F.O.L.D. BOOK BASH was terrific – Check out the amazing and diverse authors, poets and publishers I met on Saturday.



F.O.L.D. stands for FESTIVAL OF LITERARY DIVERSITY 

Today at City Hall in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, FOLD hosted the 2017 Book Bash. 

WHAT IS A FOLD BOOK BASH?

  • A one-day book market designed to give authors and book selling organizations a space to promote their books. 
  • A chance for the community to learn about books written by local authors
  • The ability for consumers to learn about and to purchase multicultural books that reflect the diversity of the city and  country in which they live
  • A chance to meet the authors of those books and to have them autographed 
  • As well as the chance to listen to authors read from, and talk about their books. 

    FOLD is the first and only literary festival in Canada to focus on diverse authors and stories.

    The first Festival of Literary Diversity was held in May 2016 and included more than 25 unique sessions held over three days with over thirty of Canada’s most exciting authors.

    Mark your calendars for May 3rd to May 5th, 2018 for the next Festival. There will be quite a few authors and publishers with many different sessions to choose from.

    CHECK IT OUT – YOU’LL BE GLAD YOU DID. 

    AUTHORS I MET ON SATURDAY  & SOME AMAZING BOOKS YOU NEED TO OWN


    #1. 

    JAEL RICHARDSON 


    Jael Richardson
     is one busy woman. Besides being the Founder and Creative Art Director of the Festival of Literary Diversity, she is also an author in her own right.

    Her book THE STONE THROWER: A DAUGHTER’S LESSON, A FATHER’S LIFE is a memoir based on her relationship with her father, CFL quarterback Chuck Ealey. The memoir received a CBC Bookie Award and earned Richardson an Acclaim Award and a My People Award as an Emerging Artist and was adapted into a children’s book in 2016. 

    To learn more about Jael, visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE      

    GOODREADS          

    TWITTER    

    FACEBOOK          

    INSTAGRAM        

    CHAPTERS              

    This is me with Jael at the 2017 FOLD Book Bash

    #2. 

    DEJA BEALS has been writing poetry since the age of sixteen. She finds her inspiration for her poetry in family, friends and everyday experiences.  

    DĖJA BEALS has been writing poetry since the age of 16. You would never know that during those early writing days, her poetry was filled with incorrect grammar. Now, like Déja herself, her writing has matured and
     developed. Her work has blossomed to include a range of topics such as love, faith and everyday experiences.

    Déja finds her poetic inspiration in family, friends and her daily experiences.

    She is known for her silly moments, big laugh and even bigger heart. She has been said to have wisdom beyond her years and uncanny insight which adds depth to her writing. She is currently living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE     

    DÉJA’S OFFICIAL BLOG     

    GOODREADS      

    TWITTER     

    FACEBOOK     

    INSTAGRAM    


    AMAZON          

    DISCOVERING DIVERSITY PUBLISHING    

    3, 4 and 5.

    I met these three very gracious and amazing women at the FOLD Brampton Book Bash. 

    About the multitalented Catherine Graham – Not only has she written the fiction novel QUARRY but she is also only days away from the launch off her new poetry collection THE CELERY FOREST which is being published by Wolsak and Wynn

    Author and Poet – CATHERINE GRAHAM

    QUARRY is a fictional story set in Southern Ontario during the 1980s. Only child Caitlin Maharg lives with her parents beside a water-filled limestone quarry, but her idyllic upbringing collapses when she learns her mother is dying. After a series of family secrets emerge, Caitlin must confront the past and face her uncertain future. 

    THE CELERY FOREST      

    Like Wonderland or Oz, Neverland or Narnia, The Celery Forest is an extraordinary world filled with strange creatures and disorienting sights. But the doorway to the Celery Forest is not a rabbit hole or an old wardrobe. The doorway is an MRI. For poet and novelist Catherine Graham, this is the topsy-turvy world she found herself in after learning she had breast cancer.

         More than a survivor’s tale, these poems are a map through unknowable terrain, infused with awareness and forgetting, written by a poet with the visionary ability to distill our sense of wonder into something we can hold.
    TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CATHERINE GRAHAM, VISIT THE FOLLOWING LINKS: 

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

    GOODREADS 

    TWITTER   

    FACEBOOK    

    INSTAGRAM      

    AMAZON       


    CHAPTERS         

         
    #4.  

