ALL WE KNEW BUT COULDN’T SAY by Emmy Award Winning Canadian Actor and Author JOANNE VANNICOLA – If you only read one book this year, make sure it is this one. 5+ Stars – Compelling, Heart-rending, and Emotional. This is a MUST READ.

Title: ALL WE KNEW BUT COULDN’T SAY
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Author: JOANNE VANNICOLA
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Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHIES AND MEMOIRS, MENTAL HEALTH, CANADIAN NON-FICTION, LGBTQIA

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Length: 232 PAGES

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Publisher: DUNDURN PRESS
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Received From: NETGALLEY
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Release Date: JUNE 25, 2019

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ISBN: 9781459744226

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Price: $19.99 USD

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Rating: 5+ OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

Joanne Vannicola grew up in a violent home with a physically abusive father and a mother who had no sexual boundaries.

After Joanne is pressured to leave home at fourteen, encouraged by her mother to seek out an acting career, she finds herself in a strange city, struggling to cope with her memories and fears. She makes the decision to cut her mother out of her life, and over the next several years goes on to create a body of work as a successful television and film actor. Then, after fifteen years of estrangement, Joanne learns that her mother is dying. Compelled to reconnect, she visits with her, unearthing a trove of devastating secrets.

Joanne relates her journey from child performer to Emmy Award–winning actor, from hiding in the closet to embracing her own sexuality, from conflicted daughter and sibling to independent woman. All We Knew But Couldn’t Say is a testament to survival, love, and Joanne’s fundamental belief that it is possible to love the broken, and to love fully, even with a broken heart.

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MY REVIEW:

*** WARNING – TRIGGER WARNING***

This book contains scenes of child sexual abuse and physical abuse of children. If any of these topics cause emotional triggers for you, I strongly suggest you do not read this book.
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There are many memoirs that contain disturbing subject matter and ALL WE KNEW BUT COULDN’T SAY is no exception. However, the difference between other memoirs and that of Canadian Joanne Vannicola is that Joanne somehow managed to live through her horrific childhood and yet still emerge into adulthood full of compassion for others. Rather than allow her abusers to keep her ‘small,’ she has gone on to have a phenomenal career. To my way of thinking, Joanne being happy and successful is the best revenge. Her strength and determination are a big “F” you to her abusers. She didn’t let them win.

Not only that, but she has also become an advocate for LGBTQ youth. According to Joanne, “[Her] role meant [Joanne] could impact their lives, provide a little hope for others even though [she] still hadn’t learned to hold on to it [herself]…and it provided a deeper purpose…”

Joanne says in the book:
“I could not erase my own pain, but if I could help other kids, it meant healing was possible.”

This memoir is powerful. It is horrific in parts, especially when readers learn how Joanne was treated as a child, but it also includes some wonderful and touching moments and shows the power of friendship.

I do not want to give away too much with my review because I am hoping that everyone who reads this review runs out to buy/pre-order a copy of ALL WE KNEW BUT COULDN’T SAY.

YES, this book will make you shake in anger at the people who were supposed to love Joanne the most, but who turned out to be the perpetrators of her abuse, BUT I BELIEVE THIS IS A BOOK THAT NEEDS TO BE READ.

There are children suffering at this very moment, and people who see these things happening are often afraid to call Children’s Aid in case they are wrong. BUT … What if a child dies or suffers irreparable harm because you did not make that simple phone call? How would you feel? Could you ever forgive yourself?

PLEASE MAKE THE CALL. If it is determined that there was no abuse, then you can rest easy knowing you did the right thing. A bit of embarrassment is nothing when a child’s life and/or his/her mental health is on the line.

This book is not only about abuse. It is also about growing up and trying to come to terms with your sexuality. Joanne came of age not too long ago, but it was long ago enough that being gay, bisexual, trans, or queer was not acceptable to society at large. In fact, the phrase “non-binary” did not even exist. People kept their sexual orientations quiet and this fact made Joanne question what exactly was “wrong” with her. This memoir follows her journey from questioning her sexuality to accepting it and to become an advocate and role model for other LGBTQ youth.

Joanne’s life has been full of pain and agony, but it has also been a life filled with many triumphs, including her winning the her battle with anorexia.

I could go on and on about how amazing Joanne Vannicola is (all based on her book as I have not met her yet.) Instead, I will encourage everyone reading this review to pre-order her book immediately. Don’t wait to do it. Order it immediately. You will not be disappointed. ALL WE KNEW BUT COULDN’T SAY is a 5+ Star Book and you will continue to think about Joanne and her life long after the final page has been read. It is impossible not to. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Joanne Vannicola is an Emmy award-winning Canadian actor and writer, who has been working in film, television, and theatre since she was eight years old. She has also been nominated for a Genie, a Gemini, and an ACTRA award.

