Book review: The President’s Hat by Antoine Laurain

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  • The President’s Hat by Antoine Laurain
  • Publisher:  Gallic Books
  • Published:  September 3, 2013
  • Pages:  208
  • Genre:  World literature / adult fiction

DESCRIPTION:

This prize-winning French bestseller is a charming fable about the power of a hat that takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride through French life during the Mitterrand years.

Dining alone in an elegant Parisian brasserie, accountant Daniel Mercier can hardly believe his eyes when President François Mitterrand sits down to eat at the table next to him.

After the presidential party has gone, Daniel discovers that Mitterrand’s black felt hat has been left behind. After a few moments’ soul-searching, Daniel decides to keep the hat as a souvenir of an extraordinary evening. It’s a perfect fit, and as he leaves the restaurant Daniel begins to feel somehow…different.

Has Daniel unwittingly discovered the secret of supreme power?

For two years the iconic item of headgear plays with the lives of the men and women who wear it, bringing them success that had previously eluded them. Antoine Laurain’s brilliantly orchestrated tour captures entertaining portraits of a rich gallery of characters.

Shot through with a delicious, wicked sense of humor, ‘The President’s Hat’ is a vivid re-creation of the everyday life of an era.

“As entertaining as it is original, this is a story to enjoy like a chocolate with a surprise centre.”- ‘Marie France’

BUY THE BOOK:    Amazon   Barnes & Noble

author-247x300MEET THE AUTHOR:  

Novelist, journalist, screenwriter, director, collector of antique keys … Antoine Laurain was born in Paris in the early 1970s. After studying cinema, he began his career directing short films and writing screenplays. His passion for art led him to take a job assisting an antiques dealer in Paris. The experience provided the inspiration for his first novel, Ailleurs si j’y suis, the story of a collector, which was awarded the Prix Drouot in 2007. Fume et tue, a satirical tale of addiction and murder, was published the next year, followed by Carrefour des Nostalgies, whose central character was a failed local politician.

Published on the eve of the French presidential elections of 2012, Antoine Laurain’s fourth, fairytale-like novelThe President’s Hat was acclaimed by critics, readers and booksellers, who awarded it the Prix Landerneau Découvertes. It also won the Prix Relay des Voyageurs, a prize which celebrates the enjoyment of reading. The President’s Hat has been adapted for television in France.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR:   WEBSITE 

REVIEW:

The President’s Hat is another feather in the cap of author Antoine Laurain! Delightfully descriptive and entertaining. In his characters we are bound to find a bit of ourselves. It’s rare to really develop an affinity for multiple characters in a book and I loved each and every one of them.

The story is based in France, including Paris and we are allowed a peek into the lives of everyday people who come face-to-face with the same, everyday issues that we do. If you are a foodie you will be constantly hungry as Antoine’s describes with detail the typical French “repas”.

Oh, and did I mention, there is a hat in the story? If this was a movie, it would receive it’s own credit!

Wonderful storytelling!

Book spotlight: Fresh Brewed (The Continental Breakfast Club, Book Two) by Pamela Ford

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Book Details:

Book Title:  Fresh Brewed (The Continental Breakfast Club, Book Two) by Pamela Ford
Category:  Adult fiction, 260 pages
Genre:  Romantic comedy
Publisher: Aine Press
Release date:  June 2016
Available for review in:  print, ebook (mobi, ePub)
Will send print books:  USA & Canada
Tour dates:  August 1 – September 9, 2016
Content Rating:  PG 13 (No sex or violence, but some f-words, shits, hells, and damns!)

Book Description:

Breanna Mitchell is on her way to a relaxing vacation at the ocean. Maybe she’ll even have a beachside fling to help her get over a recent breakup.

But when a tropical storm makes her destination hotel uninhabitable, a chance encounter at continental breakfast delivers a fabulous option—with a catch. She and her friends can stay at a privately-owned, three-story oceanfront home—if she pretends to be the girlfriend of the owner’s heartbreaker grandson, Ethan. Since he won’t even be there, how hard could it be?

Everything is going swimmingly until Bree drinks too much wine and regales the family with romantic tales about her relationship with Ethan. His adorable brother Adam gets suspicious. His marriage-minded grandma gets engagement fever. The beautiful woman next door gets teary-eyed.

And then, Ethan unexpectedly arrives. Suddenly Bree is about to get everything she’s ever wished for—but is it what she really wants?

Buy the book:   Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble

Pamela Ford author picMeet the Author:

Pamela Ford is the award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance. She grew up watching old movies, blissfully sighing over the romance; and reading sci-fi and adventure novels, vicariously living the action. The combination probably explains why the books she writes are romantic, happily-ever-afters with plenty of plot – and often lots of laughter.

