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****


EXTINCTION OF ALL CHILDREN by L.J. Epps BOOK BLITZ & ENTER TO WIN A $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD

Title: Extinction of All Children

Series: Extinction of All Children – Book One

Author: L.J. Epps

Publication date: June 4th 2016

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopian Fiction

DESCRIPTION:

A young adult, fantasy novel about a teenager who is the last eighteen-year-old in her territory. There will never be another child; every baby born after her has been taken away. Everyone wonders why she survived.

Emma Whisperer was born in 2080, in the small futuristic world of Craigluy. President Esther, in charge for the last twenty-two years, has divided their world into three territories, separated by classes—the rich, the working class, and the poor—because she believes the poor should not mingle with the others. And, the poor are no longer allowed to have children, since they do not have the means to take care of them.

Any babies born, accidentally or willfully, are killed. Emma is the last eighteen-year-old in her territory; every baby born after her has died. Somehow, she survived this fate.

During the president’s Monday night speech, she announces a party will be held to honor the last child in the territory, Emma Whisperer. Emma must read a speech, expressing how happy she is to be the last eighteen-year-old.

Emma doesn’t like the rules; she doesn’t believe in them. So, she feels she must rebel against them. Her family doesn’t agree with her rebellion, since they are hiding a big secret.

If this secret gets out, it will be disastrous, and deadly, for her family.

During Emma’s journey, she meets—and becomes friends with—Eric. He is one of the guards for the president. She also befriends Samuel, another guard for the president, who is summoned to watch over her. As Emma meets new people, she doesn’t know who she can trust. Yet, she finds herself falling for a guy, something which has never happened before.

After doing what she feels is right, Emma finds herself in imminent danger.

In the end, she must make one gut-wrenching decision, a decision that may be disastrous for them all.

“Fans of dystopian fantasy will devour this book. L. J. Epps writes a story that, while dealing with heavy subject matter, is still a light, enjoyable read. This dystopian fantasy novel ignites the imagination, and is a must read for fans of The Hunger Games and the Divergent Trilogy.”

—Kristina Gemmell, Beta Reader

Goodreads / Amazon

The complete series:

EXCERPT:

I take in a deep breath before walking into my family’s house. Our brick home is around a thousand square feet. My father says since it is on the smaller side, it takes a lot less money to heat and cool. The back of the house is like a forest, and the front of the house is on a dirt road with lots of gravel. As soon as I reach the front door, I notice the stench of beans lingering in the air, making the room smell as if a skunk has run through it.

“You’re late,” my brother, Theodore, says. “You know dinner is at six.”

He shoves my arm. He has on dark clothing that mirrors my own.

“Whatever,” I say, rolling my eyes. Another stupid rule. “It’s almost eight.” I glance at the brown clock on the wall. “Shouldn’t you be done?”

“We had to stop what we were doing and watch the box,” he says, then he gulps down a bottle of water.

His Adam’s apple moves in and out, while the bottle crinkles in his hand.

“Yes, the announcements came early.” My father rises from the dining room table. “I’m sure you heard them.”

He walks to the living room where I am.

“I did.” I lower my eyes.

“Where were you?” Mother asks. “We were worried.”

“I know, and I’m sorry, but I’m fine. I watched the announcements from the supply store.”

I know they worry about me, but I also know they won’t ask how I ended up at the supply store, or ask why my jeans are dirty. There is a more pressing question they want to ask.

“Did you see her?” my mother asks.

“Yes,” I reply.

Now that is what they really care about.

“How was she?”

“I guess as good as she can be.” I shrug.

“What does that mean?” my mother asks with a frown. “You’re not giving me any details.”

I sigh. It was the same questions every time I go to the wooded area. Another sigh follows because my heart saddens, seeing how old my mother looks. She is only in her fifties, but I can see the gray strands in her dark hair instantly becoming grayer every time we discuss this. Even when I bring back food, my mother is too tense to eat. Day by day she is growing thinner.

