Audiobook Review & Giveaway: No Names to be Given by Julia Brewer Daily

Book Title:  No Names to Be Given
Category: Adult Fiction (18 +)  
Genre: Vintage Women’s Fiction
Publisher:  Admission Press Inc
Release date:   08/2021
Content Rating:  PG + M. No bad language, but mature subjects like suicide and a rape scene. These are both mild and not explicit. Fade to black kind of scenes. 

Today’s young women will not understand how our families made us feel shame so intensely; we surrendered our first-born children to strangers. Faith Reynolds, No Names to Be Given 
The widely anticipated debut novel by Julia Brewer Daily is a glimpse into the lives of women forced by society to gift their newborns to strangers. Although this novel is a fictional account, it mirrors many of the adoption stories of its era. 
When three young unwed women meet at a maternity home hospital in New Orleans in 1965, they are expected to relinquish their babies and return home as if nothing transpired. Twenty-five years later, they are brought back together by blackmail and their secrets threatened with exposure—all the way to the White House.
Told from the three women’s perspectives in alternating chapters, we are mesmerized by the societal pressures on women in the 1960s who found themselves pregnant without marriage.
How that inconceivable act changed them forever is the story of No Names To Be Given, a novel with southern voices, love exploited, heartbreak and blackmail. 


BUY THE BOOK:
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My Review

Three girls in completely different situations end up roommates in a home for unwedded mothers and have their babies on the same day.

Sandy ran away from home to get away from an abusive stepfather, and she became a stripper. Eventually, she ended up in New Orleans and met Carlos and fell in love. Unfortunately, shortly before she found out she was pregnant, she found out that he was a mob boss and was going to prison. Even worse, he was married. He ordered her to get an abortion, but she decided to have her baby and put it up for adoption.

Becca met a black boy in college. When her parents found out that they’d slept together, they pulled her out of that college and planned on sending her to one in Mississippi. Unfortunately, she found out she was pregnant and they sent her to the home in New Orleans to have her baby.

Faith’s father was a famous evangelist, and she sang at his revivals. His close friend and employee raped her. She didn’t tell her parents about the rape, but when she turned up pregnant, they were very disappointed in her and sent her to the home.

Being in the sixties, it would have been difficult but not impossible for the girls to keep their babies. I was an unwed mother in the eighties, and I kept my son, but even then there was still a stigma attached to not being married. I know it would have been much worse in the sixties.

The girls didn’t even get to see their babies when they were born, and they each had to deal with that in their own way and move on with their lives. Not even getting the chance to meet their babies would have been hard to accept.

They were each able to move on and become successful at what they chose to focus on in life. When the past came to knock on their doors 25 years later, though, they each had to figure out how to handle it Two of the mothers would face scandal if the truth came out, and I was impressed with how most of the characters were able to work things out for the best of the birth families as well as the adoptive families.

I do think with so many characters that it may be easier for the reader if some of the chapters were combined so that there isn’t so much jumping around. I don’t read a lot of women’s fiction but this was a good one, and I definitely recommend it.

Praise

“A gorgeous, thrilling, and important novel! These strong women will capture your heart.” Stacey Swann, author of Olympus, Texas.

“An insightful and sympathetic view offered into the lives of those who were adopted and those who adopted them.” Pam Johnson, author of Justice for Ella.

“A novel worthy of a Lifetime movie adaptation.” Jess Hagemann, author of Headcheese.
“Readers can expect deep knowledge of the world the characters inhabit.” Sara Kocek, author of Promise Me Something.

“I found myself thinking about Becca, Sandy, and Faith frequently as I went about my day—I was always excited to sit down and find out what happened next.” Sarah Welch, author of Austin Brown Dogs: The Shelter Dogs Who Rescue Us.

About the Author

Julia Brewer Daily is a Texan with a southern accent. She holds a B.S. in English and a M.S. degree in Education from the University of Southern Mississippi. 

She has been a Communications Adjunct Professor at Belhaven University, Jackson, Mississippi, and Public Relations Director of the Mississippi Department of Education and Millsaps College, a liberal arts college in Jackson, MS.  

She was the founding director of the Greater Belhaven Market, a producers’ only market in a historic neighborhood in Jackson, and even shadowed Martha Stewart. 

As the Executive Director of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi (300 artisans from 19 states) which operates the Mississippi Craft Center, she wrote their stories to introduce them to the public.

