MAID by Stephanie Land will be released in January of 2019. Mark your calendars. This is one book you don’t want to miss.

Title: MAID

Subtitle: HARD WORK, LOW PAY, AND A MOTHER’S WILL TO SURVIVE

Author: STEPHANIE LAND

Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHIES AND MEMOIRS

Length: 288 PAGES

Publisher: HACHETTE BOOKS

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: JANUARY 22, 2019

ISBN: 9780316505116

Price: $27.00 USD (HARDCOVER)

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

Evicted meets Nickel and Dimed in Stephanie Land’s memoir about working as a maid, a beautiful and gritty exploration of poverty in America. Includes a foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich.

While the gap between upper middle-class Americans and the working poor widens, grueling low-wage domestic and service work–primarily done by women–fuels the economic success of the wealthy. Stephanie Land worked for years as a maid, pulling long hours while struggling as a single mom to keep a roof over her daughter’s head. In Maid, she reveals the dark truth of what it takes to survive and thrive in today’s inequitable society.

While she worked hard to scratch her way out of poverty as a single parent, scrubbing the toilets of the wealthy, navigating domestic labor jobs, higher education, assisted housing, and a tangled web of government assistance, Stephanie wrote. She wrote the true stories that weren’t being told. The stories of overworked and underpaid Americans.

Written in honest, heart-rending prose and with great insight, Maid explores the underbelly of upper-middle class America and the reality of what it’s like to be in service to them. “I’d become a nameless ghost,” Stephanie writes. With this book, she gives voice to the “servant” worker, those who fight daily to scramble and scrape by for their own lives and the lives of their children.

MY REVIEW:

There are some books, when you finish reading them, you realize that you have just experienced something profoundly important. MAID is one of these rare gems.

Stephanie Land tells the story of her life as an impoverished single mother. This is NOT a story that takes place during the Great Depression of the 1930s, it is a true story taking place in modern day America.

What struck me most about this memoir was Stephanie’s ability to tell the story in a matter of fact way and to somehow detach herself from the emotions she must have inevitably felt while writing – all the while ensuring that she conveyed those same feelings to the reader. This ability proves Stephanie Land is a rare talent. If I did not know better, I would have thought this was the author’s fifth or sixth published work and not her debut book.

This is NOT a tale of ‘poor me.’ Stephanie does not whine about the state of her finances or the shabby conditions she lived in. She may have been poor, but she was not just sitting around collecting welfare and living the high life, which is a stereotype that is pervasive throughout society.

Reading this book will open people’s eyes to a situation all too common in America today. That is the plight of the “working poor.”

I have heard many people say that those who are receiving government assistance are all lazy and are living the high life thanks to the government. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Yes, I am sure that some people are gaming the system, but the vast majority are people who need a hand up, not a hand out. They are working, but their income is insufficient to pay their bills.

This book should be required reading for everyone who has ever made a comment about people on welfare. It should definitely be required reading for politicians at all levels of government from municipal leaders all the way up to the President. Maybe, just maybe, this would open their eyes to the reality of the lives of many of their constituents.

MAID is written in such a way that it is a book you will not want to put down. Just because it is a true story does not make it a boring read. In fact, it is anything but.

Stephanie’s dream of becoming a writer has come true and the world is better off because of it.

I rate MAID as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

If you only read one non-fiction memoir this year, make sure it is this one. You will be glad you did.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Stephanie Land’s work has been featured in the New York Times, New York Review of Books, Washington Post, Guardian; Vox, Salon, and many other outlets.

She focuses on social and economic justice as a writing fellow through both the Center for Community Change and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.

Her memoir, MAID: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive, is forthcoming through editor Krishan Trotman at Hachette Books, featuring a foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich, on January 29, 2019.

She lives in Missoula, Montana, with her two daughters.

To learn more about this author and her wonderfully written debut memoir, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

LINKEDIN

AMAZON

CHAPTERS

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

#MAID #maidmemoir #StephanieLand #NetGalley #singlemom #singlemother #poverty #cleaninglady #poor #ARC #bookreview #instabook #instalike #bibliophile #bookreview #bookreviewer #readandreview #mustread #5Stars #5StarRead #5StarBook #biography #memoir #2019 #2019book #2019bookrelease #Amiesbookreviews #tbr #toread #igreads #igbooks #igbook #booknerd #booklover #book #books #welfare #stigma #discrimination #diversity #diversebooks #diversitymatters #socialstudies #nonfiction #truestory #socioeconomicstatus #Amiesbookreviews

LIFE AT THE DEATH HOUSE by Sean E.D. Kerr is a phenomenal 5 Star Read. New Release

Title: LIFE AT THE DEATH HOUSE

Author: SEAN E.D. KERR

Cover Art: NATASHA SNOW

Genre: FICTION, LGBTQ, LITERARY FICTION

Length: 410 PAGES

Publisher: NINE STAR PRESS

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: AUGUST 20, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-949340-51-8 (EBOOK)

ISBN: 978-1-949340-55-6 (PRINT)

Price: $6.99 USD (EBOOK)

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

The locals call it the Death House, but Carol and Marco designed the New Life House as a home for kids to live, safely removed from the stigmas and judgments of the outside world.