After graduating from college with a degree in Advertising, Pam merrily set off to earn a living, searching for that perfect career as she became a graphic designer, print buyer, pantyhose sales rep, public relations specialist, copywriter, freelance writer – and finally author. Pam has won numerous awards including the Booksellers Best, the Laurel Wreath, and a gold medal IPPY in the Independent Book Publisher Awards. She is a Kindle Book Awards finalist and a two-time Golden Heart Finalist. She lives in Wisconsin where she is working on her next novel.

Connect with the author:  Website   Twitter   Facebook   Goodreads

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Book review: The House of Kane by Barbara Casey

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Book Details:

Book Title:  The House of Kane by Barbara Casey
Category:  Adult Fiction,  198 pages
Genre: Mystery / Suspense
Publisher:  ArcheBooks Publishing
Release date:  February 2014
Format available for review:  Print, ebook (gifted Kindle and PDF)
Will send print books:  Internationally
Tour dates: Aug 15 to 26, 2016
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (There is some light profanity.)

Book Description:

Aislinn Marchánt, a writer and editorial consultant, is hired by the major New York publishing company, Kane Publishing House, to help determine why several submissions sent to them have mysteriously disappeared only to be published later by another publisher. Are the editors at Kane simply not being diligent enough with the in-coming material, or is there something more sinister going on? Working from her West Palm Beach home, Aislinn quickly becomes involved with the House of Kane as well as with Caldwell Kane, the man who hired her.

As Aislinn works toward uncovering the various layers of truth of her former husband, her elderly neighbor, and Kane Publishing House, she continues to research her own novel, the story of a love between two people that becomes fractured because of the misunderstandings created by two different cultures. Her research takes her to abotanica where a Santerian priest reveals the truth in her own life and a destiny that is joined to that of Caldwell Kane.

Praise for The House of Kane:

Simultaneously wise and poignant, exotic and suspenseful, House of Kane is a fascinating story of loyalty, treachery and the power of destiny. With an insider’s view into the world of high stakes publishing, Barbara Casey weaves a masterful story that haunts the reader long after the final page.
Nancy Steinbeck, Author of The Other Side of Eden: Life with John Steinbeck

Barbara Casey’s House of Kane is a touchingly tender love story, set in an intrigue-riddled
publishing industry. Her characters are interesting and varied. Her story is refreshing and engagingly told. Aspiring writers will want to read House of Kane to tap her wisdom about getting into print.
John DeDakis, Former CNN Senior Copy Editor, Author of Fast Track

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble  

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Meet the Author:

Originally from Carrollton, Illinois, author/agent/publisher Barbara Casey attended the University of North Carolina, N.C. State University, and N.C. Wesleyan College where she received a BA degree, summa cum laude, with a double major in English and history. In 1978 she left her position as Director of Public Relations and Vice President of Development at North Carolina Wesleyan College to write full time and develop her own manuscript evaluation and editorial service. In 1995 she established the Barbara Casey Agency and since that time has represented authors from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. In 2014, she became a partner with Strategic Media Books where she is involved in acquisitions and day-to-day operations and oversees book production.

Ms. Casey’s two middle-grade/young adult novels, Leilani Zan and Grandma Jock and Christabelle (James C. Winston Publishing Co., Trade Division) were both nominated for awards of excellence by the SCBWI Golden Kite Award, the National Association of University Women Literary Award and the Sir Walter Raleigh Literary Award. Shyla’s Initiative (Crossquarter Publishing Group), a contemporary adult novel (occult romance/mystery), received a 2003 Independent Publisher Book Award and also an award of special literary recognition by the Palm Beach County Cultural Council. The Coach’s Wife (ArcheBooks Publishing), also a novel for adults (contemporary/mystery), was semi-finalist for the 2005 Dana Award for Outstanding Novel and listed on the Publisher’s Best Seller List. The House of Kane (ArcheBooks Publishing), released in 2007, was considered for a Pulitzer nomination. Another contemporary novel for adults, Just Like Family, was released at Christmas 2009 when it received “Special Recognition from the 7-Eleven Corporation.” The Cadence of Gypsies, a novel written for new adults, was released in 2011 and was reviewed by the Smithsonian Institute for its List of Most Notable Books. Her novel for adults, The Gospel According to Prissy, received a 2013 Independent Publishers Book Award for Best Book in Regional Fiction. In 2016, Ms. Casey’s biography/true crime Kathryn Kelly: The Moll behind Machine Gun Kelly was released as well as The Wish Rider, the sequel to her young adult book The Cadence of Gypsies.

Her award-winning articles, short stories, and poetry for adults have appeared in both national and international publications including the North Carolina Christian Advocate Magazine, The New East Magazine, the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, the Rocky Mount (N.C.) Sunday Telegram, Dog Fancy, ByLine, The Christian Record, Skirt! Magazine, and True Story. A thirty-minute television special which Ms. Casey wrote and coordinated was broadcast on WRAL, Channel 5, in Raleigh, North Carolina. She also received special recognition for her editorial work on the English translations of Albanian children’s stories.

