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Monday, August 21, 2017

The Invitation by Tyfany Janee (Book Spotlight & Giveaway)


Today I'm spotlighting this poetry book from emerging author Tyfany Janee. Check it out and be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!


Book Details:

Book Title: The Invitation: To Journey Through a Conscious Mind
​Category: Adult Fiction; 40 pages
​Genre: Poetry
Publisher: Tyfany Williams
Release date: March 31,2017
Tour dates: Aug 21 to Sept 1, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (​for mature content of love and relationships etc. 1-2 word usage of bad language. No sex scenes or erotica language.)

Book Description:

The Invitation: To Journey Through a Conscious Mind, is a showcase in talent from author and poet Tyfany Janee. She's eloquently produced the anthology through plaintive artistic angst. Injecting the essence of her soul into her prose. The diverse collection of poetry which lies between the covers is the result of an entire life's work experimenting within her vocation.

Her work is comprised of truth, meaning, hope, possibility and a succinct hint of humor as she tears away the facade from humanity. The works shed light on relative issues that we're all faced with in our easily waywardly led astray lives, and the monotony that makes up our existence.

The Invitation: To Journey Through a Conscious Mind is an ode to the beat generation of poets that carved their names in literary history. Any creative mind will revel in the inspiration that lies between these pages; it's full of daring attitude, and celebration for the authentic. A unique look on love, that you have to dare to delve within. It harnesses true devotion, with a stark, hair raising element of modern reality.


Buy the Book:

​Book Trailer:






About the Author:


Tyfany Janee is a mother and an upcoming graduate with a BS in Business Administration in a concentration of Entrepreneurship, and a minor in Marketing. She is a prolific writer, author and poet and she has an upcoming plan of releasing a short story collection in 2018 that she titles; The Road Sometimes Traveled; and a poetry collection book titled "RSVP: To Be You Unapologetically.” Additionally, a release of a debut novel, the first of a series in 2019 she titles; To Love Him..I.

Her recent book is comprised of truth, meaning, hope, possibility and a much-needed element of humor when it comes to exposing the true nature of humankind. Tyfany devours inspiration wherever she can get it, from cult classics, to just about anything she can see.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ facebook ~ Instagram ~ Pinterest


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Sept 9

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Monday, August 14, 2017

Nomad on the Run by Georges Benay (Review and Giveaway)



We're kicking off the tour today for George Benay's Nomad thriller series! Beneath the golden desert and azure seas of Morocco lurks a hidden world of greed, deceit and financial terrorism. Read Sandra's review and enter to win a copy of the series.

Book Details:

Book Title: Nomad on the Run by Georges Benay
Category: Adult Fiction, 290 pages
Genre: Thriller, mystery/suspense
Publisher: Bookstand Publishing
Release date: April 15, 2011
Tour dates: August 14 to Sept 15, 2017
Content Rating: PG (No swear words, some violence and minimal/ clean sex scene)

Book Description:

Beneath the golden desert and azure seas of Morocco lurks a hidden world of greed, deceit and financial terrorism. But the players are not who you might think. Lured away from his seemingly idyllic life as a managing director for a major international bank in Toronto, Eric Martin returns to his ancestral roots in Morocco.

Tempted by a mysterious offer from a boutique financial firm, Eric soon discovers he has walked into the middle of a whirlwind where everyone has their own secret agenda, and he unwittingly has become the key to unlocking them all. From the broad avenues of Toronto to the mean streets of Casablanca, Eric rushes to discover the truth before time runs out. But who can he trust?

The power and attraction of money is strong. In the midst of a dangerous cast of characters, Jeff Offenbach, bank president, knows more than he lets on. But how much does he know? Is he a key player in a scheme to terrorize the global economy, or is he just trying to save his firm from becoming another victim of the global economic collapse? Valerie is the unknown factor. Is she involved in the partners' machinations, or is she as guileless as Eric? Can he trust her? And more importantly, will he survive long enough to find out?



