Book spotlight: The Ticket by Fred Shackelford

Book Details:

Book Title:  The Ticket by Fred Shackelford
Category:   Adult Fiction,   320 pages
Genre:  Mystery/Suspense
Publisher:  Black Opal Books
Release date:  December 2016
Tour dates: April 2 to 13, 2018
Content Rating: PG

Book Description:

Channing Booker, a compulsive gambler, drug abuser, and philanderer whose marriage is failing, finally gets lucky and wins the Mega Millions lottery. Expecting an imminent divorce, and hoping to hide his new fortune from his wife Susan, Channing devises a scheme to have a friend claim the $241-million jackpot and secretly return the money to Channing after the divorce is final. But Susan flees with all of her possessions, including the rare book in which Channing hid the winning lottery ticket.

With time running out before the lottery ticket expires, Channing launches a desperate search to find Susan, but she’s covered her tracks well, fearing his retribution. In need of money to fund her furtive new lifestyle, Susan begins selling off her worldly goods, including her rare books, unleashing a chain of events that puts not only her life in danger, but that of her new love as well…

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Meet the Author:

Fred Shackelford is a Virginia attorney who lives on farmland that his great-great-grandfather purchased in 1817. Before writing his début novel The Ticket, he published Judges Say the Darndest Things, a collection of humorous excerpts from legal opinions. Fred is a graduate of the University of Virginia. The Ticket was a finalist for The Clue Awards from Chanticleer Book Reviews, a finalist for the National Indie Excellence Awards, and a quarterfinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook 

BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR:

April 2   – TFaulc Book Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
April 2   – Book Paradise – book spotlight / giveaway
April 3   – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
April 3   – Kristin’s Novel Café – book spotlight / giveaway
April 4   – What Cathy Read Next – book spotlight / giveaway
April 4   – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
April 5   – Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
April 5   – Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight / giveaway
April 6   – 100 Pages A Day – book spotlight / giveaway
April 6   – The Autistic Gamer – book spotlight / giveaway
April 8   – Mystery Suspense Reviews – book spotlight
April 9   – Svetlana’s Reads and Views – book spotlight / giveaway
April 9   – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book spotlight / giveaway
April 10 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
April 10 – Olio by Marilyn – book spotlight / giveaway
April 11 – Brooke Blogs – book spotlight / giveaway
April 11 – Rainy Day Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
April 12 – XoXo Book Blog – book spotlight / giveaway
April 12 – Phytallic – book spotlight / giveaway
April 13 – Words And Peace – book spotlight / giveaway
April 13 – Miss Tilly and Me – book spotlight / giveaway

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Book spotlight: The Progeny: A Novel by Tosca Lee

Book Details:

Book Title:  The Progeny: A Novel by Tosca Lee
Series: Descendants of the House of Bathory (Book #1)
Category:  YA Fiction,   352 pages
Genre:  Thriller, (YA-leaning), Slight paranormal
Publisher:  Howard Books
Release date:  May 2016
Tour dates: March 26 to April 13, 2018
Content Rating: PG

Book Description:

From New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee comes a story of love, ancient secrets, and survival. Book 1 in the House of Bathory duology.

When you wake up, you remember nothing. Not your name, or where you were born, or the faces of the people you knew. Just a single warning written to yourself before you forgot it all:

“Emily, it’s me. You.

Don’t ask about the last two years… Don’t try to remember and don’t go digging. Your life depends on it. Other lives depend on it.

By the way, Emily isn’t your real name. You died in an accident. You paid extra for that.”

You start over in a remote place with a new name, a fresh life. Until the day a stranger tells you you’re being hunted for the sins of a royal ancestor who died centuries before you were born.

You don’t believe him, until they come for you. Now you’re on the run.

Every answer you need lies in a past you chose to erase. The only thing you know for sure is that others are about to die and you need those memories back.

But first, you have to stay alive.

Praise for The Progeny:

“Be warned: once you start this book, it’s impossible to put down!” 
– Maria V. Snyder, New York Times bestselling author of Poison Study

“Intriguing and romantic, I literally couldn’t put it down.”
– Jennifer L. Armentrout # 1 New York Times bestselling author

“Irresistible…” 
– Publishers Weekly

“[A] complex thriller with various turns and twists…A great choice for readers who enjoy their psychological thrillers with a historical twist.” 
– Library Journal

“Exciting…action packed…intriguing.” 
– Romantic Times Book Reviews

“Filled with intrigue, romance, and reversals fans are sure to love.”
– Family Fiction

“The Progeny has risen to the top of my favorites list…I devoured every word of it.” 
– Book Reporter

