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. 


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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)

Gleam

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Review: Adrift by Heidi E.Y. Stemple

Adrift by Heidi E. Y. Stemple, illustrated by Anastasia Suvorova
October 26, 2021
Crocodile Books, USA, an imprint of Interlink Publishing Group, Inc.
Illustrated Children’s Book • 10” x 10”
32 pages • full-color • Ages 3-12
ISBN 978-1-62371-909-8 • hardback
$17.95 ($23.95 CAD)

Finding himself alone and scared in the middle of a storm, a small mouse finds comfort and strength when he sees another boat and is joined by others. They ride out the storm together—close enough to see each other, but not close enough to crash.

In a gentle metaphor for the global pandemic, Adrift is a way to start conversations with young readers about fear, hope and being together even from afar. It was written by award-winning children’s author Heidi E. Y. Stemple while she was in lockdown missing her friends and family. Her beautiful words are brought to life by Anastasia Suvorova, who has won high acclaim for illustrating stories about nature, children, dreams, traveling, magic, hope, and kindness.

My Review

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

A tiny mouse starts out on his own in a boat on the ocean. When a storm comes, he is scared but he meets more mice in boats who are close but far enough apart not to crash. Suddenly, he’s not so scared anymore. The more mice that are close by, the better the mouse feels. Eventually, they all end up finding land and they celebrate that they survived the storm that has now passed.

Adrift is a cute story and is a great way to start a conversation with children about the pandemic. It has to be difficult for young kids to understand what it going on and this is one good way to help them understand.

About the Author

Heidi didn’t want to be a writer when she grew up. In fact, after she graduated from college, she became a probation officer in Florida. It wasn’t until she was 28 years old that she gave in and joined the family business, publishing her first short story in a book called Famous Writers and Their Kids Write Spooky Stories. The famous writer was her mom, author Jane Yolen. Since then, she has published 20 books and numerous short stories and poems, mostly for children.
Heidi lives and writes in Massachusetts on a big old farm with two houses.

Website http://www.HeidiEYStemple.com
Twitter heidieys

If you pre-order your copy of Adrift before October 26th, you will receive 3 free stickers upon the publication of the book. Order 3 copies for your classroom/library (or friends!), and we’ll send you 20 stickers!

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)

Gleam

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