WE CARE FOR YOU by Debut Author Paul Kitcatt will leave you thinking about this book long after reading the final page. 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Title: WE CARE FOR YOU

Author: PAUL KITCATT

Genre: FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY

Length: 240 PAGES

Publisher: UNBOUND DIGITAL

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: NOVEMBER 14, 2017

ISBN: 9781911586296

Price: £10.99 (PAPERBACK)

Rating: 4 out of 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

Margaret Woodruff is slowly dying in a care home. When her son is presented with the chance of exceptional care in her final months, he finds the offer hard to resist.

Winifred is assigned to Margaret’s care. She’s a Helper: a new kind of carer that’s capable, committed and completely tireless – because she’s a synthetic human being.

Under Winifred’s care Margaret’s health improves beyond everyone’s expectations, and Winifred begins to learn from Margaret what it means to be alive. After all, she has a lifetime of experience to pass on – and in a world where youth is the ultimate prize, perhaps it takes a robot to recognise the value of old age.

But how will Winifred use what she learns from Margaret – and what does she truly want from her?

MY REVIEW:

“All advances in technology are foreseen or understood by a small group of people. Those who imagine them, and those who make them happen. To the rest of us, these advances are like magic.”

Paul Kitcatt is one of those people who foresees technology’s future and the ramifications of artificial intelligence.

I love the fact that he chose an Old Age Home as the setting for this novel. He is 100% correct when he says that we do not treat our elderly population very well. He also mentions that the carers at these Retirement Homes are underpaid and overworked. These facts become the basis for the residents families allowing the “robot” helpers to take over the care of their loved ones.

As the older resident’s health improves, we start to learn more about the ultimate agenda.

This book will not only grab and hold your attention, but it will make you question our world and how we treat others, especially the elderly.

This book was crowdfunded and it goes to show that there is very much a place for this type of publishing. Without crowdfunding this book would not existed, which would be a shame.

I recommend this book to fans of science fiction as well as to those who are interested in societal issues.

I rate WE CARE FOR YOU as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

QUOTES:

“You could say a human is defined by what they’ve forgotten. And when all their memories fade, they do too,like old photographs in the sun.”

“Humans are also creatures of hopes and fears, disappointments and regrets, and desires. They almost always want something, whether it’s reasonable or not.”

“Seeing, standing, walking. Whatever they gave me, it’s marvellous.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Paul Kitcatt was a bookseller and an English teacher before being lured into the world of advertising.

He started as a copywriter and then became creative director, and in 2002 founded his own agency with three partners. It did well, with clients such as Waitrose, VSO, Lexus, the NSPCC, AXA, Virgin and WWF.

Throughout his career, he continued to write – for clients, for the trade press, and when possible, for himself.

He left his agency last year, and wrote his first novel, We Care For You.

During his time in advertising, the digital revolution transformed his business and the entire industry, as it has everything, everywhere.

Technology is changing the world, and us with it, and the journey has only just begun. Paul’s novel is about where it might take us next.

Paul is married with four children and lives in London, England.

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

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DADDY DARKEST by ELLERY KANE is a dark & twisted YA thriller worthy of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Title: DADDY DARKEST

Series: BOOK ONE OF THE DOCTORS OF DARKNESS SERIES

Author: ELLERY KANE

Genre: FICTION, YOUNG ADULT, PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER

Length: 358 PAGES

Publisher: SELF-PUBLISHED

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: JUNE 1, 2018

ISBN: 9780692880968

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“I wish my first plane ride had ended in a crash. An unforeseen plunge to Earth. A few minutes of white-hot terror, followed by a rising ball of fire. And no survivors.”

Samantha is a small town girl who just graduated from high school. She has her entire future ahead of her and she can’t wait. Her best friend, Ginny surprises her with a weekend in San Francisco.

Samantha knows her Mom would not approve so she waits until she is already on the plane before answering her mother’s texts and calls.

Samantha and Ginny may be best friends, but they are polar opposites of each other (except in physical appearance since they look so much alike, they could be sisters.

Samantha is quiet. Ginny is loud. Samantha does not like to flirt. Ginny seems to have learned to flirt in the womb. Samantha is careful, Ginny is not. Ginny likes to go with the flow, Samantha would rather have a plan. But, despite their differences, or maybe because of them, they compliment each other and their trust in each other is complete.

