ALL HALLOWS – Audiobook – Written by Christopher Golden is a masterpiece of horror fiction. If you think blood and guts are necessary for horror novels, this book will prove you wrong. 5+ out of 5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Title: ALL HALLOWS

Author: CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN
http://www.christophergolden.com

Narrator: RONNIE BUTLER and JANUARY LaVOY   

Release Date: JANUARY 24, 2023

Genre: FICTION, HORROR

Length: XXX Hours and XXX Minutes

ISBN: 978-1-667076034  

Publisher: ORANGE SKY AUDIO

Received From: NETGALLEY

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Click above to register for the Free ALL HALLOWS RELEASE PARTY on January 24th, 2023

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DESCRIPTION:

New York Times bestselling, Bram Stoker Award-winning author Christopher Golden is best known for his supernatural thrillers set in deadly, distant locales…but in this suburban Halloween drama, Golden brings the horror home.

It’s Halloween night, 1984, in Coventry, Massachusetts, and two families are unraveling. Up and down the street, secrets are being revealed, and all the while, mixed in with the trick-or-treaters of all ages, four children who do not belong are walking door to door, merging with the kids of Parmenter Road. Children in vintage costumes with faded, eerie makeup. They seem terrified, and beg the neighborhood kids to hide them away, to keep them safe from The Cunning Man.

There’s a small clearing in the woods now that was never there before, and a blackthorn tree that doesn’t belong at all. These odd children claim that The Cunning Man is coming for them…and they want the local kids to protect them. But with families falling apart and the neighborhood splintered by bitterness, who will save the children of Parmenter Road?

All Hallows. The one night when everything is a mask.

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MY REVIEW:

ALL HALLOWS is centered around a single suburban street (Parmenter Road) in the year 1984 and the families who live there. The entire tale takes place over a single day – that of Halloween, also known as All Hallows Eve.

Not only is ALL HALLOWS a horror story, it is also a drama, as well as a commentary on American life in the mid 1980s.

Set in 1984, this horror novel will have readers of a certain age remembering their own lives during the time period in question. Considering the fact that I was in Grade 7 in 1984, the pop culture references were especially nostalgic for me. For example, I remember watching ‘The A Team’ starring Mr. T on television.

Author Christopher Golden seamlessly alternates between several families. He also alternates between each family member’s point of view. This could easily have become confusing to the reader, but Christopher Golden’s writing is perfection.

In fact, it was only upon reflection and the writing of this review that I realized how difficult this type of narrative would be to create. The ability to craft complex plots so seamlessly that the reader does not realize how complicated they truly are is quite simply the mark of a master storyteller. CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN IS THAT MASTER!

People who have little experience with modern horror writers may think of this genre as being all about blood, guts and shock value. This could not be further from the truth and ALL HALLOWS is the perfect example of that fact. 

ALL HALLOWS contains several twists and turns in the storyline, as well as converging plots. In addition, the characters are so beautifully rendered that I could easily picture them as being real people rather than just literary characters. In fact, several of them reminded me of people who lived in my neighborhood while I was growing up. Each character is exquisitely developed and has their own secrets, motivations, views on right and wrong, and ties (some secret, some not) to the other characters in the book. This makes for a story with depth and believability, and one that I very much enjoyed.

I was given an advance review copy of the audiobook version of ALL HALLOWS which I thoroughly enjoyed. The use of two narrators; one male, one female, was a great idea. Having two very different actors voice the various characters added authenticity, which in turn increased my enjoyment of the experience.

I will be highly recommending this book to my followers, family, and friends.

I rate ALL HALLOWS by Christopher Golden as 5+ out of 5 Stars.   ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

*** Thank you to #NetGalley and to #OrangeSkyAudio for providing me with a free #advance #review #copy of this #audiobook ***

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ADD THIS BOOK TO YOUR “WANT TO READ ” LIST ON GOODREADS!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60784620-all-hallows

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN is the New York Times bestselling, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of such novels as Road of Bones, Ararat, Snowblind, Of Saints and Shadows, and Red Hands.

With Mike Mignola, he is the co-creator of the Outerverse comic book universe, including such series as Baltimore, Joe Golem: Occult Detective, and Lady Baltimore.  

As an editor, he has worked on the short story anthologies Seize the Night, Dark Cities, and The New Dead, among others, and he has also written and co-written comic books, video games, screenplays, and a network television pilot.

Golden co-hosts the podcast Defenders Dialogue with horror author Brian Keene.

In 2015 he founded the popular Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival.

He was born and raised in Massachusetts, where he still lives with his family.

His work has been nominated for the British Fantasy Award, the Eisner Award, and multiple Shirley Jackson Awards.

For the Bram Stoker Awards, Golden has been nominated ten times in eight different categories.

His original novels have been published in more than fifteen languages in countries around the world.   

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

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http://www.christophergolden.com/

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CHAPTERS

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ABOUT THE NARRATORS:

ABOUT RONNIE BUTLER:

Originally from the Bahamas, Ron Butler (aka Ronnie Butler Jr.) began his acting career in Washington D.C. at the Arena Stage.  
After studying with the Atlantic Theater Company (William H. Macy,  Felicity Huffman,  Scott Zigler), he moved to New York to become a company member.  He has appeared in plays and musicals in New York and in regional theaters across the U.S.  

In 2002 he moved to Los Angeles, and since has accumulated over a hundred film and television credits, most notably as a series regular on True Jackson VP.  

In addition to acting, he’s directed and produced short films, new media projects, an independent feature film, commercial PSAs, and television shows in development.

