Archives for February 2014

Review: The Forgotten Daughter by Renita D’Silva

the forgotten daughterThe Forgotten Daughter
written by Renita D’Silva
published by Bookouture

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: I was asked by the publisher to review this book. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book:
Yes, I did.

If there was an Olympic event in Sochi this winter for writing, I imagine we’d see Renita D’Silva sanding atop a podium, gold medal glistening around her neck, a rivulet spilling onto her cheeks from moistened eyes, and her national anthem playing in the background.

Ok, I confess: I stole the word “rivulet” from the book. I had to look it up, along with “bedeckled” and “sobriquet.” And I’m still not sure how to pronounce them.

This isn’t a quick, easy story to blow through in an afternoon. It’s more a work of art meant to be read, re-read, and savored. She tells the story primarily through a series of diary entries. The characters begin their journey separated by continents and decades. Through flowery descriptions and emotional discoveries, they are brought together in the end.

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Would I recommend it: I would.

Will I read it again:  I’ll re-read parts of it again.

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About the book – from Goodreads: ‘You were adopted’. 
Three simple words, in a letter accompanying her parent’s will, tear Nisha’s carefully ordered world apart. Raised in England, by her caring but emotionally reserved parents, Nisha has never been one to take risks.

Now, with the scrawled address of an Indian convent begins a search for the mother and family she never knew and the awakening of childhood memories long forgotten.

The secrets, culture and people that Nisha discover will change her life forever. And, as her eyes are opened to a side of herself she didn’t know existed, Nisha realizes that she must also seek answers to the hardest question of all – why?

Weaving together the stories of Nisha, Shilpa and Devi, The Forgotten Daughter explores powerfully and poignantly the emotional themes of motherhood, loss and identity – ultimately asking the question of what you would do out of love for your children?

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Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop

Leap 2013

Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop
February 28th to March 7th
Co-hosted by Jinky is Reading

 

I am giving away a $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card (US) or a book (up to a $15 value) from The Book Depository (INT – so long as TBD ships to you).

 

Be sure to check out the other 141 stops on the hop!!! The links are below!

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Blog Tour: The Pleasure of Memory by Welcome Cole (review)

pleasure of memoryThe Pleasure of Memory
written by Welcome Cole
published by Caelstone Press

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: I participated in the blog tour hosted by Virtualbookworm Blog Tours(I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book: 
Yes.

The Pleasure of Memory is creative fantasy where dreams and visions intertwine almost imperceptibly with reality. Welcome Cole allows his story to unfold using delightfully poetic imagery. Here’s an example:

“The sound of the rain was as appealing as a lullaby, soothing and entrancing, and he rode its happy rhythm like a magic horse into the fog of sleep.”

That’s one fancy of saying some guy took a nap. But I’m a sucker for beautiful writing so I lapped it up like a thirsty dog.  At times, his writing was so entertaining that I forgot to focus on the action in the story.

Why four stars? I struggled with this because it’s a highly subjective criticism. But ultimately these reviews are how the book engaged or failed to engage me as the reader. The one element in this book I grew weary of was the drawn out, violent fighting scenes. There were too many that went on for too long for my taste. By the 50% mark I began skimming through the battle scenes to get back to the story.

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Would I recommend it: Yes. Especially to those who enjoy complex alternate reality fantasy and Science fiction.

Will I read it again: I will not.

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About the book – from Goodreads: 
Beam is a smuggler, a murderer, and a rogue, who lives by the age-old rules of “Finders, keepers” and “To thy own self be true.” Abandoned by his family and raised in a run-down priory by an old monk, he is consumed by his anger. He measures the worth of the world’s citizens less by the character of their hearts than the gold he can pick from their pockets. However, when he receives a mysterious message from his long dead mother, his carefully constructed rules of priority and self-interest are changed forever. Wrapped within that message is an ancient map that leads him far south to the reservations of the Vaemyn, a race of savages forcefully sequestered from the world by the civilized Allied Nations. Once there, he searches through a burial ground the size of a small city where he finds an ancient artifact called the Blood Caeyl, a rare red crystal carved in the image of a sensuous eye that he believes will make him rich beyond his dreams. In his flight, he crosses paths with Chance Gnoman, a powerful Water Caeyl Mage. When Chance recognizes the Blood Caeyl, he explains the importance of the artifact in the war that is about to ensue. The artifact begins to change Beam, awakening the memories of a thousand lifetimes, and with those memories, the powers of a god.

