HANDS UP by Stephen Clark has been released and is a story that seems ripped from the headlines. You NEED to check out this book

Title: HANDS UP

Author: STEPHEN CLARK

Genre: FICTION, MYSTERIES AND THRILLERS, SOCIAL THEMES

Length: 290 PAGES

Publisher: WiDō PUBLISHING

Received From: THE AUTHOR

Release Date: SEPTEMBER 28, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-947966-20-8

Rating: 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

Officer Ryan Quinn, a rookie raised in a family of cops, is on the fast track to detective until he shoots an unarmed black male. Now, with his career, reputation and freedom on the line, he embarks on a quest for redemption that forces him to confront his fears and biases and choose between conscience or silence.

Jade Wakefield is an emotionally damaged college student living in one of Philadelphia’s worst neighborhoods. She knows the chances of getting an indictment against the cop who killed her brother are slim. When she learns there’s more to the story than the official police account, Jade is determined, even desperate, to find out what really happened. She plans to get revenge by any means necessary.

Kelly Randolph, who returns to Philadelphia broke and broken after abandoning his family ten years earlier, seeks forgiveness while mourning the death of his son. But after he’s thrust into the spotlight as the face of the protest movement, his disavowed criminal past resurfaces and threatens to derail the family’s pursuit of justice.

Ryan, Jade, and Kelly–three people from different worlds—are on a collision course after the shooting, as their lives interconnect and then spiral into chaos.

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MY REVIEW:

This is a timely novel because of the very real increase in the number of police shootings of unarmed, young black men in the United States.

HANDS UP begins with Tyrell Wakefield being shot by rookie police officer Ryan Quinn. According to the police, the young man had punched Ryan’s older partner and was attempting to grab his gun.

However, Tyrell’s sister, Jade, finds that story very unlikely, as does her mother. So, Jade is determined to find out what really happened.

When Jade’s maternal Aunt turns Tyrell’s death into a #BlackLivesMatter rallying cry, the press get ahold of the story and it becomes bigger than Jade ever expected. It also brings an unexpected person back into the lives of Jade and the rest of her family and he is definitely NOT welcome.

Meanwhile, Ryan Quinn is horrified with what he has done. He never wanted to shoot anyone and he has never thought of himself as the racist monster he is being portrayed as. In fact, his police officer father was killed in the line of duty when Ryan was young, so he is accutely aware of the pain caused by losing a loved one to gun violence. Now, Ryan has a decision to make. Should he be loyal to the police and his partner? Or should he follow his heart and his conscience?

I enjoyed this book even more than I had anticipated. I had some idea of how the tale would unfold, but I was pleasantly surprised. This is not a predictable read and author Stephen Clark has created characters of depth and complexity.

In addition to the obvious issue of police shootings, several other social issues are also part of this story. In my opinion, this makes the story seem even more realistic. Police shootings do not happen in a vacuum and there are almost always several factors that contribute to the tragedy.
In DON’T SHOOT, racism by the police is not the only problem. The area in which the shooting takes place is poverty-stricken due to lack of education and employment opportunities, gang violence, a lack of social programs and much more.

On top of the above problems, this story also talks about homelessness, single parenting, divorce, abandonment, addiction, cutting, and even suicide. The author does a fabulous job of describing these issues and how each of them has affected the lives of the characters, and how a single issue can affect different individuals in different ways.

With non-stop action, current events, exquisitely complicated characters and a twisting plot, HANDS UP is a fantastic and must read, newly released novel.

This IS most definitely a book worthy of being on your “To Read” list. In fact, I will not be surprised when HANDS UP becomes an award-winning novel.

I rate this book as 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐ and would like to thank the author for sending me a copy of this book.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Stephen Clark is a former award-winning journalist who served as a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times and as a politics editor for the Washington, D.C. bureau of FoxNews.com. As a reporter for the Utica Observer-Dispatch, he won a New York Newspaper Publishers Association Award of Distinguished Community Service for his investigation into the financial struggles of nonprofit services.

He also won a Society of Professional Journalists Award for Investigative Reporting at the Stamford Advocate for his series exposing an elderly grifter’s charity organization.

Stephen grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and now lives in North Jersey with his wife and son.

He has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Arcadia University and a master’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University.

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

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ONE NURSE UNIVERSE by Susan Turnage, R.N. is a memoir written as a collection of tales of her 30 years as a nurse. Heart-warming, Heart-Breaking and Absolutely Hilarious – An awesome mix of stories you won’t want to miss

Title:ONE NURSE UNIVERSE

Subtitle: RECOLLECTIONS FROM THE BEDSIDE

Author: SUSAN TURNAGE, R.N.

Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHIES AND MEMOIRS, HEALTH CARE

Length: 281 PAGES

Publisher: DOG EAR PUBLISHING

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: JUNE 10, 2019

ISBN: 9781457567421

Rating: 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

My occupational memoir reveals one nurse’s bedside observations on where nurses come from, how we are educated, treated in the workplace and how we learn to do what can never be taught in a curriculum. When a patient vomits explosively onto your chest how you may unexpectedly vomit right back. How to explain to a deaf patient where a suppository goes while an audience of staff and visitors listen in from the hallway. How to collect your thoughts and make a plan when you arrive for a home care visit to find your elderly confused patient has ingested a full bottle of liquid laxative and left evidence of those results all over the walls, floor and Barco lounger in the home. It is where medical science meets nursing artistry. Where technology meets humanity. Where hearts open and wounds heal. Through selected vignettes, I recognize modern nurses’ courage to lean into discomfort and hard emotions. I acknowledge the power they hold in their healing hands and throw forward a lifeline of hope to renew their faith and joy in their vocation. And to my many non-nurse readers, come experience a nurse’s day; what we see, feel, hear and touch. Have a peek behind the bedside curtain.