Seventeen-year-old Tyler arrives on the doorstep, hoping that he’s finally found a safe place to die. His arrival causes the other kids to question the futures they’ve been promised, and Carol and Marco must convince them there is life after diagnosis.

Even through struggles with addictions and questions of sexuality, the residents could come to believe in the possibility of living.

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MY REVIEW:

****WARNING ****
This book contains sexual content, which may only be suitable for mature readers. It also contains mature themes such as death, dying, suicide, drug use and more.
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It’s called the “New Life House,” but the locals have their own name for it – they call it the Death House.

Why?

The answer is somewhat complex, but also quite simple. In the late 90s (which is the era when this story takes place) HIV and AIDS were still relatively new diseases and the general populace were spectacularly uninformed.

Rumors were rampant and many people thought that you could catch HIV just by touching an infected person. It was known as the “gay disease” since many of the infected came from the lgbt community.

In 1997, at the age of seventeen, Tyler arrived at the New Life House. “Strange name for a death house, he’d thought. The name just didn’t make sense to him. There was no new life for people like him. There was only death and loneliness. And pain. That’s all there was.”

Imagine being only sixteen and finding out you have a disease with no cure and a near 100% fatality rate. Now, add to this – your family kicking you out of the house and calling you terrible, hurtful names. As if those two things are not bad enough, now add another issue – the fact that you know nothing about this disease other than the fact it is going to take your life. You believe that anyone you touch (even just to give a simple hug) will also become infected, so you swear off physical contact completely. That is one heck of a burden to place on anyone, nevermind on a young teenager.

The longer Tyler and his housemates live at the New Life House, the more they learn – not only about their disease, but about each other, about themselves and about the selfless couple who made the house a reality.

I loved learning about each of the house’s residents and their backstories, including what led to them living away from their families and coming to reside in the New Life House.

I love that there are so many themes examined in the pages of this book. I love the fact that author Sean Kerr does not shy away from topics that might make certain readers uncomfortable. He tackles the issue of homophobia with the depth of feeling that I believe only an LGBTQ author could achieve. I am proud to say that the author is Canadian and I cannot wait to read whatever he writes next.

The only rating that I could possibly give this book is a perfect 5 OUT OF 5 STARS. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

With heart-wretching prose, authentic characters and a story ripped straight out of the headlines of the 1990s, this book should be at the top of everyone’s MUST READ list.

*** I would like to say a special thank you to both NETGALLEY and the Publisher for providing me with an ARC (Advance Review Copy) of this book. ***

QUOTES:

“Marco was wearing blue jeans and a Nirvana T-shirt. He looked like an old guy who hadn’t accepted his age yet.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sean holds a diploma in Professional Writing from Algonquin College (Ottawa, Canada, 2009). He found his love of writing at the age of ten when he released his first miniseries via Duo-Tang folder to his family and friends. He has another four novels outlined and is working on draft one of a fifth.

In December 2016, he launched the Pontiac & Ottawa Valley Writers’ Circle under the umbrella of the Pontiac Artists Association (PAA). He continues to coordinate the efforts of the POVWC and is enjoying the blossoming of a strong creative writing community.

Sean writes a wide range of genres with a particular focus and interest in literary and upmarket fiction. He specifically enjoys writing stories that deal with how people react to hardships, exploring how they come through them for better or for worse. It’s the experiences and choices that change people that intrigue him the most. Common themes include addiction, mental health, sexuality, grief and hope.

Sean lives on a farm in Bristol, Quebec, with his husband, Glen; their dogs, Suzie, Maxwell and Walker; their goats, Tyrion and Arya; and their llamas, Shadow and Angie.

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

LINKEDIN

AMAZON

CHAPTERS

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

ABOUT THE COVER ARTIST:

Professional Designer of Book Covers.

Natasha Snow

I’m a 28 year old graphic designer turned professional book cover designer living in Edmonton, Alberta.

