Book Review & Giveaway: From the Lakehouse by Kristen Rademacher

From the Lake House: A Mother’s Odyssey of Loss and Love by Kristen Rademacher

Publisher:  She Writes Press (July 21, 2020)
Category: Memoir, Grief, Motherhood

ISBN: 978-1631528668
Available in Print and ebook, 237 pages


Dizzy with grief after a shattering breakup, Kristen did what any sensible thirty-nine-year-old woman would do: she fled, abandoning her well-ordered life in metropolitan Boston and impulsively relocating to a college town in North Carolina to start anew with a freshly divorced southerner.

Dismissing the neon signs that flashed Rebound Relationship, Kristen was charmed by the host of contrasts with her new beau. He loved hunting and country music, she loved yoga and NPR; he worried about nothing, she worried about everything. The luster of her new romance and small-town lifestyle soon―and predictably―faded, but by then a pregnancy test stick had lit up. As Kristen’s belly grew, so did her concern about the bond with her partner―and so did a fierce love for her unborn child. Ready or not, she was about to become a mother. And then, tragedy struck.

Poignant and insightful, From the Lake House explores the echoes of rash decisions and ill-fated relationships, the barren and disorienting days an aching mother faces without her baby, and the mysterious healing that can take root while rebuilding a life gutted from loss.

Buy From the Lake House by Kristen Rademacher

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Guest Review by Linda Lu

A deeply moving and absolutely heartbreaking tale of one woman’s struggle to cope with loss and change in her life and to keep moving forward.

Kristen Rademacher suffered a lot of tragedies in a short amount of time. Kristen was deeply affected by the attacks of 9/11 after having lived in New York during her childhood and then living in Boston but the grief was compounded by the fact that her serious boyfriend left her on that day.

After coping with that and trying to get back on her feet emotionally, Kristen met a new man while staying at her brother’s house. Jason was everything that Kristen is not, conservative, southern, a lover of guns and country music to Kristen’s liberal, Boston-dwelling self.
They were almost polar opposites, but of course, as the saying goes, opposites attract. Shortly after they started dating and at the age of 39, Kristen became pregnant.

After nine months of excitement and anticipation, Kristen missed her due date and soon found out that her baby, though previously strong and healthy, had died in the womb. Kristen’s account of her delivery of her stillborn daughter and the despair and depression that she suffered afterward were heartbreaking to read. I would be lying if I said I didn’t tear up when she gave birth to her little girl and had to say goodbye to her only one hour later.

This book almost felt like an exorcism for the author, in a really healthy way. Kristen’s writing was very beautiful and I felt for her on such a deep level while reading. She truly made the experience of giving birth to a stillborn baby so devastatingly real for the reader in these pages.
This is one to read if you love stories about overcoming life’s toughest circumstances and the enduring love of a mother.

Advance Praise

“Over the course of this book, in well-structured, descriptive prose, Rademacher effectively leads readers through a gradually withering romantic relationship that culminates in a tragedy . . . Some of the most painful sections of the book are her loving letters to the little girl whom she held for but an hour, and whom she named Carly. It soon becomes clear that these missives helped to lead her back from a precipice of despair, so that she could finally face her future. A poignant and painful remembrance with comforting messages for the grieving.”-Kirkus Reviews

“Kristen Rademacher’s achingly honest memoir about her losses of place, partner, and much-anticipated baby daughter Carly resonates with courage and an abiding gratitude for the preciousness of life. A truly tender reflection about loss that illuminates the devastating experience of baby loss.”-Janel Atlas, writer and editor of They Were Still Born: Personal Stories about Stillbirth

“From the Lake House is an intimate, inspiring story of surviving in a world where blessings and tragedy walk hand in hand. Written with tender honesty and luscious language, it is a joy to read, even amidst the pangs of heartache and loss. As a bereaved mother, I found myself nodding in agreement with so many of Rademacher’s experiences of life after the death of a child . . . This book is for memoir-lovers and anyone who finds themselves in a turbulent relationship or who has said goodbye to a dearly loved child . . . Rademacher champions solitude for its healing capacities and the wholeness birthed from dogged, hard-earned resiliency. Perceptive and endearing, it is a moving saga of motherhood.”-Alexis Marie Chute, award-winning author of Expecting Sunshine: A Journey of Grief, Healing, and Pregnancy After Loss

“In this beautifully written and poignant memoir, we learn that though people and dreams die, relationships don’t. If we’re attuned, the dead can transform our lives, offering enduring love and guidance―and hope.”-Carol Henderson, author of Losing Malcolm: A Mother’s Journey Through Loss and Farther Along: The Writing Journey of Thirteen Bereaved Mothers

About the Author

Kristen Rademacher has lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina since 2002, which is when she began writing. FROM THE LAKE HOUSE is her first memoir. With a Master’s Degree in Education and a Professional Coaching Certification, Kristen is an Academic Coach and ADHD Specialist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also leads trainings and presentations at national conferences on the topic of academic coaching.

Website:  https://kristenrademacher.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kristenrademacherauthor/

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Book Review & Giveaway: Murphy Murphy and the Case of Serious Crisis by Keith Hirshland

Murphy Murphy and the Case of Serious Crisis by Keith Hirshland

Publisher:  Beacon Publishing Group (May 1, 2020)
Category: Mystery, Humor

ISBN: 978-1949472124
Available in Print and ebook, 308 pages

Murphy Murphy comes from a long line of male Murphys. All were named Murphy and all were cops. This Murphy heads the Department of Redundancy Department and his superior officer, Captain David “Dud” Hill has found him a case. The Captain’s niece is in a rock ‘n roll band called Serious Crisis, and it seems items belonging to members of the band have started to disappear.

