Book spotlight: The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall by Shannon Kirk

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Book Details:

Book Title:  The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall by Shannon Kirk
Category:  Adult Fiction, 295 pages
Genre: Literary
Publisher:   Reputation Books
Release date:  September 6, 2016
Format available for review:  Print and ebook (mobi, ePub, NetGalley)
Will send print books to: USA & Canada
Tour dates: Jan 16 to Feb 3, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (Contains a couple of non-explicit, but rather set in impressionist tones, sex scenes.)

Book Description:

What if you could choose your heaven now? Go on a celestial shopping trip of sorts? Thirty-five-year-old Vivienne does just that, as she lies dying in the ICU; a fatal walk into the path of a truck. In her final week of life, Vivienne treks through the Heavens of a priest, a best friend, a homeless child, and a lover who never was. Vivienne’s guardian angel, Noah, who may just be her soul mate, escorts her through selections of Heavens and through the confusion Vivienne experiences as she flounders between a doubt of life and the certainty of death. Although her visits to varied afterlives provide peace and beauty, choosing proves not so easy: Vivienne’s love for her young son and her earthly father pull her from her colorful journey—and from her divine love of Noah.

The nature of love, the variety and magic of life, unending hope, and the importance of saying goodbye are central to this uplifting tale.

Buy the Book:  Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble 

Watch the Book Trailer:

Shannon Kirk

Meet the Author:

Shannon Kirk is the awarding-winning author of the international bestselling Method 15/33 (psychological thriller–bestseller in Colombia and Spain, will be lead title in Italy, 2017) and Heavens (Literary Fiction). Method 15/33 has received multiple accolades: 2015 Foreword Review Book of the Year (Suspense); Winner of 2015 National Indie Excellence Award, Best Suspense; 2015 USA Best Book Finalist; School Library Journal’s Best Adult Books for Teens (2015); and Finalist in 2013 William Faulkner William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition (when a Novella). Method 15/33 is optioned for a major motion film and has sold to nineteen foreign rights.

When not writing, she is a practicing lawyer, residing on Massachusett’s Cape Ann with her husband and son and two cat writing accomplices, Marvin Marquez (in honor of Gabriel Garcia Marquez) and Stewie Poe (Edgar Allen Poe).

Shannon enjoys writing in several genres: literary fiction, psychological thriller, young adult, and poetry. She has been honored three times by the William Faulkner William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition.

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

TOUR SCHEDULE:

Jan 16 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 17 – Working Mommy Journal – review / giveaway
Jan 17 – A Soccer Mom’s Book Blog – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 18 – Library of Clean Reads – review / giveaway
Jan 19 – Bound 4 Escape – review / giveaway
Jan 20 – Olio by Marilyn – review / author interview / giveaway
Jan 23 – 3 Partners in Shopping Nana, Mommy + Sissy Too! – review / giveaway
Jan 24 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – review / giveaway
Jan 25 – Thoughts on Books – review / giveaway
Jan 26 – Books for Books – review
Jan 27 – The Autistic Gamer – review
Jan 30 – Turning the Pages – review
Jan 31 – Turning the Pages – author interview / giveaway
Jan 31 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – review / guest post / giveaway
Feb 1   –  Shoshi Reads – review / giveaway
Feb 1   –  Jorie Loves A Story – review
Feb 2   –  Svetlana’s Reads and Views – review
Feb 3   – Jessica Cassidy – review / author interview / giveaway

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Spotlight tour: iRead Book Tours turns 3 in January. Celebrate with us!

About iRead Book Tours:

At iRead, we give special attention to every book that tours with us. We are passionate about books and we customize all our tours because no two authors are alike.

We don’t just market books. We help our authors get the best exposure with traditional tours consisting mainly of reviews. We work closely with our authors and pride ourselves on our highly individualized customer service.

All our staff are book bloggers and authors, so we understand the process and the hard work involved. We’ve built a solid relationship with our database of reliable book bloggers who are eager to read your books.

Welcome to the iRead experience!

About Laura Fabiani:

In 2008, Laura began blogging about books shortly after she published her first book. She started Library of Clean Reads, a book review blog, and discovered the joy of reviewing a variety of genres. Her children have joined her in this venture and they spend many happy hours reading books together. A Special Care Counselor by profession, Laura has co-led and developed programs for seniors with dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease. She has a passion for the topic of neuroscience and wellness.