To learn more about this Narrator visit the following links:

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ABOUT JANUARY LaVOY:

January LaVoy is an Atlanta-based actor, voice artist, and director.

January made her Broadway debut in Lucy Prebble’s ENRON in 2010, and has appeared Off-Broadway in Wings (Second Stage), Coraline (MCC), Measure for Measure (TFANA), Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie (Ars Nova, Lucille Lortel Nomination) Two Trains Running, Home,Funnyhouse of a Negro, and Wakey, Wakey  (Signature Theatre).

For her work in Funnyhouse, she was deemed one of two “Actresses to Watch” by Hilton Als in The New Yorker magazine. Selected regional theatre credits include: Mattie Campbell in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Mark Taper Forum, directed byPhylicia Rashad), Kate in Good People (Pittsburgh Public Theatre), Isabella in Measure for Measure (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey), Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire, Dawn in Lobby Hero, and Portia in The Merchant of Venice (Denver Center Theatre Company) and the world premiere of Native Guard by United States Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Natasha Trethewey (Alliance Theatre), which was also recorded by LA Theatreworks in 2018. She is a 2010 alumna of the Sundance Theatre Lab.

She has been seen on television in “Blue Bloods”, “N0S4A2”, “Elementary”, and “Law & Order” (classic, CI and SVU), and in 2007 she created the role of Noelle Ortiz-Stubbs on “One Life to Live”, which she played until 2011.

Her voiceover work includes many national commercial campaigns, promos, documentaries, and hundreds of audiobooks. In 2013, she was named Audiobook Narrator of the Year by Publishers’ Weekly. She has been nominated for 18 Audie Awards, receiving 7, and has garnered over three dozen Audiofile Magazine Earphones Awards. In the spring of 2019, she was honored with Audiofile’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Golden Voice. She shares a 2020 GRAMMY nomination with Meryl Streep and the cast of the Charlotte’s Web audiobook, in which she plays the title role of Charlotte.

She received her MFA from Denver’s National Theatre Conservatory, and has taught audition preparation, scene study, and on-camera technique at Emory University.  

To learn more about this Narrator visit the following links:

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https://www.januarylavoy.com

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ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:

OrangeSky Audio is an audiobook publisher raising the volume on new ideas, favorite voices, and words that may have otherwise gone unspoken.

Our published works are an exploration of new ideas and hidden gems in popular genres, speaking to adults and children alike.

With the widest retail and library distribution network in the world, we connect listeners of all ages with the stories and narrators they love — and encourage discovery of a next new favorite.  

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THE NIGHTMARE MAN by J.H. MARKERT is destined to be one of the top bestselling horror titles for 2023. Check out this sneak peek and review…

Title: THE NIGHTMARE MAN

Author: J.H. MARKERT

Release Date: JANUARY 10, 2023

Genre: FICTION, HORROR

Number Of Pages: 336 Pages

Publisher: CROOKED LANE BOOKS

Received From: NETGALLEY

ISBN: 978-1-6391-0170-2  

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

T. Kingfisher meets Cassandra Khaw in a chilling horror novel that illustrates the fine line between humanity and monstrosity.

Blackwood mansion looms, surrounded by nightmare pines, atop the hill over the small town of New Haven. Ben Bookman, bestselling novelist and heir to the Blackwood estate, spent a weekend at the ancestral home to finish writing his latest horror novel, The Scarecrow. Now, on the eve of the book’s release, the terrible story within begins to unfold in real life.

Detective Mills arrives at the scene of a gruesome murder: a family butchered and bundled inside cocoons stitched from corn husks, and hung from the rafters of a barn, eerily mirroring the opening of Bookman’s latest novel. When another family is killed in a similar manner, Mills, along with his daughter, rookie detective Samantha Blue, is determined to find the link to the book—and the killer—before the story reaches its chilling climax.

As the series of “Scarecrow crimes” continues to mirror the book, Ben quickly becomes the prime suspect. He can’t remember much from the night he finished writing the novel, but he knows he wrote it in The Atrium, his grandfather’s forbidden room full of numbered books. Thousands of books. Books without words.

As Ben digs deep into Blackwood’s history he learns he may have triggered a release of something trapped long ago—and it won’t stop with the horrors buried within the pages of his book.

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MY REVIEW:

If you are a fan of horror, you HAVE TO buy a copy of THE NIGHTMARE MAN.

I know people label many books “MUST READ,” but this one is different. It truly is a book that horror aficionados will be talking about for a long time to come.

THE NIGHTMARE MAN is 100% a book that EVERY horror fan will not only want to read, but will also want to recommend to their friends.

THE NIGHTMARE MAN is being released on January 10 of 2023, but fortunately, it can be pre-ordered now. I highly suggest pre-ordering this book because once word starts to get out to the horror world, it will be sold out everywhere.

THE NIGHTMARE MAN opens to the scene of a gruesome discovery – an entire family has been killed, their bodies sewn into bizarre cocoons stitched from corn husks and suspended from the beams on the family farm.

The central characters include:

Ben Bookman, an author whose newly released book “THE SCARECROW” is integral to the storyline of THE NIGHTMARE MAN.

Detective Mills – a small town detective who has some creepy habits of his own, and who is exceptional at his job despite his dependence on large quantities of alcohol to get through his days, and especially his nights.

Ben Bookman is the perfectly named novelist whose book, THE SCARECROW, seems to be coming true. Is Ben a closet serial killer? Is a deranged fan attempting to bring the book to life? Or is something, or someone else responsible for the horrific murders?