What neither of the girls know is that the amazing and fun weekend they’d planned is about to turn into a nightmare. One in which Samantha will discover that everything she thought she knew about her life, has been a lie.

Fast paced, heart-thumping action that will appeal to her new target readership of Young Adults and will not disappoint her adult fanbase.

This book, however, should come with a warning and could be a trigger for survivors of violent crime; including, but not limited to, stalking, mugging, domestic violence and especially to survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

I enjoyed most every part of this book and am glad author Ellery Kane has chosen to bring the issue of childhood sexual abuse into the light. She has included a description of one of the ways that pedophiles groom their victims. I believe this is important. The more information that is distributed to people, the less likely they or their loved ones will fall victim to this type of crime.

Tackling a sensitive subject while crafting an unforgettable thriller could not have been easy, but Ellery Kane has done exactly that. It is for that reason that I chose to rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Forensic psychologist by day, novelist by night, Ellery Kane has been writing–professionally and creatively–for as long as she can remember. Just like many of her main characters, Ellery loves to ask why, which is the reason she became a psychologist in the first place. Real life really is stranger than fiction, and Ellery’s writing is often inspired by her day job. Evaluating violent criminals and treating trauma victims, she has gained a unique perspective on the past and its indelible influence on the individual. And she’s heard her fair share of real life thrillers. An avid short story writer as a teenager, Ellery recently began writing for enjoyment again, and she hasn’t stopped since.

Ellery’s debut novel, Legacy, has received several awards, including winning the Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, young adult, e-book category, and the Gold Medal in the Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards, teenage category. In 2016, Ellery was selected as one of ten semifinalists in the MasterClass James Patterson Co-Author Competition.

To learn more about Ellery Kane, visit the following links:

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More titles by this author, click HERE

NEW RELEASE – THE UNREMEMBERED GIRL by Eliza Maxwell earns every one of the 5 Stars and then some. THIS IS A MUST READ. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

Title: THE UNREMEMBERED GIRL     

Author: ELIZA MAXWELL   

Genre: FICTION, WOMEN’S FICTION

Length: 332 PAGES  

Publisher: LAKE UNION PUBLISHING

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: NOVEMBER 1, 2017

ISBN: 9781542045858  

Price: $14.95 USD (PAPERBACK)

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟     

DESCRIPTION:

In the deep woods of East Texas, Henry supports his family by selling bootleg liquor. It’s all he can do to keep his compassionate but ailing mother and his stepfather—a fanatical grassroots minister with a bruising rhetoric—from ruin. But they have no idea they’ve become the obsession of the girl in the woods.

Abandoned and nearly feral, Eve has been watching them, seduced by the notion of family—something she’s known only in the most brutal sense. Soon she can’t resist the temptation to get close. Where Henry’s mother sees a poor girl in need, his father sees only wickedness. When Henry forges an unexpected bond with Eve, he believes he might be able to save her. He doesn’t know how wrong he is.

Eve is about to take charge of her own destiny—and that of Henry’s family. As both their worlds spin violently out of control, Henry must make an impossible choice: protect the broken young woman who’s claimed a piece of his soul, or put everyone he loves at risk in order to do the right thing.

MY REVIEW:

“In this place, it was easy to forget that the world had turned the corner into the twenty-first century. Time was different here, as if a spell had been cast that slowed the revolution of the earth. Those who lived and died nearby were touched by it, carrying the traces on their fingertips, in their lungs, woven through their hair. It was inescapable.”

It is here, in the deep forests of East Texas that Henry lives with his parents. They live in the cabin where he grew up. The  difference is that he and his parents have switched roles and Henry is now the breadwinner. His bootlegging business won’t make them rich, but they have enough to scrape by.

When a ragged, dirty young woman emerges from the woods, Henry isn’t sure what to think, but his mother immediately senses something about the girl and takes her in.

That one simple act of kindness has a profound effect on Henry’s entire family, and after that day, he knows, their lives will never be the same.

Rife with tragedy, both past and present, and filled with more secrets than the entire US Government, this book will draw and hold your attention for its entirety.

