Book review: Eternally Artemisia – Some loves, like some women, are timeless by Melissa Muldoon

Book Details:

Book Title:  Eternally Artemisia – Some loves, like some women, are timeless
by Melissa Muldoon
Category:  Adult Fiction (18+),  312 pages
Genre: Fiction General, Fiction Women
Publisher:  Matta Press
Release date:  March 2019
Format available for review:  print, ebook (mobi, ePub)
Will send books to:  USA & Canada
Tour dates: June 3 to 28, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (The book focuses on the life of Artemisia Gentileschi who was raped by her painting instructor, Agostino Tassi. The themes of the book deal with rape and overcoming sexual abuse. It is a book about female empowerment and how with the right tools, and support women may rise above past tragedies to build a better future for themselves.)

Book Description:

They say some loves travel through time and are fated to meet over and over again. For Maddie, an art therapist, who wrestles with the “peculiar feeling” she has lived previous lives and is being called to Italy by voices that have left imprints on her soul, this idea is intriguing. Despite her best efforts, however, proof of this has always eluded her. That is, until one illuminating summer in Italy when Maddie’s previous existences start to bleed through into her current reality. When she is introduced to the Crociani family—a noble clan with ties to the seventeenth-century Medici court that boasts of ancestors with colorful pasts—she finally meets the loves of her life. One is a romantic love, and another is a special kind of passion that only women share, strong amongst those who have suffered greatly yet have triumphed despite it.

As Maddie’s relationship develops with Artemisia Gentileschi—an artist who in a time when it was unheard of to denounce a man for the crime of rape, did just that—Maddie discovers a kindred spirit and a role model, and just what women are capable of when united together.

In a journey that arcs back to biblical days and moves forward in time, Maddie encounters artists, dukes, designers, and movie stars as well as baser and ignoble men. With Artemisia never far from her side, she proves that when we dare to take control of our lives and find the “thing” we are most passionate about, we are limitless and can touch the stars.

Praise for Eternally Artemisia:

“A true Renaissance woman, Melissa Muldoon weaves her passions for art and Italy into a stirring saga that sweeps across centuries. As her time-traveling heroine Maddie reconnects with kindred souls, we meet Artemisia Gentileschi, the 17th-century artist who overcame rape and ignominy to gain respect and acclaim. Historic figures such as Galileo and Mussolini also come to life in this intricately plotted novel, but the women who defy all constraints to take control of their destinies are the ones who prove to be eternally fascinating.” — Dianne Hales

What a lovely story! Melissa weaves the lives of 4 women across time, all with some connection to Artemisia Gentileschi, a 16th century Italy painter. They represent the feminine strength that arises from life challenges, each with their unique intelligence. Underlying their stories is the idea that love transcends all, even time, love is timeless. As with her other books, Melissa fills the story out with interesting facts and references to the Italian life, culture and it’s history, her attention to detail is immaculate . I loved all of the many connections in this story that tied it all together, very cleverly done. Wonderful read, I would highly recommend it. – Lize, Amazon Reviewer

Melissa Muldoon does a phenomenal job blending fiction, romance, art history, and the Italian language into this gem. For fans of historical fiction, romance, and time travel, I strongly recommend this novel. –Exemplary Editing, Amazon Review

Buy the Book:
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Melissa Muldoon

Meet the Author:  

Melissa Muldoon is the author of three novels set in Italy: “Dreaming Sophia,” “Waking Isabella,” and “Eternally Artemisia.” All three books tell the stories of American women and their journeys of self-discovery to find love, uncover hidden truths, and follow their destinies to shape a better future in Italy.

Melissa is also the author of the Studentessa Matta website, where she promotes the study of Italian language and culture through her dual-language blog written in Italian and English (studentessamatta.com). Studentessa Matta means the “crazy linguist” and has grown to include a podcast, Tutti Matti per l’Italiano and the Studentessa Matta YouTube channel, Facebook page and Instagram feed. Melissa also created Matta Italian Language Immersion Programs, which she co-leads with Italian schools in Italy to learn Italian in Italy. Through her website, she also offers the opportunities to live and study in Italy through Homestay programs. 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. She is an artist, designer, and illustrated the cover art for all three of her books. Melissa is also the managing director of Matta Press. 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. Melissa designed and illustrated the cover art for Eternally Artemisia, Waking Isabella, and Dreaming Sophia.