Begin Reading Now!
EXCERPT:​  The CenterNo one speaks when you enter the Center for the last time. There’s no need. You’ve gone through the counseling, tests, and a checklist of preparations to get the plastic bracelet you wear the day of treatment. The one that saves a life. They don’t need to know why you’re doing it any more. Or that you lied about it all. Just the scratch of the stylus as you sign your name on the screen one last time.A nurse takes me into a room and I lie down on the table. I give her the sealed packet—the only thing I brought with me. There’s cash, meds, and an address inside, the one for “after.” It’s a thousand miles away. She’ll pass it to the companion assigned to me. No point meeting her now.I’m 21 years old and my name doesn’t matter because it’s about to be erased forever. I’m choosing to forget the ones I love, and myself, in the process.They say your life flashes before your eyes when you die. But they don’t tell you that every detail comes screaming back to life. That you taste each bite of every meal you savored, feel the shower of every rain you walked in… smell the hair against your cheek before that last, parting kiss. That you will fight to hold on to every memory like a drowning person gasping for poisoned air.

Then everything you knew is gone. And you are still alive.

For now.

Continue reading the first four chapters FREE.

Meet the Author:

Tosca Lee

 “Superior storytelling.”  – Publishers Weekly

“One of the most gifted novelists writing today.” -Steven James, bestselling author

Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the House of Bathory Duology (The Progeny and Firstborn, currently in development for television), IscariotThe Legend of ShebaDemon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker (Forbidden, Mortal, Sovereign). A notorious night-owl, she loves watching TV, eating bacon, playing video games and football with her kids, and sending cheesy texts to her husband.

You can find Tosca at ToscaLee.com, on social media, or hanging around the snack table. (And be sure to check out Ismeni, the free e-short prequel to The Legend of Sheba!)

Get your copy of The Progeny here: http://toscalee.com/product/the-progeny/ (Kindle readers: now you can enjoy special insights in the author’s highlighted comments!)

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

BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR SCHEDULE:

April 23 – Working Mommy Journal – review / giveaway
April 23 – The Book Enigma – review / author interview / giveaway
April 24 – Adventures Thru Wonderland – review / guest post / giveaway
April 24 – Library of Clean Reads – review / giveaway
April 25 – Ishiee’s Book Blog – review / guest post / giveaway
April 25 – Bookworm for Kids – review / giveaway
April 26 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – review / guest post / giveaway
April 26 – The Autistic Gamer – review
April 27 – Books for Books – review
April 27 – Booklove – review / author interview
April 30 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – review
April 30 – Bound 4 Escape – review / giveaway
May 1    – Diary of an Avid Reader – review
May 1    – Lovely Loveday – review / author interview
May 2    – Two Points of Interest – review / giveaway
May 2    – Laurie’s Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews – review / giveaway
May 3    – Phytallic – review /giveaway
May 3    – Cheryl’s Book Nook – review / guest post / giveaway
May 4    – JBronder Book Reviews – review / guest post / giveaway
May 4    – Book Paradise – review / author interview / giveaway
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Book review: Waking Isabella, because beauty can’t sleep forever by Melissa Muldoon

Book Details:

Book Title:  Waking Isabella: Because beauty can’t sleep forever by Melissa Muldoon
Category:  Adult Fiction,  250  pages
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher:  Matta Press
Release date:  December 2017
Format available for review: print & ebook (mobi, ePub, PDF)
Will send print books out: internationally
Tour dates: Feb 19 to March 23, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (The story begins with violent rape and murder scene, touches on themes of miscarriage, murder, Nazi violence during war, adultery)

Book Description:

Waking Isabella is a story about uncovering hidden beauty that, over time, has been lost, erased, or suppressed. It also weaves together several love stories as well as a few mysteries. Nora, an assistant researcher, is a catalyst for resolving the puzzle of a painting that has been missing for decades. Set in Arezzo, a small Tuscan town, the plot unfolds against the backdrop of the city’s antique trade and the fanfare and pageantry of its medieval jousting festival. While filming a documentary about Isabella de’ Medici—the Renaissance princess who was murdered by her husband—Nora begins to connect with the lives of two remarkable women from the past. Unraveling the stories of Isabella, the daughter of a fifteenth-century Tuscan duke, and Margherita, a young girl trying to survive the war in Nazi-occupied Italy, Nora begins to question the choices that have shaped her own life up to this point. As she does, hidden beauty is awakened deep inside of her, and she discovers the keys to her creativity and happiness. It is a story of love and deceit, forgeries and masterpieces—all held together by the allure and intrigue of a beautiful Tuscan ghost.