Buy the Book:



My Review:
Reviewed by Sandra Olshaski


The prologue drew me in immediately – the Rock of Gibraltar, an Arabic-speaking watcher, the feel of faraway, exotic places, and an ominous atmosphere.

This is a very well-written thriller with a complex, sophisticated, creative plot. The author successfully builds the suspense and maintains the feeling that something sinister is imminent.

Eric Martin, a successful, if somewhat disillusioned bank director in Toronto, Canada, accepts a mysterious offer from a financial house in Morocco - "like a nomad in the desert, he heard the wind whisper in his ear of exotic places, new adventures, and a new life." Upon taking up his new post in Morocco, however, Eric quickly realizes that he has stepped into a situation where dangerous, greedy people dominate and where terrorism raises its ugly head. Who is El-Anouyi? Eric has cunning, calculating businessmen to deal with who are not what they seem.

The character development is first rate. Eric is a smart, savvy businessman, but not really a likeable character, although I have to admit that he grew on me by the end of the book.

The use of French words and phrases adds authenticity to the story as do the descriptions of Casablanca and its inhabitants.

There are a few expletives throughout the book and a brief sexual situation, but nothing at all explicit.

This is an exciting read for those interested in international intrigue, complex financial wheeling and dealing and terrorism. It's like reading the news.

To read more reviews, please visit Georges Benay's page on iRead Book Tours.


Sandra's 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.

About the Author:


Georges Benay is a former international banker who is now working as a Toronto-based writer and award-winning photographer. He is the author of two novels, including The Nomad's Premonition and a collection of short stories. His award winning pictures have been featured in several magazines and book covers.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Photography Website ~ Twitter


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Sept 23


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Sunday Post, Mailbox Monday and It's Monday What Are You Reading? August 14 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.

We are currently vacationing in Wildwood, New Jersey. With the beach, hot sand and crashing waves. Yay! It's been quiet on my blog this past week. Before we left, I got some exciting books however, and I hope to do some extra reading.


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.


My mailbox!
For review:

This one is set in 18th century Venice with the scandalous Casanova. Need I say more?


When I had the chance to get my hands on this one, I didn't hesitate.


The perfect book for anyone who is busy and wants to nurture their creative side.

Got this one free on Kindle:

I've been seeing this one on several blogs so I snatched it when it was free on Kindle

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


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 read and/or featured last week:

A Spoonful of Grace by Annette Hubbell (Book spotlight & Giveaway!)


Reading Now:




Stop by and enter my giveaways!

Also posted on the right sidebar.

Hope you all have a great reading week.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Spoonful of Grace by Annette Hubbell (Book spotlight & Giveaway!)


Today I'm spotlighting a book that is ideal for families who want to instill thankfulness and appreciation in their children. In our house, mealtimes are very important and we make sure to eat at least one meal a day together. Check out this book and scroll down to enter the giveaway to win a copy!

Book Details:

Book Title: A Spoonful of Grace: Mealtime Blessings in Bite-sized Pieces
​Category: Christian Living; 444 pages
​Genre: Family devotional, Children's devotional
Publisher: Credo House Publishers
Release date: Feb 2017
Tour dates: Aug 7 to 25, 2017
Content Rating: G​

Book Description:

Just 2 minutes each day can change your family meal time for a lifetime.

