CITIES OF THE DEAD – The World’s Most Beautiful Cemeteries by YOLANDA ZAPPATERRA is due for Release on September 26th – Check out some of the amazing photographs HERE

Title: CITIES OF THE DEAD

Subtitle: The World’s Most Beautiful Cemeteries 

Author: YOLANDA ZAPPATERRA

Release Date: SEPTEMBER 26, 2022

Genre: NON-FICTION, PHOTOGRAPHY, CEMETERIES, HISTORY, TRAVEL

Number Of Pages: 240

Received From: NETGALLEY

ISBN: 978-0-711265783 

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

Discover the fascinating stories of the world’s most beautiful cemeteries, featuring spectacular photography, unique histories and famous residents.

Cities of the Dead takes us on a tour of memorial sites, ranging from monastic settlements to grand cathedralsShinto shrines to Gothic chapelstombs and crypts. Enjoy tales of myths and monsters, grave-robbers, pilgrimages, spiritual retreats, remembrance and community. Marvel in cemeteries with a hundred thousand to a handful of graves which feature famous headstones, weeping angels, ocean views, woodlands, thousands of glowing lanterns and a tomb of poets.

From London’s famous Highgate Cemetery, which houses famous names from Karl Marx to Malcolm McLaren, George Eliot to Christina Rosetti, to Hawaii’s breathtaking Valley of the Temples, this book spans the globe to bring you the most fascinating, intriguing and evocative cemeteries across cultures and continents.

Together with evocative images, the stories behind these notable burial sites bring these sanctuaries to life, detailing the features that make them special, highlighting both similarities and differences between time periods, religions and cultures, and showing how cemeteries are about and for the living as much as the dead.

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MY REVIEW:

This stunningly gorgeous book is now available and I can’t wait to receive a hardcopy of it. I received an advance ebook of CITIES OF THE DEAD to read and review. The result? Well, I have now added many of the graveyards shown in this book to my Bucket List of places I want to visit before I join the Cities of the Dead permanently.

The photographs are beautiful and perfectly described so that readers cannot fail to see the radiance and magnificence of the various monuments to the dead.

CITIES OF THE DEAD: The World’s Most Beautiful Cemeteries by YOLANDA ZAPPATERRA illustrates the fact that beauty and even tranquility can be found in the most unexpected of places.

Readers of this book will quickly realize that burial monuments exist for the living as much, if not more than as a way to honor the dead.

One of the things that struck me were the similarities between cemeteries all over the world, a fact that demonstrates that people everywhere have much more in common with residents of other countries than they might have originally thought. 

This magnificent book deserves a rating of 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Although the digital version of this book is lovely, I highly recommend pre-ordering it’s print version. I have already pre-ordered my copy and I am excited to be able to hold this exquisite book in my hands.

*** Thank you to #NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book. ***

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PREVIEW AVAILABLE BY CLICKING HERE

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

To learn about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 
http://t.co/PYzHFoxT

GOODREADS
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/685575.Yolanda_Zappaterra

TRAVEL WEEKLY
http://travelweekly.co.uk/articles/author/216  

LINKEDIN
https://www.linkedin.com/in/yolanda-zappaterra-41082027

TWITTER 
https://mobile.twitter.com/yzappaterra

QUARTO KNOWS
https://www2.quartoknows.com/authors/2867/Yolanda-Zappaterra

THE INDEPENDENT
https://www.independent.co.uk/author/yolanda-zappaterra

INSTAGRAM 
https://www.instagram.com/yolzappa

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ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:

The Leading Global Illustrated Book Publisher

The Quarto Group creates a wide variety of books and intellectual property products, with a mission to inspire life’s experiences. Produced in many formats for adults, children, and the whole family, our products are visually appealing, information rich, and stimulating.

The Group encompasses a diverse portfolio of imprints and businesses that are creatively independent and expert in developing long-lasting content across specific niches of interest.

Quarto sells and distributes its products globally in over 50 countries and 40 languages, through a variety of sales channels, partnerships, and routes to market.

Quarto employs c. 300 talented people in the US and the UK. The Group was founded in London in 1976. It is domiciled in the US and listed on the London Stock Exchange (QRT).

To learn more about this Publisher visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 
http://www.quartoknows.com/

FACEBOOK 
https://www.facebook.com/QuartoKnows

TWITTER 
https://twitter.com/quartoknows

YOUTUBE
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg6_9Q3TbEXRPspas_bqPHw

INSTAGRAM   
https://www.instagram.com/quarto.knows

PINTEREST
https://www.pinterest.com/quartoknows

TIK TOK
https://www.tiktok.com/@quartobooks  

INSTAGRAM  – UK
https://www.instagram.com/quartobooksuk

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THE ICEMAN’S CURSE by Gary F. Jones comes out in October

Title: THE ICEMAN’S CURSE

Author: GARY F. JONES

Release Date: OCTOBER 11, 2022

Genre: FICTION, MYSTERIES AND THRILLERS, and MEDICAL THRILLERS

Number Of Pages: 350 

Publisher: BQB PUBLISHING

Received From: NETGALLEY

ISBN: 978-1-952782-79-4

Rating: 3 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐ 

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DESCRIPTION:

A mysterious, 1200 year-old corpse and a sudden outbreak of a fatal viral disease in a snow-bound Wisconsin village has the CDC scrambling as eccentric townspeople and drug mules put all involved in jeopardy.

When a 1,200-year-old corpse called the Iceman is discovered in the Alps, a Swiss professor, to avoid regulations, smuggles the samples into the United States. When a blizzard diverts the professor’s flight to Chicago, Customs is hectic, and the professor mistakenly swaps his suitcase with Frank, a drug mule. A snow storm forces the professor to stop in the hamlet of Kirby, Wisconsin. He has no idea that he’s carrying drugs and that his life is in jeopardy.

Between dangerous drug mules and infected tissue samples, many lives in the snow-bound village are in jeopardy. 

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MY REVIEW:

Although THE ICEMAN’S CURSE does not have a very original plot, I still thought the book was ok. However, it could benefit greatly from a perusal by a professional editor.

The only semi-original twist was that the “scientist” who was smuggling the iceman’s tissues into the United States somehow switched suitcases with a drug smuggler. However, this idea of a character switching luggage is again, not original.

https://www.imdb.com/video/vi582222105/?ref_=ext_shr_lnk

Setting the book in a hamlet in the most rural portion of Wisconsin allows the author to not have to think very hard about how to contain the virus. Oh, and coincidentally, there just happens to be a military base nearby. In my opinion, this was just way too convenient and was used to make it easier for the author to provide resources to combat and contain the outbreak.