Were these items stolen? Were they simply lost? As Murphy Murphy works the case, he must chase down the clues all the while dealing with grammatical anomalies that drive him crazy.  As Murphy gets closer to the answers he seeks, one more “thing” goes missing; the Captain’s niece. Suddenly, in an instant, the stakes in the case of Serious Crisis become a lot more dire.

Part Jasper Fforde, part Michael Connelly; Murphy Murphy and the Case of Serious Crisis combines humor, mystery, and grammar goofs as the detective pursues clues and suspects from coast to coast. It’s an entertaining and educational read for all ages.

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Guest Review by Nora S.

“Yes,” Murphy said, not skipping a beat. “Some examples of redundancy would be ‘foreign imports’, or ‘pair of twins’, or ‘round in shape’, or,” he paused half a beat and made sure Turrell was paying attention, ‘serious crisis’”. Turrell was indeed paying attention and gave the detective a warm, broad, smile. “Now why don’t you tell me what was stolen from you and when.”

Murphy Murphy is a simple man. He likes the music of Mozart and a good cup of Darjeeling tea. He hates redundancies in any form, particularly in patterns of speech. He is a detective, and a good one, luckily for the characters in this book.
See, there is this band called Serious Crisis and they have had some items go missing lately. Little things at first, like a lighter or a corkscrew. Both of those things were absurdly expensive but not nearly as worrying as when the disappearances begin escalating and suddenly it’s people that are going missing.

This is where Murphy Murphy comes in. Since one of the band members is the niece of Murphy’s Captain, Murphy is given the case and told to solve it quickly.
However, when things begin to heat up, Murphy finds that his own life might be in danger as well as the lives of those around him.

Readers will love everything about ‘Murphy Murphy and the Case of the Serious Crisis,’ particularly the unanticipated twists of the mystery and the romance between Murphy Murphy and Charlie Carlucci, the bartender at the club where Serious Crisis often performs. I, for one, thought the writing between those two was really witty and cute. Just when you think you have everything figured out in this case, you will find out that you were wrong and there are even more shocking surprises waiting ahead. This book gets 5 stars.

Awards and Recognition for Keith Hirshland

Book Talk Radio Club Memoir of the Year (Cover Me Boys I’m Going In)

New Apple Awards Solo Medalist True Crime Category (Big Flies)

Shelf Abound Award Winner Indie Book Competition (Big Flies)

About the Author

Keith Hirshland is an Emmy Award–winning sports television producer with more than three decades of experience producing live and pre-recorded programs that aired on ESPN and ESPN2. Among the first forty people to be hired by the Golf Channel in 1994, Hirshland was in the middle of the action when that network debuted in 1995. He provided his talents for Golf Channel, as its live tournament producer, for two decades.

Cover Me BoysI’m Going In: Tales of the Tube from a Broadcast Brat is a memoir about his experiences in the television industry. Published by Beacon Publishing Group, Cover Me Boys was recognized as the Book Talk Radio Club Memoir of the Year. Hirshland’s second book, and first work of fiction, Big Flies, was published in 2016 and is the recipient of the New Apple Awards “Solo Medalist” in the True Crime Category. Hirshland followed that success with his third book, The Flower Girl Murder. In 2020 Beacon Publishing Group will release Murphy Murphy and the Case of Serious Crisis, Hirshland’s third mystery novel. All four books are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other bookstores.

Keith Hirshland lives in Colorado with his wife and two dogs.

Website:  https://www.keithhirshland.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/khhauthor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KeithHirshlandAuthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/khhauthor/?hl=en

Giveaway

This giveaway is for 3 print copies and  is open to the U.S. only.. There will be 3 winners. This giveaway ends August 1, 2020,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Book Review & Giveaway: The Magic Home: A Displaced Boy Finds a Way to Feel Better by Isabella Cassina

“The Magic Home is an endearing and enduring story of a child’s journey to deal with unimaginable feelings of sadness, loss and displacement. This touching story teaches us how to tap into the child’s resilience using the healing power of play and expressive arts. The Magic Home is a must-have book for child clinicians, caregivers and child professionals to use with children displaced from their homes, regardless of the situation.”
— Athena A. Drewes, PsyD, MA, RPT-S, founder and president emeritus of the New York Association for Play Therapy.

“The Magic Home is a comforting story about a little boy who loses all that is familiar and faces many uncertainties in his new life until he meets Ina, who helps him feel that he is not alone. This gently told story and sweet illustrations offer children who have faced disruptions in their families a sense of control over their circumstances and hope for a brighter future.”
— Sue Bratton, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S, director emerita, Center for Play Therapy at University of North Texas

“The Magic Home takes us on a journey that is dealing with loss, adjustment and, most importantly, feelings. This book helps adults help children with big feelings that are hard to understand. The added suggestions on how to use the book and reusable figures are a valuable addition. A delightful and helpful book that helps us all know we have a magic home.”
— Linda E. Homeyer, PhD, LPCS, RPT-S, distinguished professor emerita and past president of the Association for Play Therapy (APT) board of directors.