MY REVIEW:

ONE NURSE UNIVERSE is a collection of anecdotes written by a retired registered nurse. These short stories run the gamut from heart wrenching and heart breaking to hilarious.

For a debut author to so skillfully write stories from her own life, it takes a knack for storytelling as well as an innate knowledge of which details need to be included and which can be left out.

I very much enjoyed the stories Nurse Susan has included in this memoir, and, as was inferred by the author, she no doubt has many more tales to tell. I hope this means that she is already working on her next collection of true stories. If so, I know I will definitely buy a copy.

I admit to being a bit thrown off by the cover, but once I discovered it was a picture drawn many years ago by her son (at age six) it made perfect sense as to why she chose to use that illustration for her book cover. Unfortunately, that might not be apparent to potential readers and I worry it might put them off. If so, they will miss out on a terrific anthology.

I rate ONE NURSE UNIVERSE as 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Susan Turnage is an RN, E-RYT200, RYT500, and a CYN- Certified YogaNurse®. She has clinical nursing experience in pediatric oncology, pediatric head injury, corrections, home health and case management.

She teaches weekly healing mat and chair yoga classes in her local communities of New Kent and Charles City, Virginia, to a multiethnic population of all abilities.

Susan also works as an art conservation technician, is a volunteer for the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences as a game fish tagger, is an instructor in a yoga teacher training program, creates one of a kind, themed jewelry, is a driftwood sculptor and a writer.

Her husband is an artist who creates porcelain pottery and is also a gardening guru and fishing enthusiast.

She has 2 treasured sons and an elderly German Shepherd.

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
http://susanturnagebooks.com

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THE HIDDEN VILLAGE BLOG TOUR, REVIEW, INTERVIEWS AND MORE 4.5 Stars for this HISTORICAL FICTION EPIC.

Author: Imogen Matthews

Narrator: Liam Gerrard

Length: 9 hours and 48 minutes

Publisher: I M Associates

Released: May 31, 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction

Wartime Holland.

Whom can you trust?

Deep in the Veluwe woods lies Berkenhout, a purpose-built village of huts sheltering dozens of
persecuted people. But the Germans can find no proof of its existence. The whole community
pulls together to help the Berkenhout inhabitants adjust to a difficult new life and, above all, stay
safe.

Sofie, a Jewish Dutch girl, struggles to adapt to living in Berkenhout, away from her family and
friends. As weeks turn to months, she’s worried they’ll abandon her altogether. Young tearaway
Jan likes to help, but he also enjoys roaming the woods looking for adventure and fallen pilots.

His dream comes true, until he is found out. Henk is in charge of building the underground huts
and organizing provisions to Berkenhout, but his contact with the Germans arouses suspicions.

Whom can you trust? All it takes is one small fatal slip to change the course of all their lives forever.


Imogen Matthews is English and lives in the beautiful University town of Oxford.

Before she wrote The Hidden Village, she published two romantic fiction e-novels under her pen name, Alex Johnson.

The Hidden Village is published by Amsterdam
Publishers, based in the Netherlands.
Imogen has strong connections with the Netherlands.

Born in Rijswijk to a Dutch mother and English father, the family moved to England when Imogen was very young.
Every year since 1990, Imogen has been on family
holidays to Nunspeet on the edge of the Veluwe woods.

It was here that she discovered the story of the hidden village, and together with her mother’s vivid stories of life in WW2 Holland, she was inspired to
write her next novel.

Narrator Bio


Liam is an Irish born voice-artist with over 10 years experience
working in every field of the voice industry. His recent varied audiobook work includes the
‘Deception of a Highlander’ series of 3 books, Little Caesar for Audible, A Christmas Carol, The
Tempest and Aviation Training. His regular corporate voice-clients include: Shell, BP, HMRC,
HSBC, Hilton, Mondelez, Cadburys, Green & Blacks and many more. He has performed
many radio-plays, narrations, animations and documentaries; from the Keith Moon biography to
most Shakespeare radio-plays.

He is also an Associate Lecturer in Broadcast Voice
and ‘Acting for Radio’ at Sheffield Hallam University.

He is a communication skills specialist and examiner
for the Royal College of Psychiatry, Royal College of Surgeons, Royal Scottish College of
Surgery and as such is highly fluent in complicated medical reads with Latin
pronunciations.

He is also a highly acclaimed stage and screen actor.
He studied at Lancaster University and then as a classically trained actor at Mountview. He
spent his formative years in the Middle-East which has given him an understanding of different
accents and cultures and is able to perform many accents to a native standard; including most
UK regions, most Irish regions, most of Europe, Australia and North America, (hillbilly, New
York, mid-Atlantic, San Francisco, Chicago, etc.) and is also able to create wildly inventive
characters. He has lent his voice to some of the zaniest cartoons and animations written, from
grumpy old wizards, to heroes, to South-American monkeys and even a sea-horse with a
Scottish accent!