There is, of course, the prerequisite bit of romance included in the storyline. This starts out promising, but ends up completely implausible and (in my opinion) is actually insulting to all intelligent women who have careers which they love. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but suffice it to say that the author will never have a career as a romance author.

LINK TO IMPLAUSIBLE GRAPHIC:
https://thesaurus.plus/synonyms/implausible

The ending left much to be desired. Of course, the good guys win, but there are so many loose ends left that it feels unfinished.

I hate giving books low ratings because I respect anyone who puts in the time and effort required to write a novel, but I cannot in good conscience give this book a rating any higher than 3 out of 5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

*** Thank you to #NetGalley and #BQBPublishing for providing me with a free copy of this book***

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gary Jones says his life has been a testament to questionable decisions and lost opportunities. However, his wife of many years says she knows of nothing in the record to justify such unfettered optimism.

Gary practiced bovine medicine in rural Wisconsin for nineteen years, returned to graduate school at the University of Minnesota, earned a PhD in microbiology, and spent the next nineteen years working on the research and development of bovine and swine vaccines. He retired in 2012.  

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 
https://www.garyfjones.com

GOODREADS
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14122488.Gary_F_Jones

FACEBOOK 
https://www.facebook.com/authorgaryfjones  

INSTAGRAM 
https://www.instagram.com/garyjonesbookstore

AMAZON 
https://www.amazon.com/Gary-F-Jones/e/B0106Q79ME 

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ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:

To learn about this Publisher visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 
http://www.bqbpublishing.com

FACEBOOK 
https://www.facebook.com/BQBPublishing

TWITTER 
https://twitter.com/bqbpublishing

INSTAGRAM 
https://instagram.com/bqbpublishing

AMAZON 
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09RQ7W55C

WHEN THE STORKS CAME HOME by ISABELLA TREE is a gorgeously illustrated and beautifully told story based on real life events – Between the beautiful illustrations and the riveting storyline, this book is sure to grab the attention of parents and children alike. I recommend this Children’s Book as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

I absolutely adore this cover.

Title: WHEN THE STORKS CAME HOME

Series: NATURE’S WISDOM

Author: ISABELLA TREE
https://www.isabellatree.com

Illustrator: ALEXANDRA FINKELDEY
https://artbyscatterbee.com

Release Date: SEPTEMBER 6, 2022

Genre: CHILDREN’S FICTION, BASED ON A TRUE STORY, ENVIRONMENT, NATURE, BIRDS, REWILDING

Number Of Pages: 34

Target Age: 4 to 8 year Olds

Publisher: IVY KIDS – A DIVISION OF QUARTO PRESS

Received From: NETGALLEY

ISBN: 978-0711272798

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

When The Storks Came Home is a charming, fictionalized retelling of the successful reintroduction of the white stork at the Knepp Estate, a UK native bird that has been brought back from extinction.

In this second picture book from best-selling author and globally significant conservationist Isabella Tree, we meet eight-year-old Beanie, who loves birds. When she discovers that huge white storks used to live in her own village but were hunted to extinction in the UK 600 years ago, she is determined to find a way to bring them back.

But reintroducing a vanished species is not so simple! Storks can fly hundreds of miles, so releasing storks into the local countryside won’t be enough to make them return and stay for good. With the help of other villagers, Beanie hatches a plan…

Beautiful illustrations help bring this powerful and important story to life, teaching children about conservation and their environment in an accessible way.

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https://twitter.com/i/status/1530117229873856515

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MY REVIEW:

WHEN THE STORKS CAME HOME written by ISABELLA TREE and illustrated by Canadian artist ALEXANDRA FINKELDEY is a fabulous children’s book that combines great storytelling with lessons about the environment and about the impact of humans on animal/bird habitats.

Aimed at children ages 4 to 8, this book will also interest older children. Parents will also find the story interesting and with photos and details included at the back of the book, are sure to learn new information about the stork project and about the concept of “rewilding.”

When I saw the illustration of the stork with its neck bent backwards I was surprised. Before reading this book I had no idea how storks mated and how they contort their necks. I found that information fascinating. 

For all of the above reasons I am rating WHEN THE STORKS CAME HOME as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

*** Thank you to #NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book. ***

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Isabella Tree is an award-winning nature and travel author, and conservation pioneer.

Her best-selling adult book Wilding: The Return of Nature to a British Farm (200,000 copies sold) tells the story of Knepp, the groundbreaking rewilding project in West Sussex that she started with her husband, the environmentalist Charlie Burrell.

She is also the author of the critically acclaimed children’s book When We Went Wild, which relates the benefits of rewilding to the next generation of conservationists.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 
https://www.isabellatree.com

GOODREADS
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/665308.Isabella_Tree

FACEBOOK 
https://m.facebook.com/698763606829945

TWITTER 
https://www.twitter.com/isabella_tree

INSTAGRAM 
http://www.instagram.com/Isabella.tree

AMAZON 
https://www.amazon.com/Isabella-Tree/e/B000APD5O8

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The header for Alexandra Finkeldey’s ETSY Store.

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR

Alexandra Finkeldey is an illustrator based in Ottawa, Canada.

She uses both traditional and digital mediums to capture her favorite subjects, which typically include animals, people, plants, and food.

She has long been inspired by nature, animation, travel, and video games, which has translated into vibrant and often unreal color palettes as they appear in her work.

Read a fantastic interview with Alexandra Finkeldey HERE.

To learn more about this illustrator visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 
https://artbyscatterbee.com

ETSY
https://www.etsy.com/shop/scatterbee

GOODREADS
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20953730.Alexandra_Finkeldey

FACEBOOK 
https://www.facebook.com/artbyscatterbee

TWITTER 
http://www.twitter.com/scatterbee

GOOGLE BOOKS

YOUTUBE
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCqYRWmbl2cc5mukCZXTpL3A

INSTAGRAM 
https://www.instagram.com/scatterbee

AMAZON 
https://www.amazon.com/s?i=digital-text&rh=p_27%3AAlexandra+Finkeldey&s=relevancerank&text=Alexandra+Finkeldey&ref=dp_byline_sr_ebooks_2

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ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:

Ivy Kids produces beautiful books that will get kids making, creating, thinking, playing and dreaming.

Covering all sorts of areas, including cool, contemporary kids’ crafts, awesome art activities, and fresh nonfiction topics, our books will get kids of all ages imagining, innovating, and above all, having fun!

Ivy Kids brings you beautiful, sustainably printed books to rewild your child, nurture creativity, and foster a deep connection with the living world. 

Winner of the Sustainability Award at the Independent Publishers Guild Awards 2022.

Ivy Kids books are planet-friendlyprinted on 100% post-consumer recycled paperlocally to where they will be sold.