A Spoonful of Grace is a collection of 366 evening meal graces taken from all 66 books of the Bible and designed to provide meaningful exposure to prayer and the Bible at a most opportune time: the family evening meal. ​

The Scripture/grace devotions are inviting, can be grasped at several levels, and are brief enough (about two minutes) to hold the attention of hungry kids. Here's why:
  • Each day has an application section called Grace Notes: ideas and quotes to further illustrate the message and stimulate conversation.
  • Sundays are for Story Graces. These 52 devotions are a bit longer to afford the suspenseful, engrossing reading of stories such as David and Goliath, Daniel in the lions’ den, and Jonah and the big fish.
  • Special Graces are celebrations such as Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays.
  • Each grace:
    • Supports discussions of God’s attributes and of faith-based values, offering moral examples like forgiveness, friendship, honesty, trust, even table manners. 
    • Creates curiosity about the Bible and ways in which Scripture can be applied to today’s issues. 
    • Demonstrates how the act of praying together lifts one’s own spirit; fosters praise; and increases mutual feelings of appreciation, gratefulness, and accountability. 
    • Teaches without overt instruction, similar to hiding extra veggies in the spaghetti sauce. 
    • Remind us that our food, as well as God’s countless other daily blessings, is a gift.

Endorsements for "A Spoonful of Grace":

The dining room table is a key place to connect with your children. It's time to put down the phones and pick up this book instead.” --Arlene Pellicane, speaker and author of “31 Days to Becoming a Happy Mom”

"...beautiful, winsome and creative...will spark meaningful discussion and thoughtful reflection. This book will nourish both heart and mind.”--Dr. Mark L. Strauss, Vice-Chair, The NIV Committee on Bible Translation and University Professor of New Testament, Bethel Seminary

"Annette Hubbell has made this powerful family life rhythm and tradition SO MUCH EASIER! Give your family the gift that will last for generations to come—‘A Spoonful of Grace!’” --Pam Farrel, author of 45 books including best-selling “Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti,” “10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make”, and “A Couple’s Journey with God.”

"Wonderfully composed and chock-full of wit and wisdom. I wish I’d had this book when my husband and I were raising our four children.” --Susan Meissner, Award-winning author of “Secrets of a Charmed Life”



Watch the book trailer: 





Buy the Book:




Meet the Author:




Annette Hubbell earned her undergraduate degree in Marketing from San Diego State University, her M.B.A. from Cal State University in San Marcos, and a Certificate in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. She has been featured in over 160 performances, and starred in the DVD, “Witness to Gettysburg” edited by 33-time Emmy Award winner, Robert Gardner. She was awarded Presenter of the Year twice at the Civil War Round Table of San Diego, and is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

Hubbell lives in San Diego, California with her husband of 33 years, Monte. They have a daughter, Amy. She and her husband Scott live in Los Angeles, California. For more information, visit www.AnnetteHubbell.com or www.SpoonfulOfGrace.com.

Connect with the Author: Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Youtube


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Sept 2.




Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sunday Post, Mailbox Monday and It's Monday What Are You Reading? July 31 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.

I can't believe this Monday is the last day of July!! The hot sunny weather just seemed to arrive this week. We went to Super Aqua Club on Friday and slid down those crazy slides and soaked up the sun. It finally felt like summer again after the unseasonably cooler days we had.


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.


My mailbox!
For review:

This one is YA sci-fi dystopian. I've enjoyed this genre in the past and look forward to this one.


I like children's books that celebrate diversity and cultures.


Got these free on Kindle:

Another time travel book...

When I'm in the mood for something different...

I'm not a big romance reader but something about this book appealed to me. The red dress...the pirate...the historical setting in Cornwall...

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


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 read and/or featured last week:


I'm intrigued with the whole history of the sworn virgins of Albania now that I'm reading this book. I'm enjoying it.  



Stop by and enter my giveaways!

Also posted on the right sidebar.

Hope you all have a great reading week.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Support the mission of The Sisterhood folios: Live Out Loud help them reach their goal of positively impacting 5,000 women in less than 24 hours!

I love supporting women writers who want to make a difference, so I thought I'd let you know about this event. Check it out!

WHAT: Support the mission of The Sisterhood folios: Live Out Loud help them reach their goal of positively impacting 5,000 women in less than 24 hours!

