Book Review & Giveaway: The Wrong Side of Murder by Lauren Carr

Book Title:  The Wrong Side of Murder (A Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery) by Lauren Carr
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 +), 274 pages
Genre:  Mystery/Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:   July 21, 2022
Tour dates: Aug 1 to Aug 26, 2022
Content Rating: This cozy mystery is rated G for everyone!

Book Description

Nikki Bryant’s Next Case Takes Her to the Wrong Side of Murder

One spring morning, Jodi Gibbons got up and went to school as she did every day. Her young life went sideways though when the police found that her mother had been brutally killed during the night.

Twenty years later, many in Pine Grove believe Jodi got away with murder. After all, how could she have possibly slept through her mother’s violent death in the very next room?
After decades of silence, Jodi accepts investigative journalist Nikki Bryant’s invitation to tell her side of the story. However, before the interview can take place, someone silences Jodi permanently.

Now it is up to Nikki Bryant and her friends to uncover the secret that Jodi Gibbons has been protecting—a secret someone believes it is worth killing to keep from being revealed.

Buy the Book:
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BookBub 
add to goodreads

My Review

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

I have read quite a few of Lauren Carr’s books, and I’m never disappointed. She writes several different series, but this is the first cozy mystery series of hers that I’ve read. I read the first book, Killer Deadline, a couple of years ago, and I liked it, so I was happy to read the next book in the series.

In The Wrong Side of Murder, Nikki Bryant and her true love (and stepbrother), Ryan, are together, and their relationship is great. The characters are realistic, and like most of the author’s books, there are a lot of them. She always includes a Cast of Characters at the beginning, which helps a lot.

Jodi was a classmate of Nikki’s in high school, and Nikki was convinced that she’d murdered her mom 20 years ago. Now, she’s convinced that she didn’t murder her and wants to help prove her innocence. This cold case that the police decide to reopen as well has a lot of twists and turns. There are more murders, many suspects who were overlooked, and more crimes to solve!

I definitely recommend The Wrong Side of Murder. I look forward to the next Nikki Bryant book.

About the Author

Selling over half a million books worldwide, Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Thorny Rose, Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries, and Nikki Bryant Cozy Mysteries—thirty titles across five fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

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

The owner of Acorn Book Services and iRead Book Tours, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, and virtual book tour coordinator for independent authors.  

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. 

She lives with her husband, and two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV. 

connect with the author: website ~ blog ~ facebook instagram ~ twitter pinterest

Giveaway

Enter to win a $50 PayPal gift card
courtesy of the author of
THE WRONG SIDE OF MURDER (a Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery)
(one winner)

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Book Review: You Are So Much More by Serena Tejpar

 

 

Research has shown that building resilience in the face of adversity or challenges helps children and young people develop effective coping strategies and improve long-term outcomes across a spectrum of illnesses. You Are So Much More reminds children who have gone through or are going through an illness or injury, that they are indeed so much more. Trauma survivor and medical student Serena Tejpar shares a story of inspiration, reflection, and encouragement that can be read over and over again.

Available to buy from…

Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk Barnes and Noble GPlay Paperback Hardcover

My Review

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

This is not a book for all children, but it is an absolutely amazing book for children are sick and are in the hospital. It is a great resource for parents to help children find strength and hope within themselves. At a time when parents are overwhelmed, this book can help them convey to their child that they are not just the illness, that they are a special person who has so much to offer.

The illustrations are realistic, colorful, and are perfect for the text. My favorite page: “You are a loving soul. A child. A little giggler. An explorer. A friend. The most mischievous little munchkin.”

This would make a great gift for someone whose child is ill.

“This book is so much more than a story, it is a message of strength and courage for children experiencing illness and hospitalization, for their parents and caregivers. The author refers to the reader in the first person and the narrative stimulates the internal resources of the child. Under the guidance of a caring adult, the book becomes a useful addition to children’s recovery process.” — Isabella Cassina, MA, PhD Candidate, registered Therapeutic Play Specialist and international speaker, author of The Magic Home: A Displaced Boy Finds a Way to Feel Better

 “I am thoroughly impressed with the children’s book, You Are So Much More. It is geared toward children experiencing long term hospital stays and reminds them that their illness or injury does not define them. While many outsiders often try to distract a compromised child with upbeat messages and avoid talking about the elephant in the room, Serena Tepjar acknowledges the child’s situation, even all of the bad parts, and then puts into perspective that there is more to the child than their medical condition. She is both realistic and supportive. Tepjar creates a self dialogue with positive messages the child can use, reminding them of their strength, resilience, and bravery. I am pleased to read a book written by such a medical student. Her empathy will carry her far as she exercises her skills in the life work of healing others.” — Laurie Zelinger, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S, Board Certified Psychologist, author of Please Explain Vaccines to Me