From Loving Healing Press www.LHPress.com

Available to buy from…

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

The Magic Home is a great book for children who have suffered loss and/or been displaced for any reason. It shows how life can be happy one moment and change the next moment. It’s also a story of hope, though.

The little boy in The Magic Home has to leave with his mom and isn’t given any explanation. He feels signs of anxiety: a crushing feeling in his chest, spinning head, sweaty hands, and weak or trembling legs. Once he starts school and meets his new teacher, things get a lot better. She teaches him that he’s not alone and helps him to deal with his loss through kind words and his love of coloring. With her help, he learns to enjoy life again and realizes that he no longer has those feelings of anxiety!

At the end of the book, there are different types of play therapy that adults can use to help children through the rough times. There are also figures of people that can be colored and used as needed.

The Magic Home looks like a useful tool to help children deal with loss and change.

Enjoy our book excerpt

Page from The Magic Home: A Displaced Boy Finds a Way to Feel Better by Isabella Cassina
Page from The Magic Home: A Displaced Boy Finds a Way to Feel Better by Isabella Cassina

About the Author

Isabella Cassina is a Swiss social worker specialized in International Cooperation and Therapeutic Play. She holds a Master of Arts from The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies IHEID in Geneva, and she is recognized Therapeutic Play Specialist by the Association for Play Therapy Italy APTI. She worked for the Swiss Red Cross as Head of the Social Services in the refugees sector. Isabella has acknowledged significant experience as humanitarian worker, trainer and international speaker. She is co-founder and project manager for INA International Academy for Play Therapy studies and PsychoSocial Projects based in Switzerland, and consultant for the APTI. She has undertaken a Ph.D. in Expressive Arts Therapy in Switzerland..

You can also follow the author here…
Author on Facebook |Instagram |Instagram |Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

https://www.inlinkz.com/cs.php?id=824213

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I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.

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Book Review & Giveaway: Yummy Me Feels So Good by Lion Iam

Book Title: Yummy Me Feels So Good by Lion Iam
Category: Children’s Fiction (Ages 3-7), 36 pages
Genre: children’s feelings. baby animals, children’s social situations, self esteem, mindfulness, parenting
Publisher: Funny Bird Production
Release date: January, 2020

Yummy Me Feels So Good isn’t just another story book. It is something you can use with your kids and grandkids for many years. Simple and childlike, kids identify with the gentle creatures within. Absolutely beautiful, Yummy Me is a genius way of helping children immediately connect with the world of emotions through enchanting animal friends. The images and words are so simple and therefore can be grasped by children and adults of all ages. The book can easily open up space for a dialogue about emotions between an adult and a child, all the while being playfully disguised as animal talk. Children laugh and grimace as they flip through the pages, mirroring the emotions they feel on the pages. Yummy Me is a great doorway to explore the sometimes difficult arena of emotions, both for children, teachers and parents.

Rather than labeling certain emotions as “good” or “bad”, these emotions simply get space to be as they are, and encourage the reader to remember that they too will pass. The final message of the book that we are in fact “none of these” me’s is a loving reminder that at any moment we can start our day again from joy. “I have seen firsthand how taking out this book can transform a child’s tantrum into a smile and eventually bursts of laughter.


Lion Has a Word for the Big People

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

As an adult, I understand that the goal of the text is to explain to children that it’s okay to feel different emotions and that each emotion is temporary. Because children won’t understand that when reading this book on their own, it should be read aloud and discussed at least the first time or two.

Yummy Me Feels So Good has great illustrations. They’re colorful, some are well done, while others look like they were drawn by a child. The different animals clearly show the different emotions being discussed. I think children will enjoy all of them.

I haven’t had a chance to read this to my niece, but I can see it becoming something she’ll use often: “I’m angry me” or “I’m hungry me.” I look forward to sharing this book with her and my grandchildren!

“Lion I AM validates and assists children to experience emotions in a conscious manner — essential to learning and gaining self-knowledge.  Scientific research has demonstrated that even more than IQ, your emotional awareness and abilities to handle feelings will determine your success and happiness in all walks of life, including family relationships.   Yummy Me Feels So Good will help you and your child learn to be “Lions of Love,” to consciously choose and express effectively what you are feeling.  Being watchful and strong like the Lion brings acceptance and maturity in the ever changing world of feelings. Then everyone can share this “feeling of magic” and joy with others.”  – Harold H Bloomfield MD, N.Y. Times bestselling author

About the Author

The author Lion I Am lives on a beautiful island with lots of trees and animals. He likes quiet spaces in nature just like his animal friends. He enjoys talking to the turtles, dolphins and whales when they’re around. Like the Lion he enjoys relaxing in nature and listening to the sounds of the birds and animals and that of the wind in the trees and bamboos. He especially loves the beach and the ocean surf. One of his favorite things is swimming in the strong waves in the ocean. He loves playing with children and animals. They help him laugh at all his passing Me’s and his funny moods. The children and animals remind him to be grateful for life here on this beautiful Earth. ​ Lion I Am loves to visit with teachers and children who read the Lion I Am books together and share their feelings and playfulness together. The Funny Bird Productions mop top birds sing “All there is is Love, Love is all there is. Love is all there is, All you need is Love” They know the important things in life.

