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Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Collision of Grief and Gratitude by Rosanne Liesveld (Book Spotlight and Giveaway)


Today I'm spotlighting a book that can help one cope with grief. The author's mission as a coach is to help people build stronger relationships, and live life with more intention and gratitude. Check it out and you can also enter the giveaway with the possibility to win a copy!

Book Details:

Book Title: The Collision of Grief and Gratitude: A Pursuit of Sacred Light
Author: Rosanne Liesveld
Category: Adult Non-fiction, 468 pages
Genre: Self-Help, Death & Grief, Grief & Bereavement
Publisher: Illuminatio Press
Release date: May 16, 2017
Tour dates: July 16 to Aug 10, 2018
Content Rating: PG (The subject of loss is explored and some of the emotions may be too raw for young children.)

Book Description:

Day 209
"And so each day goes; the grief and the gratitude fighting for the bigger spot in my heart. The tug of war between these emotions exhausts me most days. If you see me in the grief mode, you'll think I'm a wreck. But if you see me in gratitude mode, you'll think I m doing well. Neither is 100 percent true. I am what I am most days, leaning toward finding more gratitude than grief as the days turn into weeks and the weeks into months."

After the unexpected death of her husband, Rosanne Liesveld felt a desperate need to communicate gratitude to those who helped her through the shock that death left in its wake. The day of Curt's funeral, Rosanne wrote a Facebook post expressing how, in the midst of profound grief, she found a space in her heart for gratitude. The next day, she wrote another post; then another.

Rosanne's daily posts throughout her first year of widowhood attracted hundreds to follow along on her journey. Her words inspired those who were not only grieving in some way, but those who wanted to build stronger relationships or live life with more intention and gratitude. It was messy. It was raw. And it was healing.

Rosanne's posts have been compiled into this 366-day journey and are accompanied by beautiful photos taken by Curt.

To follow the tour, please visit Rosanne Liesveld's page on iRead Book Tours.



Buy the Book:





Meet the Author:

After the unexpected death of her husband, Curt, Rosanne Liesveld went on a year-long quest to find a glimmer of gratitude each day. She posted her daily journey on Facebook. Those posts become her book, The Collision of Grief and Gratitude: A Pursuit of Sacred Light.

As a coach and teacher for more than thirty years with the Gallup Organization, Rosanne has helped people discover and lean into their strengths. She now speaks to groups about how to build stronger relationships, and live life with more intention and gratitude.

Connect with the author: Facebook


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Aug 18, 2018


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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Guest Post: Six Simple Ways to Use Storytelling as Teaching Tools

I discovered the storytelling talent of award-winning storyteller Jim Weiss recently. For those of you with young children, his recordings of children's stories are awesome.  In the following video, Jim Weiss presents "The Tortoise and the Hare" from Aesop's Fables. This story can be found under the recordings "Animal Tales" -- available as a CD or download at www.greathall.com.

He also wrote a guest post that follows this video.



Six Simple Ways to Use Storytelling as Teaching Tools
By Jim Weiss

Stories are spectacularly successful learning tools. Many studies show that children whose parents tell and/or read stories to them from an early age turn out to be better readers and students later on.

Furthermore, you are twenty times more likely to remember information if you learn it in a story than if you learn it simply as data to memorize. In part, the more stories we encounter, the more effectively our brains learn to work within the structure that most stories follow. We not only absorb the stories’ contents but at the same time, our brains get used to organizing what we learn into a usable form. We learn how to learn through stories.

Other brain researchers have found that different parts of the brain kick in when we encounter a story that comes with a visual image, such as on a TV or computer screen, versus when we encounter a story for which we fill in the visuals with our imaginations, as when we read alone, are read to, or listen to an audio. These different parts of the brain link with different forms of creativity, visualization, and imagination. They even help us build the ability to empathize with other people by “visualizing” ourselves inside characters. We must “exercise” these different parts of the brain in order to acquire these skills, so introduce stories to a child through a mix of technologies.

As a professional author and storyteller, a father, and the husband of an award-winning schoolteacher and counselor, I can attest firsthand that one of the most effective and most engaging ways to teach and to learn is through stories. Here are a few tips I want to share to help you integrate storytelling into your child’s daily routine:

1. Start with picture books when your child is very young. Reading to children not only offers the value of the book’s contents but also visually demonstrates that you value books, which reinforces your child’s interest in reading. Read aloud to your child, or try telling a story you already know in your own words, as you turn the pages. This allows you to keep eye contact with your child while offering you the security of having the book to refer to if you feel you’ve lost your way.

