Although this book is targeted at young adults and middle-grade readers, I believe that Canadians of all ages will enjoy this short, but informative book about our 9th Prime Minister. 4 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Title: ARTHUR MEIGHEN: A WAY WITH WORDS     

Subtitle: THE STORY OF CANADA’S 9th PRIME MINISTER      

Author: RODERICK BENNS    
Genre: NON-FICTION, MIDDLE-GRADE     

Length: 78 PAGES

Publisher: FIRESIDE PUBLISHING HOUSE     

Type of Book: SOFTCOVER

Received From: I received a free copy of this book from the Publisher.

Release Date: 2012

ISBN: 9781539538158     

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟  

Although this book is targeted at young adults and middle-grade readers, I believe that Canadians of all ages will enjoy this short, but informative book about our 9th Prime Minister.

Historians called Arthur Meighen  (pronounced Mee-an) ‘arrogant’ a ‘heroic failure’ and the prime minister ‘who might have been’ … Yet in all of Canadian history, Meighen had no equal when it came to public speaking.”

The subject matter of this book is something that could have become a very boring read, but author Roderick Benns includes many funny anecdotes and “cool” facts about Arthur Meighen and his childhood which will help to capture and hold a child’s  (and an adult’s) attention.

For example, when describing what Arthur was like, the author tells us that “…Meighen seemed to have no fashion sense at all and was absent minded whhen it came to everyday things. For instance, he once appeared in the House of Commons still wearing his bedroom slippers.”

I am ashamed to admit that prior to reading this book, I could not have told you who our 9th Prime Minister was, nor would I have reacted at all had someone said the name “Arthur Meighen.” I believe this is probably true of the vast majority of Canadians today (excluding those whose post-secondary education  focused on either politics or Canadian history.) This is a major flaw in our education system.

I give kudos to FIRESIDE PUBLISHING HOUSE for creating not only this book, but also an entire line of Middle-grade books focused on our past Prime Ministers. I am thrilled that because of this patriotic publishing house, our next generation may feel more connected to Canada’s past than the current generation seems to.

This year is Canada’s 150th Birthday which makes it the perfect time to buy these books and to share them with your children. I highly recommend this book and will be reading and reviewing more books in the series very soon.

I rate this book as 4  of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

* I received a free copy of this book from the Publisher but this in no way influenced my review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
RODERICK BENNS:

Roderick Benns is an award-winning author and journalist. He is the author of The Mystery of the Moonlight Murder: An Early Adventure of John Diefenbaker and The Legends of Lake on the Mountain: An Early Adventure of John A. Macdonald.

He has interviewed former Prime Ministers of Canada, Ministers, and Senators, and has written for The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and National Post. Roderick is a sought-after speaker on Canada’s history and its Prime Ministers.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

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BOOK LAUNCH & FREE BOOK – TRUE BLUE SON

I am so excited to announce the launch of K.M. Hodge’s third book in her Syndicate-born Trilogy. True Blue Son is the most thrilling and suspenseful book yet.. Are you new to the series? You can get a FREE sample of the award winning first book in series, Red on the Run: Red on the Run. If you pick up an eBook copy of  Red on the Run you will get the first five chapters of Black and White Truth for FREE too! You can also check out the fun Facebook Live video the author did for the second book. Be advised it does contain spoilers for the first book.  


The Syndicate-born Trilogy:  


K.M. Hodge does a great job of creating a world of suspense and romance that sucks you in.” – Five Star Amazon Reviewer


The Syndicate-born Trilogy takes readers into the deep underbelly of crime and corruption where men and women seek power by any means necessary. Her flawed and relatable characters will stick with you well after you finish the books. The books take you on an emotional roller coaster as the characters go through heart wrenching tragedies and triumphant wins wins. You might need a box of tissues for this series. Grab your FREE sample now or get your FREE copy of the eBook April 27-29.


True Blue Son:

Dr. Zander Ride grew up a son of The Syndicate, his fate as a career criminal all but sealed. With the help of his mother, he escaped a life of crime… until the night The Syndicate shot his mother in cold blood

Zander soon finds refuge in the hands of his mother’s hacktivist group, who want his help bringing down the notorious group once and for all. But it comes with a cost. Managed by a different leader and guided by a new deadly mission, the hacktivists force Zander to confront the truth about his parents and the sacrifices they made for the cause.

