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Monday, March 25, 2019

Moon Games by Shelly Frome (Review and Giveaway!)


Moon Games is a cozy mystery that takes place in the North Carolina town of Black Mountain. Check it out and enter to win a copy.

Book Details:

Title: Moon Games by Shelly Frome
Category: Adult Fiction, 264 pages
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Milford House Press
Release date: August 4, 2018
Tour dates: Mar 15 to April 30, 2019
Content: PG-13 + M for some mild language and mature content matter

Book Description: 

At the outset, Miranda Davis has nothing much going for her. The tourists are long gone by October in the quaint Carolina town of Black Mountain, her realty business is at a standstill, and her weekend stint managing the local tavern offers little to pull her out of the doldrums. When prominent church lady Cloris Raintree offers a stipend to look into the whereabouts of a missing coed, Miranda, along with her partner Harry (an unemployed features writer) agree.

But then it all backfires. A burly figure shambles down a mountain slope with a semi-conscious girl draped over his shoulder. Miranda’s attempts to uncover Cloris Raintree’s true motives become near impossible. The local police keep stonewalling and Harry is of little help.

Tarot cards left on Cloris’ doorstep only exacerbate the situation. Growing more desperate over the captive girl’s fate, Miranda comes across a link to a cold case of arson and murder. With the advent of the dark of the moon, she is summoned to “Tower Time” as this twisty tale continues to unravel.

Buy the Book:

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

Moon Games is a cozy mystery that takes place in the North Carolina town of Black Mountain. The setting of mountain ridges, foggy moonlit autumn nights, and a damp chilly Halloween season along with a colorful cast of bumbling characters makes this book interesting. I must admit though, I was confused and scratching my head a lot of the time, wondering if I had missed something as I read along.

I didn't get the sense that I "knew" any of the characters. I was always trying to figure them out. I'm not sure if this was intentional on the author's part and part of the mystery or if I just had to be patient as I tried to figure things out. Things became clearer as I got deeper into the book, but this was a complex mystery nonetheless and it was a slow start for me. Miranda was an unlikely but likable hero, although I thought she acted older than her thirty-six years.

If you like murder mysteries in a small town setting with scatter-brained and sometime humorous characters trying to figure things out, you might enjoy this one.

To read more reviews, please visit Shelly Frome's page on Virtual Author's Book Tours.


About the Author:



Shelly Frome is a member of Mystery Writers of America, a professor of dramatic arts emeritus at the University of Connecticut, a former professional actor, and a writer of crime novels and books on theater and film. He is also the film columnist for Southern Writers Magazine and writes monthly profiles for Gannett Media. His fiction includes Sun Dance for Andy Horn, Lilac Moon, Twilight of the Drifter, The Twinning Murders, Tinseltown Riff, and Murder Run. Among his works of nonfiction are The Actors Studio and texts on the art and craft of screenwriting and writing for the stage. He lives in Black Mountain, North Carolina. 

Connect with the author: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter


Enter the Giveaway 

This giveaway is for 3 winners choice of one print or ebook copy of the book. Print is open to the U.S. only and ebook is available worldwide. This giveaway ends April 30, 2019, midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only. 




Monday, March 18, 2019

From An-Other Land by Tanushree Ghosh (Review and Giveaway!)


I love immigrant stories, hence the reason I wanted to read this book. Check out my review and enter the giveaway to win a copy!

Book Details:

Book Title: From An-Other Land by Tanushree Ghosh
Category: Adult Fiction, 224 pages
Genre: Short Stories, Immigrant Stories, Literary
Publisher: Readomania Publishing
Release date: December 4, 2018
Tour dates: March 18 to April 5, 2019
Content Rating: PG + M (It has mature themes in the backdrop in some stories, but doesn't have explicit language or description)

Book Description:

Never has been the conversation on immigration more pertinent than now, post 2016 US elections. From cancellation of refugee protection and zero tolerance to undercurrent crackdown on H visas to the border wall - the resurgence of nationalism is hitting the globalized population head-on.