2. Introduce stories of historical or fictional people who do what they love. There are endless resources: books and websites that tell stories of famous artists, composers, engineers, athletes, scientists, etc. You never know which one will resonate with your child and open up a lifetime passion, so offer a variety. I’ve had many people tell me “I’m a scientist/artist/author now because I listened to your recording about scientists, etc.”

3. In addition to telling stories to your child, try to tell with her or him. First, tell an old favorite together. It gives the child a sense of mastery, particularly if every so often you ask, “What did she do then?” Next, try creating a new version by asking, "What if Cinderella hadn't dropped the glass slipper? Can we think of another way she and the prince might have found one another?" If you reach a dead-end, go back to an earlier moment of decision in the story, have the character make a different choice, and go on from there.

4. Another form of storytelling is family stories. Sharing incidents from your life, or those of your ancestors gives the message to your child that s/he is important enough to share in this family history, and imbues your child with a sense of her/his own roots and identity.

5. Always consider to whom you are telling the story, and think of yourself as “translating” the intent of the story onto a level this person can understand. You can tell a story differently at different developmental stages. Think about what you most want the child to remember. Start simply with what you know, and tell it in your own words. If you make a mistake say, "I forgot to tell you that…" and go on; kids find that endearing. Another way to handle having left out a part is to say, "Now what Aunt Joan didn't know yet was that Uncle Bill had already bought the tickets." This presents the information you forgot as a dramatic element of the tale. Storytelling reinforces reading, too, and adds a rich oral language element, but it demonstrates something additional.

6. One powerfully positive element of storytelling is that it fosters a strong bond between parent and child. Through our stories, and the manner in which we choose to tell them, families and entire societies pass on what matters most to them. Children come to recognize that you are sharing your true self, not through a lecture but through a story. Your child may not retain into adulthood every single detail you taught him/her, but always will remember that “Mom/Dad loved me enough to share what s/he thought really mattered the most.”

If you are fortunate, there will come a day when you see your own child, now grown up, carry on this story tradition with his/her child. It all starts and ends with love -- and a good story.

About Jim Weiss:

Jim Weiss founded Greathall Productions in 1989. To date, Jim is the producer and reader of 58+ Greathall storytelling recordings featuring classical literature and history, as well as masterful and thoughtful, unabridged readings of Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham; Men of Iron by Howard Pyle; and more. He is also the recipient of 100+ national awards from numerous prestigious sources. Jim travels extensively across the United States, Canada, and international destinations performing and teaching at community events, theatres, libraries, stores and schools; teacher and parent workshops; and at a wide variety of educational, literary and family conferences. For more information and to view Jim’s entire catalog, please visit, www.welltrainedmind.com.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Boy on the Beach by R.D. Maddux (Review and Giveaway!)


Boy on the Beach is a mystery novel that is intriguing and, after a few chapters, had me hooked as I wanted to know how the mystery would unravel. See what I thought of it and then enter to win a copy!

Book Details:

Book Title: Boy on the Beach by R.D. Maddux
Category: Adult Fiction; 304 pages
Genre: Mystery / Thriller
Publisher: Ezekiel 12 Publications
Release date: March 11, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (There are implied sex scenes but no graphic descriptions of lovemaking. There is one scene with some violence.)

Book Description:

Andrew Foster, a real estate developer in San Diego, is a man suddenly haunted by his past. Memories, like specters from his former life of sex, drugs and rock and roll have come crashing into his current world of business in this sunny coastal city. The ominous, repeated appearance of a black SUV at the beach where he meets his sister each week, has triggered fears that it’s payback time for a bad choice he made years ago.

To add to his frustrations, his hopes of a big breakthrough in the San Diego real estate market haven’t come to pass. He’s starting to wonder if his visions of success will ever come true when an investor offers to finance his dream project. Soon things start to fall into place for Andrew in business, life, and even love. He starts dating the beautiful and business-savvy Nicole but even with her at his side he can’t seem to shake the ghosts of his past. As the relationship with Nicole deepens, Andrew opens up to her about the many loves and adventures that have taken him from the crazy days of living in Big Sur and Joshua Tree to business success in San Diego. Her wise insights help him face the character flaws that have caused him to fail in his past relationships.