Daily is an adopted child from a maternity home hospital in New Orleans. She searched and found her birth mother and through a DNA test, her birth father’s family, as well.  A lifelong southerner, she now resides on a ranch in Fredericksburg, Texas, with her husband Emmerson and Labrador Retrievers, Memphis Belle and Texas Star.​


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connect with the author: website ~ facebook  goodreads

Giveaway

Enter to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of Julia Brewer Daily, author of NO NAMES TO BE GIVEN! (one winner/USA only)

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Follow the Tour

Sep 20 – Cover Lover Book Review – audiobook review / author interview / giveaway 
​Sep 21 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – audiobook review / guest post / giveaway 
Sep 21 –Gina Rae Mitchell – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sep 22– Bound 4 Escape – audiobook review / giveaway ​
Sep 23 – Book Corner New and Reviews – audiobook review / giveaway 
Sep 24– I’m Into Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 27 – @booking.with.janelle – audiobook review / author interview 
Sep 28 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway 
Sep 29 –@fantasybookcraz_mum – audiobook review
Sep 30 – Pick a Good Book – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
​Oct 4 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway 
Oct 5 – Sadie’s Spotlight – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Oct 6 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway 
Oct 7 – I’d Rather Be At The Beach – audiobook review / giveaway
Oct 8 – Laura’s Interest – audiobook review / giveaway 

Book Review & Giveaway: Bandits of Basswood by E.P. Bellows

Title: BANDITS OF BASSWOOD
Author: E.P. Bellows
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 195
Genre: Children’s Fantasy

John William Drake was born an explorer; just like many, many Drakes before him. His adventure really began with the discovery of a book hidden in the ceiling, followed by the mysterious disappearance of his father. He lived every day in misery until his twelfth birthday. A new friend gave him an invitation he could not turn down… follow me and change your destiny.

He never imagined being captured by bandits and taken to a ship riddled with river rats was part of his fate. Not just any bandits – the Bandits of Basswood; known to be a ruthless and wild crew of thieves. Trying to escape would be a ridiculous idea. No one has ever escaped and lived to tell about it. Uncovering traces of his missing father gave him hope and upped the stakes. John William was determined to get off the ship alive and search for the missing pieces of the puzzle. The chase out of Basswood was on. He took a chance to change his destiny and ended up on a wild ride to solve the most important mystery of his life.

Amazon → https://amzn.to/3okMyYh

My Review

Members of John William’s family have been chosen to be guardians of a lost city in another realm. When John William’s father ends up going there and accidentally leaving John William behind, he’s devastated. A year later, however, he’s able to make it to the realm, so he sets out to find his father.

John William has one adventure after another while looking for his father. This story is non-stop action that children will enjoy. There wasn’t enough character development for me as an adult to get invested in the story, but a lot of kids will probably still like it. The one thing that bothered me was that there were times when I was a little confused, and a little more description would have helped. Once in a while, I wasn’t sure if the character was a person or an animal, and there was one time I had trouble following exactly what was happening. It does need proofreading as well.

I think children will enjoy Bandits of Basswood, and since it ends at a good point but not with everything resolved, I may have to read the next book to find out what happens.

PRAISE

“The imaginative world created by the author is especially fun. Some animals can talk (with attitude!), magic is in the air and emu-like creatures provide fast transportation. Yes, I realize this series is for children- and they can certainly read it. Just as soon as I’m finished.”Amazon Reviewer 5 stars

I enjoyed reading these books. Great for young adults, even though I’m an adult. I would recommend this series to those kids who like a good adventure…” – Amazon Reviewer 5 stars

“A simple walk into the world of furry and fairy alike. Enjoyed the character building, as the young boy finds himself in a world with furry pirates, and a feisty fairy princess. Even the villains (as a group,) were only bad because of the main villain of the piece. all in all a nice intro to a simply enchanted world. Hope to see more…”Amazon Reviewer 4 stars

About the Author

A few random things about me…
Um, let’s see… when I was eight, I had a pet turkey. I used to take it with me on my very short lived paper route. Needless to say, I was terrible at delivering the paper. No one wanted a “Dollar Saver” with turkey poop splattered across the front page. Apparently that’s where the best coupons are.

Books… well, “Treasure Island” is a fantastic pirate tale. I love just about anything by Roald Dahl. I would also like to thank C.S Lewis for sending me on an unrelenting childhood quest for portals to amazing worlds (even in the most unpleasant locations, e.g… the older brother’s closet, etc…)

I write fantasy stories for children. Yep – I am a HUGE fantasy geek. I can’t help myself! It’s too darn awesome to escape to another realm with sorcerers and wizards. The underlying theme in my stories is empowerment, self love, and living purposefully. 

When football is on I turn into a different person. I may even use a curse word or two… or three. I enjoy running; which is a good thing because I need to do it in order to fit into my jeans.

I love to cook and really, really love to eat. I have a theory that avocados actually contain super powers and have the amazing ability to make any snack epic. I also love garlic… which, according to my loved ones, also has an unfortunate super power … the pungent breath-inator… or something of that nature.

Few things make me smile more than chocolate, cheese… AND, if the Chargers would make it to the Super Bowl again – just once:)

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM

Giveaway

E.P. Bellows is giving away a summer goodie bag containing Azra’s Pith swag! Goodie bag includes a coffee mug, tumbler, beach towel, paperback and kindle copy of Bandits of Basswood!

