An Amazing Book Coming Soon – THE LAURAS by Sara Taylor 5 out of 5 Stars just is not enough – LOVED THIS BOOK 

Title:  THE LAURAS   

Author: SARA TAYLOR

Genre: FICTION, LGBTQ

Publisher: CROWN PUBLISHING, HOGARTH  

Release Date:  AUGUST 1, 2017  

EDITION: HARDCOVER

ISBN: 9780451496850

Price: $26.00 (USD)

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟    

Wow! I have just finished reading the final page of THE LAURAS and I can already tell you that this book is going to be on my list of the BEST BOOKS OF 2017.

Although this book will not be officially released until August, I urge everyone that reads this review to put the date on your calendar and not to miss out.

This is one of those extremely rare books that is worth standing in line for  – at midnight, on the eve of its release. Yes, IT IS THAT GOOD.

THE LAURAS is a tale that will take readers on a journey of dual-discovery. It is a tale of a mother and child who set out on a cross country trip during which the mother makes multiple interesting side-trips.

These trips could last a day, a month, or even several months. They could be boring (in Alex’s opinion), they could be strange, and sometimes they were even downright terrifying.

Alex is a child (less due to her age, and more due to her limited life experience) when this story begins, but as the cross-country Odyssey continues Alex grows into a young adult. Thanks to the fact that Alex is the narrator, readers are brought along on Alex’s unique journey into the perils and delights of becoming the person who was always meant to be. And, trust me – this is a coming of age story unlike any other.

I wish there was a way to give more than 5 out of 5 stars, because this book is a masterpiece of fiction and I have no doubt that it will win many awards and will end up on Bestseller Lists everywhere. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

THE CHARACTERS:

How do I describe Alex’s mother? It’s a dilemma, but perhaps I will let Alex  describe her since that expanation will be so much better than mine.

“Ma’s mood had perked up; I could see the happy on her face and the weight was rolling off her shoulders like stones … and it looked like she might start singing at any moment. If she’d been the kind of person that sang. Really, she’d be more likely to start spontaneously handing around shots of tequila as an expression of happiness, but singing sounds better.”

Some people might think that having a Mom like that would be fun – and maybe it would be; for a little while, anyway. But, a parent is meant to take care of their child, not act like a child herself.

Alex is a conundrum wrapped in an enigma. When the reader learns more and more about Alex’s life and personality, it is impossible not to root for this interesting and inscrutable character. Readers will find themselves second guessing what they think they know about Alex and this mystery remains until the very end of the book.

MORE

This would be a terrific book to feature in a Book Club setting since there is just so much in it that readers will want to talk about.

I also think that this book just might have some people questioning their own stances on many issues. I would love to say more here, but I refuse to ruin this story for anyone.

FAVORITE QUOTE:
“But I didn’t have the child’s blind trust in the omnipotence of parents anymore: I had eaten the apple, knew that Ma was no different from me, that she probably didn’t know what to do right now anymore than I would, that her only advantage was a rapidly narrowing gulf of experience.”

IN CONCLUSION:

ADD THIS BOOK TO YOUR TBR (TO BE READ) LIST AND MARK AUGUST 1st, 2017 ON YOUR CALENDAR. You will be glad you did.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

SARA TAYLOR is a product of Virginia and the homeschooling movement. She traded her health for a BFA from Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia, and her sanity for an MA in Prose Fiction from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England.

Following the MA her supervisor refused to let her leave, so she remains as a PhD candidate at the UEA where she researches censorship, writes fiction, and is occasionally entrusted with the teaching of undergraduates.

 She spends an unprecedented amount of time on delayed trains between Norwich and her husband’s house in Reading, and tends to get lost, rained on, and chased by cows with unsettling frequency.

Her short fiction has been published electronically and in print in The Fiddlehead, The Fog Horn, and Granta, among other places. Her novels are published by William Heinemann in the UK, Hogarth in the US, and Bond Street Books in Canada.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE    

BLOG 

GOODREADS     

CHAPTERS / INDIGO BOOKS    

AMAZON   


Read an interview with Sara Taylor HERE.


  

DISCORD by Katy Haye is a YA Novel that defies categorization. 4 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟 

Title: DISCORD    

Series: BOOK ONE OF THE ECHOES OF THE EARTH SERIES

Author: KATY HAYE 
Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION

Length: 250 PAGES

Publisher: PLUMSHINE BOOKS

Release Date: DECEMBER 8, 2016

ISBN: 9781540412430

Price: $3.99 USD (EBOOK)

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS🌟🌟🌟🌟

Seventeen-year-old Beth has brain damage. She lives in a Steptoe House – a hospital in the English countryside that specializes in helping youths recover from brain trauma.
Her life consists of school classes, medical tests and of playing and  listening to therapeutic music.

Some days she feels great and better yet, she feels almost normal. On those days she contemplates going home and returning to her life. But, what kind of life will she be returning to? She has no memories of her family or her friends, in fact, she remembers nothing of her life before waking up at Steptoe House.

Beth’s bad days are REALLY BAD. On those days she sees and hears ghosts and other shadows. On those days she acknowledges that she is NOT ready to go home after all.

When a boy named Toby arrives at the Institute, Beth’s life will never be the same.

Toby encourages Beth to confront her fears instead of hiding from them. But when strange things begin to happen and Beth’s sense of deja vue starts running overtime, both Beth and Toby set out to discover what exactly it is that is wrong with Steptoe House.