In the end, Zander must decide how far he’s willing to go and what he’s willing to sacrifice. Can a child born of The Syndicate bring it all down, or will he be another pointless sacrifice in their struggle for money and power?


Author Bio:

K.M. Hodge grew up in Detroit, where she spent most of her free time weaving wild tales to spook her friends and family. These days, she lives in Texas with her husband and two energetic boys and once again enjoys writing tales of suspense and intrigue that keep her readers up all night. Her stories, which focus on women’s issues, friendship, addiction, regrets and second chances, will stay with you long after you finish them. When she isn’t writing or being an agent of social change, she reads Independent graphic novels, watches old X-files episodes, streams Detroit Tigers games and binges on Netflix with her husband. She enjoys hearing from her readers, so don’t be shy about dropping her a line.


* K.M. Hodge was awarded the winter of 2016 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for The Syndicate-born Trilogy book #1, Red on the Run.


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Red on the Run

Black and White Truth

True Blue Son

TAKEN by J.C. Valentine plus WIN A Kindle Fire

TAKEN

by J.C. Valentine

Publication Date: April 18, 2017

Genres: Adult, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary, Romance, Standalone, Novella

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SYNOPSIS:

Love is blind…
Especially when you’ve been abducted.

Caught in the dredges of life, Elise had come to the grudging conclusion that mediocrity was all she’d ever have.

Until a routine shopping trip turns into a deadly affair.

Taken. Two men, one a brute and the other an enigma. A cabin in the woods. One dangerous agenda.

Blindfolded and held captive, Elise’s mundane existence just got a whole lot more interesting. Thrust into the unknown, held prisoner by a man with rough hands and a gentle voice, she’s faced with her own demise while struggling against a growing desire for the unacceptable—her captor.

Will Elise make out with her life—and heart—intact?

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EXCERPT:

What was that she’d said about not having encountered a penis in ages? Well, Elise was getting an up close and personal introduction with Manhandler’s member, and it was rock hard and ready to please, judging by the way it was prodding persistently between her legs as if demanding entry.

And Elise was one sick pup, because, after managing to fall asleep then waking up to the feel of it wedged between her thighs, coupled with the hardness and warmth of her captor firmly wrapped around her, she had become wetter than the Niagara Falls.

This was what happened when you went without proper male attention for too long. Clearly, her body was looking for love in all the wrong places. Holy crap! She needed to get her head screwed on straight. Nothing about her sudden and growing desire was okay. Not a damn thing.

She wasn’t sure how long she laid there, feeling the gentle throb of his cock against her buttocks, his soft breath tickling her ear, sweating from the immense heat of his body against hers—he was like an inferno!—and keeping track of the thump of his heart pounding against her back. Thanks to her lack of sight, Elise only knew sensations, and they were more than enough to send her thoughts spiraling down a rabbit hole she had no business exploring.

So when the door slammed open and Driver burst in, Elise was both terrified and relieved.

“Rise and shine!” Driver shouted at the same time Manhandler yanked Elise beneath him, covering her body with his, and roared, “What the fuck! I could have shot you, you motherfucker!”

“You’re not that trigger happy,” Driver said confidently.

Elise heard the distinct metallic click of what she assumed to be the hammer being reset—on a gun!—beside her ear.

“You’re damn lucky for that,” Manhandler snarled. “You dumb fuck.”

“Got your heart pumping. You’ve been needing to get more cardio in anyway. Get rid of those love handles.”

Manhandler growled his irritation. “Get out before I put a bullet in your ass.”

“Need a few minutes alone with the missus?”

It was then Elise became highly aware of exactly where Manhandler was positioned. Or more specifically, how. And judging by how Manhandler stiffened, his whole body going rock steady, she knew he’d realized it too.

“It’s not what it looks like.”

“Hey, I’m not saying anything. You wanna shit where you eat? Fine by me. Just don’t let it go to your head. Well, the one that counts anyway. We might have to shoot her later.” With that little gem of advice, Driver closed the door, whistling a cheery little tune as he went.

