ALL WE KNEW BUT COULDN’T SAY by Emmy Award Winning Canadian Actor and Author JOANNE VANNICOLA – If you only read one book this year, make sure it is this one. 5+ Stars – Compelling, Heart-rending, and Emotional. This is a MUST READ.

Title: ALL WE KNEW BUT COULDN’T SAY
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Author: JOANNE VANNICOLA
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Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHIES AND MEMOIRS, MENTAL HEALTH, CANADIAN NON-FICTION, LGBTQIA

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Length: 232 PAGES

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Publisher: DUNDURN PRESS
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Received From: NETGALLEY
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Release Date: JUNE 25, 2019

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ISBN: 9781459744226

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Price: $19.99 USD

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Rating: 5+ OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

Joanne Vannicola grew up in a violent home with a physically abusive father and a mother who had no sexual boundaries.

After Joanne is pressured to leave home at fourteen, encouraged by her mother to seek out an acting career, she finds herself in a strange city, struggling to cope with her memories and fears. She makes the decision to cut her mother out of her life, and over the next several years goes on to create a body of work as a successful television and film actor. Then, after fifteen years of estrangement, Joanne learns that her mother is dying. Compelled to reconnect, she visits with her, unearthing a trove of devastating secrets.

Joanne relates her journey from child performer to Emmy Award–winning actor, from hiding in the closet to embracing her own sexuality, from conflicted daughter and sibling to independent woman. All We Knew But Couldn’t Say is a testament to survival, love, and Joanne’s fundamental belief that it is possible to love the broken, and to love fully, even with a broken heart.

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MY REVIEW:

*** WARNING – TRIGGER WARNING***

This book contains scenes of child sexual abuse and physical abuse of children. If any of these topics cause emotional triggers for you, I strongly suggest you do not read this book.
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There are many memoirs that contain disturbing subject matter and ALL WE KNEW BUT COULDN’T SAY is no exception. However, the difference between other memoirs and that of Canadian Joanne Vannicola is that Joanne somehow managed to live through her horrific childhood and yet still emerge into adulthood full of compassion for others. Rather than allow her abusers to keep her ‘small,’ she has gone on to have a phenomenal career. To my way of thinking, Joanne being happy and successful is the best revenge. Her strength and determination are a big “F” you to her abusers. She didn’t let them win.

Not only that, but she has also become an advocate for LGBTQ youth. According to Joanne, “[Her] role meant [Joanne] could impact their lives, provide a little hope for others even though [she] still hadn’t learned to hold on to it [herself]…and it provided a deeper purpose…”

Joanne says in the book:
“I could not erase my own pain, but if I could help other kids, it meant healing was possible.”

This memoir is powerful. It is horrific in parts, especially when readers learn how Joanne was treated as a child, but it also includes some wonderful and touching moments and shows the power of friendship.

I do not want to give away too much with my review because I am hoping that everyone who reads this review runs out to buy/pre-order a copy of ALL WE KNEW BUT COULDN’T SAY.

YES, this book will make you shake in anger at the people who were supposed to love Joanne the most, but who turned out to be the perpetrators of her abuse, BUT I BELIEVE THIS IS A BOOK THAT NEEDS TO BE READ.

There are children suffering at this very moment, and people who see these things happening are often afraid to call Children’s Aid in case they are wrong. BUT … What if a child dies or suffers irreparable harm because you did not make that simple phone call? How would you feel? Could you ever forgive yourself?

PLEASE MAKE THE CALL. If it is determined that there was no abuse, then you can rest easy knowing you did the right thing. A bit of embarrassment is nothing when a child’s life and/or his/her mental health is on the line.

This book is not only about abuse. It is also about growing up and trying to come to terms with your sexuality. Joanne came of age not too long ago, but it was long ago enough that being gay, bisexual, trans, or queer was not acceptable to society at large. In fact, the phrase “non-binary” did not even exist. People kept their sexual orientations quiet and this fact made Joanne question what exactly was “wrong” with her. This memoir follows her journey from questioning her sexuality to accepting it and to become an advocate and role model for other LGBTQ youth.

Joanne’s life has been full of pain and agony, but it has also been a life filled with many triumphs, including her winning the her battle with anorexia.