I have to admit that I was pretty sure I had this novel completely figured out by the halfway point of the novel. I also haveto admit how very wrong I was.

What starts out as teen romance novel ends up morphing into a completely different book. In fact, this book is hard to classify into a single genre. It is clearly a Young Adult novel, but it is so much more. It is romance. It is horror. It is science fiction. It is mystery. It is drama. It is even speculative fiction. Whatever the official genre, I enjoyed it immensely. 

The cast of characters are diverse and they all seem like ordinary teenagers doing their best to recover from brain injuries so that they can return home to see their families. Families that never visit. According to the doctors, it would be detrimental to their recovery to have visitors. But, it all seems very strange to lead character, Beth. (And to the reader.)

I do not want to include any spoilers in this review, but suffice it to say that if you enjoy books that keep you in suspense and that keep you guessing, then this is a MUST READ.

The author has done a phenomenal job in setting up the story for the next book in the series, and I, for one am excited to read it. Rumour has it that Book Two will be released in March 2017.

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

   


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Katy Haye – In Her Own Words:

I spent most of my childhood and adolescence lost in a good book. Even now, and given the tedious necessity to earn a living in order to eat, I spend as much time as possible running around either my own or someone else’s imaginary world.

I’m fascinated by what makes books work – what makes a story so vivid the words themselves melt away and I’m living the character’s life with them?

I’ll be pondering (and very probably ranting) about the nuts and bolts of a good story on my Add More Narrativium blog – please join in. Also on this website, you can find out more about my books, including extracts and where to buy.

You might also like to check out my video of how I became a writer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o03uWBH7bBE 

VIRAL by M.A. Barrett is one of the best books of 2016 and is an absolute MUST READ. 

Title: VIRAL

Author: M.A. BARRETT

Genre: FICTION, CONTEMPORARY FICTION, LGBTQ, SOCIAL COMMENTARY

Length: 260 PAGES

Publisher: KIN(D) PRESS

Release Date: NOVEMBER 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9983602-5-6

Price: $15.99 USD (SOFTCOVER)

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

This may not be a very professional way to start a book review, but HOLY CRAP!!!! This book is AWESOME!!!

Scarlet Battell, an ex-reality television show producer is not only an anti-heroine, but she is a hopelessly flawed and ultimately believable character.

Scarlet, or Scar as she is known may have once been an up and coming hotshot tv producer, but now she lives a hardscrabble life as a waitress – barely making enough money to pay the rent on her crappy little apartment.

Trying to find some way to reclaim her previous persona and her position behind a camera, Scar comes up with the idea to do a bit of investigative reporting. However, when she is confronted with the choice between intervening to save a coworker from a horrific attack or recording the event as evidence, Scar chooses the more cowardly option.

That action (well, inaction actually) begins to haunt Scarlet whose conscience begins to scream at her – eventually leading to an all-out breakdown.

This book flashes between two timelines; Scar’s past life as a story producer on the reality show The Real Real Life and her new reality as a waitress struggling just to pay her re t, which is as far away from her old life as it is possible to get.

VIRAL is one of the best examples of exactly what to do right when using flashbacks in a story. M.A. Barrett has some serious writing chops and they are used to perfection in this book.

My favorite quote from the book is:

 “…there is no truth, unless I tell it.”

 The reason I picked this quote as my favorite is because it speaks not only to the book itself, but also to the way people seem to view the world today.

 The invention of cell phone video, combined with the public’s strange fixation and fascination with reality television is, in my opinion, NOT a good thing. People seem to try to experience their ’15 Minutes of Fame’ through videotaping events (usually they are taping something rather than actually helping the victim). I was raised better than that.

This book touches on so many topics relevant to today’s readers that it is almost eerie in its ability to inspire the desire to talk about it with other readership. If I could pick any book that I have read in the past year as a Book Club selection, VIRAL would be my choice.

There are a multitude of “What would you have done?” scenerios that will bring out lively discussions, as well as many other talking points which include (but are not limited to):

* The videotape everything phenomenon that is sweeping our world

* Money and the fact that those who have a lot of it seem to be able to get away with saying and doing just about anything they want to (just ask Donald Trump if you disagree with me)

* The value of “Spin” and how putting the right spin on a situation can sway public opinion and can even create reality from nothingness

* What would you have done in Scar’s situation? Would you have helped if you knew that it would likely have not done any good and would probably have ended up with you becoming a victim as well?

I could go on and on with more discussion ideas, but I think you get the point.

The character of Scar is brilliantly rendered. She is complex and at times she makes the wrong choices in life. But, this just makes her seem more real. At times readers will find themselves angry with her, but ultimately it is difficult not to cheer her on.

This book should be added to every adult’s TO READ list.

I rate it as 5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

I will be adding VIRAL to my list of the Top 25 Books of 2016. The fact that this is author M.A. Barrett’s debut novel is astounding and I can’t wait to read her next book.


**Due to scenes and situations of an adult nature, I recommend that VIRAL be read by those 18 and older.**

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

 

 M.A. Barrett is a writer, photographer, screenwriter, and poet. Her works have appeared in the New York International Film Festival, The Academy Awards, and in publications such as the Huffington Post, The April Perennial, Visibilities Magazine and IN OUR OWN WORDS: A Generation Defining Itself. She lives in Boston with her wife and French Bulldog.

