AND THE WINNER IS…

Thank you to everyone who entered my Giveaway to win an autographed copy of FROM THE ASHES by JESSE THISTLE.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

#1 National Bestseller
Finalist, CBC Canada Reads
Globe and Mail Book of the Year
An Indigo Book of the Year
A CBC Best Canadian Nonfiction Book of the Year

In this extraordinary and inspiring debut memoir, Jesse Thistle, once a high school dropout and now a rising Indigenous scholar, chronicles his life on the streets and how he overcame trauma and addiction to discover the truth about who he is.

If I can just make it to the next minute…then I might have a chance to live; I might have a chance to be something more than just a struggling crackhead.

From the Ashes is a remarkable memoir about hope and resilience, and a revelatory look into the life of a Métis-Cree man who refused to give up.

Abandoned by his parents as a toddler, Jesse Thistle briefly found himself in the foster-care system with his two brothers, cut off from all they had known. Eventually the children landed in the home of their paternal grandparents, whose tough-love attitudes quickly resulted in conflicts. Throughout it all, the ghost of Jesse’s drug-addicted father haunted the halls of the house and the memories of every family member. Struggling with all that had happened, Jesse succumbed to a self-destructive cycle of drug and alcohol addiction and petty crime, spending more than a decade on and off the streets, often homeless. Finally, he realized he would die unless he turned his life around.

In this heartwarming and heart-wrenching memoir, Jesse Thistle writes honestly and fearlessly about his painful past, the abuse he endured, and how he uncovered the truth about his parents. Through sheer perseverance and education—and newfound love—he found his way back into the circle of his Indigenous culture and family.

An eloquent exploration of the impact of prejudice and racism, From the Ashes is, in the end, about how love and support can help us find happiness despite the odds.

The Winner is…

KAY BURKE

I have emailed the winner. Again, thank you to everyone who entered.

Keep watching my blog for more Giveaways coming soon.

Author Jesse Thistle
Photography by Lucie Thistle

FROM THE ASHES by Métis Canadian Author JESSE THISTLE has become One of my Favorite Books of All Time. ENTER TO WIN A COPY OF THIS BOOK. Open Worldwide

Title: FROM THE ASHES

Subtitle: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way

Author: JESSE THISTLE

Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHIES AND MEMOIRS, ADDICTION, MENTAL HEALTH, MÉTIS, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, HOMELESSNESS

Publisher: SIMON AND SCHUSTER

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: AUGUST 6, 2019

ISBN: 9781982101213

Price: $24.99 CDN

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

From the Ashes is a remarkable memoir about hope and resilience, and a revelatory look into the life of a Métis-Cree man who refused to give up.

Abandoned by his parents as a toddler, Jesse Thistle briefly found himself in the foster-care system with his two brothers, cut off from all they had known. Eventually the children landed in the home of their paternal grandparents, whose tough-love attitudes quickly resulted in conflicts. Throughout it all, the ghost of Jesse’s drug-addicted father haunted the halls of the house and the memories of every family member. Struggling with all that had happened, Jesse succumbed to a self-destructive cycle of drug and alcohol addiction and petty crime, spending more than a decade on and off the streets, often homeless. Finally, he realized he would die unless he turned his life around.

In this heart-warming and heart-wrenching memoir, Jesse Thistle writes honestly and fearlessly about his painful past, the abuse he endured, and how he uncovered the truth about his parents. Through sheer perseverance and education—and newfound love—he found his way back into the circle of his Indigenous culture and family.

An eloquent exploration of the impact of prejudice and racism, From the Ashes is, in the end, about how love and support can help us find happiness despite the odds.
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MY REVIEW:

FROM THE ASHES is written by the uber-talented Métis-Cree Canadian author JESSE THISTLE. This is a touching and incredibly honest  memoir written by the man most people believed would not live long enough to straighten out his life.

Those people have been proven wrong and FROM THE ASHES tells Jesse’s life story so far.

FROM THE ASHES by Jesse Thistle is one of the most well written and honest memoirs I have ever had the pleasure to read.

Jesse is a Métis Canadian and although he never once blames his situation on colonization, his story and the situations his family was forced into by the Canadian government are perfect illustrations of it’s cause and effect.

Jesse’s memoir is written with bone-jarring honesty and will get under the reader’s skin. Only a sociopath would be able to read this book and not feel the power of the written word.

This is the story of a young man who turned to drugs and alcohol to try to push down the pain he felt inside. It is a story that seems bleak at times, but ultimately shows the strength of the human spirit. It is the story of the struggle, literally, for Jesse’s survival.