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Watch the trailer:
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Melissa Muldoon

 Meet 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.

Waking Isabella is Melissa’s second novel and follows Dreaming Sophia, published in 2016. In this new novel about Italy, the reader is taken on another art history adventure, inspired by Melissa’s experiences living and traveling in Italy, specifically Arezzo, as well as her familiarity with the language and art. For more information about Waking Isabella and links to Melissa’s blogs and social media sites, visit www.MelissaMuldoon.com.

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.

Melissa designed and illustrated the cover art for Waking Isabella and Dreaming Sophia. She also curates the Dreaming Sophia blog and Pinterest site: The Art of Loving Italy. Please visit the Pinterest page for pictures of Arezzo, the Giostra del Saracino, and all the places we go in Italy in both books. Visit MelissaMuldoon.com for more information about immersion trips to learn the language with Melissa in Italy, as well as the Studentessa Matta blog for practice and tips to learn the Italian language.

Connect with Melissa:

Website ~ Twitter ~  Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram ~ Youtube

REVIEW: 

For  anyone who loves history, art and anything Italian, this is the perfect novel for you.  The story begins with Isabella de Medici, a 16th century Italian princess and her mysterious, and the circumstances surrounding her untimely death as well as the disappearance of  her most beloved painting.

Nora, a researcher and art lover is recuperating from a failed marriage.  She is at a point in her life where she must decide to take the safe route and remain a researcher or follow her dreams to return to Italy.  A chance Facebook message from an old friend ignites her passion for Italy once again and inspires her to investigate Isabella de Medici and her mysterious past.

The author’s historical research really makes this novel “come alive” as we are transported to different time periods and places in search of elusive clues to missing pieces of artwork.  The introduction of realistic characters and multiple storylines that ultimately lead back to the beginning of the story made for an interesting and enjoyable read.  Brush up on your Italian, there is plenty in this book!  Take care, you may end up enjoying a cappuccino yourself on sun drenched day somewhere in historic Italy.

GIVEAWAY:

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BOOK TOUR: Golden Gremlin: A Vigorous Push from Misanthropes and Geezers by Rod A. Walters

Book Details:

Book Title:  Golden Gremlin: A Vigorous Push from Misanthropes and Geezers
Author: Rod A. Walters
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction, 228 pages
Genre:  Humor
Publisher:  Omega Man Press
Release date:  November 2016
Format available for review:  print and ebook (mobi & PDF)
Willing to send print books: internationally
Tour dates: Feb 12 to 23, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (Mild and indirect innuendo to both sex genitalia, a short essay about the fictional “AssBook,” an essay on current health-care talk, a teaser “is his cord long enough?” to get readers to choose a short piece on electric cars next, etc.)

Book Description:

Written to make Dave Barry, Lily Tomlin, and Ben Stein laugh, Golden Gremlin: A Vigorous Push from Misanthropes and Geezers delivers the experience of a balanced life, and the wisdom to like most of it, and then laugh at the rest of it. What the heck, Barry lives in Miami, habitat of geezers, and Ben Stein is one. The world really needs that push, vigorous or gentle, from misanthropes & geezers, the world’s most valuable golden gremlins. Misanthropes pretend to not like or need other people, but in reality they merely prefer their own company much of the time. Geezers, aside from that silly name, also like their own company quite well. Both share the virtue of seeing the world calmly. You get pointy bite-sized life pointers from these experienced gremlins, told in easy bite-size chunks. Laughter included in the price! Two out of three wouldn’t be bad either. Life is good! So laugh a little at yourself on the way through these pointy essays, and that will buy your laughing at the world’s simpler parts, guilt free.

Golden Gremlin comprises about 70 short essays bundled into six topic areas:

NATURE: boys, ugly drivers, and coffee cups in the ‘fridge.
WORDS: the real meaning of Caucasian and Genre.
BUSINESS: deafness at the economics conference, and getting on AssBook.
KITCHENS: sushi chefs, and truth about manna.
HISTORY: when Hell froze, and Attila the Honey.

Golden boy gets to be GOLDEN GREMLIN: experience overcomes certainty.
What things could possibly be more important!