Elise, though highly disturbed, was also keenly aware of the man on top of her. His body was everywhere, so much wider and heavier than her own…and it felt amazing. Even more amazing was the hard ridge of his cock pressed right up tight against her cleft, which wouldn’t have been an issue at all had she not inadvertently opened her legs when he’d rolled on top of her, creating the perfect cradle for his hips to rest in.

And without her sight, all she could do was lie there and focus on what was going on below the waist.

“Well, this is an interesting turn of events,” Manhandler said with a casual flair that Elise found admirable, considering she was beginning to experience heart palpitations.

“Why are you on top of me?” she demanded to know, her tone fraught with irritation.

“Don’t get so defensive, buttercup. I’m not the one who spread his legs like butter.”

She gasped, affronted. “You’re the one who climbed on top of me!”

“To protect you!”

“From your egotistical asshat friend!”

“I was half asleep. I didn’t know who the hell it was,” he hissed back. Then, with a grunt, he shoved away from her. The bedsprings squawked loudly as he sprang to his feet. “You act as if I stripped you down to your panties and tried to get inside you.”

God, just those words were enough to make Elise shiver. And not in a bad way. Not at all.

Apparently, her silence was enough to give him pause. “Wait…is that what you’re pissed about?”

“What?” she asked through clenched teeth. She already knew where this was going, because she was thinking it too.

“That’s it, isn’t it?” There was a smugness to his tone that she didn’t appreciate one bit. He came closer again, and she could feel him looming over her. “You liked me on top of you.”

“No, I didn’t.” Rolling away from the sound of his voice, Elise’s feet found the floor and she popped up, wanting desperately to run away but not knowing where to go without removing the blindfold, which could very well be a death sentence.

Manhandler came up behind her, his smug attitude full-watt. “Yeah, you did. You wanted the D. Just admit it.” She felt his heat a second before she felt his lips beside her ear. In a low, gruff voice laced with desire, he said, “If you wanted it, all you had to do was ask, buttercup.”

ABOUT J.C. VALENTINE

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Trilogy. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.

Living in the Northwest, she has three amazing children and far too many pets. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

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BEFORE I SHATTER Cover Reveal & $10 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway 

Before I Shatter books graphic Today is the cover reveal for Before I Shatter by Mandy Peterson. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The cover MSN Art Studio (Maduranga Sampath). This is an exciting rebranding of the original cover as the author prepares to release book 2 in the series. Before I ShatterBefore I Shatter (Before I Shatter #1) By Mandy Peterson Genre: Science Fiction Age category: Young Adult/ New Adult Release Date: July 2016

Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Vita is the next step in human evolution. The daughter of two prominent scientists, Vita is content to live in the spotlight. After all, it affords her a lifestyle most only dream of: living in a Lunar Colony, luxurious gifts, and her unique ability to project her consciousness onto different planes without the aid of injections. Succeeding where others have failed has a price. A growing population of Shells – people whose minds have shattered from the stress of experimentation – shows just how ruthless the Director can be in pursuit of his goal. When Vita makes a startling breakthrough, the ambitious Director takes over her development, and he wants to see just how far she can go. It’s up to Vita’s young Processor, James, to catch her before she breaks. But he’s keeping a dangerous secret. Someone is playing games with her. A game where the loser ends up shattered. Vita must make the choice: Continue risking her life for a cause she doesn’t believe in or make an unprecedented escape?

You can find Before I Shatter on Goodreads You can buy Before I Shatter on Amazon 