Without giving away too much of Jesse’s story, I want potential readers to know that this memoir is one that will remain with them long, long after the final page. To go from homeless to becoming a celebrated memoirist is a feat worthy of legend.

Jesse Thistle might not agree, but I see him as a modern day Theseus, fighting his way out of the labyrinth of poverty and Addiction.

This book is one of my Top Ten Best Books of the Modern Era.

To win a softcover copy of this book, leave a comment on this post, then click HERE for ways to get additional entries into the Giveaway. OPEN WORLDWIDE. ENDS FEBRUARY 29, 2020.

You can also enter to win this book on my Instagram account: http://www.instagram.com/Amiesbookreviews
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Photography Credit:
LUCIE THISTLE

JESSE THISTLE is Métis-Cree, from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

He is an assistant professor in Métis Studies at York University in Toronto.

He won a Governor General’s Academic Medal in 2016, and is a Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Scholar and a Vanier Scholar.

He lives in Toronto with his wife, Lucie.

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

AMAZON

CHAPTERS

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

AWARDS WON BY JESSE:

  • Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Award – Ph. D., Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation. 2016 – 2019 ($240,000; $40,000 per year of study, plus $20,000 annual research and travel budget).
  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS SSHRC) – Ph.D., Canadian Institute of Health Research and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. 2016 – 2019 ($150,000 – $50,000 per year of study).
  • Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS) – Doctoral of Philosophy, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. 2016 – 2019 ($105,000 – $35,000 per year of study). (Declined because he took the Trudeau Award and the Vanier CGS SSHRC Award).
  • Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS) – Master’s, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. 2015 ($17,500).
  • 2016 Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada Post-Secondary Student of the Year Award—Nation-wide. (Prestige).
  • Dan Watt Scholarship (Awarded to the Master’s level graduate student with the top GPA entering Waterloo’s Master’s program) – Master’s, Waterloo University. 2015 ($1,500).
  • President’s Graduate Scholarship, University of Waterloo, 2015 ($10,000).
  • Odessa Essay Prize for the Study of Canada (York University, university wide). 2015 ($1000).
  • The Robert J. Tiffin Student Leadership Award, York University. 2015 (Prestige: Name inscribed on Vari Hall Rotunda, Keele Campus).
  • The Dr. James Wu Prize Best Honours Thesis/Major Research Paper for York University’s 3rd Annual Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Fair 2015 ($1000).
  • Miziwe Biik: Aboriginal Education Award, 2015 ($1000), 2014 ($1000), 2013 ($2000).
  • Desmond Hart Memorial Essay Award Winner. History; York University, 4000 level, 2014 ($200).
  • Indispire: Building Better Indigenous Futures Post-Secondary Education Award, 2015 ($7500), 2014 ($5000), 2013 ($6900) & 2012 ($2000).
  • The Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies Essay Prize Winner, York University, 3000 level Anthropology, 2014 ($100).
  • York University Faculty Association Foundation Undergraduate (YUFA) Scholarship, highest cumulative grade point average in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies. GPA 8.59 and Major GPA 8.73. 2014 ($3500).
  • International Scholar Laureate Nominee. Golden Key IHS: 2013.
  • Arthur Francis Williams Award in Canadian Studies, 2013 ($500).
  • Morris Krever History Prize Winner, History, York University. 2013 ($1000).
  • The Enbridge Inc. Scholarship Award, 2013 ($2365).
  • The Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Toronto Award Winner, History, York University. 2013 ($300).
  • William Westfall Canadian Studies Essay Prize, History, York University, 3000 level, 2013.
  • York PhD Graduate Scholarship, York University, 2017 ($3000).

Bursary Awards

  • York University Continuing Student Scholarship Bursary (given to students above 7.00 grade point average), 2014 ($768), 2013 ($576) & 2012 ($864).
  • Aboriginal PSET Bursary, York University, 2012 ($2600).
  • York University Undergrad Bursary, 2012 ($1010).

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TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HOMELESSNESS AND/OR TO DOWNLOAD INFORMATION AS WELL AS LESSON PLANS, GO TO THE HOMELESS HUB:

THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE by KRISTIN HARMEL is Historic Fiction at it’s very Best

Title: THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE

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Author: KRISTIN HARMEL
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Genre: FICTION, HISTORICAL FICTION

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Length: 400 PAGES

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Publisher: SIMON AND SCHUSTER
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Received From: SIMON AND SCHUSTER

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Release Date: AUGUST 13, 2019

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ISBN: 978-1-9821-1229-5

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Price: $28.00 USD / $37.00 CDN

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Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

At the dawn of the Second World War, Inès is the young wife of Michel, owner of the House of Chauveau, a small champagne winery nestled among rolling vineyards near Reims, France. Marrying into a storied champagne empire was supposed to be a dream come true, but Inès feels increasingly isolated, purposely left out of the business by her husband; his chef de cave, Theo; and Theo’s wife, Sarah.