“Emma, answer your mother,” my father says, looking at me with slanted eyes.

“If you want to know how she is, why don’t you go and see her yourself?” I snap back. I’m tired of the theatrics. But it was a stupid question. I know why they can’t go. They aren’t strong enough or fast enough.

“You know your mother moves too slowly. She would never make it there,” my father says, echoing the very words in my head.

Author Bio:

L.J. Epps is a lover of all things related to books: fiction and nonfiction novels, as well as biographies and autobiographies. She has also been known to sit and read comic books from cover to cover, several times over.

Over the last few years, L.J. has written several manuscripts; her mission is to publish all of them. She enjoys writing fiction in several genres, including contemporary romance and women’s fiction, as well as young adult dystopian, science fiction and fantasy. She loves to write because it immerses her into another world that is not her own.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

GIVEAWAY!

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ANNOUNCEMENT FROM J.K. ROWLING – Harry Potter is Bisexual and a new trilogy is coming soon.

Harry Potter Is Bi, Rowling Says

*** Information obtained from Queer Sci-Fi ***

Harry Potter will come out as bisexual and have a love affair with Ron Weasley in a new spin-off book series, JK Rowling has confirmed. The new trilogy of novels will take place 19 years after the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which saw Harry marry his best friend’s sister, Ginny Weasley.

In the first book of the new series, entitled Harry Potter and the Enchanted Tryst, the titular character will share an “intimate experience” with Ron. The novel is due for publication on February 30, 2021.

News of the bisexual plot twist follows recent backlash to JK Rowling’s announcement that Dumbledore is gay. Last month, the author revealed that the fan favourite headmaster had a “sexual relationship” with dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald.

I would love to hear what everyone thinks of this announcement.

Are you thrilled that there are going to be more Harry Potter books coming out?

What do you think about the announcement that Harry is bisexual?

Do you think J.K. Rowling really thought Harry was bi when she wrote the original series?

Or do you think she is just using this plot line to be seen as politically correct?

Or is she using Harry’s sexuality just to get people talking about her upcoming books?

Free advertising?

I REALLY want to know what people think. Please post your thoughts in the comments below:

MATHEMATICS OF ETERNITY by Canadian author DAVID M. KELLY is science fiction as it should be. 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Title: THE MATHEMATICS OF ETERNITY

Series: JOE BALLEN – BOOK ONE

Author: DAVID M. KELLY

Genre: SCIENCE FICTION, MYSTERIES AND THRILLERS, CANADIAN AUTHOR

Length: 318 PAGES

Publisher: NEMESIS PRESS

Received From: THE AUTHOR

Release Date: 2017

ISBN: 9780995329416

Price: $14.99 USD (Paperback)

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

The future’s about to get a lot more action-packed!

Meet former space engineer, Joe Ballen. These days, he’s scraping a living flying cabs in flooded-out Baltimore, trying to avoid the clutches of his boss and the well-meaning advice of an old friend.

When one of his passengers suffers a grisly death, Joe is dragged into a dangerous web of ruthless academic rivalry centered on a prototype spaceship.

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A NOTE ABOUT THIS REVIEW:

I had the privilege of meeting David at the Word on the Street Festival on Toronto’s waterfront. This festival is an annual event and is held every September. At the event David was gracious enough to give me an autographed copy of “Mathematics of Eternity” so that I could read and review it. Due to unforeseen medical issues I am extremely late in posting my review, but I did not want to dash off a quick review, I wanted to make sure to write an in-depth review of this terrific book.

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MY REVIEW:

MATHEMATICS OF ETERNITY is the first book in the Joe BALLEN sci-fi series written by the talented Canadian author David M. Kelly.

Set in Baltimore in the year 2143, life is unlike what we are accustomed to. The West Coast no longer exists, except underwater and even Baltimore is mostly flooded beyond redemption. The bottom floors of many highrises are now underwater. Barely anyone lives there, and those who do are extremely unwelcoming to anyone who sets foot in their domain.