WHEN: July 31 - 24 hours

In honor of International Day Of Friendship on July 30 The Sisterhood folios: Live Out Loud is on a mission to positively impact 5,000 women with their book. For 24 hours starting on July 31 The Sisterhood folios: Live Out Loud will be made available to everyone for only 99 cents on Amazon and Amazon.ca. The first 50 that download and post a review on Amazon will be refunded their $0.99

In The Sisterhood folios: Live Out Loud you will find 19 stories from average women who have stepped out of their comfort zone to bare their own souls. These connections are supportive, caring and passionate, and filled with love.

Skimming the pages of The Sisterhood Chronicles folios: Live Out Loud you will find narratives describing heartwarming relationships, heartache, and journeys of self-discovery created by interactions with people brought into our lives; something very similar to the Army’s mission. Living out loud can mean something to one person and create a completely different scenario to someone else. Yet, no matter what the circumstance, as long as we embrace true authenticity and the people that make our lives possible we will always succeed!


Praise for The Sisterhood Chronicles: Live Out Loud:

"If you loved reading Chicken Soup for the Soul when you were younger, you will love this book. The Sisterhood Chronicles: Live Out Loud, contains narratives describing heartwarming relationships, heartache, and journeys of self-discovery created by interactions with people who show up in our lives. This book connects with the deepest part of you when you least expect it to give you the inspiration and awareness to create your life from the place of your deepest hearts' desire! A must read for the truth-seeking woman who knows that community and sisterhood truly is the key to fulfillment" - Marni Battista, MAEd, CPC

"In The Sisterhood Chronicles, Carol Starr Taylor has woven the different stages of what it is to be a woman and takes us with her on an emotionally connected journey to inspire us, uplift us, and bring home to us the depths of being a woman." -- Agapi Stassinopoulos, author of Wake Up to the Joy of You.


About one of the Writers:

Carol Starr Taylor is an author, certified life coach, inspirational speaker, business consultant, NLP Practitioner, Time Line Therapy Practitioner, Hypnotherapist, NLP Coach, and the founder of The Travelling Sisterhood. She received her Honors Bachelor of Arts, with a specialty in Mass
Communications. She has made numerous appearances over the years on radio, TV, and in articles.

Carol has been life coaching and consulting, both men and women, for personal, professional, and business development. She founded The Travelling Sisterhood, a growing global community of heart-centered women to inspire and connect women without exclusion. Your vibe attracts your tribe.

As a 30-year entrepreneurial veteran herself, she has advised clients in theareas of motivation, life transformation, relationships, sales training, personal goal setting, and empowerment. Carol is an inspirational and motivational speaker, conducts workshops, creates conferences on a variety of topics, including building a community, personal and business networking, personal relationships and sex, dating after divorce, how to manifest change, self-esteem, self-worth, self-love, weight-loss, how to create your diamond life, dare to dream big, and more.

Note: I have not read this book and therefore cannot make a comment on its content.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bonjour Kale by Kristen Beddard (Review, Author Interview and Giveaway)


A thoroughly charming memoir of one woman's expat life in Paris and her quest to bring kale to France. This was one of my favorite reads this year. Read my review and interview with the author. And be sure to enter the giveaway to win a copy!

Book Details:

Title: Bonjour Kale: A Memoir of Paris, Love, and Recipes
Author: Kristen Beddard
Category: Adult Non-fiction; 352 pages
Genre: Memoir, Recipes
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Release date: May 6, 2016 
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

A memoir of love, life, and recipes from the woman who brought kale to the City of Light. The story of how one expat woman left her beloved behind when she moved to France - her beloved kale, that is. Unable to find le chou kale anywhere upon moving to the City of Light with her new husband, and despite not really speaking French, Kristen Beddard launched a crusade to single-handedly bring kale to the country of croissants and cheese. Infused with Kristen’s recipes and some from French chefs, big and small (including Michelin star chef Alain Passard) Bonjour Kale is more than just a leafy-green. It is a humorous, heartfelt memoir of how Kristen finds herself in a new home and how she, kale, and France collide. 