But these disappointments pale in comparison to the increasing danger from German forces pouring across the border. At first, it’s merely the Nazi weinführer coming to demand the choicest champagne for Hitler’s cronies, but soon, there are rumors of Jewish townspeople being rounded up and sent east to an unspeakable fate. The war is on their doorstep, and no one in Inès’s life is safe—least of all Sarah, whose father is Jewish, or Michel, who has recklessly begun hiding munitions for the Résistance in the champagne caves. Inès realizes she has to do something to help.

Sarah feels as lost as Inès does, but she doesn’t have much else in common with Michel’s young wife. Inès seems to have it made, not least of all because as a Catholic, she’s “safe.” Sarah, on the other hand, is terrified about the fate of her parents—and about her own future as the Germans begin to rid the Champagne region of Jews. When Sarah makes a dangerous decision to follow her heart in a desperate bid to find some meaning in the ruin, it endangers the lives of all those she cares about—and the champagne house they’ve all worked so hard to save.

In the present, Liv Kent has just lost her job—and her marriage. Her wealthy but aloof Grandma Edith, sensing that Liv needs a change of scenery before she hits rock bottom, insists that Liv accompany her on a trip to France. But the older woman has an ulterior motive—and some difficult but important information to share with her granddaughter. As Liv begins to uncover long-buried family secrets, she finds herself slowly coming back to life. When past and present intertwine at last, she may finally find a way forward, along a difficult road that leads straight to the winding caves beneath the House of Chauveau.

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MY REVIEW:

THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE is a work of historical fiction. Set in Italy during World War II, the author has done extensive research into the history of World War II in the wine and champagne making regions.

Until receiving an ARC (Advance Review Copy) of this book, I had never thought about how WWII impacted the winemaking economies and how the greedy German army looted and pillaged from the great winemaking houses.

Although this book is fictitious, the historic facts are highly researched and based on true historic data.

The characters are relatable and the fear they experience in the story equals that of what was faced by those who lived through those terrible and terrifying years of war and deprivation.

This book is both a dramatic tale of life during war as well as a beautiful love story. There is romance, drama, action and adventure. In fact, there is something for every reader to enjoy while reading this tale.

For anyone who enjoys historic fiction, this book will be a welcome addition to their collection.

The story follows two timelines; one in the past and one in the present and how the lives of those in each timeline are inextricably linked together.

This is a fascinating read with in depth looks at how the past has influenced the present and how events and decisions made by one’s ancestors can (and does) have far-reaching consequences.

I rate THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE as 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Photograph by Phil Art Studio,
Reims, France

Kristin Harmel is the international bestselling author of The Room on Rue Amélie and The Sweetness of Forgetting, and several other novels.

Her work has been featured in People, Woman’s Day, Men’s Health, and Ladies’ Home Journal, among many other media outlets.

She lives in Orlando, Florida.

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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INSTAGRAM
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TWITTER
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AMAZON
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CHAPTERS
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PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

THE DOLL FACTORY by Elizabeth MacNeal is a historical and psychological thriller that is worthy of 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Available to purchase on August 13th

Title: THE DOLL FACTORY

Author: ELIZABETH MACNEAL

Genre: FICTION, HISTORICAL FICTION, THRILLER

Length: 336 PAGES

Publisher: SIMON AND SCHUSTER

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: AUGUST 13, 2019

ISBN: 9781982111939

Price: $24.99 CDN

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

The Doll Factory is a sweeping tale of curiosity, love, and possession set among all the sordidness and soaring ambition of 1850s London.

The greatest spectacle London has ever seen is being erected in Hyde Park and, among the crowd watching, two people meet. For Iris, an aspiring artist of unique beauty, it is the encounter of a moment—forgotten seconds later—but for Silas, a curiosity collector enchanted by the strange and beautiful, the meeting marks a new beginning.

When Iris is asked to model for Pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost, she agrees on the condition that he will also teach her to paint, and suddenly her world expands beyond anything she ever dreamed of. But she has no idea that evil stalks her.

Silas, it seems, has thought of only one thing since that chance meeting, and his obsession is darkening by the day…
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ETAILS REGARDING RELEASE:

The Doll Factory is out now in the UK, will be published in the US on 13th August, and will be translated into 28 languages.

It won the Caledonia Novel Award 2018 and film and TV rights have sold to Buccaneer Media. It is a Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller, a Radio 2 Book Club pick, and Radio 4 Book at Bedtime.