Blackwood mansion is central to the tale and is where protagonist Ben Bookman grew up. This mansion is the very definition of CREEPY – really creepy and is where Ben finished writing THE SCARECROW.

Along with the crimes committed and the hunt for the person responsible, the author has crafted extensive backstories for each of the main characters. These details are part of what makes this book so compelling, so unputdownable, and so utterly believable.

Think you know how the book’s plot will play out based on what I have written so far? Well, think again. I can 100% guarantee that you will NOT be able to guess what happens next.

Every time I thought I had things figured out there would be a new twist or another gruesomely bizarre murder that added to the mystery.

THE NIGHTMARE MAN has everything horror fans could hope for, and then some.

I rate it as a solid 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

I am now a fan of author J.H. MARKERT and will be eagerly awaiting his next book.

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

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

J.H. Markert is the pen name for writer James Markert, an award-winning novelist, produced screenwriter, husband, and father of two from Louisville, Kentucky, where he was also a tennis pro for 25 years, before hanging up the racquets for good in 2020.

He graduated with a degree in History from the University of Louisville in 1997 and has been writing ever since.

The author and his daughter

James Markert:
(Copied from his website)
James was raised in a household where creativity thrived, paintings and stained-glass windows beautified the walls, and the arts were as regular as the seasons.  This upbringing will forever be his muse.  James has a history degree from the University of Louisville, where, in his senior year, he was awarded a scholarship as the school’s most outstanding history major.  He won an IPPY Award for The Requiem Rose, which was later published by Sourcebooks as A White Wind Blew.  

James has ideas for future novels that run the gamut of history from time periods and topics like Charles Dickens, Jekyll and Hyde, Prohibition, the Dust Bowl, the Sixties, both World Wars, the Golden Age of Magicians, and a series on Medieval Cathedral building.

James is the writer and co-producer of the feature film/tennis comedy 2nd Serve, starring several actors from popular television shows like Scandal, The Big Bang Theory, Gotham, Cougar Town, Shameless, and Ray Donovan. 

James is also a USPTA tennis pro, and has coached dozens of kids who’ve gone on to play college tennis in top conferences like the Big 10, the Big East, and the ACC. He lives with his wife and two children in Louisville, KY.

Favorite Authors: Stephen King, John Irving, Ken Follett, Pat Conroy, Wally Lamb, George R.R. Martin, Elizabeth Strout, Dennis Lehane, Greg Iles, Anne Rice, Hillary Mantel, Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

Favorite Books: The Stand, The Cider House Rules, The Alienist, Pillars of the Earth, Beach Music, I know This Much is True, The Burgess Boys, The Shadow of the Wind, A Song of Ice and Fire Series.

Favorite Music: U2, Pearl Jam, Cold Play, REM, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Killers, Mozart, Muse, Dave Matthews.

Favorite Shows: Game of Thrones, Justified, Deadwood, Rome, Peaky Blinders, Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Band of Brothers, The Tudors.

Favorite Movies: Shawshank Redemption, Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society, Signs, A Very Long Engagement, Amadeus, Gangs of New York, Sleepers, Saving Private Ryan, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Seven

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

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https://jamesmarkert.com

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ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:

Crooked Lane Books was founded in 2014 to publish the highest quality crime fiction titles in both print and electronic editions. In 2020 we introduced a second line—Alcove Press—to publish upmarket book club fiction that explores family, friendship, and community.

We are distributed to the trade through Penguin Random House Publisher Services.

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OCME – Life in America’s Top Forensic Medical Center by BRUCE GOLDFARB is Exquisitely readable and surprisingly relatable

Title: OCME 

Subtitle: Life in America’s Top Forensic Medical Center 

Author: BRUCE GOLDFARB 

Release Date: FEBRUARY 21, 2023

Genre: NON-FICTION, TRUE CRIME, BIOGRAPHIES AND MEMOIRS, FORENSICS

Number Of Pages: 240 Pages

Publisher: STEERFORTH PRESS 

Received From: NETGALLEY & EDELWEISS 

ISBN: 9781586423582 

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

Go behind the scenes inside the nation’s preeminent Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, where good people fight the good fight amid the tragedies and absurdities of our age.

Perfect for fans of Michael Lewis and David Simon (Homicide, The Corner, The Wire, We Own This City)

Real life is different from what gets depicted on procedural crime dramas. 

Equipped with a journalist’s eye, a paramedic’s experience and a sardonic wit, Bruce Goldfarb spent ten years with Maryland’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, where every sudden or unattended death in the state is scrutinized.

Touching on numerous scandals, including Derek Chauvin’s trial for the murder of George Floyd and the tragic killing in police custody of Freddie Gray, Goldfarb pulls back the curtain on a pioneer institution in crisis.

Medical examiners and the investigators and technicians who support them play vital roles in the justice and public health systems of every American community. During Goldfarb’s time with the Maryland OCME, opioid-related deaths contributed to a significant increase in their workload. Faced with a chronic shortage of qualified experts and inadequate funding, their important and fascinating work has become more challenging than most people could ever imagine.

The public gets a skewed view of the relationship between police and medical examiners from procedural crime dramas, Bruce Goldfarb writes of his work inside one of America’s most storied forensic centers. We aren’t on the same team . . . We aren’t on any team. The medical examiner’s sole duty is to the deceased person. We speak for the dead.

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MY REVIEW

Exquisitely readable and surprisingly relatable, OCME Life in America’s Top Forensic Medical Center is a book I read in a single sitting. Despite needing sleep, I was unable to put this book down.