Joanne is a long-time advocate for the LGBTQ community and has an essay in the anthology Cuarenta y Nueve, a book by 49 artists for the 49 victims of the Orlando Pulse club massacre. She is the Chair of the first LGBTQ+ committee for the actors union, ACTRA, and sits on the sexual assault ad-hoc committee at ACTRA for women in film and television.

Joanne’s forthcoming memoir, All We Knew but Couldn’t Say (Dundurn Press) will be available 1 June 2019.

She is a recipient of the Ontario Arts Council Grant in 2016—Writer’s Works in Progress for her memoir. Joanne was selected for the Diaspora Dialogues Program in 2013 and worked with author David Layton for six months. Her short screenplay His Name Was Steven, was selected for the Queer Ideas Screenplay competition.

Joanne founded the non-profit organization, Youth Out Loud, between 2004-2009, to raise awareness about child abuse and sexual violence.

Equity issues have always been at the forefront of Joanne’s work both in her artistic world and in her personal/political life and she is very passionate about youth, women, and LGBTQ equity and rights.

To learn more about Joanne Vannicola visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
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OFFICIAL AUTHOR WEBSITE
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BLOG
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GOODREADS
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FACEBOOK
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INSTAGRAM
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DUNDURN PRESS ON INSTAGRAM

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TWITTER
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DUNDURN PRESS TWITTER

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IMDb

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AMAZON
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CHAPTERS
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PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE
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WANT TO ATTEND THE OFFICIAL BOOK LAUNCH???

WANT TO MEET JOANNE IN PERSON?

WANT TO HAVE YOUR BOOK SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR?

SIGN UP FOR FREE TO ATTEND HER OFFICIAL BOOK LAUNCH HERE

****This book is my “A” entry in the GingerMom’s 2019 A to Z Reading Challenge****


THE HAUNTING OF ELMWOOD MANOR – BLOG TOUR, REVIEW & GIVEAWAY TO WIN A $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD

Title: The Haunting of Elmwood Manor

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Author: Pamela McCord

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Series: A Pekin Dewlap Mystery

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Published by: Acorn Publishing

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Publication date: March 1st 2019

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Genres: Middle-Grade, Mystery

DESCRIPTION:

Pekin Dewlap hasn’t seen a ghost since she was twelve. But she’d do anything to get them back. Starting a ghostbusting business with her two best friends, Amber and Scout, seems like the perfect way to accomplish her goal. Of course, playing with ghosts isn’t high on their wish list, so Pekin has to do some arm-twisting to get them on board.

Once committed, Pekin and her friends find themselves in deep, trying to solve the disappearance of fourteen-year-old Miranda Talbert. Miranda went missing in 1918, and her spirit has wandered the halls of Elmwood Manor for the last hundred years.

In the midst of finding Miranda, discovering her budding feelings for Scout, and consoling a terrified Amber, Pekin is met by an angry ghost set on thwarting her plans. Will the Ghosties be able to help Miranda, or will Pekin’s business die before she solves the mystery?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks

MY REVIEW:

THE HAUNTING OF ELMWOOD MANOR is the first book in a new middle grade series.

Starring three friends, this tale is one that many readers, especially those in the target age range, will easily relate to. Middle graders are usually interested in ghost stories and love to scare each other by telling tales at sleepovers, etc. Because of this, THE HAUNTING OF ELMWOOD MANOR is a novel that will enthrall readers and could very well end up on the best-seller list.

The characters are easily relatable and the relationship between Pekin and Scout mirrors many friend-turned-into-more relationships that occur at this time of life. The author does a terrific job of detailing the misunderstandings that occur when one person is unsure of the feelings of the other.

I believe that THE HAUNTING OF ELMWOOD MANOR will be well received by middle-grade readers and because of this, I rate this book as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Author Bio:

Pam was born in Arkansas several decades ago. She’s not sure if that makes her a Southern Girl or if moving to Southern California when she was five revokes her Southern Girl card. She started writing later in life when she was challenged by a friend to create a book out of his story idea. Reaching the first 5,000 words was a milestone, but with time and hard work she managed to finish an entire book, much to her surprise. Since then, she’s written several novels, in several genres. Romance, middle grade and paranormal comprise most of her work. Pam has spent over 40 years working as a legal secretary at a law firm in Orange County, California. Aside from writing, she follows the stock market, buying, selling and trading stocks and options. In contrast to that, she loves trips to Las Vegas where she can spend many happy hours at the Pai Gow tables. She shares a condo with her very own My Cat From Hell TV star, Allie, who manages to exude just enough affection to make her scary feral ways tolerable.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:
Website / Facebook

GIVEAWAY!

Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)

BURN by Helen Hyland – Book One in a New Post-apocalyptic Trilogy is COMING SOON – Romance and Non-Stop Action Make This A Great Read

Title: BURN
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Series: EARTH 6.0 TRILOGY : BOOK ONE
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Author: HELEN HYLAND
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Genre: FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY, APOCALYPTIC FICTION, SCI-FI ROMANCE

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Length: 226 PAGES

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Publisher: BLACK ROSE WRITING
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Received From: THE AUTHOR

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Release Date: MAY 2, 2019

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ISBN: 978-1-68433-257-1 (Paperback)

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Price: $18.95 (Paperback)

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Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

5 EXTINCTION LEVEL EVENTS HAVE ALREADY HAPPENED. CAN HUMANITY SURVIVE A 6TH?

In two weeks life on Earth would end. Victoria Phillips was one of the fortunate ones, she’d won a spot in Earth’s underground sanctuary. Unfortunately, it came with Phoenix Tanner. He’d been sent to escort her to safety, but the man drove her nuts with his arrogant, annoying, sexist attitude. She was torn between kicking his shins and running her nails down his back, tracing that delicious tattoo.

She was relieved when they picked up more winners, and his attention shifted away from her. But the more time the group spent together; the more she got to know Nix… she began to suspect that the lottery wasn’t all that random after all.

MY REVIEW:

Want a dash of romance with your ‘End of The World’ tale? If so, BURN is perfect for you.

If you like stories where the female lead character has a backbone and is ‘off-the-charts’ intelligent? Again, BURN is the book for you.

I have a soft-spot for post-apocalyptic fiction. There is just something about reading about regular people who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances that intrigues me.

I enjoyed reading BURN and I love the characters author HELEN HYLAND has populated the story with. Each one has his or her own distinct personalities and they all seem so real that I found it impossible not to care about them.

Victoria Phillips is the main character and she is someone that, if she were real, I would definitely hang out with. Her backstory is similar enough to my own that I understood the motivations behind many of her thoughts and actions. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, so I won’t say anything more about her. Suffice it to say that I really enjoyed reading BURN and I recommend it to readers who are fascinated by the many scenarios that could potentially bring an end to most of the life on our planet.

I read BURN in a single sitting (much to the chagrin of my hungry family who were waiting for me to finish the book and to cook dinner.) At only 226 pages, this book can easily be read over a single weekend, or a single day if you binge read like I do.

I rate BURN by HELEN HYLAND as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Mark your calendars for May 2nd to get this book on Release Day. Or, better yet, just go to any of the links at the end of my post to preorder a copy to be sent to you the second it is released.

***Thank you to Helen Hyland for providing me with a free copy of this book***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Helen lives in a suburb of Philadelphia. Philly girl through and through. She bleeds green. She knows the meaning of “Wit or Witout”, that the best cheesesteaks are from the local place and skips Pat’s and Geno’s.

She has always been an avid reader and writer. Her mother would often find her in the middle of the night with a flashlight and either a book she couldn’t put down or scratching the stories that were in her head on loose leaf paper.

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
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GOODREADS
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FACEBOOK
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TWITTER
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AMAZON
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PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

BURN by Helen Hyland is my Letter “B” Entry for this terrific challenge

DON’T EVEN BREATHE by Keith Houghton is a thriller you will not want to put down

Title: DON’T EVEN BREATHE

Author: KEITH HOUGHTON

Genre: FICTION, MYSTERIES AND THRILLERS

Length: 303 PAGES

Publisher: AMAZON UK PUBLISHING

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: APRIL 18, 2019

ISBN: 9781503900912

Price: $15.95 USD

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

Florida homicide detective Maggie Novak has seen hundreds of brutal murder cases, but when she is called out to investigate the charred remains of a young woman, in what appears to be a Halloween prank gone wrong, she is confronted with a twenty-year-old secret. The body is formally identified as that of school counselor Dana Cullen, but a distinguishing mark makes Maggie look again. She believes it is the body of her school friend Rita, who perished in a fire twenty years ago.

Maggie’s hunt for the truth behind the murder takes her back to a cruel high school trick she’s desperate to forget. And when another body turns up, Maggie realizes she too may be the target of a sinister plot creeping toward its final act.

Maggie needs emotional distance to do her job, but she’s so close to this case that she can’t even breathe. Will Maggie be able to uncover the truth of who wanted Rita dead? Or will her past mistakes catch up with her first

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MY REVIEW:

With a multitude of twists and turns DON’T EVEN BREATHE by Keith Houghton is a thriller whose unrelenting action will keep you reading long into the night.

Main character, Maggie Novak is such a believable character that she is perfectly relatable. She may be an elite homicide detective, or “deathtective,” as she calls herself, but she is also a person with a past.

Maggie knows she has done terrible things and she wishes she could go back and change them, but she knows she can’t.

Maggie has a man in her life, but she keeps it casual. He is a cute, surfer-type whose dayjob is working in the mental health field. He has a dog and I love that the dog’s name is Spartacus.

When Maggie’s worst high school memory is brought to light, she has to not only find a murderer, but must also face up to the ramifications of what she did back then.