Before I Shatter full wrap

Excerpt: “Vita!” James is panicked, shaking my shoulders, when my eyes begin to crack open. The bright light violates my pupils, and I slam my eyes shut again. My head is pounding. “Stop shaking her, boy. We don’t know what damage that could cause.” I relax a bit as my body takes in the grandfatherly voice of wisdom. James’s hands release me. “She’s coming around. Give her a moment.” I moan, raising an arm to cover my closed eyes. “I’m fine.” “She could pave a road with those words.” The Old One’s voice gets farther away. Before I can even wonder what that means, the light mercifully wanes, and I dare to peek out from under my arm. I begin to piece together where I am. The tiny white room. Lying on my monitoring station. A visibly shaken James is sitting next to me, tears threatening to spill out of his eyes, face ashen. “Hey,” I coax. “It’s okay. Nothing to be worried about.” James shakes his head and looks down. A sniffle seems to actually compose him, and he looks up at me. “Vita, I’m so sorry. If I would have known, I would have warned you.” Still hazy, I recall my experience in the meadow with the solider boy. Before speaking, I resolve to never let myself be that helpless again. Starting right now. Just like James said, I will be the one doing the breaking. Well, maybe not right now. After I recover from whatever this is. “Warned me about what?” “The dazers,” he practically whispers, but I still hear the George’s tongue cluck from the computer station. His disapproval is thick. “You passed out on the steps. I couldn’t wake you up. When I brought you here, I thought you were dead.” “Yes, the drugs caused your heart to race,” the wizard explains, less emotionally. His eyes never leave the tablet in his hands. “Your heart didn’t care for that so it shut down…for a bit.” “It shut down?” I echo as panic begins to rise from my toes. “Only for a moment.” His hand waves dismissively. “Everything’s fine.” The Old One smirks, finally looking up at me as he turns my own words around on me. “I died?” “For a second.” George holds up two fingers very close together in an attempt to keep us positive. Whoosh. “I came as soon as I heard.” Long brown hair whirls through the room. Mom busies herself snatching the tablet and replacing James at the side of my bed. She grasps my hand, leans in, and begins examining my eyes. I have no idea what they look like, but her fear and disgust focus across the room. “George, thank the stars you are still here! How could this have happened? I’m not even sure what this means.” She shakes the tablet at him, the data revealing itself to me shortly. “Where was she? Who was with her?” James makes a move to step forward and the Old One stops him. “She was just doing as I instructed. Taking time off. Meeting new people. Trying out a party. I’m sorry. I didn’t know she would be confronted with…substances.” Mom visibly calms down. I guess maybe she couldn’t be too angry with the man who had just saved her daughter’s life? She lays the tablet down gently. “What can I do for her?” “Nothing, I’m afraid. The drugs have to work their way through her system. She won’t be able to start training until they are flushed out. Her new friends just may have bought her enough time to completely restore before the next round.” My eyelids feel as though they are made of lead. My hand is nestled between stronger ones. I fight to stay awake behind the fading light. “What will we ever do without you?” My mother’s whisper floats across the room to me. His firm response slices through the darkness closing in around me. “The director has plans but so do we. Stick to the plan. Thanks to your husband’s—ex-husband’s—news story, she’s about ready to enter a world where everyone knows her and what she can do. She needs you two more than ever.” I didn’t know then that when I awoke, it would be to a new world. A world without George, without visits from my dad, and without panic attacks. A world where I was a celebrity, a scientific wonder, and no longer alone. Never mind that I put my life at risk each time I pushed one the boundaries of human capability. I lived by the words I was never meant to hear: “Vita’s never going to be broken. She’s going to be the one doing the breaking. She’s stronger than any of us will ever know.”

Mandy PetersonAbout the Author: 

Mandy Peterson grew up all over Nebraska and eventually settled down there with a family of her own: husband, daughter, and son. When she isn’t writing about herself in third person, Mandy the high school librarian can be found digging through young adult and new adult lit. An avid reader of all genres (but she secretly told me she loves sci-fi the most), you will usually see her with her nose in a book or face to her Kindle app, iced or blended coffee drink in hand. A former roller girl and roller derby referee, she can also be found watching roller derby online or dragging her family behind her to cheer on teams in person all over their great state. You can find and contact Mandy here: – WebsiteFacebookTwitterGoodreadsAmazonNewsletter 

Giveaway There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of Before I Shatter. 

One winner will win a $10 Amazon Gift Card. For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/classic/3e4b22e/main.html

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National Jewish Books Award Winner – ON BLACKBERRY HILL by Rachel Mann examines the mother-daughter connection in a unique way. 

Title: ON BLACKBERRY HILL 

Author: RACHEL MANN 

Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, JEWISH FICTION, WOMEN’S FICTION, INDIE FICTION

Length: 194 PAGES

Publisher: SELF-PUBLISHED

Release Date: 2016

ISBN: 9781535262910

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Awards Won: National Jewish Book Award Winner      


 

Reena has no desire to spend her last summer before high school at her cousin’s Jewish residential summer camp far away from her life in the city. She may be Jewish, but living with her non-practicing father means that she does not feel a deep devotion to her dead mother’s faith.