Throughout the years she has met and worked with wonderful publishers, both traditional and indie, as well as publicists and authors. Best of all, she discovered the world of book bloggers–a community of special people who spend their precious time sharing their love of books and all things related to books.

Taking part in book tours has always made Laura feel more connected to authors and the publishing field. She organized her own virtual tour when her book was published and she learned several things. As an author, it exposed her to actual reader views and social media. As a book blogger and book tour organizer, it taught her the amount of work it entailed. And she loves it!

You can find Laura blogging at Library of Clean Reads and Essentially Italian. She is the owner of iRead Book Tours,  Italy Book Tours, and Je Lis Blog Tours.

TESTIMONIAL:

Not only am I a book  blogger and reviewer but I have published three books of my own.   iRead Book Tours was my first and only choice to tour my books because Laura understands the book market and can help you in ways you never thought of.   She is quick to answer any questions you have and is on top of all the social media aspects of promoting your book.   I’m glad that iRead is so successful because Laura has put her heart and a tremendous amount of energy into being the best in the book promotion business.  Yah!

TOUR SCHEDULE:

Jan 2 –   Library of Clean Reads – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 2 –   Rockin’ Book Reviews – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 2 –   Book Lover Promo – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 3 –   Essentially Italian – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 3 –   Bookworm for Kids – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 3 –   Nighttime Reading Center – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 3 –   Katie’s Clean Book Collection – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 3 –   My Journey Back – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 4 –   Spines in a Line – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 4 –   Book Crazy Scrapbook Mama – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 4 –   Svetlana’s Reads and Views –  spotlight / giveaway
Jan 4 –   Books, Dreams, Life – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 5 –   Words And Peace – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 5 –   Puddletown Reviews – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 5 –   fuonlyknew – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 6 –   Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine – spotlight
Jan 6 –   Deal Sharing Aunt – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 9 –   Mystery Suspense Reviews – spotlight
Jan 9 –   Books Direct – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 10 – Sincerely Stacie – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 10 – Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 10 – FLYLēF Reviews – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 11 – I Love A Good Book – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 11 – #redhead.with.book – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 11 – Writers and Authors – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 12 – A Holland Reads – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 12 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 13 – Romantic Reads and Such – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 13 – Book Lover in Florida – spotlight
Jan 15 – Working Mommy Journal – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 15 – Zerina Blossom’s Books – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 16 – Book and Ink – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 16 – The Autistic Gamer – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 17 – JBronder Book Reviews – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 17 – Blooming with Books – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 18 – Lisa Loves Literature – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 18 – Fantastic Feathers  – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 19 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 19 – Over the hills and far away – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 20 – The Writing Garnet – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 20 – Bound 2 Escape – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 23 – Brooke Blogs – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 23 – Teresa Edmond-Sargeant – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 24 – All things bookie – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 24 – Olio by Marilyn – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 25 – Laura’s Interests – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 25 – Bound 4 Escape – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 26 – Sahar’s Blog – spotlight / giveaway
Jan 27 – Books for Books – spotlight / giveaway

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Book spotlight: Life Outside the Box: The Extraordinary Journeys of 10 Unique Individuals, Second Edition by Marilyn R. Wilson

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Book Details:

Book Title: Life Outside the Box: The Extraordinary Journeys of 10 Unique Individuals, Second Edition
Author: Marilyn R. Wilson
Category:  Adult non-fiction, 236 pages
Genre:  Inspiration / biography / fashion
Publisher:  Real People Real Lives Press
Release date:  Oct 27, 2016
Tour dates:  Dec 5 to 23, 2016
Content Rating:  G

Book Description:  

This second edition offers new content added to each and every chapter – personal author reflections from behind the scenes.

Get inspired to step out of your box and embrace your potential. From the corporate world, to the arts, to working with the disenfranchised, the message is clear: there is no such thing as a normal way to live your life and no one right solution to any problem. Selected from over a hundred interviews, the stories shared here open a window on the journeys of seven women and three men who have charted their own paths, including Ruthie Davis–top US luxury shoe designer and the winner of the 2014 AAFA Footwear Designer of the Year award; and Geir Ness whose perfume is a staple in Nordstrom, Disney World, and on Disney Cruise Lines. Enjoy a glimpse behind the scenes into the unique ways these individuals have chosen to deal with life’s challenges and how they define success in their careers.