Ms. Casey’s award-winning science fiction short stories for adults are featured in The Cosmic Unicorn and CrossTime science fiction anthologies. Ms. Casey’s essays and other works appear in The Chrysalis Reader, the international literary journal of the Swedenborg Foundation, 221 One-Minute Monologues from Literature (Smith and Kraus Publishers), and A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation).

Ms. Casey is a former director of BookFest of the Palm Beaches, Florida, where she served as guest author and panelist. She has served as judge for the Pathfinder Literary Awards in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida, and was the Florida Regional Advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators from 1991 through 2003. She is a frequent guest lecturer at universities and writers’ conferences around the country including the SCBWI Regional Conference, the Harriett Austin Writers Conference in Athens, SIBA (Southeastern Independent Book Sellers Association), Florida Writers Association, and the University of Auburn, Montgomery. She makes her home on the top of a mountain in northwest Georgia with her husband and three dogs.

Connect with the author:  Website 

REVIEW:
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The House of Kane is an fascinating glance into the world of publishing. Aislinn, a successful and sought after writer and editor, receives a mysterious phone call from a well respected publisher.  Her curiosity piqued, she agrees to go to New York.  Her life will never be the same.
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The novel is well-written with excellent character development including those of the secondary characters.  Their seemingly ordinary lives begin to interweave with that of Aislinn’s and several unexpected plot twists and surprises keep you wondering how these connections will play out.
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I don’t want to give away any clues to the story but suffice it to say that this was a delightful mystery / romance / thriller that had me reading non-stop until the last page!
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Book spotlight: Candidate for Murder by Lauren Carr

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Book Details:

Book Title:  Candidate for Murder: A Mac Faraday Mystery by Lauren Carr
Category:  Adult fiction, 424 pages
Genre:  Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  June 2016
Tour dates:  June 20 to July 29, 2016
Content Rating:  PG-13 (This is murder mystery. There are no sex scenes, but some, very little, foul language. No f-bombs.)

Book Description:

It’s election time in Spencer, Maryland, and the race for mayor is not a pretty one. In recent years, the small resort town has become divided between the local year-round residents who have enjoyed their rural way of life and the city dwellers moving into their mansions, taking over the town council, and proceeding to turn Deep Creek Lake into a closed gate community—complete with a host of regulations for everything from speed limits to clothes lines.

When the political parties force-feed two unsavory mayoral nominees on the town residents, Police Chief David O’Callaghan decides to make a statement—by nominating Gnarly, Mac Faraday’s German shepherd, to run as mayor of Spencer!

What starts out as a joke turns into a disaster when overnight Gnarly becomes the front runner—at which point his political enemies take a page straight out of Politics 101. What do you do when you’re behind in a race? Dig up dirt on the front runner, of course.

Seemingly, someone is not content to rest with simply embarrassing the front runner by publicizing his dishonorable discharge from the United States Army, but to throw in a murder for good measure. With murder on the ballot, Mac Faraday and the gang—including old friends from past cases—dive in to clear Gnarly’s name, catch a killer, and save Spencer!

Buy the book:   Amazon

Watch the trailer:

293556ef-3415-4241-b0a8-c6db90ba0338Meet the author:

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries. The twelfth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series, Candidate for Murder will be released June 2016.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with Lauren: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

TOUR SCHEDULE:

June 20 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
June 20 – My Journey Back – book spotlight / guest post
June 20 – Books for Books – book spotlight / guest post
June 21 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
June 21 – fuonlyknew – book spotlight / giveaway
June 22 – Book Crazy Scrapbook Mama – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 22 – Book Reviews Nature Photos – book spotlight / author interview
June 23 – Writers and Authors – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 23 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 24 – Thoughts in Progress – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
June 24 – bookmyopia – book spotlight / guest post
June 27 – The Travelogue of a Book Addict – book spotlight / giveaway
June 27 – Nighttime Reading Center – book spotlight
June 28 – Stranded in Chaos – book spotlight / giveaway
June 29 – Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’ – book spotlight
June 29 – The Autistic Gamer – book spotlight
June 30 – Katie’s Clean Book Collection – book spotlight / giveaway
June 30 – Tea and A Book – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 1 –     Brooke Blogs – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 1 –     Cheryl’s Book Nook – book spotlight / giveaway
July 4 –     Ali – The Dragon Slayer – book spotlight / giveaway
July 4 –     Book and Ink – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
July 5 –     New Horizon Reviews – book spotlight / author interview
July 6 –     Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine – book spotlight / guest post
July 6 –     Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
July 7 –     T’s Stuff – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
July 8 –     Words And Peace – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 11 –   StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
July 12 –   Carole’s Book Corner – book spotlight / giveaway
July 13 –   Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 14 –   Christa Reads and Writes – book spotlight
July 15 –   Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight
July 18 –   #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
July 18 –   Puddletown Reviews – book spotlight
July 19 –   100 Pages A Day – book spotlight / giveaway
July 19 –   A Mama’s Corner of the World – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 20 –   Mystery Suspense Reviews – book spotlight / guest post
July 21 –   Heidi’s Wanderings – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 22 –   3 Partners in Shopping – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 25 –   Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
July 26 –   A Soccer Mom’s Book Blog – book spotlight / giveaway
July 27 –   Reading Authors – book spotlight / giveaway
July 28 –   Deal Sharing Aunt – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
July 29 –   Jessica Cassidy – book spotlight / author interview