She also curates the Dreaming Sophia Art History blog site and Pinterest site: The Art of Loving Italy, where you will find companion pictures for all three 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 the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Pinterest  ~ Instagram

REVIEW: Maddie, a 40 year old art therapist has decided to live her dream of relocating from New York City to Italy to continue her work with a new business partner. Although she believes in romantic love, she isn’t convinced that she has met the one person she is willing to spend the rest of her life with.

Maddie has always known that she was different, often experiencing feelings of not quite belonging in the present and of being gently tugged by the past, of what exactly she wasn’t certain.

While in Italy the connection with the past heightens as she “meets” an exceedingly talented female artist from the past, Artemisia Gentileschi, with whom she forms a bond that feels has always existed.

When she is befriended by the Crociani family, she learns of their turbulent past and as well as their connection with Artemisia. Drawn to the painting of Matteo Crociani in their gallery, she begins to feel an unexpected bond with this long-dead ancestor.

A fascinating story of suspense, tragedy and enduring love that transcends time, Melissa Muldoon has successfully created a storyline that will capture your heart and imagination.

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Book review: The Storyteller’s Secret by Sejal Badani

Book Details:

Book Title:  The Storyteller’s Secret by Sejal Badani
Category:  Adult Fiction, 399 pages
Genre:  Literary 
Publisher:  Lake Union
Release date:  September 2018
Format available for review:  print and ebook (gifted Kindle copy, PDF)
Will send print books to:  USA & Canada
Tour dates: June 3 to July 12, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 (There are some non-explicit sex scenes)

Book Description:

An Amazon Charts, USA Today, and Washington Post bestseller!

From the bestselling author of Trail of Broken Wings comes an epic story of the unrelenting force of love, the power of healing, and the invincible desire to dream.

Nothing prepares Jaya, a New York journalist, for the heartbreak of her third miscarriage and the slow unraveling of her marriage in its wake. Desperate to assuage her deep anguish, she decides to go to India to uncover answers to her family’s past. Intoxicated by the sights, smells, and sounds she experiences, Jaya becomes an eager student of the culture. But it is Ravi—her grandmother’s former servant and trusted confidant—who reveals the resilience, struggles, secret love, and tragic fall of Jaya’s pioneering grandmother during the British occupation.

​Through her courageous grandmother’s arrestingly romantic and heart-wrenching story, Jaya discovers the legacy bequeathed to her and a strength that, until now, she never knew was possible.

Buy the Book:
Amazon.ca ~  Barnes & Noble ~  Amazon.com
Books-a-Million ~ Book Depository ~  Indiebound
Chapters.Indigo
Add to Goodreads

Watch the Book Trailer:

Sejal Badani

Meet the Author:

​A former attorney, Sejal Badani left the law to pursue writing full time.

She is a USA Today, Washington Post & Amazon Charts bestselling author, Goodreads Fiction Award Finalist and ABC/DISNEY Writing Fellowship Finalist.

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

REVIEW: A heartrending and inspiring account of acceptance and hope, the Storyteller’s Secret carries you from present-day New York City where we meet Jaya, a journalist who is struggling to come to terms with three recent miscarriages to the flower-scented gardens of India where we are introduced to Ravi, her grandmother’s long-time friend and servant. Jaya’s grandmother’s story comes to life as Ravi slowly recounts events from her childhood to marriage and later work as a schoolteacher.

The truth is, I really didn’t feel an immediate connection to Jaya. When the story travels back to Raj controlled India, she learns that her grandmother Amisha is an aspiring young writer who must balance her love of writing with the responsibilities and restrictions placed upon her as submissive Indian wife and mother.

The connections that Jaya makes as her grandmother’s story unfolds provide insight to her own mother’s childhood and why she never felt the connection that should have been there. She learns of the sacrifices the women in her family made for love and this has affected her deeply.