But what is immigration today? A question of life or death - fleeing of persecution? A compulsion? Or a mere pursuance of privilege? And what is the US today? A land of opportunities? Or a quagmire impossible to comprehend, inherently racist and selfish?

From An-Other Land dives deep into immigration today for the diaspora and its many facets with characters who seek to define themselves in an intercultural setting that is less and less sure of itself. A reality check and a guide for anyone who wants to understand the modern-day US.

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

I love immigrant stories, hence the reason I wanted to read this book. Tanushree Ghosh has written a variety of short stories under the theme of immigration from India to the United States. Each story drew me in immediately with compelling characters, unique situations and the challenges of bicultural identities. Well-written and insightful, From An-Other Land gives the reader an intimate look at the Indian culture and immigration through the lens of an author who herself immigrated but fourteen years ago.

I couldn't help think that although I loved reading these stories, they were inherently sad, some even heartbreaking. It's true that the journey of immigration is one fraught with challenges, sacrifices, and nostalgia of one's homeland, and these stories realistically portray all of these aspects, however, I did miss the hopeful tone I was expecting from them. Some of the stories are interconnected and by the end, we get a picture of how immigration affects each person in different ways as they each search for a dream that for many remains elusive.

These stories are literary fiction that would appeal to all who love immigrant Indian stories that are thought-provoking and perspicacious.

To read reviews, please follow Tanushree Ghosh's page on iRead Book Tours.


Buy the Book:




Meet the Author:


Tanushree Ghosh works in Tech and has a Doctorate in Chemistry from the Cornell University. She is also a social activist and writer. Her blog posts, op-eds, poems, and stories are an effort to provoke thoughts, especially towards issues concerning women and social justice.

She is a contributor (past and present) to several popular e-zines (incl. The Huffington Post US, The Logical Indian, Youth Ki Awaaz, Tribune India, Women’s Web, and Cafe Dissensus). Her literary resume includes poems and stories featured in national and international magazines (Words Pauses and Noises, UK; TUCK, Glimmer Train Honorable mention) as well as inclusion in seven anthologies such as Defiant Dreams (Oprah 2016 reading list placeholder) and The Best Asian Short Stories 2017 (published out of Singapore by Kitaab). Her first single-author book, From An-Other Land, is on immigration.

She has held different leadership roles in non-profits (ASHA and AID India) and is the founder and director of Her Rights (www.herrights.website), a 501(3) c non-profit committed to furthering the cause of gender equality. She is often an invited speaker or panelist for both corporate and non-profit endeavors.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends April 12, 2019


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Adventures of Wilhelm: A Rat’s Tale by Maria Ritter (Book Spotlight and Giveaway!)


Although I no longer have time to read middle grade fiction now that my kids are grown, I'm still attracted to kidlit, and this book is no exception. Look at that adorable book cover. A cute rat that travels the world, including Italy. Win a copy by entering the giveaway below!

Book Details:

Book Title: The Adventures of Wilhelm: A Rat’s Tale by Maria Ritter
Illustrator: Teri Rider
Category: Middle-grade Fiction, 210 pages
Genre: Children's Fantasy
Publisher: PartnerPress
Release date: August 2018
Tour dates: March 11 to 29, 2019
Content Rating: G (This is a clean children's book with no expletives, violence, sex or drugs.)

Book Description:

Young Wilhelm leaves home and travels the world. He not only discovers the value of different cultures and the importance of family and friendship, but he also overcomes obstacles with courage and cleverness. He returns home with deep respect for all creatures on this earth and a new sense of rat identity and purpose.

To follow the tour and read reviews, please visit Maria Ritter's page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Book:



About the Author:



Maria Ritter is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in La Jolla, California. She is the author of Return to Dresden (2004), an autobiographical reflection on her childhood in Germany during and after World War II. It is a healing memoir that confronts national guilt for the Nazi past and weaves the broken pieces of loss and grief into a healing tapestry.