    Publisher & Author Alexander Leggett  

    CEO and Founder of Two Wolves Press, Alexandra Leggat is the author of the novel The Incomparables as well as several other published works. 

    Alexandra started Two Wolves  Press as a way to nurture talent without compromise  – to work closely with Two Wolves writers to follow and trust their intuition and publish “instinctual fiction”. 

    Two Wolves Press publishes Catherine Graham’s novel QUARRY and
    Aileen Santos’ SOMEONE LIKE YOU.

    To learn more about this Publisher and author, visit the following links:
     
    OFFICIAL WEBSITE   


    GOODREADS     

    TWITTER   

    FACEBOOK        

    INSTAGRAM      

    AMAZON     

    CHAPTERS       

    MORE INFO COMING IN MY NEXT BLOG POST. 


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    THE MURDERS OF MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE by Tade Thompson will be available on October 3rd and will scare the heck out of you. 

            🌟🌟🌟🌟 = 4 STARS 


    Title: THE MURDERS OF MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE  

    Author: TADE THOMPSON

    Genre: FICTION, HORROR

    Length: 128 PAGES

    Publisher: TOR BOOKS              

    Received From: NETGALLEY     

    Release Date: OCTOBER 3, 2017 

    ISBN: 978-0-7653-9713-3 (PAPERBACK)  

    ISBN: 978-0-7653-9712-6 (EBOOK)

    Price: $1.99 USD – EBOOK

    Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟 

    OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION:    

    The rule is simple: don’t bleed.

    For as long as Molly Southbourne can remember, she’s been watching herself die. Whenever she bleeds, another molly is born, identical to her in every way—and intent on her destruction.

    Molly knows every way to kill herself, but she also knows that as long as she survives she’ll be hunted. No matter how well she follows the rules, eventually the mollys will find her. Can Molly find a way to stop the tide of blood, or will she meet her end at the hand of a girl who looks just like her?

    MY REVIEW:

    Despite only consisting of 128 pages, and officially being considered a “novella” rather than a “novel,” THE MURDERS OF MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE does not lack readability. Yes, it is a quick read, but that is due to the fact that once begun, it is nearly impossible to put down.  

    The concept of the “Doppelganger” is not new, even so, author Tade Thompson has taken the concept to places no one ever has before.

    This story is all about Molly.

    Molly may look normal, but she suffers from a unique genetic quirk, one that makes her the only person alive with her bizarre condition.

    It’s all about the blood.

    Every time Molly bleeds, another copy of herself grows from that blood and a new molly is created – a perfect physical copy of Molly at the moment in time when her blood was shed.

    The problem occurs because the new molly may start out seemingly normal, but inevitably, the new copy turns on the original and attempts to murder her.

    Imagine knowing that at least once a month (thanks to her gender,) a new molly will come to life and that you have no choice but to commit murder in order to preserve your own life.

    What would that do to your pysche? Could you ever hope to lead a normal life?

    You will need to read this novella to find out if Molly ever figures out a way to control her disorder or if she ends up dead at the hands of one of the mollys. 

    If you enjoy reading books where the storyline begins with a high degree of suspense which continues to build until it is at a frenzy, then THE MURDERS OF MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE is the perfect book for you.  

    The best thing about this book is the totally unexpected and explosive ending which also opens up the potential for a sequel. Personally, I hope Tade Thompson does write an additional book based on this one. I give THE MURDERS OF MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE a rating of 4 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟  

    An exciting announcement was just made – THE MURDERS  MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE is being made into a full-length feature film. To read more about the upcoming film’s details, click HERE.

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




    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 


    TADE THOMPSON
     lives and works in the south of England. His background is in medicine, psychiatry and social anthropology.

    His first novel Making Wolf won the Golden Tentacle Award at the 2016 Kitschies.

    His second novel Rosewater is on the 2016 Locus Recommended Reading List, and his short story “The Apologists” has been shortlisted for a British Science Fiction Association award.

    He enjoys jazz, comics, and baking deformed bread.

