ALL THE THINGS WE LEAVE BEHIND by Riel Nason has only been available for sale for 1 day but is already destined to be a Bestseller.ย 


Title: ALL THE THINGS WE LEAVE BEHIND    

Author: RIEL NASON  

Type of Book: SOFTCOVER  

Genre: FICTION

Length: 236 PAGES

Publisher: GOOSE LANE EDITIONS 
Release Date: SEPTEMBER 13, 2016 

ISBN: 9780864920416 

Price: $19.95 CDN

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ 

* I received a free copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program.

An absolutely mesmerizing read. ALL THE THINGS WE LEAVE BEHIND is quite simply brilliant.

Set in the late 1970s in a tiny town in New Brunswick, the story begins with seventeen-year-old Violet reminisces about the childhood adventures she experienced with her brother; Bliss.

The ironically named Bliss has left home and Violet’s parents have left to try and track him down. They have left Violet in charge of The Purple Barn which is the family’s antique store.

During her childhood, Violet remembers all the times that Bliss would become incredibly sad for no apparent reason. In those days things such as mental illness or depression were not taken as seriously as they are today. (Even though current society still has a long way to go as well.) This book highlights his depression symptoms, without recognizing them for what they were.

With characters such as “Quinny” who is the silver haired old lady hired to work the store’s counter and Violet’s almost too nice boyfriend: Dean, working alongside her, what could possibly go wrong for Vi?

Violet visits the hermit who lives at the edge of her family’s property, and hears about the deer he spotted recently, then she begins seeing an all-white deer which seems to glow in the moonlight. Violet is not sure if she wants the deer sightings to be real or imaginary.

When Violet is tasked with the responsibility for obtaining the items from a legendary local estate, things come to a head.

This book contains so many compelling storylines within the main narrative that you just do not want to put it down.

As a seventies child myself, I couldn’t help but feel nostalgia for that time period. With the backdrop being an antiques store, feelings of nostalgia are inevitable, but somehow the author makes it seem as if it is the readers idea which probably will not make sense until you read the book.

This is easily one of the best general fiction books that I have read in a very long time and deserves to be rated much higher than just 5 out of 5 stars. Ten stars seem more fitting, but since that is not an option, I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars  ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

I believe that this book will become a bestseller and that it is destined to win multiple literary awards. Add this to your MUST READ list. You will not be disappointed.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Riel Nason is a Canadian novelist and textile artist (quilter).

Her acclaimed debut novel The Town That Drowned won the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize for Canada and Europe, and the 2012 Margaret and John Savage First Book Award.  It was also shortlisted for several other literary awards as well as longlisted for the 2013 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.  Her second novel All The Things We Leave Behind was published September 13, 2016. 

Riel’s original quilts have been exhibited across Canada including being shown twice at Quilt Canada (the National Juried Show). She is best known for her whimsical selvage quilts and bold use of colour.  Modern Selvage Quilting was published in March, 2016.  It features 17 of her original designs.

She grew up in Hawkshaw, New Brunswick and now lives in Quispamsis, NB with her husband, son, daughter and cats.

Today is the 15th Anniversary of the 9/11 Terror Attacks – Let us not forget.ย 

I do not normally post anything here on my blog that is not a book review, but I am making an exception today.

We need to ensure that we never forget the horror of that day, BUT we also need to remember that in that time of horror, people came together and did whatever they could to help the victims and their families. 

Here are a few quotes that were posted at PARADE.COM 

“On the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 tragedy, remember and reflect with these powerful quotes.”

โ€œEven the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.โ€
โ€”President Obama in a 2011 radio address

โ€œIf we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.โ€
โ€”Sandy Dahl, wife of Flight 93 pilotJason Dahl, in Shanksville, Pa., in 2002

โ€œMy older brother John lived [his life] in Technicolor. โ€ฆ When he walked in the door, the whole house lit up. And Iโ€™m sure heaven lit up when he got there too.โ€
โ€”Anthoula Katsimatides at the World Trade Center site in 2005

โ€œFive years from the date of the attack that changed our world, weโ€™ve come back to remember the valor of those we lostโ€”those who innocently went to work that day and the brave souls who went in after them. We have also come to be ever mindful of the courage of those who grieve for them, and the light that still lives in their hearts.โ€
โ€”New York City mayor ยญRudolph Giuliani at the World Trade Center site in 2006