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MY REVIEW:

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THE DOLL FACTORY by ELIZABETH MACNEAL is a historical fiction / psychological thriller and I was unable to put it down.

The author has obviously done an incredible amount of historical research as her descriptions of time, place and even in the minutiae of what daily life was like, she comes across as convincing and authentic.

The details of art at the time the story takes place is extensive and utterly fascinating.

Iris and Rose are twins, but though their appearance is similar, they are nothing alike. Other characters include a street urchin with only a single tooth who dreams of somehow making enough money to buy a set of new teeth and as a result of reading this book I learned many things about where “false” teeth came from and let me tell you, you will never be able to u-know this information which is both riveting and odious at the same time.

Silas is sometimes the villian of the tale, but at times he comes across as pitiable – a person who has been bullied and badly treated his whole life. This discrimination, beginning with a sense of loathing from his own mother who made it clear to him that he was naught but a hindrance to her and even blamed him for her reduced station in life. Silas was always seen, growing up, as an odd child and his ostracism by other children his age will have readers feeling pity for the poor waif he once was. However, there is another side to Silas; one that he keeps tightly locked inside. It is that dark side that Iris never wants to see.

Author ELIZABETH MACNEAL has done a terrific job of describing what can happen when a person is shunned and taunted for a lifetime, And, Iris, the book’s protagonist is someone who would never disrespect or taunt another human being and ultimately it is her decency and her deformity that brings her to the brink of destruction. The only question is which way fate will tip her; toward a future filled with life and love, or will it tip to her ultimate demise?

With a plot that twists and turns so many times, readers will not want to put this book down. It is for that reason, and the other reasons I have listed above that I rate this historical/psychological thriller as 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Elizabeth MacNeal has gained a fan in me and I will be eagerly awaiting her next book.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Photography by Mat Smith

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER – AUTHOR

TWITTER – PUBLISHER

TWITTER – SIMON TEEN

AMAZON

BARNES AND NOBLE

BOOKS A MILLION

CHAPTERS

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

Bestselling Author Tosca Lee’s upcoming book THE LINE BETWEEN is destined to win awards and become a Best-Seller ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Title: THE LINE BETWEEN

Author: TOSCA LEE

Genre: FICTION, THRILLER

Length: 384 PAGES

Publisher: HOWARD BOOKS

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: JANUARY 29, 2019

ISBN: 9781476798622

Price: $25.00 USD (HARDCOVER)

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

When Wynter Roth is turned out of New Earth, a self-contained doomsday cult on the American prairie, she emerges into a world poised on the brink of madness as a mysterious outbreak of rapid early onset dementia spreads across the nation.

As Wynter struggles to start over in a world she’s been taught to regard as evil, she finds herself face-to-face with the apocalypse she’s feared all her life—until the night her sister shows up at her doorstep with a set of medical samples. That night, Wynter learns there’s something far more sinister at play and that these samples are key to understanding the disease.

Now, as the power grid fails and the nation descends into chaos, Wynter must find a way to get the samples to a lab in Colorado. Uncertain who to trust, she takes up with former military man Chase Miller, who has his own reasons for wanting to get close to the samples in her possession, and to Wynter herself.

Filled with action, conspiracy, romance, and questions of whom—and what—to believe, The Line Between is a high-octane story of survival and love in a world on the brink of madness.

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MY REVIEW:

There are several themes that run throughout this story and each would have been awesome on their own, but by combining these themes into a cohesive and compelling read is what sets this book apart and. elevates it from a great book to a truly excellent one.

This book is the story of Wynter. It begins when she is a five year old child taken by her mother along with her older sister to live in the New Earth commune. She grows up in the Doomsday Cult (although the residents don’t view it as a cult). The leader, Magnus, is seen as a prophet of God and the members of the group strive for perfection in everything they do, all in an effort to obtain a moment’s notice from him.

When Wynter is a grown up, 22 year old woman, she is expelled from the group’s walled compound and she is terrified.

She has no idea how to exist in regular society. Fortunately for her, her mother’s former friend held out hope that Wynter and the rest of her family would one day leave New Earth and she takes Wynter into her home.

The author does a brilliant job of depicting a former cult member and the difficulties they face when trying to reintegrate into modern society. It made me think of the “Lost Boys” in Utah who were expelled from the FLDS.

Wynter has barely had time to start feeling like a normal person when her life is thrown into a state of chaos once again.

Meanwhile, modern day society is experiencing an outbreak of rapid early onset dementia which quickly spreads nationwide. People are scared of getting sick (this reminded me of the SARS epidemic that we experienced here in Ontario, Canada a few years ago).

Wynter’s sister, a high-ranking Cult member, shows up at Wynter’s door with files, a thumb drive and some biological samples. She enlists her help to get the samples into the proper hands before the prophet realizes where they went.