When her father announces that he is leaving the city for the entire summer, Reena’s fate is sealed. Whether she likes it or not, and she really does NOT, she will be living at the camp in Upstate New York until her father returns. Reena will have her cousin with her at camp, but they barely tolerate each other, so that won’t make much difference.

Twenty years earlier, her mother had attended that same camp, but her mother died when Reena was a baby, so it’s not as if Reena knows anything about Naomi’s time at camp.

This book is written in two different time periods and from two different perspectives. It tells not only the tale of Reena’s time at camp, but also the story of her mother, Naomi’s time at that same camp approximately twenty years earlier.

How do the two stories intertwine? You will need to read this book to find out, and you will not be disappointed.

Rachel Mann has penned a moving story that goes beyond the Jewish faith. Yes, the characters are Jewish, but that is only a small part of who they are. This book won the National Jewish Book Award, but again, the “Jewish” part of that award is only a small part. Rachel Mann won the award on the merit of the story.

I love how Rachel Mann seemlessly transitions between Naomi’s past and Reena’s present. The fact that Naomi died when Reena was just a baby means that Reena knows almost nothing about her mother. Sure, her father mentions her from time to time, but he really doesn’t tell her much and Reena is desperate to find some way to connect with the mother she never knew. Camp Tova just might be that place.

Author Rachel Mann has a bright future ahead. She has a gift for getting to the heart of the story and to create characters with depth.

This multi-generational story depicts how the choices we make can effect the future of not just ourselves, but of our family and friends as well. 

I rate ON BLACKBERRY HILL as 4 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 


Rachel Mann is the author of the young adult novel, ON BLACKBERRY HILL, winner of the 2016 National Jewish Book Award for Young Adult Literature, and the play CLASS MOTHER, nominated for best play at the Winterfest Theater Festival 2016. Her theatrical work has been seen at Forward Theater Company in Madison, WI, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s First Brew, Naked Angels Tuesdays at 9, The PlayGround Experiment, and InViolet Theater in NYC. Her writing has been published and performed at The Forward, Kveller, Liars’ League NYC, Manhattan Lit Crawl, and The Fish Anthology (UK). She graduated from the Novel Studio course at City University London, as well as from Columbia (BA) and NYU (MA). She lives in NYC with her husband and three daughters.

To learn even more about the talented Rachel Mann, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE       

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A DIFFERENT POND by Phi Bao is one of the most meaningful children’s books I have ever read. 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

Title: A DIFFERENT POND     

Author: BAO PHI  

Illustrator: THI BUI     

Genre: FICTION, CHILDREN’S FICTION, IMMIGRANT FICTION, MULTICULTURAL FICTION    

Length: 32 PAGES

Publisher: CAPSTONE   

Type of Book: JACKETED PAPER-OVER-BOARD   

Ages: 4 TO 8

Received From: NETGALLEY     

Release Date: AUGUST 2017 

ISBN: 978-1-62370-803-0  

Price: $15.95 U.S. / $19.95 CAN 

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟    

FROM THE BACK COVER:

An unforgettable story about a simple event – a long-ago fishing trip. A young boy wakes early, hours before his father’s long workday begins, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis.

Unlike many anglers, the boy and his father fish for food, not recreation. A successful catch means a fed family. Between hope-filled casts, the boy’s father tells him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam. On these early mornings, the young boy begins the hard work of self discovery. 

MY REVIEW: 

Not only is this book beautifully written and illustrated, but the story within will enchant children while simultaneously evoking a sense of nostalgia in the child’s parents.

Despite the fact that the characters in this gorgeous children’s book are Vietnamese, every child will be able to relate to the main character’s delight in spending time with his father and in the disappointment when he is left behind while his parents go off to work. 

Readers will notice that the father and son are fishing for food, rather than fishing for fun. When they have caught enough fish: 

Dad smiles, his teeth broken and white in the dark, because we have a few fish and he knows we will eat tonight.” 