Author Bruce Goldfarb brings readers along with him for a detailed look at what life is really like in the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Think this book would be too macabre to read? You would be massively wrong. OCME does NOT rely on the glorification of blood and guts to sell books. It is so interesting that it simply doesn’t need to.

Full of eye-opening facts and fascinating details, OCME will open the eyes of its readers to the ridiculousness of red tape in any and every bureaucracy; even the bureaucracy of death itself.

Although this might not have been the author’s goal, he has nevertheless succeeded in bringing to light the horrific statistics surrounding many of the most concerning ways in which people have died over the past decade. Granted, the statistics used in this book only represent the state of Maryland, however, these are the same issues faced by most other states and cities in North America. For example, the author highlights the alarming number of people who have died due to the Opiod Epidemic. 

This book will open people’s eyes to the importance of having skilled and highly trained medical examiners. The result of this will hopefully be that both taxpayers and politicians will allocate more money in their budgets to the OCME in their respective jurisdictions.

Some of the most shocking, and frankly disturbing, information contained within the pages of this book are the following facts:

[  ]  “About half of the US population is under the jurisdiction of coroners and lacks access to qualified forensic pathologists…”

[  ] “In states including Wisconsin, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, New York, Idaho, Georgia, Colorado, and Nevada, elected coroners aren’t required to have ANY medical or legal training before they can certify the cause and manner of death.”

[  ] In Missouri, to serve as a coroner, the requirements are minimal. You only have to be 21 or older, and have to get more votes than anyone else. There is absolutely NO MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE NECESSARY. That is ridiculous. “If a person is elected coroner, they can crack open a beer and start signing death certificates.”

I rate OCME as 5 out of 5 Stars
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

I recommend this book not only to fans of True Crime, but also to everyone who wants to be more informed about Public Health, Politics, and/or general nonfiction enthusiasts.

Reading this book and spreading the word about it could be the difference between a murderer being caught or going free. It just might be the reason a killer is caught and the lives of future potential victims are saved.

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

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Photo by Jennifer Bishop

Bruce Goldfarb was the executive assistant to the Chief Medical Examiner for the state of Maryland, US, where the ‘Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death’ are housed.

He was the public information officer for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and trained as a forensic investigator.

Bruce began his career as a paramedic before becoming an award-winning journalist reporting on medicine, science and health. Through his work with the Nutshell Studies, Bruce earned the trust of Frances Glessner Lee’s family and caretakers of her estate, and was designated Lee’s official biographer.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

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ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:

Since 1994, Steerforth Press has sought to publish books that are written well, intended to engage the full attention of the reader, and have something new or important to say. Our active backlist features timeless works of fiction and poetry, but our current program focuses exclusively on works of narrative nonfiction.

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https://www.c-span.org/video/?508985-2/nutshell-studies-unexplained-death

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FLOWERS OF FIRE: The Inside Story of South Korea’s Feminist Movement and What It Means for Women’s Rights Worldwide by HAWON JUNG is a book that needs to be read and discussed and passed on to every woman in every country in the world

Title: FLOWERS OF FIRE

Subtitle: THE INSIDE STORY OF SOUTH KOREA’S FEMINIST MOVEMENT AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR WOMEN’ S RIGHTS WORLDWIDE 

Author: HAWON JUNG  

Release Date: MARCH 7, 2023

Genre: NON-FICTION, WOMEN’S ISSUES, MULTICULTURAL INTEREST

Number Of Pages: 304 Pages

Publisher: BEN BELLA BOOKS

Received From: EDELWEISS

ISBN: 978-1637742419 

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

An eye-opening firsthand account of the ongoing and trailblazing feminist movement in South Korea—one that the world should be watching.

Since the beginning of the #MeToo movement, tens of thousands of women and girls in South Korea have taken to the street, and many more brave individuals took a stand, to end a decades-long abortion ban and bring down powerful sexual abusers—including a popular presidential contender. South Korean feminists know that the revolution has been a long time coming, between battles against its own deeply patriarchal society as well as combating stereotypes of docile Asian women in the Western imagination.

Now, author Hawon Jung will show the rest of the world that these women are no delicate flowers—they are trailblazing flames. 

Flowers of Fire takes the reader into the trenches of this fight for equality, following along as South Korean activists march on the streets, navigate public and private spaces full of spycams, and share tips and tricks with each other as they learn how to protect themselves from criminals and authorities alike.

Jung, the former Seoul correspondent for the AFP, draws on her on-the-ground reporting and interviews with many women who became activists and leaders, from the elite prosecutor who ignited the country’s #MeToo movement to the young women who led the war against non-consensual photography and revenge porn. Their stories, though long overlooked in the West, mirror realities that women across the world are all too familiar with: threats of defamation lawsuits to silence victims of assault, tech-based sexual abuse of women and girls, and criminal justice systems where victims’ voices are often met with suspicion and predators’ downfalls are met with sympathy. These are the issues at the heart of their #MeToo movement, and South Korean women have fought against them vigorously—and with extraordinary success. In Flowers of Fire, Jung illuminates the strength and tenacity of these women, too often sidelined in global conversations about feminism and gender equality.

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/c/embed/1b45c0e7-1f51-4e36-ac5b-03b9decf32af

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MY REVIEW:

When I think of South Korea, the farthest thing from my mind is women’s rights. Women are treated as delicate flowers.

Maya Angelou said:

The women written about in FLOWERS OF FIRE embody this quote.

Maya Angelou once said: “Develop enough courage to stand up for yourself and then stand up for somebody else.” The women whose stories are highlighted in this book are the living embodiments of that famous quote.