Poor Wynter. Readers can’t help but sympathize with her situation. When she meets ex-marine Chase Miller, she doesn’t know what to think, but she needs his help so she has little choice but to trust him.

The action in this book is non-stop. For the reader it seems as if you are in a runaway car hurtling faster and faster and the brakes do not work.

I found this story so engrossing that I read the entire 384 pages in a single twenty-four hour period.

Doomsday cults, a terrifying new contagion that is spreading so rapidly it seems that the entire nation will fall ill, a mysterious and enigmatic “Prophet”, Preppers, CDC involvement,. murder, mystery, and more are all contained within this coming-of-age tale that is the first in a new series.

Releasing in January of 2019, THE LINE BETWEEN is destined to become a BEST-SELLING book. If you only choose one book to read in January, it should be this one.

Prior to reading the ARC (Advance Review Copy) of THE LINE BETWEEN, I had no experience reading books written by Tosca Lee. Now, I have all of her previous works added to my ‘To Read’ list.

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

My Recommendation: READ THIS BOOK – IT IS FREAKIN’ AWESOME!!!

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

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of Iscariot, The Legend of Sheba, Demon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker (Forbidden, Mortal, Sovereign).

A notorious night-owl, she loves watching TV, eating bacon, playing video games with her kids, and sending cheesy texts to her husband. You can find Tosca hanging around the snack table or wherever bacon is served.

Tosca’s highly-anticipated thriller, The Progeny (May, Simon & Schuster) is available now!

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

PINTEREST

AMAZON

CHAPTERS

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

WALK IT OFF by RUTH MARSHALL

Title: WALK IT OFF

Subtitle: The true (and oddly hilarious) story of how I learned to stand, walk, pee, run, and even have sex again, after a nightmarish diagnosis turned my perfectly awesome life upside down

Author: RUTH MARSHALL

Genre: NON-FICTION, MEMOIR, AUTO-BIOGRAPHY

Length: 257 PAGES

Publisher: SIMON & SCHUSTER

Type of Book: SOFTCOVER ARC

Received From: GOODREADS GIVEAWAY

Release Date: JANUARY 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-7362-2

Price: $26.00 CDN / $21.99 USD

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

MY REVIEW:

First off, let me say that I ADORE the title of this book. I generally am averse to book covers with long subtitles, however this book would not have caught my eye without it.

I was lucky enough to win an ARC (Advance Reader Copy) from GOODREADS and I am very glad I did.

This memoir chronicles one woman’s journey to find out what was causing the bizarre symptoms she was experiencing, through diagnosis, surgery, rehab and beyond.

I suppose I should tell potential readers right away that this is NOT a self-help book. Instead, it is the unflinchingly honest memoir of a woman who goes from leading something closely akin to a charmed life, to discovering that no life is perfect.

I have never met Ruth Marshall, but after reading her story, I feel confident in stating that she is an amazing woman. This is not due to the fact that she is famous (or as famous as any Canadian television actress can be), nor is it because of her health issues. My opinion of Ruth as an amazing woman is based on her honesty.

It could not have been easy to chronicle her medical condition and her efforts at recovery, and yet she has done so while managing to be surprisingly honest. She does not shy away from the “icky” stuff. She talks about everything from poop to sex to shoes.

It’s human nature to want to ‘put your best foot forward’ (yes, pun intended) and to present yourself to the world as close to perfect as possible. However, if this memoir had been written that way, it would not have been authentic, nor would it have been such a compelling read.

Ruth has been able to tell her story in such a way that instead of pitying her, you find yourself following her journey with rabid interest.

You will want to cry at times, yet at others, you will be laughing along with her – and a few times you just might find yourself laughing at her antics.

It may not have been her intention, but this memoir also has lessons to teach us all. Firstly, even though Ruth looked perfectly healthy and happy, she was struggling with a wide variety of symptoms. Not yet diagnosed, and working at a voice acting gig, Ruth says: “I was able to stand for the entire voice session, ignoring the temptation to rest on the stool behind me. Neither the producer nor my voice partner seemed to notice the effort it took for me to remain perfectly upright, making me wonder for the thousandth time: If no one else was noticing, was anything wrong with me.”

This is something that many people struggle with. But, as Ruth proved, it is important to listen to your body and to be your own healthcare advocate. Do NOT ignore your symptoms.

By all accounts, Ruth Marshall is a terrific actress, but I believe she was always meant to be an author.

Judging by the readability of WALK IT OFF, I am sure others will agree. This memoir is destined to become a Bestseller and I would bet money that Ruth Marshall’s name will be on literary lips everywhere in 2018.