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~   Barnes & Noble

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Meet the author:

Marilyn R. Wilson is a freelance writer and speaker with a passion for interviewing. Her career as a writer began in an unusual way, by answering a Craigslist ad. It was while conducting her first interview the world shifted – she had found her passion. Since 2006, she has interviewed over 150 people from as near as her hometown of Vancouver, Canada, and as far away as South Africa.

Whether through a random encounter on the New York subway or via a one-on-one interview with an internationally recognized artist, the goal is the same-to give wings to the unique journeys of inspiring individuals. This goal first led the author to co-launch a successful, innovative magazine focused on professionals working in the fashion industry paired with photography and illustrations by local artists. Then in 2015, Wilson took her passion to a new audience with the release of her first book, the first in a series featuring the lives of real people living real lives.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~ Instagram

SPOTLIGHT TOUR SCHEDULE:

Dec 5 –   Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
Dec 6 –   Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Dec 7 –   Books, Dreams, Life – book spotlight /
Dec 8 –   Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight / giveaway
Dec 9 –   The Irresponsible Reader – book spotlight / author interview
Dec 12 – Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine – book spotlight / guest post
Dec 13 – 100 Pages A Day – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Dec 14 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
Dec 15 – The Autistic Gamer – book spotlight
Dec 16 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book spotlight / guest post
Dec 19 – Laura’s Interests – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Dec 20 – 3 Partners in Shopping Nana, Mommy , + Sissy, Too! – spotlight / giveaway
Dec 20 – Deal Sharing Aunt – book spotlight / giveaway
Dec 21 – Jessica Cassidy – book spotlight
Dec 22 – T’s Stuff – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Dec 23 – Books for Books – book spotlight

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Book review: The Golden Son by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

the-golden-son-pb-coverThe Golden Son

• Paperback: 432 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (November 29, 2016)

The New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of Secret Daughter returns with an unforgettable story of family, responsibility, love, honor, tradition, and identity, in which two childhood friends—a young doctor and a newly married bride—must balance the expectations of their culture and their families with the desires of their own hearts.

The first of his family to go to college, Anil Patel, the golden son, carries the weight of tradition and his family’s expectations when he leaves his tiny Indian village to begin a medical residency in Dallas, Texas, at one of the busiest and most competitive hospitals in America. When his father dies, Anil becomes the de facto head of the Patel household and inherits the mantle of arbiter for all of the village’s disputes. But he is uneasy with the custom, uncertain that he has the wisdom and courage demonstrated by his father and grandfather. His doubts are compounded by the difficulties he discovers in adjusting to a new culture and a new job, challenges that will shake his confidence in himself and his abilities.

Back home in India, Anil’s closest childhood friend, Leena, struggles to adapt to her demanding new husband and relatives. Arranged by her parents, the marriage shatters Leena’s romantic hopes, and eventually forces her to make a desperate choice that will hold drastic repercussions for herself and her family. Though Anil and Leena struggle to come to terms with their identities thousands of miles apart, their lives eventually intersect once more—changing them both and the people they love forever.

Tender and bittersweet, The Golden Son illuminates the ambivalence of people caught between past and present, tradition and modernity, duty and choice; the push and pull of living in two cultures, and the painful decisions we must make to find our true selves.

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Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Shilpi Somaya Gowda APAbout Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Shilpi Somaya Gowda was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. She holds an MBA from Stanford University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead-Cain scholar. She lives in California with her husband and children.

Find out more about Shilpi at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

REVIEW:

Most Indian parents dream that their child becomes a doctor, a lawyer or an engineer. Combine that with a marriage to a good family and their expectations are fulfilled.  In The Golden Son, Anil Patel’s father, as patriarch and arbitrator of the Patel family and village, decides that his son should be sent to America to study to be a doctor.  Anil has reached his potential in India and longs to study and work in an American hospital.

Upon his arrival in America, he quickly realizes that not everything is in black and white. He wants to adapt to the culture of his new country, but doesn’t want to give up the traditions of the old.  Anil is shocked by the prejudice shown toward Indian immigrants. He hopes to find respite back home but after having spent several years in the US, discovers that he somehow doesn’t quite fit in with the culture he once knew.