I could go on and on about how amazing Joanne Vannicola is (all based on her book as I have not met her yet.) Instead, I will encourage everyone reading this review to pre-order her book immediately. Don’t wait to do it. Order it immediately. You will not be disappointed. ALL WE KNEW BUT COULDN’T SAY is a 5+ Star Book and you will continue to think about Joanne and her life long after the final page has been read. It is impossible not to. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Joanne Vannicola is an Emmy award-winning Canadian actor and writer, who has been working in film, television, and theatre since she was eight years old. She has also been nominated for a Genie, a Gemini, and an ACTRA award.

Joanne is a long-time advocate for the LGBTQ community and has an essay in the anthology Cuarenta y Nueve, a book by 49 artists for the 49 victims of the Orlando Pulse club massacre. She is the Chair of the first LGBTQ+ committee for the actors union, ACTRA, and sits on the sexual assault ad-hoc committee at ACTRA for women in film and television.

Joanne’s forthcoming memoir, All We Knew but Couldn’t Say (Dundurn Press) will be available 1 June 2019.

She is a recipient of the Ontario Arts Council Grant in 2016—Writer’s Works in Progress for her memoir. Joanne was selected for the Diaspora Dialogues Program in 2013 and worked with author David Layton for six months. Her short screenplay His Name Was Steven, was selected for the Queer Ideas Screenplay competition.

Joanne founded the non-profit organization, Youth Out Loud, between 2004-2009, to raise awareness about child abuse and sexual violence.

Equity issues have always been at the forefront of Joanne’s work both in her artistic world and in her personal/political life and she is very passionate about youth, women, and LGBTQ equity and rights.

To learn more about Joanne Vannicola visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
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OFFICIAL AUTHOR WEBSITE
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BLOG
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GOODREADS
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FACEBOOK
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INSTAGRAM
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DUNDURN PRESS ON INSTAGRAM

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TWITTER
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DUNDURN PRESS TWITTER

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IMDb

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AMAZON
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CHAPTERS
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PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE
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WANT TO ATTEND THE OFFICIAL BOOK LAUNCH???

WANT TO MEET JOANNE IN PERSON?

WANT TO HAVE YOUR BOOK SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR?

SIGN UP FOR FREE TO ATTEND HER OFFICIAL BOOK LAUNCH HERE

****This book is my “A” entry in the GingerMom’s 2019 A to Z Reading Challenge****


BURN by Helen Hyland – Book One in a New Post-apocalyptic Trilogy is COMING SOON – Romance and Non-Stop Action Make This A Great Read

Title: BURN
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Series: EARTH 6.0 TRILOGY : BOOK ONE
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Author: HELEN HYLAND
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Genre: FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY, APOCALYPTIC FICTION, SCI-FI ROMANCE

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Length: 226 PAGES

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Publisher: BLACK ROSE WRITING
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Received From: THE AUTHOR

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Release Date: MAY 2, 2019

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ISBN: 978-1-68433-257-1 (Paperback)

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Price: $18.95 (Paperback)

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Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

5 EXTINCTION LEVEL EVENTS HAVE ALREADY HAPPENED. CAN HUMANITY SURVIVE A 6TH?

In two weeks life on Earth would end. Victoria Phillips was one of the fortunate ones, she’d won a spot in Earth’s underground sanctuary. Unfortunately, it came with Phoenix Tanner. He’d been sent to escort her to safety, but the man drove her nuts with his arrogant, annoying, sexist attitude. She was torn between kicking his shins and running her nails down his back, tracing that delicious tattoo.

She was relieved when they picked up more winners, and his attention shifted away from her. But the more time the group spent together; the more she got to know Nix… she began to suspect that the lottery wasn’t all that random after all.

MY REVIEW:

Want a dash of romance with your ‘End of The World’ tale? If so, BURN is perfect for you.

If you like stories where the female lead character has a backbone and is ‘off-the-charts’ intelligent? Again, BURN is the book for you.

I have a soft-spot for post-apocalyptic fiction. There is just something about reading about regular people who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances that intrigues me.

I enjoyed reading BURN and I love the characters author HELEN HYLAND has populated the story with. Each one has his or her own distinct personalities and they all seem so real that I found it impossible not to care about them.

Victoria Phillips is the main character and she is someone that, if she were real, I would definitely hang out with. Her backstory is similar enough to my own that I understood the motivations behind many of her thoughts and actions. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, so I won’t say anything more about her. Suffice it to say that I really enjoyed reading BURN and I recommend it to readers who are fascinated by the many scenarios that could potentially bring an end to most of the life on our planet.

I read BURN in a single sitting (much to the chagrin of my hungry family who were waiting for me to finish the book and to cook dinner.) At only 226 pages, this book can easily be read over a single weekend, or a single day if you binge read like I do.