Connect with the author: Website

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends April 5, 2019


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Trials and Trails by Jim Halverson (Review and Giveaway!)



From time to time, I'm drawn to read a book with a Western setting. I love historical fiction, and that cover with two lonesome cowboys was appealing. This is a clean read. Check it out and enter the giveaway to win a copy.


Book Details:

Book Title: Trials and Trails by Jim Halverson
Category: Adult Fiction, 276 pages
Genre: Western, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Gail Force Publishing
Release date: January 2019
Tour dates: March 4 to 29, 2019
Content Rating: PG (The only "bad" word is the phrase "shit for brains" and it is used a single time. No sex scenes)

Book Description:

With a past of slavery and compliance, LeRoy has learned to pick his battles carefully. Johnny B, a quick-tempered Sioux, is still learning to control his anger. When dangerous circumstances bond them together, the pair learn to navigate Reconstruction Era America and all its prejudices. They save an innocent man from hanging, reunite two old friends, assist in an honorable death for an elder Indian, and discover their worth as they steadily assimilate self-respect into their lives.

From Jim Halverson’s debut novel comes a tale of adventure, purpose, and the pursuit of self-actualization. Cowboys and psychology ride hand in hand, traveling a journey from living life on the edge to finding a place of belonging, joy, vulnerability, and distinction. Through trials along their trails, LeRoy and Johnny B transform people they meet, brand the world a better place, and reap the benefits.

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

From time to time, I'm drawn to read a book with a Western setting. I love historical fiction, and that cover with two lonesome cowboys was appealing. It's a cover that suits the book well. Author Jim Halverson succeeds in creating a setting that came to life for me. From the clean clear skies and mountain ranges to the life on the trail with horses, cattle and a variety of characters, the story of two men, a black man and a Native American man, who forge a strong friendship as they encounter both prejudices and kindnesses, was a  pleasant read.

LeRoy and Johnny B begin a journey where life lessons are learned and adventure awaits. I liked both these characters. They had integrity and worked hard. Although there is action and adventure, this story is more of a slow build rather than a heart-pounding tale. I missed some of the tension I expected from this story probably because the writing style did not lend itself to it. I felt like I was being told a story rather than experiencing it through action and description. This made it slow reading at times for me.

Apart from this, Trials and Trails is a feel good book. Even in the face of hard times, the human spirit can conquer with the good by doing what is right. An enjoyable tale for those seeking a story filled with scenes of Western life and the restlessness of two men seeking a better life.

To read reviews, please follow the tour on Jim Halverson's page on iRead Book Tours.


Buy the Book:





Meet the Author:



Jim Halverson grew up in the rural, gold-mining town of Mokelumne Hill, CA and received his MBA from Golden Gate University. He spent part of his life on a ranch and is an avid student of psychology. He recognizes the struggles of all men and women seeking equality and respect. Jim and his wife, Gail, spend their time traveling from their small farm in Forestville, CA.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Facebook

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends April 5, 2019


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, February 25, 2019

One by One: A Memoir of Love and Loss in the Shadows of Opioid America by Nicholas Bush (Book Spotlight and Giveaway)


Some of you know by the books I feature on my blog that I take a special interest in books that address wellness or individuals that have strived to fight mental illness or addiction. So today, I'm spotlighting this memoir. I have not read it, but it strikes me as a good enlightening read. Scroll down to check it out and to enter the giveaway for the possibility to win a copy.

Book Details:

Book Title: One by One: A Memoir of Love and Loss in the Shadows of Opioid America by Nicholas Bush
Category: Adult Nonfiction, 245 pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Apollo Publishers
Release date: November 2018
Tour dates: Feb 25 to March 22, 2019
Content Rating: R (due to scenes of drug abuse)


Book Description:

In ONE by ONE: A Memoir of Love and Loss in the Shadows of Opioid America, author Nicholas Bush opens up about his adolescent years in suburban Wisconsin as a heroin addict.