Rounding out his social life is his once-a-week task of assisting his sister with her nanny job watching a young boy named Chandler. They build sand castles on the beach and enjoy the beauty of nature together. But the now ominous weekly appearance of a strange car at the beach has awakened Andrew’s fears. Is the boy in danger? Or worse, has an enemy from Andrew’s past come seeking revenge and now Chandler’s caught in the middle?

A strange twist of events threatens to destroy Andrew’s dreams, but as he searches for answers, a sudden revelation offers hope of a future he never imagined.

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

Boy on the Beach is a mystery novel that is intriguing and, after a few chapters, had me hooked as I wanted to know how the mystery would unravel. The novel has a dual timeline alternating between the present and 37 years in the past to what I guess was the late 70s. I love books with dual timelines that gradually merge to reveal the plot, and the author succeeded in doing this well.

The story is told in the first person POV by the main character Andrew, a fifty-seven-year-old man whose business as a developer hasn't done too well. He is financially strapped and still waiting to make it big in the San Diego real estate market. He is also plagued by unresolved issues of his past and by his failed relationships. Andrew was an interesting character and not always likable, but reading his thoughts felt almost like reading a memoir, especially when he relates his past life where he lived in communes, experimented with different drugs and with different women. This was the part of the novel I enjoyed the most as it painted a picture of the era of hippies and a young Andrew who was carefree, immature, disloyal and lost.

The buildup of the mystery was well done with a good twist that was surprisingly good. Andrew was a fleshed out character but I wished there had been more about the boy on the beach. I'm still unsure why the author chose to give a minor secondary character his own chapters in first-person POV as this made it hard to switch from Andrew's head to another's. Despite the fact that this book needed some better developmental editing and formatting, I enjoyed the story.

The novel is atmospheric with beautiful descriptions of the beaches, fog, and sunsets of California, making the setting come alive. It is a story of revenge and the price one pays for past mistakes. But it is also a story of hope and redemption. It had a good ending, with the message that it's never too late to do what is right and to make changes in our lives.


To follow the tour and read reviews, please visit R.D. Maddux's page on iRead Book Tours.


Buy the Book:

Watch the book trailer:





Meet the Author:



R.D. Maddux has storytelling in his blood. Since he was young he’s always loved a good tale. He’s been writing seriously since he was in high school and college. His novels range from Mystery and Intrigue to Sci-fi/fantasy. With Boy On The Beach, he’s set the story in modern America, to be exact, on the West Coast of California. He’s a native of the golden state and has been a resident of San Diego since 1987. Before that, he grew up in northern California and lived in the Sacramento Valley and Bay Area with sojourns in some of the beautiful parts of our state.

Living in California for over 60 years he couldn't help but watch the way things have changed in our culture and the impact this coast makes on the rest of America and the world. So even though Boy On The Beach is fiction, like most serious novels, it is not without a context and comment on issues we all face in our changing world. It takes place in real locations that are very familiar to him and its characters, which are fictional, no doubt have their counterparts in the real world. Boy On The Beach is a story of intrigue, suspense, revenge, love and redemption with flashbacks to the era when sex, drugs and rock and roll set our culture on it's inevitable journey to our present day. This idea has been rattling around in his heart and mind for a decade and it's finally coming to the page.

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


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Ends Aug 25, 2018


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Monday, July 16, 2018

On the Fault by Ronald J. Wichers (Book Spotlight and Giveaway)


Today I'm featuring Ronald J. Wichers fictionalized biography. It's the story of a fearless soldier's time in the Vietnam War. You can also enter to win a copy of the book.

Book Details:

Book Title: On the Fault by Ronald J. Wichers
Category: Adult Fiction, 474 pages
Genre: Fictionalized biography
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Release date: March 13, 2018
Tour dates: July 2 to 27, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13

Book Description:

“The heart of the planet is broken and the world is bleeding. We come out of the broken-hearted earth and try to mend it.”

True grit mixes with true wit in this tragic, yet strangely triumphant tale of how much one man can lose. Following the Vietnam War, life proves bittersweet as Joe Hearns learns that sometimes finding happiness means changing the definition.