I rate BURN by HELEN HYLAND as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Mark your calendars for May 2nd to get this book on Release Day. Or, better yet, just go to any of the links at the end of my post to preorder a copy to be sent to you the second it is released.

***Thank you to Helen Hyland for providing me with a free copy of this book***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Helen lives in a suburb of Philadelphia. Philly girl through and through. She bleeds green. She knows the meaning of “Wit or Witout”, that the best cheesesteaks are from the local place and skips Pat’s and Geno’s.

She has always been an avid reader and writer. Her mother would often find her in the middle of the night with a flashlight and either a book she couldn’t put down or scratching the stories that were in her head on loose leaf paper.

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
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GOODREADS
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FACEBOOK
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TWITTER
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AMAZON
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PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

BURN by Helen Hyland is my Letter “B” Entry for this terrific challenge

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TIME TRAVEL by Kate Mascarenhas RELEASES TODAY – This book focuses on diverse Female protagonists. A MUST READ – BUY YOURS TODAY!!!

Title: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TIME TRAVEL

Author: KATE MASCARENHAS

Genre: FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION, WOMEN’S FICTION

Length: 320 PAGES

Publisher: CROOKED LANE BOOKS

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: FEBRUARY 12, 2019

ISBN: 9781683319443 (Hardcover)

Price: $26.99 USD

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

In 1967, four female scientists worked together to build the world’s first time machine. But just as they are about to debut their creation, one of them suffers a breakdown, putting the whole project—and future of time travel—in jeopardy. To protect their invention, one member is exiled from the team—erasing her contributions from history.

Fifty years later, time travel is a big business. Twenty-something Ruby Rebello knows her beloved grandmother, Granny Bee, was one of the pioneers, though no one will tell her more. But when Bee receives a mysterious newspaper clipping from the future reporting the murder of an unidentified woman, Ruby becomes obsessed: could it be Bee? Who would want her dead? And most importantly of all: can her murder be stopped?

Traversing the decades and told from alternating perspectives, The Psychology of Time Travel introduces a fabulous new voice in fiction and a new must-read for fans of speculative fiction and women’s fiction alike.

MY REVIEW:

“We need fictional and real role models for women in science.”

The year is 1967. Margaret, Barbara, Grace and Lucille are all very different women, but they have one massive commonality – together they discovered time travel.

“Margaret was a baroness turned cosmologist. Lucille had come from the Toxteth slums to make radio waves travel faster than light. Grace – who never gave the same account of her history twice – was an expert in the behaviour of matter. And the last was Barbara: the baby of the group.. She specialized in nuclear fission. All four women were combining their knowledge in a new, and unique, project.”

When they were ready to debut their time machine to the Press, one of the women has a breakdown on national television. The others force her off the team to protect what they see as the integrity of their invention. Of course, this means that despite her contributions, one woman is left in obscurity while the other three team members go on to become famous.

Fast forward fifty years. Time travel has become BIG business.

Someone leaves a mysterious newspaper clipping for Ruby Rubello’s “Grandma Bee,” (Barbara who was the woman forced off the original team) Ruby becomes obsessed with the information contained in that article. This leads to fascinating and sometimes sinister events.

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ecause this is a time travel novel, it skips between multiple people and multiple years. It could easily have become confusing and difficult to follow for the reader, but author Kate Mascarenhas has somehow kept that from happening.

What I love the most about THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TIME TRAVEL is the fact that all the lead characters are female and, not only that, but they are from varying races and of diverse sexuality.

Despite the fact that this is her debut novel, the author is able to keep the story flowing perfectly despite multiple characters and multiple timelines which would be a challenge for even a seasoned author. This bodes well for her future projects and I can’t wait to discover what she comes up with next.

I rate this book as 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I recommend it to readers who love a good mystery as well as those who are interested in time travel and in books containing strong female characters.

QUOTE:

Life’s better with a few risks than a lot of regrets.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kate Mascarenhas is a writer.

Born in 1980, she is of mixed heritage (white Irish father, brown British mother) and has family in Ireland and the Republic of Seychelles.

She studied English at Oxford and Applied Psychology at Derby. Her PhD, in literary studies and psychology, was completed at Worcester.

Since 2017 Kate has been a chartered psychologist. Previously she has been an advertising copywriter, bookbinder, and doll’s house maker. She lives in the English midlands with her partner.

