’s simply not true. I was offended. It was like a mother being told that she didn’t like one of her children anymore.

I’ll admit, I’m enamored with Chris Matheson because that series is new and fresh to me. I was not looking for a fourth series when I created the Chris Matheson Cold Case mysteries. The inspiration for that struck me while watching a documentary on Netflix about a group of former students banding together to investigate their teacher’s murder, which was a fifty-year-old cold case. Each student brought their own talents to the group. From there, Chris Matheson and the Geezer Squad was born.

Each series lends itself to particular types of mysteries. For example, The Nutcracker Conspiracy could never be set in Deep Creek Lake. The plotline alone is built for the Thorny Rose Mysteries, set in a Washington DC backdrop.

Likewise, the plot for Came Upon a Midnight Murder, the next Mac Faraday, would not do well in the Washington DC metropolis. Now that I’m working on the fourteenth Mac Faraday, I’m in love with Mac again.


LCR: What is the hardest thing about writing a series? The easiest?

LC: Carrying the continuity from one book to the next is by far the hardest. My characters have become like old friends who reveal a bit of themselves in each book. Oftentimes while writing, I will need to hunt through previous books in the series to double-check something so that a sharp-minded reader won’t email to say, “That isn’t what he said in Kill and Run!”

For example, in The Nutcracker Conspiracy, there is a scene where Jessica is upset after her best friend Amy is hospitalized when her husband is killed. Traumatized, Jessica thinks back to when she’d lost a friend in a motorcycle accident in high school. In the middle of writing that scene, I had to stop and go hunting through Kill and Run to refresh my memory about Jessica’s friend and her death.

The easiest part is the dialogue. Writing the exchanges between the characters is fun and easy for me. I think it’s because, after numerous books, they have become like real people to me. Their conversations come naturally. That is fun and weird and twisted all at the same time because I know they’re not real people.


LCR: How do you research information for your novels?

LC: I do a lot of searching on the internet. We’ve come a long way, baby! I was cleaning out my library a few months ago and found the stack of books on forensics, private investigation, how to try a murder, and other technical research books written specifically for murder mystery writers. I had bought those books back in the ’90s.

Nowadays, you can jump on the internet to search for anything. But I don’t just look up in one place. There is a ton of false information on the internet. I triple check to make sure the same information is in multiple places before I go with it.

I’m also a big fan of the Discovery Channel. I like to watch true crime shows to find out how real cases were investigated and the true-life obstacles that the investigators had to get over and around to solve a case.


LCR: How does being an author today differ from being one ten years ago?

LC: Being an author today is tremendous! We have doors open today that were closed and locked before. My first book came out in 2004. That was A Small Case of Murder. Back then, it was hammered into writers’ heads that you were not a real author unless you were traditionally published by one of the big publishers in New York. To publish your book any other way meant you were stupid or desperate or both.

I had worked for over ten years in the federal printing house in publishing government documents. I knew all about layout and editing. I knew everything about publishing. For some reason, I did not realize that I could apply my professional skills toward publishing my novels. It wasn’t until my third book, the first installment in the Mac Faraday mysteries It’s Murder, My Son, that I had this uh-huh moment where I realized, “I have the knowledge. I have the skills. I have the technology. I can do this myself.” It was one of those smack your palm against your forehead moments.

In 2011, I turned down multiple offers to traditionally publish It’s Murder, My Son. It made it up to #1 in mysteries on Amazon. That couldn’t have happened 20 years ago.


LCR: If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

LC: The wild west. I love horses. I’d be like Annie Oakley—riding fast horses and shooting whiskey bottles up in the air.

LCR: Thank you so much, Lauren!



Meet the Author:


Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Chris Matheson Cold Case, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty-five titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

​A popular speaker, Lauren is also the owner of Acorn Book Service, the umbrella under which falls iRead Book Tours. She lives with her husband and two spoiled rotten German Shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

​Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends March 6, 2020


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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The Permanent Weight Loss Plan by Janice Asher and Jae Rivera (Book spotlight and Giveaway!)