Author Eliza Maxwell’s descriptions are so wonderfully vivid that I felt as though I was immersed in each and every scene. I was entranced, and despite the fact that it was 3am, I couldn’t put the book down even though I knew I would suffer from lack of sleep the next morning.

Don’t believe me? Read the following:

“The tall, stately pines that grew in drier soils soon gave way to the curving, dripping beauty of the cypress that thrived in the swamp. The ground sloped downward, giving a body the subtle sense of being pulled into the bottomlands that waited patiently just around the corners, where the dark heart of the marsh beat with a symphony of life. Stinging, singing, ancient, and deadly life, where the alligators were king, the snakes and snapping turtles were barons, and the woodpeckers were court jesters jangling their bells from the tops of the trees.”

Eliza Maxwell clearly has a gift for descriptive setting and, as if this were not enough, she also has the talent of perfect pacing. Filled with moments of heart-breaking tenderness, and others of extreme terror, this book is impossible to put down.

With realistic characters and so many surprising twists and turns that readers will be thinking about this book long after turning the final page.

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

I would like to thank NETGALLEY for providing me with a free copy of this book. 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  

ELIZA MAXWELL lives in Texas with a patient man, two impatient children and a bird named Sarah.

There’s also a bird dog. She lives a tortured existence.

A writer, painter, and a British television addict, Eliza loves nothing more than the quiet parts of the world, a good cup of coffee, and sitting on the front porch.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

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ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:  

Lake Union Publishing offers absorbing works of contemporary and historical fiction that make perfect book club picks. From lush sagas to laugh-out-loud fare, Lake Union Publishing has a story for every taste, season, and mood, from bestselling and debut authors alike, including Allison Winn Scotch, Camille Pagán, Rhys Bowen, Catherine Ryan Hyde, Helen Bryan, Catherine McKenzie, Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, Emily Bleeker, Elizabeth LaBan, and Steena Holmes.

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

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INSTAGRAM SECOND PAGE      

 

QUOTES FROM THE BOOK THAT I JUST HAD TO COPY:

…he had enough on his own plate to keep from eyeing what was on his neighbors’.” 
“[Henry] didn’t drink because he’d seen every kind of reason for diving into a bottle, seen them up close and personal. But he’d never seen a solitary soul come out of the back end of a bottle any better off thanthey had gone in.”

Maybe God did live here … But if that were true, there was no denying God had a cruel side.”

“It was late. The part of the deep night when it’s impractical to do anything useful, but sleep won’t come, so the mind swirls around in the dark, skirting past old memories and bumping against unvoiced desires.” 

 “A stray thought occurred to him that if it weren’t for women, in all their cloaks of unfathomed mysteries, men would lead very boring lives.” 

“I’ve found that most people are generally a danger only to themselves.”  

Some places hold on to death the way used fireworks hopd on to the stench of gunpowder and flames.”

“Yeah, you got that look on you too. Like trouble done got your number down by heart.”

“But I gotta tell you, friend. You’ll never appreciate the daylight till you’ve walked on the dark side of the night, without even the stars to show you the way.”   

“Nothing on God’s green earth can make a man feel as alive as the love of a bad woman.”

There’s no shaking loose of that. Doesn’t matter where you go, once she’s in you, that’s where she’s gonna stay. It’s like a virus. Nothing to do about it but hope you’re still kicking once it runs its course.”

“Grief had melted away most of the humanity that Livingston had possessed, leaving little behind. A mechanical man with a suit of skin hanging off him, powered by a smoking, burning passion.”

4 Stars for the extraordinary tale of a man who spent 27 years alone in the woods – A new book by MICHAEL FINKEL called THE STRANGER IN THE WOODS 🌟🌟🌟🌟  

Title: THE STRANGER IN THE WOODS      

Subtitle: THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF THE LAST TRUE HERMIT

Author: MICHAEL FINKEL      
Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHY

Length: 203 PAGES  

Publisher: PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE

Type of Book: HARDCOVER

Release Date: MARCH 7, 2017   

ISBN: 978-1-101-87568-1  

Price: $25.95 USD / $32.95 CDN

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Photograph of Knight’s camp in the Maine woods. Photo Credit: Maine State Police

DESCRIPTION:  “In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water, and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries.”