INSPIRATIONAL AND FUN AT THE SAME TIME – 4 STARS for OPEN WHEN… by Karen Salmansohnย 

Title: OPEN WHEN 

Subtitle: LETTERS TO LIFT YOUR SPIRITS   

Author: KAREN SALMANSOHN

Type of Book: HARDCOVER

Genre: INSPIRATIONAL, SELF-HELP

Length:  24 PAGES

Publisher: TEN SPEED PRESS 

Release Date: MARCH 7, 2017

ISBN: 9781607749646

Price: $14.99 USD

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ


* I received a free copy of this book through 
Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 


MY REVIEW
:

“Sometimes the first step to forgiveness is understanding that the other person is an IDIOT.”

I love that quote and it is oh-so-true.

OPEN WHEN is a cute book with whimsical graphics that will appeal to a wide variety of readers.

Karen Salmansohn is a “Happiness Expert” and she has created this book to help people boost their spirits.

This a collection of 25 notes that readers can open at the appropriate time; such as “Open When you’re feeling stressed out” or “Open when you need courage.” If readers do this they will then read a letter that will help them to boost their happiness quotient within the context of that particular situation. 

The only thing that I would change about this book is that I would have liked it be longer. I rate this book as 4 out of 5 stars. ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ   

You can pre-order this book now by clicking HERE:  


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
 

“Karen Salmansohn is the founder of NotSalmon โ€“ as well as a best selling author and award winning designer โ€“ with over 1 million books sold โ€“ and over 1 million fans on Facebook. She is committed to inspiring people to live a life they love โ€“ no matter how much โ€œyou gotta be freaking kidding me!โ€ life throws at you!Below is the story of Karenโ€™s personal journey โ€“ a zig-zagger of a journey โ€“ with many obstacles to swerve around and peaks and valleys to travel up and through โ€“ which brought her to why she loves writing and designing inspirational books and products.”

On the author’s website it states that it is about “Self-Help for those who wouldn’t be caught dead doing self-help.”

To learn more about Karen Salmansohn visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE   

FACEBOOK 

TWITTER   

PINTEREST  

INSTAGRAM    

YOUTUBE      

THE RIVER AT NIGHT by Erica Ferencik does not release until JAN. 10, 2017 but you NEED TO PREORDER THIS AMAZING THRILL-READ NOW!!!ย 

Title: THE RIVER AT NIGHT    

Author: ERICA FERENCIK

Genre: GENERAL FICTION, DRAMA, THRILLER

Length: 304 PAGES

Publisher: SIMON AND SCHUSTER 

Release Date: JANUARY 10, 2017

ISBN: 9781501143199  

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ  


* I received a free copy of this book through 
Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Drawn in by the book’s description, I began to read and immediately found myself able to relate to and to  empathize with the characters in THE RIVER AT NIGHT.

Pia, Win, Rachel and Sandra are all forty-something women who (like everyone I know) have busy lives. The four friends vacation together once a year, renewing their friendships and using the trips to briefly escape their everyday lives.

Pia is the adventurous one and has booked this year’s vacation – a whitewater rafting adventure on a remote river in Northern Maine. Despite their apprehension, the other women agree and their lives are forever changed.

ERICA FERENCIK is a master of pacing. This book moves FAST. There is never a lack of action and readers will find themselves quickly becoming engrossed in this dramatic tale.

I have actually been whitewater rafting (not in Maine) and I found that the author did a terrific job of capturing the mix of emotions that a first-time rafter experiences. From terror to euphoria and back once again to terror, the author relates every heart-pounding moment.

Also, I have to commend this author for her ability to hold the reader’s attention, not just through pacing, but also through exceptional word choice. Erica Ferencik seems to maintain the flow of the book effortlessly and that quality makes it incredibly easy to become absorbed in her prose.

When I first read the book’s description, I was concerned that it would end up being a female version of the hillbilly-rafting-trip-from-Hell movie: DELIVERANCE, but thankfully, that did not turn out to be true.

THE RIVER AT NIGHT is a heart-pounding, suspense filled, gem of a book. You will not be able to put it down. It pulls you in right from the first chapter and never lets you go.