He is currently the youngest actor to play the lead role
of Prospero in Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ in London’s West–End. His recent production of
Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle at the Royal Lyceum Edinburgh won 4 prestigious Critics Choice Awards. He has worked for the most renowned theatre companies; from The Royal
Exchange Theatre (2 Manchester theatre award nominations) to most regional theatres
throughout the UK, including Alan Aykbourn’s SJT, New Vic, Oldham Coliseum, Donmar,
Dukes, Nottingham Playhouse, Theatre by the Lake and many more. He also played Jerry in
‘Hollyoaks’ and appeared alongside Catherine Zeta-Jones in the Hollywood feature film ‘Death
Defying Acts’. His wide-ranging experience has also seen him perform Opera in ‘Rigoletto’.

In his spare time Liam is also a musician, playing violin,
drums, piano and percussion, and spends time with Peg, his Springer Spaniel, out in the Peak
District whenever he can get away from the studio!

Set in Holland during Hitler’s reign of terror, this book is unlike any I have read before. I expected it to be similar to “The Diary of Anne Frank” in that the entire tale would take place indoors, however, I was thankfully wrong. Don’t misunderstand me, I loved reading Anne Frank’s diary, it’s just that since then I have read numerous accounts of people in similar situations and I am ready for something different, something I have never heard about, or something completely new.

I had never heard of anything so daring as trying to hide an entire village full of people in a forest. It shocked me that THE HIDDEN VILLAGE was based on a true story.

The author has done a great job of crafting a tale that centers on the people’s lives, rather than on the war itself. Any violence portrayed in this story is there with a purpose – that of moving the story forward.

I was greatly impressed by the narrator and his ability to create and maintain distinct voices for such a large number of characters. His pacing was perfect and he used inflection to create mood. I rate his performance as 5 out of 5 Stars.

I highly recommend this story to anyone who loves not only historical fiction, but a great drama. I think that buying this book in audio book format is the best way to experience this tale.

I rate THE HIDDEN VILLAGE audio book as 4.5 out of 5 Stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a
blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Essential
Audiobooks. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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

  • Was a possible audiobook recording something
    you were conscious of while writing?

    • Absolutely not! I didn’t even know it would be possible. In
      some ways I’m pleased I wasn’t thinking about how The Hidden Village would sound as it might
      have inhibited my writing. I had a clear idea of how the characters sounded in my head and they
      shaped my writing. However, having turned The Hidden Village into an audiobook, I’m more mindful of how the words will be spoken as I’m writing my next novel (also set in Holland in
      WW2).
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • I was introduced to my narrator, Liam Gerrard, through
      Catherine O’Brien, CEO of Essential Audiobooks. After reading and becoming very enthusiastic
      about my novel, she suggested that Liam would be the perfect narrator for the job as he had
      experience in narrating World War 2 novels, has a fantastic CV as an actor and voiceover artist
      and has his own recording studio. It gave me the confidence that he would do an excellent job. I
      asked him to do me an audition of the first chapter which we then discussed in detail, so that he
      could understand what I was looking for in terms of characterisation, pace and style.
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before
    and during the recording process?

    • Most of my involvement took place at the beginning of the
      project. Once he began recording for real, he didn’t get in touch with me at all until he’d
      completed the job. I was slightly nervous that I might need to ask him to rerecord sections, but it
      wasn’t necessary. Listening to his narration the first time through, I was amazed at how he’d
      interpreted my writing and really brought the story to life.
  • Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special
    insight into the characters?

    • I made some voice files for Liam which describe the
      characters as well as the pronunciation of Dutch and German words and phrases, names and
      place names. We went through these meticulously and Liam even noticed a couple I’d missed!
      His attention to detail was extraordinary. He had really read and understood the story which
      comes out strongly in his narration.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your
    writing?

    • The Hidden Village is based on a real place in Holland
      which I discovered on one of my many cycling holidays in the area. Deep in the Veluwe woods
      is a memorial to the local people who had risked their lives to help Jews hide from the Germans
      by building a village of underground huts. Not only that, they brought in food, clothing,
      medicines and all other necessities all the time that the German soldiers were patrolling the
      woods looking for Jews in hiding. It was an extraordinary feat and the Dutch community almost
      got away with it. I came across a Dutch book with interviews of people who had lived in the area
      at the time, including those who had helped with the building of the village and others who’d
      gone to live there. It is the determination and courage of these people in the face of evil that
      interested me most.
    • My mother was Dutch and I grew up hearing about her
      experiences and stories of survival during the Hunger Winter in 1944-45. Food ran out, people
      starved to death but my mother and family survived because she cycled into the bulbfields and
      dug up tulip bulbs which they boiled as their only source of nutrition. Her stories were both
      horrifying and uplifting – she was a young woman at the time and often said that she’d found the
      war to be an exciting time. This is what made me want to have young people as my main
      character.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do
    you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?

    • I so wanted to get this story down as it’s about my own
      personal history and the place I love to visit most. I visit Nunspeet in Holland with my husband
      and other family members at least once a year and when I’m back in the woods the words really
      flow again.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the
    audiobook format appeals to you?