This line is an opportunity for parents to talk to their children about the immigrant experience and through this discussion, they can help to foster equality and to help eliminate racism in our society. 

Image obtained from http://weneeddiversebooks.org/


It seems trite to say that “Children are our future,” but as cliché as it sounds, it is true.

Books such as this one are important for many reasons. It is important for children of visible minorities to be able to find and read books that show people who look just like them, and that they can relate to. It is equally important that all children are exposed to multicultural books since we live in a multicultural society. 

The illustrations in this book are a cross between a graphic novel and a typical children’s book. This unique illustrative style is the PERFECT accompaniment to the story.  

I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 and suggest that all parents, teachers and librarians put this book on their “To Be Purchased list” or that they go ahead and pre-order a copy today. I predict this book will win many awards upon its release. 

*I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

BAO PHI was born in Vietnam and raised in the Phillips neighborhood of South Minneapolis.

He is an author, a poet, a community organizer, and a father.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

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ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:  

THI BUI was born in Vietnam and grew up in California and New York. Now all these places are a part of her.

She draws, writes, and teaches. She recently completed her first graphic novel, THE BEST WE COULD DO (Abrams, 2017), which is about her mother and father.

To learn more about this author/illustrator, visit the following links:

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COVER REVEAL & GIVEAWAY – Shattered Pieces – Win a $20 Amazon gift card 

Shattered Pieces

If I Break Series
by Portia Moore
Publication Date: April 30, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

When you’re heartbroken, it lies beneath everything that you do. It’s in all of who you are. Foreshadows who you’ll be.

It hides underneath your smile, rests between your laugh, revels in your tears and taunts your every thought. You wish it away but are too terrified to let it go….

When Cal first disappeared I swore my heart had broken, and before all of this is over I swear it will shatter into pieces.

About Portia Moore

I’m obsessed with blowing kisses. I guess that makes me a romantic. I love books and cute boys and reading about cute boys in books.I’m infatuated with the glamour girls of the past: Audrey, Dorthy, Marilyn, Elizabeth.

I’m a self confessed girly girl,book nerd,food enthusiast, and comic book fan. Odd combination huh, you have no idea…

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IF THE CREEK DON’T RISE by Leah Weiss is a beautifully written novel set in the Appalachian Mountains – A MUST READ – PRE-ORDER NOW!!!


Title: IF THE CREEK DON’T RISE
Author: LEAH WEISS

Genre: FICTION

Publisher: SOURCEBOOKS LANDMARK

Release Date: AUGUST 8, 2017

ISBN: 9781492647454

Price: $15.99 USD

Type of Book: ARC from Netgalley 

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

This is the debut novel written by LEAH WEISS.

Set in the 1970s high in the Appalachian Mountain range sits a small, secluded community struggling to survive and to live their lives as they see fit.

The inhabitant’s lives are not very different from the lives of their ancestors. Down the mountain, people are embracing new technologies and just about everyone has a car, indoor plumbing and telephones are installed in every home. Not so on the mountain. Outhouses are still in use and the mountain folk have no desire for the intrusion that improvements might bring.

In fact, outsiders are treated with scorn and suspicion. Children are taught in a one-room schoolhouse that in theory sounds quaint and idyllic, but in reality is anything but.

Teachers arrive with the best of intentions, but soon run away with their tails tucked between their legs  when they discover the harsh reality of mountain life. Their leaving could also have something to do with the fact that the last teacher’s home mysteriously caught fire in the middle of the night and burned to the ground.

With character names such as Marris, Gladys, Sadie and Otis Blue, the author creates a sense of living in the past. There are too many characters and too many intertwined storylines to mention them here, but Leah Weiss has crafted a complex but believable and haunting tale that will tug at your heartstrings and make you shake your head in both exasperation and disbelief.

IF THE CREEK DON’T RISE is as harsh and unapologetic as the immovable mountains. Leah Weiss has a gift for character building and the people who live on the mountain come alive on every page. Even the way the characters talk comes through as raw and authentic. For example, Sadie’s grandmother Gladys says, “From the start there’s been a film of dingy on my days. I’ve always done woman’s work; man’s work, too. Woke up with work to do, went to bed before it got done … I been chained to an iron life.”