I enjoy finding books that are holistic and that focus on mindset and lifestyle changes. If you are in need of embracing a more healthy lifestyle, check this one out. Scroll down to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy!

Book Details:

Book Title: The Permanent Weight Loss Plan: A 10-Step Approach To Ending Yo-Yo Dieting by Dr. Janice Asher & Jae Rivera
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 308 pages
Genre: Health & Nutrition, Weight Loss, How-To
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Release date: January 2020
Tour dates: January 7 to February 3, 2020
Content Rating: PG

Book Description:

Diets come and go, and the scale needle swings as you drop pounds and then gain them back. But what if there were a weight loss solution for forever? Not another fad diet based on deprivation and restriction, but a holistic system for shedding pounds and maintaining your weight?

In The Permanent Weight Loss Plan, Janice Asher, MD, and Fulbright Open Research Fellow, Jae Rivera, reveal (from their own first-hand experiences) that it’s not just about the food you eat or don’t eat—it’s about a mindset and lifestyle change. After collectively losing 170 pounds and maintaining their weight for years, Janice and Jae share scientific evidence, personal experiences, and practical insights on how you can successfully reframe your relationship with food.

It’s about stopping the shame associated with body size, recognizing instances of disordered eating, equipping yourself with the knowledge of what behaviors contribute to lasting weight loss, and making use of proven strategies. Get actionable tips on how to:
  • Overcome barriers like stress, shame, and emotional eating
  • Escape the comfort food circle of hell
  • Eat food that nourishes your intestinal microbiome and brain
  • Replace unhealthy habits with new ones that will treat your body well
  • Boost your metabolism by eating during the right times of the day
  • Commit to an exercise regime you can enjoy
  • Transform your kitchen from danger zone to a safe space
  • Survive potential landmines like holidays and parties
  • Develop strategies for not gaining back the weight you lose
  • Stop the cycle of fat-shaming and treat yourself with kindness
Complete with 26 recipes for cauliflower quinoa puttanesca, “umami bomb” roasted portabella mushrooms, blueberry breakfast smoothie, curried lentil salad, and more, The Permanent Weight Loss Plan encourages readers, with gentle humor and compassion, to embrace a paradigm shift and transform their lives for good.


Buy the Book



Meet the Authors:


Janice Asher is a gynecologist at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to being a clinician there, she began the MILE (mindful, intuitive living & eating) Program, and the PANDA (Physicians And Nurses Domestic Abuse) Program. She is a co-author and co-editor of a textbook on sexual assault.



Jae Rivera is a biological anthropologist specializing in human osteology. She received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and continued on to work at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Presently, she is living in Peru analyzing human remains with a Fulbright Open Research Grant. She will begin her PhD when she returns in 2018.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends February 10, 2020


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Sunday, January 12, 2020

Sunday Post, Mailbox Monday and It's Monday What Are You Reading? Jan 13 Edition


Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.


This was a busy first week back at work. Feels good to be back to a routine, but boy is it hard to get up early in the morning. Weather is crazy too, with a mix of freezing rain, sleet, snow, and see-saw temperatures.

I did not get one single post up this past week so I'm making sure to prep them on the weekends because I'm too tired after work. My book reading is slow too. But I'm loving listening to audiobooks on my way to work. 

Hope you all have a great reading week!



Mailbox Monday Edition



Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever-growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.


What I reviewed and/or featured last week:

Nothing!


Currently Reading:

Enjoying this one!


Currently listening to:

This is the first time I listen to an audiobook by Mel Robbins and I'm learning a lot! She makes my commute to work pass by so quickly because I'm so into her book.


Stop by and enter my giveaways!

Also posted on the right sidebar.



Hope you all have a great reading week.