 “As a Play Therapist I am constantly working with children with chronic issues. I loved how You are So Much More focuses on the child and not the illness. I found it to be sweet, encouraging, uplifting and compassionate way of encouraging children with chronic illnesses to cherish themselves and cope with their emotions as they heal. At a time where many families are facing illness and hospitalizations it is a timely message that I am excited to share with the families I work with.” — Jill Osborne, EDS, LPC, CPCS, RPT-S, author of Sam Feels Better Now!

 “This book is an amazing resource for children and families who are struggling with medical trauma. Within the pages, the reader will find messages of healing and hope which is truly important when we sometimes forget that sun can follow dark days.” –Theresa Fraser, CYC-P, CPT-S, RP, MA, RCT, Trauma, Loss and Attachment Clinical Specialist, author of We’re not all the same, But We’re Family

 From Loving Healing Press www.LHPress.com

 

 

Enjoy these excerpts!

 

 


About the Author

Serena Tejpar (she/her) is a medical student at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto with a Master of Science in Global Health and a Certificate in Narrative-Based Medicine.

 Serena carries a passion for the intersection of health humanities and clinical practice. She was commended for her “commitment to improving the Canadian healthcare system and addressing inequities in healthcare systems worldwide” following her experience as a trauma patient after a near-fatal motor vehicle collision in 2015.

 She has received numerous awards and honours in recognition of her leadership, community service, and resilience including being named YMCA Ontario’s Young Woman of Excellence, Top 50 Emerging Canadian Leader, and a Young Director with G(irls)20.

You can also find the author here…
Website Facebook Twitter Goodreads Amazon Author Page

 

 

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Book Review & Giveaway: Inseparable by David Kruth

Inseparable: An Alcatraz Escape Adventure by David Kruh

Publisher: DX Varos Publishing (June 21, 2022)
Category: Historical Fiction, Action/Adventure
ISBN: 978-1955065504
Available in Print and ebook, 325 pages

 Inseparable

Tommy knew the right thing to do was turn them in to the cops. But that wasn’t the adventurous thing to do!

What happened to the three men who escaped from Alcatraz prison in June, 1962? Did they meet the same watery fate as dozens who preceded them into the cold San Francisco Bay? There is credible evidence two of them – brothers John and Clarence Anglin – not only survived but lived for years in South America. Inseparable is a fictional account of how a 13-year-old boy named Tommy helped them to freedom.

Tommy O’Conner was an only child whose mother, a widow of the Korean Conflict, had been left to make it on her own. She passed her independent, sometimes lonely spirit, to her son. But Tommy was also, in many ways, no different than other boys his age who dreamed of adventure. Then, one June day in 1962, his daydreams were interrupted by the real thing when he came face to face with John and Clarence Anglin – two of the Alcatraz escapees – and made the decision which would change all their lives.

Amazon
Barnes&Noble

Book Review by Sal

A brilliant historical fiction from a terrific storyteller! ‘Inseparable: An Alcatraz Escape Adventure,’ by David Kruh is based off of the real-life escape of three prisoners from Alcatraz in 1961.

In real life, no definitive traces of prisoners, Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin were ever found after their daring late-night escape, but in this novel, Kruh examines how the escape might have gone and what might have become of the men afterward.

After planning their escape for months, the three prisoners set out to cross the bay to San Francisco under cover of nightfall one fateful June night. But before long, the raft that they had fashioned out of sewed together raincoats gets a hole, and the men are cast into the freezing waters of the bay. Struggling to swim, the three men wash up in very different areas than they had intended to escape to.

The plan was to make it to Angel Island, the closest island to Alcatraz. Instead, the two Anglin brothers wash up on a beach in Sausalito, miles away from their intended destination. Waterlogged and wounded from their swim, the men are soon found by a young boy named Tommy O’Conner, who agrees to help them get to a disused local fort. However, Tommy soon faces trouble from his mother and the local police, and will have to find a way to help the men with the limited resources at his disposal.

Meanwhile, Frank Morris is on his own, making his way west through empty military bases in the effort to get to a town where he can steal a car. All three men face hunger, cold and other dangers in their quest to escape their prison and get away from San Francisco altogether without getting caught again.

This is an incredibly immersive novel by Kruh, and one well worth the read! A definite must read for historical fiction and adventure lovers!