Her debut novel, Viral, is now available anywhere books are sold online.

To learn more about this amazing Indie author, you can click on the following links:

GOODREADS 

MEDIUM      

TWITTER      

PICTARAM    

INSTAGRAM      

AMAZON 

BARNES & NOBLE    


NEW RELEASE “PATHOGEN” by Jessica L Webb is a riveting, terrifyingly realistic mystery with multiple sensational twists. A 5 Star, Must Read thriller.

Title: PATHOGEN        

Series: DR. KATE MORRISON MYSTERIES #2

Author: JESSICA L. WEBB   

Genre: FICTION, THRILLER, MEDICAL THRILLER, LGBTQIA

Length: 288 pages

Publisher: BOLD STROKES BOOKS

Release Date: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62639-832-0

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Canadian author Jessica L Webb has written a medical thriller worthy of fans of Robin Cook.

Set in the province of British Columbia and with the main character being in a lesbian relationship, this book reflects the world we live in today which is a refreshing change.

This is the second book in the Dr. Kate Morrison series, however, it can easily be read as a stand-alone thriller. I have not yet read TRIGGER which is the first book in this series and during reading I never felt I was missing anything.

Kate is an ER Doctor in a downtown Vancouver hospital where she more often than not deals with patients who are on the lowest rung of the social ladder. So, when she receives an invitation to liason with the local RCMP on an investigation into a potential bio-terrorism threat she accepts the challenge.

Her decision means that she will be investigating alongside her girlfriend Andy who is an RCMP Sergeant. The two head to the ultra-exclusive town of Hidden Valley where homes sell for tens of millions of dollars and the people who live in them think they deserve special treatment.

As the pair start to learn more about the virus that seems to be randomly striking victims from all age groups and all walks of life, they start to wonder if the bio-terrorism threat might actually be real.

But who would want the residents of Hidden Valley to get sick and in some cases, to die? And why? What would prompt someone to do something so strange?

Set in the gorgeous province of British Columbia, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat. It is fast-paced enough that the action never seems to lag and yet contains enough medical information to make it seem eerily realistic.

I hadn’t heard of Jessica L Webb before discovering this book on Netgalley, but I am positive that it is a name I will not soon forget.

I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars and highly recommend this book to readers over the age of 18 (some scenes and situations are graphic and not for the faint of heart). 

I received a free Advance Review Copy of this book from Netgalley

  • TRIGGER
  • Book One of the Dr. Kate Morrison Mystery series 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Jessica Webb spends her professional days working with educators to find the why behind the challenging behaviors of the students they support. Limitless curiosity about the motivations and intentions of human behavior is also a huge part of what drives her to write stories and understand the complexities of her characters and their actions.

When she’s not working or writing, Jessica is spending time with her wife and daughter, usually planning where they will travel next. Jessica can be found most often on her favorite spot on the couch with a book and a cup of tea.

Visit the following links for more information about Jessicaa L. Webb

AT BOLD STROKES BOOKS   

GOODREADS        

TWITTER    
        

  • Repercussions 
  • Coming July 2017


  • Troop 18
  • Book 3 of the Dr. Kate Morrison Mystery series
  • Coming in March 2017 

MRS by Noa Grey is perfection in Chick Lit. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, but most of all it will make you stay up all night reading. 5 Stars. 

Title: MRS

Author: NOA GREY     

Type of Book: EBOOK  

Genre: ROMANCE, LGBTQIA, WOMEN’S FICTION

Length: 271 PAGES

Publisher: THE STUDIOa Paper Lantern Lit Imprint 

Release Date: AUGUST 16, 2016

ISBN: 978-15312-867-9-8

Price: $6.99 USD

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Upon her death, Hope Jackson left millions of women without the self-help guidance they had relied on for years.


“‘She was everything to me,’ Lois Montgomery of Evanston confessed today. ‘I don’t know how I’m going to go on without her.’ Millions of her peers are in the same boat. A virtual nation lost without the guidance of one savvy, scrappy, and indefatigable woman who was well ahead of her time.”

Mims, Rory and Sarah in particular need answers. What the heck are they going to do now that the reknowned love-sex-marriage guru is gone?

Rory has just been laid off from her position at HEART AND HOME – a woman’s magazine and “She barely had enough money in her checking account to pay for lunch, much less life.” To top off the crapiest day of her life, her divorced boyfriend had decided to go back to his wife – leaving Rory with no job, no boyfriend, no money and a huge amount of credit card debt.

Mims is having an extremely difficult time moving forward after the death of her daughter, Daria. Mim’s husband had found solace in religion, but Mims does not share in his belief that religion is the answer especially since they used to attend church as a family and just being there reminds her too much of Daria. To make matters worse, she suspects that her husband might be having an affair. Married for thirty years, she has no idea how to move forward with her life.

Sarah’s husband is in jail. Turns out he embezzled a lot of money. Now, all her supposed “friends” at the Country Club who live in McMansions just like the one she lives in, have begun to snub her. After clawing her way up in the world from the trailer park where she was raised, she has two sons, no job and she might just lose everything if the law decides to take her home as restitution for her husband’s misdeeds. She is floundering and her future is uncertain.

What the heck are they going to do?

Hope Jackson always said: “Ain’t nobody gonna take care of you the way you can take care of yourself.” But can these women find a way to follow her advice.

