CATCH THE SPARROW – A Search For A Sister and the Truth of Her Murder by RACHEL REAR releases in 8 days – A True Crime Tale Like No Other


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


Release Date: FEBRUARY 1, 2022


Number Of Pages: 256


Received From: NETGALLEY

ISBN: 978-1635577235

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


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

The photo of Stephanie that her dad
gave police in 1991.

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

Rachel Rear with her step-father in 2008

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

A photo of Stephanie’s beloved cockatiel, Chubie.

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Photo by Elena Mudd

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

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

To learn more about this author visit the following links:










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

To learn more about this Publisher visit the following links:





NO NO SQUARE is a children’s book that addresses the issue of unwanted touching – An important topic to discuss with your child.



Release Date: NOVEMBER 30, 2021


Number Of Pages: 28

Publisher: BOOK BABY

Received From: NETGALLEY

ISBN: 9781667803630 (Paperback)

Rating: 3 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐


No No Square was written to assist parents and guardians in the tough topic of educating young children on boundaries, while also helping to create a safe space for children to always tell an adult if this happens to them.

It is important to talk to children at an early age about “bad touch” so they can understand not to get taken advantage of.

No No Square does this by using three common examples in a child-friendly way that is easy to understand, which will aid children to recognize when it’s important to say no if strangers, other children, and family members want to touch them inappropriately.


Ok. Let me start by saying that there is a definite need for children’s books that are age appropriate and that teach them about ownership of their bodies and to give them details on what to do if someone (in fact, anyone) tries to touch them inappropriately. However, writing (and illustrating) such a book is an incredibly difficult thing to do.

In NO NO SQUARE the author uses monsters as the “people” who want to do bad things.

The problem with this is that children can be quite literal. They see a blue monster in a book and are told that the monster wants to do bad things. This does not necessarily translate to people.

So, this green monster I’d supposed to be Maya’s Uncle, but this isn’t known until a few pages later when Maya tells her father about the incident.
My issue with this page (and in several similar pages) is that the monster asks Maya if he can touch her. This is extremely unrealistic. Unfortunately, these disgusting people who would touch a child inappropriately are more than likely NOT going to ask the child for permission. Nowhere in this book is an example of what a child should do in this situation. This needs to be included in any book about this topic.
This is the best part of the book. Yelling is great, and running to tell a trusted adult is great.
This illustration is terrific. Unfortunately, children are often not believed when reporting an incident to their parent, or teacher, or whoever it is that they choose to tell. Again, I would have liked to see a description and illustrations that address this issue – telling the child that if they aren’t believed they should tell another adult they trust and to keep speaking out until someone finally believes them.

Yes, the author says that Uncle is bad, but the picture again shows a monster. I think this could easily go over the heads of children. It might have been better if the illustrations showed that regular people as the ones who might hurt them, not colorful monsters. However, this is just my humble opinion. 

At the beginning of the book, the author writes about the motivation behind wanting to write and publish this book.

I give the author A for effort and kudos for wanting to help teach children that their bodies are private. This is an exceptionally difficult subject, yet an important one.

I did like the illustrations, I just disagree with the choice of depicting the danger as coming from “monsters.” Adults are all to aware of the fact that people are more dangerous to each other than any other species.

I rate NO NO SQUARE as 3 out of 5 Stars ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

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

(Copied From the Author’s Website)

One day while fishing on a sunny day in the pond behind my grandfather’s house, I looked up to the sky at some birds and thought “I want to fly.”

Birds represent freedom.

They are unbound and at any given moment they can go anywhere. I aim to be as free as possible by acquiring the knowledge and finances to do so.

Then I plan to pass that knowledge onto my sons, Nasir and Zamir.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:








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LOSING IT AT 40 by Canadian East Coast Author SARAH BUTLAND is the perfect read for a snowy weekend.

Title: LOSING IT AT 40


Release Date: JULY 2021


Number Of Pages: 282

Publisher: BOOKS TO GO

Received From: THE AUTHOR

ISBN: 979-8533839921

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Being alone, a virgin and comfortable in her own skin, Annie, like a lot of us, dreads turning forty. Turning forty tends to mean more challenges physically, in the bedroom and beyond. Losing It At Forty is Anne’s story and while she has, so far, lived a mundane life her world is about to change. Sitting at a bar, Annabelle comes to the decision to loosen up and lose her virginity. Starting with no longer using her nickname and wanting to be referred to as her full name, Annabelle.

Annabelle knows she doesn’t need a man but her desire for one is turned up after having a few drink and men flirting with her.

What she knew she wanted was sex and even at forty years old she worried about pregnancy so took time off work to check with a doctor about the pill. He thought it was redundant but prescribed it anyway.

With many humorous incidents, including a time at an esthetician’s parlor and almost being arrested, to buying cream and being caught looking at condoms as well as the dreaded video chat while getting undressed, Annabelle is enjoying life despite the comedic moments her romantic endeavors provide.


Let me tell you all about the book I just finished reading. It is called  LOSING IT AT 40 by Sarah Butland. And yes, the “it” in “LOSING IT…” is the protagonist’s virginity.

I know, I know, in today’s society it is exceptionally rare that anyone makes it to age 40 with their virginity intact. But Annie has never been what you would call a ‘social butterfly.’

Written in the first person, Annie speaks directly to the reader which I thought was a terrific way to tell this specific story. Because of this, readers begin to feel like they are either a friend of Annie, or, they are voyeurs reading her innermost thoughts as written in her personal diary. Either way, readers will want to know more.

Annie’s story is at times hilarious, at others it is touching, and at all times fascinating.

“It was obvious to me that I wouldn’t be outstanding on my first go-around and I really didn’t know much about the act itself … Maybe there was a Netflix type service just for porn.”

When I read the above paragraph I burst out laughing and when asked why I read it to my husband who also chuckled.

Annie is a delightful mix of bold and sassy, yet shy and quiet. She is like every other woman – a mixture of many traits and contradictions.

Annie ends up meeting two very different men. She knows she has to choose just one, but will she choose Travis, or Mike? You need to buy a copy of LOSING IT AT 40 to find out.

Although Sarah is an amateur writer, you wouldn’t know it. She has an affinity for creating believable and realistic characters.

I rate this book as 4 out of 5 Stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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



Sarah Butland was born in Ontario, the year was 1982. She was moved to New Brunswick for over 15 years and now resides at home in Nova Scotia, Canada. Butland has been married to her high school sweetheart and has a superstar son named William.

Butland started creating while still learning to walk and in years to follow was able to put a writing utensil to paper to document her creations before they were completely lost. Of course, her first manuscripts were in dire need of editing but she didn’t seem to mind nor did her readers.

The first “big break” for Butland came when she was still a teenager feeling like she was unlike every other teenager she knew. She heard from a poetry contest that her poem “Wrong Shell” would be published in their anthology; would she kindly send them thousands of dollars to continue on in the finals. Butland’s parents refused. So began the struggle of discovering which awards were actually earned not bought.

Limiting herself to contest submissions from then on, Sarah Butland realized her career of writing would be a difficult struggle no matter the talent she held inside or was forced out.

Many stories, attempts at novels and thousands of ideas later, Butland created BananaBoy and the Adventures of Sammy was born with Sending You Sammy, her first published children’s book.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:









THE MOONSTONE GIRLS is destined to be One of the Best Books of 2022 – Pre-order Now to avoid missing out



Release Date: FEBRUARY 14, 2022


Number Of Pages: 397


Received From: NETGALLEY

ISBN: 978-1-73700643-5

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe even The MoonStone Girls.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

To learn more about this author visit the following links:




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