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter
  • This giveaway ends midnight September 30.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on October 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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Book Review & Giveaway: Our Moon Festival by Yobe Qiu

Book Title:  Our Moon Festival by Yobe Qiu
Category:  Children’s Fiction (Ages 3-7),  30 pages
Genre: Children’s Picture Book 
Publisher:  Yobe Qiu LLC
Release date:  January 2020
Content Rating:  G

Book Description:

​”Our Moon Festival” is a beautifully illustrated children’s book celebrating the unique ways the Japanese, Vietnamese, and Chinese communities celebrate the Moon Festival. The story highlights different families and their traditions as they observe Zhong Qiu Jie, Tết Trung Thu, and Tsukimi!

Buy the Book:
 Amazon
Author’s Website ~ ​Oakiebees

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.

Our Moon Festival is about how the Moon Festival is celebrated in Japan, Vietnam, and China. Each country celebrates the full moon, the harvest, and being with family. Some of the traditions they have are similar, like eating mooncakes, but each Moon Festival is unique to the country.

The text is interesting and the illustrations are beautifully done. This will definitely keep the attention of children and they’ll learn something as they enjoy the book!

About the Author

Yobe is an educator, entrepreneur and mom who lives in NYC. As an educator, she focused on teaching families to embrace love, diversity and different cultures. Through the years working in the classrooms and closely with other educators, she noticed the lack of multi-cultural resources that represented children of color. That is when Yobe decided to create multicultural children stories that feature Asian children, families and cultures! Yobe loves spending time with her daughter, reading to children and taking long walks during the day!

Connect with the Author:  Website ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

Giveaway

Enter to win OUR MOON FESTIVAL signed by the author (one winner/USA only)

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Tour Schedule: 

Sep 7 –Cover Lover Book Review– book review / giveaway
Sep 7 –Gina Rae Mitchell– book review / giveaway
Sep 7 –Kam’s Place– book review
Sep 8 –Splashes of Joy– book review / giveaway
Sep 8 –Rockin’ Book Reviews– book review / giveaway
Sep 9 –I’m Into Books– book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 10 –Writer with Wanderlust– book review / giveaway
Sep 13 –fundinmental– book review / giveaway
Sep 14 –Locks, Hooks and Books– book review / giveaway
Sep 14 –The Adventures of a Traveler’s Wife– book review / giveaway
Sep 15 –Chit Chat with Charity– book review / giveaway
Sep 15 –She Just Loves Books– book review / giveaway
Sep 16 –Deborah-Zenha Adams– book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 16 –Bound 4 Escape– book review / giveaway
Sep 17 –Nighttime Reading Center– book review / giveaway
Sep 20 –Fictional Vixen– book review
Sep 21 –A Mama’s Corner of the World– book review / giveaway
Sep 21 –Literary Flits– book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 22 –411 ON BOOKS, AUTHORS, AND PUBLISHING NEWS– book spotlight 
Sep 22 –The Momma Spot– book review / giveaway
Sep 23 –Jazzy Book Reviews– book review / giveaway
Sep 23 –Laura’s Interests– book review / giveaway
Sep 24 –Westveil Publishing– book review / giveaway
Sep 27 –The Phantom Paragrapher– book review

Book Review & Giveaway: Grenade Bouquets by Lee Matthew Goldberg

Grenade Bouquets (Runaway Train, Book 2) by Lee Matthew Goldberg

Publisher:  Wise Wolf Books (August 5, 2021)
Series: Runaway Train, Book 2
Category: Young Adult, Runaways, Outcasts, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Depression, Mental Illness
ISBN: 978-1953944078
Available in Print and ebook, 286 pages

Grenade Bouquets

I had stars in my eyes and I couldn’t see around them…

The year is 1995 and my parents have finally allowed me to take the summer to tour in a VW van across the country with my boyfriend Evan and our band. Yes, my dream to be a singer became reality. Even with Clarissa, Evan’s jealous ex-girlfriend, as the lead singer, it’s my presence on stage that led us to a major record deal. There are moments you’ll always remember in life, but I can’t imagine anything more cool than hearing your song on the radio for the first time.

But being a Rockstar isn’t as easy as it sounds. Using alcohol and drugs as coping mechanisms, nothing but tension surrounded me, hurting my still blossoming relationship, and continued grieving over my sister’s death.

A love letter to the nineties and a journey of a girl becoming a woman, Grenade Bouquets charts the rollercoaster ride of a band primed to explode on the scene, as long as they keep from actually exploding.

Amazon
Barnes&Noble
IndieBound

Guest Review by Sal

A coming-of-age novel that defines a generation. ‘Grenade Bouquets’ is a perfect look back into the music and culture of the 90’s, and a nostalgia trip for all of us who remember that decade.

Although it may seem like the distant past to today’s teenagers, 1995 was a time of grungy music and even grungier clothes. And this book, by author Lee Matthew Goldberg represents that impeccably.

The sequel to his novel, ‘Runaway Train,’ in ‘Grenade Bouquets,’ Goldberg brings back his main character, Nico. Now seventeen, and still mentally recovering from the death of her sister and her short time spent running away from home, Nico makes the huge decision to go on tour with her band, Grenade Bouquets. Nico is technically a back up singer in the band, but as she begins performing in front of audiences around the country, fans begin to take notice of her, and soon, so do record companies.