I rate WALK IT OFF: THE TRUE (AND ODDLY HILARIOUS) STORY OF HOW I LEARNED TO STAND, WALK, PEE, RUN, AND EVEN HAVE SEX AGAIN, AFTER A NIGHTMARISH DIAGNOSIS TURNED MY PERFECTLY AWESOME LIFE UPSIDE DOWN as 5 out of 5 Stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Excerpt from Chapter One:

“I wanted to be an actress from the time I was six years old and have been one since I was twenty-five. My career has been notable for three reasons: I got naked in my first film role; I was in a television series with Billy Ray Cyrus; and for eight seasons I played a Mom on the Canadian teen drama DEGRASSI. The biggest chunk of my career, however, has been made up of commercial voice work. My voice has sold everything from Ikea kitchens to condoms.”

Ruth Marshall was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is known for her work on Casino Jack (2010), Doc (2001) and Dolores Claiborne (1995).

She graduated with a degree in English from McGill University in Montreal and then returned to her hometown of Toronto to pursue a career in acting.

Ruth Marshall made her feature film debut in the lead role of Candy in Love and Human Remains.

Marshall is also a stage actor and was critically acclaimed for her one-woman performance in 4 Letters, 5 Years, which she wrote, produced and starred in.

In 1994, Marshall took on the role of Celeste in Transit of Venus at the Globe Theater in Canada. In addition to her career as an actor, Marshall is also a very accomplished voice actor as well.

Features & TV Movies:
Love & Human Remains (1993)
TekWar: TekJustice (TV-1994)
Dolores Claiborne (1995)
Waiting for Michelangelo (1996)
Too Close to Home (TV-1997)
Half a Dozen Babies (TV-1999)
Dogmatic (1999)
Apparent Woes (2006)
Baby Blues (2007)
Daniel`s Daughter (TV-2008)
Degrassi Spring Break Movie (TV-2008)
Casino Jack (2010)

TV Series – Cast:

Wild C.A.T.S. (voice, 1994)
Doc (2001-2004)
The Path to 9/11 (mini-series, 2006)
Degrassi: The Next Generation (2007-)
Flashpoint (2008-2009)
TV Series – Guest appearances:
F/X: The Series (1997)
Power Play (1998)
This is Wonderland (2004)
Zoe Busiek: Wild Card (2005)
Puppets Who Kill (2006)
Love You to Death (2007)
Friends and Heroes (voice, 2007)
The Dating Guy (2009)
She’s the Mayor (2011)
The Listener (2011)
The Firm (2012)
Rookie Blue (2012)

To learn more about Ruth Marshall and her new career as an author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

INSTAGRAM

NORTHERN STARS – CANADA’S CELEBRITY DATABASE

INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE

A New MUST READ Young Adult novel that will have adult readers fondly thinking about growing up in the 80s. THE IMPOSSIBLE FORTRESS is available now!


 
Title: THE IMPOSSIBLE FORTRESS

Author: JASON REKULAK     

Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, HISTORICAL FICTION  (THE 1980s)

Length: 285 PAGES

Publisher: SIMON AND SCHUSTER 

Type of Book: SOFTCOVER

Received From: SIMON AND SCHUSTER through the Goodreads Giveaway program

Cover Design: WILL STAHLE

Release Date: FEBRUARY 7, 2017

ISBN: 9781501166839

Rating:   5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟     

  

I LOVED THIS BOOK. Although THE IMPOSSIBLE FORTRESS is targeted at young adult readers, anyone who, like me, grew up in the 1980s will find this book a trip down memory lane.

Jason Rekulak may be a debut author, but it is obvious that his years working as an editor for Quark Books embued him with an excellent sense of the proper balance between the plot and character development.

Will Marvin and his two best friends are the ultimate underdogs. It’s 1986 and Vanna White is the ultimate girl next door. When the boys learn that she is featured in Playboy magazine, they are determined to get copies.

Will is a nerd. I can relate. I remember taking classes in Basic Code and doing anything on a computer took hours and hours of entering programming code. But, Will loves it. Hos ultimate life goal is to design video games for a living.

Then he meets Mary Zelinsky. She is a computer nerd too. Will is stunned. He had no idea that there were girls who liked computers. Remember – this was the 80s and women were still battling the secretary stereotype.

Can Will get the girl, perfect his video game called The Impossible Fortress, and get his hands on the dirty pictures of Vanna White?

This novel will have adult readers waxing nostalgic for the less complicated days of their youth and both adults and young adults alike will be able to relate to the terror and elation of discovering the opposite sex for the first time.

THE IMPOSSIBLE FORTRESS is liberally sprinkled with pop culture references and readers will find themselves digging out their old mixed-tapes.