A story of enduring love, friendship, sacrifice and hope, the Storyteller’s Secret will haunt you long after you’ve finished reading it.

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Book review: Drone Strike: An Anthony Provati Thriller by Joe Giordano

Book Details:

Book Title:  Drone Strike: An Anthony Provati Thriller by Joe Giordano
Category:  Adult Fiction,  290 pages
Genre: Thriller
Publisher:  Rogue Phoenix Press
Release date:  April 15, 2019
Format available for review:  ebook (mobi, ePub, PDF)
Tour dates: April 15 to 26, 2019
Content Rating: PG + M (for some violent scenes, no sex, no f-words.)

Book Description:

Karim’s family is killed by a U.S. drone strike in Iraq, collateral damage. The Islamic State in the Levant exploits his rage, recruiting him for a terrorist attack on the U.S., and only Anthony Provati can stop him. Drone Strike takes you on a fast-paced adventure across the Mediterranean, into Mexico, finally arriving in the States. Drone Strike explores the psychological realities that seduce Karim to commit an act of terror, includes a love story between Moslem Karim and Miriam, a Christian woman he defends in Turkey, and highlights the plight of Middle Eastern and Central American refugees.

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads

Joe Giordano

Meet the Author:

As a former International Executive Vice President of 3M, Joe Giordano’s experience included running a business in the Middle East out of Athens, Greece. Born in New York, he’s had first-hand experience with the cultures and most of the locations in Drone Strike.

Joe’s stories have appeared in more than one hundred magazines including The Saturday Evening Post and Shenandoah. His novels, Birds of Passage: An Italian Immigrant Coming of Age Story (2015) and Appointment with ISIL: An Anthony Provati Thriller (2017) were published by Harvard Square Editions. Read the first chapters and sign up for his blog at http://joe-giordano.com/

Joe was among one hundred Italian-American authors honored by Barnes & Noble Chairman Len Riggio to march in the 2017 Manhattan, Columbus Day Parade. 

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

BOOK REVIEW:

Drone Strike is an intense action-packed thriller. A chain of events begins with the deaths of Karim’s wife and two children in Iraq by an American drone. Lost, he is recruited by a terrorist organization to exact his (and their) vengeance on the infidel Americans.

The storyline winds itself through Iraq, Turkey, Greece, and Italy with its ultimate destination somewhere in America.

I have to admit, I had to skim through most of this book. I was unprepared for the nonstop violence. It almost felt as if it were a video game, as the story advanced to the next phase, there would be another round of (supremely evil) characters and more violence. This theme as well as abuse against women pretty much took up most of the story.

I was unable to develop any sort of feelings for any of the characters – they were one-dimensional and their behaviour inconsistent. I also had a hard time believing some of the relationships in this book. It just didn’t feel real.

That aside, if you are looking for a heart-stopping thriller, this is your type of read.

BOOK REVIEW SCHEDULE:

April 15 – Working Mommy Journal – review / giveaway
April 16 – Essentially Italian – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
April 17 – Locks, Hooks and Books – review / author interview / giveaway
April 18 – My Devotional Thoughts – review / giveaway
April 19 – #redhead.with.book – review / giveaway
April 22 – Bound 4 Escape – review / giveaway
April 23 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – review / giveaway
April 24 – Life as Leels – review / giveaway
April 25 – Library of Clean Reads – review / giveaway
April 26 – Readers Muse – review / guest post

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Book review: Velvalee Dickinson: The “Doll Woman” Spy by Barbara Casey

Book Details: Book Title:  Velvalee Dickinson: The “Doll Woman” Spy by Barbara Casey
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction, 184 pages
Genre:  True Crime / Historical / Biography
Publisher:  Strategic Media Books
Release date:  April 2019
Format available for review:  print, ebook (PDF, gifted Kindle copy)
Will send print books out:  USA & Canada
Tour dates: May 27 to June 7, 2019
Content Rating: PG – Velvalee Dickinson is appropriate for all ages.