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Book review:The Fifth Avenue Artists Society by Joy Callaway

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  • ISBN: 9780062391612
  • ISBN 10: 0062391615
  • Imprint: Harper Paperbacks
  • On Sale: 05/31/2016
  • Pages: 384
  • List Price: 19.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: FICTION / Historical

About the Book

The Bronx, 1891. Virginia Loftin, the boldest of four artistic sisters in a family living in genteel poverty, knows what she wants most: to become a celebrated novelist despite her gender, and to marry Charlie, the boy next door and her first love.

When Charlie proposes instead to a woman from a wealthy family, Ginny is devastated; shutting out her family, she holes up and turns their story into fiction, obsessively rewriting a better ending. Though she works with newfound intensity, literary success eludes her—until she attends a salon hosted in her brother’s writer friend John Hopper’s Fifth Avenue mansion. Among painters, musicians, actors, and writers, Ginny returns to herself, even blooming under the handsome, enigmatic John’s increasingly romantic attentions.

Just as she and her siblings have become swept up in the society, though, Charlie throws himself back into her path, and Ginny learns that the salon’s bright lights may be obscuring some dark shadows. Torn between two worlds that aren’t quite as she’d imagined them, Ginny will realize how high the stakes are for her family, her writing, and her chance at love.

Buy the book:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble  Chapters/Indigo   
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24-200x300Meet the author:
Joy Callaway’s love of storytelling is a direct result of her parents’ insistence that she read books or write stories instead of watching TV. Her interest in family history was fostered by her relatives’ habit of recounting tales of ancestors’ lives. Joy is a full-time mom and writer. She formerly served as a marketing director for a wealth management company. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and Public Relations from Marshall University and an M.M.C. in Mass Communication from the University of South Carolina. She resides in Charlotte, NC with her husband, John, and her children, Alevia and John.
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Connect with the author:  Website   Twitter   Facebook   Instagram
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REVIEW:
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My first impression upon reading this novel was that it resembled a stage play, with the characters and set changing  with each new chapter.  I felt like I was a “fly on the wall”, observing all the intimate details of the Loftin family as they came to grips with a series of events that could ultimately tear apart the family.
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Virginia (or Ginny) is an ambitious, passionate young writer who is intent on making a celebrated name for herself.  Her genteel family is living in severely reduced circumstances.  Her best friend and confidante Charlie is always there for her.  She dreams that together they can write and somehow provide for their families.  However, when Charlie suddenly  and unexpectedly marries another woman to improve his financial situation, Ginny’s world falls apart.  She seeks solace with fellow authors and artists at the home of another writer, John Hopper.  The world she so desperately seeks to satisfy her intellectual cravings inspire her.  She begins to make new friends and connections.  But things aren’t always as they seem.   Then Charlie re-enters the picture.
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I really enjoyed reading about the historical aspects of the 1890’s.   Any woman trying to change her circumstances needed a good deal of courage and fortitude to counteract prejudice against women and the unchangeable norms of society at the time.
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I found the first part of the book to be a bit slow, but that generally happens when there are so many characters to develop.  At the halfway point, things really started to “heat up” and I had a hard time putting the book down.  Anyone who enjoys reading about authors (both men and men) of the late 19th century will appreciate Joy Callaway’s novel.

Book spotlight: The Winemakers, A Novel of Wine and Secrets by Jan Moran

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Book Details:

Book Title:  The Winemakers, A Novel of Wine and Secrets by Jan Moran
Category:  Adult fiction, 368 pages
Genre:  20th Century Historical Romance
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Griffin
Release date:  April 5,  2016
Tour dates:  April 18 – 29, 2016
Content Rating:  PG-13 + M  (for themes of out-of-wedlock sex and childbirth. Two scenes of tasteful romantic sex (no body parts), and very mild language (no strong profanity).

Book Description:

1956: When Caterina Rosetta inherits a cottage in the countryside of Italy from a grandmother she’s never known, she discovers a long-buried family secret — a secret so devastating, it threatens the future of everything her mother has worked for.

Many years before, her mother’s hard-won dreams of staking her family’s claim in the vineyards of California came to fruition; but as an old murder comes to light, and Caterina uncovers a tragic secret that may destroy the man she loves, she realizes her happiness will depend on revealing the truth of her mother’s buried past.

From author Jan Moran comes The Winemakers, a sweeping, romantic novel that will hold you in its grasp until the last delicious sip.