Buy the Book:    Amazon

Rod A. Walters

Meet the Author:

Rod Walters lives and writes in upstate New York to prove he can be an all-season writer. Since he wants everybody to be all-season persons no matter her or his circumstance, his writing aims sharply toward the practical—without turning into one of those godawful do it ma’ way authors. Life, after all, is practical hour by hour. Self-described as “old enough to know better, and he probably is,” his former life as Army officer, engineer, and administrative assistant could not have better prepared him to write both light and more serious short pieces pointing to creating a balanced life. Chuckling at yourself usually makes a good takeoff, he says. Giving up having to be certain makes for a good landing, especially for one’s friends! Then again, who the heck wants to live a balanced life? Mostly everybody does. That’s why he now writes. Although many friends nudge and badger him to be a Facebook and Twitter butterfly, he tries not to spend many numbing hours a day with circular keyboard tapping. Writing works better.

Connect with the Author: Website 

REVIEW:

mis·an·thrope

ˈmis(ə)nˌTHrōp,ˈmiz(ə)nˌTHrōp/
noun
a person who dislikes humankind and avoids human society.

If you are looking for a good encyclopedia / self-help / dictionary / literature guide all rolled up in one small volume, you’ve found it.  Not to mention a healthy dose of sarcasm and just plain silliness – Golden Gremlin: A Vigorous Push from Misanthropes and Geezers – is as unique as its author.

Have you lost something? (i.e. husbands ALWAYS losing their car keys).  There are only 16 logical places where any object can be found (you can find the list in the book) (which adds valuable years to your life) (after the cussing).  One of my pet peeves is the overused word “absolutely”.  Want to break the habit?  Pages 94 and 95.  You’ll learn the appropriate word substitutions.  The essay on “The Buffet Rule” draws our attention to the extreme sport of walking through a restaurant buffet.  There’s gotta be a better way to improve crowd control.  Yes, he even takes issues with electric cars and I have to agree with him.  Sure they’re good for the environment and cheap to run but how often have you been waiting for a lift and you suddenly turn around to find the car sitting behind you for 10 minutes?  Where’s that lovely engine noise to kickstart your heart?

Liver.  Yep,  liver.  Remember how traumatized you were as a kid when you had a piece of shoe leather liver placed before you with the words “you won’t leave this table until you eat it all?”  Mr. Geezer has included the perfect liver and onion recipe to encourage you to revisit your past.
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If you have a weird sense of humour and love history, politics and vacuums, you’ll pretty much tear through this book.  Written in short essays that are just the right length for bathroom reading, this book will give Uncle John’s Bathroom reader a run for its money.
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Book review: Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces

  • Title and author:  Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #5) by Iain Reading
  • Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Date published:  February 14, 2015
  • Pages:  238
  • Genre:  mystery / thriller / women sleuths / YA fiction

Book description:

Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces is the eagerly anticipated fifth instalment of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency book series. This series features the intrepid teenage seaplane pilot and amateur detective Kitty Hawk as she continues in the footsteps of Nancy Drew and Amelia Earhart on her epic flight around the world. (But why is she wearing a superhero costume?!?)

After meeting up with an old friend in the eternal city of Rome, Kitty Hawk unexpectedly stumbles (almost literally) into a bizarre mystery involving creepy disembodied voices, secret hidden rooms, unbreakable mathematical codes, ominous chain-smoking strangers and an array of plundered artworks by such famous masters as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Vincent van Gogh – all of it wrapped up and entwined in an enigmatic riddle hanging in plain sight right in front of everyone’s noses. With the help of friends both old and new, Kitty Hawk follows a trail of cryptic clues that leads her on a breathless tour across a quintessentially European landscape – from ancient Roman Italy to the darkest corners of Germany, Austria and beyond.

As with the previous books in the series, this new installment is perfect for firing the imaginations of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history, this exhilarating adventure will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they attempt to help Kitty Hawk try and solve the extraordinarily bizarre Mystery of the Masterpieces.

There are currently five books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (book 1), Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost (book 2), Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (book 3), and Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic (book 4), and Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (book 5).

“In the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series the heroine finds herself in a new geographic location in each book. The series will eventually have a total of 13 books in it (maybe more) and her flight around the world will be completed in the end,” says Iain. “The books are sequential but one could definitely read any of the later ones before reading the earlier ones.”

For more information, go to http://www.kittyhawkworld.com/

Buy the book:   Amazon    Barnes & Noble

About the author:

Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations.

Iain is the author of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, The Wizards of Waterfire Series, and the dragon of the month club.

To learn more, go to http://www.amazon.com/Iain-Reading/e/B00B0NGI6Q/

Connect with the author:    Website    Facebook    Twitter    Kitty Hawk Website

REVIEW:  

Kitty is now in Rome where she will be meeting Charlie, her friend from Alaska.  A chance encounter with a thief, a walnut vendor and a scraped leg launch both of them into a totally unexpected international intrigue.  We are introduced to Matteo and his two sisters, Vega and Giulia.