Thanks to drugs, Nicholas ended up in a military school against his will where his back was broken, literally. He was in and out of jail five times, homeless, held at gunpoint, robbed, had his apartment ransacked (more than once), and was in rehab twice. His memoir passionately shares the losses he suffered: five of his loved ones died from heroin overdoses, including two who were shot to death. Most tragic of all, drugs killed two of his three siblings: his older sister Allison and his baby brother Austin.

Offering a personal perspective on our opioid epidemic and a rare survivor story, Bush tells all about what drew and drove him to drugs, what his habit cost him, and how he found salvation. He also makes a compelling case against treating and punishing heroin users like criminals. “People locked in the vise grip of addiction are still just that: people,” Bush stresses.


Buy the Book:



About the Author:


NICHOLAS BUSH is a reformed drug addict devoted to helping people battling addiction in halfway houses and prisons. He has written several articles related to opioid addiction for PBS and the Johns Hopkins Medical Journal, and wrote an Op-Ed piece for USA Today. He grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, with his wife and two daughters.

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends March 29, 2019




AMPLIFY: How to Grow Your Reputation And The Kickass Career You Love by Holly Chessman (Review and Giveaway!)


It's been awhile since I read a good self-help book. It just so happens that AMPLIFY turned out to be the perfect resource at this time in my life when I just started a new exciting job.

Book Details:

Book Title: AMPLIFY: How to Grow Your Reputation And The Kickass Career You Love
Category: Adult Nonfiction, 180 pages
Genre: Women in Business, Entrepreneurship, Career
Publisher: NCM
Release date: November 2018
Tour dates: Feb 25 to March 8, 2019
Content Rating: PG (rated PG because the word "Kickass" is on the cover)

Book Description:

It’s hard to fit in when you work in a mostly male world, let alone achieve your goals. Women in tech - as in many areas of business - are in the minority in every meeting. It’s difficult to find our voices in a room full of men. Even when we’re ready to share ideas, we often have to shout to be heard, trusted, and respected. It’s time for that to change.

Holly Chessman has used her marketing and business experience to navigate mostly male waters. She's taught people how to build their reputations using online and offline tools - and now she wants you to gain that same success.

Today is the day you start making the small changes you need to grow your voice and, consequently, your career. Small steps with big impact - that’s what it’s all about. Between the tips in this book and the straightforward, step-by-step exercises in each chapter, you’ll see your life change for the better.

As you go through this book, you’ll learn about the Defining You methodology, the exclusive system for accelerating reputation and career growth. You’ll get the step-by-step guidance to reach your goals faster than ever. You’ll develop the means to realize the success you’ve always envisioned: Speak up in meetings. Get the raise you want. Find a job that satisfies you. Do what it takes to meet the goals that are right for YOU.

Take control of your career TODAY and define the “you” you want to be.

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

It's been awhile since I read a good self-help book. It just so happens that AMPLIFY turned out to be the perfect resource at this time in my life when I just started a new exciting job. I was surprised by not only how useful this book is but how pertinent it is for any woman who wants to be successful at what she does for work. The advice is spot on.

First, I love that cover. It is simple but represents the topic well. This book is about girl power, truly encouraging and celebrating women's empowerment, independence, and confidence in the work field. I enjoyed Chessman's first person narrative as she shared her personal work experience, but mostly wrote in a friendly but expertly way about how to grow your voice and your reputation at work.

The book is easy to read and divided into chapters filled with practical exercises that clarify, define and help you to practice what you need to do to achieve the success you want in your career.  Not only does the author explain well these exercises but she follows up each exercise with examples of what you may want to achieve because sometimes you just need that direction. I loved how clear she made everything she talked about in her book.

I was so motivated by this book that I bought a notebook and set out to write out my long-term and short-term goals and the steps to achieve them. I am following the advice in this book and feeling much more confident because of the exercises that I've done. I haven't yet done all the exercises as this is one of those books that gives you lots of practical advice that you can use over and over and at different stages of your work life.