Photograph of Knight’s camp in the Maine woods. Photo Credit: Maine State Police

“Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life—why did he leave? what did he learn?—as well as the challenges he has faced since returning to the world. It is a gripping story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.”    

MY REVIEW:  

This book is a New York Times Bestseller, and after reading it, I can understand why. The subject matter will draw you in and you will find yourself developing an opinion on the “hermit.” 

Mugshot of Christopher Knight Photo Credit: Maine State Police

I find it fascinating that anyone could just one day decide to walk into the forest with minimal supplies and not come out again for decades.

I am sure that most of us have had the thought that it would be great to get away from it all, but even so, our idea of that “retreat from the world” almost always has a limited time frame. Humans are just not wired to be completely solitary … at least, most of us aren’t. As proof of this, think about jail. When an inmate severely misbehaves, the punishment is solitary confinement, and even the toughest, meanest, most hardened criminals attempt to avoid it. In fact, in 2015, the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Vienna, Austria adopted revised rules banning solitary confinement as cruel and unusual punishment. The changes are referred to as the “Mandela Rules.”     

Christopher Knight is “the hermit” who this book is about. He is an anomaly to the belief that people need contact with others to survive. 

Christopher stole food and other essential items to help him survive, and created a hidden camp that wasn’t far from civilization and yet, somehow he was able to stay hidden and alone for over twenty years. Author Michael Finkel has done a terrific job of trying to understand the nonunderstandable and readers will be unable to put this book down. 

Photograph of Knight at his camp in the Maine woods. Photo Credit: Maine State Police

This book is very much worth reading, and even though it includes a sketch of Christopher Knight’s camp as well as a sketch of the geographic area of Maine where his camp was located, I was extremely disappointed that the actual photographs taken by police were not included in this book. I would also have liked to have a photograph of Christopher Knight included as well. It is due to the lack of photographs that I am rating THE STRANGER IN THE WOODS as only 4 out of 5 Stars. 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

*** Even though the pictures are not in the physical edition of this book, there are multiple photographs available on Michael Finkel’s website; perhaps they will make it into future editions of this book.***   

Because I was curious as to what Christopher Knight looked like, I searched on YouTube and found this video:    

 

     

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

MICHAEL FINKEL is the author of “The Stranger in the Woods” and “True Story,” which was adapted into a 2015 major motion picture, starring James Franco and Jonah Hill.

He has reported from more than 50 countries and written for National Geographic, GQ, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, and The New York Times Magazine.

His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting, The Best American Science and Nature Writing, The Best American Travel Writing, and The Best American Non-Required Reading.  

Michael lives with his wife and three children in western Montana and southern France.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

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Watch the following video for an author interview:

THE VISITORS by Catherine Burns is one of the creepiest books I have ever read. 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟    

Title: THE VISITORS

Author: CATHERINE BURNS

Genre: FICTION, THRILLERS, HORROR 

Publisher: LEGEND PRESS    

Type of Book: EBOOK     

Received From: NETGALLEY   

Release Date: OCTOBER 3, 2017

ISBN: 9781785079160     

Price: $14.99 AUD     

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟   

MY REVIEW:

THE VISITORS by author Catherine Burns is creepy with a capital “C.”

This tale will have readers questioning the lives of their neighbors and possibly their own family members.

Freaky, eerie, and terrifying are all appropriate adjectives to describe this realistic psychological thriller. THE VISITORS is equal parts thriller and horror. In fact, I believe this book should (and probably will) be turned into a movie. If that happens, I will be at the front of the line.

Catherine Burns has created two of the most horrifyingly realistic characters I have ever encountered.

Marion Zetland is the kind of middle-age woman that is times past would have been labelled a spinster or even a hermit. However, she fails to fit those molds exactly since she doesn’t live alone. Her older brother lives in the house as well. Marion’s brother John is continuously verbally abusive to her and she seeks solace in a bed full of her teddy bear “friends.”

Their family had money once and the siblimgs grew up in the same Georgian townhouse that they still occupy. Once a grand home, the siblings have allowed the house to fall into disrepair. In fact, even Marion, who seems to have stopped growing both physically and emotionally around the age of twelve, realizes that if she ever had a visitor, they would think that she and John were hoarders.  