For Joe Hearns the horrors of combat give way to those of daily life upon return to the States; a life burdened by an odd curse that seems to hover over the heads of anyone who fought in that otherwise magical land. He discovers that courage takes on a whole new meaning when coping with a world moving at a different pace – the pace of friendship and love. But, in the end, this proves the way out from under the curse of the war no one wanted.

When it comes to this soldier’s story the word fearless comes to mind.

To follow the tour, please visit Ronald J. Wichers' page on iRead Book Tours.



Buy the Book:

Watch the book trailer:



Meet the Author:


Ronald J. Wichers was born in Lake Ronkonkoma New York in 1947. He attended Catholic School until 1965, studied History and literature at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas until being drafted into the United States Army in 1970. He was assigned to a rifle company in the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam and, after sustaining severe wounds in a gun battle, including the loss of his left am, was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, the Army Commendation Medal for Heroism and the Bronze Star Medal.

He later studied theology full time at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley California. He has published several short stories about the Vietnam war. The Fear of Being Eaten/A Biography of the Heart is his fifth novel.

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


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Aug 4, 2018


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Monday, July 9, 2018

The Underground River by Martha Conway (Review and Giveaway!)


From the moment I read the book description, I wanted to read this book. Martha Conway created a cast of interesting characters and introduced me to the concept of a floating theatre. A good clean read! There's also a giveaway.


Book Details:

Book Title: The Underground River by Martha Conway
Category: Adult Fiction, 352 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction / Southern Fiction
Publisher: Touchstone
Publication Date: June 20, 2017
Content Rating: PG + M (This is a clean novel, however it does deal with the topic of slavery)

Book Description:

The New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice

Set aboard a nineteenth-century riverboat theater, this is the moving, page-turning story of a charmingly frank and naive seamstress who is blackmailed into saving runaways on the Underground Railroad, jeopardizing her freedom, her livelihood, and a new love.

It’s 1838, and May Bedloe works as a seamstress for her cousin, the famous actress Comfort Vertue—until their steamboat sinks on the Ohio River. Though they both survive, both must find new employment. Comfort is hired to give lectures by noted abolitionist, Flora Howard, and May finds work on a small flatboat, Hugo and Helena’s Floating Theatre, as it cruises the border between the northern states and the southern slave-holding states.

May becomes indispensable to Hugo and his troupe, and all goes well until she sees her cousin again. Comfort and Mrs. Howard are also traveling down the Ohio River, speaking out against slavery at the many riverside towns. May owes Mrs. Howard a debt she cannot repay, and Mrs. Howard uses the opportunity to enlist May in her network of shadowy characters who ferry babies given up by their slave mothers across the river to freedom. Lying has never come easy to May, but now she is compelled to break the law, deceive all her new-found friends, and deflect the rising suspicions of Dr. Early who captures runaways and sells them back to their southern masters.

As May’s secrets become more tangled and harder to keep, the Floating Theatre readies for its biggest performance yet. May’s predicament could mean doom for all her friends on board, including her beloved Hugo, unless she can figure out a way to trap those who know her best.


My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

From the moment I read the book description, I wanted to read this book. Martha Conway created a cast of interesting characters and introduced me to the concept of a floating theatre that traveled along the Ohio River entertaining the folks of the small towns along the river. The UK version of this book is titled The Floating Theatre and I think it's a better title than The Underground River because the story revolves around the life of actors and theatre.

I must admit the first third of the story was slow for me. The author's way of introducing each character through flawed physical traits was annoying at times. My imagination was going nuts trying to picture each character and this distracted me. It was only once May, the main character finds work on the Floating Theatre that my interest perked up to the point where I was so invested in the story that I could not put the book down. For this reason, I'm so glad I persisted in reading!

Essentially, I found this to be a coming-of-age story about a young woman who needed to find her own way out of the shadow of her conniving cousin. May learned to make friends, to come out of her shell, and to be courageous in helping others. She finds herself in a difficult predicament and uses her wits. She needs to learn to trust others and she learns what it's like to fall in love for the first time.

How May becomes unwillingly involved in helping runaway slaves happens well into the novel, and I wished it had happened sooner. May grows as a character and I grew to admire her by the end of the novel. She is a survivor. A good-hearted young woman who speaks her mind and relies on her skills to help others. I also liked Hugo, the boat captain.

The Underground River is atmospheric, well-written and captivating once we get past the awkward first descriptions and character introductions. I did love Conway's descriptions of the Ohio River and boat life, however. The smells, sounds and feel of that life came alive beautifully under her penmanship, as did the life of actors in the 19th century. 