This story proves that high school may be long over, but often, memories of that time affect the rest of a person’s life.

Highschool may be short, but memories are long.

I rate DON’T EVEN BREATHE as 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐ and am thrilled to have found a writer whose work I was unfamiliar with until now. I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of his novels.

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

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This book and it’s review are part of GingerMom’s 2019 A to Z Reading Challenge.

The point of this challenge is to read at least one book whose title starts with each different letter of the alphabet within the year of 2019. DON’T EVEN BREATHE is my entry for the letter “D.”

Crime Members Association

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QUOTES:

“When it came to murder, the benevolent became malevolent in the blink of an eye.”

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“In her profession, speculation was a valuable tool. It acted like a mental sieve, filtering out the detritus, focusing on the important facts.”

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“No matter how many times they went over it, he’d never understand that her work couldn’t be confined to office hours, or that as a woman she had to excel just to be considered equal.”

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“Men had a built-in need to protect their women, and her injury had put a big dent in his machismo.”

The Alliance of Independent Authors

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Keith Houghton spent too much of his childhood reading science fiction books, mostly by flashlight under the bedcovers, dreaming of becoming a full-time novelist.

When he was thirteen, his English teacher—fed up with reading his space stories—told him he would never make it as a science fiction writer. Undeterred, Houghton went on to pen several sci-fi novels and three comedy stage plays while raising a family and holding down a more conventional job.

But it wasn’t until he started writing mystery thrillers that Houghton’s dream finally became reality. Though his head is still full of space stories, he keeps his feet planted firmly on the ground, enjoying life and spending quality time with his grandchildren.

Houghton is the bestselling author of the three Gabe Quinn thrillers—Killing Hope, Crossing Lines, and Taking Liberty—as well as the stand-alone psychological thrillers No Coming Back, Before You Leap, and Crash.

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

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GOODREADS

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FACEBOOK

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INSTAGRAM
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TWITTER

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PATREON

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YOUTUBE
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SOUNDCLOUD

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AMAZON
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BOOKBUB

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AUDIBLE

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CHAPTERS

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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TIME TRAVEL by Kate Mascarenhas RELEASES TODAY – This book focuses on diverse Female protagonists. A MUST READ – BUY YOURS TODAY!!!

Title: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TIME TRAVEL

Author: KATE MASCARENHAS

Genre: FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION, WOMEN’S FICTION

Length: 320 PAGES

Publisher: CROOKED LANE BOOKS

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: FEBRUARY 12, 2019

ISBN: 9781683319443 (Hardcover)

Price: $26.99 USD

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

In 1967, four female scientists worked together to build the world’s first time machine. But just as they are about to debut their creation, one of them suffers a breakdown, putting the whole project—and future of time travel—in jeopardy. To protect their invention, one member is exiled from the team—erasing her contributions from history.

Fifty years later, time travel is a big business. Twenty-something Ruby Rebello knows her beloved grandmother, Granny Bee, was one of the pioneers, though no one will tell her more. But when Bee receives a mysterious newspaper clipping from the future reporting the murder of an unidentified woman, Ruby becomes obsessed: could it be Bee? Who would want her dead? And most importantly of all: can her murder be stopped?

Traversing the decades and told from alternating perspectives, The Psychology of Time Travel introduces a fabulous new voice in fiction and a new must-read for fans of speculative fiction and women’s fiction alike.

MY REVIEW:

“We need fictional and real role models for women in science.”

The year is 1967. Margaret, Barbara, Grace and Lucille are all very different women, but they have one massive commonality – together they discovered time travel.

“Margaret was a baroness turned cosmologist. Lucille had come from the Toxteth slums to make radio waves travel faster than light. Grace – who never gave the same account of her history twice – was an expert in the behaviour of matter. And the last was Barbara: the baby of the group.. She specialized in nuclear fission. All four women were combining their knowledge in a new, and unique, project.”

When they were ready to debut their time machine to the Press, one of the women has a breakdown on national television. The others force her off the team to protect what they see as the integrity of their invention. Of course, this means that despite her contributions, one woman is left in obscurity while the other three team members go on to become famous.

Fast forward fifty years. Time travel has become BIG business.

Someone leaves a mysterious newspaper clipping for Ruby Rubello’s “Grandma Bee,” (Barbara who was the woman forced off the original team) Ruby becomes obsessed with the information contained in that article. This leads to fascinating and sometimes sinister events.

B

ecause this is a time travel novel, it skips between multiple people and multiple years. It could easily have become confusing and difficult to follow for the reader, but author Kate Mascarenhas has somehow kept that from happening.

What I love the most about THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TIME TRAVEL is the fact that all the lead characters are female and, not only that, but they are from varying races and of diverse sexuality.

Despite the fact that this is her debut novel, the author is able to keep the story flowing perfectly despite multiple characters and multiple timelines which would be a challenge for even a seasoned author. This bodes well for her future projects and I can’t wait to discover what she comes up with next.