Though Marion is odd, John is not only strange, he is also creepy and often sadistic toward anyone who crosses him. The worst thing about John is his secret in the cellar. Marion knows very little about what goes on down there. She just knows that is where he spends most of his time and she tries to put it out of her mind.

When John suffers a sudden heart attack, Marion realizes that she will have to go to basement. It is there that she has to face John’s secret, and she will be forced to decide what to do about it.  

As readers delve deeper into the pysches  of both Marion and John, what they find will astonish, disgust and horrify them.   

As a reader this is a book that really is ‘impossible to put down.’ I suggest that once you are ready to read this book, that you set aside an entire weekend. Tell the kids to order pizza ’cause Mom is too busy reading. 

I rate THE VISITOR as 5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Captivating and astonishingly readable, THE VISITORS is one of the creepiest books I have ever read. There are no police chases or secret service agents trying to save the world in this book. It doesn’t need any of that. Instead, it focuses on the characters and does this so well that it deserves it’s 5 Star rating.


**Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book. My review was not required and is completely voluntary.

                                      One of the book’s alternate covers    

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 


CATHERINE BURNS was born in Manchester.

She is a graduate of Trinity College, University of Cambridge and worked as a bond trader in London before studying at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography and teaching film theory at the University of Salford.


The Visitors is her debut novel.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

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ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: 



Legend Press was set up in 2005 and is focused primarily on publishing mainstream literary and commercial fiction. We are based in London, UK.

Legend Press is now the most successful independent in 30 years to start up with no capital and runs a range of successful across-industry initiatives and joint-ventures. Legend Press is part of the Legend Times Group.

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

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



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

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

WHAT IS A FOLD BOOK BASH?

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

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

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

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

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

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


    #1. 

    JAEL RICHARDSON 


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

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

    To learn more about Jael, visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE      

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    This is me with Jael at the 2017 FOLD Book Bash

    #2. 

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

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

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

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

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE     

    DÉJA’S OFFICIAL BLOG     

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    AMAZON          

    DISCOVERING DIVERSITY PUBLISHING    

    3, 4 and 5.

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

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

    Author and Poet – CATHERINE GRAHAM

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

    THE CELERY FOREST      

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

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

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

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    CHAPTERS         

         
    #4.  

    Publisher & Author Alexander Leggett  

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

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

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

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


    GOODREADS     

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    MORE INFO COMING IN MY NEXT BLOG POST. 


    THE MASK OF SANITY by Indie Author JACOB APPEL will have readers on the edge of their seats. A 5 Star Must Read Psychological Thriller!!!

    Title: THE MASK OF SANITY        

    Author: JACOB APPEL    
    Genre: FICTION, THRILLER, PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER

    Length: 256 PAGES

    Publisher: THE PERMANENT PRESS  
    Type of Book: HARDCOVER   

    Received From: FREE FROM THE AUTHOR    

    Release Date: MARCH 31, 2017

    ISBN: 978-1-57962-495-8 

    Price: $28 USD (Hardcover)

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

    OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION:

    On the outside, Dr. Jeremy Balint is a pillar of the community: the youngest division chief poorly, he reveals the depths of his cold-blooded depravity.

    At a cultural moment when the media bombards us with images of so-called sociopaths who strive for good and criminals redeemed by repentance,The Mask of Sanityoffers an antidote to implausible tales of evil gone right. In contrast to fictional predecessors like Dostoyevesky’s Raskolnikov and Camus’ Mersault, Dr. Balint is a man who already has it all –and will do everything in his power, no matter how immoral, to keep what he has.

    MY REVIEW: 

    Jacob Appel has a true gift. His vivid descriptions of place are minimal in length but are still somehow able to paint an exact picture in the reader’s mind. His genius shines through mostly with his uncanny ability to get inside the heads of his characters and to take his readers with him. His writing makes each character seem less fictional and more real.

    Jacob’s vast educational and life experience and his background in the medical field make this book even nore scary. I can’t help but wonder if this book is based on a past patient or maybe even one of Jacob Appel’s  colleagues. I really hope not.

    In this book the protagonist is a respected physician. A married father of two adorable girls, Jeremy Balint seems to lead the perfect life.