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DNF: Amulet of Elusion by Katie Lynn Johnson

amulet of elusionAmulet of Elusion (The Lost Amulet Chronicles #1)
written by Katie Lynn Johnson
published by Katie Lynn Johnson

find it here: (affiliate links) Amazon, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: I was asked by the author to review this book. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)

Where I stopped reading: Location 1127 of 1909 per my iBook app.

Why I stopped reading: The story was okay.  The writing was mediocre at best (Johnson confuses sound-alike words several times, writes in passive voice, and struggles with tense agreement).  After a week of picking it up, reading a few pages and putting it down again I realized two things.  I didn’t care what was going to happen to the characters, and no one was forcing me to keep reading.

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What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for Amulet of Elusion is 3.17. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 3 stars. There were 6 4-star reviews on Amazon. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from the author: Alexa Costa has a life-altering secret…only she doesn’t know it yet.

Confined by law to the kingdom of Alvair until the age of eighteen, Alexa Costa has lived a sheltered existence under the watchful eye of her sword-wielding guardian, Ivy. Her love interest, Caleb Whitman, is exactly the opposite. A merchant sailor and seeker of rare artifacts, Caleb has lived a life of adventure in nearby San Lucero, the long-time rival of Alvair.

After her eighteenth birthday, Alexa’s quiet existence becomes tumultuous, and she realizes she does not need to seek to find adventure. Myths become real, legend becomes fact, and Alexa discovers that she possesses rare abilities which make her a target for both sides in a centuries-old struggle for power. She must use every resource available to her—including her talents with the supernatural Amulets— to help her friends, rekindle her romance with Caleb, and save her island home from destruction.

 

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Spotlight: Blood and Fire by Tori L. Ridgewood (excerpt, giveaway)

BloodandFireCoverBlood and Fire (The Talbot Trilogy #2)
written by Tori L. Ridgewood
published by Melange Books

find it here: (affiliate links) Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads

About the book: What chance does one witch have against five vampires? Alone, not much. But Rayvin’s allies are gathering…

The battle between good and evil supernatural forces heats up in the long, cold November nights of the former mining town. But how will Rayvin’s motley crew of spellcasters and shapeshifters cope when they discover the threat they face is even greater than they imagined?

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Crouching to prod the fire, Grant thought over the options now open to him. It wasn’t safe to go back to Talbot, at least not until he had gained a better understanding of what had happened to him. He needed more than a measure of control over this thing. Once he had that, he could go home and set things right. Destroy de Sade once and for all. After all, was that not the purpose of werewolves? To be an equal adversary for the undead?

The next question was not as simple. Just how did a werewolf train himself? Was it even possible for him to remain cognizant and in control when his body was no longer human?

A knot of sap crackled and snapped. He amused himself with the thought that the fire was speaking to him.

The thought that he was merely delusional, that being able to magically transform into a vicious four-footed animal was a hallucination, the product of slow starvation and exposure, nearly made him laugh aloud.

If a fire could speak, its language would be visual, he decided. He relaxed his eyes and let the glowing embers form shapes and letters.

The wind blew in from the open cabin door, swirling around him and carrying the clean scents of snow, damp wood and earth, mixed with the rank odour of animal carcass from his footprints in the snow…and something else.

Grant held very still.

The something else was faint, but recognizable. Vaguely comforting. It made him think of an old wet dog. Or an old man who had not washed in a long time. Some combination of the two.

A cluster of coals fell in a rush of sparks. The noise drew Grant’s attention, even as the strange smell made his nose twitch and his nostrils flare.

The collapsed, blackened piece of wood strongly resembled the face of a man with strong, mature features. It was broad in the forehead, with a long nose and wide, round eyes. A scattering of red embers looked like a bushy beard covering the mouth and jaw.

It couldn’t be possible during the day, but it seemed to Grant that he could hear the borealis sing.

Solomon. The name that belonged to this face. It was spelled out clearly for him, just for a moment, in the leaping flames.

A few more sticks collapsed, changing the image. An a-frame cabin on a lake. A short, blunt mountain nearby, and a small lake in the shape of a teardrop. The mountain had sheer sides.  Grant thought he recognized it, had even been rock climbing on it in his youth. Mount Cheminis, near Dark Lake.