I rate this book as 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I recommend it to readers who love a good mystery as well as those who are interested in time travel and in books containing strong female characters.

QUOTE:

Life’s better with a few risks than a lot of regrets.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kate Mascarenhas is a writer.

Born in 1980, she is of mixed heritage (white Irish father, brown British mother) and has family in Ireland and the Republic of Seychelles.

She studied English at Oxford and Applied Psychology at Derby. Her PhD, in literary studies and psychology, was completed at Worcester.

Since 2017 Kate has been a chartered psychologist. Previously she has been an advertising copywriter, bookbinder, and doll’s house maker. She lives in the English midlands with her partner.

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

TWITTER

AMAZON

HARPER COLLINS

#ThePsychologyOfTimeTravel

#NetGalley

PLUS+ is being released today. Check out my review below and get your copy before they sell out.

PLUS+ IS BEING RELEASED TODAY – Get your copy and a couple extra copies to give as gifts.

The message of Body Positivity this book conveys is sorely needed in today’s world.

Title: PLUS +

Subtitle: STYLE INSPIRATION FOR EVERYONE

Author: BETHANY RUTTER

Genre: NON-FICTION, PHOTOGRAPHY, STYLE, LIFESTYLE, PLUS SIZED WOMEN, PLUS SIZED STYLE, DIVERSITY, DISCRIMINATION

Length: 224 PAGES

Publisher: ANDREWS MCMEEL PUBLISHING

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: FEBRUARY 5, 2019

ISBN: 9781449493578

Price: $14.99 USD

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

Be inspired by 100 of the very best plus-size street style images from fashion influencers and tastemakers from around the world.

Plus-size fashion is daring, experimental, and deeply personal. There’s no longer any shame in not fitting the traditional ideals of beauty, as proven by Gabi Gregg, Tess Holliday, Beth Ditto, and thousands of bloggers and models around the world.

The online plus-size fashion community is loud, international, and confident. Millions of #ootd photos are shared every day, showing off amazing style and beautiful people. Plus+ gathers together the very best, and celebrates all shapes, sizes, and aesthetics—a beautiful, sharply designed, glossy collection to inspire everyone, plus-size or otherwise.

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MY REVIEW:

“My style is practical, stylish, feminine (at times) but most of all, true to me.”
– Quote by Chloe Pierre

PLUS + is a must buy coffee table book.

Are you a plus size woman?

Have you ever been told that you couldn’t wear a specific outfit due to your size?

If so, PLUS + is the book for you. With photographs of plenty of plus-sized women wearing whatever they want, this book will easily become your go-to when you need some inspiration in your day.

Each professional photograph is accompanied by a quote from the model.

These quotes range from:

“I dress for the celebration I want my life to be”

all the way to:

“Fuck flattering! No rules. Just Style.”

The included quotes run the gamut from sassy to demure, and from angry to inspirational.

Finally there is a book that celebrates fashion for regular sized women, rather than for stick people with no curves. Body positivity is the message.

As an added bonus, each photo layout includes the @ tag for each model which allows readers to go online and follow their favorite model even after finishing reading this book.

If, after reading, you do not come away feeling better about your body, and your personal style, then you are missing the point and I suggest you read it again.

I rate PLUS+ as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I hope to see this book become the go-to present for all your female friends regardless of their dress size.

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

QUOTES THAT REALLY SPOKE TO ME:

“I’m probably one of the worst people to talk about trends. I wear what I want, how I want, whenever I want. Dressing for myself is the only rule I understand.”
Fluvia Lacerda

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“I dress according to my mood, and I love it.”
Aileen Melendez Salinas

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

To learn about this author, blogger, and Podcaster visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

PODCAST – WHAT PAGE ARE YOU ON

GOODREADS

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

AMAZON

CHAPTERS

INFO ABOUT BETHANY’S PODCASTS:

Prolific readers Alice Slater and Bethany Rutter take a literary theme, from ghost stories to crime to fat women, and chat about it for the next 40 minutes.

Visit their Podcast site.

Follow them on Twitter @WhatPagePod

A WOMAN’S GUIDE TO CANNABIS by Nikki Furrer is the BEST Book on this subject I have ever come across. Recipe for Cannabis Lollipops Here.

Title: A WOMAN’S GUIDE TO CANNABIS
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Subtitle: Using Marijuana to Feel Better, Look Better, Sleep Better – and Get High Like A Lady
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Author: NIKKI FURRER
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Genre: NON-FICTION, HEALTH, CANNABIS, RECIPES

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Length: 215 PAGES

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Publisher: WORKMAN PUBLISHING
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Received From: NETGALLEY
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Release Date: DECEMBER 25, 2018

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ISBN: 978-1-5235-0200-4

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Price: $16.95 USD (Softcover) AND WORTH EVERY PENNY!!!!