    • I have to confess I’d never listened to an audiobook before
      my own! (I know, shame on me!). Now, I’ve been through the process, I appreciate just how
      brilliant an audiobook can be. I’ve started listening in the car, grabbing a chapter or two on short
      journeys and more on longer ones and have a feeling that I’m getting my reading in without having to pick up a book. I still love reading books as well and think the two are very
      complementary.

Sep. 6th:
Dab of Darkness
Audiobook Reviews

Amie’s
Book Reviews

Sep. 7th:
T’s Stuff
The Book Junkie Reads . . .
Sep. 8th:
Inspiration
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SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS by Alisha Sevigny is the Young Adult equivalent to a Nicholas Sparks book. It is the perfect beach read.

Title: SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS

Author: ALISHA SEVIGNY

Genre: FICTION, YOUNG ADULT, ENVIRONMENTAL

Length: 264 PAGES

Publisher: KIDS CAN PRESS

Received From: THE AUTHOR

Release Date: MAY 1, 2018

Ages: 14 – 18

Grades: 9 – 12

ISBN: 978-1-77138-929-7 (Hardcover)

ISBN: 978-1-5253-0043-1 (Paperback)

Price: $17.99 USD / $18.99 CDN (Hardcover)

Price: $10.99 USD / $12.99 CDN (Paperback)

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

Julia is so ready for summer. Now that her little brother has finally recovered from a serious illness, all she wants to do is enjoy peak season at the lakeside campground her family owns.

Then Julia’s Mom completely blindsided her: a wealthy developer thinks their campground property is the perfect spot for a casino. They have to consider the offer, Julia’s Mom says, because of their crushing medical bills.

Leave the lake? The only home she’s ever known? Heartbroken and afraid, Julia takes her telescope down to the dock one night, seeking solace in the stars.

That’s when she has a chance encounter with Nick, a hot guy who offers some surprisingly sage advice.

Too bad this guitar-strumming stranger is the developer’s son…

As plans for the sale move forward, Julia is desperate to find a way out. Nick, in turn, is desperate to separate himself from his family’s business. Together, he promises, they can save the campground.

But can Julia trust him to conspire against his own father? And could she ever trust him with her heart?

MY REVIEW:

The cover for this wonderful young adult novel evokes thoughts of warm summer nights and burgeoning young love. The cover is 100% perfect for this story.

Poor Julia. In the first chapter alone we discover that just after graduating from high school, her best friend is leaving for the entire summer. Add to that the fact the guy she’s had a crush on since age twelve,and with whom she had gotten close the summer before, has arrived at the campground with his gorgeous new girlfriend in tow. Pile that on top of the fact that she’s worried about her nine year old brother Caleb’s health since he is recovering from a serious bout of Guillain-Barré Syndrome. In fact, it had been so serious that Caleb had spent months hooked up to machines and tubes. And, worst of all, because of their outrageous medical bills, her mother is seriously considering selling their family campground to a developer who wants to erect a casino on the site. All in all, Julia is having a really crappy week.

As Julia seeks comfort from the stars, readers will start to realize just how amazing and special the campground property is.

If you have never been so far into the wilderness that there was no light pollution at all, you are missing out on an incredible experience. Those of us who have been there, will recognize the author’s authenticity. It is impossible to fake a proper description of the vastness of the summer sky at night if you’ve never seen it with your own eyes. This setting is the perfect place for romance to bloom.

The characters are three dimensional and have real world problems. Yes, there is a rich boy, but the main character is a normal girl.

Although the storyline is not rocket-science, it isn’t supposed to be. This is a feel good tale about overcoming adversity when the odds are stacked against you, with a side of young love that will have teen readers sighing with anticipation and older readers looking back at that time in their lives with nostalgia.

I rate this book as 4.5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ and recommend it to readers looking for a book that can be read in a single weekend or for the perfect vacation or beach read.

**I received a free copy of this book from the author.**

My favorite quote from SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS:

“A book always has value, even when it is old and worn.”

*** Alisha is also the author of KISSING FROGS which she discusses in the following video:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Alisha Sevigny holds a degree in Professional Writing and Sociology from the University of Victoria, is a film school graduate, former literary agent and hot yoga lover. A shameless romantic, Alisha and her husband have travelled the world together. On a trip to Panama she fell in love with the country, culture, and their national emblem, the Golden Frog and was inspired to write her first Young Adult novel, KISSING FROGS.

Her second book, SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS is about a young woman fighting to save her family campground while trying not to fall in love, comes out May 1, 2018 with KCP Loft.

Born and raised in Kitimat, British Columbia, Alisha has always had a strong connection to the environment and conservationist spirit. She now lives in Toronto with her family.

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

WATTPAD

YOUTUBE

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AMAZON

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

LIAR’S GIRL by Catherine Ryan Howard releases in February. Mark your calendars and be sure to grab a copy of this engrossing thriller on release day.

Title: THE LIAR’S GIRL

Author: CATHERINE RYAN HOWARD   

Genre: FICTION, MYSTERIES & THRILLERS

Length: 322 PAGES

Publisher: BLACKSTONE PUBLISHING  

Type of Book: HARDCOVER

Received From: NETGALLEY        

Release Date: FEBRUARY 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5047-8254-8

Price: $24.99 USD (HARDCOVER)

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 


DESCRIPTION
:

Will Hurley was an attractive, charming, and impressive student at Dublin’s elite St. John’s College—and Ireland’s most prolific serial killer. Having stalked his four young victims, he drowned them in the muddy waters of the Grand Canal. Sentenced to life imprisonment when he was just nineteen, Will is locked away in the city’s Central Psychiatric Hospital.