I absolutely loved this book and I will be recommending it to all my friends. I doubt this is the last we have heard from debut author Jason Rekulak and I, for one, can’t wait to read whatever he comes up with next.

I rate this book with an enthusiastic 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Now, I’m off to my basement to try to find my old Atari system. I can’t wait to play Space Invaders – old school style.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

 

JASON REKULAK was born and raised in New Jersey. He has worked for many years at Quirk Books, where he edits a variety of fiction and non-fiction.

He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two children. THE IMPOSSIBLE FORTRESS is his first novel.

To learn more and to play a version of The Impossible Fortress game, visit his website.

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THE CREEPING by Alexandra Sirowy will have you checking behind you in fright. 


Title: THE CREEPING 

Author:ALEXANDRA SIROWY 

Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, HORROR

Length: 400 PAGES 

Publisher: SIMON AND SCHUSTER 

Release Date: 2015

ISBN: 9781481418874

Price: $9.99 USD (PAPERBACK) 

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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The fact that THE CREEPING is Alexandra Sirowy’s debut novel is astounding. Not only is it creepy and cool, but it also contains characters who are so believable that, at times, readers will wonder if this is actually fiction.

Twelve years earlier Jeanie and Stella were playing near the woods close to home when something really bad happened. Stella came back, Jeannie never did.

Now Stella’s seventeen and looking forward to her last year of high school. Sure, she may not have any memories of what happened to her on that long ago day and sure, maybe sometimes she wonders if it was somehow her fault, but summer is here. And Stella and her best friend plan to have the best summer ever.

Unfortunately, it seems that fate has other plans for Stella.

When the body of a little redheaded girl – who looks an awful lot like Jeannie – turns up, Stella’s memories begin to come back.

Has an ancient evil reawakened? And if so, is it angry at Stella? And why kill red-haired little girls?

Something or someone took Jeannie, and now that it knows Stella’s memory is returning,  will she be it’s next victim?

THE CREEPING is an apt name for this novel because it registers highly on the creepiness metre. With 100÷ believable characters, a town that has seen much more than its fair share of tragedies, and a mystery that must be solved before anyone else dies, THE CREEPING will grab you by the hair, drag you off into the bushes and will only release you once you reach the final page. Even then, this book will stay with you.

This book is filed as Young Adult Fiction which is fine in my opinion, however, I recommend it only for readers ages 13+ due to violence and sexually suggestive situations.

If you like to feel the hair on the back of your neck rise from fright, this is the book for you.

I can’t wait to read her next book: THE TELLING.

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Photo by Vivian Sachs

Alexandra Sirowy is the author of The Creeping and The Telling.

She was born and raised in Northern California, where she attended a women’s college as an undergraduate and received her MA at the University of San Francisco.

Some interesting facts about Alexandra Sirowy:

* Alexandra is a voracious reader
* She is the oldest of three children
* Is an avid traveler
* Is a record-holding high school long jumper
* a gourmet cook
* a feminist,
* and is forever grateful to her parents for reading to her as a child.

Alexandra now lives in Northern California with her husband.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE   

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SKITTER by Ezekiel Boone is the second book in THE HATCHING Series and it is even better than Book One. THIS BOOK WILL MAKE YOU REALIZE WHY WE SHOULD BE AFRAID OF SPIDERS. 

Title: SKITTER   

Series: THE HATCHING: BOOK TWO

Author: EZEKIEL BOONE 

Type of Book: HARDCOVER

Genre: HORROR, SCIENCE FICTION

Length: 352 PAGES

Publisher: SIMON AND SCHUSTER  

Release Date: MAY 9, 2017

ISBN: 9781501125072

Price:  $26.99 USD

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

If you were a bit scared of spiders before reading the first book in this series then you probably now have an extreme case of arachniphobia after reading THE HATCHING. Well, once you read SKITTER, that arachniphobia will morph into a full-blown neurosis. You might even need therapy. Seriously!

I had been waiting (not very patiently) for the sequel to THE HATCHING and I was thrilled when I was able to read an ARC (Advance Review Copy) courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley. The bad news is that if you are not a reviewer like me, you will have to wait until May 2017 for this book to be released. Might I suggest that you spend some of that time re-reading THE HATCHING.

In the first book we learned that a very old spider species has awakened from their slumber and that they were hungry. A group of researchers found an old dried out egg sac and sent it to America for identification and study.

That simple event seemed to trigger a worldwide awakening of spider egg sacs that had lain dormant all over the world for thousands of years. The spiders were unlike any that humans had encountered since the beginning of recorded history. They were bigger, they were meaner and they were much deadlier. 