To learn more about this Publisher visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 
http://www.quartoknows.com  

GOODREADS
https://www.goodreads.com/TheQuartoGroup

FACEBOOK 
https://www.facebook.com/QuartoKnows

TWITTER 
https://twitter.com/quartoknows

INSTAGRAM 
https://www.instagram.com/quarto.knows

PINTEREST 
https://www.pinterest.com/quartoknows

YOUTUBE
https://www.youtube.com/c/QuartoKnows

TIKTOK
https://www.tiktok.com/@quartobooks

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#AmiesBookReviews #BookReview #tbr #BookReviewer #bookish  #ReadAndReview #bibliophile #UK  #bookstagram #bookstagrammers #AuthorsOfInstagram #author #NewBook #MustRead #BookNerd #book #books #reading #storks  #instagramhub #amreading #tbr  #BookRecommendations #tbrlist
#BookRecs #biology #England #Britain #rewild #rewilding #KidLit #ChildrensBook #illustrated #illustrators #illustrator #NetGalley  #IllustratorsOfInstagram
#WhenTheStorksCameHome

https://www.facebook.com/independentpublishersguild

https://www.linkedin.com/company/independent-publishers-guild

Celebrate PRIDE Month by entering a GIVEAWAY to WIN a copy of the memoir – ANY KIND OF LUCK AT ALL by LGBTQ Canadian Author Mary Fairhurst Breen

Title: ANY KIND OF LUCK AT ALL

Author: MARY FAIRHURST BREEN
https://maryfairhurstbreen.ca/

Release Date: OCTOBER 12, 2021

Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHIES AND MEMOIRS, CANADIAN NON-FICTION, DIVERSE BOOKS, LGBTQ

Number Of Pages: 193

Publisher: SECOND STORY PRESS
http://www.secondstorypress.ca

Received From: THE AUTHOR

ISBN: 978-1-77260-201-2

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

What was it like growing up as a smart girl in a world of 1970s suburban conformity?

What family secrets were hidden behind the vertical blinds and sliding glass doors, or swept under the orange shag carpets?

Is it possible to move from married mother-of-two to lesbian feminist activist without passing heartache?

In her bittersweet memoir, Mary Fairhurst Breen sketches scenes from a life darkened by four generations of mental illness and addiction.

Despite the odds, Mary’s sense of humor and willingness to practice “radical acceptance” see her through the chaos to a life full of friends, art, and the joys of being a grandmother.

Ultimately, she must face her greatest challenge of all when her daughter becomes one of the tens of thousands of people every year to die of an opioid overdose.

This is a journey of awakening and activism, and a portrait of a life to be celebrated in all its complexity.

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Watch Mary Fairhurst Breen on
The Social:

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MY REVIEW:

ary Fairhurst Breen may be a translator by trade, but she missed out on her true calling … until now. 

I believe she was always destined to be a writer, and not just any ordinary, run-of-the-mill kind of writer. Her writing has the potential to change lives for the better.

Mary’s life experiences are vast and varied. The lessons she has learned throughout her unconventional life contain wisdom that can be applied to every one of us.

The title of this memoir offers readers a clue as to exactly what kind of luck the author has had in her life. The title of her memoir is based on the saying:

If it weren’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any kind of luck at all.

What could easily have been a book filled solely with times in Mary’s life when she experienced grief and pain, is instead, filled with poignant moments and life events.

Some moments are sad, some happy, and some downright hilarious. Somehow author Mary Fairhurst Breen has hit on the perfect formula to appeal to a wide variety of readers. 

Mental illness and addiction have gripped members of Mary’s family for generations. Her most devastating loss to date is the death of her beautiful, creative, and special adult daughter Sophie to opioid poisoning.

We all like to think our generation will be the one to set old family patterns ablaze, to toss the whole damned drafting table onto the bonfire and dance around the ashes completely cleansed. But we instinctively gravitate toward the familiar, for better or worse. New research into intergenerational trauma, and the Indigenous understanding that our decisions affect the next seven generations, can at least shed light onto what’s going on in the present. We can’t eliminate the pain we are bequeathed; we can only deal with it better as time passes.”

The author could easily be forgiven for curling up into a ball of depression and spending her days in bed; but she doesn’t do any such thing. Instead, her determination and will to survive the many traumas she has endured allows her to continue living her life with “radical acceptance.” She has channeled her grief into a call for action.

Author Mary Fairhurst Breen has written a beautifully written and exquisitely honest memoir of a life that has been anything but easy. She documents her life and the moment she chose to admit what had always been inside her.

I rate ANY KIND OF LIFE AT ALL as a solid 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The fact that June is Pride Month means this is the perfect time to pick up a copy of this book. Also, don’t forget to enter to win a paperback copy on my blog and social media sites.

HOW TO ENTER TO WIN:

1. Leave a comment below to earn one entry into the giveaway.

2. Visit my Instagram page and click FOLLOW to gain a second entry.

3. Earn an additional entry by commenting on the giveaway post on my Instagram page.

Giveaway starts today

Ends on June 30th, 2022

QUOTES I LOVE:

“… I see not a wrinkly, plump, postmenopausal woman in the mirror, but rather someone fortyish, of average build. I have conceded that my breasts no longer point straight ahead, but instead indicate a spot on the floor a couple of metres in front of me, where I have perhaps dropped something important.”

“[Mary and her mother] never talked about orgasms, whereas my daughters were quite unselfconscious about discussing theirs with me. I remember my daughter Sophie cheerfully bringing up the topic of female ejaculation at breakfast one morning. She asked, ‘Which hole does the stuff come out of?’ I helpfully spurted coffee from my nose.”

“There are so many things one has to let go of past fifty, but an equal number of things one gets to let go of at the half-century mark. It is fantastically liberating to cease giving a fuck as one ages. I’ve been giving ever fewer fucks since my early forties, but why must it take so long to get to this place?”

*** Thank you to #SecondStoryPress and #MaryFairhurstBreen for providing me with a free copy of this book. ***

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Photo by: Maggie Knaus

A translator by training, I spent thirty years in the not-for-profit sector, managing small organizations with big social change mandates. During those decades, I wrote innumerable newsletters, policy documents and outreach materials, and more grant proposals than I would care to count. After multiple lay-offs due to funding cuts, I launched my own arts business, indulging my passion for hand-making. It was a colossally enjoyable and unprofitable venture. While running the business, I supported myself with extra writing and editing jobs. Its demise gave me the time and impetus to really focus on my own artistic practice. I began with the goal of sharing my family history with my daughters, went on to publish some autobiographical stories, and wound up with my first book, Any Kind of Luck at All.