Freshman Sally-Anne Smith moved to the Big Smoke to enroll in St. John’s and soon fell hard for Will Hurley. Her world bloomed … and then imploded when Liz, her best friend, became the latest victim of the Canal Killer—and the Canal Killer turned out to be the boy who’d been sleeping in her bed. Sally-Anne fled to the Netherlands, changed her name, and, in ten years, has never once looked back.

When a young woman’s body is found in the Grand Canal, Garda detectives visit Will to see if he can assist them in solving what looks like a copycat killing. Instead, Will tells them he has something new to confess—but there’s only one person he’s prepared to confess it to.

The last thing Sally-Anne wants is to be pulled back into the past she’s worked so hard to leave behind. Reluctantly, she returns to the city she hasn’t set foot in for more than a decade to face the man who murdered the woman she was supposed to become.

Only to discover that, until now, Will has left out the worst part of all …  


MY REVIEW
:

The fear brought about by the “Canal Killer” will infect readers of this psychological thriller. It will have you constantly looking over your shoulder when walking alone at night.

Despite the fact that it has been ten years since Will was arrested and convicted of the four murders, Sally-Anne wants to know why. Why kill anyone, and especially why would her boyfriend kill her best friend? It is with those questions in mind that she agrees to talk to Will and find out what he has to say to the police about the latest murder.

From that point until the very last page, readers will find themselves engrossed in this fast-paced, mind boggling mystery/thriller.

I thought I had the book all figured out early in the story, but I was wrong. This tale has so many twists and turns that readers will never be bored and will be unable to put this book down.

The author has a knack for character building and for making those characters come to life. It is inevitable that readers become invested in Sally-Anne’s life.

Secrets, murder, friendship, romance, terror, security, love, hate, jealousy, happiness, chills and thrills all abound in this psychological thriller that I rate as 4.5 out of 5 Stars.🌟🌟🌟🌟 I am very much looking forward to reading more books by author Catherine Ryan Howard.


**A special Thank You to Netgalley for providing me with a free ARC (Advance Review Copy) of this book.**    


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 


Catherine Ryan Howard was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1982.   

Prior to writing full time, Catherine worked as a campsite courier in France and a front-desk agent in a hotel in Walt Disney World, Florida, and most recently as a social media marketer for a major publisher.

She is currently studying for a BA in English at Trinity College in Dublin.

To learn more about this Bestselling Author, visit the following links:

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ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: 

Oregon-based audiobook publisher Blackstone has expanded into print with the launch of Blackstone Publishing, which releases classic and original contemporary titles in both print and e-book.   

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Mark Your 2018 Calendar for the release of FISH-BOY by Vanita Oelschlager – AN INUIT FOLK TALE Beautifully Illustrated 

Title: FISH-BOY    
Subtitle: AN INUIT FOLK TALE    

Author: VANITA OELSCHLAGER

Illustrator: MIKE BLANC 

Genre: CHILDREN’S FICTION, MULTICULTURAL BOOKS, INUIT STORIES

Length: 25 PAGES     

Publisher: VANITA BOOKS
http://www.vanitabooks.com

Type of Book: EBOOK

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: MAY 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-938164-20-0 (Hardcover)

ISBN: 978-1- 938164-21-7 (Paperback)

Price: (HARDCOVER) $15.95 USD

Rating: 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟
DESCRIPTION:  

The Arctic region of North America is a land of long days, icy cold, hardy people and peculiar creatures.  The Inuit people there have made traditional use of remarkable folk tales to find truth and explain the mysteries of an astonishing world.

In Fish-Boy, An Inuit Folk Tale, Vanita Oelschlager retells a tale passed down by a wise old Inuit. 

Fish-Boy is an origin story involving an odd young boy who has a big heart. On a journey with his new father, he must confront misfortune and the malice of cold hearted villagers.  But he has a way… and a lesson for all in the virtues of kindness and hospitality.

MY REVIEW:   

I have always been fascinated by folk-tales and those told by Aboriginal or Inuit storytellers are some of the very best.

 There were two main reasons that traditional Inuit stories were told. Firstly, stories were used to explain the world around them, and secondly, they were used to teach traditional values to the next generation.

The cover of this book is so beautifully illustrated that I was immediately drawn to it. I believe that children will be drawn to it as well. In fact, the illustration of the boy with the puffin on his head brings to mind Disney illustrations. Mike Blanc is obviously a very talented individual.

FISH-BOY is the story of “… why there are so many sea-parrots on the stony islands of the far North.” 

It is the story of a lame Inuit fisherman who one day saw a fish that was unlike anything he had seen before. “It appeared] to have a head like a man and feet behind its tail.” To the fisherman’s surprise, the fish spoke to him saying, “Do not spear me. I am not a fish. I am Fish-Boy … I have no parents, and I am very lonely. I want you to be my father.”

The fisherman was lame, but he had found a way to survive. He wasn’t sure what use an armless Fish-Boy would be, but out of kindness, he took him in and Fish-Boy became his son.