Book Description:

Velvalee Dickinson was born in Sacramento, California, graduated from Stanford University, married three times, and then in the early 1930s moved to New York City where she eventually opened her own exclusive doll shop on the prestigious Madison Avenue. It was there that she built her reputation as an expert in rare, antique, and foreign dolls. She traveled extensively around the country lecturing and exhibiting her dolls while building a wealthy clientele that included Hollywood stars, members of high society, politicians, and other collectors.

​When medical bills started to accumulate because of her husband’s poor health and business started to fail with the onset of World War II, she accepted the role as a spy for the Imperial Japanese Government. By hiding coded messages in her correspondence about dolls, she was able to pass on to her Japanese contacts critical military information about the US warships. After surveilling Velvalee for over a year, the FBI arrested her and charged her with espionage and violation of censorship laws. She became the first American woman to face the death penalty on charges of spying for a wartime enemy.

Velvalee Dickinson: The “Doll Woman” Spy is a carefully researched glimpse into the “Doll Woman’s” life as a collector of dolls, and as the highest paid American woman who spied for the Imperial Japanese Government during World War II.

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Books-a-Million
Add to Goodreads

Barbara Casey

Meet the Author:  

Barbara Casey is the author of several award-winning novels for both adults and young adults, as well as book-length works of nonfiction, and numerous articles, poems, and short stories. Her nonfiction true crime book, Kathryn Kelly: The Moll behind Machine Gun Kelly, has been optioned for a major film and television series. Her nonfiction book, Assata Shakur: A 20th Century Escaped Slave, is under contract for a major film. In addition to her own writing, she is an editorial consultant and president of the Barbara Casey Agency.

Established in 1995, she represents authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. In 2018 Barbara received the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award and Top Professional Award for her extensive experience and notable accomplishments in the field of publishing and other areas. Barbara lives on a mountain in Georgia with her husband, and three pets who adopted her: Benton, a hound-mix; Reese, a black cat; and Earl Gray, a gray cat and Reese’s best friend.

Connect with the author:  Website

REVIEW: Barbara Casey has provided a glimpse into the bizarre and complicated life of Velvalee Dickinson. It was fascinating to learn how a tiny, university-educated woman could prove to be such a threat to the American government and its citizens.

The book is purely biographical in nature and in chronological order. The author includes several pages of photographs that lend credibility and interest to what could have been a dry dissertation. However this was definitely not the case as I could not put the book down. One determines from the onset that Velvalee is a survivor. However, her moral compass was somewhat askew as she had no qualms about pinning blame onto innocent parties, including her dying and mentally impaired husband.

This well-researched, gripping account is easily read in a couple of hours.

BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE:

May 27 – Working Mommy Journal – review / giveaway
May 28 – Readers Cozy Corner – review / giveaway
May 28 – My Devotional Thoughts – review / giveaway
May 29 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
May 30 – Literary Flits – review / giveaway
May 31 – #redhead.with.book – review / giveaway
June 3 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – review / giveaway
June 3 – Ani’s Books – review / author interview / giveaway
June 4 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – review / guest post / giveaway
June 4 – Books for Books – review
June 5 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – review / author interview / giveaway
June 6 – Readers’ Muse – review / guest post / giveaway
June 7 – Just Reviews – review

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Book review: Song of Atlantis by Brian Power

Book Details:

Book Title:  Song of Atlantis by Brian Power
Category:  Adult Fiction, 322 pages
Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher:  Brian J Power
Release date:  December 2014
Format available for review:  print
Will send print books out:  USA & Canada
Tour dates: May 13 – 24, 2019
Content Rating:  PG-13 + M (No explicit sex scene or excessive profanity)

Book Description:

A shocking discovery leads one scientist down a dangerous path in Brian Power’s compelling debut novel, Song of Atlantis.

When Amon Goro, master architect of Atlantis, discovers a way to harness the earth’s forces into an infinite source of clean energy, it seems destined to change civilization as we know it.

But 4,500 years later, Atlantis exploration team leader Palen Golendar is brutally captured by a Native American tribe in modern-day South Dakota—derailing any hope Atlantis held of utilizing its energy secrets.