Yes. Grant understood. He blinked, and the images were gone. Exhaling, he got to his feet and went to the door. The scent of wolf and man now seemed to clearly mark a trail through the trees, to the south-east.

Someone had sent him a message. His gut wanted to tell him that it was Rayvin, though logically that couldn’t be right. How the hell could she contact him from so far away? She’d done it before, sent him a mental plea for help, but she’d only been a few blocks away. And was it at all possible that she knew this character?

Great, more questions without answers.

He may have screwed up on his first battle with the monster, but at least he’d learned that he wouldn’t be able to fight on his own and win. He needed help. Wherever this information had come from, it felt right on some level. The sooner he could find this Solomon guy, the sooner he’d learn how to get control.

With control, de Sade and his little army wouldn’t find him as easy a target as before.

“Welcome to the family,” the bastard vampire had told him. Yeah, well—think of me as the black wolf in your little flock.

His mind drifted to the image of the small, red-headed witch who had chosen the vampire over him. Had she sent him the vision, the way she’d called out for help before? If she could still do that, what did it mean?

“Wait until you get a load of me,” Grant whispered aloud, as he turned back into the cabin.

He quickly filled the rucksack with a small aluminum travel pot, three more cans of beans whose dents were less severe than the others, a can opener, some boxes of pasta and rice that were still intact, and some sticks of dry kindling. He took the grey blanket, rolled it into a short, fat, sausage, and strapped it to the bottom of the rucksack in place of a sleeping bag. With the stub of a pencil he’d found in a drawer, and a scrap of paper, he wrote a quick inventory of what he’d taken. Once the bastard vampire was taken care of, Grant had determined that he would go back and try to make some compensation for what he had ‘borrowed’.

Grant used a cloth to close the door behind him, and then turned his face to the woods in order to once again find the scent of the unknown wolf.

Speed was definitely a gift that he could get used to, in this strange new life. He’d moved faster than Usain Bolt, even, reaching the edge of the small lake below Mount Cheminis by noon.

Casting his eyes around the shoreline, Grant fashioned a makeshift cup of birchbark and filled it with fresh water from the lake. The sun had just passed its zenith in the sky above, but with the temperature low, he could barely feel its warmth on his back. He scooped in some of the purification tablet he had crushed on a rock, trying to measure it proportionally to the amount of water, swished it around a few times to help it dissolve, and then waited for the iodine and assorted chemicals to work.

“You don’t need to do that.”

He started. The little man standing next to him had approached without a sound. He was no bigger than an eight-year-old child, and he was completely bald, except for his full beard and his eyebrows. He had a barrel chest, and sinewy forearms showed where the sleeves of his lined flannel shirt were rolled back. Grant looked at a pair of child-sized battered work-boots, only a few feet from his face. He sensed that the man was assessing him just as carefully.

“I don’t want to take any chances,” Grant answered, finally. His breath condensed in the chill air. He stood, casually, still swirling the cup of water. “You never know, these days. Decades of mining, acid rain, human presence. There are bugs in that water we probably don’t even know about.”

In response, the hermit took his hand out of his jeans pocket, brushed it against his chest, squatted, and leaned over a near dip in the rocky shore. He lowered his hand into the cold black water, and scooped up a palmful. Lapping it up, he shook off the remaining drops and wiped his skin dry again. “I drink this every day, buddy. Do I look sick to you?”

Grant laughed shortly. “Kudos to your immune system. I think I’ll stick with my iodine.”

His visitor shrugged, gazing across the lake. “You’re a long way from the trails. Where’s your gun?”

“I’m looking for someone by the name of Solomon. He’s supposed to live around here.” Grant watched his face for a reaction. The other man only continued to squint against the glare of the sun, a short distance above the horizon. “Have you heard of him?”

“Maybe.” He picked up a rock and weighed it in his hand. “Who’s asking?”

Grant wanted to laugh again, but he didn’t. He hadn’t really known what to expect, or even that he’d actually find the stubby little mountain in the dream or vision or whatever he’d had. The A-frame cabin further down the shore was evidently occupied, given the smoke rising from its chimney. From what he could see, there were no other cottages in the near area. Logically, then, this man was Solomon. What reason could a hermit have for concealing his identity? Was this some kind of epic quest moment, where the hero has to prove that he is pure of heart in order to receive wisdom from the sage? Grant had always believed in honesty. Still, he proceeded cautiously. “Do you believe in the supernatural?”