Reading this book proves that you can’t judge a person based on outward appearances and will have you looking at those around you in a different and more empathetic light.

This book is hilarious at times and heart-wrenching at other times. It will make you laugh. It will make you cry. But most of all it will keep you entertained from beginning to end.


I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to anyone looking for a fun read. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Noa Grey is an author, mama and writing teacher. 

She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and two sons.

Noa also writes fiction under the name Zoe Fishman.

On Paper Lantern Lit’s blog is a 7 question mini interview with Noa Grey. Here are the questions they asked her as well as her entertaining answers. 

QUESTION 1. If you were a dessert, what would you be?


ANSWER
= Key lime pie.


QUESTION 2.
What’s the next place on your travel Bucket List?


ANSWER
= Italy!


QUESTION 3.
Which actress would you want to play you in the biopic of your life?


ANSWER
= Kathryn Hahn.


QUESTION 4.
What book has inspired your writing the most?


ANSWER
= Reading TURTLE MOON by Alice Hoffman as a teenager made me want to be a writer.


QUESTION 5.
Who is your secret cartoon crush?


ANSWER
= Sheriff Woody Pride.


QUESTION 6.
Favorite TV show right now?


ANSWER
= Veep.


QUESTION 7
. When you were six years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?


ANSWER
= An actress.
You can see the original interview post HERE 

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE     

GOODREADS    

TWITTER   

FACEBOOK       

GOOGLE   

iBOOKS    

5 out of 5 Stars for the Amazing Book – THE BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE by MEG ELISON – THIS IS A MUST READ

meg-elison-book-of-the-unnamed-midwife

Title: THE BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE   

Author: MEG ELISON

Genre: FICTION, POST-APOCALYPTIC FICTION, WOMEN’S FICTION, LGBTQ

Length: 190 PAGES

Publisher: 47 NORTH  

ISBN: 9781503939110  

Cover Designer: CHRISTIAN FUENFHAUSEN  

Publication Date: OCTOBER 11, 2016

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  

 

In almost every post-apocalyptic novel I have ever read (and I have read quite a few,) the author writes about the dark side of human nature that most people predict will take hold if, and when an apocalyptic event strikes our planet. In THE BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE this darkness is once again unleashed, albeit in a very unique and interesting situation. #tbotuh

However, author Meg Elison must be an optimist at heart since her book allows readers to believe that even in the darkest situation there is hope, and even in a world that appears that it just might not be worth saving, there might be people left who are holding onto their humanity with both hands. It is this hope that makes #TBOTUM such a compelling read.

Readers will be taken on a journey along with the main character as she travels on a northerly route from California to wherever she ends up. This journey is not only physical, but is also emotional and mental. From the craving for human companionship to the fear of running into the wrong type of people, readers will find themselves increasingly invested in the midwife’s survival.

Meg Elison has done the near impossible with this book – that is to get readers emotionally invested in the trials and tribulations of a character of whom they do not even know her real name. When asked near the beginning of the book what her name is, the midwife responds by telling the man her name is Karen. “She was not Karen. Karen had died a week ago, still wearing her name tag. He wasn’t going to ask for ID. She decided to be Karen for now.”

A fever followed by intense illness and then death has swept the globe. This pandemic is unlike anything ever experienced in human history. Women had a mortality rate around 99% and the Midwife discovered through her job in the Maternity Ward at a major hospital that no babies survived more than a few minutes after birth. In fact, most were stillborn. Despite the fact that all the marvels of modern medicine were still available, the mothers also died shortly after their infants. The mortality rate was 100% in newborn infants and in the general population, 99 out of 100 women who contracted the fever never recovered. Men were much luckier and therefore the ratio of females to males became skewed.

What happens when something you want is in short supply? You tend to stock up on that commodity and to guard what you have left. Well, this is similar to how men responded to the lack of available women. Once people realized that they were most likely not going to die from the plague, they began to think of what they wanted and needed to survive in the new, lawless, post-apocalyptic world they found themselves in.

I believe that when the constraints of society are removed in such a way that there is little hope of order ever being restored, that many people will allow their baser instincts to overrule the ideals of goodness and basic human decency. Add to that volatile situation a lack of food, a lack of purpose and a lack of consequences for their actions and you have some seriously big problems. Now, top off an already untenable situation with the fact that very few females survived the initial plague and anyone who knows anything at all about human nature will agree that this is a recipe for disaster.

Karen “Went to sleep and the world was dying … woke up and it was dead and gone.” After an intense and terrifying experience Karen is forced to kill a man to save herself from being raped and beaten. It is after that she realizes she needs to hide her femininity if she is to have any chance at long-term survival in this new world. Karen soon realizes that survival was not going to be her only challenge. In fact, it just might be the least of her problems.

I LOVE THIS BOOK! It is exceedingly difficult to surprise me, but THE BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE did exactly that.

The character of “Karen” is not your typical post-apocalyptic female survivor. She is complex in many ways and yet simple in others. She is tough as nails and yet she also craves human companionship (although she would never admit that to anyone). Too many books in this genre stick to gender stereotypes; THE BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE does not. By placing Karen in the role of the main character, author Meg Elison challenges the view that a woman must have a man with her in order to survive and thrive in a post-apocalyptic world.