On a path to music stardom, Nico begins experiencing the downsides to fame, including unfettered access to drugs and alcohol. Although she is still a teenager, she had already been through quite a bit in life, and she is desperate for a way to numb her mind.

On top of this, Nico is dealing with tension between herself and the lead singer of the band, Clarissa. Clarissa is not happy that Nico is beginning to take center stage in Grenade Bouquets, and even less happy that the teenager is currently dating Clarissa’s ex boyfriend, Evan. Nico must constantly dodge schemes that Clarissa hatches to get rid of her, all while trying to navigate the choppy waters of sudden fame.

‘Grenade Bouquets’ is not just a love letter to the 90’s, but to Grunge music, with every chapter being named after a Grunge song. This is an excellent summer read for anyone who misses the 90’s! It is also a great introduction to 90’s music culture for young adults.

About the Author

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of seven novels including THE ANCESTOR and THE MENTOR, currently in development as a film off his original script, and the YA series RUNAWAY TRAIN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the Prix du Polar. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Millions, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitReactor, Monkeybicycle, Fiction Writers Review, Cagibi, Necessary Fiction, Hypertext, If My Book, Past Ten, the anthology Dirty Boulevard, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others.

His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City.

Website: http://www.leematthewgoldberg.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeeMatthewG
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leemgol
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/leematthewgoldberg/

Giveaway

This giveaway is for 3 print or eBook copies, 1 each per winner. Print is open to the U.S. only, eBook is open worldwide. This giveaway ends on September 25, 2021,midnight pacific time.

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Follow the Tour

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Aug 31 Kickoff & Interview

Jas International Book Promotion Sept 1 Review

Katy Celticlady’s Reviews Sept 3 Guest Review

Linda Lu Goodreads Sept 8 Review

Bee Book Pleasures Sept 9 Review

Sal Bound 4 Escape Sept 10 Guest Review

Suzie M. My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews Sept 13 Guest Review

Mark S.Teddy Rose Book Reviews Sept 14 Review

Becky Life As a Rog Sept 15 Review & Excerpt

Gud Reader (Leslie) StoreyBook Reviews Sept 16 Guest Review & Guest Post

Am Goodreads Sept 17 Review

Gracie (Anastasia )Living in a Bookworld Sept 20 Guest Review & Excerpt

Just Another Reader Sept 21 Review

Stacy’s Books Sept 22 Review

Mindy A Room Without Books is Empty Sept 23 Review

Betty Toots Book Reviews Sept 24 Review

Praise for Grenade Bouquets

“An engaging ’90s pastiche with an earnest heart beating at its center.”- Kirkus Reviews

“Runaway Train is a high-energy testimonial to the redemptive power of a road trip with an awesome soundtrack. Lee Matthew Goldberg balances the urgency of youth with a whiff of anticipatory nostalgia for the music and misadventures of late adolescence. Attuned to way distinctions between music genres and teen idols can feel like impermeable walls worth defending, and then crumble as a teen like Nico Sullivan finds her own voice.”- Jenn Stroud Rossman, author of The Place You’re Supposed to Laugh

“Raw. Riveting. Runaway Train stays true to its title as it explores the deep pain of a teenager desperately trying to find peace in a world full of pain. Lee Matthew Goldberg is a master at bestowing sympathy and strength on deeply flawed characters. Realistic and shocking, hopeful and satisfying, Runaway Train will keep readers turning the page.”- USA Today Bestselling Author Rebecca Forster 

“It’s an incredibly challenging task for an author to utilize a darkly comedic tone without coming across as disingenuous–but Goldberg executes it here with expert precision. Brimming over with the visceral atmosphere of the early 90s grunge era, RUNAWAY TRAIN is a must-read for those willing to buckle up for the ride.”-Peter Malone Elliott (Director of Operations, Book Pipeline)


Book Review & Giveaway: Punk’s Plight: The Triumphant Tails of Rescue Dogs by Hope A. Walter

Book Title: The Triumphant Tails of Rescue Dogs: Punk’s Plight by Dr. Hope A. Walter, EdD
Category: Children’s Fiction (Ages 5-12), 38 pages
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Publisher: Mascot
Release date: Aug, 2021
Content Rating: G.

This is not just another book about a dog! Meet Punk, an eight-year-old petite English Bulldog. Her life appears great right now, but it wasn’t always that way. Join Punk as she recounts her story of neglect, her rescue and recovery, and her journey of learning to trust and heal again. Punk’s Plight is meant to help educators, psychologists, social workers, counselors, and allies of children teach children about the difficult topic of neglect. Punk teaches that neglect may change you forever, but it does not have to stop you from living your best life.


Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ B&N 
Mascot Books

My Review

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

Punk is a sweet English Bulldog who is neglected by his original family. He has no idea what he did wrong, but he’s finally rescued by Xavier who owns a Rescue and Recovery Ranch. He then finds a family who truly loves and takes care of him. It takes him a while to learn to trust others, but he eventually has a happy life.