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

TWITTER

AMAZON

HARPER COLLINS

#ThePsychologyOfTimeTravel

#NetGalley

A WOMAN’S GUIDE TO CANNABIS by Nikki Furrer is the BEST Book on this subject I have ever come across. Recipe for Cannabis Lollipops Here.

Title: A WOMAN’S GUIDE TO CANNABIS
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Subtitle: Using Marijuana to Feel Better, Look Better, Sleep Better – and Get High Like A Lady
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Author: NIKKI FURRER
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Genre: NON-FICTION, HEALTH, CANNABIS, RECIPES

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Length: 215 PAGES

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Publisher: WORKMAN PUBLISHING
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Received From: NETGALLEY
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Release Date: DECEMBER 25, 2018

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ISBN: 978-1-5235-0200-4

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Price: $16.95 USD (Softcover) AND WORTH EVERY PENNY!!!!

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Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

A woman’s handbook to demystifying the world of weed, whether it’s being used for pain relief, a moment of calm, or a fit of giggles.

Women of all ages are using cannabis to feel and look better. For rookies and experienced marijuana users alike, this lively, information-filled book is just the supportive guide you need to find the right dose to relieve anxiety, depression, and inflammation, and mitigate the onset of dementia and other signs of aging. Plus boost moods, ease aches, even lose weight, and get restful sleep. And a dose just for fun? Well, that works, too!

Here’s how to navigate the typical dispensary, with its overwhelming options of concentrates, edibles, vape pens, and tinctures. Understand the amazing health-giving compounds found in cannabis—THC, CBD, terpenes, and more—and how to use topicals to reduce pain and give your skin a healthy glow. There’s even advice on how not to get high but still reap all the amazing health benefits.

Plus over twenty recipes, from edibles like Classic Pot Brownies and Netflix and Chill Caramels to self-care products like Radiant Glow Serum and Happy Body Bar.

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MY REVIEW:

In the introduction to “A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis” the author states:

“Now that I am in my forties, cannabis makes me feel prettier and more relaxed than I ever was in my twenties or thirties. Even after a car accident fractured my spine and created permanent back pain, medical marijuana makes me healthier and happier than I’ve ever been before.”

This quote, especially the part about her permanent back pain struck a chord with me. I have spent the last ten years in constant pain. I have to take pain medication just to be able to get up and have a shower in the morning. Anyone who lives with debilitating pain will understand me when I say, “I am willing to try anything to reduce my pain.”

With the booming marijuana industry in both Canada and the United States, books are finally being written and research is finally being conducted out in the open on this plant that was once a staple in society. Hemp has been used for hundreds of years, and now that same plant that is used to make items such as rope and even clothing, can be openly studied for its medicinal qualities.

“Sure, there are lots of books about marijuana – cookbooks and gardening books and books about the history of marijuana legalization – but I couldn’t find a book that could take my mother through her first shopping trip at the dispensary and her first time getting high.” “So I wrote this book for anyone who wants to feel better, look better, and sleep better. Everything we teach new patients at the dispensary is in these pages, including how cannabis works, why it works, and how to make marijuana gummies at home. Plus there are a few surprises in this book that you won’t learn at the dispensary.”

“Cannabis doesn’t just make us feel high and happy; it also has powerful analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antianxiety, and antidepressant qualities.

I have been searching “high” (pun intended) and low for a book about cannabis that actually answers all my questions. My goal has been to find a book that I can use as a guide to assist me in deciding what form, what strength, and what strain of marijuana might be able to help reduce the crippling back pain I suffer from on a daily basis. With all the hype surrounding cannabis lately; especially since October of 2018 when marijuana became legal for both medical and recreational use in Canada, I thought I would have no problem finding multiple books containing the information I was seeking, but wowzer, was I ever wrong. I have bought and read over ten books on this subject and this is the first and only book that was not a complete waste of my time and money.

I knew I was onto something special by the end of the first eight pages. Why? Because of the following few sentences: “Legal cannabis is curative and restorative. It makes us sleep better, eat better, and feel better. But it’s important to have realistic expectations, so no, I will not tell you that cannabis cures cancer … [also, to] be perfectly clear: I am not suggesting you change any medication unless you discuss it with your doctor.”

Author Nikki Furrer has impressed me tremendously, her vast knowledge of the cannabis industry is not merely academic, nor is it solely based on other people’s experiences. Her nearly encyclopedic knowledge of the various methods of ingestion and of the different strengths, mixtures, and ratios of THC to CBD is exactly the type of information that I had almost given up on finding. I am so glad that I didn’t give up.