    However, when he discovers that his wife is cheating on him with a colleague, one he had considered to be a friend, Jeremy does not react out of anger. Instead, he calmly decides that his marriage must be saved at all costs. Instead of confronting his wife, he hatches a diabolical plan. That plan, and his execution of it will both shock readers and have them glued to the book’s pages.

    Psychopaths and sociopaths have historically been portrayed as loners. They seemed easy to identify since they were seen to be “creepy” and no one was all that surprised when they found out that he (and it was ALWAYS a he) murdered someone. This gave people a sense of relief. If they stayed away from creepy men, they were safe. The reality is much more terrifying. As author Jacob Appel is aware, true sociopaths do not fit that description at all.

    In fact, since sociopaths are masters of both manipulation and of adaptation, it is quite likely that all of us know or live close to at least one of them. This book brings that fact home unlike any other.

    If you are a fan of psychological fiction you will LOVE this book. It is a MUST READ and I rate it enthusiastically as 5 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 
    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Jacob M. Appel is the author of the following novels:

    Wedding Wipeout (Cozy Cat Press)

    The Biology of Luck (Elephant Rock Books)

    The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up  (Cargo Publishing)

    And

    The short-story collections:

    The Topless Widow of Herkimer Street (Howling Bird Press)

    Coulrophobia & Fatana Morgana

    Scouting For The Reaper (both Black Lawrence Press)  

    and

    The essay collection Phoning Home (University of South Carolina Press)

    His short fiction has appeared in numerous literary magazines, including:

    – Literal Latte

     The Colorado Review       

    – The Nebraska Review

    – The Boston Review     

    – The Greensboro Review

    Jacob has taught at Brown University, Columbia University, and the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.

    He holds a BA and MA from Brown University, an MA and an MPhil from Columbia University, a JD from Harvard, and an MFA in Creative Writing from NYU.

    (In other words, this is one incredibly  intelligent and extremely well-educated individual.)    

    Jacob Appel teaches writing classes at Gotham Writer’s Workshop which hosts classes both in New York City and online.

    All these “jobs” as an author and a teacher would be more than enough to keep a regular person extremely busy, but these are all second (and third, and fourth, etc.) jobs for Jacob.

    In a way he is like Superman.

    Jacob Appel is a mild-mannered, well-respected Lawyer, Doctor and Bio-Ethicist by Day and he turns into SuperWriterMan whenever and wherever he is needed. (As far as I know, he doesn’t own a cape or do quick-changes in phone booths which is probably a good thing since I am not sure if there are any phone booths left. 

    Jacob holds Graduate Degrees from Brown University, Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, Harvard Law School, New York University’s MFA program in Fiction and Albany Medical College’s Alden March Institute of Bioethics.

    He taught for many years at Brown University and currently teaches at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE   

    GOODREADS      

    AMAZON    

    CHAPTERS          

    To read my review of Jacob Appel’s fantastic short story collection “MIRACLES AND CONUNDRUMS OF THE SECONDARY PLANETS” Click on the cover below:

    To read another of my reviews for Jacob Appel’s Literary Masterpiece and short story collection EINSTEIN’S BEACH HOUSE,” Click on the book cover below:   

    This is one of the best short story collections I have ever had the privilege of reading. 

    I am a fan of Jacob Appel’s and after reading this book I guarantee you will be too.    


    * I received a free copy of this book from the author, however,  this did not effect my review or my rating in any way. 

    ZENN DIAGRAM by Wendy Brant will pull you in and won’t let you go. A 5 Star Must Read Book!

    Title: ZENN DIAGRAM

    Author: WENDY BRANT       

    Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION

    Length: 328 PAGES

    Publisher: KIDS CAN PRESS 

    Release Date: APRIL 4, 2017

    ISBN: 978-1-77138-792-7 Hardcover

    List Price: USD $17.95, CAD $18.95

    Grades: 9 To 12 / Ages: 14 to 18  

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟   

    Unique. Utterly readable, with awesome characters and a guy that teen girls will have crushes on. Zenn is the latest book-boyfriend of choice.

    Eva Walker’s life is unlike anyone elses. She is a loner, a math nerd, an orphan and she feels like a freak. Out of all these labels, the most significant one is Eva’s loner status.