I graduated from Grant MacEwan University studying Graphic Design with a major in print, which has helped me time and time again when designing (you guessed it) print books.

Since graduation, I’ve worked at a few places as a graphic designer, ranging from working in identity and branding, to advertising for a major company in Canada.

In September 2016, I left my corporate job in advertising to start my own business only designing book covers. I’d found my passion in life, and knew there wasn’t anything else I wanted to do.

To this day, I’ve designed books from many genres, including romance, thriller, horror, LGBTQ, M/M, young adult, middle grade, fiction and non-fiction, and many more.

When not designing book covers (and let’s be honest, that’s practically never), I enjoy playing video games, reading, and pretending I know how to cook something besides toast.

To learn more about this artist, visit her website HERE.

#LifeAtTheDeathHouse #NetGalley #addiction #AIDS #drugs #alcohol #alcoholic #gay #gayfiction #LGBTQIA #LGBT #LGBTQ #HIV #death #dying #hospice #grief #mourning #illness #disease #tearjerker #mustread #children #youth #sexuality #CanLit #Canada #debut #debutauthor #Canadian #CanadianAuthor #author #igreads #Instagramhub #igauthor #igbook #lgbtqfiction #lgbtfiction #instabook #instaauthor #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #Amiesbookreviews #2018 #2018book #bookreview #bookreviewer #readandreview #tbr #tbrlist #amreading #drama #fiction #literaryfiction @weneedmorediversebooks

STRATUS BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY

Stratus
Fallen Skies Book 1
by Miranda Brock
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Lily Calhoun wants nothing more than some excitement on her quiet,

small-town life. When she gets caught in a storm one afternoon she

gets more than she bargained for. Excitement suddenly falls into her

life, literally.

Stratus is mysterious, fun, and has a danger to him that Lily finds herself

drawn to. Learning that he is either a demon or an angel only makes

him more irresistible. But when strangers start turning up dead in

her town, Lily begins to fear her new found flame may be the cause.

Caught in a tempest of lies, secrets, and betrayals, Lily must discover who

Stratus really is behind his stormy eyes. Is it an angel who will win

her heart, or will it be a demon who stakes his claim?

**Only .99 cents!**
From an early age Miranda Brock has always loved fantasy and adventure everything. Since she doesn’t live in a world of enchanting powers, mythical beasts, and things unbelievable she has decided to write about them.

Born in southern Illinois, where she still resides with her husband and two children, she grew up running through the woods,

playing in creeks, and riding horses. What started out as writing poetry grew into short stories and eventually led to her first novel, Souls Discovered.

Miranda lives in the country where she finds inspiration in the simplicity and beauty around her. With the help of a ridiculous amount of coffee and some good music she writes whenever she gets a chance.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:
Follow the tour HERE

for exclusive content and a giveaway!

THE WATCHER BOXSET – A YA Dystopian Extravaganza

Title: The Watcher Series

Author: AJ Eversley

Genre: YA Dystopian Sci-Fi

Editor: Q Books Editing

Cover Designer: Cover Art by Salome Totladze

Blurb:

The Complete Watcher Series Box Set includes:

WATCHER | CARBON | SAVIOR plus BONUS mini novellas: KENZIE | MAX | COLEMAN | AELISH

Perfect for fans of Divergent by Veronica Roth or Red Queen by Victoria Averyard

“First came the Bots. They were meant to serve us, but they turned and thousands died. Then the Carbons arrived and we were left with only a few hundred humans. After ten years of war, I’m one of the few survivors. I’m a Watcher, and I won’t give up the fight.”
As a Watcher, Sawyer Russo has sworn to protect her fellow humans. But the Bots and Carbons that overran her city are evolving, and are picking off her comrades one by one.
Embarking on a desperate mission to save humanity from extinction, Sawyer discovers that the line between friend and foe is no longer easily drawn when one of her own betrays them. Faced with a choice between fulfilling her vow and avenging those who have fallen, she must ultimately decide who can be saved … and who can’t.
JOIN THE RESISTANCE TODAY


AJ Eversley is the author of the WATCHER series. A true north Canadian girl, AJ currently lives in Central Alberta with her husband and dog. When she’s not writing, she can be found binge watching Harry Potter, quoting various movies in everyday conversation, and eating copious amounts of candy.

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Excerpt from Carbon:
There was a bang across the hall as Max strutted in. His usual smooth grin hit me from across the room as he filled up a bowl full of slop. Amusement tugged at the corner of his mouth when I scowled back at him and he parked himself down across from me.