The author deftly weaves in different characters into Anil’s life.  These characters help shape Anil as he desperately tries to please his family in India as well as his hospital superiors.  To be honest, I much preferred reading more about these other characters than the main character because they were so beautifully brought to life.   I would love to see another novel that continues on with their lives.

There is plenty of intense drama in this story so be prepared to stay up late reading it.

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Book spotlight: Falling For The Stars: A Stunt Gal’s Tattle Tales by Lisa Loving Dalton

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Book Details:

Book Title:  Falling For The Stars: A Stunt Gal’s Tattle Tales
Author:  Lisa Loving Dalton
Category:  Adult Nonfiction,  224 pages
Genre:  Memoir, Performing Arts
Publisher:  Peak Performance Living
Release date:  Oct 27, 2016
Tour dates:  Nov 21 to Dec 9, 2016
Content Rating:  PG-13 + M

Book Description:  

Lisa Loving Dalton spent years working with or stunt doubling for a galaxy of celebrity stars including Madonna, Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Katherine Hepburn, Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman, Darryl Hannah, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robin Williams, Robert Downey Jr., Liam Neeson, Cher and more…

Yet, what stands out in her new book Falling For The Stars: A Stunt Gal’s Tattle Tales is the indomitable spirit she assayed, despite the extraordinary price she paid for her stellar career—including misogyny, a miscarriage, and a life-long back injury. And each juicy story she relays in her fascinating chronicle, brings home an important life lesson for the reader—one that she learned the hard way.

Beginning as a naïve, insecure actress, trying to use extra work and stunts as a way into the Hollywood firmament, Dalton rises to become one of the top stunt professionals, ultimately reaping the economic rewards and the ego gratification—while denying her true desire to act full time. Dalton appeared in more than 200 films, television shows and commercials in New York, Hollywood and Texas, including work in Ghostbusters, Money Pit, Crocodile Dundee, Married to the Mob, FX, Legal Eagles, and Splash on the big screen and ER, HBO’s Carnivale, Dr. Quinn and Melrose Place among her many TV credits.

Yet, Falling For The Stars also provides a magical behind-the-scenes look at the stars and moviemaking through the eyes of a woman who went toe-to-toe with the Hollywood elite, or at least walked in their stunt shoes. She knows first-hand the caring and humanity of such luminaries as Streep, Redford and Cher.

Dalton reveals what it took to hang over cliffs, get hit by a moving car, drop from five stories up, dodge a bridge full of speeding cars—and to ignore the Universe’s more gentle prompts that it was time to quit and follow her passion into acting fulltime or teaching acting. The resulting career-ending spinal injury has a story of its own, how she researched medical and alternative paths that form the heart of what she shares with the world today. She is now certified in NLP, Hypnosis, and Neurological Repatterning—ways she learned to heal.

With humor and candor, Dalton inspires the reader to rise above one’s fears and limitations and go for the gusto. In her book, it is very clear that she knows full well that tomorrow is promised to no one and there is no gift greater than the present. And the present is what you make of it by finding the hidden gifts. Today, she helps actors burnish their gifts by performing and teaching acting around the world.

Buy the Book:  Amazon

Watch the trailer:


Lisa Loving Dalton

Meet the Author:

From a bullied, dyslexic, messy, freckle-faced, klutzy pixie, Lisa Loving Dalton grew into a statuesque and skillful stuntwoman, actor, director, teacher, author, filmmaker, leadership and life coach, and ceremonial minister. Always seeking and finding the silver lining, she has made the most of whatever life threw at her. She says, “I spill stuff, trip and drip all of the time so I made a career out of it. My advice: Embrace what is as perfect.”

Dalton appeared in more than 200 films, television shows and commercials in New York, Hollywood and Texas, including work in Ghostbusters, Money Pit, Crocodile Dundee, Married to the Mob, FX, Legal Eagles, and Splash on the big screen and ER, HBO’s Carnivale, Dr. Quinn and Melrose Place among her many TV credits.