Connect with the author:  

Website ~  Facebook Twitter  ~ Instagram Pinterest

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Book Review & Giveaway: As Good as Can Be by Bill Glass

As Good As Can Be by William A. Glass

Publisher:  Hawkeye Publishers, (April 14, 2020)
Category: Fiction: Coming of Age; War and Military; Family Saga

ISBN: 978-1-946005-34-2
Available in Print and ebook, 400 pages

‘As Good As Can Be’ is a novel about the wayward son of an alcoholic army officer.  As his dysfunctional family moves from one military base to the next, Dave Knight develops a give-a-damn attitude that goes well with his ironic sense of humor.  In high school he joins other delinquents in a series of escapades, some dangerous, others funny, and a few that would be worthy of jail time should the troublemakers be caught.

After barely graduating Dave gets drafted into the army and sent to guard a nuclear weapons depot in Korea.  There he runs afoul of his sergeant and must scramble to avoid dishonorable discharge.

‘As Good As Can Be’ draws on the author’s experiences growing up in an out-of-control military family during the 1950’s and his own military experience.

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Guest Review by Sage Nor

‘As Good As Can Be’ is a delight! William A. Glass has the storytelling apparatus of a really good mini-series writer or movie-writer. I kept getting sucked into this book while I was reading it the same way I do with a good Netflix series. Coming-of-age is a type of story that can be very difficult to execute well. You have to create a likable character, figure out where you want them to end up and then mix in the discord that makes for relatability. Because who among us didn’t suffer a little when we were in our adolescence?

In this case, the likable character is Dave Knight and the discord centers around his alcoholic father and his large, unruly family. Oh, and the general building tension of the mid-20th century. Can’t forget that! Dave’s father is a very high up officer in the Army, so, of course, his family moves around frequently, upending Dave and his siblings’ lives every single time. The Knight’s do love their kids, but with a busy father and flaky, forgetful mother, no one is really getting the attention they need to grow into a stable adult. Of course, the 1950’s were the era of “go play outside and come back when the streetlights come on” so maybe it’s safe to say Dave and his siblings were never going to get that attention anyway.

Regardless, after some missteps, Dave does manage to begin to mature and become stable just as he is drafted into the Vietnam war. From there he must relearn everything he thought he knew about being a man and do it all under extremely high pressure. Although there was one small place where the story dragged a bit, I would absolutely say that anyone reading this review should read this book. I had a great time reading it and I felt for the characters so deeply. You won’t regret picking this one up! I give it 4.0 stars.

Praise for As Good As Can Be

“A sweeping family saga that takes you into the world of a military family.  A great read.”

“William’s book flows magically, I had a stack of papers to grade one night but thought I would read a chapter before I started. Next thing I knew it was 2:00 am and I hadn’t graded anything!”

About the Author

William A. Glass, formerly a VP at Gallup, now coaches soccer at a small college in South Carolina and writes. He lives with wife, Bettina, who is a high school German teacher.  They have three sons who have all moved away to pursue careers.

Website: https://williamaglass.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/william.glass.50767?ref=bookmarks
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/williamasaglass/

Giveaway

This giveaway is for the winner’s choice of print or ebook however, print is open to the U.S. only and ebook is available worldwide. There will be 3 winners. This giveaway ends July 1, 2020,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Book Review & Giveaway: 13 Billion to One by Randy Rush

13 Billion To One: A Memoir: Winning the $50 Million Lottery Has Its Price by Randy Rush

Publisher:  Rantanna Media (June 24, 2020)
Category: Memoir

ISBN: 978-1-9992524-0-3
Available in Print, Audiobook,  and ebook, 283 pages

A Riveting Story About Grit, Determination and the Refusal to Give In or Give Up — No Matter How Great the Odds.

As a welfare kid who grew up in the streets, Randy Rush had to fight for everything he got and knew what it was like to struggle. So, when he was suddenly handed $50 million in tax-free money, he vowed to use his new-found wealth to help others. But what he didn’t see coming was Jeremy Crawford.

In his gripping, adrenaline-packed memoir, Rush takes readers on his rocket-fueled journey after a trip to the corner grocer to buy food for his beloved cat, Conway Kitty, leads to the discovery that he has won Canada’s $50 million Lotto Max jackpot.

Soaring on a seemingly endless endorphin high, Rush spends the months following his win traveling, feeding his passion for rare sports cars, considering charitable causes, and splurging on friends — paying off their debts and even giving them a free place to stay in million-dollar homes. But his world comes crashing down when he discovers that Dave Crawford, a man he loved like an older brother and had generously provided for, has served him up to his con artist son, Jeremy — who scams Rush out of nearly $5 million.

Reeling from Dave’s betrayal and fueled by the discovery that the Crawfords are serial con artists who have devastated the lives of more than a hundred others, Rush embarks on a mission to take his adversaries down. But as his quest for justice drags on, his festering rage reaches a boiling point and he is faced with a choice: Let the Crawford’s cons destroy him, or re-focus his attention on doing good in the world and enjoying the enormous gift he has been given.

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Book Review by Gud Reader

Memoirs have an incredible way of making the reader jump into another life and live someone else’s story at least for a little while. Through confessions, humor and poetic prose the best memoirs tend to bring us closer to ourselves to dig deeper and connect with the author’s life.