Buy the book: 


My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Kristen Beddard's memoir and for several reasons too. I'm choosy about the memoirs I read, and was immediately attracted to this one. It's about a young woman and her adventures with food, love and Paris. It's about the expat life, and how she had to adapt to being a newlywed in a foreign country. It reminded me of my parents's immigrant situation when they were young and moved to Canada from Italy. It's also about Kristen's love of the leafy green vegetable kale and how she pursued a passionate project to make kale available in France.

Kristen is a great writer, capturing my interest with her humor and descriptions of her life in New York, the Parisian streets, markets and way of life, interspersed with French words and expressions which I understood. I loved how she included the history of kale, how it became popular and how she reintroduced it in France. Here in Quebec, kale is called chou frisé and is easily found everywhere.

I also enjoyed the recipes and was happy that Kristen included tips on how to use kale. I have made kale chips several times, but they never came out as good as when I tried Kristen's recipe. And the key to a good kale salad? You have to massage the dressing into the kale so it marinates the leaves. It's true that this makes the salad tastier. Ever since reading this book, I've made more use of kale instead of just using it daily in my smoothies.  And oh, Kristen's descriptions of food and meals at the restaurants interspersed throughout the book made my mouth water.

Best of all, I enjoyed Kristen's journey in pursuing something she was passionate about. She left her home and job in America to follow her husband to a country where she did not speak the language. She reinvented herself after going through times of doubt, vulnerability, and self-reflection. She was courageous and accomplished something worthwhile, something that had great meaning in her life and that taught her important things about herself and those around her, including the people and culture of France.

Her passion and enthusiasm for kale helped her make friends with others who came to understand her quest -- farmers and chefs. My dad, a gentleman farmer and lover of verdura who owns a large garden plot, started growing kale a few years ago after he learned the nutritious value of kale. Farmers are great people to know. They love the land and growing food is their life in more ways than one. I enjoyed reading about Kristen's interaction with them.

If you love memoirs set in France, like stories about the expat life, are a foodie or love to cook, then you will love Bonjour Kale. It's heartwarming, inspiring, fun to read and it's a clean read. It's one of the best books I've read this year.

To read more reviews, please visit Kristen Beddard's page on France Book Tours.

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


The Kale Project:

I just love this video because it summarizes what Kristen did to bring kale to France. And it's an inspiration to do what you are passionate about!





My Interview with Kristen Beddard:


LCR: Welcome to Library of Clean Reads, Kristen! How would you describe your book in 20 words or less?

KB: Bonjour Kale is a book about finding yourself again in a foreign place, a second coming of age and having a deeper understanding over the meaning of home. 

LCR: The first thing that struck me about your memoir is that it blends healthy recipes with your personal journey as an expat in France. Did you intentionally set out to write it this way or did that evolve as you began writing it?

KB: The book always was going to be a food memoir with recipes and I really enjoyed tying together personal stories with food memories.

LCR: I admire people who set out to write their memoirs and so intimately share their lives with the world. What was the hardest thing about writing this memoir? The easiest?

KB: The hardest was sitting alone with myself and writing about myself everyday (the most important part of writing is showing up every single day)! The easiest or at least most fun part was working and reworking the outline.

LCR: I was amazed at all you did to bring kale to France. Tell us a little about The Kale Project.

KB: The Kale Project was an initiative to reintroduce kale to Paris by working with local French farmers to grow it and chefs to cook with it. I also did a lot of tastings at events. Sometimes I felt like a pro bono PR person for the vegetable!

LCR: What is your best advice for someone moving to a foreign country?

KB: Learn the language. It will help in every possible way.

LCR: What do you hope your memoir will do for your readers?

KB: I hope it helps people going through a life transition whether that is moving to a new city or country, starting a new job, leaving a job to be a stay at home parent, etc. I hope it inspires people to follow a passion project that maybe they have been thinking about for a long time.