    You would think the math nerd status would be the reason she was a loner – not so. Eva is a loner by choice. Why? Well, she has a gift (curse?) Anytime Eva touches someone, or even touches someone’s property, such as a cell phone, she immediately knows all about them – including their secrets and their fears.

    Now, some may think that this would be an amazing gift to have, but it never turns off. Imagine going on a date and having to listen to the guy’s dirty thoughts about you the entire time you’re with him. Yuck!

    The only time that Eva is thankful for this strange ability is when she is tutoring someone in math. She just has to touch their calculator and she knows exactly what they are struggling with. This makes her an excellent tutor. It is through her tutoring that she meets Zenn.

    When she is assigned to tutor Zenn Bennett, she is nervous. Who wouldn’t be? Zenn is absolutely gorgeous and he does it without even trying.

    When she accidentally touches Zenn’s jacket she is rocked by what she sees. The violence of the vision is like nothing she has ever seen or felt before.

    Eva must decide whether or not to confront Zenn and the horrifying vision or whether to keep it to herself and stay safe; but alone.

    This novel has so many twists and turns that readers will never be bored and they will not want to put this book down.

    There is romance, there is tragedy, there is guilt, remorse, fear and mystery. This book has it all.

    Author Wendy Brant has written a young adult novel that will suck you in from the very first chapter. Both her world-building and her character development are top notch.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and read it in a single sitting. I must warn potential readers that once you start reading, you won’t be able to stop, so you should make sure you set aside some time to curl up with this fantastic book.

    I rate ZENN DIAGRAM as 5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: (In Her Own Words):

    So my name alone should give you a clue that I graduated from high school when bangs were big and clothes were baggy. I went to Northwestern University and majored in journalism even though I had no desire to be a journalist. I’ve been married to a great guy for a whole drinking-aged person’s life. I’ve got two amazing and yet very different (and very tall) teenage kids. I like crappy food, pinning inspirational quotes on Pinterest, have a tendency to start paragraphs with “anyway”, and I wish I were funnier. I would love to be one of those really, REALLY funny bloggers (like Insane in the Mom-Brain) that makes you pee yourself a little bit. I am only moderately funny. I admit that. It’s one of my great sadnesses in life.

    ​​I started writing fiction when I was 10, but tried to be practical with the whole journalism thing. Didn’t take. Shortly after college, the fiction-writing desire reared its non-practical head and I’ve been writing ever since.

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE  

    GOODREADS      

    TWITTER         

    FACEBOOK     

    INSTAGRAM   

    AMAZON.CA     

    AMAZON.COM               

    CHAPTERS/INDIGO         

    PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE         

    THIS IS NOT MY LIFE: 

    Title: THIS IS NOT MY LIFE

    Subtitle: A MEMOIR OF LOVE, PRISON, AND OTHER COMPLICATIONS    

    Author: DIANE SCHOEMPERLEN

    Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHY, MEMOIR, CANADIAN NON-FICTION

    Length: 351 PAGES   

    Publisher: HARPER COLLINS 

    Release Date: FEBRUARY 7, 2017

    ISBN:  978-1-44343-420-1  

    Price:  $24.99 CDN

    How I Received This Book: This book was one I purchased for myself at CHAPTERS

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟   

    Any memoir that begins with the words this one does is bound to be both interesting and shocking. Author Diane Schoemperlen is NOT the type of woman who I pictured as one that would fall in love with a man in prison – especially one who had been convicted of murder. I’m not sure who I thought of as the type to fall for a prisoner, I just know that a well-known author and journalist would be the furthest choice from my mind.

    Diane’s memoir begins in 2006 with the following sentence:


    “It is safe to say that never once in my life had I dreamed of being in bed with a convicted killer, let alone one with his teeth in a margarine container in the kitchen, his mother in the next room, and the word HI! tattooed in tiny blue letters on his penis.”

    Now, if that sentence does not make you want to read more, then, this review is probably not for you either.

    I was intrigued.

    What would an educated and highly intelligent woman find attractive about a convicted killer? What the heck was wrong in her life that she would see prison as a viable dating venue? How could she ever feel safe around him?

    Diane met Shane at a soup kitchen where they both volunteered. He was still incarcerated, but he was allowed out while escorted by a nun to work at the soup kitchen. No one, Diane least of all, had any idea what his crime had been or how long he had been in jail. In fact, at first, she thought he was just another volunteer.