About the Author

David is the published author of several books on Boston history and the co-author, with his father Louis, on a book about presidential homes and landmarks.

A frequent contributor to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald and History Magazine, David is also a published and produced playwright, and a popular lecturer on a variety of historical subjects. ‘Inseparable’ is his debut novel.

Website: http://https//inseparablealcatraznovel.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/david.kruh

Giveaway

This giveaway is for 1 print copy and 2 eBook copies open to the U.S. only. This giveaway ends on July 27, 2022, midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus July 6 Kickoff & Interview

Carole Rae’s Random Ramblings July 8 Review

Gud Reader Goodreads July 11 Review

Amy Locks, Hooks and Books July 12 Review & Excerpt

Denise Amazon July 13 Review

Suzie My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews July 14 Review & Guest Post

Gracie Goodreads July 15 Review

Nora S. Storeybook Reviews July 18 Guest Review & Excerpt

Sal Bound 4 Escape July 19 Guest Review

Bee Book Pleasures July 21 Review & Interview

Laura Lee Celticlady’s Reviews July 25 Guest Review

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus July 26 Review

Book Review & Giveaway: Evita and Me by Erika Rummel

Evita and Me by Erika Rummel

Publisher:  DX Varos Publishing (May 24, 2022)
Category: Historical Fiction, Crime, Women’s Literature
ISBN: 978-1955065320
Available in Print and ebook, 384 pages

Evita and Me

Evita Peron’s jewels are missing. Only three people know that they are in a vault in the Swiss Alps; Evita’s corrupt and brutal brother Juan, her bodyguard Pierre, and a teenaged girl Mona, her newest protegee. What happens if two of them team up?

Like Eva herself, Mona comes from a broken family and has to make her own way. Perhaps that’s why the two women feel close. Evita is at the pinnacle of success but already in the grip of a fatal illness. We see her life through the eyes of Mona and Pierre, two people she trusts — and who betray her in the end. Or can theft and murder be justified?

A story of love, adventure, and murder.

Amazon
DX Varos Publishing

Guest Review by Sal

This intimate look into the life of Eva Peron is well worth the price of admission!

Erika Rummel’s historical fiction novel, ‘Evita and Me,’ centers around a teenage girl, Mona, who becomes a friend of the famous Argentinian political figure Eva “Evita” Peron and the tumultuous ride that their relationship takes over the course of two weeks.

Mona is a teenager living in Toronto, Canada when she is sent to Argentina for two weeks to stay with a family friend. Despairing of her situation and not too keen on the family friend, Liliana, whom Mona views as a power-hungry and careless woman, things turn around for the teenager when she is introduced to Evita Peron. Liliana works as an assistant to Evita, but she is also the woman’s friend and it is through her that Mona meets Evita.

Instantly smitten with the incomparable woman, Mona accepts lavish gifts of clothes from Evita and basks in the woman’s maternal praise. When Evita asks Mona to go to Europe with her for a political tour, Mona jumps at the opportunity, although she worries about the woman’s seemingly ill health. But soon, the European tour is cut short when a very sickly-looking Evita asks Mona to take her most precious jewels and bring them to Switzerland where they will be stowed away in a vault.

Evita wishes for Mona to be one of three people in the world who know the location of the jewels and one of three who has a key. Mona agrees to do her friend and mentor this final favor, despite her confusion with the request. A few years later, after she discovers that Evita has died, Mona realizes that she is one of only three people who know where the famous woman’s missing jewels ended up.

This is a well-researched historical novel that captures the time, place, and characters beautifully.  A thrill ride from start to finish, ‘Evita and Me,’ is a gem of a novel that simply cannot be missed!

About the Author

Award winning author, Erika Rummel is the author of more than a dozen non-fiction books and seven novels. Her seventh novel, ‘Evita and Me’ is being published on May 24, 2022.

She won the Random House Creative Writing Award (2011) for a chapter from ‘The Effects of Isolation on the Brain’ and The Colorado Independent Publishers’ Association’ Award for Best Historical Novel, in 2018. She is the recipient of a Getty Fellowship and the Killam Award.

Erika grew up in Vienna, emigrated to Canada and obtained a PhD from the University of Toronto. She taught at Wilfrid Laurier and U of Toronto.  She divides her time between Toronto and Los Angeles and has lived in Argentina, Romania, and Bulgaria.