This is a great book for children with a sweet story that starts out sad but has a happy ending. It also teaches children that pets need to be loved and cared for. Because of the content of this book, I think an adult should read this book with a child, at least at first so they can discuss it.

About the Author

Hope A. Walter, Ed. D grew up in East Greenville, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Upper Perkiomen High School, Hope received her B.S. in Elementary Education at Kutztown University in 1996, her M.S. in Educational Psychology in 2002 from the University of Las Vegas in Nevada, and her Ed.D in Educational Leadership in 2018. Currently, Hope resides in McMinnville, Oregon with her husband of 25 years, her 3 boys, and her 2 dogs and 2 cats. She works as an adjunct professor at Linfield University and Oregon State University teaching mathematics education and educational psychology to future teachers.

Punk’s Plight was conceptualized after teaching future teachers about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Hope saw the connection between ACES and the journey of her own bulldog, Pumpkin, who was neglected, rescued, and spent the rest of her life learning how to trust and love again. Sadly, Pumpkin passed away peacefully in November 2020 after a long life with the Walter family. Hope wants Punk’s story to help children suffering from neglect by showing children they can recover, heal, and prosper despite experiencing neglect.

connect with the author: website ~facebook ~ instragram

Giveaway

Win signed copy of TRIUMPHANT TAILS OF RESCUE DOGS: PUNK’S PLIGHT (USA only) (ends Sep 17)

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Tour Schedule:

​Aug 23 –Splashes of Joy  – book review / author interview / giveaway
Aug 23 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / guest post / giveaway
Aug 23 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Aug 24 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book review / giveaway
Aug 25 – Lisa Everyday Reads  – book spotlight / author interview 
Aug 26 – Pause for Tales – book review / giveaway
Aug 27 – Kam’s Place – book review 
Aug 30 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 31 – The Momma Spot – book review / giveaway
Aug 31 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book review / giveaway
Sep 1 – icefairy’s Treasure Chest – book review / giveaway
Sep 1 – Pick a Good Book – book review / author interview / giveaway
Sep 2 – I’d Rather Be At The Beach – book review / giveaway
Sep 2 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
Sep 3 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / author interview / giveaway
Sep 6 – Westveil Publishing – book review / giveaway
Sep 6 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – book review 
Sep 7 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Sep 7 – Lisa’s Reading – book review / giveaway
Sep 8 – The Adventures of a Traveler’s Wife – book review / giveaway
Sep 8 – The Phantom Paragrapher – book review / giveaway
Sep 9 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Sep 9 – She Just Loves Books – book review / giveaway
Sep 10 – The Bespectacled Mother – book review / guest post / giveaway

Book Review & Giveaway: The Awakening by Dana Clair

The Awakening: Three Sources. Two Worlds. One Connection.by Dana Claire

Publisher:  Chamberlain Publishing House (May 20, 2021)
Series: The Blood-Light Trilogy #2
Category: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Aliens, Romance
ISBN: 978-1792367090
Available in Print and ebook,  319 pages

The government called her a weapon. Her mother called her a gift. She called it a forced fate. Beatrice Walker is no stranger to surprises and after the year she’s had, finding out she is responsible for billions of lives is a drop in the bucket. Until she learns there may be more to the prophetic plan to prevent the extinction of two planets—both Earth and Ferro, and that she isn’t the only Blood-Light they will need to fight the imminent threat of an asteroid hurtling toward the planets.

He grew up a loyal heir. He trained to be a soldier. He found purpose with the Rebellion. Cash Kingston didn’t think falling for a Blood-Light—part human, part Ferroean—was possible. But when he met Beatrice Walker, all of that changed. What didn’t waver was his quest to save his beloved planet Ferro and his new home, Earth. Not only from the oncoming asteroid but from leaders of both planets with more sinister agendas.

Together, Beatrice and Cash, plus their team, must uncover who they can trust, how they can stop their enemies, and what superpower matters most, or they will lose everything they are fighting for.

Amazon
Barnes&Noble
IndieBound

Guest Review by Sal

“The government called me a weapon, a masterfully planned defense to save Earth. What they didn’t plan was for me to question my existence.”

So, begins ‘The Awakening,’ book number two in the beautifully written Blood-Lite series by Dana Claire.

I couldn’t put this book down and I’m sure that any reader would feel the same. YA is such a fun, imaginative genre and Claire embodies that to a tee.

After the adrenaline pumping plot of the first book in this series, the second gets off to a quick start with Beatrice and Cash retrieving Cash’s brother, Ashton from the safe house that he has been trapped in. The narration of the book is told from three perspectives, Beatrice’s, Cash’s and Ashton’s.

Ashton’s personality is clever and funny, but his POV quickly reveals a shocking secret involving his possible connection to Beatrice and the relationship that they may be destined to enter into. How will this affect Beatrice’s romance with Cash? You’ll have to read the book to find out, but between that and the pair finally finding Cash’s ex-girlfriend Sera and waking her up from her coma-like stasis, let’s just say the teenage romance faces some definite challenges in this one.