I don’t think any of us who were born in Canada and who have grown up with the knowledge that we are valuable and that we can be, and do anything, could possibly understand the world of misogyny that is the norm in South Korea. Yes, the patriarchy exists in North America, but not to the extent that it exists in Asian countries.

When the #MeToo movement swept through the United States and Canada, women felt empowered to stand up for themselves and to say “NO MORE.” But, what about women in other countries? What about women who, because of government censorship, had no idea what was happening around the world?

Who was brave enough to stand up and to be the very first woman to tell her story? And, what would happen to her after she came forward? The fear would have been crippling. There was a very real chance that those women would be shunned, shamed, and would be branded as sluts and liars.

I am in awe of the women in this book. They are BRAVE … truly brave in a way that transcends time. Their stories are IMPORTANT.

FLOWERS OF FIRE – The Inside Story of South Korea’s Feminist Movement And What It Means For Women’s Rights Worldwide is not only an enthralling read, but also an extremely important one.

If you think of yourself as a feminist, or even if you don’t, if you care about human rights at all, then you simply MUST Read this book.

FLOWERS OF FIRE  is being released on March 7th, 2023 and can be pre-ordered now. I have a feeling that this book will sell out quickly, so I suggest that you preorder it to avoid being disappointed.

I would love to hear back from people after they read this book to discuss the details. I did not want to include any spoilers in my review, but I am dying to discuss it.

5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 
5 out of 5 Flames     

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

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More than 200 female protesters gather in central Seoul on Feb. 27, calling for women’s representation in South Korea’s presidential election.
(Min Joo Kim/The Washington Post)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hawon Jung is a journalist and former Seoul correspondent for the AFP news agency with more than a decade of experience writing about the two Koreas.

She covered the 2011 death of then-North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, the rise to power of his son, Kim Jong-un, the junior Kim’s first summit with Donald Trump, South Korea’s historic presidential impeachment, and K-pop’s rise on the world stage.

Her coverage of South Korea’s #MeToo movement was shortlisted in the 2019 Awards for Editorial Excellence by the Society of Publishers in Asia.

Born and raised in South Korea, she currently lives in Germany with family.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

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Kim Ju-hee protests in August 2021 in front of the National Assembly in Seoul with a sign that reads “Democracy without woman is not a democracy.” ( Min Joo Kim/The Washington Post)

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ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:

BenBella is a marketing-focused, author-friendly publishing house whose success is based on a few simple principles. We select our titles with care. We provide authors with first-class service and genuine partnership. And we provide aggressive, creative marketing for each title we publish.

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<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Leader of South Korea, which has one of the world’s worst gender gaps, argues that eliminating the ministry set up to protect women would actually help them <a href=”https://t.co/VGNGi9zeOt”>https://t.co/VGNGi9zeOt</a></p>&mdash; Bloomberg (@business) <a href=”https://twitter.com/business/status/1578269652618199041?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>October 7, 2022</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

CITIES OF THE DEAD – The World’s Most Beautiful Cemeteries by YOLANDA ZAPPATERRA is due for Release on September 26th – Check out some of the amazing photographs HERE

Title: CITIES OF THE DEAD

Subtitle: The World’s Most Beautiful Cemeteries 

Author: YOLANDA ZAPPATERRA

Release Date: SEPTEMBER 26, 2022

Genre: NON-FICTION, PHOTOGRAPHY, CEMETERIES, HISTORY, TRAVEL

Number Of Pages: 240

Received From: NETGALLEY

ISBN: 978-0-711265783 

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

Discover the fascinating stories of the world’s most beautiful cemeteries, featuring spectacular photography, unique histories and famous residents.

Cities of the Dead takes us on a tour of memorial sites, ranging from monastic settlements to grand cathedralsShinto shrines to Gothic chapelstombs and crypts. Enjoy tales of myths and monsters, grave-robbers, pilgrimages, spiritual retreats, remembrance and community. Marvel in cemeteries with a hundred thousand to a handful of graves which feature famous headstones, weeping angels, ocean views, woodlands, thousands of glowing lanterns and a tomb of poets.

From London’s famous Highgate Cemetery, which houses famous names from Karl Marx to Malcolm McLaren, George Eliot to Christina Rosetti, to Hawaii’s breathtaking Valley of the Temples, this book spans the globe to bring you the most fascinating, intriguing and evocative cemeteries across cultures and continents.

Together with evocative images, the stories behind these notable burial sites bring these sanctuaries to life, detailing the features that make them special, highlighting both similarities and differences between time periods, religions and cultures, and showing how cemeteries are about and for the living as much as the dead.

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MY REVIEW:

This stunningly gorgeous book is now available and I can’t wait to receive a hardcopy of it. I received an advance ebook of CITIES OF THE DEAD to read and review. The result? Well, I have now added many of the graveyards shown in this book to my Bucket List of places I want to visit before I join the Cities of the Dead permanently.

The photographs are beautiful and perfectly described so that readers cannot fail to see the radiance and magnificence of the various monuments to the dead.

CITIES OF THE DEAD: The World’s Most Beautiful Cemeteries by YOLANDA ZAPPATERRA illustrates the fact that beauty and even tranquility can be found in the most unexpected of places.

Readers of this book will quickly realize that burial monuments exist for the living as much, if not more than as a way to honor the dead.

One of the things that struck me were the similarities between cemeteries all over the world, a fact that demonstrates that people everywhere have much more in common with residents of other countries than they might have originally thought. 

This magnificent book deserves a rating of 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Although the digital version of this book is lovely, I highly recommend pre-ordering it’s print version. I have already pre-ordered my copy and I am excited to be able to hold this exquisite book in my hands.