Erika’s Website: http://www.erikarummel.com/
Erika’s Blog: http://rummelsincrediblestories.blogspot.ca/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/historycracks

Giveaway

This giveaway is for 2 print copies and is open to Canada and the U.S. only. This giveaway ends on July 23, 2022, midnight, pacific time.  Entries accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Book Review & Giveaway: Mickey on the Move: Farming by Michelle Wagner

Book Title: Mickey on the Move Farming by Michelle Wagner
Category: Children’s Fiction (Ages 3-7), 38 pages
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Publisher: Mascot Books
Release date: July, 2022
Content Rating: G for everyone.

Mickey is on the move again!

He and his mom take pride in farming and gardening together, doing everything from raising chickens to growing delicious fruits and vegetables in their backyard orchard.

Mickey, who was born with deafness in both ears, has overcome obstacles to fully enjoy the great outdoors.

His Aqua Cochlear implants allow him to hear and appreciate the beautiful sounds in nature without the worry of weather dampening his day!

Join Mickey for another adventure!

 Buy the Book
Amazon ~ B&N ~ Target
Mascot Books

My Review

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

Mickey lives on a farm and enjoys helping with the chickens and growing herbs. He also likes his dad’s vineyard.

Mickey can hear with cochlear implants which are described in this book. He is able to do anything other kids can do except go near the water until he gets new cochlear implants that are waterproof. Now, he can play in the rain, go on boats, go swimming, etc. How exciting!

This is a great story that children will enjoy reading, but it also helps them to be aware that special needs children are just the same as they are. It also teaches about cochlear implants and their importance. I definitely recommend Mickey on the Move: Farming.

About the Author

Michelle Wagner is a full-time realtor, mom, and award-winning author who dedicates her time and energy to charities and events supporting children with hearing loss. Michelle takes pride in assisting families as they work through the different approaches to raising a special-needs child in a typical environment.

After discovering that her son Mickey was profoundly deaf in both ears, Michelle made it her mission to provide Mickey with the tools to ensure that he would live his best life. Today, Mickey, who wears bilateral cochlear implants, plays tennis and is currently in eighth grade at the St. Helena Montessori Farm School, where he is thriving and is social with his friends. Michelle makes sure that Mickey has the courage to be his optimal self. Michelle is donating 100 percent of proceeds from the sale of Mickey on the Move Farming to the Joyful Life Cochlear Implant Fund.

connect with author: website ~ facebook ~ instagram

Giveaway

Enter to win a signed copy of
MICKEY ON THE MOVE FARMING

(one winner/USA only)

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July 12 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / giveaway
July 13 – Character Madness and Musings – book spotlight / giveaway
July 13 – Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting – book review / giveaway
July 14 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
July 14 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review / giveaway
July 15 – Nighttime Reading Center – book review / giveaway
July 18 – Kam’s Place – book review
July 19 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / giveaway
July 20 – Reading is My Passion – book review / giveaway
July 20 – Pick A Good Book – book review / giveaway
July 21 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
July 21 – Triquetra Reviews – book review / giveaway
July 22 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
July 22 – The Phantom Paragrapher – book review / giveaway
July 25 – Sandra’s Book Club – book review / giveaway
July 26 – Library Lady’s Kid Lit – book review / giveaway
July 26 – Splashes of Joy – book review / giveaway
July 27 – Paws.Read.Repeat – book review / giveaway
July 27 – Lisa’s Reading – book spotlight / giveaway
July 28 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / giveaway
July 29 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Aug 1 – Chit Chat with Charity – book review / giveaway
Aug 1 – Books for Books – book review 

Book Review & Giveaway: Discovery of the Five Senses by K.N. Smith

Discovery of the Five Senses by K.N. Smith
Discovery of the Five Senses by K.N. Smith

Discovery of the Five Senses: The Urban Boys, Book 1 by K.N. Smith

Publisher:  Two Petals Publishing (Sept. 15, 2021)
Category: Young Adult Action-Adventure, Young Adult Thriller, Urban Fantasy, Mystery/ Thriller, Super Heroes
ISBN: 978-0989474757
Available in Print and ebook, 340 pages

 Discovery of the Five Senses

Description

Welcome or unwelcome. Fate has arrived.

“A captivating and poetic tale of mystery, fantasy, and reality tied together by action!” 5-stars, Lars Jackson, Amazon Customer

A suspenseful incident in a forbidden preserve heightens the senses of five friends. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell become super-gifts that forever change the world. But furious battles confront the boys as they try to understand their sensory super powers in a race to save mankind.