This series is amazing! The world building is everything that a science fiction novel should be. The differences between Ferro and Earth and the nature of the source that Beatrice carries inside of her were expanded on wonderfully in this sequel.

I can only imagine how much thought and care Dana Claire put into the writing of this series and I am so grateful that she did. It makes it so much more enjoyable to see how clearly well thought out her world building has been. I hope the third book in this series is coming soon! I can’t wait to see what happens to Beatrice and Cash next!

About the Author

When author Dana Claire had several poems published as an elementary school student, she was hooked and writing became her passion. A shared dream of hers and her mother’s, she promised her dying mother that she would become a published author and that dream has been realized with The Connection.

Dana believes that a good story is made through strong character development; when readers become attached to the characters’ emotional state and are invested in their objectives. She believes that the beauty of reading is that one can live a hundred lives within the stories of books. Her own stories come to her in her dreams, and she wakes up with book ideas.

Dana’s family is very supportive of her writing and the creativity and sentiment driving it. Enjoying bicoastal living between Los Angeles and New York, Dana says she “lives the best romance in the world being married to the most amazing man she could ever ask for.” The Connection was her debut YA novel, the first volume in a planned trilogy. The Awakening is the second volume.  She is also the author of The Reclaimed Kingdom, a YA fantasy romance novel.

Website: https://danaclairebooks.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/danaclaire143
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DanaClaireBooks/

Giveaway

This giveaway is for a prize pack: 3 print copies and 3 matching eye masks, 1 each per winner. It is open to Canada and the U.S. only and ends on September 17, 2021,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Book Review & Giveaway: Odyssey of Ashes by Cheryl Krauter

Odyssey of Ashes: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Letting Go by Cheryl Krauter

Publisher:  She Writes Press, (July 20, 2021)
Category: Memoir, Grief, Loss, Healing
ISBN: 978-1647421328
Available in Print and ebook, 168 pages

Odyssey of Ashes: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Letting Go begins with the sudden death of Cheryl Krauter’s spouse. Five months later, in a stroke of irony and magic, her husband wins a long-desired guided fly-fishing trip in a raffle―and Cheryl decides to go in his place, fulfilling a promise to scatter his ashes by a trout stream.

Part I of this memoir is an account of the first year after Cheryl’s husband’s death, where she becomes an explorer in the infinite stream of grief and loss, a time traveler between the darkness of sorrow and the light of daily life. Part II concludes with stories of the poignant and humorous adventures she had during the ensuing year. Tying it all together and woven throughout is Cheryl’s account of the creation of an altar assembled during the three-day ritual of Los Días de los Muertos.

Poetic and mythological, Odyssey of Ashes is a raw story of loss and the deep transformation that traveling through darkness and returning to light can bring.

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Guest Review by Sal

A stunning, emotional memoir about one woman’s struggle with grief, acceptance and the life beyond both.

Cheryl Krauter’s husband, John, died suddenly of a stroke one night in their home. Having only recently recovered from a bout of breast cancer that almost took her own life, Cheryl is devastated and overwhelmed by the loss.

A few months later, while her world is still in upheaval, Cheryl is shocked to discover that John has won a raffle for an all expenses paid fly fishing trip that he had always wanted to go on. When he was alive, John was an avid fly fisher and although, in the beginning of her marriage Cheryl wasn’t too keen on the sport, she began enjoying it as therapy while recovering from cancer.

Knowing that her husband had always said he wanted his ashes scattered in a fly-fishing stream, Cheryl decides to go on the prized trip in order to fulfill that final wish for the man that she loved. What follows is a touching and sometimes downright funny trip into the wilds of Montana that any memoir-lover will enjoy.

Cheryl Krauter’s writing is marvelous. As an avid Buddhist, she shares many quotes and meditations from her religion as well as quotes from famous authors, musicians, and other sources.

The book is divided into two parts, the first of which gives more of a background on John and Cheryl’s life together. The second contains most of her fly-fishing adventure in Montana.

This was both a poignant and beautiful book and one that I know I will remember for a long time to come. Cheryl’s take on grief and healing are so universal that anyone can relate to them and she writes with the conviction of a woman who has been through the worst and come out the other side.

About the Author

CHERYL KRAUTER is a San Francisco bay area psychotherapist with more than forty years of experience in the field of depth psychology and human consciousness. A cancer survivor, she is the author of Surviving the Storm: A Workbook for Telling Your Cancer Story (Oxford University Press, 2017) and Psychosocial Care of Cancer Survivors: A Clinician’s Guide and Workbook for Providing Wholehearted Care (Oxford University Press, 2018). She lives with her personal assistant, a cat named Amie.