Not only does this book entertain readers with a fascinating story, but it also points out the unique issues that would face women in a post-apocalyptic world. (Think tampons and birth control.) In a world where woman are almost guaranteed to die in childbirth, especially since hospitals are no longer operational, birth control would be more important than ever before. Karen stocks up on the injections required for months of preventing unwanted pregnancies and makes it her mission to offer it to anyone who wants or needs it. I can almost guarantee that no male novelist has ever written (or could write) anything similar to this book and have it come across as realistic and believable as it does in TBOTUM.

With this book, female Young Adult readers have a new heroine to celebrate and to cheer on. And to make her even more loveable, Karen is a BADASS. She doesn’t take crap from anyone and she is ready and willing to kill to protect herself.

Feminism and the power of women are not the only topics of discussion that come up when reading this book proving that Meg Elison is not afraid of controversy in her writing. This is demonstrated once again when Karen comes across a small religious settlement where residents act as if the apocalypse had not happened and present a good-looking face to the outside world. It is only once she looks deeper that she realizes that the leaders are using religion to rid themselves of unwanted rivals for the attentions of the few female residents. When Karen (dressed as a man and calling herself Rusty) tries to dissuade one man from leaving the safety of the town to travel far away as a missionary because that is what his bishop ordered him to do, she is frustrated when he dismisses her argument that it is too dangerous to travel with only a bible and his faith for protection. She realizes “There is no argument to be had with faith.”

Meg Elison has tackled the topics of women’s rights, gender equality, as well as the blind faith some people place in their religion, so it is only fitting t hat she also uses this book to bring up differing types of sexuality. In fact, our heroine is bi-sexual.

Aside from controversial topics being included in the narrative, this is just a damn good story. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot of this book as well as the numerous twists and turns – many of which I did not see coming. The conclusion is a masterpiece of the unexpected that readers will not see coming.

This book was originally written in 2014 and is being re-released in anticipation of the release in early 2017 of the second book in the series THE BOOK OF ETTA which I have already added to my TBR (To Be Read) list.

I rate THE BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE AS

5 OUT OF 5 STARS.

* I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

meg-elison-banner

 meg-elison-close-up

Meg Elison is the author of THE BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE, a post-apocalyptic feminist speculative novel, Tiptree recommendation, and winner of the 2014 Philip K. Dick Award. The sequel to #TBOTUM is called THE BOOK OF ETTA and will be published in early 2017.

Elison is a high school dropout and a graduate of UC Berkeley. She lives in Oakland, throws themed sing-along parties, and appears at Bay Area literary events whenever someone allows it.

If she could eradicate one societal ill, it would be misogyny.

When she is alone she likes to live deliciously while she writes and breaks hearts.

The three women, dead or alive, she most wants to see square off on Jeopardy are Ada Lovelace, Margaret Atwood, and Queen Elizabeth I.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

GOODREADS     

FACEBOOK          

TWITTER  

AMAZON    

GOOGLE  

 

 

 

BOY ROBOT – Simon Curtis’ debut novel will be released on October 25th – A terrific Young Adult character driven Sci-Fi. 4 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟 

Title: BOY ROBOT  

Series: BOOK ONE OF A PLANNED TRILOGY 

Author: SIMON CURTIS

Type of Book: HARDCOVER

Genre: YOUNG ADULT, SCIENCE FICTION

Length: 432 PAGES

Publisher: SIMON AND SCHUSTER TEEN 

Release Date: OCTOBER 25, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-7564-8 

Price: $17.99 USD / $23.99 CAN

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Imagine losing your mother before you even had a chance to meet her because  she died giving birth to you.

Historically, women used to die in childbirth all the time, but with the advent of modern medicine, this has become a rare event. The fact that it doesn’t happen very often is no consolation to Isaak who ends up being raised by “parents” who show him not a single ounce of love.

He thought his life already sucked. Little did he know – it was about to get worse – much worse.

On the night of his eighteenth birthday, his life is changed forever.

Lying in bed trying to fight off the mother of all migraine headaches, a mysterious and incredibly strong girl tells him to come with her if he wants to live. (Yes, it sounds kind of like a knock off from a scene from the Terminator – but it is my opinion that she was trying to add a bit of levity to a terrifying situation.) Turns out she showed up just in time and the pair end up running for their lives.

Isaak has no idea what is happening. He has no enemies and can’t think of anyone who would want to hurt him – nevermind someone wanting him dead.

His savior is a girl named Azure and it is her that explains to him that they are both robots and that a highly trained, highly deadly, secret branch of the US government is hunting down and destroying any and all robots.

His only hope for survival is to reach the hidden, secret base of the Underground, which is a group of robots (and some humans) that are fighting back.

The way my description makes it sound, it seems like this book is a science fiction novel, which I guess it is, but really it is a story about the characters themselves.

The character development is excellent but the world building leaves much to be desired. I would have liked to have had more information about the resistance and it’s leaders. I am hoping that this information will be included in the next book in the trilogy. 

This book includes so many personal, moral and ethical issues that readers could literally discuss this book for hours before exhausting the different topics. This makes it especially perfect for book clubs.

Here is a list of just a few of the topics and issues that are included in this book:

* Death of a parent
* Child abuse – physical
* Child abuse – mental and emotional
* Puberty
* Teenage Angst
* Bullying
* The desire for acceptance
* The desire for love & connection
* Transgender youth
* Sexuality
* Confusion over sexual identity
* What is the definition of life?
* What makes you human? Is it biology or psychology?
* Moral dilemmas such as:
– Would you leave a friend behind to face certain death in order to save yourself?
– Would you be willing to kill to save yourself?