With light beings and mysterious strangers complicating their plight, can the boys defeat the evil Druth before it’s too late? Get prepared for the twisting and grinding of this award-winning, action-adventure story — an edge-of-your-seat narrative for young and mature readers alike.

https://books2read.com/knsmith

Guest Review by Sal

Just when you think you’re safe, everything that you know can be turned upside down and your future can be put in jeopardy.

Five friends enter their local nature preserve and leave as five boys with supernatural powers, whose lives have been changed forever. ‘Discovery of the Five Senses,’ is a story about five teenage boys– Alex, Jordan, Rhee, Chase and Kinsu. Living in a small, safe town like Danville Heights, the boys are used to living quiet lives. But there is one secret in Danville Heights, and one hard and fast rule: No one enters the forest preserve.

Most of the younger people in town don’t know why their parents have forbidden them from going into the preserve. And, being teenagers, the five friends decide to enter the preserve to find out why it is off limits. But what they discover inside is nothing like what they might have thought was inside.

Soon after walking into the forest, small balls of light begin to follow them. Then, the lights begin to explode and the boys are knocked out, waking up with new and unusual abilities that boggle their minds. Each boy has a different sense that seems to have been boosted– Kinsu’s vision, Rhee’s sense of smell, etc.

Discovering these new senses is exhilarating enough for the teenagers, but soon they will have to use their powers to fight against a local gang leader who is intent on making Danville Heights his next target.

‘Discovery of the Five Senses,’ is a thrilling Young Adult novel with an excellent payoff at the end. K.N. Smith’s prose is engaging and resonates beautifully with her plotting. Readers of all ages will love this electrifying look at big subjects like loyalty, friendship, fighting for what you believe in and finding out who you really are. Highly recommended!

About K.N. SmithDiscovery of the Five Senses by K.N. Smith

K.N. Smith, winner of the “Best of” in the category of “Outstanding Young Adult Novel” at the Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Awards, is an author and passionate advocate of literacy and arts programs throughout the world. Her lyrical flair sweeps across pages that twist and grind through action-adventure and urban fantasy in edge-of-your-seat narratives.

K.N. has over twenty-five years’ experience in communications and creative design as an award-winning consultant. Reading is still her foremost hobby. K.N. inspires people of all ages to reach their highest potential in their creative, educational, and life pursuits.

Website: http://www.knsmith.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorknsmith
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/knsmith_author/

Giveaway

This giveaway is for 2 $50 Visa egift cards. This giveaway ends on Sept 1, 2022, midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Book Review & Giveaway: The Seraphim’s Song by Barbara Casey

Book Title: The Seraphim’s Song (Book 5 of The F.I.G. Mysteries) by Barbara Casey
Category: YA Fiction (Ages 13-17), 213 pages
Genre: Mystery, Fantasy
Publisher: Gauthier Publications (Hungry Goat Press)
Release date: April 2022
Content Rating: G. THE SERAPHIM’S SONG is suitable for all readers – adult and young adult.

Many changes have taken place at Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women while Carolina and Larry were on their honeymoon in Frascati, Italy, on the Granchelli farm. The newlyweds have been given a larger bungalow; Ms. Alcott, niece of the founder of Wood Rose, and Mrs. Ball, assistant to the headmaster, have moved into a bungalow together; and Jimmy Bob, caretaker and night watchman at Wood Rose has moved from his family home down the road a bit into a small bungalow on the orphanage property with his hound dog Tick, as well as his new cat and her litter of kittens.

Summer is coming to an end and the F.I.G.s will soon return to the universities to complete their special projects. They are starting to feel anxious, and the coping mechanisms they have used their entire lives are starting to work overtime. Dara’s thoughts turn to an unknown language, possibly from another world; Mackenzie focuses on the relationship of math to music; and Jennifer keeps hearing the note of B flat minor and is drawing dark swirls on her canvas board.

Buy the Book:
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and local bookstores everywhere
Add to Goodreads

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.  I’ve read several books by Barbara Casey including the first four books in this series. The first two books, The Wish Rider and The Cadence of Gypsies, are my favorites by the author so far. Even though this is the fifth book in the series, it definitely stands on its own.

Even though Carolina is married, her husband is out of town, so she is on her own after their honeymoon. The F.I.G.s are on summer break, though, so she has their company. Unfortunately, they’re all aware that something is going to happen because their coping mechanisms are in high gear. When Carolina hears from her mother, Lyuba, in Italy, they know that they have to figure out her message ASAP.

It’s obvious that the author did a lot of research for this book, and I found the history interesting. Along with the history is mystery, adventure, gypsies, natural disasters and danger.