Unfortunately, there are some things that, no matter how many years have passed, have remained the same. That is the fact that “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”

It is in this post-catastrophe world that Joe Ballen lives and works. He used to work in space as a construction foreman, but, an almost fatal accident put an end to that career, and almost put an end to his life. Now, he flies a taxi for a living.

One night he picks up a fare and ‘drives’ him home, only to end up as a witness/suspect in the man’s death. Now, the police want him arrested and someone wants him dead. All in all, Joe Ballen wishes he had never let the man into his cab.

With twists and turns that will keep readers on the edge of their seats, this story is both thrilling and full of excitement. This is futuristic sci-fi as it should be.

The world-building is phenomenal and I love the fact that there are a variety of genders and sexual orientations represented, including one major character who just happens to be a hermaphrodite. I completely agree with main character Joe Ballen when he says “I’ll never understand why some people feel they can treat others like property. Everyone should be able to follow their own path, so long as they’re not hurting others.” He goes on to say, “Everyone has a right to make their own choices – good or bad. Forcing your ideals on someone else is the ultimate in egotistic selfishness.”

The characters are so well developed that they will linger in the reader’s mind long after the book is finished. This, in my opinion, is the mark of a great writer. Kudos to author David M Kelly for creating such characters.

I rate MATHEMATICS OF ETERNITY as 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I am thrilled that Book Two of the Joe Ballenger series is already available.

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

David M. Kelly writes fast-paced, near future sci-fi thrillers with engaging characters, cynical humor, and plausible science.

He is the author of the Joe Ballen series and the short story collection Dead Reckoning And Other Stories. He has been published in Canadian SF magazine Neo-opsis.

David’s interest in science and technology began early. At the age of six his parents allowed him to stay up late into the night to watch the television broadcast of Neil Armstrong stepping on to the surface of the moon.

From that day he was hooked on everything related to science and space. An avid reader, he worked his way through the contents of the mobile library that visited his street, progressing through YA titles (or ‘juveniles’ as they were known back then) on to the classics of Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Harry Harrison.

David worked for many years in project management and software development. Along the way his interests have included IPSC combat (target) pistol shooting, crew chief on a drag racing team, and several years as bass player/vocalist in a heavy rock band. He also managed to fit in some real work in manual jobs from digging ditches and work on production lines to loading trucks in a haulage company.

Originally from the wild and woolly region of Yorkshire, England, David emigrated to Canada in 2005 and settled in Northern Ontario with his patient and supportive wife, Hilary. Foot surgery in 2014 temporarily curtailed many of his favourite activities – hiking, camping, piloting his own personal starfighter (otherwise known as a Corvette ZR-1). But on the plus side, it meant a transition from the world of IT into life as a full-time writer—an opportunity he grasped enthusiastically. David is passionate about science, especially astronomy and physics, and is a rabid science news follower.

Never short of an opinion, David writes about science and technology on his blog davidmkelly.net. He has supported various charity projects such as the Smithsonian’s Reboot The Suit and the Lowell Observatory Pluto Telescope Restoration. He also contributes to citizen science projects such as SETI@home.

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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YOUTUBE
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TWITTER
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AMAZON
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MORE BOOKS BY DAVID M. KELLY

PERIMETER-JOE BALLEN #2

Deceit has no boundaries Joe Ballen is working on a new ore-processing platform in the harsh environment around Mercury. But then the security forces come calling. Vital starship engineering files are missing, and without them Earth has no hope of escaping Atoll domination. Someone has to locate the files, and Ballen is bulldozed into the not-so-choice assignment. But he’s not the only one in the hunt. As Joe struggles to find the data, he becomes tangled up in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse. It’s a journey that will take him to the perilous depths of space, where no one is quite what they seem. Can old enemies ever make good allies? And can Joe trust even the people closest to him? Ballen’s back in another action-packed sci-fi noir thriller, guaranteed to keep you turning the pages.
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DEAD RECKONING AND OTHER STORIES

Looking for SF that’s intelligent, action-packed, and humorous?