Randy Rush’s ’13 Billion to One’ is not only one engaging memoir but one which describes the cautionary tale of people and money. Having grown up in the streets and learning to fight and struggle for everything, Randy’s life changes while on his errand to the grocer shop. It is there that he discovers he has won Canada’s $50 million Lotto Max jackpot. For a lad like Rush who not even in his dreams had imagined such money, his newfound fortune almost seems inexhaustible. In the months following Rush mollycoddles in everything his new fortune can buy including rare sports cars, staying in million dollar homes and splurging on friends while also considering some charitable causes. However all this comes to a halt when Rush discovers that he has fallen prey to a serial con artist, Jeremy Crawford who had all the time acted as a close friend and coerced Rush to invest in a scam project. Reeling from this betrayal and also the realization that he is not the only victim to fall to this network of cons, Rush embarks on a journey to take his adversaries down. Will he be successful in this quest or will the Crawfords continue tormenting him?

The author does the book some incredible justice by utilizing a frank straightforward tone, unlike other memoirs which try to sugarcoat uncomfortable stories especially those linked with terrible experiences. He also takes his time to show us his journey through the courts and how his journey of fighting white-collar crime began.

The nicely balanced and well-organized nature of the book makes this read a pure non-fictional gem ready to bring hope and inspiration through a search for justice while also helping the reader through the author’s narrative of what really matters in life.

Praise for 13 Billion To One

“The story is nicely balanced, well organized, and crisply told, and the author is a sympathetic figure who finally seems to have found his purpose.  Readers will find ‘13 Billion to One’ a delightful read—one that also includes an invaluable cautionary tale about people and money.”-BlueInk Review

“Randy Rush’s engaging memoir 13 Billion to One is about a win so big that the resultant money seemed inexhaustible….an absorbing memoir about a windfall that leads to considerations of what really matters in life.”—Foreword Clarion Reviews

“…fast-paced debut memoir.…readers will enjoy this rags-to-riches memoir about bringing a con artist to justice.”–BookLife

About the Author

Randy Rush is on a mission to stop white collar crime and other social injustices by exposing them to the world. He recently founded Rantanna Media, a mission-driven publishing and production company, to give victims a voice and raise widespread awareness about the devastating impact of these crimes. Randy is also committed to transforming the lives of children in Africa by providing them the education, love and hope they need to succeed.

He divides his time between Canada and Europe.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RandyRushSpeaks
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RandyRushSpeaks
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/RandyRushSpeaks/

Website: http://randall-rush.com/

Giveaway

This giveaway is for 3 print copies open to Canada and the U.S. only. There will be 3 winners. This giveaway ends August 1, 2020,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus June 2 Kickoff & Interview

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Leonide Amazon July 31 Review

Book Review & Giveaway: Hawkesmoor: Novel of Vampire & Faerie by Anne Merino

Hawkesmoor: Novel of Vampire & Faerie by Anne Merino

Publisher: Rivercliff Books & Media (an imprint of Wetware Media) – May 18, 2020
Category: Vampire Romance, Romantic Fantasy, and Paranormal
ISBN: 978-0-9971416-8-9
Available in Print and ebook, 486 pages

Hawkesmoor

Vampires, Romance and dark Celtic Mysticism fuse and blaze in this epic tale set in Manhattan, Yorkshire, England — and time itself.

Robin Dashwood, a handsome and charming British vampire with long gone aristocratic connections, is about to be thrown into an epic adventure that will shine light upon the rise of the vampire. This is the last thing he could imagine himself doing. Robin prefers to hide in plain sight, having devised a quiet life for himself in New York as a history professor in hopes of avoiding other more powerful vampires and their dangerous, decadent political machinations.

A chance encounter in a Manhattan art gallery introduces him to the beautiful Lady Caroline DeBarry and reveals a vicious murder from Robin’s human past. In search of answers to this historical mystery, he returns home to England and to Caroline who has captured his heart. As Robin uncovers the truth, he finds traces of a far more ancient and shrouded realm than even that of the vampire. This will shake the foundations of vampire lore and its brutal hierarchy, placing Lady Caroline in terrible danger and setting in motion events that will lead to a final bloody confrontation between a revenant army and humankind.

Hawkesmoor is the first book in a trilogy that will continue the eerie adventures of Robin Dashwood — a very British vampire.

Amazon
Barnes&Noble
IndieBound

Guest Review by Sage Nor

Hawkesmoor. Even the name calls to mind a windswept castle with long, dark hallways and shady corners with terrible secrets. Which is exactly what it is, of course. In her debut novel, ‘Hawkesmoor: A Novel of Vampire and Faerie,’ Anne Merino created a tale of intrigue, romance, vampires and a chilling mystery that has been kept secret for centuries.

Robin Dashwood has spent hundreds of years trying to put his past behind him. As a vampire he has all the time in the world, but an incident occurs that makes him wish more than anything that he could go back in time and set the past right. See, Robin used to be an Earl of the British aristocracy. Set to inherit his ancestral home of Hawkesmoor, Robin fled the country under mysterious circumstances on the night of his betrothal to Lady Elizabeth, his one true love. As far as Robin’s family and friends were concerned, he vanished without a trace, never to be seen or heard from again. But in actuality, Robin became a vampire and fled to America, where at the start of the novel, in the 21st century, he was living as a college professor in New York City.