    Eventually Diane and the rest of the volunteers learned the reason he was in prison. Diane describes the moment like this:


    “This was when we finally learned why he’d ended up in prison in the first place and that he’d been there for almost thirty years. Now we understood that in the language of tattoos, the tear-drop below his left eye meant he had killed someone. Now we knew he was serving a life sentence for second-degree murder. Whatever initial alarm we might have felt about this was tempered by the fact that it had happened so long ago and that he had become an essential and popular part of the kitchen crew. We saw him as a person who had paid his debt to society and deserved a second chance.”

    This blows me away. I cannot say for sure what my reaction would have been, but I doubt that learning Shane had killed someone is something that I would have been able to overlook. But, that is the exact reason why I wanted to read this book. Well, that and the fact that author Diane Schoemperlen is not only Canadian, but she and I live in the same province (Ontario) and our homes are only a three hour drive apart.

    I found this memoir to be compelling reading. Diane does not shy away from difficult topics. She opens the readers eyes to what life is like for those incarcerated in Canada’s prisons and how these prisoners become institutionalized. What I had never considered before was how the loved ones of these inmates end up institutionalized as well.

    Yes, this book contains details about the often ridiculous world that is Canada Corrections, but it is ultimately a story about the desire for love and acceptance and to the lengths people will go in their quest to achieve those feelings and the seemingly bizarre choices they make that they normally would not. 

    Diane Schoemperlen’s memoir is beautifully written and well thought out. Since it is written after the relationship ended I do however believe that she has glossed over many of the events. But I also believe that she did not do so with the intention of deceiving readers, rather because, in her own mind, she didn’t want to sensationalize her fear. It is human nature to downplay fear-filled moments after the fact – I believe this is an unconscience psychological defense mechanism. 

    Clipping from THE TORONTO STAR



    MORE THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK


    *** Caution – This section may contain spoilers ***

    I have done some research and I believe I know exactly who “Shane” is and if I am right, he committed multiple murders, multiple prison escapes and multiple robberies. However, whether he killed one person or three people, he is still a murderer who was sentenced to life in prison. I also do not believe the bit about his “teardrop tattoo.” I think this was included to throw off those who might be curious as to “Shane’s” actual identity. 

    Despite the sentence of life in prison, somehow “Shane” is now allowed to live and work amongst the rest of us. WHY?

    Personally, I used to naively believe that when someone was sentenced to life in prison, that they would actually remain in prison until they died. SILLY ME!!! I guess I should have known better. I could probably rant for many, many more paragraphs about why I think it is wrong to allow murderers to be free to walk the streets of my home  province, but I will refrain from doing so here in my review of THIS IS NOT MY LIFE by reknowned author Diane Schoemperlen.

    Suffice it to say that Diane’s book/memoir is a MUST READ. This is true not only for those who love a good read, but also for everyone who has even a passing interest in Canada’s jail system and what I perceive to be its fallibility (which should be every Canadian of voting age.)


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

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

    Diane Schoemperlen is the Governor General’s Award winning author of twelve works of fiction and non-fiction, most recently By the Book: Stories and Pictures, a collection illustrated with her own full-colour collages, which was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. She is a recipient of the Marian Engel Award from the Writers’ Trust of Canada.


    ACCOLADES, MEDIA AND PRIZES won by “THIS IS NOT MY LIFE” 



    – One of five finalists for the 2017 RBC Taylor Prize 

      
     – Mar 02, 2017 – 41 minute video

    About this Video: 

    Three memoirs and two biographies are nominated for the 2017 RBC Taylor Prize. Max Eisen writes about surviving Auschwitz; Matti Friedman recounts his combat experience in Lebanon in the mid-1990s; Ross King examines Claude Monet’s fascination with painting water lilies; Marc Raboy reveals Guglielmo Marconi as a global communications pioneer; and Diane Schoemperlen remembers her six-year relationship with a convicted murderer. The Agenda welcomes the five non-fiction finalists to discuss what impelled them to write their books.

    Dianne Schoemperlen’s book has been nominated as part of the #ygkChallenge    


    MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE ARTICLE with video interview        

    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.