Connect with the author:

Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Pinterest  ~  Youtube  ~  Instagram

BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR SCHEDULE:

Nov 21 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 21 – Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine – book spotlight / guest post
Nov 22 – Book Reviews Nature photos and everything in between – book spotlight
Nov 22 – Reading Authors – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 23 – My Life. One Story at a Time. – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 23 – Kimber Leigh Writes – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 23 – Books, Dreams, Life – book spotlight
Nov 24 – A Soccer Mom’s Book Blog – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 24 – Fantastic Feathers  – book spotlight / guest post
Nov 25 – 100 Pages A Day – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 28 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 29 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Nov 30 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – book spotlight / giveaway
Dec 1 –  Cheryl’s Book Nook – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Dec 2 – Books for Books – book spotlight
Dec 2 – My Devotional Thoughts – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Dec 5 – Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight / giveaway
Dec 6 – fuonlyknew – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Dec 7 – The Autistic Gamer – book spotlight
Dec 8 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
Dec 9 – E-News With Jessy – book spotlight

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Book review: Fifteen Words by Monike Jephcott Thomas

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  • Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
  • Published:  (November 22, 2016)
  • Pages:  293
  • Genre:  Historical Fiction

Book Description:

Two young doctors form a profound and loving bond in Nazi Germany; a bond that will stretch them to the very limits of human endurance. Catholic Max – whose religious and moral beliefs are in conflict, has been conscripted to join the war effort as a medic, despite his hatred of Hitler’s regime. His beloved Erika, a privileged young woman, is herself a product of the Hitler Youth. In spite of their stark differences, Max and Erika defy convention and marry.

But when Max is stationed at the fortress city of Breslau, their worst nightmares are realized; his hospital is bombed, he is captured by the Soviet Army and taken to a POW camp in Siberia. Max experiences untold horrors, his one comfort the letters he is allowed to send home: messages that can only contain Fifteen Words. Back in Germany, Erika is struggling to survive and protect their young daughter, finding comfort in the arms of a local carpenter. Worlds apart and with only sparse words for comfort, will they ever find their way back to one another, and will Germany ever find peace?
Fifteen Words is a vivid and intimate portrayal of human love and perseverance, one which illuminates the German experience of the war, which has often been overshadowed by history.

Buy the book:  Amazon UK

unnamedAbout Monike Jephcott Thomas

Monika Jephcott Thomas grew up in Dortmund Mengede, north-west Germany. She moved to the UK in 1966, enjoying a thirty year career in education before retraining as a therapist. Along with her partner Jeff she established the Academy of Play & Child Psychotherapy in order to support the twenty per cent of children who have emotional, behavioural, social and mental health problems by using play and the creative Arts. A founder member of Play Therapy UK, Jephcott Thomas was elected President of Play Therapy International in 2002.

REVIEW:

A riveting and raw account of life during WWII when Germany was on the verge of losing the war.  We see how, despite coming from very different backgrounds, Erika and Max choose to make a life together.  Both are doctors.

While Erika remains behind, Max goes is conscripted to work for the Nazis as a doctor.  He detests Nazi ideology but is determined to help as many of the wounded as he can.  A timid man by nature, an early boyhood experience helping his aunt rescue the wounded as a result of a bomb blast targeting civilians gives him the courage to put his life at risk to save others.  He is aware that, if he survives the war, he will always carry the emotional scars of the war with him.

Intense, nail-biting and thought-provoking, this novel reveals what every-day Germans who did not agree with Hitler felt as the war raged on.

The author’s writing style is unique, lyrical and poetic.  It helps temper the rawness of the atrocities perpetrated by so many of those who, due to abuse of power, rendered the lives of so many to sheer misery.

For both Erika and Max, fifteen words of dialogue continue to link them together.  But they may not be enough.

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Book review: Dreaming Sophia: Because Dreaming is an Art by Melissa Muldoon

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Book Details:

Book Title:  Dreaming Sophia: Because Dreaming is an Art by Melissa Muldoon
Category:  Adult Fiction, 232 pages
Genre: Literary
Publisher:  Matta Press
Release date:   August 2016
Available for review in: print and ebook (ePub, PDF, mobi)
Will send print books: USA & Canada
Tour dates:  Nov 21 to Dec 16, 2016
Content Rating:  PG (Mild profanity, and mild religious expletives, exploration Italian swear words, kissing – oh my!)