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE     

    GOODREADS   

    TWITTER        

    AMAZON    

    CHAPTERS      

    PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE     
    ABOUT AMIE’S BOOK REVIEWS: 

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    Coming September 28th is the incredibly gorgeous photography book HUMAN TRIBE by Award Winner Alison Wright – 5 Stars are just not enough 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

    Title: HUMAN TRIBE 

    Author: ALISON WRIGHT   

    Genre: NON-FICTION, PHOTOGRAPHY, MULTICULTURAL BOOKS

    Length: 180 PAGES

    Size: 8 x 8 inches

    Publisher: SCHIFFER BOOKS    

    Received From: NETGALLEY    

    Release Date: SEPTEMBER 28, 2017

    ISBN: 978-0-7643-5396-3   

    Price: $29.99 USD / $45.00 CDN

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟     


    DESCRIPTION
    :


    “Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.”

    Margaret Mead 

    According to author and photographer Alison Wright, “The emotive beauty and grace of the human face, in all its diversity, will never cease to inspire … This book is a celebration of the universal human spirit within us all.” 

    Containing photographs taken in many countries around the world, this book is a stunning work of art that is being published at the perfect time. 

    With political upheaval and divisiveness at an all-time high, the photographs in this book serve as a reminder that people are just that – people. We need to embrace the diversity that makes our world so amazing. 

    Alison Wright has taken these pictures over the span of many years and many countries. 

    Photographs of Monks in Cambodia, poor children in Nepal, elderly farmers in Cuba, geisha in Japan, Norwegian huntsmen, Burmese migrants in Thailand, Indigenous peoples in Alaska and many more people, from many more countries, all have one thing in common – their faces, and eyes may be different colors, but one thing is always the same; those faces, and especially their eyes showcase their humanity. 

    This gorgeous book will take pride of place on anyone’s coffee table and is guaranteed to get people talking. Any book that is able to remind us, at a glance, that regardless of race, we are really all the same.    

    It would also make an incredible birthday or Christmas gift. I rate this photography book as 5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 and I highly recommend buying at least one copy for yourself and a few extra copies as gifts. 

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



    ABOUT THE AUTHOR/PHOTOGRAPHER: 

    Photograph by Steve Bly

    Alison Wright, a New York-based documentary photographer, has spent a career capturing the universal human spirit through her photographs and writing. For many of her projects Alison travels to the remotest regions of the globe photographing endangered cultures and people while documenting issues concerning the human condition. 


    Clients & Representation

    Wright’s photography is represented byNational Geographic Creative and has been published in numerous magazines including National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, National Geographic Adventure, Outside, Islands, Smithsonian Magazine, American Photo, Natural History, Time, Forbes, Oprah and The New York Times.


    Books

    Wright has photographed a number of books including “Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit”, “The Spirit of Tibet: Portrait of a Culture in Exile”, “The Dalai Lama: A Simple Monk”, “Faces of Hope: Children of a Changing World”, and National Geographic Traveler books on China, London and Great Britain.

    On January 2, 2000 Alison’s life was nearly cut short during a horrific bus accident on a remote jungle road in Laos. Wright’s memoir, “Learning to Breathe; One Woman’s Journey of Spirit and Survival”, chronicles this inspirational story of survival and years of rehabilitation, and her ongoing determination to recover and continue traveling the world as an intrepid photojournalist.

    To learn more about Alison Wright click on the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE   

    GOODREADS    

    TWITTER    

    FACEBOOK    

    INSTAGRAM        

    LINKEDIN     

    AMAZON     

    CHAPTERS     

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

    Title: FISH-BOY    
    Subtitle: AN INUIT FOLK TALE    

    Author: VANITA OELSCHLAGER

    Illustrator: MIKE BLANC 

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

    Length: 25 PAGES     

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

    Type of Book: EBOOK

    Received From: NETGALLEY

    Release Date: MAY 1, 2018

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

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

    Price: (HARDCOVER) $15.95 USD

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

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

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

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

    MY REVIEW:   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 


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

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

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

     
    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE      

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    TWITTER        

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    CHAPTERS        


    ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR: 


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

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

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

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

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE       

    GOODREADS     

    TWITTER         

    LINKEDIN        

    AMAZON         

    CHAPTERS      

    COMPANY TOWN is one of Best DYSTOPIAN FICTION books published in the past few years. This is a MUST BUY. I give COMPANY TOWN 6 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

    1503645363780

     Title: COMPANY TOWN   

    Author: MADELINE ASHBY     

    Genre: SCIENCE FICTION, DYSTOPIAN FICTION, CANADIAN FICTION, SPECULATIVE FICTION

    Length: 285 PAGES      

    Publisher: TOR BOOKS  

    ISBN: 978-0-7653-9887-1 

    Price: $14.99 USD / $20.99 CDN

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

    CBC CANADA READS 2017      

    I purchased this book at Chapters from a display of books by Canadian authors. I was (and still am) thrilled to find a Canadian author writing Dystopian Science Fiction.