This collection of ten short stories features a cast of characters all in need of some serious therapy.Hector discovers life after death ain’t easy when your shorts itch and your ass belongs to a whip-wielding giant. And Murphy’s fighting to keep the peace as his team of geeky scientists and a gung-ho lieutenant investigate a mysterious alien ship—all while dealing with his own case of Murphy’s Law. First Contact is always complicated, especially when you have to call in cranky old relic, Casteneda, to bail you out. Fresh off the battlefield, Matt Holbrook is also grappling with a perplexing new species, but all he wants is to make it home. And Earl Duarte is in for some interesting pet therapy in How Much Is That Doggy?

Discover Dead Reckoning And Other Stories. SF with attitude!

Copyright (C) David M. Kelly. http://davidmkelly.net/my-books/

This book is my entry for the letter ‘M’ in the GingerReads 2019 A to Z Reading 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

GRIM LOVELIES by Young Adult Bestselling Author Megan Shepherd is sure to enchant teens and adults alike. 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Title: GRIM LOVELIES

Author: MEGAN SHEPHERD

Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, FANTASY FICTION

Length: 384 PAGES

Publisher: HMH TEEN – HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS

Received From: HMH TEEN INSTAGRAM GIVEAWAY

Release Date: OCTOBER 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-328-80918-6 (Hardcover)

ISBN: 978-1-328-80962-9 (eBook)

Price: $17.99 USD HARDCOVER

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

Seventeen-year-old Anouk envies the human world, where people known as Pretties lavish themselves in fast cars, high fashion, and have the freedom to fall in love.

But Anouk can never have those things, because she is not really human.

Enchanted from animal to human girl and forbidden to venture beyond her familiar Parisian prison, Anouk is a Beastie: destined for a life surrounded by dust bunnies and cinders serving Mada Vittoria, the evil witch who spelled her into existence.

That is, until one day she finds her mistress murdered in a pool of blood – and Anouk is accused of the crime.

Now, the world she always dreamed of is rife with danger. Pursued through Paris by the underground magical society known as the Haute, Anouk and her fellow Beasties only have three days to find the real killer before the spell keeping them human fades away.

If they fail, they will lose the only lives they’ve ever known… but if they succeed, they could be more powerful than anyone ever bargained for.

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MY REVIEW:

Inventive and dazzling, with a host of characters readers will be unable and unwilling to forget.

With a diverse cast, this book has everything required to become an instant Young Adult Best-Seller. Having just been released a little over two months ago, it is already trending on social media, and, if I have my way, it will trend even more after I post this review.

I love that the Author chose animals turned into humans as her main characters. I love that she chose the city of Paris as the headquarters of the Royals who reign over all magical beings. There has always been something alluring and mysterious about the historic city of Paris, especially to those of us in North America. With the millions of bones in the city’s catacombs, Paris also has a barely hidden sinister air.

Best-Selling Author Megan Shepherd has created a magical world that secretly exists alongside our own. Of course, we humans, or “Pretties” as the witches call us, are completely oblivious to the magic surrounding us.

Within this world there are “Beasties;” animals and birds who have had spells cast on them to change them into humans (sort of like the mice in the tale of Cinderella, except the change is permanent.) Anouk is one such Beastie. She is a year and a half old which is the equivalent of being a seventeen year old girl. For the entirety of her human existence, she has not been allowed to leave the house she was “born” in. It is the home of Mada Vittoria, the witch who changed Anouk from animal to human.

This imaginative tale, filled with magic, mystery and mayhem is perfect for today’s Young Adult audience. Readers of all types, and of all ages will be able to find a character to relate to.

There is a theme of good vs. evil in this book, but what, or who is deemed evil is often in the eye of the beholder.