I liked The Seraphim’s Song but not as much as the first two books. This being book five, I feel like I know Carolina and the F.I.G.s well, so I felt like I had to wade through a lot of backstory to get to the essence of The Seraphim’s Song.

About the Author

Barbara Casey is the author of several award-winning novels and book-length works of nonfiction for both adults and young adults, and numerous articles, poems, and short stories. Several of her books have been optioned for major films and television series.

In addition to her own writing, Barbara is an editorial consultant and president of the Barbara Casey Agency. Established in 1995, she represents authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan.

In 2018 Barbara received the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award and Top Professional Award for her extensive experience and notable accomplishments in the field of publishing and other areas.

Barbara lives on a mountain in Georgia with three cats who adopted her: Homer, a Southern coon cat; Reese, a black cat; and Earl Gray, a gray cat and Reese’s best friend.

Connect with the author:  Barbara Casey Author ~ Barbara Casey Agency ~ Goodreads

Giveaway

Enter to win a signed copy of THE SERAPHIM’S SONG
(Book 5 – THE F.I.G Mysteries)
(one winner/USA only)

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July 5 – Rockin” Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
July 5 – Cover Lover Book Review – book spotlight / giveaway
July 6 – Kam’s Place – book spotlight
July 8 – The Momma Spot – book review / giveaway
July 8 – Lisa’s Reading – book spotlight / giveaway
July 11 –Splashes of Joy – book review / giveaway
July 12 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
July 13 – Pick a Good Book – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
July 14 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
July 15 – Books for Books – book review
July 18 – Laura McHale Holland, Author, Dreamer, Storyteller – book review
July 19 – Mystery Review Crew – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 20 – Sadie’s Spotlight – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
July 20 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review / giveaway

July 21 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
July 22 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
July 25 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

Book Review & Giveaway: Blessed by the Best: My Journey to Canton and Beyond by Brian Dawkins with Michael Bradley

Blessed By the Best by Brian Dawkins

Blessed by the Best: My Journey to Canton and Beyond by Brian Dawkins, Michael Bradley (Contributor)

Publisher:  Camino Books, Inc; 1st edition (August 30, 2021)
Category: Memoir, Football Biographies, Sports, Inspirational
ISBN: 978-1680980257
Available in Print and ebook, 256 pages
Blessed By the Best

Description

Drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1996, Dawkins fought to elevate not only his own game but that of his entire team. He sweat, bled, and dominated through sixteen season in the NFL all the way into the Hall of Fame, but not for a moment did he believe his strength alone brought him that glory. Every step of the way the Lord had his back. From coaches that wanted to break him to defeats and bitter lessons in humility, his career is a testament to his faith and an homage to the countless people that helped him along the way.

In the wake of his success, Dawkins comes forward to describe his journey to become one the best safeties in the NFL. Physical training wouldn’t cut it. Blessed by the Best follows Dawkins trials to train his mind and faith along with his skill. As a nervous kid from Jacksonville, he never dreamed of one day standing in front of a crowd to accept that golden jacket. But one way or another, he made it. Dawkins tells his story straight, unafraid of exposing his own weaknesses; his over competitive spirit that takes losses to hard, the tunnel vision that estranged him from his kids, and the self-doubt that plagued much of his early years. Triumphs, pitfalls, love, and struggles Dawkins shares them all, not for himself, but in gratitude of those who have helped him along the way.

“I had been blessed by the best. First, that meant the Lord, who has blessed me with so much. It also meant all those people and things around me that I believe were the best for me. Maybe they weren’t the best for somebody else. Your best may not be my best. That’s fine. Everything that has happened to me has been to bring out the best in me. Even the toughest, hardest times in my life were the best things for me. If I hadn’t gone through them, maybe I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”

“This is not a football book. It has football in it, but this is a life tool,” Dawkins told Heavy. “These are things that I have gone through in my life, that others have taught me.”

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Guest Review by Sal

In ‘Blessed By the Best,’ Brian Dawkins delves into some tough subjects and offers insights from his life that are both refreshing and reassuring.

Dawkins faith is a huge motivator in his life. Raised Catholic, he never saw much interest in going to church until he was brought to a Christian church by his high school girlfriend, Connie. Dawkins was fundamentally changed by this experience and his reinvigorated faith would follow him throughout the rest of his life–as would Connie, whom he later married.

Later going on to play for both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Denver Broncos, Dawkins has always credited his faith in God as a big portion of who he is and how he got to where he is now. After playing football in high school, college and then sixteen seasons with the NFL, Dawkins retired, ready to appreciate new opportunities such as public speaking and television experiences.