     I read A LOT of books and there are a ton of dystopian titles on the market. Some are just okay, most are pretty good and then there are the exceptional few that are so well written the author’s world comes to life and you never want the story to end. COMPANY TOWN is one such book.

    Not only is it easy to envision the setting – an entire city filled with people just trying to survive on what was once an oil rig and was never meant for long-term habitation, but MADELINE ASHBY has created an entirely new world history.

    In my opinion she is a literary genius. I realize that is a HUGE claim, but once you read COMPANY TOWN, I am fairly certain you will agree.

    I do not want to give away any parts of the plot or the setting, but I do want to get across to anyone reading this review that YOU NEED TO BUY THIS BOOK and YOU WILL BE HAPPY THAT YOU DID.

    With a carefully constructed plot, characters you can’t help but feel for, and incredible world-building, author Madeline Ashby has written a tale that is a warning to us all about caring for our environment and all those who live in it.

    The most terrifying aspect of COMPANY TOWN is that it might become  a reality if no changes are made to how we are all currently living. This book should be required reading for every man, woman and child (over the age of 16.) It is quite simply a MUST READ. I rate it as 5 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 
    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

    Photo Credit: Kayleigh McCollum Photography

    Madeline Ashby is a science fiction writer, futurist, speaker, and immigrant living in Toronto. She writes a column for the Ottawa Citizen. She is represented by Anne McDermid & Associates, and Jason Richman at UTA.       

    She has worked with Intel Labs, the Institute for the Future, SciFutures, Nesta, Data & Society, The Atlantic Council, the ASU Center for Science and the Imagination, and others. Her short fiction has appeared in Nature, FLURB, Tesseracts, Imaginarium, and Escape Pod. Her other essays and criticism have appeared at BoingBoing, io9, WorldChanging, Creators Project, Arcfinity, Tor.com, MISC Magazine, FutureNow, and elsewhere.      

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

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE   

    GOODREADS  

    TWITTER       

    FACEBOOK   

    INSTAGRAM    

    LINKED IN       

    AMAZON.CA   

    AMAZON.COM      

    CHAPTERS      

    PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE     

    NEW RELEASE – “CROSSING THE LINE” by Bibi Belford is Historical Middle-grade Fiction at its finest. A 5 Star Read recommended for ages 10 to 110. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

    Title: CROSSING THE LINE

    Author: BIBI BELFORD    

    Genre: FICTION, MULTICULTURAL FICTION, MIDDLE-GRADE FICTION, DIVERSE BOOKS, HISTORICAL FICTION

    Length: 287 PAGES

    Publisher: SKY PONY PRESS – An Imprint of SKYHORSE PUBLISHING

    Type of Book: HARDCOVER

    Received From: PUBLISHER

    Release Date: AUGUST 22, 2017  

    ISBN: 978-1-5107-0800-6 

    Price:  $15.99 USD

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟  


    DESCRIPTION:

    “I’m excited about my new historical fiction,CROSSING THE LINE, a middle grade novel to be published in 2017 by Sky Pony Press.

    It’s set in Bridgeport, Chicago in 1919, and told through the eyes of eleven-year-old Billy McDermott.

    Billy is pretty sure skin color doesn’t matter. Not when you and Foster, your fifth grade buddy and his brothers, Odelle and Emmett, are just horsing around, building a raft.

    But in the Red Summer of 1919, it does matter, and Billy’s misguided innocence causes Odelle’s murder, igniting Chicago’s bloodiest race riot.”

    Bibi Belford, Author of Crossing the Line, Canned and Crushed, and other middle grade fiction.


    MY REVIEW:


    CROSSING THE LINE
     is a brand new middle-grade fiction novel released August 22nd, 2017. The timing of this book’s release could not be better.

    With racial tensions currently  rising across the United States, it is time to remind adults that those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it. Even though this book is targeted at children between the ages of 10-14, it is written in such a way that adults will enjoy reading it as well.