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Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

A woman’s handbook to demystifying the world of weed, whether it’s being used for pain relief, a moment of calm, or a fit of giggles.

Women of all ages are using cannabis to feel and look better. For rookies and experienced marijuana users alike, this lively, information-filled book is just the supportive guide you need to find the right dose to relieve anxiety, depression, and inflammation, and mitigate the onset of dementia and other signs of aging. Plus boost moods, ease aches, even lose weight, and get restful sleep. And a dose just for fun? Well, that works, too!

Here’s how to navigate the typical dispensary, with its overwhelming options of concentrates, edibles, vape pens, and tinctures. Understand the amazing health-giving compounds found in cannabis—THC, CBD, terpenes, and more—and how to use topicals to reduce pain and give your skin a healthy glow. There’s even advice on how not to get high but still reap all the amazing health benefits.

Plus over twenty recipes, from edibles like Classic Pot Brownies and Netflix and Chill Caramels to self-care products like Radiant Glow Serum and Happy Body Bar.

M

MY REVIEW:

In the introduction to “A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis” the author states:

“Now that I am in my forties, cannabis makes me feel prettier and more relaxed than I ever was in my twenties or thirties. Even after a car accident fractured my spine and created permanent back pain, medical marijuana makes me healthier and happier than I’ve ever been before.”

This quote, especially the part about her permanent back pain struck a chord with me. I have spent the last ten years in constant pain. I have to take pain medication just to be able to get up and have a shower in the morning. Anyone who lives with debilitating pain will understand me when I say, “I am willing to try anything to reduce my pain.”

With the booming marijuana industry in both Canada and the United States, books are finally being written and research is finally being conducted out in the open on this plant that was once a staple in society. Hemp has been used for hundreds of years, and now that same plant that is used to make items such as rope and even clothing, can be openly studied for its medicinal qualities.

“Sure, there are lots of books about marijuana – cookbooks and gardening books and books about the history of marijuana legalization – but I couldn’t find a book that could take my mother through her first shopping trip at the dispensary and her first time getting high.” “So I wrote this book for anyone who wants to feel better, look better, and sleep better. Everything we teach new patients at the dispensary is in these pages, including how cannabis works, why it works, and how to make marijuana gummies at home. Plus there are a few surprises in this book that you won’t learn at the dispensary.”

“Cannabis doesn’t just make us feel high and happy; it also has powerful analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antianxiety, and antidepressant qualities.

I have been searching “high” (pun intended) and low for a book about cannabis that actually answers all my questions. My goal has been to find a book that I can use as a guide to assist me in deciding what form, what strength, and what strain of marijuana might be able to help reduce the crippling back pain I suffer from on a daily basis. With all the hype surrounding cannabis lately; especially since October of 2018 when marijuana became legal for both medical and recreational use in Canada, I thought I would have no problem finding multiple books containing the information I was seeking, but wowzer, was I ever wrong. I have bought and read over ten books on this subject and this is the first and only book that was not a complete waste of my time and money.

I knew I was onto something special by the end of the first eight pages. Why? Because of the following few sentences: “Legal cannabis is curative and restorative. It makes us sleep better, eat better, and feel better. But it’s important to have realistic expectations, so no, I will not tell you that cannabis cures cancer … [also, to] be perfectly clear: I am not suggesting you change any medication unless you discuss it with your doctor.”

Author Nikki Furrer has impressed me tremendously, her vast knowledge of the cannabis industry is not merely academic, nor is it solely based on other people’s experiences. Her nearly encyclopedic knowledge of the various methods of ingestion and of the different strengths, mixtures, and ratios of THC to CBD is exactly the type of information that I had almost given up on finding. I am so glad that I didn’t give up.

My advice to other people (both men and women) is that if you are planning to spend some of your hard earned money on a book about marijuana, make sure this is the book you choose. I received a free eBook copy of “A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis” through the Publisher and NetGalley, but I was so impressed that I also bought a physical copy of the book so that I would always be able to look up certain points whenever I want to, as well as to have the included recipes to hand at all times.

I highly recommend that you purchase your own copy of this book whether you are planning to partake of cannabis yourself or not. Because there is so much misinformation floating around currently, it is important to have a solid, reliable source of information, especially if you are a parent, or just a concerned member of society. If you are informed, you will be able to better understand both sides of the marijuana debate.

I rate this book as 5+ OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. If it were possible I would rate it even higher. Very few books receive my coveted 5+ Star rating but this book clearly deserves the highest rating possible. I would like to personally thank Author Nikki Furrer for creating THE DEFINITIVE BOOK ON CANNABIS.

Now, you’ll have to excuse me, I am off to partake of some cannabis myself.

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nikki Furrer grows legal cannabis in several states. She works as a consultant for dispensaries, cultivators, processors and edible makers, and has created edible and topical products for both medical and recreational markets.