If you like historical fiction and a cast of distinct characters, The Underground River will immerse you in the life of actors on a floating theatre performing at a time in history when doing what was right was unlawful and unjustified. A good clean read!


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


Praise for The Underground River

“Creating a perfectly straight seam finds echoes throughout the book in plot devices and metaphors, even in saving souls, and it may come as a surprise how lively and sustaining this lost art can be. Twain has his ‘Life on the Mississippi.’ Conway’s life on the Ohio makes you see the place, through May’s eyes, in all its muddy glory.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“The Underground River is both a dear love story and a page-turning adventure about the Underground Railroad—and an unwilling participant. An extraordinary cast of memorable characters gives this book irresistible appeal while the setting on the watery boundary between North and South places them in a dangerous and morally ambiguous territory. A captivating, thoughtful, and unforgettable read.” (Kathleen Grissom, author of The Kitchen House and Glory over Everything)

“It is part of Martha Conway’s gift as a writer to weave stories from the richest and most interesting periods of American history. Set on a nineteenth-century floating theatre on the Ohio River, The Underground River is a riveting and atmospheric novel about slavery, betrayal and redemption, with a memorably forthright heroine, and a plot as fast flowing and twisty as the river itself.” (Louisa Treger, author of The Lodger)


Buy the Book:





About the Author


Martha Conway grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, the sixth of seven daughters. Her first novel was nominated for an Edgar Award, and she has won several awards for her historical fiction, including an Independent Book Publishers Award and the North American Book Award for Historical Fiction. Her short fiction has been published in the Iowa Review, Massachusetts Review, Carolina Quarterly, Folio, Epoch, The Quarterly, and other journals. She has received a California Arts Council Fellowship for Creative Writing, and has reviewed books for the Iowa Review and the San Francisco Chronicle. She now lives in San Francisco, and is an instructor of creative writing for Stanford University’s Continuing Studies Program and UC Berkeley Extension. She is the author of The Underground River.

For more information, please visit Martha Conway’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends July 26, 2018


Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 26th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.


The Underground River


Sunday, July 8, 2018

Sunday Post, Mailbox Monday and It's Monday What Are You Reading? July 9 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.


It's summer. And it's sweltering hot. Hotter than we expected. Kids are home and making it more of a challenge for me to stay in my office. I'm working, reading, watching SUITS on Netflix and taking time to relax by being outdoors more often. Hope you are all enjoying the lazy days of summer 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.
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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 in last two weeks:


Love Beneath the Mighty Dome by Ronald J. Wichers (Book Spotlight and Giveaway)

Liberty Landing by Gail Vida Hamburg (Book Spotlight and Giveaway!)

What Does God Sound Like? by Bernie DiPasquale (Book Spotlight and Giveaway!)

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Love Beneath the Mighty Dome by Ronald J. Wichers (Book Spotlight and Giveaway)


I am once again featuring author Ronald J. Wichers' work with the first book in a trilogy. You can also enter the giveaway below to win a copy!

Book Details:

Book Title: Love Beneath the Mighty Dome: Volume 1 by Ronald J. Wichers
Category: Adult Fiction, 332 pages
Genre: Literary Fiction, Mystery and Suspense
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Release date: September 21, 2017
Tour dates: July 2 to 27, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13

Book Description:

What if you felt that Almighty God had called you personally to devote your life exclusively to His service only to discover that those in charge of your training were people not worthy of your respect? Would you stubbornly stick to your path? Would you rebel and try to change the institution from within? Would you begin to doubt yourself and your own integrity? Or would you question whether the institution itself was actually what its founder, Jesus of Nazareth, had intended so many hundreds of generations before you?

Turn the pages of Love Beneath the Mighty Dome and discover what happens to those confronted by just this dilemma, how it affects their lives, their ability to function, their ability to love.

To follow the tour, please visit Ronald J. Wichers' page on iRead Book Tours.


Buy the Book:

Watch the book trailer:




Meet the Author:


Ronald J. Wichers was born in Lake Ronkonkoma New York in 1947. He attended Catholic School until 1965, studied History and literature at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas until being drafted into the United States Army in 1970. He was assigned to a rifle company in the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam and, after sustaining severe wounds in a gun battle, including the loss of his left am, was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, the Army Commendation Medal for Heroism and the Bronze Star Medal.