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

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PREVIEW AVAILABLE BY CLICKING HERE

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

To learn about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 
http://t.co/PYzHFoxT

GOODREADS
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/685575.Yolanda_Zappaterra

TRAVEL WEEKLY
http://travelweekly.co.uk/articles/author/216  

LINKEDIN
https://www.linkedin.com/in/yolanda-zappaterra-41082027

TWITTER 
https://mobile.twitter.com/yzappaterra

QUARTO KNOWS
https://www2.quartoknows.com/authors/2867/Yolanda-Zappaterra

THE INDEPENDENT
https://www.independent.co.uk/author/yolanda-zappaterra

INSTAGRAM 
https://www.instagram.com/yolzappa

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ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:

The Leading Global Illustrated Book Publisher

The Quarto Group creates a wide variety of books and intellectual property products, with a mission to inspire life’s experiences. Produced in many formats for adults, children, and the whole family, our products are visually appealing, information rich, and stimulating.

The Group encompasses a diverse portfolio of imprints and businesses that are creatively independent and expert in developing long-lasting content across specific niches of interest.

Quarto sells and distributes its products globally in over 50 countries and 40 languages, through a variety of sales channels, partnerships, and routes to market.

Quarto employs c. 300 talented people in the US and the UK. The Group was founded in London in 1976. It is domiciled in the US and listed on the London Stock Exchange (QRT).

To learn more about this Publisher visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 
http://www.quartoknows.com/

FACEBOOK 
https://www.facebook.com/QuartoKnows

TWITTER 
https://twitter.com/quartoknows

YOUTUBE
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg6_9Q3TbEXRPspas_bqPHw

INSTAGRAM   
https://www.instagram.com/quarto.knows

PINTEREST
https://www.pinterest.com/quartoknows

TIK TOK
https://www.tiktok.com/@quartobooks  

INSTAGRAM  – UK
https://www.instagram.com/quartobooksuk

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WHEN THE STORKS CAME HOME by ISABELLA TREE is a gorgeously illustrated and beautifully told story based on real life events – Between the beautiful illustrations and the riveting storyline, this book is sure to grab the attention of parents and children alike. I recommend this Children’s Book as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

I absolutely adore this cover.

Title: WHEN THE STORKS CAME HOME

Series: NATURE’S WISDOM

Author: ISABELLA TREE
https://www.isabellatree.com

Illustrator: ALEXANDRA FINKELDEY
https://artbyscatterbee.com

Release Date: SEPTEMBER 6, 2022

Genre: CHILDREN’S FICTION, BASED ON A TRUE STORY, ENVIRONMENT, NATURE, BIRDS, REWILDING

Number Of Pages: 34

Target Age: 4 to 8 year Olds

Publisher: IVY KIDS – A DIVISION OF QUARTO PRESS

Received From: NETGALLEY

ISBN: 978-0711272798

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

When The Storks Came Home is a charming, fictionalized retelling of the successful reintroduction of the white stork at the Knepp Estate, a UK native bird that has been brought back from extinction.

In this second picture book from best-selling author and globally significant conservationist Isabella Tree, we meet eight-year-old Beanie, who loves birds. When she discovers that huge white storks used to live in her own village but were hunted to extinction in the UK 600 years ago, she is determined to find a way to bring them back.

But reintroducing a vanished species is not so simple! Storks can fly hundreds of miles, so releasing storks into the local countryside won’t be enough to make them return and stay for good. With the help of other villagers, Beanie hatches a plan…

Beautiful illustrations help bring this powerful and important story to life, teaching children about conservation and their environment in an accessible way.

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https://twitter.com/i/status/1530117229873856515

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MY REVIEW:

WHEN THE STORKS CAME HOME written by ISABELLA TREE and illustrated by Canadian artist ALEXANDRA FINKELDEY is a fabulous children’s book that combines great storytelling with lessons about the environment and about the impact of humans on animal/bird habitats.

Aimed at children ages 4 to 8, this book will also interest older children. Parents will also find the story interesting and with photos and details included at the back of the book, are sure to learn new information about the stork project and about the concept of “rewilding.”

When I saw the illustration of the stork with its neck bent backwards I was surprised. Before reading this book I had no idea how storks mated and how they contort their necks. I found that information fascinating. 

For all of the above reasons I am rating WHEN THE STORKS CAME HOME as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

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

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Isabella Tree is an award-winning nature and travel author, and conservation pioneer.

Her best-selling adult book Wilding: The Return of Nature to a British Farm (200,000 copies sold) tells the story of Knepp, the groundbreaking rewilding project in West Sussex that she started with her husband, the environmentalist Charlie Burrell.

She is also the author of the critically acclaimed children’s book When We Went Wild, which relates the benefits of rewilding to the next generation of conservationists.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 
https://www.isabellatree.com

GOODREADS
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/665308.Isabella_Tree

FACEBOOK 
https://m.facebook.com/698763606829945

TWITTER 
https://www.twitter.com/isabella_tree

INSTAGRAM 
http://www.instagram.com/Isabella.tree

AMAZON 
https://www.amazon.com/Isabella-Tree/e/B000APD5O8

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The header for Alexandra Finkeldey’s ETSY Store.

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR

Alexandra Finkeldey is an illustrator based in Ottawa, Canada.

She uses both traditional and digital mediums to capture her favorite subjects, which typically include animals, people, plants, and food.

She has long been inspired by nature, animation, travel, and video games, which has translated into vibrant and often unreal color palettes as they appear in her work.