Robin’s past catches up with him, however, when he is invited to an auction and quickly discovers that it is an auction of the assets of Hawkesmoor. After also finding out that Elizabeth had been forced to marry his cousin after his disappearance, Robin decides to look further into the mystery surrounding his former love’s sudden death, which he can only do by returning to England and returning to Hawkesmoor.

This was an absolutely electric read and one that I recommend highly! I was hooked from the first page and couldn’t put it down for hours. I will definitely be adding the next books in the series to my ‘don’t miss’ list! I give it 5 stars.

Advance Praise for Hawkesmoor

“The paranormal features are refreshingly unconventional and well handled. Fans of romantic fantasy will be interested to see where the series goes.”- Publisher’s Weekly

“Delightfully well-crafted, intricate and enchantingly imaginative, I was drawn deep into this enjoyable read with its complex world and fascinating characters. It actually makes me feel excited for vampires again!  Romance and adventure, with an odd charm all its own, and fully realized world-building. Highly recommended!”- Award-winning author of A Lady in DisguiseNine Ladies Dancingand Miss Fortescue’s Protector in Paris

“Hawkesmoor is a delightful ride through vampires and time. Its mysteries draw in the reader irresistibly.  And it’s more fun than Anne Rice!”-Bryan Alexander, Georgetown University, Futurist, and author “Blogging Dracula since 2005”

“If you’re in the market for a new, fresh vampire saga or just a bloody good time, look no further!”-Steve Hockensmith, New York Times best-selling author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls

About the Author

Anne Merino grew up in Arizona and Wales before deciding to become a professional ballerina. After a long career dancing for notable companies in the US and abroad, she retired from the stage to write novels and plays. She lives in Northern California with her filmmaker husband, two sons and a retired working dog named Hector.

Website: https://rivercliffbooks.com/hawkesmoor-a-novel-of-vampire-faerie-anne-merino/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/annemerino7
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Hawkesmoor/
YouTube: https://bit.ly/2UCXWk1

Giveaway

This giveaway is for 3 print copies and  is open to the U.S. only.. There will be 3 winners. This giveaway ends July 29, 2020,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus  June 1 Kickoff & Excerpt

Cremona Mythical Books June 2 Review                                

Lu Ann Rockin’ Book Reviews June 4 Review & Guest Post

Jennifer Hines & Bigham’s Literary Tryst June 8 Excerpt

Nadene Totally Addicted to Reading June 10 Review & Excerpt

Lisa’s Writopia June 11 Review            

Lisa’s Writopia June 11 Guest Post

Bookgirl Goodreads June 12 Review

Dawn Bound 2 Escape June 16 Guest Review               

Betty Toots Book Reviews June 18 Review & Interview

Kimberly Amazon June 25 Review

Jody Amazon June 30 Review

Jan Amazon July 6 Review

Rebecca Amazon July 7 Review

Gud Reader Goodreads July 14 Review

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus July 17 Guest Review

Donna Amazon July 21 Review

Kathleen Celticlady’s Reviews July 27 Guest Review & Excerpt

Bernadette The Wicked Paul July 28 Review & Interview

Audiobook Review & Giveaway: The Nutcracker Conspiracy by Lauren Carr

Book Title: The Nutcracker Conspiracy (A Thorny Rose Mystery #4) by Lauren Carr
Category: Adult Fiction (18 +), 388 pages
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Release date: January 30, 2020
Content Rating: PG-13 (Lauren Carr’s books are murder mysteries, so there are murders involved. Occasionally, a murder will happen on stage. There is sexual content, but always behind closed doors. Some mild swearing (a hell or a damn few and far between). No F-bombs!

Book Description

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

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

“She was number twelve,” Dean says.

“Twelve?” Murphy asks.

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

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

 “13”

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Audible

BookBub ~ Add to Goodreads

My Review

I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free audio copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I read The Nutcracker Conspiracy in January and was happy to listen to it as well since it’s my favorite Lauren Carr book so far. I like her humor, and I usually smile or giggle several times when reading one of her books, but The Nutcracker Conspiracy made me actually laugh out loud several times (gotta love Mac’s dog, Gnarly). While there was humor, there was plenty of mystery and drama with several twists.

The book starts with an assassination attempt of the president gone wrong. According to the Nutcracker Conspiracy, several people wanted the president dead so the vice president could take over and the FBI, CIA, and other government agencies were in on it. But the vice president’s wife is the one who ends up dead. When 12 other people end up dead, several supposedly in accidents, it looks like maybe the Nutcracker Conspiracy is true…or is there more to it? Murphy ends up investigating the deaths and what a ride!

When I first start listening to one of Lauren Carr’s audiobooks, it’s like listening to an old friend. Mike Alger has narrated many of her books, he does a great job, and I know his voice the minute I hear it.

I definitely recommend The Nutcracker Conspiracy. It does stand alone but I got more out of it having read previous books in this series and other series in which the characters cross over.

About the Author

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

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

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

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

Giveaway

Prize: ​ $50 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of Lauren Carr, author of THE NUTCRACKER CONSPIRACY 

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Book Review & Giveaway: Eden by Jamie Lisa Forbes

Eden by Jamie Lisa Forbes

Publisher:  Pronghorn Press, (May 25, 2020)
Category: Literary Fiction, Southern Fiction, Family Fiction
Tour dates: May & June, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-941052-32-2
Available in Print and ebook, 285 pages

Rowen Hart has been raised as the pampered son and only child of a prominent family in the small community of White Rock, North Carolina. It’s the 1950s and he’s drifting through the days, following the life path his parents have planned for him and preparing to go away to college. When his father’s suicide turns his world upside down, he finds himself responsible for his mother in their suddenly reduced circumstances that leave them dependent on his uncle, his father’s business partner.