Eight thousand years in the future, Native American anthropologist Gordon Tallbear and his team of highly skilled researchers stumble across a connection between the recent discovery of Golendar’s remains and an intricate cavern system deep in the mountains of Antarctica…a connection that finally reveals the Atlantean secret of perpetual energy.

While Tallbear and his team plan to recreate the energy source that will change the world, a wealthy group with deep ties to carbon-based fuel producers decides this newfound energy source must be destroyed—and they will stop at nothing to assassinate the researchers in order to bury what they know.

Can Tallbear’s newfound knowledge survive?

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads

Brian Power

Meet the Author:  

​Brian Power is an educator who has taught at both the high school and college levels. He earned a BS degree in English and Secondary Education, and an MA in International Relations. A retired corporate consultant and trainer, he is also a retired Marine Corps Reserve Lieutenant Colonel who served for 24 years on both active duty and in the reserves. He lives in Rhode Island with his wife. SONG OF ATLANTIS is his first book.

​For more information, please visit his Website.


BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE:

May 13 – Working Mommy Journal – review / giveaway
May 14 – Locks, Hooks and Books – review / author interview / giveaway
May 15 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – review / giveaway
May 16 – #redhead.with.book – review / giveaway
May 17 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – review / guest post / giveaway
May 20 – Books for Books – review
May 21 – A Fountain of Books – review / author interview / giveaway
May 22 – Library of Clean Reads – review / giveaway
May 23 – JBronder Book Reviews – review / guest post / giveaway
May 24 – Readers Muse – review / guest post

REVIEW:

Song of Atlantis will blow your mind! The author has an incredible imagination and has done massive amounts of research to bring us an incredibly detailed, entertaining and fascinating account of what the Atlanteans may have been like.

The author was able to successfully integrate the past and present using alternating chapters – slowly leading us to the links that would complete the story.

I was fascinated by the discoveries in Antarctica – the author used detailed and imaginative word pictures that seemed so realistic.

I really did enjoy the characters in the book, although Joanna and Tallbear were a bit too perfect (yeah, yeah, I’ll have to write my own book) (see page 322) but this really didn’t detract from the sophisticated storyline. The evil guys were pretty scary (reader beware).

Very similar to a Clive Cussler novel, anyone who loves to read action and adventure will not be able to put this book down.

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Book review: The Survivors by Kate Furnivall

Title: The Survivors by Kate Furnivall

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (Sept. 6 2018)

Pages: 400

Genre: historical fiction

Description

Germany, 1945. Klara Janowska and her daughter Alicja have walked for weeks to get to Graufeld Displaced Persons camp. In the cramped, dirty, dangerous conditions they, along with 3,200 others, are the lucky ones. They have survived and will do anything to find a way back home.

But when Klara recognises a man in the camp from her past, a deadly game of cat and mouse begins.

He knows exactly what she did during the war to save her daughter.

She knows his real identity.

What will be the price of silence? And will either make it out of the camp alive?

Buy the book: Amazon.ca Barnes & Noble

Kate Furnivall

About the author:

Kate Furnivall had the shock proof of her life when she learned just over a decade ago that she was part Russian. Not a demure all-English rose after all then. It changed her life. Triggered those Russian genes into action. Inspired by her grandmother’s dramatic St Petersburg life-story at the time of the Soviet Revolution, Kate wrote her first historical novel, The Russian Concubine, which hit the New York Times Bestseller list and was sold in 25 countries.

It hooked Kate into the thrill of setting powerful emotional stories in dramatic far-off locations. She took to travelling with a vengeance – Russia, China, Malaya, Egypt, Bahamas, Italy, France. All became backdrops for her sweeping tales set in the first half of the 20th century when the world was in turmoil.

Research trips were riddled with wonderful adventures and weird discoveries that enrich her books. She delves into dark themes as well as intense love stories, and strips her characters to the bare bones in times of crisis to see what they are made of. Her books are full of tension, twists and thrills, atmosphere and romance.