As Charlie and Kitty are getting to know their new Italian friends, Kitty is admiring the paintings in their home.  After having just visited the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, she has a “feeling” that these paintings may be authentic.  No way.  Yes way.  Not only are the paintings authentic but the “plot thickens” as Matteo’s house is broken into and they discover that their father’s home has a secret room housing a radio and transmitter which is still transmitting code.

As with all Iain Readings books, we explore history, literature, art, music and this time cryptography.  It was fascinating to learn how codes are written and deciphered.  We were also taken on a tour of Dachau and learn some interesting details about Nazi Germany.

I just visited the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam recently and could relate to everything they were talking about in the book. As with the first four books, this book is divided into 54 short chapters which makes reading this book such a breeze (mind you, you probably won’t want to put it down – it’s way too exciting!)

Another super interesting Kitty Hawk mystery that will keep up well past your bedtime!  I’m sad that there isn’t another book in the series.  I’m sooo hooked!

Book spotlight: SNAP! Change Your Personality in 30 Days by Gary Small, MD, Director UCLA Longevity Center and Gigi Vorgan

Book Details:

Book Title:  SNAP! Change Your Personality in 30 Days
Authors: Gary Small, MD, Director UCLA Longevity Center and Gigi Vorgan
Category:  Adult Nonfiction, 224 pages
Genre: Self-Help / Personality / Health, Mind & Body
Publisher:  Humanix Books
Release date:  January 9, 2018
Tour dates:  Feb 5 to 23, 2018
Content Rating:   G

Book Description:

New York Times bestselling author Dr. Gary Small’s breakthrough plan to improve your personality for a better life!

Experts in psychiatry and psychology have long believed that our personalities are essentially set from early childhood and remain consistent throughout life. However, the latest scientific research contradicts this long-held assumption. New compelling evidence indicates that we can change our personalities – either on our own, with the help of a therapist, or a combination of the two – and meaningful personality change can be achieved in a snap! – as quickly as 30 days. These groundbreaking findings have shattered the false belief that we are locked into our negative personality traits – no matter how much they hinder our potential happiness and success.

As you read SNAP! you will gain a better understanding of who you are now, how others see you, and which aspects of yourself you’d like to change. You will acquire the tools you need to change your personality in just one month – it won’t take years of psychotherapy, self-exploration or re-hashing every single bad thing that’s ever happened to you. If you are committed to change, this book will provide a roadmap to achieving your goals and becoming a better you.

From New York Times bestselling author, head of the UCLA Longevity Center, and expert in neuroscience and human behavior, Dr. Gary Small, a practical look at the key components of personality development and tools and techniques for bringing the positive aspects of your personality to the forefront so you can become more successful, attractive, happier, and psychologically healthier.

Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan

Meet the authors:​

Gary Small: 
Dr. Gary Small, (Los Angeles, CA) is a professor of psychiatry and director of the UCLA Longevity Center* at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior. His research, supported by the NIH, has made headlines in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Scientific American magazine named him one of the world’s leading innovators in science and technology. Dr. Small lectures internationally and frequently appears on the Today show, Good Morning America, PBS, and CNN. He has written six books, including the New York Times best seller, The Memory Bible.

Gigi Vorgan: 
Gigi Vorgan (Los Angeles, CA) has written, produced, and appeared in numerous feature films and television projects before teaming up with her husband, Dr. Gary Small, to co-write The Memory Bible, The Memory Prescription,The Longevity Bible, iBrain, The Other Side of the Couch, and The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program. She lives in Los Angeles with Dr. Small and their two children.

Connect with the authors: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Youtube

BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR:

Feb 5   – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 6   – 100 Pages A Day – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 7   – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 8   – Sefina Hawke’s Books – book spotlight
Feb 9   – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 12 – I Love A Good Book – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 13 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 14 – Books for Books – book spotlight
Feb 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 15 – Svetlana’s Reads and Views – book spotlight
Feb 16 – My Life. One Story at a Time. – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 19 – This and That Book Blog – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 20 – The Autistic Gamer – book spotlight
Feb 21 – Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 22 –
Feb 23 – Writers and Authors – book spotlight / giveaway

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Book review: Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic by Iain Reading

  • Title and author:  Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic by Iain Reading
  • Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Date published:  February 16, 2014
  • Pages:  234
  • Genre:  Mystery / thriller / women sleuths / YA fiction

Book Description:

Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic is the thrillingly cryptic fourth installment of the exciting Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series featuring the intrepid teenage seaplane pilot Kitty Hawk and her various adventures of mystery and intrigue as she follows in the footsteps of Amelia Earhart on an epic flight around the world. This fourth book in the series brings Kitty to the emerald hills of Ireland where she meets a handsome stranger and is quickly swept up in a perplexing hundred-year-old family treasure hunt involving secret codes and puzzling clues that lead her on a fast-paced adventure that carries her from Dublin to London – from the decks of the ill-fated ocean liner Titanic to the temples of ancient Egypt and the streets of Jack the Ripper – until she finally unlocks the mystery and discovers the long-hidden treasure.