Nikki Furrer is the CEO of Fleur, a cannabis company that develops strains and products with a focus on women’s health. Nikki is a cannabis lawyer, cultivator and budtender. Before joining the marijuana industry, Nikki owned Puddn’head Books, an independent bookstore. She currently lives in St. Louis, MO.

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

PINTEREST

AMAZON

CHAPTERS

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

CANNABIS RECIPE FOR LOLLIPOPS:

(From A WOMAN’S GUIDE TO CANNABIS)

DIY Cannabis Lollipops for 4/20

Hard candies are a sweet, discreet way of medicating on the go, and they can be made in any dose, color, flavor, size or shape. Hard crack temperatures and pouring syrup as fast as you can seems intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be making professional looking, gourmet marijuana hard candies in your own kitchen.

Hard crack is the hottest stage of candy making, and the temperature is a precise 300 degrees. If the syrup does not get heated to 300 degrees, the candy will be sticky and soft. If the syrup is cooked over 305 degrees, it will caramelize and turn brown. Heat the sugar syrup on a high heat. Longer cook times increase browning of the syrup. Heating the solution as quickly as possible keeps the color clear and prevents caramelization of the syrup.

We do need a few tools and supplies. The most important is a candy thermometer. Hard candy must reach an exact 300 degrees, and if you try to make suckers without one, I promise, you will make a mess.

I have sucker molds that make each pop perfectly, but you can make suckers without molds. Spread parchment paper out on the counter. Then, when your syrup is ready to be poured, simply pour out dollops of syrup onto the parchment paper and roll a sucker stick into each dollar of hardening syrup.

The flavor of a lollipop comes from whatever flavor you add. LorAnn oils are perfect for flavoring suckers.

I love to play with color, so I have a rainbow supply of food coloring. Add food coloring one drop at a time.

Once you have all of your supplies and tools, get everything ready before you start boiling sugar. Once the syrup hits 300 degrees, you have to work fast.

Rose petals and other edible flowers make elegant, beautiful lollipops. Fill half of a sucker mold with syrup, then place a rose petal, lavender, carnation, honeysuckle, violets or candied lilacs in the mold and cover with enough syrup to finish filling the lollipop. Add cardamom to rose petal pops. Use ginger or mango flavoring with mint leaves.

Skip the coloring if you want to use flowers, but you can add a drop of coloring for a hint of color around the flower.

A gram of cannabis concentrate (like wax, shatter, live resin, etc) can have from 500-900 milligrams. This recipe makes 22-24 lollipops, so they should be between 30-40 mg THC. For strong pops, look for the highest THC potency you can find. For mild pops, try a half gram of concentrate.

Put the concentrate in a small glass dish, or the pyrex cup you plan to mix your syrup in, then place it in the oven for 30 minutes at 250 degrees to fully convert THCA to THC and CBDA to CBD.

CANNABIS LOLLIPOPS RECIPE:

Ingredients:

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/4 cup water

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (a Martha Stewart touch. You don’t have to, but the cream of tartar makes the finished sucker smoother and more professional looking)

1 teaspoon flavoring oil

1 gram cannabis concentrate

2-3 drops coloring

edible flowers or colored sanding sugar

Spray molds with nonstick cooking spray or spread parchment paper on the kitchen counter.
Over high heat, mix sugar, corn syrup and water in a heavy pot. Stir until all of the sugar dissolves. Use a small brush to wipe sugar from the sides of the pot and into the mixture.
Add food coloring. Attach a candy thermometer to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Do not stir as the temperature rises.
At 300 degrees, remove pot from heat and place in an a ice bath to stop the cooking process.
When the syrup has stopped boiling, add flavoring and concentrate. Use a small silicone spatula and stir well.
Pour syrup into lollipop molds or pour round dollops on parchment paper.
Press and roll a small stick into each lollipop. Leave them for an hour to set.
When the suckers have hardened, they will pop out of the molds. Wrap in plastic or sucker bags and store in a cool, dry place for several months.
I spent years making a mess of hard candy. When it comes off the stove the sugar mixture is a hot 300 degrees, and we’ve only got a few minutes before it cools down and hardens. In those few minutes we need to add the perfect amount of color and the right amount of cannabis concentrate, stir it well and pour out 24 perfectly shaped suckers. And then add edible flowers or a sprinkle of glitter for fun.

It can’t be done.

The syrup hardens up before all the suckers are evenly poured. The syrup hardens all over the pyrex cup so we waste a sucker or two. I had given up on hard candy when Martha Stewart offered a tip that saved my lollipops – the oven.

So now I can take my time and complete each step perfectly, which results in perfect pops. Since the oven is already at 250 degrees from the decarboxylation process, we can simply put the pyrex cup of syrup in the oven whenever it hardens. The heat in the oven will warm up and smooth out the syrup so it can be poured.

And remember, suckers can be made with honey instead of white sugar, too.