Sunday, January 5, 2020

Sunday Post, Mailbox Monday and It's Monday What Are You Reading? Jan 6 Edition


Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.


So I took some time off from blogging and from my computer in general so that I could spend time with family and friends...and to rest. It felt good to do nothing on some days. I binged on Continuum and Virgin River, both of which I enjoyed immensely. The ending of Continuum left me in tears.  As for Virgin River I have to patiently wait for Season 2.

I also watched several movies. At the cinema I watched Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which was good. And on Prime Video I watched Five Feet Apart. Oh my gosh, more bawling! I had to watch comedies henceforth to get over the emotional upheaval of that one.

And Monday it's back to work...


Mailbox Monday Edition



Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.

For Review:


Bought on Kindle:

I pre-ordered this new book from one of my favorite authors.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever-growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.


What I reviewed and/or featured last week:


This one is just okay...not as good as I had hoped. But I'm bored so it may end up being a DNF.


Stop by and enter my giveaways!

Also posted on the right sidebar.



Hope you all have a great reading week.




Thursday, December 19, 2019

The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen Volume III by Collins Hemingway (Book Spotlight, Guest Post and Giveaway!)


I'm happy today to showcase the last volume in The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen trilogy. I read and enjoyed the first two books. You can read my review of Volume I and Volume II. I couldn't commit to reading this last volume at this time, but I wanted to spotlight it during its blog tour.

Book Details:

Book Title: The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen Volume III by Collins Hemingway
Category: Adult Fiction,  338 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Createspace
Release date: November 4, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (Mature themes)

Book Description:

The Stunning Finale to Jane Austen’s Saga

In the moving conclusion to “The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen,” Jane and her husband struggle with the serious illness of their son, confront a bitter relationship with the aristocratic family who were once their friends and face the horrific prospect of war when the British Army falters on the continent. The momentous events of the Napoleonic wars and the agonizing trials of their personal lives take Jane and Ashton to a decision that will decide their fate—and her future—once and for all.

Praise for The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen Series

Hemingway again displays his notable ability to recreate time and place, moving on from the heady days of Jane Austen’s early love to a marriage beset by difficulties and a country at war. Hemingway … vividly and authentically portrays the times. … [T]his is a lively, compelling read, [a] sobering but moving finale to Hemingway’s successful trilogy. —BlueInk Review

Immensely satisfying … Marriage is lively, compelling, and fun. … [Her] relationship with her husband Ashton still sparkles. Marriage is a lovely ode to their connection. … Hemingway has combined Austen’s humanity with her fiction and created a Jane that lives and breathes on the page. Audiences will want her to be real… It offers a wonderful, imagined alternate life for the well-loved author. —Claire Foster, Foreword Review

‘Enjoyable … an imaginative, well-researched series.’ —Kirkus Reviews


Buy the Book:


Guest Post:

Why a Courtship and Marriage for Jane Austen?

By Collins Hemingway

My interest in Jane Austen goes all the way back to university and a cherubic 18th Century literature instructor, Dr. Duncan Eaves. An admirer of Jane Austen, he was also an expert on novelist Samuel Richardson, the poet Alexander Pope, and every other literary light of the century. 

Courtship novels did not lend themselves to the investigation of the deepest feelings of the heart or the substance of life. Consequently I characterized Austen as a brilliant but superficial writer. I had married young, become a father, and was struggling financially. I knew, in my early twenties, that courtship and marriage were radically different things. Austen’s books, I told Dr. Eaves, ended where they should have begun: with marriage. 

We had many energetic exchanges. Dr. Eaves told me to come back and read Austen every ten years or so. Women were not allowed to write serious novels in the early 1800s—indeed, even through the 1800s. As I gained experience in life, he said, I would see more of life woven into the fabric of her work and less of the comedy of manners. Over time, his prediction came true. Austen was something of a guerrilla writer. She pushed the bounds of convention, and likely her own sense of propriety, by addressing substantive issues obliquely—premarital sex and the slave trade, to mention two important ones. 