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

KB: I love this question but it is difficult to answer. I think I would like to go back to 1920s New York and experience the Jazz Age. Perhaps Fitzgerald romanticized it too much but (if you had money), it looked like a fun and fabulous time.

LCR: Favorite dessert?

KB: I prefer savory over sweet but love chocolate covered pretzels.

LCR:  A favorite book you've read that you'd like to share?

KB: One of my all time favorite books is A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. And I recently finished a lovely fiction read called Fake Plastic Love that I can't stop thinking about.

LCR: Your next project?

KB: Aside from taking care of my 2.5 year old daughter full time, I am working on my nutrition certificate from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. And I hope to write another book again one day but we'll see.

LCR: Thank you so much, Kristen, for chatting with me.

About the Author:


Kristen Beddard is the American author of Bonjour Kale: A Memoir of Paris, Love and Recipes and a contributing author to We Love Kale. She is the founder of The Kale Project, a blog and successful initiative that reintroduced kale to France and was featured in The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Self Magazine and more. She has a certificate in Culinary Nutrition from the Natural Gourmet Institute and is currently working on a new book Roots, Shoots and Stalks about food waste and cooking with the whole vegetable. She resides in New York City with her husband and daughter. 

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

Follow Sourcebooks on Twitter  and Facebook


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Aug 6 / 2 winners




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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Unexpected Gift of Joseph Bridgeman by Nick Jones (Review)


This book is one of the best time travel novels I've read and reminded me a little of The Time Traveler's Wife, except this book made me laugh. And I mean laugh-out-loud belly laugh. I'd find myself bursting into spontaneous laughter at some of the scenes. It's been a long time since any book did that for me.

Book Details:

Book Title: The Unexpected Gift of Joseph Bridgeman: A Time Travel Adventure (The Downstream Diaries Book 1)
Author: Nick Jones
Category: Adult Fiction, 456 pages
Genre: Time Travel
Publisher: Createspace
Release date: May 2, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (for language, lots of f-words)


Book Description:

Meet Joseph Bridgeman, a reclusive insomniac with a weakness for ‘The Beatles’ on vinyl and a constant headache. When his annoying accountant suggests hypnotherapy might help him sleep, Joseph accidentally discovers he can time-travel and things get a little complicated.

With the help of Vinny, a local record shop owner, Mark, his old school friend, and Alexia Finch, his hypno-time-travel guru, Joe sets out to change the course of his life. He needs to get back to 1992, the year his world fell apart, the year that Amy, his sister, went missing. The only problem (apart from his clothes disappearing) is that the further back he goes the less time he gets to stay there. Can Joe master his new-found gift before time catches up with him?



My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

I'm always looking for good time travel stories and this novel intrigued me from the book cover to the back cover blurb. I began reading it not knowing what to expect and began smiling as I dug into it. I love discovering Indie gems and this book turned out to be one. It's one of the best time travel novels I've read and reminded me a little of The Time Traveler's Wife, except this book made me laugh. And I mean laugh-out-loud belly laugh. I'd find myself bursting into spontaneous laughter at some of the scenes. It's been a long time since any book did that for me.

This is not the sci-fi kind of time travel. Joseph, is a regular guy. He's become a reclusive, having lost his business, living without purpose and affected by traumatic events in his past. The reader feels for him and the author slowly builds his character as we begin to piece together how Joseph got to the sad state he's in. When Joseph accidentally discovers he can time travel, he now tries to adjust to this new gift and the possibility that he can now travel back in time to find his little sister who disappeared at the fair when they were children.

This was not only a fun book to read but I found that the author created a brilliant plot with complex characters and emotional situations. Joseph is an anti-hero who has to overcome emotional barriers to take action in his life. He lives with guilt and remorse and this has nearly destroyed his life. He has to get past his reclusive lonely state and enlist the help of others. The author peels back the layers of his life through flashbacks. I loved the cultural references to the 90s interspersed through the book.