GRIM LOVELIES is also a unique Coming-Of-Age tale in which Anouk realizes that her captivity at the hands of Mada (Witch) Vittoria, has resulted in her knowing very little about either the Pretties world, or the magical world of the Haute.

GRIM LOVELIES and the world of the Haute would make for a terrific and visually stunning movie. I very much hope to see this series become optioned for film.

I rate GRIM LOVELIES as a 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Young Adult novel and am excited to read more about Anouk and her other “Beastie” friends in the next installment of this wonderous tale.

***Thank you to HMH Teen for hosting the Instagram contest in which I won a Grim Lovelies prize pack. ***

MY FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THE BOOK:

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“Everything had a darker side, magic most of all.”

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“He was a twat and she’d sooner kiss a frog, but even frogs deserved little moments of joy.”

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“Even if we can find someone to recast our spell, I’m afraid that a spell alone can’t make us human. TRULY human. Only actions make a person human, not magic.”

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“I’m not a bird with broken wings… I don’t need to be sheltered.”

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“Through all this darkness, you’ve held on to love and hope, and that’s true strength.”

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THE CHARACTERS:

A

BOUT THE AUTHOR:

MEGAN SHEPHERD – New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd grew up in her family’s independent bookstore in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

She is the author of several young adult and middle grade novels. She now lives and writes on a 125-year-old farm outside Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband, two cats, and an especially scruffy dog.

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

AMAZON

CHAPTERS

MORE BOOKS BY MEGAN:

*** Leave a comment and let me know if you have read any of Megan’s books?

And if so, which was/is your favorite? Why?

SHELTER: THE RETURN by Canadian Author ALLYSON YOUNG is available Now. This is a post-apocalyptic romance/action drama. 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Title: SHELTER: THE RETURN

Series: SHELTER TRILOGY: BOOK THREE

Author: ALLYSON YOUNG aka: ELIZABETH SCOTT

Genre: FICTION, POST-APOCALYPTIC FICTION, ROMANCE

Length: 211 PAGES

Publisher: VICTORY EDITING NETGALLEY CO-OP

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: SEPTEMBER 1, 2018

ISBN:

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:
They won the war but the real battle was right around the corner. Together again, after considerable adversity, Jesse shares the other part of his mission with Addy. The plague that decimated the population has left another legacy and he has been ordered to ‘encourage’ Shelter’s women to move to the base. With the fanatical Sawyer Bridges and his men dealt with, repopulating the country is now the top priority.

Determined that women be allowed the choice, of both the father of their child or to have children at all, Addison accompanies Jesse in an attempt to appeal to the top brass.

Their appeal rejected, Addison and Jesse are separated and detained while the General attempts to carry out his plan. But there are decent people everywhere and they rise up to do the right thing.
Because of his need to protect her, Jesse makes the wrong call and Addy draws a line in the sand. She returns to Shelter, leaving Jesse to follow—if he can find it within himself to accept a true, future partnership.

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MY REVIEW:

SHELTER: THE RETURN is the third and final book in a series and at only 211 pages, is a quick, easy read.

Allyson Young is a talented Canadian Author and has written a great number of books, some written under her own name and others under her pen name: Elizabeth Scott.

Set in a post-apocalyptic version of the United States, Addison and Jesse both survived the flu-like plague that killed an estimated 90% of the world’s population.

Addison and Jesse have started a relationship which has been somewhat stormy, but they both have come to realize just how much they mean to each other.

Unfortunately, humans being what they are, there is always someone who wants what other people have and who would rather take it by force, than put in the work themselves.

The Bad Guy mentioned in Books One and Two has been defeated but during the mission, Addy is taken prisoner by one of his lackies.

Jesse is determined not to lose her and despite not knowing if she is alive or dead, he gathers volunteers to go with him on a rescue mission. But, will Addy survive long enough to be rescued?

The action is fast-paced and the story moves along at a lightening pace. Canadian Author Allyson Young does a terrific job of keeping the reader engrossed in the story.