This act of kindness changed both their lives for the better and the pair had amazing adventures.

You will need to read this book to discover exactly what adventures they had, what trials and tribulations they faced and to discover how their story finally reveals the reason that there are so many sea-parrots on the stony islands today. I promise that this is a story worth reading.

I love that this book not only tells the story of Fish-Boy, but also includes details of traditional Inuit life. Also included at the back of the book are definitions of some of the story’s less commonly known words.

In addition to being a fantastic story, another wonderful thing about not only this book, but all books published by Vanita Books is that they donate ALL net profits to “charities where people help people help themselves.” Ten percent of the net profits for FISH-BOY will be donated to The Oak Clinic for Multiple Sclerosis, the other ninety percent will go to other charities. 

I rate this book as 4.5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

* Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free ARC (Advance Review Copy) of this book.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 


VANITA OELSCHLAGER is a wife, mother, grandmother, philanthropist, former teacher, current caregiver, author and poet.

She is a graduate of the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio, where she currently serves as Trustee. Vanita is also Writer in Residence for the Literacy Program at the University of Akron.

She and her husband Jim received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in 2006. Vanita also won the Congressional Angels Adoption Award for the State of Ohio in 2007 and was named National Volunteer of the Year by the MS Society in 2008. 

 
To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE      

GOODREADS     

TWITTER        

FACEBOOK               

AMAZON               

CHAPTERS        


ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR: 


MIKE BLANC is an author and an award-winning illustrator of children’s literature.

His artwork has illuminated countless publications for both corporate and public interests, worldwide. Mike contributes creative direction and illustration.

He lives with his wife, Gail, in sunny Doylestown, Ohio. They enjoy their four children, and five grandchildren.

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE       

GOODREADS     

TWITTER         

LINKEDIN        

AMAZON         

CHAPTERS      

HILLBILLY ELEGY by J.D.Vance is a brilliantly written memoir that is unputdownable  – Check it out… 

Title: HILLBILLY ELEGY  

Subtitle: A MEMOIR OF A FAMILY AND CULTURE IN CRISIS   

Author: J.D. VANCE     

Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHY, SOCIAL COMMENTARY  

Length: 257 PAGES

Type of Book: HARDCOVER

Publisher: HARPER COLLINS   

Release Date: JUNE 28, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-230054-6

Price: $27.99 USD / $34.99 CDN

Rating: 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS🌟🌟🌟🌟

There are a plethora of books being written and published that focus on minorities and the struggles they have had to endure both in the past as well as today. But, there is one minority group that seems to have been completely neglected – that group consists of poor white people.

The word “Hillbilly” in this book refers to poor, white people whose ancestral roots come from the Appalachian Mountain region.

This book is in no way a treatise of what every “Hillbilly” family is like. It is a memoir of one man’s family, how he grew up, and how he was able to break the cycle of addiction and poverty that stalked his family tree. He professes to have “escaped” the fate of many of his friends through education.

J.D. Vance also writes about how most of the people in his community lost jobs when manufacturing moved out of the area. This is why it is sometimes referred to as the Rust Belt. 

The author, at times, portrays “hillbillies” as a lot of lazy, law-breaking lowlifes who think the world owes them a living. This may be true of some of these families, but I have a hard time believing that it applies to the majority.

I have to admit that I was fascinated by details of the author’s tales of his childhood and by the various members of his extended family. These people, especially his crazy (and violent)  uncles almost seem too clichéd to be real. His mother is portrayed as an addict who cared little for her children and much of J.D.’s emotional pain seems to trace directly back to her and to her actions.

There are so many shocking and seemingly crazy anecdotes included in this book that at times they seem too insane to be true.

Despite the abuses and the flagrant disrespect for the law, two admirable traits shone through all of J.D. Vance’s stories, and those qualities are; the theme of family loyalty and the sense of community. His family may have been poor, but if they were able to help out a community member in trouble, they would.

The one character who is central to the story is J.D.’s grandmother – or MAMAW (pronounced maam-awe) as she is known. Readers will find themselves drawn to her and despite her rough and tough demeanour, her love for J.D. shines through and becomes a beacon for him to follow when making life choices, even though her own life choices included killing a man.

This is a picture of Mamaw in her younger days.

I enjoyed reading this memoir and I am glad that the author escaped the poverty of his youth and embraced upward mobility. He has since become a successful lawyer (and now a successful author.)

If you want a glimpse into a world that most “outsiders’ never see, then this is the book for you. *** I must warn potential readers that this book does include stories that are NOT suitable for children under the age of sixteen. ***

I rate HILLBILLY ELEGY as 4.5 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟 

 

 

//www.c-span.org/video/standalone/?419678-4

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

J.D. Vance grew up in the Rust Belt city of Middletown, Ohio, and the Appalachian town of Jackson, Kentucky.

He enlisted in the Marine Corps after high school and served in Iraq.

A graduate of the Ohio State University and Yale Law School, he has contributed to the National Review and is a principal at a leading Silicon Valley investment firm.