Website: http://www.cherylkrauter.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tellingcancerstories
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CherylKrauter

Giveaway

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Book Review & Giveaway: The Red Fence by Ed Damiano

Book Title:  THE RED FENCE by Ed Damiano
Category:  Children’s Fiction (Ages 3-7),  38 pages
Genre:  Children’s Picture Book
Publisher:  Mascot Books
Release date:   July, 2021
Content Rating:  G for everyone.


Book Description:

In the uniform town of Vanderloo,
Everyone, everywhere has the same view.
What happens when Astred, tiny Todd, and Ned
Decide to paint their white fence red?


Children’s author and Mom’s Choice Award winner Ed Damiano delivers a poignant message about community and creativity in The Red Fence.


Buy the Book:
Mascot Books
Amazon ~ B&N

My Review

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

What a fun book to read! It reminds me of reading a Dr. Seuss book with the rhyming and the crazy words such as Vanderloo which, by the way, is in the land of Dimble De Doo. The illustrations by Jenn Polk are as good as the text. They are vibrant and are an excellent addition to an already great story.

Not only is this book fun to read, but it teaches that it’s okay to be different. In fact, when and entire community agrees to be different, then everyone is accepted just as they are. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that’s how our world was?

I definitely recommend The Red Fence and can’t wait to read it to my grandchildren.

About the Author

Born in Newark, New Jersey, Damiano has a passion for creativity, and his stories always contain a positive message. He also wrote The Christmas Blanket, which earned him a Mom’s Choice Award. In The Christmas Blanket, his character EJ realizes the true meaning of Christmas, which is not about getting presents, but about giving back to others.

connect with the author: goodreads

Giveaway

Enter to win a signed copy of THE RED FENCE! (one winner/USA only)

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Follow the Tour

July 26 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / giveaway
July 27 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / author interview / giveaway
July 27 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review /guest post / giveaway
July 28 –  Cheryl’s Book Nook – book review / giveaway
July 29 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book review
July 29 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
July 30 – Splashes of Joy – book review / author interview / giveaway
July 30 – Sandra’s Book Club – book review
Aug 2 – Books for Books – book review
Aug 3 – Westveil Publishing – book review / guest post / giveaway
Aug 3 – icefairy’s Treasure Chest – book review / giveaway
Aug 4 – I Read What You Write – book review / guest post  giveaway
Aug 4 – Pick a Good Book – book review / giveaway
Aug 5 –Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting – book review / guest post / giveaway
Aug 6 – Lisa’s Reading – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 9 – @twilight_reader – book review
Aug 10 – Kam’s Place – book review
Aug 11 – The Avid Reader – book review / guest post / giveaway
Aug 12 – Reading is My Passion – book review
Aug 13 – Nighttime Reading Center – book review / giveaway
Aug 16 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 16 – Writer with Wanderlust – book review / guest post / giveaway
Aug 17 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Aug 18 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Aug 18 – She Just Loves Books – book review / giveaway
Aug 18 – Pause for Tales – book review / giveaway
Aug 19 – Laura’s Interests – book review / guest post / giveaway
Aug 20 – The Phantom Paragrapher – book review

Book Review & Giveaway: Amal the Thirsty Gamal: A Christmas Tale by Robert Schorr

Book Title:  Amal the Thirsty Gamal: A Christmas Tale by Robert Schorr
Category:  Children’s Fiction (Ages 3-7),  38 pages
Genre: Children’s Picture Book 
Publisher:  Mascot 
Release date:  July, 2021
Content Rating:  G.

Book Description:


The charming tale told in Amal the Thirsty Gamal is for every young person who might be anxious about how they are viewed by those around them (and yes, camels care about that too!). For so long, our little hero has been hearing taunts and jeers and thinking negative things about himself, his looks, and especially his little hump. But—oh, brace yourselves! — because Wise Men are traveling with Amal’s special caravan, and when one of them speaks up around the campfire one night, everything changes for little Amal!

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ B&N 
Mascot Books

My Review

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

I love it when I read a children’s book and learn something new! Like Amal, I learned that you shouldn’t believe everything you hear about camels. In Amal’s case, it did wonders for his self esteem.

Knowing what is at the end of the caravan’s trip, I am excited to read this to my grandchildren. There is a lot of text for youngsters, but the rhyming and the bright colors of the illustrations should keep their interest.

I like this story of Amal that not only teaches that being different is okay, and sometimes even better than being “normal,” but also has the Christmas story included. And such a great ending for Amal!

About the Author

Robert Schorr resides in San Clemente, California, with his wife Sharilyn and their family nearby. For 26 years, he served as Senior Pastor at Calvary Chapel Old Towne in Orange, California. Prior to that, they lived in Asia for 17 years. He is devoted to his Savior, to Sharilyn, his children, flying, hiking, fly-fishing, Chinese, and writing. He loves any story that makes someone special, and he knew, a long time ago, that little Amal had one to tell.