If you are looking for a great beach read, look no further, the SHELTER Series is it.

***Due to the graphic nature of some of the content, this book is not suitable for readers under the age of eighteen.***

I rate SHELTER: THE RETURN as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I highly recommend purchasing the entire trilogy.

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

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QUOTES:

“Too bad the plague didn’t take out the dregs of society, but disasters never seem to work that way.”

*

“She’d earned the right to use Mitchell’s first name the correct way, through friendship and respect, and loyalty. Not by … by spreading her legs.”

*

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Allyson Young aka Peri Elizabeth Scott lives in cottage country, Manitoba, Canada. She and her husband pretend to work well together in their seasonal business.

She has always enjoyed the written word, and after reading an erotic romance, quite by mistake, decided to try her hand at penning one. That was followed by a mix of spicy (Ally) and sweet (Peribeth) romances in various genres as well as a post-apocalyptic adventure without a lick of romance by Peribeth.

A bestselling Amazon author, a hybrid, and a coauthor, as of April 2018 she has published four series and several standalones—53 books in total, with others under contract.

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

TWITTER

AMAZON

BARNES AND NOBLE

CHAPTERS

Check out my review of Book One HERE and my review of the second book HERE.

SHELTER: THE RECKONING is the second book in Allyson Young’s Post-Apocalyptic Romance/Action Series. New Release

Title: SHELTER: THE RECKONING

Series: SHELTER TRILOGY: BOOK TWO

Author: ALLYSON YOUNG aka: ELIZABETH SCOTT

Genre: FICTION, POST-APOCALYPTIC FICTION, ROMANCE

Length: 211 PAGES

Publisher: VICTORY EDITING NETGALLEY CO-OP

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: SEPTEMBER 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1721097890

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

Captain Jesse Forbes was understandably mistaken in his original assessment of Colonel Mitchell Stone. But his method of gathering that intel has blown up in his face.

Given Addison Longwood’s history, he knows she’ll never offer him a second chance, and working together against a common foe is going to be torture in more ways than one.

Addison hopes for the best but expects the worst as she and her fellow defenders gain reinforcements and take it to the enemy, unaware another betrayal awaits them.

Survivors change sides and lines are blurred—good guys and bad guys wear camo.

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MY REVIEW:

SHELTER: THE RECKONING is the second book in a series and at only 211 pages, is a quick, easy read. Allyson Young is a talented Canadian Author and has written a great number of books, some written under her own name and others under her pen name: Elizabeth Scott.

Set in a post-apocalyptic version of the United States, Addison Longwood survived the flu-like plague that killed an estimated 90% of the world’s population.

Addison lives in a camp that is set-up extremely well and is in a defensible location. The people who share the camp are all of similar dispositions, meaning that they just want to live in relative peace and are willing to do their part to keep the camp running smoothly.

Unfortunately, humans being what they are, there is always someone who wants what other people have and who would rather take it by force, than put in the work themselves.

The leader of Addy’s camp, Mitchell Stone, had decided at the end of Book One that they had to try to take the fight to the bad guys. That book ended just as Addy and the other fighters left to do just that.

This second book in the series focuses mostly on the fight to rid the world of the local despot. While there are sex scenes, there are less of them in this volume.

The action is fast-paced and the story moves along at a lightening pace. Canadian Author Allyson Young does a terrific job of keeping the reader engrossed in the story.

If you are looking for a great beach read, look no further, the SHELTER Series is it.

Due to the graphic nature of some of the content, this book is not suitable for readers under the age of eighteen.

I rate SHELTER: THE RECKONING as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I highly recommend purchasing the next book in the series immediately since Book Two ends with a cliffhanger.

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

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QUOTES:

“Too bad the plague didn’t take out the dregs of society, but disasters never seem to work that way.”

*

“She’d earned the right to use Mitchell’s first name the correct way, through friendship and respect, and loyalty. Not by … by spreading her legs.”