Vance lives in San Francisco with his wife and two dogs.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE     

GOODREADS     

TWITTER AUTHOR ACCOUNT      

TWITTER BOOK ACCOUNT     

FACEBOOK    

AMAZON   

CHAPTERS        

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE     

J.D. and his beloved Mamaw

The author with his dogs

4.5 Stars for ORPHANS: ORIGINS by Mike Evans – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW


Title: ORPHANS – ORIGINS

Author: MIKE EVANS

Series: ORIGINS: Book One

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged 

Narrator: Jack Wallen Jr.

Length: 11 Hours

Genre: Contemporary Science Fiction, Zombie Fiction 

Release Date: August 3, 2015

Publisher: Mike Evans

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
~ I received a free copy of this audiobook through Audiobook Blast in exchange for an honest review. 

I have read A LOT of zombie fiction and it takes quite a bit to impress me – ORPHANS: ORIGINS did just that. 

When the audiobook first started I was worried that there would be nothing new in this audiobook and that I would be bored listening to it. My concerns were quickly put to rest as the story began to unfold.

Frank Fox is a man who gave up his prestigious position as an army research doctor to raise his four-year-old son after his wife dies of cancer. Sounds noble right? 

Well, twelve years later, his son, Shawn doesn’t think so. All Shawn remembers from that time is that his father was not there for Shawn or for his mother. Shawn is angry and feels that his father abandoned them. Shawn was only 4 years old and was left to care for his dying mother alone. You can’t blame Shawn for feeling that way. Imagine a tiny four year old left alone to watch his mother (the Center of his life) wither and ultimately die. 

Obviously from what I just wrote, you realize that this book has much more depth than just your typical zombie story. 

I do not want to give too much of the story away, but I do want say that this book contains one of the most plausible explanations as to the circumstances of how the zombie virus originates that I have ever read. I think future readers will agree.

Not only is there lots of action and some very scary scenes, but it also contains very believable human drama. 

The characters are well written and it is easy to visualize the people in the book.

I rate this book as 4.5 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and I highly recommend ORPHANS: ORIGINS Book One to all lovers of zombie fiction.

It is well written and the narrator does a terrific job and keeps listeners on the edge of their seats. 

The half star loss came from me being overly nit picky. There were a couple of pronunciation issues but nothing that was so glaring that it detracts from the story as a whole.

I will be looking forward to listening to the next audiobook in this series. I am very interested to know what happens next with Shawn and his friends. 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 


MIKE EVANS lives in Iowa with his wife and children. He writes for character depth because he wishes for you to love the character, regardless if they are the villain or the hero. He likes to write from a unique perspective, doing things with books that no one has done before. He keeps his characters realistic, there are no superhero like events that will happen. There are no perfect characters in his books, everyone has their flaws much like that of life.

Visit the author’s website  

Facebook 

Twitter

ABOUT THE NARRATOR: 


The path to becoming a professional writer was certainly the one less traveled for Jack. 

Originally, Jack’s artistic bent led him to a career as an actor. Working on Broadway and with regional and Shakespeare theatres across the country, Jack is proud to have held his own as an actor for over twenty years.

Before the economy had a chance to completely destroy the theatre arts, Jack decided to take his final curtain call during a production with the heralded Stage One Theatre for Young Audiences. It was, however, during that long career that Jack discovered he had a knack for the written word. His first, full-length novel was written between 2000 and 2003. That book, A Blade Away, eventually became his first published work. It didn’t take Jack long to fall in love with the creative process of writing and he followed that first book up with the cult-favorite, Shero.

It wasn’t until Jack woke up one summer morning with a simple question on his mind, that he would finally dive into the craft of horror fiction tooth and nail. That question, “What would it be like to transform into a zombie?”, led Jack to pen the first novel in the I Zombie series — I Zombie I. From there, Jack dove into the deeper waters of horror and has never looked back.

You can follow the mis-adventures of Jack in a number of ways. 

Website 

Facebook 

Twitter 

Zombie Radio 

Newspaper Boys Always Deliver – Blog Tour – Guest Post – Review & Giveaway

Newspaper Boys Cover Pic

Book Description for Newspaper Boys Always Deliver: A Personal Journey into Pop and Technological change in the last Fifty Years.

In Newspaper Boys Always Deliver, Gulesserian takes us on a captivating adventure by combining personal essays and historical insights for an enlightening look at how we got here, and the earlier inventions that paved the way for current cutting-edge technologies. While exploring pop-culture trends, unexpected impacts, and memorable moments in time, this collection of thought-provoking and humorous reflections paints a fascinating picture of the changes half a century can bring—and its implications for what could be just around the corner.

In just fifty years, Western culture has gone from culture to techno-culture—from the swinging sixties to rap, encyclopedia to Wikipedia, slide rule to artificial intelligence.

Newspaper Boys Always Deliver, shares a personal journey of how we got here, in a Book that delivers an eclectic plethora of knowledge, controversy and humorous entertainment in a newspaper format.

Buy the book here:   Amazon   Barnes and Noble

 

Author’s Bio:

Joseph Gulesserian

Joseph Gulesserian came of age during the seventies, and was exposed to many changing technologies with a career that has ranged from metallurgic to manufacturing, from business equipment to information technology, and brand creation.

After earning his MBA, he taught Corporate Finance, Marketing and Statistics as an adjunct professor at Toronto colleges, and in 2000 established a Toronto-based company that designs and produces health and beauty brands for both domestic and international markets.

​Currently, Gulesserian lives in Toronto with his wife.