    Set in the year 1919, this is a fictional story told around actual historic events. CROSSING THE LINE would be perfect for book reports and/or book clubs. I believe that after reading this book, children will be interested in digging deeper and learning more about their nation’s history. Even if that does not happen, readers will find themselves with a much better understanding of the role of race in American history. 

    I love the fact that author Bibi Belford chose 1919 as the time period for this book. The events in the book occur after the soldiers who survived have returned from World War One. In fact, the main character, Billy, is dealing with his father’s return from the war. Instead of returning as a celebrated, conquering hero, Billy’s Dad is confined to the Veterans Hospital with a severe case of Shell Shock. This leaves Billy as the “Man of the House” and leaves his mother struggling to provide her family with a roof over their heads and to put food on their table.

    To help reduce household expenses, Billy leaves the Catholic school he has always attended and in which he was just another Irish Catholic kid, like all the other students. There was zero diversity among the students and their families.

    Now attending Public School, Billy befriends a student in his class named Foster. Both boys love baseball and bond over that as well as the fact that both their fathers fought in the war.

    The author took this picture of CERMAK BRIDGE which is where one of the scenes in the book takes place.

    Foster is black and even though the two boys see nothing wrong with being friends, but when the city’s residents find out about it, a series of events take place that culminates in murder and citywide mayhem.

    five policemen and one soldier with a rifle standing on a street corner during a race riot in the Douglas community areaof Chicago, Illinois

    A white gang looking for Black victims

    An African American being stoned during the race riots

    With perfection in character building, and a plot that will have readers riveted, CROSSING THE LINE is a 5 Star Read. It will remind people of one of the darkest periods in Chicago’s history and remind us that small actions matter. The time to stand up against racism is now. We cannot allow history to repeat itself.

    I highly recommend this book and I would like to thank the Publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

    Teacher-turned-Author  

    |  Literacy Advocate  |  

    Educational Consultant

     Gardening Enthusiast 

     |  Writer-Mentor  

    |  Admirer of Lighthouses

     | Kid’s-Fiction Writer

    Bibi Belford is the author of books for middle grade readers: CROSSING THE LINE, CANNED AND CRUSHED, THE GIFT, and ANOTHER D FOR DEEDEE (coming 2018). 

    She lives in the South Loop neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois with her husband. She enjoys books, gardening, beaches, and spending time with her grandchildren. 

    Belford also works as an educational consultant and volunteers in public schools. She is a member of CWA – Chicago Writers Association, SCBWI-Illinois, and has served as a panelist for author Success Stories at the UW-Madison Writers’ Institute.

    To learn more about this author visit the following links: 

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE      

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    TWITTER       

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    CHAPTERS


     

    ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: 

    Launched in fall 2011, Sky Pony Press is the children’s book imprint of Skyhorse Publishing. Following in the footsteps of our parent company, our goal is to provide books for readers with a wide variety of interests. Our continually growing list includes fiction, picture books, educational books, novelty books, and midgrade, and we even reissue some well-loved classics. Since we do not view our potential readers as generic age groups, but rather as individual children, each with specific talents and needs, we publish in a broad range of subject matter to celebrate their diverse interests.

    To learn more about Sky Pony Press click on the logo above, or click HERE.

    *** Thank you to the Publisher for providing me with a free copy of CROSSING THE LINE. 



    VANGUARD by the talented ANN AGUIRE – Book 4 in the Razorland Series 

    Title: VANGUARD    

    Series: RAZORLAND – BOOK FOUR

    Author: ANN AGUIRRE      

    Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, POST-APOCALYPTIC FICTION, DYSTOPIAN FICTION 

    Length: 368 PAGES

    Publisher: MACMILLAN CHILDREN’S PUBLISHING GROUP      

    Type of Book: EBOOK

    Received From: NETGALLEY 

    Release Date: JULY 25, 2017

    ISBN: 9781250089823 (HARDCOVER)

    Price: $17.99 USD (HARDCOVER)

    Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟

      


    DESCRIPTION

    This book begins ten months after ‘The War of the River.’

    Tegan sets out to fulfill her mentor’s last request and to fulfill the wanderlust in her soul. She is accompanied on her journey by Millie Faraday, who is trying to outrun her reputation of being “the kindest girl in the free territories.” 