He later studied theology full time at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley California. He has published several short stories about the Vietnam war. The Fear of Being Eaten/A Biography of the Heart is his fifth novel.

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


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Aug 4, 2018


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Liberty Landing by Gail Vida Hamburg (Book Spotlight and Giveaway!)


Today I'm featuring Gail Vida Hamburg's new novel, what she refers to as her love letter to the American Experiment--the first in a trilogy. There's also a giveaway to win a copy of the book or a $25 Amazon GC!


Book Details:

Book Title: Liberty Landing by Gail Vida Hamburg
Category: Adult Fiction, 344 pages
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Mirare Press
Release date: March 2018
Tour dates: July 2 to 20, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (This book contains love scenes, one explicit love scene, and some profanity)

Book Description:

Liberty Landing -- a 2016 Finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction -- narrates the American Experience of the 21st century through the lives of a polycultural cast of natives, immigrants, and refugees in Azyl Park--a town in the Midwest.

After Angeline Lalande, a journalist, and historian unearths the real meaning of the name, "Azyl," conferred on the town in the 1800s by immigrant-hating politicians, the town elders begin the act of renaming it. During the course of the renaming, we meet the intriguing denizens of the town--survivors, strugglers, and strivers of every race and nationality, see the intersection of their lives, and the ways they find home, heaven, and haven in each other. We learn about the singular journeys that brought them to Azyl Park--a place that both transforms them and is transformed by them.

The larger story of the American Experiment is told through the personal story of Alexander Hamilton, the essential immigrant among the Founding Fathers, as Angeline writes a book about him. By the end of the novel, after Azyl Park is renamed, each of the characters has lost or found something essential.

Liberty Landing is about the personal and the political, family and loss, memory and migration, finding new love and a new home, and about history and the American Experiment. Seminal moments of the American Experience figure in this literary and historical fiction. Inspired by John Dos Passos' USA Trilogy about early 20th century Americans, Liberty Landing is a sweeping, lush, layered saga, set in a vibrant community, with a cast of Americans marked by neuroses, flaws, secrets, unspeakable pasts, humor, warmth, vulnerability, and humanity.

Liberty Landing is Gail Vida Hamburg's love letter to the American Experiment--the first in a trilogy.

To follow the tour, please visit Gail Vida Hamburg's page on iRead Book Tours.


Buy the Book:

Watch the trailer:



Meet the Author:



Gail Vida Hamburg is an award-winning American journalist, author, and museum storyist. She is the author of The Edge of the World (Mirare Press, 2007), a novel about the impact of American foreign policy on individual lives. A nominee for the 2008 James Fenimore Cooper Prize, it is a frequent text in undergraduate post-colonial studies, war studies, and creative writing programs. Born in Malaysia, she spent her teens and twenties in England before migrating to the United States. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Literature and Creative Writing from Bennington Writers Seminars at Bennington College, Vermont. Liberty Landing, the first volume in her trilogy about the American Experience, is her love letter to the great American Experiment.

She lives in Chicago—the setting for Liberty Landing, a finalist for the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends July 28, 2018


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Monday, July 2, 2018

What Does God Sound Like? by Bernie DiPasquale (Book Spotlight and Giveaway!)


Today, I'm featuring a children's book written by a grandfather to his grandchildren. Enter the giveaway to win a copy!

Book Details:

Book Title: What Does God Sound Like? by Bernie DiPasquale
Category: Children's Fiction, 34 pages
Genre: Children's Books, Values & Virtues, Christian Books
Publisher: Mindstir Media
Release date: September 14, 2016
Tour dates: June 25 to July 20, 2018
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

We tell our kids that God is everywhere. Pray and maybe He will answer. But if God is everywhere and has created all things, then He must be talking to us all the time. This is my short story to help my Grandchildren understand they can talk with God all day, every day, everywhere.

To follow the tour, please visit Bernie DiPasquale's page on iRead Book Tours.


Buy the Book:

Watch the trailer:




Meet the Author:




Bernie was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and now resides in Joppa, a small community just a bit north up the I-95 corridor. He has spent his entire professional career in Education and Financial Services. More importantly he is a Husband, Father, and Grandfather to a beautiful family.