Ill prepared to take over as head of the family, Rowen doesn’t know which way to turn. Then a neighbor’s ten year old daughter comes to live with them, baffling him with her wild behavior and never ending attempts to win his approval and making his new responsibilities even more overwhelming.

As Rowen tries to find his way, he begins to question everything about his upbringing, his current circumstances and his plans for the future as they turn to dust in his hands.

Amazon
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Guest Review by Laura Lee

Eden is a little girl who has not had it easy. At just ten years old, the poor girl watches helplessly as her father is shot and murdered by her uncle. Then she is made to stand witness at her uncle’s murder trial, where she is dismissed by the jury as being too young and full of stories.
Of course, in small towns people talk, and everyone knows that Eden is not treated well by her mother either. So, when she shows up on the doorstep of one Rita Hart asking to stay for a while, no one is really that surprised.

Rita has problems of her own, however. After losing her husband to suicide, she and her eighteen year-old son, Rowen have fallen on hard times and are now living in what is, essentially, the 1950’s version of a tin shack. Though they don’t have much space or money, Rita, Rowen and their housekeeper Adeline take Eden in without hesitation and try their best to stem the girl’s wild ways.

This was a book that took me by surprise in many ways. I was not expecting it to be such an in-depth character study and I was not expecting to love the characters so much by the end of the book.

Jamie Lisa Forbes tapped into some deep seeded nostalgia for the 1950’s American south that I didn’t even know I had. Her writing was just so poignant and atmospheric that I felt like I was really there. Rowen and Eden were both excellent characters but I also really enjoyed Rita, the newly-widowed mother suffering from severe depression who was really just trying to do her best and Adeline, the tough-but-loving housekeeper who Rowen viewed as almost a second mother.
I would love to read more by this author and hope to find more of her books in the future! A solid 5 stars goes to ‘Eden’!

Praise for Jamie Lisa Forbes

“Throughout this beautifully written story (Unbroken), I pictured the scenes, the characters, and visualized it all as if I walked among them. Five stars.”-Laurel Rain-Snow, Rainy Days and Mondays

Unbroken is a powerful, absorbing book from the first page to the last. Forbes’ Wyoming ranch background adds rich flavors to the story. The author draws realistic, complex characters. Unbroken is an unvarnished testimonial to a way of life that few of us know.”– Mary E. Trimble, author of ‘ TUBOB: Two Years in West Africa with the Peace Corps’

The Widow Smalls, is a collection of wonderful stories that will elicit a range of emotions, following a number of different themes, like loss, jealousy, regret and acceptance. Each of the stories was as well written as the last, and I enjoyed each one immensely. Wonderful diverse plots, linked with the similar thread of ranch life, and defined characters, made for a truly great read. Author Jamie Forbes, has really created something special here, a must read for all short story lovers.”- Michelle Geist, Verified Amazon Review

About the Author

Award winning author, Jamie Lisa Forbes was raised on a ranch along the Little Laramie River near Laramie, Wyoming. She attended the University of Colorado where she obtained degrees in English and philosophy. After fourteen months living in Israel, she returned to her family’s ranch where she lived for another fifteen years.

In 1994, she moved to Greensboro, North Carolina. In 2001, she graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law and began her North Carolina law practice.

Her first novel, Unbroken, won the WILLA Literary Award for Contemporary Fiction in 2011. Her collection of short stories, The Widow Smalls and Other Stories, won the High Plains Book Awards for a short story collection in 2015. Her law practice gave her the opportunity to travel many of the back roads of North Carolina and meet the unique and diverse individuals who inspired Eden.

Website: https://www.jamielisaforbes.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jamielisaforbes
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JamieLisaForbes

Giveaway

This giveaway is for the winner’s choice of print or ebook however, print is open to the U.S. only and ebook is available worldwide. There will be 2 winners. This giveaway ends July 1, 2020,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus May 15 Kickoff & Guest Post

Amy Locks, Hooks and Books May 19 Review & Excerpt

David Goodreads May 20 Review

Bookgirl Goodreads May 21 Review

Betty Toots Book Reviews May 22 Review & Interview

Lu Ann Rocking Book Reviews May 26 Review & Guest Post

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus May 27 Review

Just Another Reader Goodreads May 29 Review

Jo Amazon May 29 Review

StephenMatlock.com June 1 Review

Linda Lu Goodreads June 5 Review

Dawn Bound 4 Escape June 8 Guest Review

StephenMatlock.com June 11 Interview

Jas International Book Promotion June 12 Review

Becky Sincerely Uplifting June 15 Review & Excerpt

Kathleen Celticlady’s Reviews June 22 Guest review

Mindy A Room Without Books is Empty June 24 Review

Amber Imaginative Mama’s June 26 Review & Excerpt

Kimberly Amazon June 30 Review

Book Review & Giveaway: The Benefits of Breathing by Christopher Meeks

Publisher: White Whisker Books (May, 2020)
Category: Short Stories, Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Relationships
ISBN: Coming Soon
Available in: Print & ebook, 238 Pages

The Benefits of Breathing

In The Benefits of Breathing, his third collection of short stories, Christopher Meeks dives again into the human condition, particularly within relationships.  As one reader wrote on Amazon, “Some authors need a lot of words to describe their worlds and their people. Christopher Meeks says a lot with a little.” The Los Angeles Times has called his stories “poignant and wise.”