Buy the book:   Amazon  ~   Barnes & Noble  ~   Kobo  ~  Chapters
Books-a-Million  ~   Book Depository   ~  iBooks

Jan Moran author pic

About the author:

Jan Moran is a Rizzoli bestselling and award winning author. She writes historical women’s fiction for St. Martin’s Press (Scent of Triumph, The Winemakers), contemporary women’s fiction (Flawless, Beauty Mark, Runway), and nonfiction books (Vintage Perfumes, Fabulous Fragrances). Her stories are smart and stylish, and written with emotional depth. Jan often draws on her international travel and business experiences, infusing her books with realistic details.

The Midwest Book Review and Kirkus have recommended her books, calling her heroines strong, complex, and resourceful. She likes to talk to readers at www.janmoran.com and on social media. She lives in southern California and loves lattes and iced coffee, anything chocolate, and Whole Foods Double Green smoothies to balance it all out.

Connect with the author:  Website   Twitter   Pinterest   Facebook   Instagram

SPOTLIGHT TOUR SCHEDULE:

April 18 – Working Mommy Journal – author interview / giveaway
April 18 – Lavish Bookshelf – guestpost / giveaway
April 18 – Coffee books & Art – giveaway
April 18 – Brooke Blogs – guest post / giveaway
April 19 – Corinne Rodriges – guest post / giveaway
April 19 – JustOneMoreChapter – giveaway
April 19 – The Cheshire Cat’s Looking Glass – giveaway
April 19 – Words And Peace – author interview / giveaway
April 19 – The Autistic Gamer – spotlight
April 20 – Paulette’s Papers – giveaway
April 20 – Olio by Marilyn – author interview
April 20 – Discovering/Writing Life – author interview / giveaway
April 20 – Svetlana’s Reads and Views – giveaway
April 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – guest post
April 20 – thoughts on this ‘n that – giveaway
April 21 – Fantastic Feathers – author interview
April 21 – First Impressions Reviews – spotlight
April 21 – Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes – giveaway
April 21 – The Travelogue of a book addict – The Book Drealms – giveaway
April 22 – ABookGeek – spotlight
April 22 – Celticlady’s Reviews – giveaway
April 22 – Carole’s Book Corner – giveaway
April 22 – The Bookish & The Romantic – giveaway
April 25 – XoXo Book Blog – giveaway
April 25 – Il mio tesoro – author interview
April 25 – A Bit Bookish – giveaway
April 25 – Jayne’s Books – spotlight
April 26 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – guest post
April 26 – The Booktrail – author interview
April 26 – #redhead.with.book – giveaway
April 26 – Library of Clean Reads – giveaway
April 27 – Studentessa Matta – guest post / giveaway
April 27 – Kritters Ramblings – spotlight
April 28 – A Holland Reads – giveaway
April 28 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – guest post / giveaway
April 28 – 3 Partners in Shopping Nana, Mommy , + Sissy, Too ! – giveaway
April 28 – History from a Woman’s Perspective – giveaway
April 29 – Amie’s Book Reviews – giveaway
April 29 – Anglers Rest – spotlight
April 29 – FLY HIGH! – guest post / giveaway

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Book spotlight: The Berlin Package by Peter Riva

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Book Details:

Book Title:  The Berlin Package by Peter Riva
Category:  Adult fiction, 320 pages
Genre:  Thriller / Crime
PublisherYucca Publishing / Skyhorse Publishing
Release date:  April 26, 2016
Available for review in:  print, ebook (PDF)
Will send print books:  Internationally
Tour dates:  April 25 – May 20, 2016
Content Rating:  PG + M (There is some violence, a stabbing for example)

Book Description:

Film producer Pero Baltazar thought he was taking a Berlin filming assignment. He needed the work, needed to get back in the saddle after fighting off a life-threatening experience in East Africa—alShabaab had attacked his crew, intent on a much larger terrorist attack. Suddenly he finds himself under orders from his part-time employers at the State Department and the CIA when he is handed a mysterious package. It’s an assignment he doesn’t want. The problem is, it’s a job contracted by mysterious patrons who are prepared to kill him if he doesn’t deliver.

Pero—now in far too deep—turns to friends, old and new, to help him unravel the mystery of the package, uncover connections to Nazi concentration camp gold recently sold by the US Treasury, and thwart the ex–Stasi chief, now head of a powerful banking group.

In this fast-paced sequel to Murder on Safari, Pero calls on Mbuno, his friend and East African safari guide, to anticipate the moves of his enemies as if they were animals—dangerous vermin—who have kidnapped both the film star and director. Mbuno’s tracking skills may keep them from getting killed—provided Pero can rope in more help and keep the CIA at bay.

Exhilarating and expertly crafted, The Berlin Package (Yucca Publishing; April 2016) is a gripping, page-turning thriller set in post–German reunification Europe.