Book Description:

Dreaming Sophia is a magical look into Italy, language, art, and culture. It is a story about turning dreams into reality and learning to walk the fine line between fact and fantasy. When tragedy strikes, Sophia finds herself alone in the world, without direction and fearful of loving again. With only her vivid imagination to guide her, she begins a journey that will take her from the vineyards in Sonoma, California to a grad school in Philadelphia and, eventually, to Italy: Florence, Lucca, Rome, Verona, Venice, and Val d’Orcia.

Through dreamlike encounters, Sophia meets Italian personalities—princes, poets, duchesses, artists, and film stars— who give her advice to help put her life back together. Following a path that takes her from grief to joy, she discovers the source of her creativity and learns to love again, turning her dreams into reality.

Buy the Book:  

Amazon – print
Amazon / Kindle – ebook
Create Space
I-tunes – Apple Store-ebook
Barnes & Noble – ebook

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Melissa meets Sophia Loren in March 2016!

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Watch as Melissa talks about her debut novel: 

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Melissa MuldoonMeet the Author:

Melissa Muldoon is the Studentessa Matta-the crazy linguist! In Italian, “matta” means “crazy” or “impassioned”. Melissa has a B.A. in fine arts, art history and European history from Knox College, a liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, as well as a master’s degree in art history from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She has also studied painting and art history in Florence.

Melissa promotes the study of Italian language and culture through her dual-language blog, Studentessa Matta (studentessamatta.com). Melissa began the Matta blog to improve her command of the language and to connect with other language learners. It has since grown to include a podcast, “Tutti Matti per l’Italiano” and the Studentessa Matta YouTube channel. Melissa also created Matta Italian Language Immersion Tours, which she co-leads with Italian partners in Italy.

Dreaming Sophia is Melissa’s first novel. It is a fanciful look at art history and Italian language and culture, but it is also the culmination of personal stories and insights resulting from her experiences living in Italy, as well as her involvement and familiarity with the Italian language, painting, and art history.

As a student, Melissa lived in Florence with an Italian family. She studied art history and painting and took beginner Italian classes. When she returned home, she threw away her Italian dictionary, assuming she’d never need it again but after launching a successful design career and starting a family, she realized something was missing in her life. That “thing” was the connection she had made with Italy and the friends who live there. Living in Florence was indeed a life-changing event! Wanting to reconnect with Italy, she decided to start learning the language again from scratch. As if indeed possessed by an Italian muse, she bought a new Italian dictionary and began her journey to fluency-a path that has led her back to Italy many times and enriched her life in countless ways.
Now, many dictionaries and grammar books later, she dedicates her time to promoting Italian language studies, further travels in Italy, and sharing her stories and insights about Italy with others. When Melissa is not traveling in Italy, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is married and has three boys and two beagles.

Melissa designed and illustrated the cover art for Dreaming Sophia. She also designed the Dreaming Sophia website and created the character illustrations that can be found in the book and on the Dreaming Sophia websites.

Connect with the Author:
Website  ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Youtube ~
Pinterest

REVIEW:
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Can you learn history through fantasy?  It certainly felt like that as I read Dreaming Sophia. I’m a history and art buff and didn’t realize how much I would enjoy reading this fantasy / novel.  Sophia’s muses really make Italian history “come to life” and their inclusion added an unusual dimension to her story. The interaction between her “dream characters” was clever. On several occasions her “muses” moved me to put down the book and do more research into their lives.  I was also interested in the different pieces of artwork mentioned in the book.
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Florence, Venice and Rome hold many fond memories for me.   I was able to recall some of these wonderful memories about these cities from the author’s descriptions of the architecture, food and museums.
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I really loved that the author used a lot of Italian expressions in the book (together with the their translation).  It gave the book such an “Italian” feel.
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The artwork on the cover was simply beautiful and immediately caught my attention.  What is even more incredible is that the author created the artwork herself!
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You can find more interesting tidbits on Melissa’s website such as:
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Her muses:  http://dreamingsophiabook.com/sophias-muses/
An Italian dictionary: http://dreamingsophiabook.com/italian-dictionary/
Music videos from the book:  http://dreamingsophiabook.com/music-videos/
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Together with all the author’s multimedia, reading the book was a really fun experience!
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Book review: The Other Einstein: A Novel by Marie Benedict

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  • Name:  The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict
  • Publisher:  Sourcebooks Landmark
  • Publication date:  Oct. 18 2016
  • Pages: 304
  • Genre:  Historical fiction / literary fiction

DESCRIPTION:

In the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe, The Other Einstein offers us a window into a brilliant, fascinating woman whose light was lost in Einstein’s enormous shadow. It is the story of Einstein’s wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated and may have been inspired by her own profound and very personal insight.