My advice? Clear your calendar for a full 24 hours, grab a copy of this book and get comfy. You won’t regret it.


I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars.๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ  

 

Simon & Schuster has published a Reader’s Guide for this book. It also contains information and sample questions for those who read this book with their own Book Club. To view the Reader’s Guide, CLICK HERE.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Photograph by Kate Hannon


Erica Ferencik is a graduate of the MFA program in Creative Writing at Boston University. Her work has appeared in Salon and The Boston Globe, as well as on National Public Radio.

To learn more about this amazing new author visit her online at any or all of the following links: 

PUBLISHER’S OFFICIAL AUTHOR PAGE  

 AUTHOR’S OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

TWITTER

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK  

An Amazing New Talent in Children’s Fiction – 5 Stars for MARCEL by Ada Akaltun – RELEASE DATE September 20th, 2016ย 

Title: MARCEL 

Author: ADA AKALTUN 

Illustrator: ADA AKALTUN

Type of Book: HARDCOVER

Genre: CHILDREN’S BOOKS, AGES 3-7 

Length: 40 PAGES

Publisher: FLYING EYE BOOKS
Release Date: SEPTEMBER 20, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-909263-75-8

Price: $16.95 USD / ยฃ11.99 GBP / $24.50 CDN

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟   

I received a free hardcover copy of this book and a super-cute matching tote bag through the Goodreads Giveaway program.

Oh my goodness, this book is Adorable – with a capital “A”
Marcel is a French Bulldog pup who lives in New York City with his human. This book is an interesting look at family and change through the eyes of of a beloved pet. It is also a love letter to the city of New York.

This is clearly a children’s book, but there are amazing touches and details that will appeal to adult readers as well. For example, Marcel’s favorite bagel shop is called “Ruff and Sons” and his human sometimes takes him for pampering at “Mani’s Doggy Day Spa.”


The illustrations are simply perfect. They are both visually stunning and at the same time, they are full of whimsy.

The book is hardcover with a lovely blue and white striped cloth binding. The illustrations, both on the cover and on the interior pages are done with a matte finish which goes perfectly with this book’s style.

There is absolutely nothing that I disliked about this wonderful children’s book and for that reason I rate MARCEL by Ada Akaltun as 5 out of 5 stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Judging by the picture at the end of the book, there is another “Marcel” book in the works and I will be waiting. I can’t wait to see what Marcel thinks of Paris.


CHECK OUT MARCEL ON INSTAGRAM  
Pre-Order Online at AMAZON.CA
Buy online at FLYING EYE BOOKS 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR: 


Eda is a New York based illustrator and printmaker from Istanbul.

Studying illustration at Central Saint Martins in London, Ada developed a love for traditional printmaking and collage, and began collecting paper ephemera, 50s fashion catalogues and old family photos to populate her increasingly detailed compositions.

 After obtaining an MA in Communication Design from Central Saint Martins in 2010, she joined Heart Agency who began to represent her in both the UK and the US. Since then she has worked for a wide range of clients including Herman Miller, Bafta, Krug Champagne and Pentagram NY among others – as well as taking part in a variety of exhibitions internationally. Ada is also a founding contributor to Nobrow.

Ada’s Clients include:

Herman Miller – BAFTA – Krug Champagne – Pentagram NY – BFI Publishing – TIME – Smithsonian Magazine – The New York Times – Financial Times – Bloomberg Businessweek – Education First – Huffington Post – Nautilus – Therapy Today – The Guardian – New Scientist – Condรฉ Nast Traveller – The Telegraph – American Way – Johns Hopkins Magazine – Faber & Faber – New York Magazine – Nobrow – V&A Museum – Time Out – GreenSource Magazine – Elle Canada – Bulletin – Brunswick Review – New Statesman – Harvard Business Review – Eye Magazine – Reader’s Digest – Wired – Der Freitag (Germany) – Nature Magazine – Washington Post – Stanford Social Innovation Review – Brummell

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE  
HEART AGENCY ARTIST PAGE  
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE    

TWITTER  
INSTAGRAM   

   
ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: 


To learn more about Flying Eye Books visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE  
TWITTER
FACEBOOK   

INSTAGRAM    

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A Must Read – THE SHIP TO NOWHERE by Rona Arato – COMING OCTOBER 4th, 2016ย 