In this volume, “A Dog Story” captures a crumbled marriage and the love of a dog named Scrappy. “Joni Paredes” shows the birth of a new relationship that starts at a daughter’s wedding. “Nestor by the Numbers” follows one man’s often hilarious online dating experiences after he finally accepts his wife is gone. “Jerry with a Twist” shows an actor on an audition while his pregnant girlfriend helps him through a crisis. These and seven other stories will bring you into the special world of Meeks.

As reviewer Grady Harp notes, if you’ve previously “discovered the idiosyncrasies of Meeks’ writing style and content, rest assured that this new collection not only will not disappoint, but also it will provide further proof that we have a superior writer of the genre in our presence.” Try this book. You’ll have a lot to think about.

Amazon 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I had read A Death in Las Vegas and gave it 5 stars, so I was looking forward to reading something else by Christopher Meeks.

The Benefits of Breathing is a collection of short stories about relationships, lost love, divorce, and finding new love. Some of the stories are longer than others, some of them I didn’t care much for (but I’m a romantic at heart), and some I enjoyed and connected to. I like Christopher Meeks’ writing style so, even if I didn’t like how a story ended, it still flowed with the rest of the stories.

We, as human beings, are pretty messed up. That shows clearly in these stories. I want happy endings, but we don’t always get those. I don’t want to go into specifics and ruin anything, but some of the stories have sad endings but some are happy. One even tickled me in a macabre sort of way.

If you’re a fan of short stories, I’m sure you’ll enjoy The Benefits of Breathing. The people and situations in it are so realistic, that even those who aren’t big fans of short stories may find these interesting and thought-provoking.

Praise for Benefits of Breathing

“Chris Meeks is a descriptive writer whose style paints a clear picture of everyday real life traumas. This story is about ordinary people and common problems; including how effective communication is so difficult to cultivate, especially when working through an emotional situation like a divorce. The reader can easily sense the strain of the failing relationship.”-T.M.S., Amazon

“Thoroughly enjoyed this short but bittersweet divorce story. It’s impossible to read anything Chris writes and fail to see pieces of yourself in the lines. Hope you keep them coming, Chris!”- Ksinteriors, Amazon

“I’ve read much of Meeks’ work. His attention to detail and ability to show rather than tell is unique and engaging.”-Kevin Gerard, Amazon

“While James Joyce was a trailblazer in the genre of literary fiction, Meeks surpasses him with crisp plainspoken prose abundant with brilliant humor and wit. Chris Meeks is one of those rare prolific and masterful writers whose stories and novels leave his audiences with a sense of satisfaction and enriching views of the human condition and humanity.”- James V Jordan, Amazon

Awards and Recognition

Book of the Year Bronze Award from ForeWord Reviews (2017): ‘The Chords of War’

ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Finalist award (2011)- ‘Love At Absolute Zero’

Three book critics’ Ten Best Books of 2011-‘Love At Absolute Zero’

Three book critics’ Ten Best Books of 2009- ‘The Brightest Moon of the Century’

About the Author

Award winning author, Christopher Meeks has five novels and two collections of short fiction published. The Benefits of Breathing’ is his third collection of short stories.

He has had stories published in several literary journals, and they have been included in the collections “Months and Seasons” and “The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea.” Mr. Meeks has had three full-length plays mounted in Los Angeles, and one, “Who Lives?” had been nominated for five Ovation Awards, Los Angeles’ top theatre prize.

Mr. Meeks teaches English and fiction writing at Santa Monica College, and Children’s Literature at the Art Center College of Design. He lives in Pasadena, CA.

Website at: www.chrismeeks.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Christopher-Meeks-212382392140974/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christopher.meeks1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MeeksChris

Giveaway

This giveaway is for the winner’s choice of print or ebook however, print is open to Canada and the U.S. only and ebook is available worldwide. There will be 3 winners. This giveaway ends June 27, 2020,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Follow the Tour

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus May 4 Guest Post

Amy Locks, Hooks and Books May 5 Review & Excerpt

Angel Goodreads May 6 Review

Infantina The Periodical Gazette May 7 Review & Excerpt

David Goodreads May 8 Review

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus May 13 Review

Cremona Mythical Books May 14 Review (postponed)

Lu Ann Rockin’ Book Reviews May 15 Guest Post

From Isi May 18 Review

Gud Reader Goodreads May 19 Review

Lu Ann Rockin’ Book Reviews May 20 Review

Dawn Bound4Escape May 21 Review

Bookgirl Goodreads May 22 Review

Jas International Book Promotion May 26 Review

Lisa’s Writopia May 27 Review

Lisa’s Writopia May 27 Guest Post

Penny Amazon May 29 Review

Kathleen Celticlady’s Reviews June 1 Guest Review  & Excerpt

Linda Lu Goodreads June 5 Review

Betty Toots Book Reviews June 8 Review & Interview

Dee Donadees Corner June 12  Review

Lisa Goodreads June 19 Review

Lillie Amazon June 22 Review

Mindy Room Without Books is Empty June 26 Review