Kate was raised in Wales, went to London Uni and worked in advertising in London. She now lives in blissful Devon with her husband, snuggled up close to Agatha Christie’s house for inspiration. She has two sons and a manky cat.

Kate has written ten historical novels, two of which have been shortlisted for the RNA Historical Novel of the Year Award.

Connect with the author: WebsiteTwitterFacebook

Review

An intelligent and dramatic description of life in a displaced persons camp after WWII. Klara and Alicja Janowska are survivors of the horrors of war and find themselves living in Graufeld Displaced Persons Camp. Klara is fiercely protective of her young but fearless daughter Alicja. She has no protector, her pilot husband a casualty of the war.

Although life in the camp is already fraught with danger and privations, a man from Klara’s past enters the camp under an assumed identity, a man who poses a real threat to their safety. Unable to leave the camp, she goes on high alert to gather her friends closely around her to protect Alicja as she formulates a plan.

Despite the apparent hopelessness of their situation, a gentle Frenchman, Davide, who has also suffered privation through the loss of his family and his health, assumes the role of friend and protector. Having long lost the ability to trust, Klara is drawn to him. Could her plan put her newfound friendship in jeopardy?

Impeccably written, this story wraps itself around you as you follow Klara from her past to her present. You don’t want to let them go.

Book review: Marine (Halley’s Casino Book 2) by Mark JG Fahey

Book Details:

Book Title:  Marine (Halley’s Casino Book 2) by Mark JG Fahey
Category:  Adult Fiction,  378 pages
Genre:   Science Fiction / Humor
Publisher:  Self-published
Release date:  Oct 20, 2016
Format available for review:  print & ebook (mobi, PDF, ePub)
Will send print books out:  USA and Canada
Tour dates: Jan 2 to 31, 2019
Content Rating: PG (No f-words, mild violence, readable for all ages 12 and up)

Book Description:

Nebula Yorker (“Neb” to his friends) finds himself on the water planet of Marine in a race to recover a long lost Triopelian Star Chart he previously never knew existed.

Along the way Neb encounters new friends and a villainous brother and sister team bent on doing whatever they must to get their hands on the star chart first – including mayhem and murder.

One cocky android, one imbibed professor, one universal(ly) renowned scientist and one ice breathing sassy Water Dragon make Neb wonder whether the past 3 years travelling with Halley’s Casino was just a peaceful lull?

Who will find the star chart first? What are the implications if Neb doesn’t? And what does a Water Moon have to do with all of this?

​John Lennon seems to know….

This book is part of a trilogy. The author is also willing to offer the first book Halley’s Casino for review.
​Just choose this option on the sign-up form.

Halley's Casino by Mark JG Fahey

Book Details:

Book Title:  Halley’s Casino by Mark JG Fahey
Category:  Adult Fiction,  304 pages
Genre:   Science Fiction / Humor
Publisher:  Self-published
Release date:  Jan 25, 2016
Format available for review:  print & ebook (mobi, PDF, ePub)
Will send print books out:  USA and Canada
Tour dates: Jan 2 to 31, 2019
Content Rating: PG (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.

​Halley’s Casino: 3rd place winner in a worldwide competition with World’s Best Story 2017 . Finalist and 3rd place winner with the Independent Author Network October 2018 and is also a finalist for the inaugural Canadian Book Club Awards 2018.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

REVIEW:
.
Our space opera continues with Nebula Yorker (Neb) as assistant concierge on Halley’s Comet.  He’s happy with his new job and has made some great friends.
.
Again, the author’s imagination continues to astonish me.  I’m not a big scifi reader (although I’m a scifi fan) but this story is so off-the-wall and unpredictable that I can’t put it down.  I love all the characters!
.
The plot thickens as Neb learns of a missing star chart.  Not exactly sure what the star chart is, he embarks on a recovery mission with his friends to locate it.   Villains, evil politicians and enormous sea monsters may prove his undoing!  Be prepared to scream!  (or gasp!)
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Not a standalone book, you need to read Halley’s Comet first to familiarize yourself with the plot and characters.  Have a wonderful trip around the universe!
.
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Looking to the Stars from Old Algiers and Other Long Stories Short by Jan Risher