I could go on and on with the list, but I think you get the idea.

Overall I enjoyed this book and I think that Simon Curtis has done a terrific job on his debut novel. I give BOY ROBOT 4 out of 5 stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟 

  • Pre-Order online at AMAZON 


* I received a free copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  


SIMON CURTIS was born in Michigan and raisef in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was diagnosed with leukemia at age 10 and began performing in musical theater and opera that same year. He was the happiest bald, chemo-therapy-addled cancer patient ever seen on stage. At eighteen, he moved to L.A. After various roles on Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel, Simon left acting to pursue music, releasing his first album, 8bit Heart, as a free download, followed by his second album, RA, which landed at number 20 on Billboard’s Dance & Electronic Albums chart.

Simon continues to write and release music as an independent recording artist, and looks forward to his new chapter as an author. Above all else, he strives to inspire hope in young people.


BOY ROBOT is his first novel.

To learn more about this inspiring young man, visit the following links:

PUBLISHER OFFICIAL WEBSITE   

GOODREADS       

TWITTER  

INSTAGRAM   

SIMON’S MUSIC WEBSITE   

NEW RELEASE – 4 BRAVE STARS FOR BEING JAZZ: MY LIFE AS A (TRANSGENDER) TEEN by Jazz Jennings – BOOK REVIEW

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RELEASE BLITZ: HOUSE HUNT by Jackie Keswick


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HOUSE HUNT
by:Jackie Keswick
The Power of Zero, #3
Publication Date: March 30, 2016
Genre: Adult, MM Romance, Romantic Suspense

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Purchase: Amazon | Amazon PRINT | B&N | Kobo | ARe |Dreamspinner Ebook | Dreamspinner PRINT

Synopsis: Jack Horwood hates owing favors. But when a simple day out to treat Gareth to the best oysters in England leads to a discovery of drugs and counterfeit money—things that neither Jack nor Gareth have the jurisdiction to handle—he has to call in help. Help that doesn’t come cheap, and that forces him to do something he promised himself he’d never do again—walk away from Gareth and the family he’s starting to make for himself.

Three months undercover is a long time. After missing Gareth’s birthday, Jack is determined not to miss their first anniversary. But coming home and being home are two very different things. So when he is asked to assist with a corporate espionage investigation, Jack can’t say no, despite knowing it will impact his already straining relationship.

Except, of course, he’s walking into a trap….

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EXCERPT

When the car’s growling engine stopped, Gareth found himself surrounded by woods in a corner of the Weald he’d never been to before. The small car park was deserted except for a handful of cars, and Gareth heard only birdsong, the rustle of the breeze in the trees, and the faraway drone of a plane. They hadn’t passed any villages or farms during the last leg of their drive, and nothing around him hinted at human habitation.

The car park didn’t even have a sign.

“You know where we are, right?”

“Would you believe me if I said we’re eight miles from Canterbury?”

It was hard to imagine that a city full of tourists, bars, and shops was in hiking distance of this deserted corner of Kent. The air held the bitter, musty scents of pine and damp leaves and—barely detectable—the savory smell of mushrooms. Most of the oak and beech trees surrounding the small, graveled car park were just starting to unfurl their leaves, giving the afternoon sun almost unhindered access.

Jack unlocked the boot, ready to get out of the car and retrieve the TVR’s roof. Before he could move, Gareth wrapped a hand around his neck and pulled him closer until the center console got in the way. Jack didn’t fight. He braced his elbows on magnolia leather and leaned across the barrier into Gareth’s touch. Their kiss was slow and languid, more teasing than enticing.

“Really not the car for that,” Gareth commented when he leaned back to put space between them. “Though I could imagine spreading you across that bonnet.”

“Yeah, let’s scandalize the locals,” Jack agreed and popped the doors.

It was the third time and Gareth still hadn’t figured out how it was done. Not that he’d been paying particular attention to the TVR’s doors. Though now that he’d started thinking about the acres of bonnet, he could see that the car had potential. He turned to look for Jack, but despite having opened the boot, he wasn’t anywhere close to the car. He stood in the center of the car park, staring at a beat-up green Rover.

“What’s the matter?”

“Not sure.” Jack’s voice was distant. “Thing gives me the creeps.”

“How?”

Gareth couldn’t see anything that might have set off Jack’s warning bells. The N-plated Rover 400 showed every one of its seventeen years of hard work. Flaking paint marred the sides, hinting at rust-eaten bodywork, and one of the car’s wings had been replaced with one of a slightly different green. It wasn’t a car that invited a second look from anyone, but somehow it had immediately drawn Jack’s attention.

“Jack?”

He stared a moment longer before he shrugged and turned back to Gareth. “I don’t know,” he said, sounding apologetic. “Probably nothing at all. Fancy a walk?”

“Since that’s what we came here for….” Gareth wanted to reach for Jack, whether to distract him or shake him hard enough to rattle some sense back into that busy brain of his, he couldn’t have said. “Was there anywhere in particular you wanted to go?”

“Just… around,” Jack said as he found a narrow path that led into the surrounding woods.

“Liar. And crappy at it, too. How’d you ever make it as a spook?”