My advice to other people (both men and women) is that if you are planning to spend some of your hard earned money on a book about marijuana, make sure this is the book you choose. I received a free eBook copy of “A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis” through the Publisher and NetGalley, but I was so impressed that I also bought a physical copy of the book so that I would always be able to look up certain points whenever I want to, as well as to have the included recipes to hand at all times.

I highly recommend that you purchase your own copy of this book whether you are planning to partake of cannabis yourself or not. Because there is so much misinformation floating around currently, it is important to have a solid, reliable source of information, especially if you are a parent, or just a concerned member of society. If you are informed, you will be able to better understand both sides of the marijuana debate.

I rate this book as 5+ OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. If it were possible I would rate it even higher. Very few books receive my coveted 5+ Star rating but this book clearly deserves the highest rating possible. I would like to personally thank Author Nikki Furrer for creating THE DEFINITIVE BOOK ON CANNABIS.

Now, you’ll have to excuse me, I am off to partake of some cannabis myself.

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nikki Furrer grows legal cannabis in several states. She works as a consultant for dispensaries, cultivators, processors and edible makers, and has created edible and topical products for both medical and recreational markets.

Nikki Furrer is the CEO of Fleur, a cannabis company that develops strains and products with a focus on women’s health. Nikki is a cannabis lawyer, cultivator and budtender. Before joining the marijuana industry, Nikki owned Puddn’head Books, an independent bookstore. She currently lives in St. Louis, MO.

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

PINTEREST

AMAZON

CHAPTERS

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

CANNABIS RECIPE FOR LOLLIPOPS:

(From A WOMAN’S GUIDE TO CANNABIS)

DIY Cannabis Lollipops for 4/20

Hard candies are a sweet, discreet way of medicating on the go, and they can be made in any dose, color, flavor, size or shape. Hard crack temperatures and pouring syrup as fast as you can seems intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be making professional looking, gourmet marijuana hard candies in your own kitchen.

Hard crack is the hottest stage of candy making, and the temperature is a precise 300 degrees. If the syrup does not get heated to 300 degrees, the candy will be sticky and soft. If the syrup is cooked over 305 degrees, it will caramelize and turn brown. Heat the sugar syrup on a high heat. Longer cook times increase browning of the syrup. Heating the solution as quickly as possible keeps the color clear and prevents caramelization of the syrup.

We do need a few tools and supplies. The most important is a candy thermometer. Hard candy must reach an exact 300 degrees, and if you try to make suckers without one, I promise, you will make a mess.

I have sucker molds that make each pop perfectly, but you can make suckers without molds. Spread parchment paper out on the counter. Then, when your syrup is ready to be poured, simply pour out dollops of syrup onto the parchment paper and roll a sucker stick into each dollar of hardening syrup.

The flavor of a lollipop comes from whatever flavor you add. LorAnn oils are perfect for flavoring suckers.

I love to play with color, so I have a rainbow supply of food coloring. Add food coloring one drop at a time.

Once you have all of your supplies and tools, get everything ready before you start boiling sugar. Once the syrup hits 300 degrees, you have to work fast.

Rose petals and other edible flowers make elegant, beautiful lollipops. Fill half of a sucker mold with syrup, then place a rose petal, lavender, carnation, honeysuckle, violets or candied lilacs in the mold and cover with enough syrup to finish filling the lollipop. Add cardamom to rose petal pops. Use ginger or mango flavoring with mint leaves.

Skip the coloring if you want to use flowers, but you can add a drop of coloring for a hint of color around the flower.

A gram of cannabis concentrate (like wax, shatter, live resin, etc) can have from 500-900 milligrams. This recipe makes 22-24 lollipops, so they should be between 30-40 mg THC. For strong pops, look for the highest THC potency you can find. For mild pops, try a half gram of concentrate.

Put the concentrate in a small glass dish, or the pyrex cup you plan to mix your syrup in, then place it in the oven for 30 minutes at 250 degrees to fully convert THCA to THC and CBDA to CBD.