Much like the earlier books in this series, Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic is a perfect book to fire the imaginations of armchair detectives of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history the reader will find themselves immersed in brand new worlds that are brought to life before their very eyes as Kitty Hawk experiences the stories and history of a doomed ocean liner and unravels the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic.

Buy the book:    Amazon    Barnes & Noble

About the Author:   I Like Root Beer. When I was younger I fancied myself a bit of a Root Beer connoisseur, drinking my favourite brand (A&W, of course) from tall, narrow champagne flûtes and revelled in the sound of the ice cubes clinking against the side of the thin glass, creating a magical tinkling ambiance as I looked down my nose at all the other inferior Root Beer vintages. As I grew older and began to travel all across the globe I was naturally inclined to seek out the very best Root Beers that the world had to offer. Sadly, as I was to discover, Root Beer is very much a North-American thing and you can’t really find it anywhere else in the world. On the bright side, however, it turns out that the world is a pretty great place even without Root Beer. There are a million amazing things to see and as many more ways for all of us to see them, as our heroine and friend Kitty Hawk finds out in the course of her various adventures.

Connect with the author:   Website    Facebook    Twitter    Kitty Hawk Website

REVIEW:

Having followed Kitty Hawk from Alaska, Florida and Iceland we are now ready for a new adventure in the British Isles.  Kitty arrives in Ireland where she is doing a promotion for Wasabi Willy’s, a chain of restaurants that are promoting Kitty’s around-the-world tour.  At the sushi restaurant, she makes eye contact with a (ahem) handsome fellow in the audience.   Having read about her exploits in Florida and Iceland, Andrew, a young, good looking Scot, has a mystery that he wants Kitty to help him solve.

The mystery has to do with the sinking of RMS Titanic. Andrew’s great uncle was First Officer, William McMaster Murdoch, whose role in the marine disaster was often called into question.  Andrew shows Kitty documents his family received from an anonymous source in 1937 that were written in code.  Unable to decipher the code, he asks Kitty as the “One Woman Flying Detective Agency” to help solve the mystery.

Again, I have to admit that I learned so much about British and Irish history, hieroglyphics, code breaking, Sherlock Holmes and Egyptology.  Kitty and Andrew’s investigation leads them to a dangerous nemesis and the plot heats up as they struggle to stay one step ahead.  Heart-pounding adventure for these two is never far behind.

Although a popular theme found in London’s walking tours , I found that the sections about Jack the Ripper to be a bit too graphic for young adult readers.  I had to skim through these parts – they were pretty gross (imho).  I also question Kitty’s ethics in this story. What I really liked about Kitty is her ability to discern between right and wrong.

Kitty’s fourth adventure has everything we would expect – a bit of romance, oodles of excitement, as well as interesting bits of literature and history thrown in.  I can’t wait to read the next adventure in book number five!

Book review: The Wild Woman’s Guide to Traveling the World by Kristin Rockaway

  • Title and author:  The Wild Woman’s Guide to Traveling the World by Kristin Rockaway
  • Publisher:   Center Street
  • Date published:  June 6, 2017
  • Pages:  352
  • Genre:  Women’s fiction / romantic comedy / travel

Book description:  Objectively, Sophie is a success: she’s got a coveted job at a top consulting firm, a Manhattan apartment, and a passport full of stamps. It isn’t quite what she dreamed of when she was a teenager dog-earing pages in exotic travel guides, but it’s secure. Then her best friend bails just hours after they arrive in Hong Kong for a girls’ trip, and Sophie meets Carson, a free-spirited, globetrotting American artist.

In the midst of their whirlwind vacation romance, Carson invites Sophie to join him on his haphazard journey around the world. While the brief international jaunts she sneaks in between business trips don’t feel like enough, Sophie is far too practical to throw away her five-year plan on a whim. Yet Carson’s offer forces her to question whether the reliable life she’s chosen is really what she wants–and she soon discovers that his feelings for her run deeper than she realized.