Worse than finding egg sacs, people discovered (too late) that the spiders often travelled inside people who had no knowledge that they had even been bitten. Thus they spread throughout the world – much as the spread of a viral pandemic.

Los Angeles is deemed lost and it’s residents are quarantined as are many other cities and provinces around the world. Just as it seemed that all was lost, the spiders seemed to have reached the end of their life span and they all died off. However, they did leave thousands if not millions of egg sacs behind.

Now, it seems that all that is left is the clean up and to eradicate any egg sac sites and then all should be ok. Right?

Wrong! In SKITTER we learn that the threat is not over and that, in fact, that first wave of spiders was only the beginning.

Something is coming. Something really bad. The question is: Can mankind survive it?

You will need to read SKITTER to find out.

This book may sound like a typical horror story, but it is anything but. Both THE HATCHING and SKITTER are actually a mixture of multiple genres. Yes, there is definitely a horror element to this story, but it is much more. In fact, I could argue that it fits into every category of adult fiction.

It is a thriller. It is a drama. It is very much a mystery. It is Apocalyptic Fiction as well as Science Fiction. It is literally everything a reader could possibly want in a great book and for that reason I give this book the highest possible rating of 5 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

I cannot wait to get my hands on the third installment of THE HATCHING SERIES. Ezekiel Boone has a lifetime fan in me!

WATCH THE TRAILERS:

 https://youtu.be/QhaQYliQ6qg

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

image

Photo By Laurie Willick

EZEKIEL BOONE is a Canadian writer who currently lives in upstate New York with his wife and children.

THE HATCHING is Zeke’s first thriller and the first book in the series, with SKITTER coming in 2017.

THE HATCHING series has sold in twelve countries and nine languages, and has been optioned for the screen. When not writing thrillers, Zeke writes acclaimed literary fiction under a different name. Along with a healthy respect for spiders, Zeke has two poorly behaved dogs and enjoys the outdoors.

To find out more about this author visit:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

THE HATCHING OFFICIAL WEBSITE

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THE RIVER AT NIGHT by Erica Ferencik does not release until JAN. 10, 2017 but you NEED TO PREORDER THIS AMAZING THRILL-READ NOW!!! 

Title: THE RIVER AT NIGHT    

Author: ERICA FERENCIK

Genre: GENERAL FICTION, DRAMA, THRILLER

Length: 304 PAGES

Publisher: SIMON AND SCHUSTER 

Release Date: JANUARY 10, 2017

ISBN: 9781501143199  

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟  


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

Drawn in by the book’s description, I began to read and immediately found myself able to relate to and to  empathize with the characters in THE RIVER AT NIGHT.

Pia, Win, Rachel and Sandra are all forty-something women who (like everyone I know) have busy lives. The four friends vacation together once a year, renewing their friendships and using the trips to briefly escape their everyday lives.

Pia is the adventurous one and has booked this year’s vacation – a whitewater rafting adventure on a remote river in Northern Maine. Despite their apprehension, the other women agree and their lives are forever changed.

ERICA FERENCIK is a master of pacing. This book moves FAST. There is never a lack of action and readers will find themselves quickly becoming engrossed in this dramatic tale.

I have actually been whitewater rafting (not in Maine) and I found that the author did a terrific job of capturing the mix of emotions that a first-time rafter experiences. From terror to euphoria and back once again to terror, the author relates every heart-pounding moment.

Also, I have to commend this author for her ability to hold the reader’s attention, not just through pacing, but also through exceptional word choice. Erica Ferencik seems to maintain the flow of the book effortlessly and that quality makes it incredibly easy to become absorbed in her prose.

When I first read the book’s description, I was concerned that it would end up being a female version of the hillbilly-rafting-trip-from-Hell movie: DELIVERANCE, but thankfully, that did not turn out to be true.

THE RIVER AT NIGHT is a heart-pounding, suspense filled, gem of a book. You will not be able to put it down. It pulls you in right from the first chapter and never lets you go.

My advice? Clear your calendar for a full 24 hours, grab a copy of this book and get comfy. You won’t regret it.


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

 

Simon & Schuster has published a Reader’s Guide for this book. It also contains information and sample questions for those who read this book with their own Book Club. To view the Reader’s Guide, CLICK HERE.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Photograph by Kate Hannon


Erica Ferencik is a graduate of the MFA program in Creative Writing at Boston University. Her work has appeared in Salon and The Boston Globe, as well as on National Public Radio.

To learn more about this amazing new author visit her online at any or all of the following links: 

PUBLISHER’S OFFICIAL AUTHOR PAGE  

 AUTHOR’S OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

TWITTER

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FACEBOOK