“You’re a cop, ain’t you?”

“What makes you say that?”

The bald man stood, cracking his back with an audible grunt of relief. “You always answer a question with another question?”

Grant shrugged with one shoulder. “No, but since you’re obviously being careful, I should be, too.”

“I’ll tell you what,” the stranger said, slowly. “You show me some balls, toss that so-called pure water and take a drink from the goodness of Mother Nature; I’ll show you Solomon.”

Grant regarded him with a half-smile, and deliberately poured out his birchbark cup. He should have been dead weeks ago, anyway. Maybe his new physiology would protect him from beaver fever, maybe it wouldn’t. Either way, he needed answers. The other man watched with narrowed eyes as Grant bent down, cupped his hands, and drank from the lake.

“Okay?” he asked, wiping his face on a clean part of his bright orange sleeve. “Where’s Solomon?”

The little man burst into laughter. He opened the snaps on his work-shirt, still laughing, and pulled his t-shirt over his head. As he stepped forward, his face elongated and sprouted fangs under a black snout; his eyes yellowed as grey fur grew out of his skin, and his back snapped, the bones expanding and rearranging themselves into a canine form. Grant stepped back in horror, holding his hands out in an instinct to defend himself, backing along the edge of the rocky outcropping. The stranger’s laughter became a series of yipping howls that echoed against the trees. The massive wolf shook itself, rippling its fur, and scratched its impressive nails on the granite as the howls lowered to a growl. Grant’s skin prickled, recognizing the attack posture of the biggest timber wolf he had ever seen.

Then it lunged into Grant’s outstretched arms.

The animal hit Grant’s chest like a bag of cement, knocking him back and down into the water.

His feet left the rocky ledge that formed the shore, but the boots he had taken from that hunter’s cabin stayed where they were. In the seconds that he was airborne, he felt it all clearly, as though it were taking place in slow motion: his ears registered the snarls of the animal snapping at his neck and the ripping of cloth under the wolf’s sharp nails, and from his own body’s transformation. His ribcage, expanding and elongating, pushed the threads of the bright orange fleece past their limits. His pants shredded and tore as his pelvis moved and sharpened, and a tail burst out of the base of his spine. Grant’s shocked cry became a canine yelp and a whine. Two writhing, growling animals hit the water at the same time and vanished beneath the surface.

 

tori ridgewoodAbout the author: After her first heartbreak, Tori found solace in two things: reading romance novels and listening to an after-dark radio program called Lovers and Other Strangers. Throughout the summer and fall of 1990, the new kid in town found reading fiction and writing her own short stories gave her a much needed creative outlet. Determined to become a published author, Tori amassed stacks of notebooks and boxes of filed-away stories, most only half-finished before another idea would overtake her and demand to be written down. Then, while on parental leave with her second baby, one story formed and refused to be packed away. Between teaching full-time, parenting, and life in general, it would take almost seven years before the first novel in her first trilogy would be completed. In the process, Tori finally found her stride as a writer.

At present, on her off-time, Tori not only enjoys reading, but also listening to an eclectic mix of music as she walks the family dog (Skittles), attempts to turn her thumb green, or makes needlework gifts for her friends and family members. She loves to travel, collect and make miniature furniture, and a good cup of tea during a thunderstorm or a blizzard. Under it all, she is always intrigued by history, the supernatural, vampire and shapeshifter mythology, romance, and other dangers.

Tori is currently working on Crystal and Wand: Book Three of The Talbot Trilogy. She lives in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada with her husband and two children. She is a full-time teacher at a local high school.

Find Ms. Ridgewood here: web, FacebookTwitterGoodreads

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Review: Turning This Thing Around by Keith Maginn

turning this thing aroundTurning This Thing Around
written by Keith Maginn
published by Keith Maginn

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: I was asked by the author to review this book. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book: 
Friends, you know how I feel about writers who sneak poetry into their texts.  Well.  Maginn may not have changed my mind, but he’s almost certainly changed my heart.  I don’t want this to be another “blah-blah this book changed my life we have so much in common blah” review, so I’ll simply say this:  I understand.