Connect with the Author: website facebook 

Giveaway

Enter to win a signed copy of AMAL THE THIRSTY GAMAL! (one winner/USA only)

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Follow the Tour

July 6 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
July 6 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / giveaway
July 7 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
July 7 – Stephanie Jane – book spotlight / giveaway
July 8 – Laura’s Interests – book review / guest post / giveaway
July 9 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – book spotlight
July 12 – Books for Books – book review
July 13 – Pick a Good Book – book review / author interview / giveaway
July 13 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book review / giveaway
July 14 – Reading is My Passion – book review
July 15 – Icefairy’s Treasure Chest – book review / giveaway
July 16 – Lisa’s Reading – book spotlight / giveaway
July 16 – Writer with Wanderlust – book review / giveaway
July 19 –She Just Loves Books – book review / giveaway
July 19 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / author interview / giveaway
July 20 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
July 20 – The Adventures of a Travelers Wife – book review / guest post / giveaway
July 21 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
July 22 – Splashes of Joy – book review / author interview / giveaway
July 23 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
July 26 – @twilight_reader – book review

Book Review & Giveaway: Harvey the Hippo by Abby Pete

Up in the sky… Is it a bird? A plane? No, it’s Harvey the hippo floating by! 

As all hippos do, Harvey liked to eat a lot of food. But, unlike other hippos, Harvey liked to eat all kinds of food, especially treats and he liked to eat a lot of them. He ate so many treats that he floated up to the sky and around the world. He got to see many interesting sights but after a week of fun travel and not eating a thing, he got so thin he floated right back into his zoo where his family and friends, and a mound of lettuce, were waiting for him.

Learn more at www.HarveyTheHippo.com

From the Growing With Love Series from Loving Healing Press 

Available to buy from…
Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk GPlay Nook Paperback Hardback Audible

Also available in audio!

My Review

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

Harvey the Hippo is an adorable book with cute illustrations and rhyming text. Harvey’s overeating has big consequences and it’s an important lesson for children to learn early. This is the perfect way to teach children not only not to overeat, but about what foods are considered healthy.

This is a fun book to read to children. The only thing that would make it better is if the illustrations were a little bigger. It would be fun to read it to a group of kids if they could see the pictures.

I definitely recommend Harvey the Hippo. Children will love his trip around the world and learning about all of the exciting places there are to see.

Praise for Harvey the Hippo

“Harvey the Hippo brings new delight to the body of read-aloud literature for young children. The rhythm of the poem is sure to engage the ear of many a three to six-year-old, and the vibrantly tinted illustrations are pure confection to the eye. Thank you, Harvey, for nourishing the inner life of the young child!” –Toni Seidl, child psychotherapist 

“As a pediatrician, I see the effects of unhealthy food choices on children every day. Harvey the Hippo is a fun, beautifully illustrated story that opens the door for families to discuss with young children how food choices affect their bodies”. –Jamie Pinto, pediatrician 

“Our daughters loved the rhyming words, illustrations, and lessons learned about eating well in Harvey the Hippo. It was fun to join Harvey on his trip around the world. We were able to discuss geography, different cultures, and foods. This book will serve as a touchstone for our family to remind all of us to eat well and only enjoy treats in moderation.” –Martha and Paul Sharkey, Founders, Today Is A Good Day 

 

Enjoy these excerpts…

25-Year publishing dream comes true for the Hill Sisters – Chestnut Hill Local, May 2021

 

About the author

In a time long ago, Abby Pete retired from teaching English and started a family and a catering/takeout food business in central Pennsylvania. Years passed and she moved to Philadelphia, bringing her family, but not her business, with her. There she decided to pursue another of her interests, animals, and became a docent at the Philadelphia Zoo, where she can happily talk about hippos as well as the other animals in the collection. She has never actually seen a hippopotamus fly. She has four grandchildren, two of whom eat well and two do not.

 You can also follow the author here…
Website   Goodreads   Amazon

About the illustrator

Leslie Pontz is a fiber sculptor with a masters degree in Fine Arts from Syracuse University where she did her thesis on children’s art, and was the recipient of two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts through the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts as an Artist-in-residence. Leslie has shown internationally in invitational and juried exhibits in France, Brazil, Ireland, and Venezuela as well as throughout the U.S. She is the recipient of several awards for her work, which is featured in many private and public collections including but not limited to the Kamm, Best Western, Chestnut Hill Hotel and Philadelphia Museum of Art collections. Leslie lives with her husband Curt in Philadelphia, PA. Their five grown children have given them eight grandchildren.

 You can also follow the illustrator here…
Website   Instagram   Goodreads   

Follow the Book Tour

Read the reviews…

1. Wednesday 14th July – Miki’s Hope  
2. Thursday 15th July – Lynchburg Reads  
3. Friday 16th July – angelwhisper  
4. Monday 19th July – Carly Wilson  
5. Tuesday 20th July -Nicki’s Nook  
6. Wednesday 21st July – Cover Lover Book Review  
7. Thursday 22nd July – Bound 4 Escape  
8. Monday 26th July – Mom’s Secret Book Blog  
9. Tuesday 27th July – Beck Valley Books  

https://www.inlinkz.com/cs.php?id=826860

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