Mitza Maric has always been a little different from other girls. Most twenty-year-olds are wives by now, not studying physics at an elite Zurich university with only male students trying to outdo her clever calculations. But Mitza is smart enough to know that, for her, math is an easier path than marriage. And then fellow student Albert Einstein takes an interest in her, and the world turns sideways. Theirs becomes a partnership of the mind and of the heart, but there might not be room for more than one genius in a marriage.

Buy the book:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Penquin

1280105About the author:  Marie Benedict is a lawyer with more than ten years’ experience as a litigator at two of the country’s premier law firms. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Boston College with a focus in History and Art History, and a cum laude graduate of the Boston University School of Law.

While practicing as a lawyer, Marie dreamed of a fantastical job unearthing the hidden historical stories of women — and finally found it when she tried her hand at writing. She embarked on a new, narratively connected series of historical novels with THE OTHER EINSTEIN, which tells the tale of Albert Einstein’s first wife, a physicist herself, and the role she might have played in his theories. Writing as Heather Terrell, Marie also published the historical novels The Chrysalis, The Map Thief, and Brigid of Kildare.

Connect with the author:   Website   Facebook   goodreads

REVIEW:

This book recounts the fictional life of the real historical figure of Mitza Maric. Her story begins as a young gifted girl who is expected to stay at home and never marry.  Born with a limp but a brilliant mind, she travels from Zagreb, Croatia to Zurich to be the only female physics student at the Swiss Polytechnic.  Her gift in the field of mathematics and her grasp of physics attracts the attention of young Albert Einstein, a fellow student. After several years of persistent courtship,  she falls in love with him and they eventually marry.

At first all is well as they partner several projects together.  Mitza’s strength in mathematics and abstract thinking give her an edge.  As partners, she expects equal recognition on the papers they submit.  In this fictional account, Albert claims the ideas are his alone and this infuriates Mitza.  As their personal life spirals out of control, we see her frustration and malcontent as she puts her ambitions to be a physicist aside to raise their children.

The author’s description of the way educated women were viewed at the time was quite revealing. This book was a fairly light read, and did not really expound on themes of a scientific nature as much as I thought it would. Despite the the artistic license the author took to fictionalize this character and the possible inaccuracies regarding the life of Albert Einstein, I did enjoy reading this account.

 

 

Book review: The Stages of Grace: Life and Love in the Face of Alzheimer’s by Connie Ruben

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Book Details:

Book Title:  The Stages of Grace: Life and Love in the Face of Alzheimer’s by Connie Ruben
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction,   149 pages
Genre: Memoir, drama
Publisher:   Xlibres
Release date:  July 2015
Format available for review:  Print and ebook (PDF)
Will send print books to: USA & Canada
Tour dates: Nov 21 to Dec 9, 2016
Content Rating: PG (There are a couple of swear words such as “asshole” but no F words)

Book Description:

This book was written out of a desire to share with others who have loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease what I have experience as Grace’ caregiver and friend. I wanted to capture the emotions, the expected and the unexpected issues, the painful times as well as the humorous and loving moments that Grace and I have shared as a result of this disease. This is not mean to be a handbook for dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, but I hope that by sharing my feelings and experiences, readers may recognize they are not alone on this particular journey.

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Amazon.ca

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Meet the Author:

Connie Ruben is an entrepreneur with well developed management skills. She has run several large companies, and prides herself on empowering others to work to their full potential. Connie also has an intimate knowledge of the challenges and joys of caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease, as her mother-in-law Grace was diagnosed with advanced Alzheimer’s disease in 2003. While Connie still struggles to balance her work life and home life, her understanding of this disease has made it easier for her to negotiate the demands of being a caregiver, as well as a wife, mother, and employer. She has written this book in order to share the insights she has gained as Grace’s primary caregiver and friend. Most importantly, Connie wants this book to assure others that caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be enjoyable, life-affirming, and emotionally significant.