If I were, say, a gal who’s struggled with mental illness my whole life, I’d give Maginn five stars just for having the cojones to put his story out there (mine, if you’re wondering, is safely tucked away in the back of my sock drawer).  If, though, I were the same gal, only one who also has experience with mentally ill loved ones, yoga, meditation, medication, psychiatrists, self-help books, and self-medicating, I’d say…

You’re brave, Keith Maginn, and although the writer in me takes issue with your gratuitous use of poetry and self-help book quotations, I’m going to let it slide because, well, you’re braver than I am.  Well done.

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Would I recommend it: Yep.  Go for it.  You’ll finish it in an evening, and you’ll learn a little something in the process.

Will I read it again: No, but I’d like to have a coffee (and/or a margarita) with Mr. Maginn.

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About the book – from Barnes & Noble: 
Turning This Thing Around is an inspiring memoir of overcoming personal struggles. This brutally honest, deeply personal account of redemption takes readers on a moving spiritual journey.

Confronted with a myriad of obstacles-a debilitating arthritic disease, narcolepsy, anxiety and depression-the author was outwardly happy, but inwardly miserable. Pushed to the lowest point of his life, Maginn shares how he gradually turned things around and used his experiences to grow as a person.

Supplemented by heartfelt poetry by the author and with quotes from Gandhi to Dr. Wayne Dyer to Eckhart Tolle, Turning This Thing Around has universal themes that speak to nearly everyone, as we all must face challenges as part of being human. It is a self-help memoir of sorts: the author discusses not only what he overcame, but also how he did so-and how others can, too.

Unlike many popular memoirs on the market, this is a story that more people can relate to. Maginn was not raised in an eccentric family (Jeannette Walls in The Glass Castle, memoirs by Augusten Burroughs), nor did he travel to Italy, India and Indonesia, as Elizabeth Gilbert did in Eat, Pray, Love. Rather, Turning This Thing Around is a story of a normal young man’s resiliency when battling extraordinary circumstances.

 

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Blog Tour: The Making of Nebraska Brown by Louise Caiola (spotlight, excerpt, giveaway)

Making Tour
Tour Schedule

The Making of Nebraska BrownThe Making of Nebraska Brown
written by Louise Caiola
published by Immortal Ink Publishing

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

About the book: The last thing eighteen-year-old Ann Leigh remembers is running from her boyfriend in a thick Nebraska cornfield. This morning she’s staring down a cool Italian sunrise, an entire continent from the life she once knew. The events of the eighteen months in between have inexplicably gone missing from her memory.

All at once she’s living with Tommy, an attractive, young foreigner asking for her continued love. Though he’s vaguely familiar, she recalls a boy named Shane in America who she reluctantly agreed to marry. Juggling a new world while her old one is still M.I.A is difficult enough without the terrifying movie scenes spinning a dizzy loop in her mind: glimpses of a devastating house fire, a romance gone wrong, an unplanned pregnancy, and a fractured family – each claiming to be part of who she once was – a girl and a past somehow discarded.
Ann Leigh must collect the pieces of herself to become whole again, but she doesn’t know who to trust especially when Tommy’s lies become too obvious to ignore. And above all, her heart aches to discover what became of the child she may or may not have given birth to.
The Making of Nebraska Brown tells the story of one girl’s coming apart from the inside and the great lengths she’ll go to reclaim herself and find her way home.

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Even though Tommy had showed me my passaporto—an official document issued by the Italian government—I still was uncertain. It said my full name. Ana Lisa Carcossi. And it was stamped in bright red ink that glared at me, too, the same way Tommy’s mini blinds did—important ink that defied my questions. Tommy had explained that he’d brought me with him once, to the states, on a business trip to the west coast. I wasn’t convinced.

The replies were succinct. Sensible. Delivered with Tommy’s calm veneer. He was a lake before daybreak. It unnerved and relaxed me at the same time. He was hypnotic, his powers stretching into the late day hours when we would find ourselves sharing a pillow. I loved his breath when he fell out, no longer conscious, the way it reminded me I wasn’t alone. Wasn’t completely terrified underneath it all.

Sixty minutes idled by, and I tore myself from the sheets, still balmy from the heat of our bodies. Those muffins were begging to be eaten. I slipped a short cotton bathrobe around my shoulders, brushed my teeth, and stared into the mirror above the bathroom sink.

“Ann Leigh?” I asked my reflection.