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


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends July 28, 2018




Saturday, June 30, 2018

Scarlet by Jen Geigle Johnson (Review)




Book Details:

Book Title: Scarlet by Jen Geigle Johnson
Category: Adult Fiction, 256 pages
Genre: Clean Historical Romance
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Content Rating: PG

Book Description:

The roads in and out of Paris are heavily guarded, but the dead have easy passage out of the city. A ragged old woman transports the coffins of the most recent victims of the guillotine and is waved on unimpeded. Later, the same crone watches five French aristocrats step out of their coffins unscathed. Not beheaded but spirited away to safety by that most elusive of spies: the Pimpernel. Or, as she's known in polite society, Lady Scarlet Cavendish.

When not assuming her secret identity as a hero of the French Revolution, Scarlet presents herself as a fashionable, featherbrained young widow flitting about London. In truth, this fa├žade is merely a diversion designed to conceal her clandestine work in France. Among members of the doomed French aristocracy, the Pimpernel is renowned for her bravery and cunning. But when tasked with rescuing handsome Comte Matteo Durand, she faces an unprecedented challenge: she is falling in love with the man. If ever there were a time to keep her head, it is now because in a world brimming with intrigue, she is not the only one harboring secrets. And if Scarlet doesn't take care, Madame la Guillotine may finally catch up with the Pimpernel.


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My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

I have loved the story of The Scarlet Pimpernel ever since I saw the 1982 movie starring Jane Seymour. So when given the chance to read Scarlet, a spin-off of Baroness Orczy's book, I was excited and I can say I was not disappointed. Johnson follows closely the original story, but with a twist. Both the Pimpernel and the villain are strong and determined women.

The author easily brings us into the world of the French Revolution, and although this is primarily an action-adventure and romance story, the reader can't help but be affected by the horror of that time period. This book had me doing research on Google and rewatching the movie, which enhanced my reading experience. 

Lady Scarlet is an unforgettable character. She is brave, witty and a master of disguises. Truly the descriptions of her costumes were drole and exciting. I was chuckling at how she managed to outwit the French authorities time after time. Her love interest Comte Matteo Durand was a dashing French aristocrat. Their lives and love get intertwined with the French Revolution and the danger escalates. 

This was a highly entertaining story with a clean romance. It pulled me in immediately and kept me quickly turning the pages to find out how the final escape would occur. There were some parts I found a tad unbelievable, but the story was well-written and the plot well-executed. I enjoyed reading this retelling of a classic tale and will look forward to reading more books by this talented author.


About the Author:



An award-winning author, including the GOLD in Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards, Jen Geigle Johnson discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager. 

She once greeted an ancient turtle under the water by grabbing her fin. She knows all about the sound a water-ski makes on glassy water and how to fall down steep moguls with grace. During a study break date in college, she sat on top of a jeep's roll bars up in the mountains and fell in love.
Now, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure. She is a member of the RWA, the SCBWI, and LDStorymakers. She is also the chair of the Lonestar. Ink writing conference.

Connect with Jen: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram 


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

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Last Dance by Lonna Enox (Book Spotlight and Giveaway)


Today I'm featuring a murder mystery set in a quiet little town in southwestern New Mexico. Check it out and scroll down to enter to win a copy of the book!

Book Details:

Book Title: The Last Dance by Lonna Enox
Category: Adult Fiction, 226 pages
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Women Sleuths
Publisher: Lonna Enox Publications
Release date: June 24, 2016
Tour dates: June 18 to July 13, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 + M

Book Description:

Saddle Gap, a quiet little town in southwestern New Mexico, seems the perfect place for Sorrel Janes to start her life over. But within a few days, she finds herself entangled in two murders, the object of harassment, and the number one suspect in a murder. Will her past terrors destroy her future dreams? Amid the evolving conflicts, she resolves to reconstruct her new life and find happiness. Detective Chris Reed is equally resolved to solve the murders as well as Sorrels secrets. Neither of them suspects where the steps of this dance will lead, but they are too stubborn to sit this one out.

To follow the tour, please visit Lonna Enox's page on iRead Book Tours.


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Watch the trailer:





Meet the Author:




Lonna Enox is a former high school and college English instructor. She grew up on a ranch in New Mexico, where she learned to love critters, reading, and "wide open" spaces. She is a wife, mom, and grandmother, as well as the proud owner of 4 rescue pets--3 cats and a dog. Aside from an early stint as a newspaper reporter, she also spent 10 years as a freelance magazine writer. She is happiest exploring a wildlife refuge, cuddling little ones and critters, or snuggled up reading a good mystery. Lonna is a professional writer with over 250 printed articles in a variety of national and regional magazines. She has written in several genres and The Last Dance is her debut mystery.