Book Details:

Book Title: Looking to the Stars from Old Algiers and Other Long Stories Short
Author: Jan Risher
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction,  312 pages
Genre:  Memoir/collection of essays that create a narrative
Publisher:  Sans Souci Press, imprint of University of Louisiana Press
Release date:   Oct 9, 2018
Format available for review:  print and ebook (ePUB, PDF)
Willing to send print books to: USA & Canada
Tour dates:  Dec 3 to 14, 2018
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

Jan Risher took the long way to get from Mississippi to Louisiana with stops in between in Slovakia, Mexica, China, Burkina Faso and more than 40 other countries. Since moving to Louisiana, she has been a Sunday columnist for The Daily Advertiser and has written a column every single Sunday since 2002.

Looking to the Stars from Old Algiers and Other Long Stories Short is the collection of columns written over 15 years. Arranged in chronological order, the collection creates a narrative of one woman’s aim to build her family, build up her community and weave the stories and lessons learned from the past into the present.

From her family’s move to Louisiana, adoption of a daughter from China, covering Hurricane Katrina, travels near and far, author Jan Risher attempts, sometimes failing and sometimes succeeding, to do her small part to make the world a better place.

Jan Risher

Meet the Author:

Jan Risher is an award-winning journalist and investigative reporter. She was managing editor of The Times of Acadiana. Before and after her time as a full-time journalist, she was an English teacher. She has taught English near and far, in its most basic and most lyrical forms. She continues her career as a freelance writer and now owns Shift Key, a content marketing and public relations firm. She, her husband and their two daughters have made their home on the banks of the Vermilion River.

Connect with Jan:   Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

REVIEW:
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Partly memoir, partly newspaper column articles, this was a delightful read from the onset.  Jan Risher has a way of putting you at ease as you read the accounts of her travels and family life.  She has a way of making even the mundane interesting.  I bookmarked several pages that I wanted to read again.
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The book is divided into short segments chronicling moments from her family life as well as her work as a journalist.    I especially enjoyed the columns when she talks about raising her daughters, from the adoption of a little girl (Piper)  from China and the challenges and realities she faced when she was covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
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I would have loved to have had a paper copy of this book to keep and read over again (as opposed to a digital copy).
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Book review: Journeys of a Lifetime by National Geographic

  • Title and author:  Journeys of a Lifetime, Second Edition: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips by National Geographic, George Stone
  • Publisher:  National Geographic
  • Date published:  October 23, 2018
  • Pages:  416
  • Genre:  Travel, reference, pictorial, guidebook

DESCRIPTION:  

Featuring 120 new destinations, this best-selling inspirational travel guide reveals 500 celebrated and lesser-known destinations around the globe, from ocean cruises in Antarctica to horse treks in the Andes. Completely revised and updated for its 10th anniversary.

Compiled from the favorite trips of National Geographic’s legendary travel writers, this fully updated, 10th anniversary edition of Journeys of a Lifetime spans the globe to highlight the best of the world’s most celebrated and lesser-known sojourns. Offering a diverse array of possibilities, every continent and possible form of transport is covered, illustrated with glorious color photographs. With 16 new pages; new destinations like Cartegena, Colombia; and updated information throughout, this timely new edition is the perfect resource for travelers who crave adventurous trips–from trekking the heights of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to mountain biking in Transylvania–and those searching for more specific experiences (the world’s top small cruises, hot new museums around the world, secrets for following in the footsteps of film and TV heroes, and more). Each chapter features stunning photography, full-color maps, and practical tips, including how to get there, when to visit, and how to make the most of your journey.

Informative and inspiring, this luxurious volume is a lifelong resource that readers will treasure for years to come.

BUY THE BOOK:   Amazon | Hive.co.uk | Amazon.com

REVIEW:  This six pound reference book is a veritable guide to pretty much anyplace you want to explore and how you want to do it.  Not everyone travels the same way or wants to do the same thing so this book breaks down trips and destinations into sections that will appeal to different travelers.