Praise

“With its spirited yet credible plot and vividly intricate charactersthis debut novel shines.” — Library Journal (starred review)

“…a fun, sexy debut perfect for readers who love exotic settings and a great love story. For those wishing to indulge their wanderlust, or who have dreams too big for tidy little boxes, this is an incredibly satisfying read.” — Karma Brown, bestselling author of Come Away With Me

“…brilliantly navigates one woman’s quest to let go of what is practical to pursue her passion and surrender to her inner dreamer.” — Kerry Lonsdale, bestselling author of Everything We Keep

“Can a novel be smart and loads of fun? Kristin Rockaway’s debut is proof that it’s possible. Warm, witty, and completely delightful, this book had my inner escapist itching to hop on the next flight out of town.” — Camille Pagán, bestselling author of Life and Other Near-Death Experiences

“Kristin Rockaway is a wise and fresh new voice in women’s fiction and this book was a delight from start to finish.”  — Anita Hughes, author of Christmas in Paris

Buy the book:    Amazon    Barnes & Noble

About the author:  Kristin Rockaway is a native New Yorker with an insatiable case of wanderlust. After working in the IT industry for far too many years, she traded the city for the surf and chased her dreams out to Southern California, where she spends her days happily writing stories instead of software.

THE WILD WOMAN’S GUIDE TO TRAVELING THE WORLD is her first novel. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, and planning her next big vacation.

Connect with the author:    Website   Twitter   Instagram   Pinterest   Goodreads   Facebook

REVIEW:

Sophie has it all. Or so she thinks. A top notch job, an apartment in New York and free travel with her job. But she is starting to unravel though she really hasn’t pieced it together yet. Her best friend dumps her on their first day in Hong Kong and Sophie, who considers herself an experienced solo traveller is suddenly lost. 

An unexpected encounter with Carson, a free-spirited traveller, turns her world upside down. He invites her to question her life, including her five-year plan for a successful career and questions why she hasn’t followed her dreams to travel. What? Sophie travels all the time.

Despite their different lifestyles, they begin to realize that the other fulfills them in a way they could not predict. However, the differences between them are tearing them apart.

This is a great read for anyone who loves to travel or who wants to bring something fun to read with them on vacation. Although a work of fiction, it does delve into deeper issues of insecurity and that sometimes we have to step back and re-evaluate what we need to do to be happy.

Book review: Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue by Iain Reading

  • Title and author:  Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue by Iain Reading
  • Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Date published:  April 19, 2013
  • Pages:  220
  • Genre:  Mystery / thriller / women sleuths / YA fiction

Book Description:

Following in the footsteps of her hero Amelia Earhart, Kitty Hawk sets off on an epic flight around the world and arrives in Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik where she finds herself immersed in a beautiful alien world of volcanoes, Vikings, elves and trolls. Before she knows it Kitty is plunged head first into an amazing adventure that sweeps her across a rugged landscape where humans and nature exist in side-by-side in an uneasy truce and magical realms seem to lie just out of sight beneath the surface.

Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue is the dazzling third installment of the Flying Detective Agency series featuring Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenaged seaplane pilot with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into – and out of – all kinds of precarious situations. This is a perfect book to fire the imaginations of readers of all ages – armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike. From dangerous criminals and corrupt government officials to mystical beings and clashes with the elemental forces of nature, this book has it all. Come and join Kitty Hawk as she experiences the strange and extraordinary world of the Icelanders, and unravels the Icelandic Intrigue.

Buy the book:    Amazon    Barnes & Noble

About the Author:   I Like Root Beer. When I was younger I fancied myself a bit of a Root Beer connoisseur, drinking my favourite brand (A&W, of course) from tall, narrow champagne flûtes and revelled in the sound of the ice cubes clinking against the side of the thin glass, creating a magical tinkling ambiance as I looked down my nose at all the other inferior Root Beer vintages. As I grew older and began to travel all across the globe I was naturally inclined to seek out the very best Root Beers that the world had to offer. Sadly, as I was to discover, Root Beer is very much a North-American thing and you can’t really find it anywhere else in the world. On the bright side, however, it turns out that the world is a pretty great place even without Root Beer. There are a million amazing things to see and as many more ways for all of us to see them, as our heroine and friend Kitty Hawk finds out in the course of her various adventures.

Connect with the author:   Website    Facebook    Twitter    Kitty Hawk Website

REVIEW:

Having just been to Iceland a few months ago, I was excited to begin reading about Kitty’s adventure in the third instalment of the Kitty Hawk series.  Did Kitty see the same things I did?  Yes, but she saw them from the air from the seat of her trusty De Havilland Beaver!  I saw Iceland all over again through her eyes and it makes me want to go back!