If you feel stuck at work, need a change in your career, want to improve your set of work skills, feel the need to prove your worth, want to build your reputation and expertise or advance in your company, then this book will help you achieve that. As the author states, it's not about working harder, it's about finding a way to let others know about the work you are doing and the results you are achieving. This is what she teaches you.

This is the perfect book for the young woman starting her career or the mature woman wanting to up her game.

To read reviews, please visit Holly Chessman's page on iRead Book Tours.


Buy the Book:



Meet the Author:



Named a Top Influencer in Content and Digital Marketing, Holly Chessman fully understands the power of online engagement. As an active advocate of women in business, she is passionate about helping people develop online and offline skills to grow their careers. She has been a leader in B2B tech for close to 20 years, running her own business (Holly Chessman Marketing) as well as empowering businesses with the strategies they need to speed growth and build revenue. Holly is a keynote speaker and a writer, contributing to such publications as Forbes, Maximize Social Business, Social Media Examiner, and more.

She is also not afraid to embrace her nerdy side (as evidenced by her love of Neil Gaiman and her "talking" TARDIS). Learn more at www.askholly.net.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends March 15, 2019


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sunday, February 24, 2019

Sunday Post, Mailbox Monday and It's Monday What Are You Reading? Feb 25 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 want to thank you all for your well wishes last week on my new position. I love my new job and feel this is a turning point in my life. Change is good. And in my case, it was time for a new challenge. My reading week was good and I hope yours was too.


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:

Immigrant stories

Bought on sale:

I read so many good reviews of this book that I couldn't pass it up

Continuing on my quest to simplify my life

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


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:


Stefano and the Dolphin: A personalized book for my nephew (Review) #ReadYourWorld I got a personalized book for my nephew which he loved



Do It Again! Otra Vez! by Ann Morris #ReadYourWorld (Review) Showcasing this picture book as part of Multicultural Children's Book Day, an event whose mission is to raise awareness of kids’ books that celebrate diversity


The Chef's Secret by Crystal King (Review and Giveaway!) Crystal King has creatively written a novel loosely based on the mysterious life of historical figure Bartolomeo Scappi, one of the most famous chef of the Italian Renaissance. A great read!



Made in Italy by Laura Morelli (Book Review and Giveaway!) This guidebook is a must for lovers of quality artisanal products and Italian traditions.


 Currently Reading:

Really enjoying this one so far




Stop by and enter my giveaways!

Also posted on the right sidebar.



Hope you all have a great reading week.




Friday, February 22, 2019

Stefano and the Dolphin: A personalized book for my nephew (Review) #ReadYourWorld


I found a company that publishes personalized books with the choice of having the story in one or two languages, so I decided to have a book created for my 4-year-old nephew Stefano. If you're looking for a unique gift for a child, check this out.

Book Details:

Stefano and the Dolphin
Published by Tim Tim Tom
Hardcover picture book:  30 pages
For children ages 4-7
Content rating: G

Book Description:

TimTimTom’s Underwater Adventure is a personalised book in your language.

Available in: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Chinese (Simplified or Traditional)

We have 3 books currently available, each in either one or two languages of your choice. You can simply order the book that you think you or your child might have the strongest connection to.

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

As I mentioned in another post, it's refreshing to find dual language books for children these days since there are many immigrants in North America. I wish I had had such books when I was growing up so that my mother who did not speak English could still read books to me with an Italian version in it.

Well, I found a company that publishes personalized books with the choice of having the story in one or two languages (bilingual) so I decided to have a book created for my 4-year-old nephew Stefano in a story about an underwater adventure in both English and Italian. He was thrilled to see a book with his name. My sister has read the book to him and she shared with me her experience. Stefano was engaged throughout the story, pointing at the fish and seeing himself in the story. He was interacting with his mother as she read the story and chatting with her about it. My sister loved reading this book to him.