*

*

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Allyson Young aka Peri Elizabeth Scott lives in cottage country, Manitoba, Canada. She and her husband pretend to work well together in their seasonal business.

She has always enjoyed the written word, and after reading an erotic romance, quite by mistake, decided to try her hand at penning one. That was followed by a mix of spicy (Ally) and sweet (Peribeth) romances in various genres as well as a post-apocalyptic adventure without a lick of romance by Peribeth.

A bestselling Amazon author, a hybrid, and a coauthor, as of April 2018 she has published four series and several standalones—53 books in total, with others under contract.

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

TWITTER

AMAZON

BARNES AND NOBLE

CHAPTERS

SHELTER: THE BEGINNING by Allyson Young is a Post-Apocalyptic Romance Story with an awesome female protagonist. 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Title: SHELTER: THE BEGINNING

Series: SHELTER TRILOGY: BOOK ONE

Author: ALLYSON YOUNG aka: ELIZABETH SCOTT

Genre: FICTION, POST-APOCALYPTIC FICTION

Length: 170 PAGES

Publisher: VICTORY EDITING NETGALLEY CO-OP

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: SEPTEMBER 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1721097890

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

Addison Longwood survived the plague that struck down almost everyone around her. She survived the hazardous trek into the countryside to find shelter within a group of like-minded individuals led by a man she can actually respect. Settled and contributing, she allows herself a sense of hope.

From the remaining military, Captain Jesse Forbes is charged with locating survivors in order to rebuild the country. His initial impression of Addison’s band isn’t positive and he sets his sights on the young woman in order to infiltrate, and assess her leader—the end justifying the means, or so he assures himself.

But there are far greater dangers lurking, threatening the very existence of the survivors. Alliances are forged—and tested. Betrayal cuts deep, lives are lost and others changed forever.

Who are the good guys anyhow?

*

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MY REVIEW:

SHELTER: THE BEGINNING is the first book in a series and at only 170 pages, is a quick, easy read. Allyson Young is a talented Canadian Author and has written a great number of books, some written under her own name and others under her own name: Elizabeth Scott.

Set in a post-apocalyptic version of the United States, Addison Longwood is one of the lucky ones who survived the flu-like plague that killed an estimated 90% of the world’s population.

The back story is not described in detail, but readers are given enough information to comprehend the seriousness of what happened.

Instead of focusing on the immediate aftermath of the plague, this story begins when Addison has reached a camp that is set-up extremely well and is in a defensible location.

Unfortunately, humans being what they are, there is always someone who wants what other people have and who would rather take it by force, than put in the work themselves.

Focusing mostly on Addy’s story, the author deftly manoeuvres the action and the romance elements to have equal time.

If you are looking for a great beach read, look no further, SHELTER is it.

Due to the graphic nature of some of the content, this book is not suitable for readers under the age of eighteen.

I rate SHELTER: THE BEGINNING as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I highly recommend purchasing the next book in the series immediately since Book One ends on a cliffhanger.

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

*

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Allyson Young aka Peri Elizabeth Scott lives in cottage country, Manitoba, Canada. She and her husband pretend to work well together in their seasonal business.

She has always enjoyed the written word, and after reading an erotic romance, quite by mistake, decided to try her hand at penning one. That was followed by a mix of spicy (Ally) and sweet (Peribeth) romances in various genres as well as a post-apocalyptic adventure without a lick of romance by Peribeth.

A bestselling Amazon author, a hybrid, and a coauthor, as of April 2018 she has published four series and several standalones—53 books in total, with others under contract.

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

TWITTER

AMAZON

BARNES AND NOBLE

CHAPTERS

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TIME TRAVEL by Kate Mascarenhas features Strong female characters and is a unique tale. Coming in February 2019 – Mark your calendars

Title: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TIME TRAVEL

Author: KATE MASCARENHAS

Genre: FICTION, SCIENCE 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 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

All Dioramas were created by the author.

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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.

Because 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