Praise for Berlin Package
“An explosive radioactive thriller written with intelligence. . . . The reluctant spy motif works grandly. . . . An extremely thoughtful and terrifying exposure of the dangers inherent in a nuclear world.”
—Ron Lealos, author of Pashtun and Don’t Mean Nuthin’ 

Buy the book:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Book Depository   Chapters / Indigo

For those of you also interested in the first book:

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Book Description: 

Only a reality TV producer and an expert safari guide can stop a terrorist attack.

Every adventure starts at the fringes of civilization. For expert safari guide Mbuno and wildlife television producer Pero Baltazar, filming in the wild of East Africa should have been a return to the adventure they always loved. This time they’d be filming soaring vultures in northern Kenya and giant sea crocodiles in Tanzania with Mary, the daughter of the world’s top television evangelist, the very reverend Jimmy Threte.

But when a terrorist cell places them in the crosshairs, there is suddenly no escape and they must put their filming aside and combine all their talents to thwart an all-out al-Shabaab terrorist attack on Jimmy Threte’s Christian gathering of hundreds of thousands in Nairobi, Kenya.

Buy the book:     Amazon    Barnes & Noble     Chapters/Indigo


Peter Riva author pic

Meet the author:   

Peter Riva has spent many months over 30 years travelling throughout Africa and Europe. Much of this time was spent with the legendary guides for East African hunters and adventurers. He created a TV series in 1995 called Wild Things for Paramount. Passing on the fables, true tales, and insider knowledge of these last reserves of true wildlife is his passion. Nonetheless, his job for over forty years has been working as a literary agent. In his spare time, Riva writes science fiction and African adventure books. He lives in Gila, New Mexico.

Connect with the author:   Website   Twitter   Facebook

Tour Schedule:

April 25 – The Autistic Gamer – review of The Berlin Package
April 25 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
April 26 – Books Reviews, Nature Photos – review of Murder on Safari
April 26 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight
April 27 – 3 Partners in Shopping – review of Murder on Safari
April 27 – Zerina Blossom’s Books – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
April 28 – Vic’s Media Room – review of The Berlin Package
April 29 – Heidi’s Wanderings – review of Murder on Safari / giveaway
April 29 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – review of The Berlin Package / guest post / giveaway
May 2 –    A Book Geek – review of The Berlin Package
May 2 –    The World As I See It – review of The Berlin Package / giveaway
May 3 –    Deal Sharing Aunt – review of Murder on Safari / giveaway
May 4 –   Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine – review of The Berlin Package
May 5 –   Sahar’s Blog – review of Murder on Safari
May 5 –   First Impressions Reviews – review of The Berlin Package
May 6 –   Heidi’s Wanderings – review of The Berlin Package / giveaway
May 6 –   Create With Joy – review of Murder on Safari / giveaway
May 9 –   Mystery Suspense Reviews – guest post
May 9 –   3 Partners in Shopping – review of The Berlin Package
May 10 – Library of Clean Reads – review of Murder on Safari / giveaway
May 10 – Working Mommy Journal – review of The Berlin Package / giveaway
May 11 – Readers’ Muse – review of Murder on Safari
May 11 – Life as Leels – review of The Berlin Package
May 12 – Nighttime Reading Center – review of Murder on Safari / interview / giveaway
May 12 – Sahar’s Blog – review of The Berlin Package
May 13 – Olio by Marilyn – review of The Berlin Package / giveaway
May 16 – Olivia’s Catastrophe – review of Murder on Safari
May 16 – Ali – The Dragon Slayer – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 17 – Books Reviews, Nature Photos – review of The Berlin Package
May 17 – Deal Sharing Aunt – review of The Berlin Package / giveaway
May 17 – Library of Clean Reads – review of The Berlin Package / giveaway
May 18 – Cover2Cover – review of Murder on Safari / giveaway
May 18 – Olivia’s Catastrophe – review of The Berlin Package
May 18 – Create With Joy – review of The Berlin Package / giveaway
May 18 – Book and Ink – review of Murder on Safari / giveaway
May 19 – Readers’ Muse – review of The Berlin Package
May 20 – Cover2Cover – review of The Berlin Package / giveaway
May 20 – Nighttime Reading Center – review of The Berlin Package / giveaway
May 20 – Book and Ink – review of The Berlin Package / giveaway

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Book review: The Railwayman’s Wife by Ashley Hay

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Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher:  Atria Books
Hardcover, eBook, & AudioBook
288 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Literary

Book description:

Amidst the strange, silent aftermath of World War II, a widow, a poet, and a doctor search for lasting peace and fresh beginnings in this internationally acclaimed, award-winning novel.

When Anikka Lachlan’s husband, Mac, is killed in a railway accident, she is offered—and accepts—a job at the Railway Institute’s library and searches there for some solace in her unexpectedly new life. But in Thirroul, in 1948, she’s not the only person trying to chase dreams through books. There’s Roy McKinnon, who found poetry in the mess of war, but who has now lost his words and his hope. There’s Frank Draper, trapped by the guilt of those his medical treatment and care failed on their first day of freedom. All three struggle to find their own peace, and their own new story.