CANNABIS LOLLIPOPS RECIPE:

Ingredients:

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/4 cup water

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (a Martha Stewart touch. You don’t have to, but the cream of tartar makes the finished sucker smoother and more professional looking)

1 teaspoon flavoring oil

1 gram cannabis concentrate

2-3 drops coloring

edible flowers or colored sanding sugar

Spray molds with nonstick cooking spray or spread parchment paper on the kitchen counter.
Over high heat, mix sugar, corn syrup and water in a heavy pot. Stir until all of the sugar dissolves. Use a small brush to wipe sugar from the sides of the pot and into the mixture.
Add food coloring. Attach a candy thermometer to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Do not stir as the temperature rises.
At 300 degrees, remove pot from heat and place in an a ice bath to stop the cooking process.
When the syrup has stopped boiling, add flavoring and concentrate. Use a small silicone spatula and stir well.
Pour syrup into lollipop molds or pour round dollops on parchment paper.
Press and roll a small stick into each lollipop. Leave them for an hour to set.
When the suckers have hardened, they will pop out of the molds. Wrap in plastic or sucker bags and store in a cool, dry place for several months.
I spent years making a mess of hard candy. When it comes off the stove the sugar mixture is a hot 300 degrees, and we’ve only got a few minutes before it cools down and hardens. In those few minutes we need to add the perfect amount of color and the right amount of cannabis concentrate, stir it well and pour out 24 perfectly shaped suckers. And then add edible flowers or a sprinkle of glitter for fun.

It can’t be done.

The syrup hardens up before all the suckers are evenly poured. The syrup hardens all over the pyrex cup so we waste a sucker or two. I had given up on hard candy when Martha Stewart offered a tip that saved my lollipops – the oven.

So now I can take my time and complete each step perfectly, which results in perfect pops. Since the oven is already at 250 degrees from the decarboxylation process, we can simply put the pyrex cup of syrup in the oven whenever it hardens. The heat in the oven will warm up and smooth out the syrup so it can be poured.

And remember, suckers can be made with honey instead of white sugar, too.

Happy Medicating!

QUOTES:

“Because the more we know about cannabis, the easier it is to use it in a way that’s effective for us.”

“After decades of reefer madness propaganda, we’re now learning about how good this demonized plant is for our health and happiness. Cannabis doesn’t just make us feel high and happy; it also has powerful analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antianxiety, and antidepressant qualities.”

“… prescription pills are handed out like candy, it’s not surprising that the opioid epidemic has hit every suburb in the country … Swapping out the medicine cabinet for marijuana can prevent that downward spiral to rehab.”

⭐⭐⭐ ” My fortysomething friends have just as many questions as my mother’s friends, because the marijuana in dispensaries today is so different from the marijuana we remember from our youth.”

UNEXPECTED DEMON by LAYLA STONE Book Blitz and Giveaway (Open Internationally) Win books, an Amazon gift card and more…

Title: UNEXPECTED DEMON

Series: UNEXPECTED BOOK TWO

Author: LAYLA STONE

Publication date: January 31st 2019

Genres: Adult, Romance, Science Fiction

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I never liked her kind before. Rank climbing bastards. Liars. Cowards.

The second I see her walk into the captain’s meeting, I want to dislike her but I can’t. I’m captivated by her smooth curves, long thick hair and her confidence. I want to taste her sweetness.

She’s got guts, smarts and I want her to come willingly to my bed. Except, she doesn’t respond to my charm. The female is nothing like I expect.

She’s also taken unnecessary risks.

My mission is on the line. I have people to save and a team to protect.

When I get my hands on her, she better be prepared for what a night in my bed entails… and she better promise never to leave the ship without me again.

Note to readers: If you are looking for a Steamy Sci-Fi Romance with a strong and obsessive male with an equally strong and confident female, then this book is for you.

Goodreads / Amazon

Author Bio:

Layla Stone is a Sci-Fi Romance author who is passionate about writing and reading romances. Her books are a blend of science fiction, romance and action adventure.

A business coordinator by training and a bookworm at heart, Layla makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, two children, and a trio of fur babies.

You can find more information about her characters and their races at www.authorLaylaStone.com

To learn more about Layla, her life and writing process, Click here to join her monthly newsletter

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

GIVEAWAY!

Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
  • $15 Amazon gift card
  • A Mug – Carpe Librum – Seize the book
  • $10 Amazon gift card

Click on this link to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

MIRACLE CREEK by Debut Author ANGIE KIM is coming soon and it is quite simply a fantastic book and one that everyone needs to read. 5+ Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Title: MIRACLE CREEK

Author: ANGIE KIM

Genre: FICTION, MYSTERY, DRAMA, MULTICULTURAL FICTION, INDIE

Length: 368 PAGES

Publisher: FARRAR, STRAUS AND GIROUX

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: APRIL 16, 2019

ISBN: 9780374156022

Price: $27.00 USD

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

A thrilling debut novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng about how far people will go to protect their families—and deepest secrets.