When he found out that he was going to be inducted into the NFL hall of fame, it was important to Dawkins that his wife, Connie be there with him and wear a gold wrap as a form of her own hall of fame jacket. Not only had Connie been there with him throughout his entire career, but she had also given him three beautiful children and Dawkins relates that retiring gave him a new perspective on all that she does to support their household.

Speaking on subjects like mental health, racism that he has experienced, and difficulties in his career, ‘Blessed By the Best,’ is filled with insights that could only come from someone who has lived these experiences. Dawkins tackles these issues with a level head, and clearly isn’t afraid to talk about them.

A great inspiration not only on the football field, Dawkins’ memoir is one you should definitely check out for yourself!

About Brian Dawkins

Blessed By the Best by Brian Dawkins
In this Aug. 25, 2006, file photo, Philadelphia Eagles safety Brian Dawkins stands on the sidelines during a preseason NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Philadelphia. The veteran safety announced through his Twitter account Monday, April 23, 2012, that he is retiring from the NFL after 16 seasons. Dawkins spent his first 13 seasons with the Eagles and his last three with the Denver Broncos. (AP Photo/George Widman, file)

Brian Dawkins entered the NFL in the second round of the 1996 draft and has since achieved 1,131 tackles, 37 achieved passes, 26 recorded sacks and 19 fumble recoveries, which has earned him a place in the NFL Hall of Fame. Out of his 16 career seasons, Dawkins spent 13 with the Eagles before signing as an unrestricted free agent with the Denver Broncos in 2008. Despite the team change, Dawkins still holds several team records for the Eagles, and as of 2012 his jersey number 20 has become one of only nine to be retired in the history of the franchise.

Website: https://briandawkins.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/briandawkinssr/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrianDawkins

About Michael Bradley

Michael Bradley is a writer, broadcaster and professor who lives in suburban Philadelphia. He has written for numerous national publications, and he has authored 32 books, including Big Games: College Football’s Greatest Rivalries. Bradley has appeared on TV and radio networks across the country, including ESPN and NFL Network. He is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Communication at Villanova University.

Giveaway

This giveaway is for 2 print copies and is open to the U.S. only. This giveaway ends on July 15, 2022 midnight, pacific time.  Entries accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Book Review & Giveaway: Shadow of the Gypsy by Shelly Frome

Shadow Of the Gypsy by Shelly Frome
Shadow Of the Gypsy by Shelly Frome

Shadow Of the Gypsy by Shelly Frome

Publisher:  Boutique of Quality Books (May 3, 2022)
Category: Amateur Sleuths, Crime Thriller, Love Story
Available in Print and ebook, 330 pages
Shadow Of the Gypsy

Description

A nemesis out of the past suddenly returns, forcing Josh Bartlett to come to terms with his true identity.

Josh Bartlett had figured all the angles, changed his name, holed up as a small-town features writer in the seclusion of the Blue Ridge. Only a few weeks more and he’d begin anew, return to the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut and Molly (if she’d have him) and, at long last, live a normal life. After all, it was a matter of record that Zharko had been deported well over a year ago.

The shadowy form Josh had glimpsed yesterday at the lake was only that—a hazy shadow under the eaves of the activities building. It stood to reason his old nemesis was still ensconced overseas in Bucharest or thereabouts well out of the way. And no matter where he was, he wouldn’t travel thousands of miles to track Josh down. Surely that couldn’t be, not now, not after all this.

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Guest Review by Sal

Shelly Frome is a writer who can switch gears very effectively. Having read some of his work before, I was definitely not expecting the direction that this book went in, and it made for a thrilling reading experience from start to finish! If you love mysteries with amateur sleuths and an undercurrent of romance, I can say with absolute certainty that you will love this fantastic book!

The main character, Josh Bartlett is a Romany man who used to be part of a community of his people in Connecticut. However, something happened when Josh was a boy that changed the entire trajectory of his life. See, back then he was known as Sonny Korda and he was the witness to a murder committed by a man named Zharko.

Sonny/Josh’s mother thought it was best to change her son’s name and ship him off to boarding school in Tennessee to avoid Zharko finding him. This was when Sonny became Josh—and Josh became a man who always felt the need to look over his shoulder.

After years of living in hiding, Josh finally realizes that he has been found by Zharko and that his only option is to go along with what the man says so. that he can avoid his family and girlfriend getting hurt. Josh’s girlfriend, Molly is a friend of his from childhood whom he has been in a long distance relationship with for several years. Molly knows nothing about why Josh left town all those years ago, and in order to protect her, Josh must keep his secret even when Zharko asks him to return to Connecticut to collect on the debt that he owes the man.