But along with the firming of this triangle of friendship and a sense of lives inching towards renewal come other extremities—and misunderstandings. In the end, love and freedom can have unexpected ways of expressing themselves.

The Railwayman’s Wife explores the power of beginnings and endings, and how hard it can sometimes be to tell them apart. Most of all, it celebrates love in all its forms, and the beauty of discovering that loving someone can be as extraordinary as being loved yourself.

“Exquisitely written and deeply felt…a true book of wonders.” –Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of TheSecret Chord

“An absorbing and uplifting read.” –M.L. Stedman, author of The Light Between Oceans

“This is a book in which grief and love are so entwined they make a new and wonderful kind of sense.” –Fiona McFarlane, author of The Night Guest

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound

f610eae8-b6a1-42d4-91c0-ffecba3fa633Meet the author:   Ashley Hay is the internationally acclaimed author of four nonfiction books, including The Secret: The Strange Marriage of Annabella Milbanke and Lord Byron, and the novels The Body in the Clouds and The Railwayman’s Wife, which was honored with the Colin Roderick Award by the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies and longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the most prestigious literary prize in Australia, among numerous other accolades. She lives in Brisbane, Australia.

For more information please visit Ashley Hay’s website.

REVIEW:

The Railwayman’s Wife justly deserves praise  for it’s lovely prose.  Ashley Hay’s depiction of a young family in NSW, Australia during and after the second world war is particularly touching.  The war has not left their town untouched as it has taken away many of its fathers and husbands.  Although, Annika feels for these women, it is not until her husband Mac is killed in a railway accident that she fully begins to comprehend the grief and loss of someone she loved.

Several main characters form part of this storyline.  Roy, a poet and former teacher is lost and foundering after returning home from the war and Frank, a medical doctor who deals with his feelings of inadequacy as a healer is unable to make a commitment to the woman he loves.  And there is Isabelle, Annika’s daughter who must learn to live without her father but who’s pragmatic view of the events around her teach Annika that there is life beyond grief.

As their lives intertwine, the healing that comes from finding contentment in  friendship, the joys of nature and the love of a good book help to put to rest the memories of war and grief.

 

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Book review: In the Context of Love by Linda K. Sienkiewicz

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Book Details:

Book Title:  in the context of Love by Linda K. Sienkiewicz
Category:  Adult fiction, 270 pages
Genre:  Women’s fiction
Publisher:  Buddhapuss Ink LLC
Release date:  September 2015
Available for review in:  Print, ebook, gifted Kindle copy, (PDF)
Will send print books:  USA & Canada
Tour dates:  March 28 to April 1, 2016
Content Rating:  PG-13 + M ( may contain profanity, violence, non-explicit sex scenes and mature themes)

Book Description:  

What makes us step back to examine the events and people that have shaped our lives? And what happens when what we discover leads to more questions?

Angelica Schirrick wonders how her life could have gotten so far off-track. With two children in tow, she begins a journey of self-discovery that leads her back home to Ohio. It pains her to remember the promise her future once held and the shattering revelations that derailed her life.

Can she face the failures and secrets of her past and move forward? Somehow she must learn to accept the violence of her beginning before she can be open to life, and a second chance at love.

Buy the book:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble

Praise for In the Context of Love

“Linda K. Sienkiewicz’s powerful and richly detailed debut novel is at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey. In the Context of Love should be required reading for all wayward teenage girls—and their mothers, too.” ~Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of National Book Award Finalist, American Salvage, and critically acclaimed, Mothers, Tell Your Daughters.

“With tenderness, but without blinking, Linda K. Sienkiewicz turns her eye on the predator-prey savannah of the young and still somehow hopeful.” ~ Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of the #1 NY Times Bestseller, Deep End of the Ocean

“Absorbing, heartbreaking, compulsively-readable and insightful, Linda Sienkiewicz’s In the Context of Love casts a hypnotic spell. This is storytelling at its best.” ~ Lewis Robinson, author of the critically acclaimed, Officer Friendly: and Other Stories, and Water Dogs


Linda K. Sienkiewicz author pic

Meet the author:    

Linda K. Sienkiewicz is a published poet and fiction writer, cynical optimist, fan of corgis, tea drinker, and wine lover from Michigan. Her poetry, short stories, and art have been published in more than fifty literary journals, including Prairie Schooner, Clackamas Literary Review, Spoon River, and Permafrost.

She received a poetry chapbook award from Bottom Dog Press, and an MFA from the University of Southern Maine. Linda lives with her husband in southeast Michigan, where they spoil their grandchildren and then send them back home.