“Do you mind?” he asked.

“It’s a free world.” I shrugged.

He snorted. This was his usual game, finding any way to annoy me. Even sitting down across from me irritated me to no end, but I did my best to ignore him and returned to stirring my cold food.

We were both silent as Max moved his food around with his spoon for a few minutes before he let out a heavy sigh. Max placed the bowl onto the floor where Chevy was waiting eagerly to gobble it all down.

“I can’t eat any more of this garbage,” he grumbled.

“Keep your voice down,” I hushed.

“Oh, come on. It’s not like you’re eating it either. Everyone knows it sucks. I’m not saying anything you’re not already thinking.” He gestured to my still-full bowl, now cold from sitting for so long.

“We’re guests here. Show a little respect.” My voice was quiet but stern.

Max leaned into the table, surveying my body, my face, and my mouth. “Then you eat it,” he challenged me. “Eat more than one bite, and I’ll stop complaining.” He raised an eyebrow. I wasn’t sure if he was trying to piss me off, or if the hint of worry and pleading in his voice I detected was begging me to eat something. Anything. I’d been starving myself unintentionally, but it was hard to focus on things like eating when there was so much rattling my brain.

I didn’t look away, and I didn’t touch the spoon that still sat in my cold food. Crossing my arms, I settled in to wait him out, unwilling to let him win even one battle with me.

His shoulders slumped, and I realized worry indeed was hidden behind his feeble challenge. He pushed his chair back hard, clenching his jaw tightly, as he picked up the empty bowl from Chevy. “Didn’t think so. Looks like we’re both going to starve to death in this metal trap.”

I rolled my eyes, “I’ll be fine. You’re the one who will suffer, not me.”

He swaggered around the table and leaned in so close that his breath tickled my neck, but I didn’t flinch or look away. His gaze swept from my head to my toes once again. “I’m not the one who needs to save a dying world. I don’t need to be in peak condition or feed a body that isn’t quite human. I’m not the one who’ll suffer. Everyone else will if you don’t stop moping around and feeling sorry for yourself.” His cold glare was like ice in my veins as he stepped away. With a slight smirk, he spun on his heels and left before I’d even blinked, leaving a shudder down my spine.

His words rang in my ears, “a body that isn’t quite human.” I was a Carbon now, no longer human, even though every instinct inside of me was wired to protect humans, not hurt them. That was why they all looked at me differently, why Max looked at me with prying eyes as if he was trying to figure out what exactly I was. I was different, yet I found myself forgetting that at times.

But I wasn’t a hero anymore. I was no longer someone or something to be proud of. There was a monster living inside of me, waiting to break free. And the weight of everything he said was the reason I hadn’t slept in weeks or eaten in days. I wanted to do something about it. I wanted to be better. But every time I thought of it, the guilt and pain took over, and I could barely breathe without breaking down. I often wondered what Kenzie would think if he saw me, or if he knew what I was—what I had become. Would he look at me like he used to? Or would he look at me with disgust for what I let happen to me? What I let myself become?

Chevy sat at my side, pawing at my leg, as he looked up with worried eyes. I stroked his head as I looked at my bowl of slop with a groan. My hand quivered as I took a tentative bite and fought the gag threatening to bring the food back up. With a long, hard swallow, I took another bite and another—until the bowl was empty.

And I could’ve sworn I saw the door to the hall close a crack more than it had been before.

MAGIC FIRE by Catherine Vale BLOG TOUR & BOOK BLITZ

Title: Magic Fire

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Blurb:

We aren’t going to run. We’re going to kick some serious Warlock ass.
Rogue gargoyle attacks aren’t exactly something I deal with every day, but it’s nothing I can’t handle. So why is this stranger insisting that I need to come with him to stay alive? Who does this guy think he is?
I’m a skilled fae with an arsenal of magic at my disposal. I sure as hell don’t need some cocky, arrogant dragon shifter protecting me, even if he is drop-dead gorgeous.
But what if I’m wrong?
A murderous Warlock is on the rampage, and he will not give up. Evil is reaching out to me, longing to bind me within its torturous grasp with monsters and mayhem around every corner.
The road to survival is marked with betrayal and deceit, some by the people I love the most.
If I want to survive, I must put my life in the hands of a cursed shifter—that is, if I make it through the night.
Magic Fire is the first book in Catherine Vale’s brand new urban fantasy series. Don’t miss this thrilling world of magic, mayhem and sacrifice, in the battle against dark forces.
NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author Catherine Vale writes urban fantasy stories of magic and mayhem and paranormal romance.
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