The illustrations are colorful and bright, perfect for this age range. The world of sea creatures added a magical element to the story. Even before the book was read to him, my nephew was looking at the pages and pointing to the shark, dolphin and turtle. He loved the part about the dolphin tickling his toes. My nephew wanted to read it again and again. He sees this book as his book because it has his name in it and he associates himself with the character.

Tim Tim Tom books are perfect if you're looking for that unique gift for that special child in your life!


Order a personalized book for your child, niece, nephew or grandchild. Here's how it works:



About Tim Tim Tom, founded by Gaby and Kat:

A long, long time ago (think BC time – Before Children time!), the first TimTimTom story – An Underwater Adventure – took shape while Kat was taking an arts/illustration course in Belgium. The story was neatly set aside with the hope of, maybe, some day being published.

Many years later Gaby, while living in Germany, struggled to find her kids’ favourite bed time stories in Spanish. She tried to “simultaneously translate” the German texts into Spanish while reading out loud. However she constantly had to hear “Again please, but now in German” from her kids.

Good things come to those who wait. Years later, when we re-met in Hong Kong, the half forgotten story and the idea of publishing stories with your choice of two languages came to life adding an extra twist, personalising. By personalising the stories we entice the children to read (or being read to) in more than one language. This is how finally everything came together and TimTimTom was born on a hot morning hiking through the Hong Kong trails.

After trawling through research papers, consulting with experts, and, most importantly, talking to families with multilingual backgrounds, we realised that everyone has similar concerns: raising children with two or more languages is not an easy task, it takes years and it requires constant work from kids and parents alike. Early learning of languages requires persistency but also fun ways of enjoying time with the youngsters while using multiple languages. Few truly multilingual children books exist to help. While there is no easy solution we can make it more enjoyable with TimTimTom.

So, we hope you and your kids have as much fun reading these stories, as we had writing, illustrating, translating and editing, and re-editing, and re-editing these stories.

This book was provided to me in collaboration with Multicultural Children's Book Day!


Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019 (1/25/19) is in its 6th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators. 
MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board!

*View our 2019 Medallion Sponsors here: https://wp.me/P5tVud-
*View our 2019 MCBD Author Sponsors here: https://wp.me/P5tVud-2eN

Medallion Level Sponsors
Super Platinum: Make A Way Media

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on board
Author Janet Balletta, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Josh Funk, Chitra Soundar, One Globe Kids – Friendship Stories, Sociosights Press and Almost a Minyan, Karen Leggett, Author Eugenia Chu, CultureGroove Books, Phelicia Lang and Me On The Page, L.L. Walters, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Hayley Barrett, Sonia Panigrah, Author Carolyn Wilhelm, Alva Sachs and Dancing Dreidels, Author Susan Bernardo, Milind Makwana and A Day in the Life of a Hindu Kid, Tara Williams, Veronica Appleton, Author Crystal Bowe, Dr. Claudia May, Author/Illustrator Aram Kim, Author Sandra L. Richards, Erin Dealey, Author Sanya Whittaker Gragg, Author Elsa Takaoka, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo, Anita Badhwar, Author Sylvia Liu, Feyi Fay Adventures, Author Ann Morris, Author Jacqueline Jules, CeCe & Roxy Books, Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace, LEUYEN PHAM, Padma Venkatraman, Patricia Newman and Lightswitch Learning, Shoumi Sen, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Traci Sorell, Shereen Rahming, Blythe Stanfel, Christina Matula, Julie Rubini, Paula Chase, Erin Twamley, Afsaneh Moradian, Lori DeMonia, Claudia Schwam, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls Revolution, Soulful Sydney, Queen Girls Publications, LLC

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts


FREE RESOURCES From MCBD

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/

Connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.




Do It Again! Otra Vez! by Ann Morris #ReadYourWorld (Review)


Today I am thrilled to be showcasing and reviewing Do it Again! Otra Vez! as part of Multicultural Children's Book Day, an event whose mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves. This is the third year I participate. Because of unexpected family responsibilities, I was unable to post in January but I am happy to be featuring this book today.