I couldn't help but like Joseph and the other characters too. The scenes between him and his sister were so endearing and touching. The author skillfully blends action, intrigue, time travel and comedy to bring us a unique and original story. I couldn't put this book down and read snippets of it every free moment I had! It was unpredictable, funny, sad, romantic and utterly satisfying to read. The only thing I would have preferred would be less f-words and bad language.

If you love time travel or just a very good story that propels you all the way to a great finish, pick this one up. It's one of the best books I've read this year.

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.


About the Author:


Nick Jones was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England in 1972. His debut novel ‘The Whisper of Stars’ was released in April 2014. He can usually be found in his garden studio, working on his latest mind-bending idea, surrounded by notes and scribbling on a large white board. He loves movies, kindness, gin and vinyl.

Connect with the author: Website

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Post, Mailbox Monday and It's Monday What Are You Reading? July 24 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.

I had a busy week and was away this weekend with my family. Just got in and am posting this late...hope you're all enjoying good summer days.


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.


My mailbox!
For review:
This one has such an original premise. And I'm itching to read a good historical fiction novel.



Both these books are on tour with iRead Book Tours. I love that they are thrillers set in Canada, Europe and the Middle East.


Got on NetGalley:

I just discovered a new author who writes dual timeline novels set in Italy!


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


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 read and/or featured last week:


The Shield (The Finder Series Book 1) by C.J. Bentley (Review)


Reading Now:

Not sure what to read next! I have a slew of books to read in between my review copies and have yet to choose one.



Stop by and enter my giveaways!

Also posted on the right sidebar.

Hope you all have a great reading week.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Shield (The Finder Series Book 1) by C.J. Bentley (Review)



This is time travel and historical fiction at its best.

Book Details:

Book Title: The Shield (The Finder Series Book 1) by C.J. Bentley
Category: Middle Grade Fiction
Genre: Time travel / Historical fiction
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Content Rating: G


Book Description:

People lose their belongings. That is a fact of life. It can happen by accident, but sometimes it can happen when you put them in a very safe place and forget where that safe place is. Not many people are good at finding them again. A young, gutsy girl with a kind heart, who's searching for her own identity growing up in the 1960's, just happens to be very good at finding things. Can she be the one to help return whatever is lost – anywhere and at any time – to its original owner? With the help of a beautiful, yet mysterious wise woman and a chivalrous knight she does just that. She finds and returns his shield, lost in battle, which unbeknown to her holds a secret that is important to his King, the safety of the Kingdom and the life of the daughter of his best friend. The Shield is the first story in The Finder Series, taking our heroine on extraordinary journeys back in time. Her first adventure takes place in Medieval England in 1340 where she meets King Edward 111, his wife Philippa and their son, who will later become the Black Prince.

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My Review:
Reviewed by Sandra Olshaski

This is an excellent middle-grade fiction featuring time travel and historical fiction, my two personal favourites.

A girl "10 years and 4 months old" is narrating. Sometimes she's known as Rebecca, sometimes Peggy, or Eleanor, depending on her whimsy of the week. She's feisty, forthright, a leader of her group of friends and apparently, a person who finds things. The author writes as a 10-year-old very successfully!

On a beautiful English summer day in 1962, our heroine finds a wooden shield in a "beck" or creek. (I didn’t know what a beck is so checked it in Webster's. It's a British word first used in the 14th century – how appropriate.) The shield is old and Rebecca/Peggy/Eleanor wants to examine it more closely at home in the family garage. While doing so, a knight in armour, speaking old English, suddenly appears. This knight, Sir Kay, is aware that he is in a different time – "I know we are in the wrong time for me, but the right time for you…..I was waiting for you…..My Lady!" The knight and our heroine seamlessly travel from the 1960's back to 1340 and so the exciting adventure escalates. The shield (Sir Kay's) and what it contains are important to the security of the realm. She becomes friends with 10-year-old Edward, the future Black Prince.