    On her way to the first stop on their  adventure, she encounters Szarok, the Vanguard of the Uroch. Szarok offers to travel with them and Tegan accepts, knowing there is safety in traveling with him.

    When Tegan is offered a job as a ‘long-haul ship’s doctor’ Millie, James and Szarok all sign onto the ship as well. Each has a different reason for traveling aboard the ship, but none is more important than Szarok’s reason. He is on a mission to save his people and despite the strange feelings he experiences whenever in Tegan’s presence, he is determined to fulfill his mission.

    Tegan’s affection for the strange but somehow beautiful Uroch grows over time and she defends him from the blatant prejudices of other humans.

    As their time together lengthens, it is Tegan who, through stormy seas and a variety of strange, new lands, will become stronger than she ever knew possible.


    THE MORAL OF THE STORY:  

    The very thinly veiled moral of this story is that prejudice is NOT OK. This may seem like a very basic idea to many of us, but unfortunately, there are still many people who have yet to recognize this very basic truth. 



    MY REVIEW:

    The previous three books in the Razorland saga followed the adventures (and romance) of Deuce and Fade. Tegan was very much part of the story, but she was never the sole focus. In VANGUARD, Tegan steps out of the shadows and takes center stage.

    Although this is the fourth book in the series, it also works as a stand-alone novel. Those who have read the first three books in the Razorland saga will be able to connect with the history of the post-apocalyptic world they live in as we as what led Tegan to this point in her life. Author Ann Aguire has included enough detail about the past that new readers will not find their enjoyment diminished in any way. In fact, I believe new readers will be so intrigued by VANGUARD they will want to run out and buy the rest of the Razorland saga immediately.

    The story begins once Tegan’s Doctor/Mentor/Father-Figure dies and she decides to head out into the world. Tegan’s skill as a healer affords her the ability to provide for herself wherever she goes.

    When she meets up with Szarok at the beginning of her journey. Szarok offers to travel with her and although the peace between his “people” and the regular humans is tenuous, his offer affords Tegan a measure of security that she knew she would be foolish to refuse.

    Tegan and Szarok start off their journey as acquaintances who both find each other visually unappealing and dislike each other’s scents and eating habits. They do recognize certain similarities, but their historical and cultural differences and the clear division between their “tribes” are not easily put aside.

    When the two end up stranded alone together they learn more about each other and their differences cease to be an issue. This is realistic. Once you spend time with someone, regardless of their race or faith you realize that surface differences no longer matter. This is a lesson that is important. People need to understand that skin color, religion, and other differences are not the entirety of a person – they are just the wrapper. It is what is inside that matters.

    This situation reminds me of racial differences  and smacks of ingrained discrimination. Readers should be able to relate Tegan and Szarok’s tale to instances of interracial or interfaith relationships.

    This book is an extremely easy read and its length makes it perfect for a weekend at the cottage, the beach, at a campground or for a lazy weekend at home.

    Ann Aguirre uses her considerable writing talent to pen a romance between unlikely characters. Readers can view this book as just a wonderful, light-hearted romance, or they can look a little deeper. If readers choose to look deeper, they will realize this book as one that combats racism.

    Choosing two different races as her main characters, Ann Aguirre demonstrates a truth that many people have yet to embrace; the fact that just because a person looks different from you on the outside does NOT mean they are different on the inside.

    I rate VANGUARD as 4 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

    The only reason this book did not receive a 5th Star was that in some ways, the plot was predictable. However, this did not in any way diminish my enjoyment in reading this tale.

    To read more of my reviews – Follow me here on my blog as well as on INSTAGRAM and TWITTER   

    * A special Thank You to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book. 

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

    Author Photograph and description obtained from her website.

    Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. She likes books, emo music, and action movies. She writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens.

    To learn more about this author visit the following links: 

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

    GOODREADS       

    FACEBOOK     

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    BARNES & NOBLE  

    Shop Indie Bookstores

    This children’s book celebrates individualism – I LOVE MY PURSE by Belle DeMont deserves 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟  

    Title:  I LOVE MY PURSE

    Author: BELLE DeMONT    

    Illustrator: SONJA WIMMER         

    Genre: CHILDREN’S FICTION, CANADIAN FICTION, DIVERSE BOOKS

    Target Age Group: AGES 4 TO 7   

    Length: 36 PAGES

    Publisher: ANNICK PRESS 

    Type of Book: EBOOK

    Received From: NETGALLEY 

    Release Date: SEPTEMBER 12, 2017 

    ISBN: (Hardcover) 978-1-55451-955-2

    ISBN: (EPUB) 979-1-55451-956-9 

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


    DESCRIPTION & REVIEW:

    Charlie loves the bright red purse given to him by his Grandmother.