Book Details:

Do it Again! Otra Vez! by Ann Morris
Illustrated by: Vanessa Alexandre
Published: Sept 4, 2018
Published by Mascot Books
Hardcover picture book: 38 pages
For children ages 4-6
Content rating: G

Book Description:

Three-year-old Amy is off on an adventure-a sleepover at her aunt and uncle's house! Jump into this bilingual book and join Amy on her most exciting day, all while learning another language! When you finish reading, you will no doubt want to do it again!

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

It's refreshing to find dual language books for children these days since there are many immigrants in North America. I wish I had had such books when I was growing up so that my mother who did not speak English could still read books with an Italian version in it to me as I was growing up.

Do it Again! is a simple story about 3-year-old Amy who spends the day and has a sleepover with her cousin, aunt and uncle. She has a loving relationship with her relatives and they indulge her in play and affection. Amy is happy and repeats "Do it again!" as they play, read stories and show her affection.

This children's book shows the warm and close relationship that children in the Latino culture have with their relatives. Amy is comfortable being in the company of her aunt and uncle overnight without her parents, even though she is but 3 years old. Parents can use this story to demonstrate to their children that their circle of trusted adults can extent beyond mother and father.

Disclosure: A big thank you to the author for sending me a hard copy for review. All opinions are my own.


Buy the Book:


About the Author:

Ann (Ana) Morris writes in English and Spanish about children and their experiences with positive adult role models. Every child needs to feel included when reading her books. Do It Again!/Otra vez! is her first to include both English and Spanish in the same book. The books are suitable not only for children but the adults who read with them too.

Ann (Ana) Morris is an Iowa, USA, native. Her goal is to promote education that demonstrates acceptance and peace among all people. Morris has been honored by the Purple Dragonfly Award, Mom's Choice Award, CLIPPA, and Reader's Favorites. She also won the award for Best Translation from English to Spanish by International Latino Awards. This award was for a children's book by Janet Balletta, which Ms. Morris translated. International Latino Awards has granted her the honorary title of Latina de Corazn.

Connect with the Author: Website


This book was provided to me in collaboration with Multicultural Children's Book Day!


Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019 (1/25/19) is in its 6th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators. 
MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board!

*View our 2019 Medallion Sponsors here: https://wp.me/P5tVud-
*View our 2019 MCBD Author Sponsors here: https://wp.me/P5tVud-2eN

Medallion Level Sponsors
Super Platinum: Make A Way Media

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on board
Author Janet Balletta, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Josh Funk, Chitra Soundar, One Globe Kids – Friendship Stories, Sociosights Press and Almost a Minyan, Karen Leggett, Author Eugenia Chu, CultureGroove Books, Phelicia Lang and Me On The Page, L.L. Walters, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Hayley Barrett, Sonia Panigrah, Author Carolyn Wilhelm, Alva Sachs and Dancing Dreidels, Author Susan Bernardo, Milind Makwana and A Day in the Life of a Hindu Kid, Tara Williams, Veronica Appleton, Author Crystal Bowe, Dr. Claudia May, Author/Illustrator Aram Kim, Author Sandra L. Richards, Erin Dealey, Author Sanya Whittaker Gragg, Author Elsa Takaoka, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo, Anita Badhwar, Author Sylvia Liu, Feyi Fay Adventures, Author Ann Morris, Author Jacqueline Jules, CeCe & Roxy Books, Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace, LEUYEN PHAM, Padma Venkatraman, Patricia Newman and Lightswitch Learning, Shoumi Sen, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Traci Sorell, Shereen Rahming, Blythe Stanfel, Christina Matula, Julie Rubini, Paula Chase, Erin Twamley, Afsaneh Moradian, Lori DeMonia, Claudia Schwam, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls Revolution, Soulful Sydney, Queen Girls Publications, LLC

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

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FREE RESOURCES From MCBD

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Monday, February 18, 2019

The Chef's Secret by Crystal King (Review and Giveaway!)