Gareth had merely meant to tease, but a dark flush crept up Jack’s neck, and he hunched forward. “I wasn’t that kind of spook,” he mumbled when Gareth caught up with him.

“No?” Gareth wrapped his arm around Jack’s shoulders and felt him flinch at the contact. Jack was suddenly so tightly wound he was close to taking off. And that wasn’t something Gareth wanted to deal with right then. He cast around for something, anything, that could serve as a distraction.

“So, what’s going on with you and that Dave character?” he settled on, glad when Jack’s head shot up and he stared, caught out.

“Nothing’s going on. He’s straight.”

“Bullshit. He was all over you.”

The vehemence in Gareth’s tone brought Jack’s head around. The frown dissolved and the smirk appeared. “That jealousy I’m hearing, Flynn?”

Gareth felt the rush of heat in his neck sweep up the sides of his face. He held Jack’s disbelieving gaze regardless. “Would you blame me?”

OTHER BOOKS IN THE POWER OF ZERO SERIES…

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JOB HUNT
by Jackie Keswick
The Power of Zero #1
Publication Date: May 13, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, M/M, Romance, Suspense

BUY: AmazonAmazon PRINTB&NKOBOiBooksAReDreamspinner Press

Synopsis: You don’t greet your new boss dressed like an underage rent boy. But when Jack Horwood—ace hacker and ex-MI6 operative—opens the door to Gareth Flynn, he’s too busy to worry over details like that. And anyway, his potential new boss is his former Commanding Officer – the same guy Jack has had a crush on since he was seventeen. So he should understand, right?

When he applied for the job in Nancarrow Mining’s corporate security division, Jack had hoped for peaceful days repelling cyber attacks. Maybe a bit of corporate espionage on the side. His plans didn’t include rescuing abused children, hunting pimps, or dealing with his overly protective and hot-as-hell boss, Gareth Flynn.

Walking away is not an option. Jack never takes the easy way out. More than that, meeting Gareth raises old ghosts that Jack needs to put to rest. Rescuing kids. Taking risks. Saving the day. Jack can do all that – but deciding what to do about his attraction to Gareth isn’t the sort of cloak-and-dagger game Jack plays well. Yet Gareth, strong and smart and always on hand when needed, might be Jack’s salvation.

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Ghosts Book #2 Cover

GHOSTS
by Jackie Keswick
The Power of Zero #2
Publication Date: February 10, 2016
Genres: Adult,Contemporary, LGBT, M/M, Novella, Romance, Suspense

BUY: AmazonB&NKOBOiBooksAReDreamspinner Press

Synopsis: Jack Horwood doesn’t do families. Or Christmas. From the time his mother sold him to her pimp to the moment he walked out on the man he loved, Christmas has always been about change and painful choices. This year seems no different. Helping Daniel and Nico recover from their imprisonment and hunting down those responsible puts Jack in a frame of mind he doesn’t want to inflict on anyone. Least of all Gareth and the tentative relationship they’ve started to rebuild.

But Gareth, for whom Christmas is all about new beginnings, won’t let Jack take the easy way out. He makes him face his ghosts instead. Even when said ghosts invade their bedroom.

When Daniel’s parents are found, Jack is determined to settle the matter without involving Daniel at all. But fate decrees otherwise, and it’s Gareth who helps him finally understand that the strongest bonds are those forged together. Once he gets that, Jack can step up and make a decision designed to lay his ghosts to rest—for good.

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ABOUT JACKIE KESWICK

Jackie Keswick

Jackie Keswick was born behind the Iron Curtain with itchy feet, a bent for rocks and a recurrent dream of stepping off a bus in the middle of nowhere to go home. She’s worked in a hospital and as the only girl with 52 men on an oil rig, spent a winter in Moscow and a summer in Iceland and finally settled in the country of her dreams with her dream team: a husband, a cat, a tandem, a hammer and a laptop.

Jackie loves stories about unexpected reunions and second chances, and men who don’t follow the rules when those rules are stupid. She has a thing for green eyes and tight cyclist’s butts and is a great believer in making up soundtracks for everything, including her characters and the cat.

And she still hasn’t found the place where the bus stops.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

GIVEAWAY

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Preorder Links for HOUSE HUNT (The Power of Zero, #3):
 
Amazon PRINT: amzn.to/22PBGjR
Dreamspinner Press: bit.ly/1QMvNve
Dreamspinner PRINT: bit.ly/1T7LDXJ
Goodreads: bit.ly/1WUOXDL
 
Buy Links for GHOSTS (The Power of Zero, #2):
 
Dreamspinner Press: bit.ly/1W8Ff05
Goodreads: bit.ly/1omqFaQ
 
 
Buy Links for JOB HUNT (The Power of Zero, #1):
 
Dreamspinner Press: http://bit.ly/1I7cUAN
Dreamspinner Press PRINT: http://bit.ly/1CCcY7W
 

 

 

 

 

5 Stars for A TALE OF TWO MOMMIES by Vanita Oelschlager – CHILDREN’S BOOK REVIEW

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Title: A TALE OF TWO MOMMIES

Author: Vanita Oelschlager

Illustrator: Mike Blanc

Length: 40 Pages

Genre: Children’ s Fiction, LGBTQ Awareness for children

Target Readership: This book is appropriate for children from Kindergarten to Grade 4 – Ages: 4-8 years

Edition: Hardcover

Publisher: VANITA BOOKS

Release Date: September 1, 2011

ISBN: 9780982636664

Price: $15.95

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars *****

 

OFFICIAL BOOK DESCRIPTION:

A Tale of Two Mommies is a beach conversation among three children. One boy asks another boy about having two mommies. A young girl listening in asks some questions too. True to a child’s curiosity, practical questions follow. “Which mom is there when you want to go fishing? / Which mom helps out when Kitty goes missing?” To which he answers: “Mommy helps when I want to go fishing. / Both Mommies help when Kitty goes missing.”