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


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends July 21, 2018


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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Pumpkin Patch by Sandi Smith (Book Spotlight and Giveaway!)


Today I'm featuring an adult mystery novel by Sandi Smith, known for her beloved children's books. We also have a giveaway with a chance to win a copy!

Book Details:

Book Title: The Pumpkin Patch by Sandi Smith
Category: Adult Fiction, 316 pages
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Mindstir Media
Release date: November 5, 2017
Tour dates: June 25 to July 20, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 + M

Book Description:

How can one small-minded, angry person destroy the lives of so many people in her path, connecting them all together in a game of destruction and heartbreak? It is possible, but what pushes a person to enjoy inflicting pain to such an extent, leaving a trail of hate, anger, and defeat behind her, which only seems to make her stronger and more satisfied. Ms. Terri Plotski, owner of the Authors’ Book Agency, is that person, who, unknowingly, with a single thread of hate, has connected the lives of a small group of people, bringing them together with one single common denominator. Anger. The anger from this small group of people is building, but it has nowhere to go, or does it? Ms. Terri Plotski, owner of Authors’ Book Agency, has gone missing.

To follow the tour, please visit Sandi Smith's page on iRead Book Tours.


Buy the Book:





Meet the Author:



Sandi Smith spent her time as a young girl combing the shelves of the public library. She has always enjoyed the magic that books have to offer and was inspired by her high school English teacher, Mr. Coolidge to embrace the arts. The author found her calling as a writer early one morning as her first story came to her in the form of a poem. Since then she has written more than 15 children’s books, with her most popular series about the adventures of an adorable spider in the A.R. Achnid series.

Sandi is happily married to her inspiration and husband of 40 years, John. She continues to write for her two precious grandchildren. When she’s not penning a new story, Sandi and John like to camp, kayak and to enjoy the simple life in their home in Pembroke, NH.

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


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends July 28, 2018


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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Fear of Being Eaten: A Biography of the Heart by Ronald J. Wichers (Book Spotlight and Giveaway)


Today I'm featuring a fictionalized biography. The story of two broken people who find each other. I love this book cover, by the way. There's also a giveaway for a chance to win a copy!

Book Details:

Book Title: The Fear of Being Eaten: A Biography of the Heart
Author: Ronald J. Wichers
Category: Adult Fiction, 264 pages
Genre: Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction, Biographical
Publisher: Mindstir Media
Release date: April 26, 2017
Tour dates: June 25 to July 20, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 + M

​Book Description:

What if you married a man who didn’t care about you? What if there was a child in the neighborhood for whom you developed a special fondness but was nine when you were nineteen and twenty when you were thirty with two children and a husband who still didn’t care? And what if you were a boy whose only happy memories were a few soft words uttered now and again by a beautiful neighbor ten years your senior and whose voice and face and figure, back-lighted by the golden light of the setting sun, were all that would sustain you when your life was threatened every minute of every day in the mire of a squalid war nobody wanted?

This is the story of Jacqueline and Tommy, their lives stubbornly paralleling with no convergence in sight until one cold night she sees him starving to death on a crowded street filled with happy tourists.

What would you do if you saw him there almost unrecognizable, just another mass of neglected, invisible wreckage? Turn the pages of The Fear of Being Eaten: A Biography of the Heart and find out what happened to Jacqueline Rhondda and Tommy Middleton.

To follow the tour, please visit Ronald J. Wicher's page on iRead Book Tours.


Buy the Book:

​Watch the book trailer:​





Meet the Author:


Ronald J. Wichers was born in Lake Ronkonkoma New York in 1947. He attended Catholic School until 1965, studied History and literature at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas until being drafted into the United States Army in 1970. He was assigned to a rifle company in the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam and, after sustaining severe wounds in a gun battle, including the loss of his left arm, was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, the Army Commendation Medal for Heroism and the Bronze Star Medal. He later studied theology full time at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley California. He has published several short stories about the Vietnam war. The Fear of Being Eaten: A Biography of the Heart is his fifth novel.

Connect with the author:


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends July 28, 2018


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