Crystal King has creatively written a novel loosely based on the mysterious life of historical figure Bartolomeo Scappi, one of the most famous chef of the Italian Renaissance. Check out my review and enter the giveaway to win a copy!

Book Details:

Book Title: The Chef's Secret by Crystal King
Category: Adult fiction, 352 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Atria/Simon & Schuster
Release date: Feb 12, 2019
Tour dates: Feb 11 to 28, 2019
Content Rating: R (for a couple of explicit, but loving, sex scenes (no abuse or rape) and minor curse words)

Book Description:

A captivating novel of Renaissance Italy detailing the mysterious life of Bartolomeo Scappi, the legendary chef to several popes and author of one of the bestselling cookbooks of all time, and the nephew who sets out to discover his late uncle’s secrets—including the identity of the noblewoman Bartolomeo loved until he died.

When Bartolomeo Scappi dies in 1577, he leaves his vast estate—properties, money, and his position—to his nephew and apprentice Giovanni. He also gives Giovanni the keys to two strongboxes and strict instructions to burn their contents. Despite Scappi’s dire warning that the information concealed in those boxes could put Giovanni’s life and others at risk, Giovanni is compelled to learn his uncle’s secrets. He undertakes the arduous task of decoding Scappi’s journals and uncovers a history of deception, betrayal, and murder—all to protect an illicit love affair.

As Giovanni pieces together the details of Scappi’s past, he must contend with two rivals who have joined forces—his brother Cesare and Scappi’s former protégé, Domenico Romoli, who will do anything to get his hands on the late chef’s recipes.

With luscious prose that captures the full scale of the sumptuous feasts for which Scappi was known, The Chef’s Secret serves up power, intrigue, and passion, bringing Renaissance Italy to life in a delectable fashion.

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

Crystal King has creatively written a novel loosely based on the mysterious life of historical figure Bartolomeo Scappi, one of the most famous chef of the Italian Renaissance. Not only was this an interesting story with twists and turns that kept me captivated, but the sumptuous decadent feasts and food descriptions made my mouth water.

Giovanni inherits his late Uncle Bartolomeo's recipes and private journals which he was instructed to burn because of their content. He decides to read them instead, and this changes his life in more ways that he ever imagined. The story is told in alternate timelines, that of Bartolomeo's in the past (1528 when he is a young man) and Giovanni's (1577) as he falls in love and discovers shocking secrets in his Uncle Bartolomeo's life. The two stories eventually converge. 

King deftly brings Renaissance Italy to life and it is clear that she has researched well medieval Italy and Bartolomeo Scappi's life, creatively imagining his life as Master chef for cardinals and Popes. The tale is filled with intrigue, mystery, murder and a passionate love affair that spans decades, with characters that stand out from the beautiful princess Stella to the more humble Giovanni. The plot builds steadily and the story flowed well until its satisfying conclusion.

Fans of historical fiction, Renaissance Italy and foodies alike will enjoy this tale that brings to life a legendary Master Cook whose recipes are still around today from the cookbook he himself wrote in 1570 and can be purchased today. It's called The Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi: L'arte et prudenza d'un maestro cuoco (The Art and Craft of a Master Cook)


To follow the tour, please visit Crystal King's page on Italy Book Tours.

Buy the Book:





Meet the Author:




Crystal King is an author, culinary enthusiast, and marketing expert. Her writing is fueled by a love of history and a passion for the food, language, and culture of Italy. She has taught classes in writing, creativity, and social media at several universities including Harvard Extension School and Boston University, as well as at GrubStreet, one of the leading creative writing centers in the US.

A Pushcart Prize–nominated poet and former co-editor of the online literary arts journal Plum Ruby Review, Crystal received her MA in critical and creative thinking from UMass Boston, where she developed a series of exercises and writing prompts to help fiction writers in medias res. She resides in Boston but considers Italy her next great love after her husband, Joe, and their two cats, Nero and Merlin. She is the author of Feast of Sorrow.

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

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