I had a father incapacitated by bipolar disorder and OCD, and a strong, smart, loving mother who died too young. I had to develop my own strategies to cope with my father’s needs, an alcoholic husband, two traumatized children, ever-worsening financial insecurity, and my shifting sexual identity. I supported my younger daughter through the debilitating mental illness that ultimately led to her death by fentanyl poisoning in 2020. Now a (young) grandmother, I want to pursue art for so many reasons: to support myself, to maintain my mental health, to help others with similar challenges, and to honour those I have lost and those I hold dear.

I am currently working on an oral history-based series of books for middle-grade readers.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 
https://maryfairhurstbreen.ca

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK 

GOOGLE BOOKS  

INSTAGRAM 

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ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:

Second Story Press is dedicated to publishing feminist-inspired books for adults and young readers.

Second Story Press is proud to have been publishing award-winning books that entertain, educate, and empower for over 30 years. 

To learn more about this Publisher visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 
https://secondstorypress.ca s

FACEBOOK 
https://www.facebook.com/SecondStoryPress/

TWITTER 
https://twitter.com/_secondstory

INSTAGRAM 
https://www.instagram.com/_secondstory

LINKEDIN
https://www.linkedin.com/company/second-story-feminist-press

PINTEREST 
https://www.pinterest.com/secondstorypres

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Poem written for the launch of
Any Kind of Luck At All
by Everyday People Typewriter Poems

More Writing by Mary Fairhurst Breen can be found at the links below:

Mary’s article Gigging Toward My Golden Years appeared in the summer 2021 issue of This Magazine, accompanied by this wonderful illustration by Matthew Daley (shinypliers). 
https://this.org/2021/07/12/gigging-toward-my-golden-years/

My First Person essay, A Helping Hand, appeared in the Globe and Mail February 16, 2021. 
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/first-person/article-i-can-live-in-the-moment-when-my-granddaughter-takes-my-hand/

A personal radio essay called Grievous Injuries was published and aired on CBC’s The Sunday Edition on May 3, 2020.  

Mary’s autobiographical essay called Graywood Drive won an emerging writer award through Open Book, Arts Etobicoke and the Toronto Arts Council in 2018 and was published in an anthology as part of the project. 


http://open-book.ca/News/What-s-Your-Story-Read-the-Winning-Texts-of-the-2018-OBPO-Writing-Contest-Winners!-Part-One-Etobicoke

My essay called Why #IBelieveHer was published on the Ms Magazine blog in 2016. 
https://msmagazine.com/2016/04/18/why-ibelieveher

YOU STILL LOOK THE SAME by Multiple Award Winning Canadian Author FARZANA DOCTOR and Narrated by the Incomparable ULKA SIMONE MOHANTY has Finally Been Released – Sample Included With This Post

Title: YOU STILL LOOK THE SAME (Audiobook)

Title: YOU STILL LOOK THE SAME (Audiobook)

Author: FARZANA DOCTOR

Narrators: FARZANA DOCTOR and ULKA SIMONE MOHANTY

Release Date: MAY 1, 2022

Genre: POETRY, DIVERSE BOOKS, MULTICULTURAL INTEREST, CANADIAN

Length: 1 Hour and 21 Minutes

Publisher: ECW PRESS

Received From: THE AUTHOR 

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

A moving collection of poetry about navigating mid-life, full of humour and wit, from acclaimed novelist Farzana Doctor.

This debut poetry collection from acclaimed novelist Farzana Doctor is both an intimate deep dive and a humorous glance at the tumultuous decade of her forties.

Through crisp and vivid language, Doctor explores mid-life breakups and dating, female genital cutting, imprints of racism and misogyny, and the oddness of sex and love, and urges us to take a second look at the ways in which human relationships are never what we expect them to be.

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MY REVIEW:

FARZANA DOCTOR is a Canadian author and now poet who has won many, many literary awards. Each one was well deserved. 

I admit I am not usually a big fan of poetry. I find much of it to be pretentious, sometimes even condescending to the reader. Thus is 100% NOT the case with “You Still Look The Same.”  In fact I enjoyed listening to Farzana’s debut poetry collection immensely. 

I love the fact that Farzana chose to narrate part of her collection and choosing Ulka Simone Mohantyto narrate the rest of the poems was the perfect choice. Both narrators were easy to understand, as well as speaking clearly and concisely. This allowed the words of the poems to be the listener’s focus … as it should be.

Each haiku and other poems showcased the author’s talent for description. I believe this is because Farzana Doctor wrote fiction books first, before trying her hand at poetry.

In my opinion, one of Farzana’s greatest gifts is her ability to connect with her audience. I found this to be true with her novels, and it is even more evident in her poetry.

It is my belief that audiobook listeners, especially women, will find that Farzana’s experiences will resonate with them.

I was already a fan of Farzana Doctor’s books. With YOU STILL LOOK THE SAME I am now an even bigger fan.

If you have not yet read any of her work, you are doing yourself a disservice. I suggest you run, not walk, to your nearest Indie bookstore to pick up your copy of this collection. While you are there, do yourself a favor and pick up copies of her other books as well. You just might find that you have a new favourite author. 

I rate “You Still Look The Same” as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

*** Thank you to #FarzanaDoctor for choosing me as one of the winners of this audiobook through a #giveaway on her Instagram account. ***

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To read my review of Farzana’s book ALL INCLUSIVE. Click HERE.

*************************************

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

FARZANA DOCTOR was the WINNER of the NOW Magazine Best Author of 2015.

Farzana Doctor is the author of Stealing Nasreen and Six Metres of Pavement, which won the 2012 Lambda Literary Award and was short-listed for the Toronto Book Award.Farzana is one of CBC BooksTen Canadian Women Writers You Need to Read Now and the recipient of the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Dayne Ogilvie Grant.

To learn more about this author visit the links below:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK 

TWITTER 

INSTAGRAM 

LIBRO FM

AUDIBLE CANADA

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ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

Photographer: Teren Oddo

Ulka Simone Mohanty is an actor, voice actor, dancer, choreographer and occasional professional chef.

This multi-hyphenated artist is known for her voice work on Pixar‘s Oscar and Golden Globe winner Soul, Warner Bros’ Jellystone and NBC Universal‘s Nina’s World; her film and TV work on FOX‘s The Moodys, and a supporting role in the sci-fi movie, Needle in a Timestack; and her choreography work on Disney‘s Rivers of Light,  The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic, and Disney-Pixar collaboration  Up! A Great Bird Adventure.