My husband asked me to lie. Not a big lie. He probably didn’t even consider it a lie, and neither did I, at first . . .

In rural Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine—a pressurized oxygen chamber that patients enter for therapeutic “dives” with the hopes of curing issues like autism or infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two people, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos’ small community.

Who or what caused the explosion? Was it the mother of one of the patients, who claimed to be sick that day but was smoking down by the creek? Or was it Young and Pak themselves, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? The ensuing trial uncovers unimaginable secrets from that night—trysts in the woods, mysterious notes, child-abuse charges—as well as tense rivalries and alliances among a group of people driven to extraordinary degrees of desperation and sacrifice.

Angie Kim’s Miracle Creek is a thoroughly contemporary take on the courtroom drama, drawing on the author’s own life as a Korean immigrant, former trial lawyer, and mother of a real-life “submarine” patient. Both a compelling page-turner and an excavation of identity and the desire for connection, Miracle Creek is a brilliant, empathetic debut from an exciting new voice.

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MY REVIEW:

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“… Life doesn’t work like that. Tragedies don’t inoculate you against further tragedies, and misfortune doesn’t get sprinkled out in fair proportions; bad things get hurled at you in clumps and batches, unmanageable and messy.”

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MIRACLE CREEK is author Angie Kim’s debut novel.

Let me say that again,

MIRACLE CREEK is author Angie Kim’s debut novel.

Why am I repeating myself? Well, once you read this book, you will understand. The deft way Angie Kim steers the reader and fleshes out each character all while also creating an emotionally fraught courtroom drama and detailing equally emotional backstories for each of a wide range of characters is so skillfully achieved that it is difficult to believe this is her first novel.

The topic of children on the autism spectrum is always an emotional one. Such deep feelings can bring out either the best in someone, or the very worst. Teachers, doctors, therapists and especially parents can often feel that they know best, and that other people are irrational if they do not follow their advice.

Imagine being the mother of a child who is unable to effectively communicate with you. Imagine that you discover a new form of therapy that has shown positive results, would you not do everything you could to get that therapy for your child? As a parent, I know that I would.

In this book, readers are introduced to the family who run an HBOT facility. They are the Yoos’, a couple who recently emigrated from Korea to the United States, along with their teenage daughter.

The treatment center the Yoos have set up involves putting a patient or group of patients inside “—a pressurized oxygen chamber that patients enter for therapeutic “dives” with the hopes of curing issues like autism or infertility.”

Everything seems to be going fairly well until tragedy strikes and two of the patients die in a horrific explosion.

That single event causes ripples among the community, the patients and their families, as well as the Yoos’ who own “Miracle Submarine.” These ripples will sweep readers along, immersing them into one of the best and most dramatic books of 2019.

I have “favorited” this book and I fully intend to read it again and again. I am also recommending this book to my local library and to any and all local book clubs.

There are many themes happening in this story that are relevant to things happening in today’s America. The Yoo family are immigrants and they need to adjust to American living. Also, issues such as autism, infertility and discrimination are wound in and around every chapter.

Angie Kim has crafted a tale so compelling and so believable that readers will be left wondering if this is really fictitious, or if it is based on a true story. I am excited to share this book with everyone who reads my reviews. I firmly believe that if you are only going to read a few books in 2019, MIRACLE CREEK needs to be one of them.

I rate this book as 5+ Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ which is the highest rating I can bestow.

Angie Kim is incredibly talented and I am now a fan.

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Angie Kim moved as a preteen from Seoul, South Korea, to the suburbs of Baltimore.

She attended Stanford University and Harvard Law School, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review, then practiced as a trial lawyer at Williams & Connolly.

Her stories have won the Glamour Essay Contest and the Wabash Prize in Fiction, and appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, Salon, Slate, The Southern Review, Sycamore Review, The Asian American Literary Review, and PANK.

Angie Kim currently lives in northern Virginia with her husband and three sons.

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

AMAZON

CHAPTERS

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

** This book is my Letter M contribution to the #2019AtoZreadingchallenge with the GingerMoms blog **

New Release – TRUE PLACES by Sonja Yoerg is Now Available – This is the perfect book for your first Book Club choice for 2019.

Title: TRUE PLACES

Author: SONJA YOERG

Genre: FICTION, WOMEN’S FICTION

Length: 347 PAGES

Publisher: LAKE UNION PUBLISHING

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: JANUARY 1, 2019

ISBN: 9781503904781

Price: $24.95 USD

Rating: 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

A girl emerges from the woods, starved, ill, and alone…and collapses.