Kitty is warmly welcomed to Iceland by Konrad (who is originally from Alaska) and his family.  I especially enjoyed learning about the Icelandic naming Committee (you’ll see what I mean when you read the book).

Kitty is introduced to several interesting people by Kristin, Konrad’s daughter, who is studying environmental engineering at the University of Iceland.  Now this is where things start to get interesting (did you know there is a handsome, red haired, bearded Icelander Viking dude in this story?) (plus other cool stuff such as aluminum smelters).

There was plenty of action (pretty scary actually) in The Icelandic Intrigue. I always wonder how Kitty finds herself in crazy, dangerous situations when she’s pretty much a tourist like the rest of us (throw in a volcano, some Russians and some rotten shark meat).

I enjoyed reading The Icelandic Adventure as much as the first two books in the series and look forward to book number four “The Tragedy of the RMS Titanic”.

Book review: Halley’s Casino by Mark JG Fahey (3rd Place Winner of World’s Best Story Contest!)

Book Details:

Book Title:  Halley’s Casino by Mark JG Fahey
Category:  Adult Fiction, pages
Genre:   Science Fiction / Time Travel
Publisher:  Mark JG Fahey
Release date:  Jan 25, 2016
Format available for review:  print & ebook (PDF)
Will send print books to: USA & Canada
Tour dates: Jan 8 to 26, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (No profanity,  readable for all ages 12 and up, pure fun and witty story)

Book Description:

Halley’s Casino is set in 1986. 26-year old Nebula Yorker (Neb to his friends), is patiently awaiting the return of Halley’s Comet. He is about to discover that the world is not what it seems.

Upon the arrival of Halley’s Comet, Neb is confronted by a mysterious stranger who literally swoops out of the night sky. What happens next will change the course of Neb’s life and that of all he befriends.

This stranger (Mr. Tict) reveals to Neb that Halley’s is not a comet at all, but an Intergalactic Casino that has been posing as a comet for countless years. Mr. Tict is the Concierge of the Casino and he has come back to Earth to recruit Neb as his assistant.

What happens next is an eye-opening experience for young Neb that no one on Earth can imagine. It can only be explained by watching old Star Trek reruns, while eating cheese sandwiches and drinking hot chocolate. From androids with attitude to a vast assortment of alien beings and historic individuals, with a touch of time travel from ancient Babylon to 1757 London and back to Rome of 12 BCE, Neb soon learns that his past, present and future have always lain in the stars above.

It’s a rock and roll ride chock full of chaos, a formidable nemesis, drama, satire, humour, death and new beginnings, with revelations that Neb never saw coming.

Even John Lennon is amused!

Starting out on a quiet evening of star gazing, Nebula Yorker finds himself caught up in the most extraordinary time travel and planet saving adventure of a lifetime.

​And that’s only the beginning of what is to come.

Mark JG Fahey

Meet the Author:

Mark JG Fahey is not an alien, contrary to what you may have heard, though he swears he has been to space. Mark has dabbled in various undertakings throughout his illustrious career, from on-air hosting/reporter/stand-up comic to messenger for the Prime Minister of Canada. Mark also holds a degree in Restaurant Services. His family and friends can attest to his excellent cooking skills. Born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Mark was raised and still resides in Aylmer, Quebec, Canada. Halley’s Casino is the first book in the Halley’s Casino trilogy.

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

REVIEW:
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Who doesn’t love a good space opera?  Dr. Who followers will enjoy Halley’s Casino.  It wasn’t the the TV show’s outstanding sets or costumes that won us over, it was the stories.  Halley’s Casino is a quirky, slightly sarcastic and entertaining guide to what we don’t know about the universe.  The author has a fertile imagination and presents situations that are completely new and unique in the sci-fi world.
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Written in a eccentric, informal  style, we are introduced to Nebula Yorker, an orphaned wunder kid who was adopted and raised by an older, unconventional couple.  They gave him an education in several sciences, multiple languages and cultures.  Late one night while admiring Halley’s Comet from his microscope, he is joined by an unusually dressed visitor.  The rest is history, or so they say.
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I honestly couldn’t put the story down, the story had such an unusual plot that you really couldn’t guess what would happen next.  I did have a bit of trouble with the really weird alien names, but discovered that if you read some of them backwards you’ll see some surprises.  (Phil Collins :D)
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I have to take my hat off to an author who uses “twerp” and “espouse” in the same paragraph haha!  Though this isn’t a literary masterpiece, his unique style only adds to the charm of this story.  I’m glad I chose to read and review this book because I would have missed out on an exciting adventure.
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An unusual and entertaining space opera that you won’t want to put down.
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