She has also appeared as a chef on The Food Network‘s Cutthroat Kitchen and has voiced numerous video games and audiobooks.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
https://ulkamohanty.com

GOODREADS

TWITTER 

INSTAGRAM  

IMDb

VIMEO

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL
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YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE CAPABLE OF UNTIL THEY COME FOR YOUR FAMILY. THE ISLAND by Adrian McKinty RELEASES TODAY!!! Get your copy asap

Title: THE ISLAND

Author: ADRIAN McKINTY 
http://adrianmckinty.blogspot.com
 

Narrator: MELA LEE
https://www.melalee.com/

Release Date: MAY 17, 2022

Genre: FICTION, MYSTERIES AND THRILLERS

Length: 8.9 HOURS

Publisher: HACHETTE AUDIO

Received From: NETGALLEY

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

*************************************

DESCRIPTION:

IT WAS JUST SUPPOSED TO BE A FAMILY VACATION.

A TERRIBLE ACCIDENT CHANGED EVERYTHING.

YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE CAPABLE OF UNTIL THEY COME FOR YOUR FAMILY.

After moving from a small country town to Seattle, Heather Baxter marries Tom, a widowed doctor with a young son and teenage daughter. A working vacation overseas seems like the perfect way to bring the new family together, but once they’re deep in the Australian outback, the jet-lagged and exhausted kids are so over their new mom.

When they discover remote Dutch Island, off-limits to outside visitors, the family talks their way onto the ferry, taking a chance on an adventure far from the reach of iPhones and Instagram.

But as soon as they set foot on the island, which is run by a tightly knit clan of locals, everything feels wrong. Then a shocking accident propels the Baxters from an unsettling situation into an absolute nightmare. 

When Heather and the kids are separated from Tom, they are forced to escape alone, seconds ahead of their pursuers.

Now it’s up to Heather to save herself and the kids, even though they don’t trust her, the harsh bushland is filled with danger, and the locals want her dead.
Heather has been underestimated her entire life, but she knows that only she can bring her family home again and become the mother the children desperately need, even if it means doing the unthinkable to keep them all alive.

SOON TO BE A HULU ORIGINAL SERIES

*************************************

MY REVIEW:

Growing up on Goose Island watching the lights of Seattle, Heather knew she wanted more from life. And so, she moved to Seattle.

Working as a massage therapist, she falls in love with one of her clients. Tom, a widower, is everything she has ever dreamed of in a partner and they get married.

Tom has two children from his deceased wife and they want nothing to do with their Dad’s new wife. However, despite their feelings, they decide to accompany their Dad and Heather on a trip to Australia where their Dad is the keynote speaker at a medical conference.

That trip changes the lives of every single one of them.

Heather never really wanted kids, at least not at the age of 24. She is too close to the kids’ ages for them to view her as an authority figure.

But, when an accident happens and the family finds itself in a situation none of them were prepared for, it is Heather who steps up. It is Heather to whom the kids must trust to keep them alive.

This action packed audiobook is freaking fantastic!!! Narrator Mela Lee brings the characters to life with exceptional skill. It is evident that Mela is an experienced and professional voice actress. She makes narration seem easy which it certainly is not. Her pacing is sheer perfection and draws the listener deeper into the story. I rate Mela Lee’s narration as 5 out of 5 Stars. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

It is hard to believe, but this is my first time reading a book written by Irish Author Adrian McKinty, it will NOT be the last.

The author does a commendable job of creating a believable teenage girl, as well as a snarky, twelve-year-old boy. It makes me wonder if he, like myself, has had first-hand experience of the cutting wit of a boy of this age. If so, I feel for him.

DeliverancemeetsThe Fugitive mixed with Bear Gryls Man vs. Wild.

THE ISLAND is a high octane thrill ride filled with non-stop action.

I rate THE ISLAND audiobook as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

***Thank you to #NetGalley and #HachetteAudio for providing me with a free copy of this audiobook ***

*************************************

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Adrian McKinty was born and grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He studied philosophy at Oxford University before moving to Australia and to New York. He is the author of more than a dozen crime novels, including the Dagger and Edgar-award nominated debut Dead I Well May Be, the critically acclaimed Sean Duffy series, and the award-winning standalone thriller The Chain, which was a New York Times and #1 international bestseller.

​McKinty’s books have been translated into over 30 languages and he has won the Edgar Award, the International Thriller Writers Award, the Ned Kelly Award (3 times), the Anthony Award, the Barry Award, the Macavity Award, and the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

OVERDRIVE

TWITTER 

INDIEBOUND  

KOBO

ITUNES

AUDIOBOOKS.COM

AUDIBLE

GOOGLE

HACHETTE AUDIO

×××××××××××××××××××××××××××××

ABOUT THE NARRATOR:
(Description copied from her website)

“I won the lottery when it comes to dream jobs. I get to be a professional voice actor and vocalist for film, television, and games. You might have heard my voice in a favorite commercial, animated or live action series, or game franchise -including Lifeline in Apex Legends, Jade for Mortal Kombat 11, Imperial Pilot – Star Wars Squadrons (Star Freakin’ Wars), Tikki in Miraculous Ladybug and Kikimora in Owl House both for Disney.” 

https://playlist.megaphone.fm/?e=LIT8203153731

I’ve got some super exciting roles with Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Amazon, and Netflix that I’m totally fan girling over, but I can’t say anything because of signed NDA’s/Confidentiality Agreements. But I promise – they will be so worth the wait. I cannot wait to share them with you. 

Mela’s other passions include baking, hiking, camping, math (definitions a nerd), and volunteering for her favorite charities.

To learn more about this Narrator visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 
https://www.melalee.com

MELA IS THE LEAD SINGER FOR THE BAND – MAGNOLIA MEMOIR

BEHIND THE VOICE ACTORS

ANIME VOICE OVER WEBSITE

WIKIPEDIA

GOODREADS

OVERDRIVE

FACEBOOK  

ITUNES

YOUTUBE

TWITTER  

INSTAGRAM  

IMDb

CAMEO

SPOTIFY

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

#NetGalley #AmiesBookReviews #BookReview #tbr #BookReviewer  #ReadAndReview #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookstagrammers #AuthorsOfInstagram #author #NewBook #MustRead #BookNerd #book #books #reading #arc  #instagramhub  #audiobook  #Narrator #MustListen

THE ISLAND by Adrian McKinty – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

Title: THE ISLAND

Author: ADRIAN McKINTY 
http://adrianmckinty.blogspot.com
 

Narrator: MELA LEE
https://www.melalee.com/

Release Date: MAY 17, 2022

Genre: FICTION, MYSTERIES AND THRILLERS

Length: 8.9 HOURS

Publisher: HACHETTE AUDIO

Received From: NETGALLEY

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

*************************************

DESCRIPTION:

IT WAS JUST SUPPOSED TO BE A FAMILY VACATION.

A TERRIBLE ACCIDENT CHANGED EVERYTHING.

YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE CAPABLE OF UNTIL THEY COME FOR YOUR FAMILY.

After moving from a small country town to Seattle, Heather Baxter marries Tom, a widowed doctor with a young son and teenage daughter. A working vacation overseas seems like the perfect way to bring the new family together, but once they’re deep in the Australian outback, the jet-lagged and exhausted kids are so over their new mom.

When they discover remote Dutch Island, off-limits to outside visitors, the family talks their way onto the ferry, taking a chance on an adventure far from the reach of iPhones and Instagram.

But as soon as they set foot on the island, which is run by a tightly knit clan of locals, everything feels wrong. Then a shocking accident propels the Baxters from an unsettling situation into an absolute nightmare. 

When Heather and the kids are separated from Tom, they are forced to escape alone, seconds ahead of their pursuers.

Now it’s up to Heather to save herself and the kids, even though they don’t trust her, the harsh bushland is filled with danger, and the locals want her dead.
Heather has been underestimated her entire life, but she knows that only she can bring her family home again and become the mother the children desperately need, even if it means doing the unthinkable to keep them all alive.

SOON TO BE A HULU ORIGINAL SERIES

*************************************

MY REVIEW:

Growing up on Goose Island watching the lights of Seattle, Heather knew she wanted more from life. And so, she moved to Seattle.

Working as a massage therapist, she falls in love with one of her clients. Tom, a widower, is everything she has ever dreamed of in a partner and they get married.

Tom has two children from his deceased wife and they want nothing to do with their Dad’s new wife. However, despite their feelings, they decide to accompany their Dad and Heather on a trip to Australia where their Dad is the keynote speaker at a medical conference.

That trip changes the lives of every single one of them.

Heather never really wanted kids, at least not at the age of 24. She is too close to the kids’ ages for them to view her as an authority figure.

But, when an accident happens and the family finds itself in a situation none of them were prepared for, it is Heather who steps up. It is Heather to whom the kids must trust to keep them alive.

This action packed audiobook is freaking fantastic!!! Narrator Mela Lee brings the characters to life with exceptional skill. It is evident that Mela is an experienced and professional voice actress. She makes narration seem easy which it certainly is not. Her pacing is sheer perfection and draws the listener deeper into the story. I rate Mela Lee’s narration as 5 out of 5 Stars. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

It is hard to believe, but this is my first time reading a book written by Irish Author Adrian McKinty, it will NOT be the last.

The author does a commendable job of creating a believable teenage girl, as well as a snarky, twelve-year-old boy. It makes me wonder if he, like myself, has had first-hand experience of the cutting wit of a boy of this age. If so, I feel for him.

DeliverancemeetsThe Fugitive mixed with Bear Gryls Man vs. Wild.

THE ISLAND is a high octane thrill ride filled with non-stop action.

I rate THE ISLAND audiobook as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

***Thank you to #NetGalley and #HachetteAudio for providing me with a free copy of this audiobook ***

*************************************

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Adrian McKinty was born and grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He studied philosophy at Oxford University before moving to Australia and to New York. He is the author of more than a dozen crime novels, including the Dagger and Edgar-award nominated debut Dead I Well May Be, the critically acclaimed Sean Duffy series, and the award-winning standalone thriller The Chain, which was a New York Times and #1 international bestseller.

​McKinty’s books have been translated into over 30 languages and he has won the Edgar Award, the International Thriller Writers Award, the Ned Kelly Award (3 times), the Anthony Award, the Barry Award, the Macavity Award, and the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

OVERDRIVE

TWITTER 

INDIEBOUND  

KOBO

ITUNES

AUDIOBOOKS.COM

AUDIBLE

GOOGLE

HACHETTE AUDIO

×××××××××××××××××××××××××××××

ABOUT THE NARRATOR:
(Description copied from her website)

“I won the lottery when it comes to dream jobs. I get to be a professional voice actor and vocalist for film, television, and games. You might have heard my voice in a favorite commercial, animated or live action series, or game franchise -including Lifeline in Apex Legends, Jade for Mortal Kombat 11, Imperial Pilot – Star Wars Squadrons (Star Freakin’ Wars), Tikki in Miraculous Ladybug and Kikimora in Owl House both for Disney.” 

https://playlist.megaphone.fm/?e=LIT8203153731

I’ve got some super exciting roles with Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Amazon, and Netflix that I’m totally fan girling over, but I can’t say anything because of signed NDA’s/Confidentiality Agreements. But I promise – they will be so worth the wait. I cannot wait to share them with you. 

Mela’s other passions include baking, hiking, camping, math (definitions a nerd), and volunteering for her favorite charities.

To learn more about this Narrator visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 
https://www.melalee.com

MELA IS THE LEAD SINGER FOR THE BAND – MAGNOLIA MEMOIR

BEHIND THE VOICE ACTORS

ANIME VOICE OVER WEBSITE

WIKIPEDIA

GOODREADS

OVERDRIVE

FACEBOOK  

ITUNES

YOUTUBE

TWITTER  

INSTAGRAM  

IMDb

CAMEO

SPOTIFY

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

#NetGalley #AmiesBookReviews #BookReview #tbr #BookReviewer  #ReadAndReview #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookstagrammers #AuthorsOfInstagram #author #NewBook #MustRead #BookNerd #book #books #reading #arc  #instagramhub  #audiobook  #Narrator #MustListen

ONE FOOT OVER THE EDGE by Shane Mutlow is A Canadian Soldier’s Personal Account of Rwandan Genocide and its aftermath. Gritty and raw … This book doesn’t pull any punches and is not for the faint-of-heart.

Title: ONE FOOT OVER THE EDGE
https://shanemutlowauthor.com

Subtitle: A CANADIAN SOLDIER’S PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF THE RWANDAN GENOCIDE

Author: SHANE MUTLOW

Release Date: AUGUST 5, 2021

Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHIES AND MEMOIRS, MILITARIA, MENTAL HEALTH, PTSD

Number Of Pages: 133

Publisher: TELLWELL PUBLISHING

Received From: THE AUTHOR

ISBN: 978-0-2288-5987-1

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

The scars we show become lighthouses for those about to hit the same rock.”
– ANONYMOUS.

The above is a quote from the screenplay written by Katelyn Wells, adapted from the book ONE FOOT OVER THE EDGE.

A true story of a young Canadian Soldier returning home from a war-torn Rwanda, after witnessing the most horrific genocide since WWII.

Corporal Shane Mutlow was held at gunpoint for two days by local forces, not knowing whether or not he would live to see another day. Labelled “whereabouts unknown” twice and held against his will while on a major operation by Rwandan government officials, Corporal Mutlow was sent off-road every day into unknown territories deep within the Rwandan jungle.