She refused to answer. She just stared back at me, looking young and helpless, a tiny pink sore at the corner of her top lip, her hair running loose, dark and wild. I was more Ana Lisa than I thought. More this muddled Italian/American who was sleeping with a rich Italian living in near-poverty.

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LouiseAbout the author: As a young girl who spent her allowance on Nancy Drew mysteries, Louise realized that one day, she might have a story of her own to tell. Maybe even more than one story. After years focused on raising her children she eventually reconnected with her passion for creative writing. She soon began to craft a large collection of short stories which were published in the inspirational online magazine, Faithhopeandfiction.com. Shortly thereafter, she authored her first novel, Wishless, a contemporary YA, released in 2011.

Louise devotes a portion of each day to honing her skills. She has several other novels currently in various stages of development. A confirmed bibliophile, Louise enjoys reading outdoors on a warm spring day and watching her pup chase leaves on a breeze. She looks forward to meeting others who share her love of the written word and invites you to visit her blog, her website and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Find Ms. Caiola here: Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Twitter

giveaway

(Ends March 16, 2014)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or PayPal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Tour Schedule

February 20th
I Am A Reader – Guest Post
b00k r3vi3ws – Spotlight
The Read Things – Review
Musings of Immortals – Spotlight
Victoria Simcox’s Blog – Spotlight

February 21st
Mythical Books – Spotlight
Hearts & Scribbles ~ Jennifer Faye – Spotlight
The Book Bag – Review
Doodles, doodles everywhere – Spotlight

February 22nd
Bound 4 Escape – Review
Kelly P’s Blog – Spotlight
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – Spotlight

February 23rd
LOVE. WITHOUT YOU – Guest Post
BookHounds YA – Interview
Book Publicity Services – Spotlight

February 24th
Amethyst Daydreams – Spotlight
Cassandra M’s Place – Spotlight
Christy’s Cozy Corners – Spotlight

February 25th
Every Free Chance Book Reviews – Review
A Touch of Book Madness – Review
From the Bootheel Cotton Patch – Spotlight

February 27th
Book Hoarder Reviews – Review
inksugar – Review
Mom Loves 2 Read – Review

February 28th
Brooklyn Berry Designs – Review
Little Miss Drama Queen – Review
Vonnie’s Reading Corner – Spotlight

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Review: paper airplane by Kersten L. Kelly

paper airplanepaper airplane
written by Kersten L. Kelly
published by Talisman Book Publishing LLC

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, Book Depository, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: Chrissy reviewed Ms. Kelly’s first book, ec·o·nom·ics: a simple twist on normalcy. (See her review here.) I agreed to Ms. Kelly’s request to review paper airplane. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book: Pretty much.

This is a collection of short stories that highlight the interesting people the author meets while on her numerous air travels. She jokes about the universal dread of being stuck in the center seat. And highlights the array of personalities she meets along the way.

I think the stories are at times amusing and interesting. But they lack any real moral, emotional depth, or plot. Basically, she points out that if you talk to people along life’s journey, you’ll meet some who are interesting, funny, obnoxious, generous, etc. I can’t imagine this is startling to any reader.

It isn’t a bad book. It’s easy to read that could fill the empty minutes of waiting at the doctor’s office or hair salon. But that’s about it.

I did, however, add a half star to the review making it one small notch above mediocre in response to a story about half way through the book. Instead of just flying on the airplane, she jumps out of one. Now that’s a story.

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Would I recommend it: Kind of.

Will I read it again: No.

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About the book – from Goodreads: In this tumultuous, distinctive memoir, Kersten L. Kelly looks back on the most influential individuals that she encountered while flying through the clouds. Confined in a small vestibule for hours, Kelly identified an opportunity for learning and growth by chatting with the fellow passengers around her. After a few life changing conversations and unforgettable emergencies, she put the in-flight magazines to rest and never looked back. She recalls life lessons from perfect strangers about love, family, perseverance of dreams, and humility through a series of brief anecdotes all taking place on airplanes. Selfless philanthropy was discovered, long-term friendships bonded, and talents unveiled. The book proves the phrase “you never know what you will learn on an airplane” over and over again. Every chapter will capture the mind and sometimes the heart of anyone who jumps into this collection of humanity at its best. The personalities present in this book assimilate with the intrinsic characteristics all readers can relate to. With a raw authenticity stemming from old notes in a ragged journal, Kelly delivers a personal reflection of unique tales from a mile high.