Frome’s writing is superb and must be experienced to be believed. Add this one to your To Be Read list today!

About the AuthorShadow Of the Gypsy by Shelly Frome

Award winning author, Shelly Frome is a member of Mystery Writers of America, a professor of dramatic arts emeritus at the University of Connecticut, a former professional actor, a writer of crime novels, cozy mystery novels, and books on theater and film. He is also a features writer for Gannett Media’s Black Mountain News. His fiction includes Sun Dance for Andy Horn, Lilac Moon, Twilight of the Drifter, Tinseltown Riff,  Murder Run, Moon Games and The Secluded Village Murders.

Among his works of non-fiction are The Actors Studio and texts on the art and craft of screenwriting and writing for the stage. Miranda and the D-Day Caper was his last foray into the world of crime and the amateur sleuth, until now. He lives in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Website: http://www.shellyfrome.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shellyfrome
Twitter: https://twitter.com/shellyFrome

Giveaway

This giveaway is for 3 copies with the winners choice of print or ebook. Print is open to Canada and the U.S. only and ebook is open worldwide.

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Becky Life As Rog June 20 & Except

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Praise

Sharp writing, and a keen pace keep this story rolling.”– Lee A. Jacobus, author of Crown Island and Hawaiian Tales

“Shadow of the Gypsy is intriguing, complicated, and mysterious. . . ”– Tina M. Zion, award winning author and international teach of intuition

“By turns charming and chilling, Shadow of the Gypsy is that rarest of gems, a crime novel that curdles the blood, even as it tugs on the heartstrings. . . “– Jaden Terrell, author of A Taste of Blood and Ashes, River of Glass, A Cup Full of Midnight, and Racing the Devil

“Once you start, you won’t want to stop reading . ..”– Jana Zinser, author of The Children’s Train: Escape on the Kindertransport and Fly Like a Bird

Winner of Readers Favorite 2021 for Miranda and the D-Day Caper: Mystery

Book Review & Giveaway: A Mouse Tail on Mackinac Island by Summer Porter

On a warm summer day in northern Michigan, a family of mice find their way to Mackinac Island, the “jewel of the Great Lakes,” to start a new life. Tag along and enter a world of whimsy in A Mouse Tail on Mackinac Island.

 Join the family–Father Mouse, a lover of cheese; Mother Mouse, a singer of lullabies; Max Mouse, a collector of stamps and Millie and Maizy Mouse, sweet little babies–as they search for the perfect home. What adventures will they have? Where will they live? What dangers will they encounter? With vibrant illustrations and a charming story, A Mouse Tail on Mackinac Island will capture both your heart and imagination.

 From Modern History Press

Available to buy from…
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My Review

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

This is a cute story about a mouse family that moves to Mackinac Island. Once there, it takes them a few tries before they find a home. The hotel they end up living in is perfect especially since they’re accepted by the owner.

I was excited to get A Mouse Tail on Mackinac Island to share with my grandkids. My parents spent their honeymoon and 25th anniversary at Mackinac Island, and this is the perfect book to share stories about my parents’ experiences there. As a child, I was always fascinated about an island with no cars allowed.

The mouse story is fun to read, and the illustrations help it to come alive. There are a few words that young readers may not be familiar with, but they are highlighted, and the meaning is given at the bottom of the page (example is in the first excerpt).

 

Enjoy these excerpts!

 


About the Author

Summer Porter grew up in Southern Michigan but her favorite moments were spent on Mackinac Island visiting her family. Summer was an elementary school teacher for over 25 years and it should not be a surprise her favorite subject to teach was creative writing. Her passion for writing has led to 3 published magazine articles and multiple poems and short stories for family and friends. Summer also dabbles in art, golf, and searching for adventures in Michigan, Colorado and Arizona. Summer had the pleasure of working with her talented niece, Maggie Chambers, on this book. This is Summer’s first published children’s book, but it will not be her last!

You can also find the author here…
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About the Illustrator

Maggie Chambers grew up drawing, painting, and creating on Mackinac Island. After graduating from Mackinac Island Public School, she studied graphic design and new media at Alma College, and earned her BFA in 2015. Since then, Maggie has lived and worked in Washington, DC as a multidisciplinary designer and visual artist. She spends her summers on Mackinac Island, which remains a significant source of inspiration for her art and a place that keeps her inner child alive and well. This is Maggie’s first illustrated children’s book.

 You can also find the illustrator here…
Website    Instagram   Goodreads   Amazon Page

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