The author evokes 14th century England by the use of language, clothes, tapestries, the rushes on the floors and the ancient weaponry. Rebecca/Peggy/Eleanor finds herself dressed in the style of medieval times in "a long, pale blue wool dress....with gold buttons and braiding."

The scenario is creative, the action fast paced and well written. This is Book 1 so more time travel and historical fiction is in store for readers - something to anticipate!

I highly recommend this MG book for young teens and adults alike. You won't be disappointed.

Disclosure: Thanks to Rachel Gilbey from Authoright Marketing & Publicity for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.


About the Author:


Originally heralding from the North of England, C.J Bentley has travelled extensively and enjoyed living in a variety of countries across the world from Dubai to Doha, Qatar and now the countryside in the South of France. A background in teaching and childcare she has always enjoyed creating adventure short stories. However, it was when she became a grandma and with her grandchildren growing up that she discovered that books seemed to contain only stories of vampires, zombies and farts that she decided seriously to take matters into her own hands and put pen to paper which today she calls The Finder Series.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter  




Monday, July 17, 2017

Self-Publishing 101: The Hard Lessons to Know Before You Publish


In the many years that I've been book blogging I have come across several bloggers that tell me they are writing a book. I've also worked with and currently work with many self-published authors. Some do it very well and I love discovering these Indie gems, while others could do better. I thought this article on the basics of self-publishing would be interesting to any of my readers that are contemplating this route.

Self-Publishing 101: The Hard Lessons to Know Before You Publish

Self-publishing has given people the ability to publish their own work. These people might have been rejected by traditional publishing houses for any number of reasons. The work did not fit what the company published, the company had already published too many that were similar that year, or they might not have liked it. Self-publishing gives people the opportunity to have their work out there, to legitimize their hard work, and to even have full rights to their own novel.

Publishing through a publishing house has many benefits, from professional and financial support from your submission to the final print. Publishing houses edit, format, design a cover, and print your novel. They will then put your novel into bookstores; they put money into advertising. They do the heavy-lifting of post-writing for you. They can also take away a lot of your power. When you are self-publishing, you need to do this work for yourself.

Start with a Great Book Cover
The old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” is both sound and also unrealistic. There are so many books to choose from – Google estimates there are more than 129 million books, and more are being published each year. If you want readers, you will have to stand out. Use a book cover maker to create a beautiful cover for your novel. The more eye-catching the cover is, the more likely someone will choose to read your novel’s blurb.

Have a Captivating Description
The next thing you need to do is make sure your novel’s description is captivating. You must hook your reader in again and again to convince them to stay and read all the way through. Make them pick up your novel with a beautiful book cover, and convince them to read your novel with a compelling description. Several drafts will be needed.

Online Marketing
The secret to anyone’s success is marketing. As a self-publisher, you will need to take the reins and create a unified marketing campaign that will not only attract new readers to your novel; it will also grow and nurture a community. You want fans. You want people who love your writing and who love you as an author. You want to have a growing group of readers who will be there for your next book. You need to promote yourself, and your book, without sounding like spam.

  1. Have a Website
Having a website is a wonderful way to bring everything about you (or your book) into one place. You can include Q&As, excerpts, news, and more. Have your website be your home base where you draw readers in and direct them to your novel.

  1. Be on Social Media
There are billions of users of social media out there. Build a following on social media to direct potential readers to your site, and to grow your fan base.

  1. Interact!
This one is the most crucial – you will want to interact with people you meet, both online and offline. Build a community of fellow writers, nurture your relationship with your readers, and you will have a support system that helps you and follows you for years to come.


The last thing to know is that self-publishing is hard work. You need to take on the jobs of several people, and you need to do them well. Once your book makes it, however, you’ll be so much happier with having full control, rather than relinquishing creative power to a publishing house. 

 

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