Connect with the author: Website 

REVIEW:
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I had the opportunity to meet Connie at the 2015 Book Expo in New York and that is where I first saw her book about her life with Grace.
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Connie first meets Grace through Grace’s son (and her future husband) and immediately forms a very close and loving friendship with this lively and caring lady.
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Years later, in 2003 Grace receives a  diagnosis of advanced Alzheimer’s disease.  Connie is thrown into despair and confusion.  Grace has been her pillar, a mother figure and a close friend and the fear of watching Grace lose her ability to communicate and care for herself frightens Connie.   Connie’s relationship with Grace changes from that of a friend to primary caregiver and through trial and error and often humourous situations, she learns that despite the frustration and helplessness she feels, there are still plenty of unexpected happy and funny moments they share together.
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What I learned from Connie and Grace’s story is that in some situations, unpredictability and loss of control might leave us feeling helpless and frustrated.  We can’t do everything by ourselves so by accepting assistance and support we are able to navigate through unsure waters with more confidence.  Although not a guide to treating Alzheimer’s patients, this account gives us insight into some of the situations we may encounter with a patient suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
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GIVEAWAY:

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BOOK SPOTLIGHT: SCREW YOU! Startup Business Tips to Destroy Doubt, Especially Inside You (Tips 1-20) by Tim Carthon

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Book Details:

Book Title: SCREW YOU! Startup Business Tips to Destroy Doubt, Especially Inside You (Tips 1-20)
Author: Tim Carthon
Category:  Adult non-fiction, 156 pages
Genre:  Business & Economics / Entrepreneurship
Publisher:  CreateSpace®
Release date:  Nov 7, 2016
Tour dates:  Nov 7 to 25, 2016
Content Rating:  G

Book Description:  

How many times in your life have you been dissuaded from following your entrepreneurial dreams due to either fear of failure (be that fear from yourself or others) or doubt due to the unknown?

Startup business infrastructure specialist Tim Carthon’s new book, SCREW YOU! Startup Business Tips to Destroy Doubt, Especially Inside You (Tips 1-20); the first in his new 5-part business tips book series, gives you streamlined, powerful tips for pivotal decision points that can make all the difference in your business and its startup outcomes.

SCREW YOU! is the quintessential ‘Break glass in case of a fear and doubt emergency’ business tips book for aspiring entrepreneurs; bringing energy to your warrior and light to the unknown so that you can tell fear and doubt “SCREW YOU!” and never let either of them rule your lives again.

Buy the book:   ScrewYouBook.com

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Meet the Author:

Known as ‘The Fiery Truth-Teller,’ Tim Carthon is a long time at-risk youth advocate, keynote teacher, author, and educator, and a proud father of his namesake TJ. Mixed with his passion for telling the “fiery truth” and helping people, he is using his extensive knowledge of and perspective on business infrastructure to ‘uniquely’ assist individuals in inner cities to remove fear and doubt and follow their business ownership dreams. Tim accomplishes this through his exclusive E2 Seminar™ (Economic Enlightenment Seminar) and SBI Workshop™ (Startup Business Infrastructure Workshop™). His saying and life’s motto: “Your life was not given to you for you. It was given to you for you to be a blessing to someone else.”

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Instagram  ~  Youtube

SPOTLIGHT TOUR SCHEDULE

Nov 7 –   Divas With A Purpose – spotlight / guest post
Nov 8 –   100 Pages A Day – spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 9 –   Books, Dreams, Life – spotlight
Nov 10 – T’s Stuff – spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Nov 11 – Bound 2 Escape – spotlight / giveaway
Nov 14 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – spotlight / giveaway
Nov 15 – Heidi’s Wanderings – spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 16 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 17 – My Life. One Story at a Time. – spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 18 – #redhead.with.book – spotlight / giveaway
Nov 18 – Library of Clean Reads – spotlight / giveaway
Nov 21 – Blooming with Books – spotlight / giveaway
Nov 22 – JBronder Book Reviews – spotlight / guest post
Nov 23 – The Autistic Gamer – spotlight
Nov 24 – Books for Books – spotlight
Nov 25 – Jessy’s Adventure – spotlight
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ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

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