The genocide in Rwanda left Canadian troops completely unprepared for the tragedies they would be subjected to, from the suicide of a brother-in-arms on Christmas Day to returning home from his deployment to a wife and children who would never know the horrors he had endured.

Just six months spent in the midst of the Rwanda genocide would change this young soldier’s life forever.

Shane Mutlow bore witness to what the world wanted to ignore.

This is his story.

Portions of each sale of this book will be donated to Fortitude Farms, a facility which provides equine therapy for those who suffer with mental illness.

*************************************

MY REVIEW:

With the Russian invasion into the Ukraine, people are talking about war for the first time in a long time.

As such, it is perhaps the perfect time for people to read Shane Mutlow’s memoir titled; “ONE FOOT OVER THE EDGE – A CANADIAN SOLDIER’S PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF THE RWANDAN GENOCIDE.”

I believe that most Canadians take our military for granted or are unaware of the extent of their involvement in armed conflicts around the world.

One of the worst atrocities in world history was the Genocide in Rwanda. 

Canadian soldiers were sent to assist the United Nations Assistance Mission In Rwanda (UNAMIR), author Shane Mutlow was one of those soldiers.

While most of the Canadian soldiers who were sent to Rwanda spent their time in a single area of the capital city and saw little action, this was not the case for Shane Mutlow.

Unfortunately, Shane saw first hand the brutality and horror that has come to be synonymous with the Rwandan “Civil War.”

Written by a member of the military, this book offers civilians a glimpse into the fact that Canadian soldiers put not only their physical well-being on the line, they put their mental health on the line as well.

Historically, members of the military who admit weakness of any kind have been viewed as weak. This type of thinking needs to change.

It is much easier to pretend that their experiences had little or no effect than to admit to needing help. It is for this reason that it is essential that veterans write and speak honestly about their experiences. ONE FOOT OVER THE EDGE does exactly that.

The author has included several photographs which allow the reader to feel more connected to his story.

As a self-published book, it would benefit from a professional editor and proofreader, but these flaws do not take away from the impact of the story. Normally these typographical errors would be enough to drop a couple stars off of the rating I give to a book, but in this case they just add to its authenticity. It is for this reason that I chose to rate “ONE FOOT OVER THE EDGE” as 4 out of 5 Stars.      ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

**** Thank you to the author for providing me with a complimentary copy or book. ****

*************************************

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shane Mutlow is a veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces, where he spent time at 1 CDHSR as a radio operator, and at 3 RCR, where he served with a parachute company.

Shane has been to many different countries while serving in the military.

He was deployed on an UN tour, UNAMIR, in Rwanda, Africa, from 1994–1995, and witnessed the aftermath of the genocide caused by the civil war between the Hutu and Tutsi clans.

He has had a successful career working at an engineering firm prior to his retirement in 2014.

His story is twenty years in the making and is one that needs to be told.  

This is Shane’s first book, but it will surely give the readers an insight into the horrors and setbacks that our Canadian soldiers and veterans struggle with when they arrive home after being in a theatre of operation.

Shane continues to reside in Pembroke, ON, with his wife Justine and daughter Madison.

His two boys, Nicolas and  his daughter Addison, Zachary and his fiancée Avery live out west and frequently come to Pembroke for visits.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK 

INSTAGRAM

TELLWELL PUBLISHING BLOG

GOOGLE BOOKS

LOOKOUT NAVY NEWS ARTICLE

SMASHWORDS

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ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:

Why Self-Publish with Tellwell?

• A full-service team approach: experienced editors, designers and other experts to ensure great quality

• The highest royalties and smartest distribution model in the industry

• Step-by-step guidance so you don’t get confused or stuck

• International reach, with distribution in North America, Europe and beyond

• A caring, small company feel in contrast to a large “factory approach” to publishing

To learn more about this Publisher visit the following links:

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For more information about Canadian veterans and PTSD go to the following websites.

RWANDA VETERANS OF CANADA
https://www.facebook.com/RwandaVeteranCanada

THE MOONSTONE GIRLS is destined to be One of the Best Books of 2022 – RELEASES TODAY – Get Your Copy Today – You’ll be glad you did

Title: THE MOONSTONE GIRLS

Author: BROOKE SKIPSTONE

Release Date: FEBRUARY 14, 2022

Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, LGBTQ

Number Of Pages: 397

Publisher: SKIPSTONE PUBLISHING

Received From: NETGALLEY

ISBN: 978-1-73700643-5

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

********************************************

Mount McKinley in Alaska – the name was changed and it is now called Mount Denali – Notice the digging bear on the left side of the photo Photographer Daniel Leifheit

DESCRIPTION:

1968, a seventeen-year-old queer girl traveled to Alaska disguised as a boy.

Tracy should have been a boy. Even her older brother Spencer says so, though he wouldn’t finish the thought with, “And I should have been a girl.”

Though both feel awkward in their own skin, they have to face who they are—queers in the late 60s.

When both are caught with gay partners, their lives and futures are endangered by their homophobic father as their mother struggles to defend them.

While the Vietnam War threatens to take Spencer away, Tracy and her father wage a war of their own, each trying to save the sweet, talented pianist.

At seventeen, Tracy dresses as a boy and leaves her parents in turmoil, with only the slimmest hope of finding peace within herself. She journeys to a girl with a guitar, calling to her from a photo, “Come to Alaska. We’d be great friends.”

Maybe even The MoonStone Girls.

**********************************************

MY REVIEW:

My first thought after reading THE MOONSTONE GIRLS is that it must be somewhat autobiographical. Author Brooke Skipstone has written with such depth of emotion that it is difficult to believe the story is fictional.

Before I get too far into my review I wanted to be sure to mention just how gorgeous the cover of this book is. It is the perfect blend of colors to bring the 1960s to mind. And, the choice to just use silhouettes is 100% inspired. 5 Stars for the cover. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I love that this #book is set in the late #1960s – an era much different than today’s world. So much was different at that time for anyone who was gay, and as hard as it is to fathom, being gay was considered to be against the laws of both God and men. This just highlights how far LBGTQ rights have come (even though society still has a ways to go.)

I cannot fathom the fear and pain experienced by LGBTQ youth at that time in history, especially for men whose arousal is much harder to hide. In the book, both Tracy and her brother Spencer are queer. The good thing is that they have each other to lean on and they have a mother who loves them just the way they are. This is much more than most #queer #youth had in their lives during that period in #history

This book delves into not just LGBTQ history, but also into the #draft and the #VietnamWar #WomensRights #RockAndRoll and the #SexualRevolution

There are some extremely #emotional scenes in The Moonstone Girls and at one point during reading I was literally in tears. It takes a truly talented #writer to be able to evoke so much #empathy and #emotion in their readers. Kudos to Brooke Skipstone for writing such an important and believable book.

Ultimately, this is a tale about hope and about having the courage to fight back in the best way you can against those who would try to stop you from living life on your own terms. It will encourage readers to never settle for second best and to keep trying until they find a place where they belong and where they can live a life of hope and honesty. It also reminds us that there is a person out there for everyone and that everyone has the right to live a happy life on their own terms.

Tracy is a fiery, take-no-prisoners type of young woman. This is the face she shows to the world, but inside, she is suffering and full of shame. This reminds readers that the persona people present to the world is not always accurate and that everyone has an inner world that is invisible. Never judge a book by its cover is a great lesson and one that we often forget.

Although not specifically stated, I get the feeling that the author also wants readers to think about mental health and to realize the depths of despair that people can feel when forced to live a lie just to be “normal.”

All in all I have to say that this book should be on everyone’s Must Read list for 2022 and although it is labeled as Young Adult fiction, this book will appeal to readers of all ages.

I am rating THE MOONSTONE GIRLS by Brooke Skipstone as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ and I highly recommend this book … just make sure you have a box of tissues nearby when you read it.

*** Thank you to #NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book. ***

BELOW IS THE MOONSTONE GIRLS PLAYLIST

https://open.spotify.com/embed?uri=spotify%3Aplaylist%3A3FHQ6I55MRmqkIuFhA2mvD

*************************************

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brooke Skipstone lives in Alaska, where she watches the mountains change colors with the seasons from her balcony.

Where she feels the constant rush toward winter as the sunlight wanes for six months of the year, seven minutes each day, bringing crushing cold that lingers even as the sun climbs again.

Where the burst of life during summer is urgent under twenty-four-hour daylight, lush and decadent. Where fish swim hundreds of miles up rivers past bear claws and nets and wheels and lines of rubber-clad combat fishers, arriving humped and ragged, dying as they spawn.

Where danger from the land and its animals exhilarates the senses, forcing her to appreciate the difference between life and death. Where the edge between is sometimes too alluring.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

GOODREADS

AMAZON  

#NetGalley #AmiesBookReviews #BookReview #tbr #BookReviewer  #ReadAndReview #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookstagrammers #AuthorsOfInstagram #author #NewBook #MustRead #BookNerd #book #books #reading #yalit #ya #instagramhub #YoungAdultFiction
#TheMoonstoneGirls #BrookeSkipstone #LGBTQ #DiverseBooks #1968 #Vietnam #DraftCards #Equity #Equality #LoveIsLove

CATCH THE SPARROW- A Search for a Sister and the Truth of Her Murder by Author, Poet, and Artist RACHEL REAR – RELEASED TODAY – Buy your copy today of this 5 Star Read NOW 📚

Title: CATCH THE SPARROW

Subtitle: A Search for a Sister and the Truth of Her Murder

Author: RACHEL REAR

Release Date: TODAY

Genre: NON-FICTION, TRUE CRIME, BIOGRAPHIES AND MEMOIRS

Number Of Pages: 256

Publisher: BLOOMSBURY USA

Received From: NETGALLEY

ISBN: 978-1635577235

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

The gripping story of a young woman’s murder, unsolved for over two decades, brilliantly investigated and reconstructed by her stepsister.

The photo of Stephanie that her dad
gave police in 1991.
COURTESY OF RACHEL REAR

Growing up, Rachel Rear knew the story of Stephanie Kupchynsky’s disappearance. The beautiful violinist and teacher had fled an abusive relationship on Martha’s Vineyard and made a new start for herself near Rochester, NY. She was at the height of her life-in a relationship with a man she hoped to marry and close to her students and her family. And then, one morning, she was gone.

Rachel Rear with her step-father in 2008

Around Rochester-a region which has spawned such serial killers as Arthur Shawcross and the “Double Initial” killer-Stephanie’s disappearance was just a familiar sort of news item. But Rachel had more reason than most to be haunted by this particular story of a missing woman: Rachel’s mother had married Stephanie’s father after the crime, and Rachel grew up in the shadow of her stepsister’s legacy.

A photo of Stephanie’s beloved cockatiel, Chubie.

In Catch the Sparrow, Rachel Rear writes a compulsively readable and unerringly poignant reconstruction of the case’s dark and serpentine path across more than two decades. Obsessively cataloging the crime and its costs, drawing intimately closer to the details than any journalist could, she reveals how a dysfunctional justice system laid the groundwork for Stephanie’s murder and stymied the investigation for more than twenty years, and what those hard years meant for the lives of Stephanie’s family and loved ones. Startling, unputdownable, and deeply moving.

*************************************

MY REVIEW:

CATCH THE SPARROW by author, teacher, and artist Rachel Rear is a True Crime book that is truly unique. 
I have read literally hundreds of true crime books and stories. They all follow a prescribed pattern and almost all are written by journalists. The best true crime books contain interviews and photos provided by the victim’s family. However, this book rises above the rest.

In it, Rachel Rear writes the story of the disappearance and ultimately the murder of Stephanie Kupchynsky. So, what makes this book so unique you ask. Well, Rachel Rear happens to be Stephanie Kupchynsky’s stepsister. That in itself is interesting and offers an inside look into the story. To make this book even more compelling is the fact that Rachel and Stephanie did not become stepsisters until after Stephanie had gone missing. 

In no other book have I been so enthralled. It is difficult to believe that this is Rachel Rear’s first book. CATCH THE SPARROW is researched with the meticulousness of a seasoned journalist. This research makes the book a true deep dive into the disappearance and murder. Rachel’s familial connection offers readers a view into what happens to a family who go years, and even decades without answers as to what happened to their loved one.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Whether or not you are a fan of true crime, you need to read this book.

The detail with which Rachel delves into her stepsister’s life cannot help but have readers invested in finding Stephanie’s body and in determining exactly who was responsible for taking this vibrant young woman’s life and in seeing that justice prevails.

The feeling and love that Rachel feels for her deceased stepsister comes through loud and clear in her writing.

I recommend this book with the highest possible rating. I am 100% convinced this book will be on the NY Times Best Seller List for many, many weeks.

I rate CATCH THE SPARROW as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

*** Thank you to #NetGalley and #Bloomsbury Publishing for providing me with a free copy of this book. ***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Photo by Elena Mudd

Rachel Rear, a New York City public school teacher and actor, holds an MA from Columbia University and an MFA from the New School.

She has been published in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and numerous other publications, however, this is her first book.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

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http://www.rachelrear.com/

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ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:

Bloomsbury has a tradition of publishing literary fiction from all over the world, and a wide range of distinguished non-fiction from memoir, biography, and history to politics, science, food, and sport.

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