    One day he decides to wear the purse to school. His father sees him and tells him that boys don’t carry purses. Charlie reminds him how much he loves his inappropriate Hawaiian shirt.

    At school Charlie hears more of the same type of comments from friends, teachers and even the school crossing guard.

    When they ask why he is carrying the bright red handbag, he replies: “Because I love my purse.”

    This children’s book has wonderfully expressive illustrations that combine whimsy alongside reality. The illustrator has a true knack for drawing expressive faces and in using color to evoke emotion in movement.

    This book is one that needs to be on the shelf of every child. It celebrates individualism and helps teach kids that it is ok to be different. It celebrates not only children making choices for themselves, but also teaches them to stand up for what is important to them.

    The story is not just a life lesson, it is also a fun and funny book that will grab AND HOLD a young child’s attention from beginning to end. The writing style comes across as almost rhythmic.

    The author, Belle DeMont is Canadian and I love to support the many talented writers who live in Canada. 

    Canadian children’s books are among some of the best of all time.

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


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Belle DeMont is an illustrator from the salt-licked city of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

    Her love of visual story telling brought her to the Nova Scotia college of Art and Design where she completed her BFA focussing on drawing. She then went on to do a certificate in digital illustration at Montreal’s Concordia University.

    Belle breathes life into simple line drawings and saturated colours.

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE   

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    ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR: 


    Sonja loves painting pictures and telling stories. After studying and working for some years as a graphic designer in her hometown of Munich and Brussels, she decided to pack her suitcase and move to Barcelona to study Illustration at the “Llotja” Arts and Crafts School.

    Since then she lives between brushes and all kinds of wonderful tales, working as a freelance illustrator for publishing houses and other clients around the world.

    Her work has won multiple awards including the 2012 International Latino Book Awards Second Place for Best Children’s Picture Book-English and the 2011 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards Gold Medal for Best Illustrator.

    Sonja eventually moved back to Germany where she now lives with her family near the German Alps between two rivers and surrounded by forests.

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

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    LOVE, MURDER & MAYHEM ANTHOLOGY RELEASE DAY BLOG BLITZ

    ~ Book Blitz ~

    Love, Murder & Mayhem



    About the Book

    Love science fiction stories that all include
    elements of Love, Murder & Mayhem 

    Then welcome to the latest anthology from Crazy 8 Press! This amazing collection from 15 all-star authors will delight you with superheros and supervillains. AIs, off-worlders, and space cruisers. We’ve also got private eyes, sleep surrogates, time travelers, aliens and monsters—and one
    DuckBob!

    With tales ranging from wild and wacky to dark and gritty to heartbreaking and fun, take the deadly leap with authors Meriah Crawford, Paige Daniels, Peter David, Mary Fan, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert
    Greenberger, Glenn Hauman Paul Kupperberg, Karissa Laurel, Kelly Meding, Aaron Rosenberg, Hildy Silverman, Lois Spangler, Patrick Thomas, and editor Russ
    Colchamiro.

    You’ll never look at Love,
    Murder & Mayhem
     the
    same way again—and that’s just the way we like it.


    Goodreads * Amazon


    About the Editor

    Russ Colchamiro is the author of
    the rollicking space adventure, Crossline, the hilarious sci-fi backpacking
    comedy series, Finders Keepers, Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza, and is editor
    of the new anthology, Love, Murder & Mayhem, all with Crazy 8 Press.

    Russ lives in New Jersey with his
    wife, two children, and crazy dog, Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself.
    Russ has also contributed to several other anthologies, including Tales of the
    Crimson Keep, Pangaea, and Altered States of the Union, and TV Gods 2. He is
    now at work on a top-secret project, and a Finders Keepers spin-off.

    As a matter of full disclosure,
    readers should not be surprised if Russ spontaneously teleports in a blast of
    white light followed by screaming fluorescent color and the feeling of being
    sucked through a tornado. It’s just how he gets around — windier than the bus,
    for sure, but much quicker.


    Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram



    STARBORN by Lucy Hounsom may just be one of the best YA Fantasy books to be published in the past few years. A 5 Star Read that will appeal to everyone 16 and up.

    Title: STARBORN     

    Series: THE WORLDMAKER TRILOGY: BOOK ONE    

    Author: LUCY HOUNSOM 

    Genre: FANTASY FICTION, YOUNG ADULT FICTION, NEW RELEASE /COMING SOON 

    Length: 544 PAGES

    Publisher: TOR – An Imprint of MACMILLAN PUBLISHERS LTD    
    Type of Book: EBOOK

    Received From: NETGALLEY   

    Release Date: AUGUST 24TH, 2019 

    ISBN: 978-1-4472-6845-1 (Hardcover)   

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟    

    MY REVIEW:     

    Firstly, I need to address the title of this book. If you are the type of person to judge a book by its cover, (everyone does this at least to some degree) you will miss out on a phenomenal book. The cover and title tend to make potential readers think this book will be about outer space and will be a sci-fi novel, however, this is not the case. Starborn is a perfect example of fantasy fiction at its finest.

    I literally devoured this book. The characters are so vividly described that a picture of each of them immediately formed in my mind. Not only that, but each character has a fully imagined history that further fleshes out their believability.

    This is the first book in the WorldMaker trilogy and even though this book hasn’t been released in North America yet, I am already wishing that I could get my hands on the next book in the series. I believe not only that this book is destined to become a Bestseller, but that it will also be optioned for it’s film rights.

    This story has just the right amount of betrayal and dedication, fantasy, magic, history, romance, frustration,  ingenuity and truly astounding world-building which all combine to create a surefire winning combination.

    Not since the Harry Potter series, the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hunger Games trilogy have I encountered an author with the ability to so seamlessly craft a complex epic tale of right and wrong, of good and evil and with the ability to build an entire world from nothing but their own imagination. The name of Lucy Hounsom will soon be on the lips of North American readers and publishers all over the continent, and rightly so. 

    I highly recommend this book to both youth and to adults who love epic adventure stories.

    This book will grab your attention from the first page and it will not let go. It is because of its ability to entrance the reader and because of the author’s incredible world-building, that I have no choice but to rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟  

    My recommendation is to mark your calendars for August 24th and grab your copy right away since this amazing book is bound to sell out quickly.

    * A special Thank You to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.   

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR (In Her Own Words):   

    * obtained from her website
    * Author Photos by LOU ABERCROMBIE

    I live in the hilly, red shores of the Jurassic Coast. It’s a beautiful, mysterious part of the country (U.K.), steeped in myth and folklore. And so unsurprisingly, it’s a perfect place in which to make up stories.

    In the vein of most writers, I’ve been making up stories for a long time. I grew up in the tamer neighbourhood of the Thames Valley, where I used to think I’d be an actor. I attended theatre school for six years, worked professionally on stage and screen and took an awful lot of dancing exams. That changed when I hit 15. I was writing a novel (like most normal teenagers), and quite randomly thought: wouldn’t it be cool to do this all the time?  

    I’ve always loved books, perhaps because my parents read so much to us as children. Dad favoured classics like The Day of the Triffids andHothouse, which – though possibly a bit advanced for under 10s – exposed us both to a multitude of words. (Yes, my sister’s a writer too). But the books that really stayed with me were J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

    I am irrevocably drawn to fantasy. As an unsociable teenage misfit, I read mountains of it. Growing up, some of my favourite writers were Robin Hobb, the three Terrys (Brooks, Goodkind and Pratchett), Robert Jordan, Patricia A. McKillip, Ursula Le Guin, David Eddings and Alan Garner. J. K. Rowling holds a special place in my heart for all those summer evenings I spent re-reading Harry Potter, wishing for adventures at Hogwarts.

    That first novel still exists on my hard drive, quietly embarrassing me, but despite its flaws, I’m glad I wrote it. Working on the principle that if you’ve done something once, you can do it again, I studied creative writing at university for four years in the hope that I’d be better prepared the second time around. Creating something as vast and complex as a novel is fun, terrifying, exciting, torturous and pretty much every emotion in between. 

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE    

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    CHAPTERS