 

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Blog Tour: Sailing Out of Darkness by Normandie Fischer (spotlight, giveaway)

Sailing out of DarknessSailing Out of Darkness
written by Normandie Fischer
published by WhiteFire Publishing

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Love conquers all??

Maybe for some people.

When Samantha Ransom flies to Italy to escape a disastrous affair with her childhood best friend, the last thing on her mind is romance. But Teo Anderson is nothing like her philandering ex-husband or her buddy, Jack, who, despite his live-in girlfriend, caught Sam off guard with his flashing black eyes and his passion for sailing.??

Teo represses his own scars, both physical and emotional, by writing mysteries—until one strange and compelling vision comes to life in the person of Sam. Seeking answers, he offers friendship to this skittish visitor. If he can’t write her into one of his stories, at least he can enjoy her company.

But not even sailing the cobalt waters of the Mediterranean can assuage Sam’s guilt. Soon the consequences of her behavior escalate, and the fallout threatens them all.

Normandie FischerAbout the author: A life-long sailor, Normandie has been writing and editing professionally since the seventies. She studied sculpture for several years in Perugia, Italy, before returning stateside to complete her degree with special honors in English. When they’re not visiting grown children who have scattered elsewhere, Normandie and her husband divide their time between their waterfront home in NC (where she takes care of her mama) and their waterborne sailing home, Sea Venture, lately returned from Pacific Mexico. She has two novels that recently released, Becalmed from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and Sailing out of Darkness from WhiteFire Publishing.

Find Ms. Fischer here: web, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

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Blog Tour: The Lies That Save Us by J.L. Redington (spotlight, excerpt, giveaway)

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the lies that save usThe Lies That Save Us (Broken Heart #1)
written by J.L. Redington
published by J.L. Redington

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble (e-book currently free as of posting date), Amazon (e-book currently free as of posting date), iBooksGoodreads

About the book: Alexa is beautiful, smart and alone in the world, a result of devastating losses in her life. She purchased a diner in the quiet out of the way town of Startup, Washington and hired employees to help run it. She’s just beginning to feel secure in her loneliness.

Suddenly her world is jolted awake by Cayman, a handsome young stranger that enters her diner seemingly from nowhere. Event’s happen quickly, and soon Alexa is deep into secret lives, deception and desire.
Will she figure out the riddle of her father’s death? Will she be able to resist the temptation to fall in love with Cayman in spite of her suspicions? Will she live to tell the tale?

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“Don’t play those games with me, young lady,” said Keith, “I’ve been around too long, and don’t have that much time left that I would enjoy the game now.  You liked him, and you know it.”

Alexa dropped dejectedly down in the seat across from Keith.

“Did I really blow it?  I can’t fall for anyone again, Keith.  I really can’t.”

Keith chuckled and looked down at his empty coffee cup.

“How old are you?  Twenty-six?  Twenty-eight max?  Don’t you think that’s kind of a long time to be alone?  You may have to do that ‘kissing-the-frogs’ thing for a while, but you don’t have to sleep with every frog you kiss, and you don’t have to expect every one of them to turn into a prince.  But you could at least enjoy yourself along the way.  I need some coffee.”

Alexa sighed and reached across the table to pour the steaming coffee into his cup.

“I can’t, Keith.  I mean it; and I don’t want to.  I don’t want to deal with another human being in my life.”

“Yes, you do.” He said with determination.

“How do you–How could you even remotely know that?”

Keith looked at her across the table.  He picked up his coffee cup and took a slow sip, then put the cup back down on the table and stared into the dark liquid.

“I know that because there isn’t a human being on the face of this earth that doesn’t need to be loved.”  He looked into her eyes.  “You’re not betraying the memory of your father, nor are you giving in to a life you swore you’d never want.  Be human Alexa; live again.  Square your shoulders, take a deep breath and give it a go.  It’s a ride you can stop at any time.”

jl redingtonAbout the author: JL Redington lives Juneau, AK,  with her husband Terry and puppy, Shelby.  Together they are the parents of 6 grown children and 19 grandchildren.   She loves to read, camp, cook and be with her friends and family.

In writing this romance series, JL has found a new love inher life, and that is writing books.    JL has always felt books are a way to take us out of the everyday and into a place we can relax, be entertained and enjoy a different world for a period of time.   Happy reading!

Find Ms. Redington here: web, Twitter, Goodreads

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