This book lets us look inside one non-traditional family, a same sex couple and their son. As the children talk, it’s clear this boy lives in a nurturing environment where the biggest issues are the everyday challenges of growing up.

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MY REVIEW:

This book was written by Vanita Oelschlager. Previously, she authored the book “A Tale of Two Daddies” and decided that it was important to write these children’s books so that they could be used/read aloud not only by parents, but also by librarians and teachers. In fact, if you visit the Publisher’s website you can download (for free) “An Educator’s Guide” to “A Tale of Two Mommies.” This guide is amazing and helps parents and teachers learn how to answer questions asked by their children regarding same sex parents. It also is a guide to how the subject of same sex parents can be talked about in a non-threatening way.

Firstly I want to talk about the gorgeous illustrations in this book. Mike Blanc has done a truly great job creating cute but also realistic child characters. The way he has shaped their faces gives them  friendly countenance. The fact that the three children in the book are all obviously friends despite the fact that the girl is Caucasian and one of the boys is Asian and the other is African-American is very nice to see. Children do not notice race or colour, they just see potential friends and playmates and his book reflects that fact.

This book takes place on a visit to the beach. The kid’s are asking their friend questions about his two moms. He calls one Mom “Momma” and the other “Mommie”

The kids ask: “Which Mom coaches your T-ball team? Which Mom’s there when you’ve have a bad dream?”

To which he responds: “Mommy is the coach of my T-ball team. Both Mommies are there when I’ve had a bad dream?”

The rhyming, lyrical quality to the writing is perfect for the target age group and I believe they will love to have this book read to them. It is a great way to open up a discussion about the many types of families that exist in today’s society.

The illustrations never include the moms, you see a bit of their hands, or the bottom half of their bodies, but you never see a full image of them. I think this was a brilliant decision because by not including pictures of the Mommies, kids will not get any ideas that Lesbian couples look a certain way. Very smart decision.

Overall I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars. *****

CLICK THIS LINK TO BUY THIS BOOK: 
A Tale of Two Mommies on Amazon

** ALL PROFITS FROM SALES OF THIS BOOK WILL BE DONATED TO CHARITY**

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A Tale of Two Mommies author pic

Vanita Oelschlager is a wife, mother, grandmother, former teacher, current caregiver and, for almost ten years, author and poet.

She was born and raised near Pittsburgh. She is a graduate of Mt. Union College in Alliance, Ohio, where she currently serves as a Trustee.

She has also supported and helped her husband Jim as he built Oak Associates, Ltd. into a successful investment management firm.

Today, as an accomplished author, Vanita shares openly the experiences that she, Jim and their families have had with multiple sclerosis. She has likened MS to living with an elephant, one that won’t go away or be ignored. Together, she and Jim have found ways to live with this “elephant”, and to share some of the larger lessons about life they’ve learned through the disease.

 

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:

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Mike Blanc is a life-long professional artist.  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 grandkids.

Mike was born in Akron Ohio, in 1953. On February 9th, 1964 he witnessed the first performance of The Beatles on Ed Sullivan in the living room with his brothers; Pat, Gene and Joe and also his toddler sister Lisa. He went to Coventry Senior High, Class of 1971. Mike married Gail Smith in 1973 and they have 4 children and 5 grandchildren. Mike is a self-taught artist. He has created many hundreds of designs for t-shirt and textile impressions for Champion Bowling Supply in Akron, Hooper Handprints, Florida, and Air Waves, Inc. in Columbus, Ohio. Mike worked in an artists’ colony, Halbert’s Incorporated in Akron for a year creating heraldic art. Looking back, he believes that his Halbert’s co-worker was Chrissie Hynde, the Pretender and art major (please confirm this, Chrissie).  He’s been self-employed at Mike Blanc Studios since 1974. From 1989 till present, he’s a full-time associate at Artists Incorporated and is associated with VanitaBooks, LLC, of Akron an independent publishing corporation.

ABOUT THE PUBLISHER VANITA BOOKS:

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–> – The information below was copied from the Publisher’s website.

We’re In Business To Help Others

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VanitaBooks publishes books for children ages 4-8 that are short tales teaching a moral or value. Each book presents a dilemma or fear that a child may have, and resolves those issues through the loving and reassuring guidance of a parent, or through the plot of the story itself.

VanitaBooks is a for-profit business. Our goal is to produce popular, fun books that we hope lots of people will buy. Because our other goal is to donate ALL of our net profits to worthy organizations.

Here are the groups we are supporting so far. We will add more as we publish more books. We urge you to support them too.

Holt International
An international adoption and children’s support organization.
www.holtinternational.org

National Multiple Sclerosis Society
National organization providing programs for people with MS and supporting research to find its cause.
www.nationalmssociety.org

The Oak Clinic for Multiple Sclerosis
Ohio-based clinic that provides state-of-the-art care.
www.oakclinic.com