Suzanne Blakemore hurtles along the Blue Ridge Parkway, away from her overscheduled and completely normal life, and encounters the girl. As Suzanne rushes her to the hospital, she never imagines how the encounter will change her—a change she both fears and desperately needs.

Suzanne has the perfect house, a successful husband, and a thriving family. But beneath the veneer of an ideal life, her daughter is rebelling, her son is withdrawing, her husband is oblivious to it all, and Suzanne is increasingly unsure of her place in the world. After her discovery of the ethereal sixteen-year-old who has never experienced civilization, Suzanne is compelled to invite Iris into her family’s life and all its apparent privileges.

But Iris has an independence, a love of solitude, and a discomfort with materialism that contrasts with everything the Blakemores stand for—qualities that awaken in Suzanne first a fascination, then a longing. Now Suzanne can’t help but wonder: Is she destined to save Iris, or is Iris the one who will save her?

MY REVIEW:

Forty-two-year-old Suzanne Blakemore has the perfect life. She lives in a stunning house that could easily be featured in a magazine. She has a husband named Whit whose career is thriving, and she has both a son and a daughter; the perfect nuclear family.

One day she is driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway and stops to take in the scenery. She notices something out of place and is shocked to discover a girl burning with fever and all alone.

Suzanne rushes her to the hospital and discovers that the girl, despite her diminutive stature, is sixteen years old. Her name is Iris, and like a modern day version of Mowgli from the Jungle Book, she has never experienced civilization.

Unable to find any living family members, Suzanne welcomes Iris into the home and lives of her family members. She believes that she is saving Iris, but as the story evolves, it seems likely that it just might be the other way around.

As a mother who has experienced both the joys and the challenges of raising teenagers, I was able to relate to Suzanne. Her whole life is, and has always been, about taking care of the children and ensuring that their busy lives run as smoothly as possible. It is easy to lose sight of yourself and your own wants and needs when you are too busy to even notice that you are not feeling fulfilled.

Author Sonja Yoerg has immense talent for description, and as a mother I found the following quote one that I understood completely.

“… That morning Brynn had leveled her with a look so contemptuous Suzanne had been certain her daughter was possessed.”

What parent of a teenager has not had the exact same thought? The answer is: none that I know of.

Set in and around the gorgeous the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains, the author paints a beautiful picture of the area where this story takes place. Readers find themselves immersed in not only the sights, but also in the sounds and even the smells of the region. The author’s love of the area is obvious and shines through in every description.

Released only four days ago on January first, this book is a terrific choice for one to begin the New Year with and is especially perfect for Book Clubs.

I rate TRUE PLACES as 4.5 Stars out 5, but will round up so the rating is 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.

In the back of the book the author has included a discussion guide which is perfect for those who choose TRUE PLACES as a selection for their book club.

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

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

SONJA YOERG grew up in Stowe, Vermont, where she financed her college education by waitressing at the Trapp Family Lodge.

She earned a PhD in biological psychology from the University of California, Berkeley; and wrote a nonfiction book about animal intelligence, Clever as a Fox, before deciding it was more fun to make things up.

Her previous novels are House Broken, The Middle of Somewhere, and All the Best People.

Sonja lives with her husband in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

PINTEREST

LINKEDIN

AMAZON

BOOKBUB

CHAPTERS

The Blue Ridge Mountains

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QUOTES:

“Reality offered unvarnished truths…”

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“Her stomach churned a slurry of acid and grief, her soul limp… Mama was gone.”

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“That was, in fact, what time was: a narrow container for a relentless succession of tasks.”

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“Time was a squeezing bitch. It never expanded, never gave up any slack…”

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“How could an expression that hateful, and directed at Suzanne, appear on the face of the child who had once – no, hundreds of times – looked upon her mother with love so pure it made her life … almost too beautiful to bear?”

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“No one gives in without giving something up, and nothing is given up without cost.”

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QUICK NOTE:

The author mentions a “Tulip Tree” in the book and I had never heard of this type of tree before. I live in Ontario, Canada and as far as I know, we do not have those trees where I live.

Anyway, I was intrigued, so I searched online and found some pictures and information about this tree on Wikipedia.

For those who are interested, here are some photographs of the Tulip Tree (obtained from Wikipedia):

#2019AtoZChallenge

#GingerMoms

https://gingermomreads.com/2019-challenges/2019-atoz-challenge/