Happy Medicating!

QUOTES:

“Because the more we know about cannabis, the easier it is to use it in a way that’s effective for us.”

“After decades of reefer madness propaganda, we’re now learning about how good this demonized plant is for our health and happiness. Cannabis doesn’t just make us feel high and happy; it also has powerful analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antianxiety, and antidepressant qualities.”

“… prescription pills are handed out like candy, it’s not surprising that the opioid epidemic has hit every suburb in the country … Swapping out the medicine cabinet for marijuana can prevent that downward spiral to rehab.”

⭐⭐⭐ ” My fortysomething friends have just as many questions as my mother’s friends, because the marijuana in dispensaries today is so different from the marijuana we remember from our youth.”

RIVER PEOPLE by Margaret Lukas – Historical fiction – A fascinating tale of struggle and survival in the 1890s

Title: RIVER PEOPLE

Author: MARGARET LUKAS

Genre: FICTION, HISTORICAL FICTION, WOMEN’S FICTION

Length: 375 PAGES

Publisher: BQB PUBLISHING

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: FEBRUARY 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1945448225

Price: $18.95 USD

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

Set in Nebraska in the late 1890s, seventeen-year-old Effie and eleven-year-old Bridget must struggle to endure at a time when women and children have few rights and society looks upon domestic abuse as a private, family matter.

The story is told through the eyes of the girls as they learn to survive under grueling circumstances.

MY REVIEW:

What first drew my attention to RIVER PEOPLE by Margaret Lukas was the wonderful cover. Seeing the shack near the water, it evokes a feeling of isolation and even somehow emits a sense of desperation – all that just from the front cover.

Once I started reading this book, I was introduced to Bridget (who is an eleven year-old half-orphan), and to Effie, who is the unwanted seventeen year-old daughter of a settler family.

The lives of girls and women in the 1890s were not their own. Females began life as property of their father, which only changed when she was married. At that point she became the property of her husband. Women could not vote since they were considered “non-persons.” Of course, in modern North American society, this seems ridiculous, but it was reality and very few people questioned it. In fact, if a man were to beat up his wife, the law would ignore it as being “none of their business.” Ridiculous I know, but that was reality and few people questioned it.

I do not think I would have done well living in such a society. In fact, I would probably end up like so many other women of that time who were labelled as “incorrigible” or as having “hysteria.” If a woman was so designated, her husband or family would have her admitted to an insane asylum to live out her days being considered crazy. Although this does not happen in this book, both Effie and Bridget must have known that it was a possibility, and that their fate rested in the hands of a man – one that neither of them liked very much.

Sixty four year-old Reverend Jackdaw has his heart set on building a church in Omaha, Nebraska and in having numerous sons to ensure his vision comes to fruition. To do this, he needs a wife, one young enough to bear multiple children. He sees his chance to begin fulfilling what he thinks of as his destiny when he stops at the farm belonging to Effie’s family. He convinces her father to allow them to wed by telling him that the Reverend and his new bride would be leaving for Omaha shortly after the ceremony and the consummation of the marriage.

When procuring supplies for their trek to Nebraska, Reverend Jackdaw comes across a sign offering “Free Orphans.” This is how Bridget becomes his adopted daughter. He sees her not as a person, but as a way to keep watch on his youthful bride. She tries to introduce herself, but he doesn’t care what her name is and tells her that from that day forward, her name would be “Rooster” due to her red hair.

The story then follows the unlikely trip as they trek through the wilderness and arrive at the “house” on the river that Reverend Jackdaw is being loaned the use of for free.

Author Margaret Lukas does a phenomenal job at world building and I felt as if I had been transported back in time. I loved the way she built up each character and they became real to me and I was invested in their survival. I just couldn’t put this book down and read the entire 375 in a single weekend.

Anyone who is curious as to how “real” people lived in the pioneer era should read this book. Unfortunately, many historical fiction authors take the easy route and choose to make their characters wealthy, but this just does not reflect the lives of average or poor people. To make a modern day analogy, it would be like writing about the Kardashians rather than a regular, every day person of middle class.

I enjoyed this book tremendously and as such, I am rating it as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Margaret Lukas is an instructor at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. She teaches creative writing in the Writer’s Workshop Program. She received her BFA from UNO’s Writer’s Workshop in 2004. In 2007 Margaret received her MFA from Rainier Writing Workshop in Tacoma, Washington.

She is a recipient of a 2009 Nebraska Art Council Individual Artist Fellowship.

She is a contributor to NEBRASKAland magazine and an editor for the quarterly literary journal, Fine Lines. Her writing also appears online and in the 2012 anthology, On Becoming, published by the University of Nebraska Press.

Her award-winning short story, “The Yellow Bird,” was made into The Yellow Bird, a short filmand premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

Farthest House was her first novel.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

AMAZON

CHAPTERS

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE