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:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 
https://jamesmarkert.com

GOODREADS

PINTEREST

FACEBOOK  

TWITTER 

INSTAGRAM  

LINKEDIN

AMAZON  

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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.

To learn more about this Publisher visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK  

TWITTER  

INSTAGRAM  

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JOKES TO OFFEND MEN – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW – Irreverent, Biting, Sarcastic, and Witty – I loved this audiobook

Title: JOKES TO OFFEND MEN

Authors: ALLISON KELLEY, DANIELLE KRAESE, KATE HERZLIN and YSABEL YATES

Illustrator: MILLIE von PLATEN

Release Date: OCTOBER 25, 2022

Genre: HUMOR, FEMINISM

Publisher: ANDREWS McMEEL AUDIO

Received From: NETGALLEY

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

A modern, feminist take on the classic joke book to amuse and empower readers who are tired of being the punchline.

A man walks into a bar. It’s a low one, so he gets a promotion within his first six months on the job.

Four comedy writers transform classic joke setups into sharp commentary about the everyday and structural sexism that pervades all facets of life. 

Jokes to Offend Men arms readers with humorous quips to shut down workplace underminers, condescending uncles, and dismissive doctors, or to share with their exhausted friends at the end of a long day.

A cutting, cathartic spin on the old-fashioned joke book, Jokes to Offend Men is a refreshing reclamation of a tired form for anyone who’s ever been told to “lighten up, it’s just a joke!”

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MY REVIEW:

The four women who created this book, “… wrote this book because [they] were tired of watching countless men excuse their bad behavior by insisting that the real problem is [women’s] stunning inability to ‘take a joke’.”

As someone who has spent the last 25 years working in an automotive factory building cars, I have heard hundreds, if not thousands, of sexist jokes that the men I work with (and my area is almost exclusively men) seem to think are hilarious. It is for that reason I requested an ARC (Advance Review Copy) of this audiobook.

The authors grew up in the same era that I did. During that time, the comedy circuit was mostly men and many of the jokes they told relied on “… making people with less power the butt of the joke.”

In the introduction, the comedians state that:

“We believe that comedy should empower rather than cause harm. And that there’s still a lot of ground to cover when it comes to why that chicken crossed the road.”

The book is divided into eleven sections with awesome titles. They are: 

1. Jokes to Offend Men at Work Who Don’t Actually Do Their Own Work

2. Jokes To Offend Men Who Won’t Contribute to Housework Because You’re ‘Sooo Much Better at It’

3. Jokes To Offend Men You’re Expected to Spend the Holidays With, Unfortunately:

4. Jokes To Offend Men Who Are Currently Explaining Quentin Tarantino to You

5. Jokes To Offend Men Who Disrespect Mother Nature 

6. Jokes To Offend Men You Definitely Didn’t Vote For 

7. Jokes To Offend Men Who Think the #MeToo Movement Has Gone Too Far 

8. Jokes To Offend Men Who Have A Medical Degree in Dismissing Your Pain 

9. Jokes To Offend Men Whose Grandfather Founded This School 

10. Jokes To Offend Men Who Refuse to Believe You’re Not Interested in The

11. Jokes To Offend Even More Men: You can keep these in your back pocket (unless it’s purely decorative).

I am in love with this book.

Snarky.

Sarcastic.

Irreverent

You could even say Bitchy, and I’m sure many men will say exactly that.

As far as I am concerned, this joke book is SHEER PERFECTION.

Every woman needs to either read this book, or listen to the audiobook. I am sure readers will be able to recognize some of the men they have had to deal with over the years. I know I definitely did.

I cannot recommend JOKES TO OFFEND MEN any higher than the highest available option.

I literally laughed out loud many times while listening to this audiobook, and I am sure you will too.

I rate this audiobook as 10 out of 10 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

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

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About the Authors:

Allison Kelley is a Brooklyn-based humor writer and essayist with work featured in The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Slate, McSweeney’s and more. Since childhood, she’s been using comedy to cope with the terror and wonder of being a woman in the world. An alleged grown-up, Allison writes frequently on the topics of ‘90s pop culture, teen angst and growing up in the suburbs.

Danielle Kraese is a writer, editor, and occasional performer based in the spidery suburbs of New York. Her humor writing has been published by The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, Reductress, The Belladonna Comedy, and more. She’s an editor at BDG, where she writes and edits affiliate content across sites like Bustle, Elite Daily, Romper, Mic, and Inverse (she can tell you everything you never wanted to know about socks, sheets, and meat thermometers). 

Kate Herzlin is a New York-based screenwriter, playwright, and humor writer who overuses the rule of three. Her humor writing has been featured in McSweeney’s, Points in Case, The Belladonna Comedy, and more. Kate is a writer for the BoogieManja Sketch Comedy team, Evil Twin—though she promises she isn’t one. As a childhood cancer survivor, she learned to use comedy to cope; now that she’s all grown up, she hopes her jokes might help other people do the same.

Ysabel Yates is a comedy writer and freelance copywriter in New York City. You can find her work in publications including the New Yorker, the New York Times, McSweeney’s, and Reductress. 

JUST RELEASED – A Children’s Book called FINDING FREEDOM – A Ukrainian Tale of Home – Gorgeously illustrated with bucolic scenes of life in the Ukrainian countryside – A MUST BUY

Title: FINDING FREEDOM  

Subtitle: A Ukrainian Tale of Home 

Author: MARYNA KARIUK  

Illustrator: KSENIA MARKEVYCH  

Release Date: DECEMBER 1, 2022

Genre: CHILDREN’S FICTION, UKRAINE, MULTICULTURAL INTEREST

Number Of Pages: 34 Pages

Publisher: KOHANA BOOKS 

Received From: NETGALLEY  

ISBN: 979-8-987015612 

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

Close your eyes, feel the breeze, and follow a young girl as she searches for Freedom through the beautiful landscapes and folklore of her native Ukraine.

Inspired by the resilience of the Ukrainian people to fight back against the invasion of their country, debut author and Ukrainian emigrant Maryna Kariuk brings lyrical rhymes to a powerful message that will kindle any heart.

Immerse yourself in charming illustrations by Ukrainian artist Ksenia Markevych and soar above the roaring rivers, feel the magic of the summer solstice and marvel at the boundless lands and at the spirit of those who call them home.

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MY REVIEW

Debut author Maryna Kariuk may live in California now, but her heart has never left her homeland of Ukraine. Born and raised there, she has crafted a beautiful children’s book highlighting scenes of a Ukrainian childhood.

When Vladimir Putin decided to launch an unprovoked attack on Ukraine, he probably thought his troops would quickly prevail. He could not have been more wrong.

The illustrations in FINDING FREEDOM are simply divine. Ksenia Markevych is a freelance illustrator based in Ukraine and her talent is considerable. She has woven the colors of the Ukrainian flag throughout the book, and the people in the story wear gorgeous and authentic traditional clothing.

The story itself highlights the beauty of the Ukrainian countryside as well as pride in their homes, families, and their country.

I am rating this book as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️  and I believe it would be a wonderful Christmas gift. It would also be a great book to use to show children that people are similar no matter where they live.

*** Thank you to the author, illustrator, the publisher, and to NetGalley for providing me with a free advance review copy of this gorgeous children’s book. ***

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maryna Kariuk is a debut author, born and raised in Ukraine.

The childhood memories of her motherland, especially summers spent in the countryside with her Babusia, have always inspired her to write.

She resides in California with her husband and two children.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

GOOGLE BOOKS 
https://books.google.com/books/about/Finding_Freedom.html?id=BbtizwEACAAJ

AMAZON 
https://www.amazon.com/Maryna-Kariuk/e/B0BNT6H6T5

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ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR

Ksenia Markevych is a freelance illustrator based in Ukraine.

She draws both digitally and using traditional media (watercolor, colored pencils, MixMedia, graphics).

She cooperates with publishing houses, independent authors and magazines. She also creates illustrations for calendars, games and postcards.

Ksenia’s inspiration often comes from the beauty of nature, traveling, people-watching, and constantly learning something new.

Through her illustrations, she conveys lightness and movement, which adds dynamism and an inner childlike freedom to each story.

To learn more about this illustrator visit the following links:

BEHANCE     

GOOGLE BOOKS  

ETSY 

PINTEREST    

SHUTTERSTOCK     

INSTAGRAM    

AMAZON    

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Illustrator KSENIA MARKEVYCH

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MORE ILLUSTRATIONS BY KSENIA MARKEVYCH:

AMIE’S PARTY – A children’s book that addresses loneliness, change, and other mental health issues and introduces kids to the Mood Bears – Definitely worth reading – Check it out below…

Title: AMIE’S PARTY
https://www.moodbears.co.uk/Mainshop

Series: THE MOOD BEARS
http://www.moodbears.co.uk  

Author: IAIN LAUCHLAN   

Illustrator: NIK AFIA  
http://www.nikafia.com
  

Release Date: AUGUST 4, 2022

Genre: CHILDREN’S FICTION

Number Of Pages: 32

Publisher: CHERISH EDITIONS

Received From: NETGALLEY

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

It’s another peaceful day in the village for the Mood Bears – until Happy Bear spots a yellow cloud on the horizon and knows someone needs her help.

The cloud takes Happy Bear to Amie, who feels lonely and sad after moving to a new flat far away from her friends. She has no one to celebrate her birthday with her, either.

So, Happy Bear throws a party for Amie’s big day and invites some very special guests to remind her that she is never alone.

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MY REVIEW:

If you look at my first name and the way it is spelled, you will realize why I chose this children’s book to #ReadAndReview It is exceptionally rare to find a book (or anything else) with my name (Amie) spelled correctly. 

Upon first reading of the book, I was introduced to the Mood Bears. They seem to be a UK updated version of the Care Bears that were popular here in Canada for many years and in fact seem to still be going strong. The major difference seems to be that the Mood Bears books and stuffed animals are sold as a way to make money for children’s charity whereas the Care Bears are strictly for making profit.

Amie’s Party is not just an entertaining story, although it very much is entertaining. The story talks about some very serious issues that children often need to face. One of those issues is the fact that Amie’s parents have split up and because of that, Amie and her mother move from their house into an apartment which is a very big change to Amie’s life. Children who, like Amie, experience the divorce of their parents, and/or a housing change, often suffer in silence. This book validates their experience and helps them to feel less alone.

“According to ONS figures from 2018, 1 in 10 children “often” feel lonely in the UK.”

Because of their move, Amie has moved away from all her friends and because of their financial changes Amie understands that there just isn’t any money for a fancy birthday party. She doesn’t know anyone in her new neighborhood, so who would she invite anyway?

This is when the Mood Bears come in and ensure that Amie has a great birthday party. They even invite a few of the children around her age who live in her apartment building, thus introducing Amie to a bunch of potential new friends. 

This book is beautifully illustrated and written with sensitivity towards children’s mental health. This is a subject that most children’s books avoid.

In addition, the Mood Bears have a website where stuffed Mood Bears are available to buy.

What I love the most about this book and about the plush bears is that a portion of the proceeds go to the mental health charity SHAWMIND

I rate AMIE’S PARTY as 4 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:

 ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:

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ABOUT THE MOOD BEARS:

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ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:

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TWITTER
@Shawmind_
@cherisheditions
@MoodBears
@literallypr
@Nik_Afia
@triggerhub_  

INSTAGRAM
@themoodbears
@cherisheditions
@shawmind_
@literallypr
@nik_afia01
@triggerhub_

FACEBOOK
http://www.facebook.com/cherisheditions

http://www.facebook.com/shawmindUK

http://www.facebook.com/moodbears.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Literally-PR/342794935782744

https://m.facebook.com/100063590700523

https://www.facebook.com/nikafiaillustration

https://www.facebook.com/triggerhub.org

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

Celebrate PRIDE Month by entering a GIVEAWAY to WIN a copy of the memoir – ANY KIND OF LUCK AT ALL by LGBTQ Canadian Author Mary Fairhurst Breen

Title: ANY KIND OF LUCK AT ALL

Author: MARY FAIRHURST BREEN
https://maryfairhurstbreen.ca/

Release Date: OCTOBER 12, 2021

Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHIES AND MEMOIRS, CANADIAN NON-FICTION, DIVERSE BOOKS, LGBTQ

Number Of Pages: 193

Publisher: SECOND STORY PRESS
http://www.secondstorypress.ca

Received From: THE AUTHOR

ISBN: 978-1-77260-201-2

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

What was it like growing up as a smart girl in a world of 1970s suburban conformity?

What family secrets were hidden behind the vertical blinds and sliding glass doors, or swept under the orange shag carpets?

Is it possible to move from married mother-of-two to lesbian feminist activist without passing heartache?

In her bittersweet memoir, Mary Fairhurst Breen sketches scenes from a life darkened by four generations of mental illness and addiction.

Despite the odds, Mary’s sense of humor and willingness to practice “radical acceptance” see her through the chaos to a life full of friends, art, and the joys of being a grandmother.

Ultimately, she must face her greatest challenge of all when her daughter becomes one of the tens of thousands of people every year to die of an opioid overdose.

This is a journey of awakening and activism, and a portrait of a life to be celebrated in all its complexity.

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Watch Mary Fairhurst Breen on
The Social:

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MY REVIEW:

ary Fairhurst Breen may be a translator by trade, but she missed out on her true calling … until now. 

I believe she was always destined to be a writer, and not just any ordinary, run-of-the-mill kind of writer. Her writing has the potential to change lives for the better.

Mary’s life experiences are vast and varied. The lessons she has learned throughout her unconventional life contain wisdom that can be applied to every one of us.

The title of this memoir offers readers a clue as to exactly what kind of luck the author has had in her life. The title of her memoir is based on the saying:

If it weren’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any kind of luck at all.

What could easily have been a book filled solely with times in Mary’s life when she experienced grief and pain, is instead, filled with poignant moments and life events.

Some moments are sad, some happy, and some downright hilarious. Somehow author Mary Fairhurst Breen has hit on the perfect formula to appeal to a wide variety of readers. 

Mental illness and addiction have gripped members of Mary’s family for generations. Her most devastating loss to date is the death of her beautiful, creative, and special adult daughter Sophie to opioid poisoning.

We all like to think our generation will be the one to set old family patterns ablaze, to toss the whole damned drafting table onto the bonfire and dance around the ashes completely cleansed. But we instinctively gravitate toward the familiar, for better or worse. New research into intergenerational trauma, and the Indigenous understanding that our decisions affect the next seven generations, can at least shed light onto what’s going on in the present. We can’t eliminate the pain we are bequeathed; we can only deal with it better as time passes.”

The author could easily be forgiven for curling up into a ball of depression and spending her days in bed; but she doesn’t do any such thing. Instead, her determination and will to survive the many traumas she has endured allows her to continue living her life with “radical acceptance.” She has channeled her grief into a call for action.

Author Mary Fairhurst Breen has written a beautifully written and exquisitely honest memoir of a life that has been anything but easy. She documents her life and the moment she chose to admit what had always been inside her.

I rate ANY KIND OF LIFE AT ALL as a solid 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The fact that June is Pride Month means this is the perfect time to pick up a copy of this book. Also, don’t forget to enter to win a paperback copy on my blog and social media sites.

HOW TO ENTER TO WIN:

1. Leave a comment below to earn one entry into the giveaway.

2. Visit my Instagram page and click FOLLOW to gain a second entry.

3. Earn an additional entry by commenting on the giveaway post on my Instagram page.

Giveaway starts today

Ends on June 30th, 2022

QUOTES I LOVE:

“… I see not a wrinkly, plump, postmenopausal woman in the mirror, but rather someone fortyish, of average build. I have conceded that my breasts no longer point straight ahead, but instead indicate a spot on the floor a couple of metres in front of me, where I have perhaps dropped something important.”

“[Mary and her mother] never talked about orgasms, whereas my daughters were quite unselfconscious about discussing theirs with me. I remember my daughter Sophie cheerfully bringing up the topic of female ejaculation at breakfast one morning. She asked, ‘Which hole does the stuff come out of?’ I helpfully spurted coffee from my nose.”

“There are so many things one has to let go of past fifty, but an equal number of things one gets to let go of at the half-century mark. It is fantastically liberating to cease giving a fuck as one ages. I’ve been giving ever fewer fucks since my early forties, but why must it take so long to get to this place?”

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

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Photo by: Maggie Knaus

A translator by training, I spent thirty years in the not-for-profit sector, managing small organizations with big social change mandates. During those decades, I wrote innumerable newsletters, policy documents and outreach materials, and more grant proposals than I would care to count. After multiple lay-offs due to funding cuts, I launched my own arts business, indulging my passion for hand-making. It was a colossally enjoyable and unprofitable venture. While running the business, I supported myself with extra writing and editing jobs. Its demise gave me the time and impetus to really focus on my own artistic practice. I began with the goal of sharing my family history with my daughters, went on to publish some autobiographical stories, and wound up with my first book, Any Kind of Luck at All.

I had a father incapacitated by bipolar disorder and OCD, and a strong, smart, loving mother who died too young. I had to develop my own strategies to cope with my father’s needs, an alcoholic husband, two traumatized children, ever-worsening financial insecurity, and my shifting sexual identity. I supported my younger daughter through the debilitating mental illness that ultimately led to her death by fentanyl poisoning in 2020. Now a (young) grandmother, I want to pursue art for so many reasons: to support myself, to maintain my mental health, to help others with similar challenges, and to honour those I have lost and those I hold dear.

I am currently working on an oral history-based series of books for middle-grade readers.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 
https://maryfairhurstbreen.ca

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK 

GOOGLE BOOKS  

INSTAGRAM 

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ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:

Second Story Press is dedicated to publishing feminist-inspired books for adults and young readers.

Second Story Press is proud to have been publishing award-winning books that entertain, educate, and empower for over 30 years. 

To learn more about this Publisher visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 
https://secondstorypress.ca s

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

TWITTER 
https://twitter.com/_secondstory

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

LINKEDIN
https://www.linkedin.com/company/second-story-feminist-press

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

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Poem written for the launch of
Any Kind of Luck At All
by Everyday People Typewriter Poems

More Writing by Mary Fairhurst Breen can be found at the links below:

Mary’s article Gigging Toward My Golden Years appeared in the summer 2021 issue of This Magazine, accompanied by this wonderful illustration by Matthew Daley (shinypliers). 
https://this.org/2021/07/12/gigging-toward-my-golden-years/

My First Person essay, A Helping Hand, appeared in the Globe and Mail February 16, 2021. 
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/first-person/article-i-can-live-in-the-moment-when-my-granddaughter-takes-my-hand/

A personal radio essay called Grievous Injuries was published and aired on CBC’s The Sunday Edition on May 3, 2020.  

Mary’s autobiographical essay called Graywood Drive won an emerging writer award through Open Book, Arts Etobicoke and the Toronto Arts Council in 2018 and was published in an anthology as part of the project. 


http://open-book.ca/News/What-s-Your-Story-Read-the-Winning-Texts-of-the-2018-OBPO-Writing-Contest-Winners!-Part-One-Etobicoke

My essay called Why #IBelieveHer was published on the Ms Magazine blog in 2016. 
https://msmagazine.com/2016/04/18/why-ibelieveher

YOU STILL LOOK THE SAME by Multiple Award Winning Canadian Author FARZANA DOCTOR and Narrated by the Incomparable ULKA SIMONE MOHANTY has Finally Been Released – Sample Included With This Post

Title: YOU STILL LOOK THE SAME (Audiobook)

Title: YOU STILL LOOK THE SAME (Audiobook)

Author: FARZANA DOCTOR

Narrators: FARZANA DOCTOR and ULKA SIMONE MOHANTY

Release Date: MAY 1, 2022

Genre: POETRY, DIVERSE BOOKS, MULTICULTURAL INTEREST, CANADIAN

Length: 1 Hour and 21 Minutes

Publisher: ECW PRESS

Received From: THE AUTHOR 

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

A moving collection of poetry about navigating mid-life, full of humour and wit, from acclaimed novelist Farzana Doctor.

This debut poetry collection from acclaimed novelist Farzana Doctor is both an intimate deep dive and a humorous glance at the tumultuous decade of her forties.

Through crisp and vivid language, Doctor explores mid-life breakups and dating, female genital cutting, imprints of racism and misogyny, and the oddness of sex and love, and urges us to take a second look at the ways in which human relationships are never what we expect them to be.

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MY REVIEW:

FARZANA DOCTOR is a Canadian author and now poet who has won many, many literary awards. Each one was well deserved. 

I admit I am not usually a big fan of poetry. I find much of it to be pretentious, sometimes even condescending to the reader. Thus is 100% NOT the case with “You Still Look The Same.”  In fact I enjoyed listening to Farzana’s debut poetry collection immensely. 

I love the fact that Farzana chose to narrate part of her collection and choosing Ulka Simone Mohantyto narrate the rest of the poems was the perfect choice. Both narrators were easy to understand, as well as speaking clearly and concisely. This allowed the words of the poems to be the listener’s focus … as it should be.

Each haiku and other poems showcased the author’s talent for description. I believe this is because Farzana Doctor wrote fiction books first, before trying her hand at poetry.

In my opinion, one of Farzana’s greatest gifts is her ability to connect with her audience. I found this to be true with her novels, and it is even more evident in her poetry.

It is my belief that audiobook listeners, especially women, will find that Farzana’s experiences will resonate with them.

I was already a fan of Farzana Doctor’s books. With YOU STILL LOOK THE SAME I am now an even bigger fan.

If you have not yet read any of her work, you are doing yourself a disservice. I suggest you run, not walk, to your nearest Indie bookstore to pick up your copy of this collection. While you are there, do yourself a favor and pick up copies of her other books as well. You just might find that you have a new favourite author. 

I rate “You Still Look The Same” as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

*** Thank you to #FarzanaDoctor for choosing me as one of the winners of this audiobook through a #giveaway on her Instagram account. ***

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To read my review of Farzana’s book ALL INCLUSIVE. Click HERE.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

FARZANA DOCTOR was the WINNER of the NOW Magazine Best Author of 2015.

Farzana Doctor is the author of Stealing Nasreen and Six Metres of Pavement, which won the 2012 Lambda Literary Award and was short-listed for the Toronto Book Award.Farzana is one of CBC BooksTen Canadian Women Writers You Need to Read Now and the recipient of the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Dayne Ogilvie Grant.

To learn more about this author visit the links below:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK 

TWITTER 

INSTAGRAM 

LIBRO FM

AUDIBLE CANADA

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https://player.vimeo.com/video/675983527?h=96df725851

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ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

Photographer: Teren Oddo

Ulka Simone Mohanty is an actor, voice actor, dancer, choreographer and occasional professional chef.

This multi-hyphenated artist is known for her voice work on Pixar‘s Oscar and Golden Globe winner Soul, Warner Bros’ Jellystone and NBC Universal‘s Nina’s World; her film and TV work on FOX‘s The Moodys, and a supporting role in the sci-fi movie, Needle in a Timestack; and her choreography work on Disney‘s Rivers of Light,  The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic, and Disney-Pixar collaboration  Up! A Great Bird Adventure.

She has also appeared as a chef on The Food Network‘s Cutthroat Kitchen and has voiced numerous video games and audiobooks.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
https://ulkamohanty.com

GOODREADS

TWITTER 

INSTAGRAM  

IMDb

VIMEO

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL
ARTICLE AND INTERVIEW

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ONE FOOT OVER THE EDGE by Shane Mutlow is A Canadian Soldier’s Personal Account of Rwandan Genocide and its aftermath. Gritty and raw … This book doesn’t pull any punches and is not for the faint-of-heart.

Title: ONE FOOT OVER THE EDGE
https://shanemutlowauthor.com

Subtitle: A CANADIAN SOLDIER’S PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF THE RWANDAN GENOCIDE

Author: SHANE MUTLOW

Release Date: AUGUST 5, 2021

Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHIES AND MEMOIRS, MILITARIA, MENTAL HEALTH, PTSD

Number Of Pages: 133

Publisher: TELLWELL PUBLISHING

Received From: THE AUTHOR

ISBN: 978-0-2288-5987-1

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS  ⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

The scars we show become lighthouses for those about to hit the same rock.”
– ANONYMOUS.

The above is a quote from the screenplay written by Katelyn Wells, adapted from the book ONE FOOT OVER THE EDGE.

A true story of a young Canadian Soldier returning home from a war-torn Rwanda, after witnessing the most horrific genocide since WWII.

Corporal Shane Mutlow was held at gunpoint for two days by local forces, not knowing whether or not he would live to see another day. Labelled “whereabouts unknown” twice and held against his will while on a major operation by Rwandan government officials, Corporal Mutlow was sent off-road every day into unknown territories deep within the Rwandan jungle.

The genocide in Rwanda left Canadian troops completely unprepared for the tragedies they would be subjected to, from the suicide of a brother-in-arms on Christmas Day to returning home from his deployment to a wife and children who would never know the horrors he had endured.

Just six months spent in the midst of the Rwanda genocide would change this young soldier’s life forever.

Shane Mutlow bore witness to what the world wanted to ignore.

This is his story.

Portions of each sale of this book will be donated to Fortitude Farms, a facility which provides equine therapy for those who suffer with mental illness.

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MY REVIEW:

With the Russian invasion into the Ukraine, people are talking about war for the first time in a long time.

As such, it is perhaps the perfect time for people to read Shane Mutlow’s memoir titled; “ONE FOOT OVER THE EDGE – A CANADIAN SOLDIER’S PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF THE RWANDAN GENOCIDE.”

I believe that most Canadians take our military for granted or are unaware of the extent of their involvement in armed conflicts around the world.

One of the worst atrocities in world history was the Genocide in Rwanda. 

Canadian soldiers were sent to assist the United Nations Assistance Mission In Rwanda (UNAMIR), author Shane Mutlow was one of those soldiers.

While most of the Canadian soldiers who were sent to Rwanda spent their time in a single area of the capital city and saw little action, this was not the case for Shane Mutlow.

Unfortunately, Shane saw first hand the brutality and horror that has come to be synonymous with the Rwandan “Civil War.”

Written by a member of the military, this book offers civilians a glimpse into the fact that Canadian soldiers put not only their physical well-being on the line, they put their mental health on the line as well.

Historically, members of the military who admit weakness of any kind have been viewed as weak. This type of thinking needs to change.

It is much easier to pretend that their experiences had little or no effect than to admit to needing help. It is for this reason that it is essential that veterans write and speak honestly about their experiences. ONE FOOT OVER THE EDGE does exactly that.

The author has included several photographs which allow the reader to feel more connected to his story.

As a self-published book, it would benefit from a professional editor and proofreader, but these flaws do not take away from the impact of the story. Normally these typographical errors would be enough to drop a couple stars off of the rating I give to a book, but in this case they just add to its authenticity. It is for this reason that I chose to rate “ONE FOOT OVER THE EDGE” as 4 out of 5 Stars.      ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

**** Thank you to the author for providing me with a complimentary copy or book. ****

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shane Mutlow is a veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces, where he spent time at 1 CDHSR as a radio operator, and at 3 RCR, where he served with a parachute company.

Shane has been to many different countries while serving in the military.

He was deployed on an UN tour, UNAMIR, in Rwanda, Africa, from 1994–1995, and witnessed the aftermath of the genocide caused by the civil war between the Hutu and Tutsi clans.

He has had a successful career working at an engineering firm prior to his retirement in 2014.

His story is twenty years in the making and is one that needs to be told.  

This is Shane’s first book, but it will surely give the readers an insight into the horrors and setbacks that our Canadian soldiers and veterans struggle with when they arrive home after being in a theatre of operation.

Shane continues to reside in Pembroke, ON, with his wife Justine and daughter Madison.

His two boys, Nicolas and  his daughter Addison, Zachary and his fiancée Avery live out west and frequently come to Pembroke for visits.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK 

INSTAGRAM

TELLWELL PUBLISHING BLOG

GOOGLE BOOKS

LOOKOUT NAVY NEWS ARTICLE

SMASHWORDS

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ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:

Why Self-Publish with Tellwell?

• A full-service team approach: experienced editors, designers and other experts to ensure great quality

• The highest royalties and smartest distribution model in the industry

• Step-by-step guidance so you don’t get confused or stuck

• International reach, with distribution in North America, Europe and beyond

• A caring, small company feel in contrast to a large “factory approach” to publishing

To learn more about this Publisher visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

FACEBOOK 

TWITTER 

INSTAGRAM 

YOUTUBE

LINKEDIN

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For more information about Canadian veterans and PTSD go to the following websites.

RWANDA VETERANS OF CANADA
https://www.facebook.com/RwandaVeteranCanada

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  

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