Connect with the author:   Website   Facebook   Instagram

Giveaway:​

Prizes: ​

Win 1 of 6 print copies of Newspaper Boys Always Deliver (USA & Canada)

1 of 8 kindle copies (Canada)

1 of 5 $20 Amazon gift cards (International)

Click link below to enter the giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

BLOG TOUR STOPS

March 7 –   Amie’s Book Reviews – review / guest post / giveaway

March 8 –   Book Reviews Nature Photos and Everything in Between – review

March 9 –   A Mama’s Corner of the World – review / giveaway

March 10 – Sahar’s Blog – review

March 11 – The Cheshire Cat’s Looking Glass – book spotlight / giveaway

March 11 – Svetlana’s Reads and Views – review

March 14 – Brian’s Book Blog – review

March 15 – Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine – review

March 16 – #redhead.with.book – review / giveaway

March 17 – Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine – guest post

March 17 – Library of Clean Reads – review / giveaway

March 18 – She Treads Softly – review

March 21 – Readers’ Muse – review / guest post

March 22 – Take It Personel-ly – review / guest post / giveaway

March 23 – Room With Books – review / author interview / giveaway

March 24 – Bound 4 Escape – review / giveaway

March 25 – 3 Partners in Shopping – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

GUEST POST

What changed the world more: YouTube or Television? by Joseph Gulesserian

Social media, smartphones, and our digital society are not the first attacks on our attention spans, since television did this with regular broadcasting, starting in the late 1940’s in America.

Television broadcasting, much like radio, further connected the concept of nationhood, as we first saw ourselves as a Nation. Television was the messiah for the visual side of the human mind, and advertising soon followed in a three-network American universe. Today, many of the pre-rolls that we often skip on YouTube, have their content rooted in television advertising of the 1950’s and 1960’s.

It was this type of captive audience—before the billions of websites and social media channel fragmentation—that advertising agencies such as Saatchi & Saatchi operated in. It is this world that is depicted in the Mad Men TV Series, with dreamy jazz sounds of the early sixties, permeating the background.

Television allowed people to watch visual motion in the homes, and it could be argued with some authority, that this changed the parameters of our psyches more than YouTube. Even the 1950’s, television had a democratic feel to it, since one had a choice of a grand three channels.

Television allowed moving visual history to be documented and first introduced soap operas, before people felt they had a morbid obligation to display the minutiae of their lives.

Television was where a world saw the horror of a slain President; the assassination of Martin Luther King and then Bobby Kennedy, as the dreams of idealism faded. It was where Walter Cronkite reported the carnage of Vietnam; it was where we saw the Eagle land on the moon; it was where a helicopter took a president away into the annals of history, as a nation reflected on the tragedy; it was where we were first told about the death of Elvis Presley. It was through this lens that the world first saw the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, only to realize that the world was a more stable place with two contenders, as opposed to one. And finally, television was what brought the horror of 9/11, which can be argued that it was the last great epic event that this medium had a motion picture monopoly on!

YouTube is, quite possibly, the most ultimate disrupter since radio and television. YouTube has made many of us participative broadcasters, whereas, we can upload our own material both professionally and personally. YouTube views have become a better barometer, or metric, of viewership that AC Nielson ever was for television. TV commercials are uploaded to YouTube for after burn and reinforcement value.

But there is so much more: YouTube changes the painful but addictive nature of nostalgia, since it really plays on our innate sense of wanting visuals, to remember how time and our icons have passed.

It is on YouTube where one can virtually obtain an online education, learn Shakespeare, calculus, product reviews, “How To” videos, music videos, rants, raves, dance steps, sports replays, documentaries, movies and so much more.

So what changed the world more: Television or YouTube? This all depends on which world you were born into!

REVIEW

Even though this book is targeted at the Baby Boomer generation and I am a Generation X’er, I enjoyed it. I rate this book as 4.5 out of 5 stars. Baby Boomers will LOVE this book as they can relate to all the events the author talks about. I’m afraid that a few times the references went over my head.

4.5 Stars for JACK OF ALL TRADES 1-5: Food Poisoning by HEEDAL KIM – BOOK REVIEW

  
Title: JACK OF ALL TRADES: 1-5: FOOD POISONING 

Series: CARTOON ISLAND 

Created By: HEEDAL KIM

Written By: TERRY NORMAN 

Illustrator: JAMES LEWIS 

Type of Book: eBook

Genre: Humor, Comics

Release Date: October 2015

Publisher: LIKE/Sunshine Publishing 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*** This book is currently being offered for free on Amazon. 

Each page in this book is a comic strip made up of four panels. Several of these comics actually made me laugh out loud. If you download a copy of this book check out the comic titled “THE INTERN” as well as the one called “SEXUAL HARASSMENT”. 

I have two sons, ages 20 & 17 so I can definitely relate to the comic called “GOOD OLD DAYS”. Have older kids? You’ll love this one. 

Anyone who has to work with other people or in an office will relate to quite a few of these panels. They find Humor in situations that have happened to just about everyone.

The illustrations are perfect and each one is bright and uncluttered. I give the illustrations 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

Overall I enjoyed this book. It was an extremely quick read and the price was definitely right. I rate JACK OF ALL TRADES: FOOD POISONING as 4.5 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️