Even the delightful Emma, with its breezily misguided protagonist, manages to provide “perfect happiness” for a scandalous situation, which is the illegitimacy of Emma’s friend Harriet. Her being a “natural” daughter turns out not to be nearly as important as whether her father was a gentleman, as Emma supposes, or a tradesman, as turns out to be the case. The daughter of a gentleman would be able to marry higher. 

Novels in Austen’s day often addressed the question of a lady’s virtue before marriage but never seriously addressed other matters of consequence, before or after the wedding. Austen’s secondary characters are the ones involved in dubious—thus consequential—activities. She often leaves open the question of future happiness for them. The main characters, however, live (readers assume) happily ever after. 

The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen is my solution to the questions that began decades ago as a graduate student. I wanted to bring the more serious issues of her day out of the background and into the light, as part of the protagonist’s own experiences. I wanted to show how a woman of Austen’s intelligence, passion, and independence would respond when she must directly address those issues. The answer was to throw the female lead into the exciting, chaotic world of the Regency era. 

These are all the personal reasons that I’ve been drawn to Jane Austen as a character. In many ways, she represents an intelligent woman’s fight for independence in a society structured to keep her dependent. 

In this trilogy, I am able to liberate her to become a whole woman capable of fulfilling her life’s dreams. I can engage her in issues from which she otherwise would have been excluded. I can throw the best and worst of her time at her and see how she responds. By testing her mettle, I can draw a deeper and more honest portrait of her character than is otherwise possible. 

A modern Austen editor said that most people read biographies to try to get as deep inside the mind of the author as they can. With Austen, there’s no biographical record of her innermost thoughts. No journals. No letters beyond the superficial. This trilogy is my way of trying to plumb her heart and soul, and bring her inner life to the public.


About the Author:

Collins’ passion for literature, history, and science enable him to create complete, sharply drawn fictional characters fully engaged in their complex and often dangerous worlds. His fiction is shaped by the language of the heart and an abiding respect for courage in the face of adversity.

As a nonfiction book author, Collins has investigated topics as diverse as corporate culture and ethics; the Internet and mobile technology; the ins and outs of the retail trade; and the cognitive potential of the brain. Best known for the #1 best-selling book on business and technology, Business @ the Speed of Thought, which he co-authored with Bill Gates, he tackles challenging topics with clarity and insight, writing for the intelligent but nontechnical reader.

Born and raised in Arkansas, Collins has lived most of his adult life in the American Northwest, with a career that has spanned writing, high tech, and aviation. He has a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Arkansas, Phi Beta Kappa; a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Oregon; and numerous technical certifications in computer technology.


For more information please visit Collins Hemingway’s website and blog. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Goodreads.




Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Jan 17, 2020


The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen Vol III

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on January 17th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Blue Girl on a Night Dream Sea by Ginny Fite (Review and Giveaway!)


This is the second book I read from this author and once more, I enjoyed Ginny Fite's writing. Unlike the other book, this one has elements of fantasy.

Book Details:

Book Title: Blue Girl on a Night Dream Sea by Ginny Fite
Category: Adult Fiction, 274 pages
Genre: Suspense/Paranormal/Time Travel
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Release date: September, 2019
Tour dates: Dec 2 to Dec 20, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (There are no explicit sex scenes but an implied threat of rape; there is some rough language)


Book Description:

Sometimes the last person you save is yourself. Elena must take her city back from terrorists. Hana must save her tribe from the wrath of a ruthless king. They’re stronger together. The problem is they’re 4,000 years and 6,000 miles apart. Wounded during a terrorist attack, NYC police commando Elena Labat wakes from her coma aboard a Phoenician boat on the Mediterranean Sea to find a young girl lashed to the mast. The girl is Hana, who has trekked across Bronze Age Lebanon with Danel to prevent a king from destroying her tribe. Elena knows she must save Hana. And Hana must escape the barbarians who abducted her before she can find Danel and go home. Slipping in and out of unconsciousness, Elena teaches Hana everything she can, protecting her from barbarians, a priestess, and a king. But Elena’s family needs her, and she can’t stay in the past. Hana will have to succeed on her own.