Read a fantastic interview with Alexandra Finkeldey HERE.

To learn more about this illustrator visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 
https://artbyscatterbee.com

ETSY
https://www.etsy.com/shop/scatterbee

GOODREADS
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20953730.Alexandra_Finkeldey

FACEBOOK 
https://www.facebook.com/artbyscatterbee

TWITTER 
http://www.twitter.com/scatterbee

GOOGLE BOOKS

YOUTUBE
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCqYRWmbl2cc5mukCZXTpL3A

INSTAGRAM 
https://www.instagram.com/scatterbee

AMAZON 
https://www.amazon.com/s?i=digital-text&rh=p_27%3AAlexandra+Finkeldey&s=relevancerank&text=Alexandra+Finkeldey&ref=dp_byline_sr_ebooks_2

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ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:

Ivy Kids produces beautiful books that will get kids making, creating, thinking, playing and dreaming.

Covering all sorts of areas, including cool, contemporary kids’ crafts, awesome art activities, and fresh nonfiction topics, our books will get kids of all ages imagining, innovating, and above all, having fun!

Ivy Kids brings you beautiful, sustainably printed books to rewild your child, nurture creativity, and foster a deep connection with the living world. 

Winner of the Sustainability Award at the Independent Publishers Guild Awards 2022.

Ivy Kids books are planet-friendlyprinted on 100% post-consumer recycled paperlocally to where they will be sold.

To learn more about this Publisher visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 
http://www.quartoknows.com  

GOODREADS
https://www.goodreads.com/TheQuartoGroup

FACEBOOK 
https://www.facebook.com/QuartoKnows

TWITTER 
https://twitter.com/quartoknows

INSTAGRAM 
https://www.instagram.com/quarto.knows

PINTEREST 
https://www.pinterest.com/quartoknows

YOUTUBE
https://www.youtube.com/c/QuartoKnows

TIKTOK
https://www.tiktok.com/@quartobooks

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#AmiesBookReviews #BookReview #tbr #BookReviewer #bookish  #ReadAndReview #bibliophile #UK  #bookstagram #bookstagrammers #AuthorsOfInstagram #author #NewBook #MustRead #BookNerd #book #books #reading #storks  #instagramhub #amreading #tbr  #BookRecommendations #tbrlist
#BookRecs #biology #England #Britain #rewild #rewilding #KidLit #ChildrensBook #illustrated #illustrators #illustrator #NetGalley  #IllustratorsOfInstagram
#WhenTheStorksCameHome

https://www.facebook.com/independentpublishersguild

https://www.linkedin.com/company/independent-publishers-guild

THE ISLAND by Adrian McKinty – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

Title: THE ISLAND

Author: ADRIAN McKINTY 
http://adrianmckinty.blogspot.com
 

Narrator: MELA LEE
https://www.melalee.com/

Release Date: MAY 17, 2022

Genre: FICTION, MYSTERIES AND THRILLERS

Length: 8.9 HOURS

Publisher: HACHETTE AUDIO

Received From: NETGALLEY

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

IT WAS JUST SUPPOSED TO BE A FAMILY VACATION.

A TERRIBLE ACCIDENT CHANGED EVERYTHING.

YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE CAPABLE OF UNTIL THEY COME FOR YOUR FAMILY.

After moving from a small country town to Seattle, Heather Baxter marries Tom, a widowed doctor with a young son and teenage daughter. A working vacation overseas seems like the perfect way to bring the new family together, but once they’re deep in the Australian outback, the jet-lagged and exhausted kids are so over their new mom.

When they discover remote Dutch Island, off-limits to outside visitors, the family talks their way onto the ferry, taking a chance on an adventure far from the reach of iPhones and Instagram.

But as soon as they set foot on the island, which is run by a tightly knit clan of locals, everything feels wrong. Then a shocking accident propels the Baxters from an unsettling situation into an absolute nightmare. 

When Heather and the kids are separated from Tom, they are forced to escape alone, seconds ahead of their pursuers.

Now it’s up to Heather to save herself and the kids, even though they don’t trust her, the harsh bushland is filled with danger, and the locals want her dead.
Heather has been underestimated her entire life, but she knows that only she can bring her family home again and become the mother the children desperately need, even if it means doing the unthinkable to keep them all alive.

SOON TO BE A HULU ORIGINAL SERIES

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MY REVIEW:

Growing up on Goose Island watching the lights of Seattle, Heather knew she wanted more from life. And so, she moved to Seattle.

Working as a massage therapist, she falls in love with one of her clients. Tom, a widower, is everything she has ever dreamed of in a partner and they get married.

Tom has two children from his deceased wife and they want nothing to do with their Dad’s new wife. However, despite their feelings, they decide to accompany their Dad and Heather on a trip to Australia where their Dad is the keynote speaker at a medical conference.

That trip changes the lives of every single one of them.

Heather never really wanted kids, at least not at the age of 24. She is too close to the kids’ ages for them to view her as an authority figure.

But, when an accident happens and the family finds itself in a situation none of them were prepared for, it is Heather who steps up. It is Heather to whom the kids must trust to keep them alive.

This action packed audiobook is freaking fantastic!!! Narrator Mela Lee brings the characters to life with exceptional skill. It is evident that Mela is an experienced and professional voice actress. She makes narration seem easy which it certainly is not. Her pacing is sheer perfection and draws the listener deeper into the story. I rate Mela Lee’s narration as 5 out of 5 Stars. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

It is hard to believe, but this is my first time reading a book written by Irish Author Adrian McKinty, it will NOT be the last.