My favourite line in the book was when Gladys says that her friend is as annoying and clingy as chickenshit on shoes.

I rate IF THE CREEK DON’T RISE as 5 out of 5 stars and predict that we will see this book at the top of the Bestseller lists as soon as it is released.  🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


Thank you to 
Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.


MY FAVOURITE QUOTES:


“Only got the clothes on her back and a backbone that won’t bend.”


“Ugly talk follows Roy like fleas on a mangy dog. He’s a spiteful, small-minded man who drinks hard and plays for keeps.”   


“Truth always hurts and it’s extra hard to look at late in life.”


“She’s got lessons to learn, and life’s one bugger of a teacher.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
(In her own words – copied from her website)

Leah Weiss’s roots are deep, simple and southern. 

They started where my mama Lucy was born on a tobacco farm in the flatlands of eastern North Carolina. She was one of fifteen siblings raised without electricity or indoor plumbing. My daddy, a Marine from Cherry Point, saw my mama a handful of times. Then he married her on her eighteenth birthday in 1944. They settled near her family where my sister and I were born in a farming town, where neighborhoods were divided by train tracks and held together by church and traditions.Just about everybody we knew was kin.

When I was ten, we left Carolina and moved to Virginia when my grandpop died. We moved in with Nana, and on the empty lot next door my parents built us a four-room home, sawing, hammering and painting. They were self-sufficient and hardworking people with humble dreams.

In my childhood days, I fell in love with Nancy Drew mystery books. Every spare moment was spent between the covers of those blue books solving crimes and thinking that could be me. If my name was Nancy. If I had a roadster. If I was five years older. I have nineteen of those early Nancy Drew books on my bookshelf. They hooked me on the pull of imagination.

But my world wasn’t Nancy Drew’s world. I took piano lessons that led to a scholarship that took me to Dunbarton College in Washington DC in the second half of the turbulent sixties. Our Nation’s Capital was in chaos over Vietnam, racial strife and women’s equality. Marches and sit-ins were the norm in that time of unrest. A year after college, I married, had a son, taught music, and wrote articles for a magazine. Two decades later, I divorced then took the job of executive assistant to the Headmaster at Virginia Episcopal School that lasted my next twenty-four years.

In those years, I wrote memoirs and fiction whose rules weren’t always clear. I attended writing conferences and workshops, haunted bookstores and studied my favorite authors. I cut my writing teeth on a novel that didn’t sell and a string of short stories that did. Eventually, I found.my writing voice. No surprise, it’s southern and musical and best when read aloud. It is always about people who are self-sufficient and hard working with humble dreams.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

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ZENN DIAGRAM by Wendy Brant will pull you in and won’t let you go. A 5 Star Must Read Book!

Title: ZENN DIAGRAM

Author: WENDY BRANT       

Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION

Length: 328 PAGES

Publisher: KIDS CAN PRESS 

Release Date: APRIL 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-77138-792-7 Hardcover

List Price: USD $17.95, CAD $18.95

Grades: 9 To 12 / Ages: 14 to 18  

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟   

Unique. Utterly readable, with awesome characters and a guy that teen girls will have crushes on. Zenn is the latest book-boyfriend of choice.

Eva Walker’s life is unlike anyone elses. She is a loner, a math nerd, an orphan and she feels like a freak. Out of all these labels, the most significant one is Eva’s loner status.

You would think the math nerd status would be the reason she was a loner – not so. Eva is a loner by choice. Why? Well, she has a gift (curse?) Anytime Eva touches someone, or even touches someone’s property, such as a cell phone, she immediately knows all about them – including their secrets and their fears.

Now, some may think that this would be an amazing gift to have, but it never turns off. Imagine going on a date and having to listen to the guy’s dirty thoughts about you the entire time you’re with him. Yuck!

The only time that Eva is thankful for this strange ability is when she is tutoring someone in math. She just has to touch their calculator and she knows exactly what they are struggling with. This makes her an excellent tutor. It is through her tutoring that she meets Zenn.

When she is assigned to tutor Zenn Bennett, she is nervous. Who wouldn’t be? Zenn is absolutely gorgeous and he does it without even trying.

When she accidentally touches Zenn’s jacket she is rocked by what she sees. The violence of the vision is like nothing she has ever seen or felt before.

Eva must decide whether or not to confront Zenn and the horrifying vision or whether to keep it to herself and stay safe; but alone.

This novel has so many twists and turns that readers will never be bored and they will not want to put this book down.

There is romance, there is tragedy, there is guilt, remorse, fear and mystery. This book has it all.

Author Wendy Brant has written a young adult novel that will suck you in from the very first chapter. Both her world-building and her character development are top notch.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and read it in a single sitting. I must warn potential readers that once you start reading, you won’t be able to stop, so you should make sure you set aside some time to curl up with this fantastic book.

I rate ZENN DIAGRAM as 5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

*Thank you to the author for providing me with a free copy of this book.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: (In Her Own Words):

So my name alone should give you a clue that I graduated from high school when bangs were big and clothes were baggy. I went to Northwestern University and majored in journalism even though I had no desire to be a journalist. I’ve been married to a great guy for a whole drinking-aged person’s life. I’ve got two amazing and yet very different (and very tall) teenage kids. I like crappy food, pinning inspirational quotes on Pinterest, have a tendency to start paragraphs with “anyway”, and I wish I were funnier. I would love to be one of those really, REALLY funny bloggers (like Insane in the Mom-Brain) that makes you pee yourself a little bit. I am only moderately funny. I admit that. It’s one of my great sadnesses in life.

​​I started writing fiction when I was 10, but tried to be practical with the whole journalism thing. Didn’t take. Shortly after college, the fiction-writing desire reared its non-practical head and I’ve been writing ever since.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

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A New MUST READ Young Adult novel that will have adult readers fondly thinking about growing up in the 80s. THE IMPOSSIBLE FORTRESS is available now!


 
Title: THE IMPOSSIBLE FORTRESS

Author: JASON REKULAK     

Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, HISTORICAL FICTION  (THE 1980s)

Length: 285 PAGES

Publisher: SIMON AND SCHUSTER 

Type of Book: SOFTCOVER

Received From: SIMON AND SCHUSTER through the Goodreads Giveaway program

Cover Design: WILL STAHLE

Release Date: FEBRUARY 7, 2017

ISBN: 9781501166839

Rating:   5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟     

  

I LOVED THIS BOOK. Although THE IMPOSSIBLE FORTRESS is targeted at young adult readers, anyone who, like me, grew up in the 1980s will find this book a trip down memory lane.

Jason Rekulak may be a debut author, but it is obvious that his years working as an editor for Quark Books embued him with an excellent sense of the proper balance between the plot and character development.

Will Marvin and his two best friends are the ultimate underdogs. It’s 1986 and Vanna White is the ultimate girl next door. When the boys learn that she is featured in Playboy magazine, they are determined to get copies.

Will is a nerd. I can relate. I remember taking classes in Basic Code and doing anything on a computer took hours and hours of entering programming code. But, Will loves it. Hos ultimate life goal is to design video games for a living.

Then he meets Mary Zelinsky. She is a computer nerd too. Will is stunned. He had no idea that there were girls who liked computers. Remember – this was the 80s and women were still battling the secretary stereotype.

Can Will get the girl, perfect his video game called The Impossible Fortress, and get his hands on the dirty pictures of Vanna White?

This novel will have adult readers waxing nostalgic for the less complicated days of their youth and both adults and young adults alike will be able to relate to the terror and elation of discovering the opposite sex for the first time.

THE IMPOSSIBLE FORTRESS is liberally sprinkled with pop culture references and readers will find themselves digging out their old mixed-tapes.

I absolutely loved this book and I will be recommending it to all my friends. I doubt this is the last we have heard from debut author Jason Rekulak and I, for one, can’t wait to read whatever he comes up with next.

I rate this book with an enthusiastic 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Now, I’m off to my basement to try to find my old Atari system. I can’t wait to play Space Invaders – old school style.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

 

JASON REKULAK was born and raised in New Jersey. He has worked for many years at Quirk Books, where he edits a variety of fiction and non-fiction.

He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two children. THE IMPOSSIBLE FORTRESS is his first novel.

To learn more and to play a version of The Impossible Fortress game, visit his website.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

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