Title: THE SHIP TO NOWHERE

Subtitle: ON BOARD THE EXODUS 

Series: THE HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE SERIES FOR YOUNG READERS

Author: RONA ARATO

Type of Book: PAPERBACK

Genre: MIDDLE GRADE CHILDREN’S NON-FICTION (AGES 9 – 13)  

Length: 176 PAGES

Publisher: SECOND STORY PRESS

Release Date: OCTOBER 4, 2016

ISBN: 9781772600186

Price: $14.95 USD

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ   

* I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

THE SHIP TO NOWHERE is the true story of the voyage of the ship THE EXODUS 1947 from Sรจte, France to Palestine.

Eleven year old Rachel Fletcher has survived the Holocaust along with her mother and older sister. Sadly, her father was killed along with so many other Jewish people during World War II.

Emancipated from captivity, there are many displaced Jews who no longer feel that they are welcome back to their old lives. Many of them dream of returning to the Jewish Biblical Homeland of Palestine.

The people of Palestine are ready to receive any and all Jewish people who arrive on their shores.

Rachel and what is left of her family decide to join 4500 other Jews aboard the ship THE EXODUS 1947.

“They were going to Eretz Yisroel, the ancestral land of the Jewish people. There, for the first time in their lives, they could live freely and safely as Jews.” 

The conditions aboard the ship are crowded, but the refugees are hopeful of reaching their destination and finally feeling safe and welcome in a new land where they will be allowed to freely and openly practice their religion without fear of persecution.
Told in sparing prose that will appeal to the target readership  (ages 9-13) and filled with actual photographs from the harrowing voyage, this is a book worth buying.

 The photographs bring home the reality of the voyage much more vividly than words could possibly convey.

Middle-grade readers will be able to relate to the tale as it is told from the perspective of an eleven year old child. Adults who have yet heard this story will enjoy this book as well.

This story may seem not to be relevant to today’s world, but due to the ongoing refugee crisis in Syria, this story is exceedingly relevant. Millions of Syrian refugees are fleeing their war-torn homeland in search of a better, safer life for themselves and for their children – much the same as the Jews aboard THE SHIP TO NOWHERE.

I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ and I highly recommend it to all parents and educators. 

Purchase THE SHIP TO NOWHERE ON INDIGO ONLINE 

Purchase online  

Find out more about this book on GOODREADS  

To listen to the author read an excerpt from her book The Last Train click here.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

RONA ARATO was born in New York and grew up in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in magazines and newspapers in Canada and the United States. Rona is the award-winning author of 20 children’s books including The Last Train, a Holocaust Story.

She taught elementary school in Los Angeles and Toronto, adult creative writing for the Toronto District School Board, and has conducted business writing workshops for profit and non-profit organizations.

From 1994-1998, she was an interviewer for SURVIVORS OF THE SHOA, a Steven Spielberg project that recorded the histories of Holocaust survivors.

Rona Arato lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with her husband, Paul.

To learn more about this author visit her online at the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

GOODREADS   

A HOUSE OF STICKS by Belinda Vasquez Garcia – A Memoir wothy of 5 Stars and One you won’t soon forget

Title: A HOUSE OF STICKS: MEMOIR OF AN AUTHOR

Author: BELINDA VASQUEZ GARCIA

Type of Book: EBOOK

Genre: MEMOIR, NON-FICTION

Length: 222 PAGES

Publisher: SELF-PUBLISHED

Release Date: JULY 6, 2016

ISBN: 9781534732049

Price: $13.99 USD (PAPERBACK)

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ 

* I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I found this memoir completely engrossing and utterly fascinating.

I grew up in a white middle-class neighborhood in a small town in Ontario, Canada. The author’s childhood may have taken place during the same time period as my own, but they could not have been more different.

Author Belinda Vasquez grew up poor. Now, when I say “poor” I do not mean that her family just did not get the latest toys, I am talking about actual poverty. The kind of poverty that meant they often went without ANY food. Fortunately for myself, I have never experienced true hunger, but Belinda woke up every morning with a gnawing hunger that would have made a grown man cry – nevermind a small child who did not know that there was any other way to live.

The summer before entering Grade 3, Belinda was given a copy of TOM SAWYER. She says that the book enchanted and mesmerized her. It was at that moment that she fell ” …madly in love with novels.” She writes: “What a revelation that anyone can write by painting images in people’s heads.” Before receiving the precious and life-changing novel, Belinda had only ever had access to two books – those books were a dictionary and the A/B copy of the encyclopedia.

It is not long after that that her brother, “Danny tells [her] about a magical place called a library with wall to wall books… [She becomes] as hungry for fiction as for food.”

Her family’s poverty and her mental and emotional escape through her love of reading are only small portions of the hard-knocks-life that Belinda lived during her formative years. This exceptionally well written book is her story.

The only complaint I have regarding A HOUSE OF STICKS is that it was over too soon. To my delight, I have discovered that there is to be a next installment and I can happily confirm that another book of Belinda’s memoirs is set to be released soon. The title to be-on-the-lookout-for is titled AFTER DADDY LEFT US and A HOUSE OF STICKS contains the cover reveal of that book as well as a short sneak peek at what it contains.


I rate A HOUSE OF STICKS as 5 out of 5 Stars ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ and I believe that anyone and everyone will enjoy this fascinating memoir that will grab you by the heartstrings and firmly take hold
.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Belinda was born in the Los Angeles area and, also, grew up in the Land of Enchantment in Albuquerque. She, also writes under the pen names Belinda Austin and/or B. Austin. She chose “Austin” because it was her mother’s maiden name.

She says that she has always been a nerd. She has a degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of New Mexico and worked as a Software Engineer and Web Developer for many years. The only tech work she does now is on her own website, along with graphics for her books. 

She has mixed her extensive knowledge of technology with her  novelist skills to write a fantastical book entitled “Alicia’s Misadventures in Computer Land.”

Belinda has a strong Native American influence from her youth.

To learn more about this amazing and eminently talented author visit her online at the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE   

AUTHOR’S BLOG     

GOODREADS   

TWITTER 

FACEBOOK    

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE  

LIFE WITH BILLY by Brian Vallรฉe is the true story of the horrific abuse suffered by Jane Stafford at the hands of her spouse – 5 Starsย 

Title: LIFE WITH BILLY

Author: BRIAN VALLร‰E

Genre: NON-FICTION, TRUE CRIME, CANADIAN BOOKS

Length: 238 PAGES

PUBLISHER: A SEAL BOOK – FROM MCCLELLAND-BANTAM INC.

RELEASE DATE: JULY 1986

ISBN: 0-7704-2239-X

PRICE: $6.99 CDN

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ 

This book is one I picked up many years ago and has been sitting on a shelf for years. My husband picked it up and read it which prompted me to do the same.

This book was published in 1986 and the version I have is that 1986 book. It reflects the attitudes of that time period and even some of the desvriptive words that are included would NEVER appear in books written nowadays. For example, when describing one of the people who knew Billy Stafford, it says: “Warrington, a black, channels his energies into improving race relations in his province.” No modern author would ever describe a person as “a black” since it sounds derogatory, but in 1986 there was nothing wrong with using those words as descriptors.

In LIFE WITH BILLY, the reader learns early on in the book that Billy Stafford was killed by a shotgun blast and that the “murderer” was his wife, Jane.

As you continue to read, you realize that Jane Stafford was more of a victim than the person she killed.

This is the true story of an abused wife who just could not take another beating and who in desperation and fear did the only thing she could think of to stop the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse once and for all.

The location of the isolated hamlet of Bang’s Falls, Nova Scotia where Jane and Billy lived.

This story is NOT for the faint-of-heart. The descriptions of the abuse Jane suffered are truly horrific and her husband, Billy was a true sadist and in my opinion, was as evil as it is possible to be.

Billy Stafford was a man who was basically a bully and a sadist. He forced Jane to commit many acts of sexual depravity and who abused not only her but their son as well.

One of the police officers who arrested Jane was overheard saying that she deserved a medal. It is my belief that Billy damaged her psyche so severely that she became a shell of a person who was not living – she and her son were merely existing.

This book was published at a time when spousal abuse was treated as a matter between husband and wife and was not a problem that law enforcement wanted any part of. The killing of Billy Stafford shone a spotlight on this issue in Canada and the United States. The media coverage was extensive and battered wives who thought they were alone finally realized that they were not alone at all.


I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars. ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

PURCHASE “LIFE WITH BILLY” ONLINE 

UNOFFICIAL FACEBOOK PAGE TO DISCUSS THE BOOK & THE MOVIE   

MORE INFORMATION


WHAT HAPPENED TO JANE AFTER HER TRIAL AND PROBATION ENDED  

1991 – Jane with her new husband on their honeymoon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Sections

  1. News
  2. GTA

Brian Vallรฉe, 70: โ€˜Terrific journalistโ€™ was everyoneโ€™s best friend

Award-winning journalist and passionate campaigner against domestic violence, Brian Vallรฉe, dies at 70.

Combatting domestic violence was a consuming passion for Brian Vallรฉe. He is seen here at a 2008 book signing for The War on Women, which chronicled cases of women murdered by their male partners, and the failure of the justice system to protect them.

Combatting domestic violence was a consuming passion for Brian Vallรฉe. He is seen here at a 2008 book signing for The War on Women, which chronicled cases of women murdered by their male partners, and the failure of the justice system to protect them.  (COURTESY OF NANCY RAHTZ)  

A tireless voice against domestic violence.

A master of the tourtiรจre meat pie.

But above all else Brian Vallรฉe โ€œwas a terrific journalist,โ€ said Ron Base, Vallรฉeโ€™s best friend of 40 years and former colleague at the Star.

โ€œHe strongly believed in accuracy. He would go after a story with a doggedness I always found quite remarkable.โ€

The former Toronto Star reporter died from cancer in St. Michaelโ€™s Hospital on Friday morning.

BORN OF THE PHOENIX: THE CRIMSON SAPPHIRES by David Murray Forrester IS A GORGEOUSLY ILLUSTRATED AND EXCEPTIONALLY WELL WRITTEN NOVELLA Fully Deserving of a 5 Star Ratingย 

Title: THE CRIMSON SAPPHIRES

Series: BORN OF THE PHOENIX: BOOK ONE

Author: DAVID MURRAY FORRESTER  

Illustrator: MATOELGRANDE 

Type of Book: SOFTCOVER

Genre: FANTASY, NOVELLA

Length: 62 PAGES

Publisher: DELENAIR PRODUCTIONS

Release Date: MAY 28, 2016

ISBN: 9781533504999

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ


* I received a free softcover copy of this novella from the author through the 
Goodreads Giveaway program. 


 

GOODREADS DESCRIPTION

 The champions of old have passed. The end of heroes has befallen the continent of Sapphiron and with no mighty warriors of valour and chivalry the moral conscious of the people is falling into decline. Born a Larrosan descendant, Ravage faces not only the dangers of living on a continent fraught with monsters and sorcery but also constant prejudice yet her strong soul does not wither under adversity, the challenges only temper her unyielding constitution forging a soul that burns with indomitable fortitude. With a hideous shorku devouring the flesh of hapless travellers on the outskirts of her home town of Delepode, Ravage finds herself interwoven with the violent events that are taking place all around her.

MY REVIEW:

This may only be a 62 page novella, but it is full-length quality.

The world building was outstanding and the character development was excellent.

I did not expect this novella to be so wonderfully written and illustrated, but I absolutely LOVED it. In fact, I am very much looking forward to reading more books and/or novellas in this series.

Yes, it is a fantasy story, but it is so much more than that. The characters face not only terrifying monsters that rip unwary travellers to pieces, but they also have to face prejudice based on their heritage and/or on their chosen occupation.

There is also a gripping storyline with twists that the reader will not see coming and which setup the storyline for the next episode.

My only complaint? That I don’t yet own the other book in the series, but I plan to rectify that soon and I will be keeping an eye out for more books in the series.


I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ 

You can purchase this book online at: 

ETSY  

AMAZON     

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 

 

DAVID MURRAY FORRESTER (1981) Growing up in the Blue Mountains in Australia David quickly developed a love of forests and adventure (much like the elves of Lothlorien hehe) He spent the 80’s watching cartoons such as Voltron, He-man and Astro boy and building Lego castles. As he continued aging his interest in cartoons evolved into an anime fascination with The Twelve Kingdoms and Claymore being at the top of his list. He muchly enjoys Playstation, fast cars, Pepsi, cats and tomato sauce. His book writing began at an early age with short stories and over the years his passion for words grew and blossomed into his first novel Born of the Phoenix. David plans to continue his career in writing until he is old and grey.


FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS BOOK AND IT’S AUTHOR AT THE FOLLOWING LINKS:

FACEBOOK   

OFFICIAL BLOG   

GOODREADS  

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE  

BOY ROBOT – Simon Curtis’ debut novel will be released on October 25th – A terrific Young Adult character driven Sci-Fi. 4 Stars ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸย 

Title: BOY ROBOT  

Series: BOOK ONE OF A PLANNED TRILOGY 

Author: SIMON CURTIS

Type of Book: HARDCOVER

Genre: YOUNG ADULT, SCIENCE FICTION

Length: 432 PAGES

Publisher: SIMON AND SCHUSTER TEEN 

Release Date: OCTOBER 25, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-7564-8 

Price: $17.99 USD / $23.99 CAN

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Imagine losing your mother before you even had a chance to meet her because  she died giving birth to you.

Historically, women used to die in childbirth all the time, but with the advent of modern medicine, this has become a rare event. The fact that it doesn’t happen very often is no consolation to Isaak who ends up being raised by “parents” who show him not a single ounce of love.

He thought his life already sucked. Little did he know – it was about to get worse – much worse.

On the night of his eighteenth birthday, his life is changed forever.

Lying in bed trying to fight off the mother of all migraine headaches, a mysterious and incredibly strong girl tells him to come with her if he wants to live. (Yes, it sounds kind of like a knock off from a scene from the Terminator – but it is my opinion that she was trying to add a bit of levity to a terrifying situation.) Turns out she showed up just in time and the pair end up running for their lives.

Isaak has no idea what is happening. He has no enemies and can’t think of anyone who would want to hurt him – nevermind someone wanting him dead.

His savior is a girl named Azure and it is her that explains to him that they are both robots and that a highly trained, highly deadly, secret branch of the US government is hunting down and destroying any and all robots.

His only hope for survival is to reach the hidden, secret base of the Underground, which is a group of robots (and some humans) that are fighting back.

The way my description makes it sound, it seems like this book is a science fiction novel, which I guess it is, but really it is a story about the characters themselves.

The character development is excellent but the world building leaves much to be desired. I would have liked to have had more information about the resistance and it’s leaders. I am hoping that this information will be included in the next book in the trilogy. 

This book includes so many personal, moral and ethical issues that readers could literally discuss this book for hours before exhausting the different topics. This makes it especially perfect for book clubs.

Here is a list of just a few of the topics and issues that are included in this book:

* Death of a parent
* Child abuse – physical
* Child abuse – mental and emotional
* Puberty
* Teenage Angst
* Bullying
* The desire for acceptance
* The desire for love & connection
* Transgender youth
* Sexuality
* Confusion over sexual identity
* What is the definition of life?
* What makes you human? Is it biology or psychology?
* Moral dilemmas such as:
– Would you leave a friend behind to face certain death in order to save yourself?
– Would you be willing to kill to save yourself?

I could go on and on with the list, but I think you get the idea.

Overall I enjoyed this book and I think that Simon Curtis has done a terrific job on his debut novel. I give BOY ROBOT 4 out of 5 stars ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ 

  • Pre-Order online at AMAZON 


* I received a free copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  


SIMON CURTIS was born in Michigan and raisef in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was diagnosed with leukemia at age 10 and began performing in musical theater and opera that same year. He was the happiest bald, chemo-therapy-addled cancer patient ever seen on stage. At eighteen, he moved to L.A. After various roles on Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel, Simon left acting to pursue music, releasing his first album, 8bit Heart, as a free download, followed by his second album, RA, which landed at number 20 on Billboard’s Dance & Electronic Albums chart.

Simon continues to write and release music as an independent recording artist, and looks forward to his new chapter as an author. Above all else, he strives to inspire hope in young people.


BOY ROBOT is his first novel.

To learn more about this inspiring young man, visit the following links:

PUBLISHER OFFICIAL WEBSITE   

GOODREADS       

TWITTER  

INSTAGRAM   

SIMON’S MUSIC WEBSITE   

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