The author does a commendable job of creating a believable teenage girl, as well as a snarky, twelve-year-old boy. It makes me wonder if he, like myself, has had first-hand experience of the cutting wit of a boy of this age. If so, I feel for him.

DeliverancemeetsThe Fugitive mixed with Bear Gryls Man vs. Wild.

THE ISLAND is a high octane thrill ride filled with non-stop action.

I rate THE ISLAND audiobook as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

***Thank you to #NetGalley and #HachetteAudio for providing me with a free copy of this audiobook ***

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Adrian McKinty was born and grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He studied philosophy at Oxford University before moving to Australia and to New York. He is the author of more than a dozen crime novels, including the Dagger and Edgar-award nominated debut Dead I Well May Be, the critically acclaimed Sean Duffy series, and the award-winning standalone thriller The Chain, which was a New York Times and #1 international bestseller.

​McKinty’s books have been translated into over 30 languages and he has won the Edgar Award, the International Thriller Writers Award, the Ned Kelly Award (3 times), the Anthony Award, the Barry Award, the Macavity Award, and the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

OVERDRIVE

TWITTER 

INDIEBOUND  

KOBO

ITUNES

AUDIOBOOKS.COM

AUDIBLE

GOOGLE

HACHETTE AUDIO

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ABOUT THE NARRATOR:
(Description copied from her website)

“I won the lottery when it comes to dream jobs. I get to be a professional voice actor and vocalist for film, television, and games. You might have heard my voice in a favorite commercial, animated or live action series, or game franchise -including Lifeline in Apex Legends, Jade for Mortal Kombat 11, Imperial Pilot – Star Wars Squadrons (Star Freakin’ Wars), Tikki in Miraculous Ladybug and Kikimora in Owl House both for Disney.” 

https://playlist.megaphone.fm/?e=LIT8203153731

I’ve got some super exciting roles with Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Amazon, and Netflix that I’m totally fan girling over, but I can’t say anything because of signed NDA’s/Confidentiality Agreements. But I promise – they will be so worth the wait. I cannot wait to share them with you. 

Mela’s other passions include baking, hiking, camping, math (definitions a nerd), and volunteering for her favorite charities.

To learn more about this Narrator visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 
https://www.melalee.com

MELA IS THE LEAD SINGER FOR THE BAND – MAGNOLIA MEMOIR

BEHIND THE VOICE ACTORS

ANIME VOICE OVER WEBSITE

WIKIPEDIA

GOODREADS

OVERDRIVE

FACEBOOK  

ITUNES

YOUTUBE

TWITTER  

INSTAGRAM  

IMDb

CAMEO

SPOTIFY

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#NetGalley #AmiesBookReviews #BookReview #tbr #BookReviewer  #ReadAndReview #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookstagrammers #AuthorsOfInstagram #author #NewBook #MustRead #BookNerd #book #books #reading #arc  #instagramhub  #audiobook  #Narrator #MustListen

THE MOONSTONE GIRLS is destined to be One of the Best Books of 2022 – RELEASES TODAY – Get Your Copy Today – You’ll be glad you did

Title: THE MOONSTONE GIRLS

Author: BROOKE SKIPSTONE

Release Date: FEBRUARY 14, 2022

Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, LGBTQ

Number Of Pages: 397

Publisher: SKIPSTONE PUBLISHING

Received From: NETGALLEY

ISBN: 978-1-73700643-5

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

DESCRIPTION:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe even The MoonStone Girls.

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MY REVIEW:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BELOW IS THE MOONSTONE GIRLS PLAYLIST

https://open.spotify.com/embed?uri=spotify%3Aplaylist%3A3FHQ6I55MRmqkIuFhA2mvD

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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

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

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

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

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

GOODREADS

AMAZON  

#NetGalley #AmiesBookReviews #BookReview #tbr #BookReviewer  #ReadAndReview #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookstagrammers #AuthorsOfInstagram #author #NewBook #MustRead #BookNerd #book #books #reading #yalit #ya #instagramhub #YoungAdultFiction
#TheMoonstoneGirls #BrookeSkipstone #LGBTQ #DiverseBooks #1968 #Vietnam #DraftCards #Equity #Equality #LoveIsLove

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

Title: CATCH THE SPARROW

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

Author: RACHEL REAR

Release Date: FEBRUARY 1, 2022

Genre: NON-FICTION, TRUE CRIME, BIOGRAPHIES AND MEMOIRS

Number Of Pages: 256

Publisher: BLOOMSBURY USA

Received From: NETGALLEY

ISBN: 978-1635577235

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

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

The photo of Stephanie that her dad
gave police in 1991.
COURTESY OF RACHEL REAR

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

Rachel Rear with her step-father in 2008

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

A photo of Stephanie’s beloved cockatiel, Chubie.

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

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MY REVIEW:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Photo by Elena Mudd

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

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

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

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http://www.rachelrear.com/

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ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:

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

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

Title: THE MOONSTONE GIRLS

Author: BROOKE SKIPSTONE

Release Date: FEBRUARY 14, 2022

Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, LGBTQ

Number Of Pages: 397

Publisher: SKIPSTONE PUBLISHING

Received From: NETGALLEY

ISBN: 978-1-73700643-5

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

DESCRIPTION:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe even The MoonStone Girls.

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MY REVIEW:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BELOW IS THE MOONSTONE GIRLS PLAYLIST

https://open.spotify.com/embed?uri=spotify%3Aplaylist%3A3FHQ6I55MRmqkIuFhA2mvD

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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

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

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

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

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

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