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

Last year I read Ginny Fite's well-written political thriller No End of Bad. I was excited about this new novel of hers that was described as a thriller with time travel elements. I love time travel and I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Although, I think I should clarify that this book could be better describes as timeslip, rather than time travel, and it has a dual timeline setting of modern New York City and ancient Lebanon (Mesopotamia). It was actually two stories that don't really converge although there is a connection.

I was so impressed at how Fite can write so well the modern thriller with the police procedurals as commando Elena Labat works with her team to stop the terrorists who have invaded the city; and then alternate to the ancient world of Hana who must bravely leave her tribe and venture into the unknown, until she finally comes into the city of Sidon with its exotic marketplace, goddess temple and cruel king. These two settings alternated with each chapter, and throughout my reading I wondered what the connection was.

I enjoyed both stories but because I love historical fiction, I did like Hana's story and its characters better. The time slip part is short and occupies a small part of the story. A reader can see this part of the story as fantasy or as part of Elena's subconscious effort to deal with the devastating effects of the terrorist attacks and her way of healing herself.

Whatever the case, I enjoyed Blue Girl on a Night Dream Sea, and I look forward to reading more from Ginny Fite.


To read more reviews, please visit Ginny Fite's page on iRead Book Tours.




BUY THE BOOK:


Add to Goodreads

About the Author:


Ginny Fite is an award-winning journalist who has covered crime, politics, government, healthcare, art and all things human. She has been a spokesperson for a governor and a member of Congress, a few colleges and universities, and a robotics R&D company. She has degrees from Rutgers University and Johns Hopkins University and studied at the School for Women Healers and the Maryland Poetry Therapy Institute. Her three murder mysteries, Cromwell’s Folly, No Good Deed Left Undone, and Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally Murder, are set in the rolling hills of Jefferson County, West Virginia. No End of Bad, a thriller, was released in June 2018. She resides in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the Author: website * facebook * twitter



Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Dec 27, 2019




Monday, December 16, 2019

Jeanne by Sylvia Hornback (Book Spotlight an Giveaway!)


Today I'm spotlighing a book for readers who love stories about the resilience of human nature. Check it out and enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy.

Book Details:

Book Title: Jeanne: A journey from abandonment and abuse to forgiveness and truth
Author: Sylvia Hornback
Category: Adult Fiction, 344 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Briggs and Schuster
Release date: November 1, 2019
Tour dates: December 2 to December 20, 2019
Content Rating: PG -  M (There are less than five cuss words plus adult themes of parental neglect)

Book Description:

At dawn on a sweltering summer day scrabbling sounds alerted Jeanne of the intruder downstairs. The pull chain rattled against the light bulb in the kitchen. Instantly a sliver of yellow light raced up the stairs and into her bedroom. Someone was moving about inside the house, and had even been bold enough to turn on a light. It wasn’t the first time she’d awakened to the sounds of this intruder.

REVIEWS:

"A well written cativating story with realistic settings that create a true to life picture of the 1940 time period."

"A revealing focus of neglect and abuse between a self centered mother and coming of age daughter who tugs at your heart!!"

"One almost expects Jeanne to step out of the pages into your life at any time."

"REAL LIVE PERSON FEEL."

"Truly, a book that you DO NOT want to put down!"

Buy the Book:

Add to Goodreads

About the Author:

Sylvia Hornback received her Doctorate of Education Administration from Texas A&M University. She is the current Chair of the Board of Directors for ENERGY Worldnet, Inc., and served as an educator, principal and school superintendent for over two decades. Among her many accolades, she was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School Principal by the U.S. Secretary of Education. For the past ten years, she has served as a Bible study teacher at First United Methodist Church near her home in Decatur, Texas. Her first novel, The Mallard Conspiracy, was published last year.

Connect with the authors: Website ~ Facebook




Enter the Giveaway!
Ends December 27, 2019


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Thursday, December 12, 2019

So This Is the End: A Love Story by Alexandra Franzen (Review)


So This Is the End grabbed me from the first page and I read it within 24 hours. It’s a novel that makes you question, “If I had 24 hours to live, what would I do with my time?”


Book Details:

Book Title: So This is the End by Alexandra Franzen
Category: Adult Fiction,  200 pages
Genre: Romance, Sci-fi and fantasy
Publisher: Mango Media
Release date: October 15, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 (Sex scenes - not too explicit, religious expletives)

Book Description:

In this inspiring tale of spiritual romance, a young woman meets her soulmate—with only 24 hours to live—perfect for fans of JoJo Moyes and Jill Santopolo.

In a world where doctors can revive the dead for a single day, Nora Hamilton has just received the extraordinary gift of an extra twenty-four hours of life. One more day. One more chance to tell her family how much she loves them, listen to her favorite song, and feel the grass beneath her feet. And she’s determined to make every moment count.

Enter: Renzo. Ren, for short. He’s strong, compassionate, and unfairly attractive, with a face that makes Nora’s stomach explode into stars. Their connection is immediate and undeniably intense. Nora is wracked with bittersweet joy and confusion as she realizes, “I’ve finally met the love of my life . . . on the last day of my life.”

Should she tell Ren the truth about her condition? Or simply try to enjoy their brief time together? Is it wrong to fall in love when there’s no chance for a future? Or is love a precious gift, no matter how long it lasts, even if it’s just for one day? So This Is the End is a story about taking chances, making your own rules, and the power of living like there’s no tomorrow.

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

So This Is the End grabbed me from the first page and I read it within 24 hours. Nora has paid for an expensive revival-after-death service that comes into effect after she suddenly and unexpectedly dies. After being resurrected and knowing she has only 24 hours before her body will shut down and she will die again, Nora now has to come to terms with the fact that she once died, has a short second chance at life and will then die again. How does one deal with that? It’s a novel that makes you question, “If I had 24 hours to live, what would I do with my time?”

I enjoyed Nora's journey, how she grappled with life's questions, how love came into her life, and how the story comes to a satisfying ending that makes me glad I can still be grateful and fully enjoy every day I'm alive. There are many fun moments in this book, and it's an easy quick read. One can take away the message that life is precious and not to be wasted. 

This is a love story so there are intimate scenes (Ren is swoon-worthy!) and the romance is strong, so romance readers will gobble this one up. There are no f-words but lots of religious expletives which I didn't think necessary. It's a light read but can also be introspective and thought-provoking. This feel-good novel is perfect if you're craving a romance story that's not typical, but that will satisfy your mood for a good love story.

Disclosure: Thanks to the publisher for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

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About the Author:


Alexandra Franzen is the author of several books, including SO THIS IS THE END: A LOVE STORY (2018), YOU'RE GOING TO SURVIVE (2017) and 50 WAYS TO SAY "YOU'RE AWESOME" (2013).

She has written articles for dozens of sites, including Time, Forbes, Newsweek, HuffPost, The Muse, and Lifehacker. She's been mentioned/quoted in The New York Times Small Business Blog, The Atlantic, USA Today, BuzzFeed, Brit+Co, and Inc.

Alexandra is best-known for writing about creativity, productivity, the power of setting tiny goals, how to stay motivated, keep working towards your dreams, and never give up. Find Alexandra's latest projects - plus hundreds of free articles and resources - at: AlexandraFranzen.com


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

My Beautiful Detour by Amy Oestreicher (Book Spotlight and Giveaway!)


I enjoy books about strong women. In this coming of age memoir, the author shares her struggles and discoveries living with both visible and invisible illness, and the tremendous gifts and lessons to be reaped from trauma. Read more below and enter the giveaway to win a copy!

Book Details:

Book Title: My Beautiful Detour: An Unthinkable Journey from Gutless to Grateful by Amy Oestreicher
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 529 pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Singing Tree Publishing
Release date: November 2019
Tour dates: Nov 19 to Dec 17, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 (This memoir deals with sexual abuse and PTSD)


Book Description:

An estimated 70 percent of adults in the United States have experienced a traumatic event at least once in their lives and up to 20 percent of these people go on to develop posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. An estimated 5 percent of Americans—more than 13 million people—have PTSD at any given time.

Amy Oestreicher was one of them. So, what happens when an ordinary teenager has to turn into a warrior just to survive? And can the journey through Post Traumatic Stress Disorder really become an “adventure?”

Amy had ambitious plans for college and a Broadway career, until her stomach exploded the week before her senior prom. Months later, she awoke from a coma to learn that she might never be able to eat or drink again. After years on IV nutrition, her first bite of food awakened her senses to life's ordinary miracles but also brought back memories of being sexually abused by a trusted mentor for months, just before the unexpected rush to the emergency room that fateful Passover night. With determination, imagination, relentless resilience, and an inner “hunger” for life, Amy created a roadmap where none existed. Her journey through life's unthinkable detours is nothing short of miraculous, but the creative path to healing she forged is accessible to anyone. As a survivor—and “thriver”—of abuse and extensive medical trauma, Amy discovered sources of resilience she didn’t know she had but it turns out we all possess. In this book, she creates a tapestry made from each of each thread of her journey, empowering others to find gratitude in every setback and discover their own infinite inner strength. Amy’s search for “home” proves to be the greatest test of cultivating resilience after near-death, and reclaiming identity after both sexual assault and medical trauma. Amy’s journey is ultimately a celebration of ordinary and extraordinary challenges and miracles.

In this coming of age story, Amy shares her struggles and discoveries living with both visible and invisible illness, the tremendous gifts to be reaped from trauma, its lessons which have illuminated her path, and how these gifts can be discovered as a unique, yet universal way to navigate any kind of uncertainty.

Interwoven through her remarkable story are insights on navigating any kind of uncertainty, including:

• What is a “detourist”– and why is it important to take those detours?

• The importance of detours for college students

• How to transition from being a “survivor” to a “thriver”

• Amy’s” Four Hardcore Skills” to resilience

• Finding your own uniqueness not through what’s happened to you, but what you choose to do with it

• The power of art to heal

• Our innate ability to be artists, and why creativity is an essential mindset

• How sharing your story becomes imperative to healing

• How humor is a way through

• Turn messes, mistakes and setbacks into creative detours

My Beautiful Detour offers practical strategies for individuals and unexpected tools for the families of trauma survivors, helping communities build new, limitless futures. The book includes numerous “trauma insights,” and is enriched with humor, art, poetry, and useful takeaways for readers. Reading one woman’s heroic adventure through trauma, recovery, and discovery of new directions in healing the body and the mind is an empowering tale of not just getting through, but thriving.


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About the Author:




AMY OESTREICHER is an international keynote speaker, Huffington Post columnist, actor, artist, songwriter, playwright, Audie Award-nominated PSTD peer-to-peer specialist, and author. A survivor of extensive medical trauma, including 27 surgeries, and sexual assault, she shares her life story and creative strategies with therapists, medical professionals, patients, sexual abuse victims, and general audiences nationwide. Creator of the #LoveMyDetour movement to inspire individuals to thrive because of, rather than in spite of, obstacles, she has been featured on the Today show, delivered three TEDx talks, and performed her one-woman musical, Gutless & Grateful, in more than 200 venues across the country. She is also a passionate voice in the ostomy community and presents narrative medicine workshops.

Connect with the author:  Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram


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