Connect with the author:   Website   Twitter   Facebook

REVIEW:  
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“How easy it would be to fall back in love with you.     How the heart remembers”.
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In the Context of Love is can be described as a touching memoir-letter to a lost love.  I immediately identified with Angelica, a hardworking high-school student whose mother obsessively controls her.  Like a spring ready to bounce, Angelica seeks acceptance and consolation outside her family.  She falls in love.  But scandal tears them apart and she never sees him again.
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Although this is first and foremost a love story, other events in Angelica’s life push her in a downward spiral into drinking, drugs and bad relationships.  We feel for her as she loses her sense of self and ends up in an abusive relationship.
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Linda has managed to take a small family drama and turn it into an incredibly moving and emotional account of love, redemption and hope.  The simple truths and insights touched me deeply.  Please note that there are several mature themes in this book and strong language.
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Book review: The Greatest Prospector by Ken Dunn

7493643Book Details:

Book Title:  The Greatest Prospector in the World by Ken Dunn
Category:  Adult Non-fiction, 198 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction / Business / Sales
Publisher: Next Century Publishing
Published: Nov 3 2015
Available in: Print, PDF
Will send books: USA & Canada
Tour dates:  Feb 1 to 26. 2016
Content Rating: PG

Book Description:

Laura Dunagan, was born in the gold prospecting days of rustic Alaska in the early 1900’s. When Laura was 14 years old, her father was trapped under a mud slide while prospecting in a nearby river and died. Laura was forced to move to Chicago in the care of her rich Uncle Joe. Laura hated Uncle Joe because he forced her to leave the river, but also because he had left the family prospecting business to move to Chicago years before she was born.

Laura discovers that Uncle Joe made his fortune selling insurance and was the owner of the largest insurance company in Illinois. While wondering through the mansion one day, she found Uncle’s Joe personal den. In it, she discovered an entire new life that would lead her to heights that she would never had realized panning for gold in Alaska. Uncle Joe used the 6 gold prospecting rules for safety to prospect new clients for his insurance company and in doing so, discovered the secrets to wealth in selling.

Buy the book:     Amazon     Barnes & Noble    Book Depository   

Ken Dunn author pic

Meet the author:  

Ken Dunn is one of the leadership training world’s up and coming great speakers and trainers. An incredible hunger to learn and teach others has led Ken successfully through five different professional careers in the past 25 years.

Ken began a policing career at the age of 18. He was involved in the policing world’s most exhilarating and challenging disciplines, including undercover drug and surveillance work, S.W.A.T. team work, aggravated child abuse, frauds, aggravated assaults, illegal weapons smuggling and homicides.

Today, Ken regularly speaks to groups in the direct sales, mortgage, insurance and banking industries. He uses humor and his own experiences to inspire audiences around the world. Ken lives in Toronto, Canada, with his wife, Julie, and children Matthew and Laura.

Connect with the author:   Website    Twitter   Facebook

TOUR SCHEDULE:

Feb 1 –   The Autistic Gamer – review
Feb 2 –   Working Mommy Journal – review / giveaway
Feb 2 –   Amie’s Book Reviews – review / giveaway
Feb 3 –   misty103 @ HubPages – review
Feb 4 –   Room With Books – review / giveaway
Feb 5 –   Library of Clean Reads – review / giveaway
Feb 5 –   Corinne Rodrigues – book spotlight
Feb 8 –   Katie’s Clean Book Collection – book spotlight
Feb 8 –   Olio by Marilyn – review
Feb 9 –   Svetlana’s Reads and Views – review
​Feb 9 –   Puddletown Reviews – review / giveaway
Feb 10 – #redhead.with.book – review / giveaway
Feb 11 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – review / author interview / giveaway
Feb 12 – Singing Librarian Books – review
Feb 15 – Bound 4 Escape – review
Feb 15 – Ali – The Dragon Slayer – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 16 – Readers’ Muse – review / guest post
Feb 17 – 3 Partners in Shopping Nana, Mommy , + Sissy, Too! – review / giveaway
Feb 17 – Books Reviews, Nature Photos, and Everything in Between – review
Feb 18 – Zerina Blossom’s Books – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 18 – Divas With a Purpose – review
Feb 19 – Griperang’s Bookmarks – review / author interview / giveaway
Feb 19 – Heidi’s Wanderings – review
Feb 22 – Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine – review
​Feb 22 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – review / giveaway
Feb 23 – Deal Sharing Aunt – review / giveaway
​Feb 23 – IT Revolution – review / author interview / giveaway
Feb 24 – Laura Fabiani – Amazon.ca Top 500 Reviewer – review
Feb 24 – Sahar’s Blog – review
Feb 25 – Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine – guest post
Feb 26 – Create With Joy – review

REVIEW: (written by Anne Benard)
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I enjoyed the unique approach the author chose to explain his sale principles. Having worked in the industry, I`ve heard my fair share of inspirational rag to riches stories and many come across as a bit too preachy. This fictional story of feisty Laura Jewel Dunagan grabbed my attention from the start since the story is engaging and well written. You just can`t help but find yourself rooting for Laura as she struggles to figure out how she can reach her potential and fulfill her goals.
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The author’s philosophies of what makes a successful salesperson are well explained while the reader is entertained. If you need a bit of motivation in sales or even in life, take the time to read this book.
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