Each page highlights a destination with a brief (not exhaustive) summary, advice about when to go, how long, when to plan, inside information and a list of websites to visit for more information.  There is also a small map with tidbits of information on the side panel.  Naturally, photographs fill the book.

Here are a few examples of different types of trips:

Are you a foodie?  Chapter 6 teases you with different foodie tours

Kentucky Bourbon Trail (page 249)

Blue Mountain Coffee (page 254

Thailand Cuisine Tour (page 259)

Love trains?  Chapter 3 provides information for the train lover – whether luxurious or spartan.

Mexico, EL Chepe (page 113)

Vietnam, The Reunification Express (page 119)

India, The Palace on wheels (page 125)

Intrepid Hiker?  Chapter 4 – Put on your hiking books and follow some of these trails (both city and wilderness trips)!

Vermont, the Appalachian Trail (149)

Utah, Paria Canyon (153)

Hawai’i, The Kalalau Trail (page 157)

As a world traveler and photographer, I’ve been to many of the places I read about in the book.  Because there are so many destinations featured in this guide, there isn’t really a lot of information per subject.  That’s where you have fun doing your own research!  I’ve already tagged a few pages of destinations I would like to visit!

I highly recommend this guide for any intrepid (or non-intrepid) explorer who wants to explore places both far flung or closer to home.

 
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Book review: The Wisdom of Listening: Pieces of Gold from a Decade of Interviewing and Life by Marilyn R. Wilson

Book Details:

Book Title: The Wisdom of Listening: Pieces of Gold from a Decade of Interviewing and Life by Marilyn R. Wilson
Category:  Adult Non-fiction, 220 pages
Genre:  Self-Esteem, Motivational, Personal Transformation
Publisher:  Real People – Real Lives Press
Release date:  May 28, 2018
Format available for review:  print and ebook (mobi and ePub)
Willing to send print books to: USA and Canada
Tour dates:  Sept 24 to Oct 12, 2018
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

The next time you’re out in public, take a moment to look around you. Each and every person you see holds wisdom in their pockets–pieces of gold they’ve accumulated as they walked their own unique life journey.

Within these pages, Marilyn shares some of the many pieces of gold she has received over her decade-long career. They have been offered to her during interviews, through random encounters and while facing difficult challenges. The most important? We are each unique and exactly who we are meant to be.

Are you ready to dig for gold? All you need to do is be brave, be present in the moment and be open to the possibilities–then start a conversation.

Praise for The Wisdom of Listening:

“Every life has a story and, no matter our background, we share similar hopes, dreams and fears. This book not only gives you insight into the varied lives of its subjects but, through Marilyn’s reflections, shows how we each walk a similar spiritual path.”
– Robbin Whachell, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Bahamas Weekly

“Marilyn shows us, through her compassionate and incisive interviews, how to grasp and link those golden moments, like sparkling prisms of light, into an animated and profound acceptance of ourselves, the people we encounter, the relationships we build, and the dreams that will set us free.”
– Gabriella Contestabile, Author, Founder of Su Misura Sensory Journeys

I was reminded we are collectively each walking our own paths, but often experience similar emotions, feelings, obstacles, challenges, triumphs, rewards and successes. We all learn as we go and we all become wiser as time passes. This is humanity. The diversity in each of us as a whole is awesome.”
– RozeMerie Cuevas, Co-Founder and Designer at JAC by Jacqueline Conoir

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Amazon.ca ~ Barnes and Noble
Add to Goodreads

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Picture

Meet the Author:

Marilyn R. Wilson is a freelance writer, published author and speaker with a passion for interviewing. Her career as a writer began in an unusual way: by answering a Craigslist ad from a NYC magazine. The world shifted when she conducted her first interview—she had found her passion.

Since 2006, she has interviewed over a hundred and fifty people from around the globe, co-owned a local magazine, wrote freelance for others, worked as an editor, published two books and provided author support for her publisher. Her goal as an author — to give wings to the stories of others and to pay forward some of the many “pieces of gold” received during interviews – bits of wisdom that have changed her life. ​

Connect with Marilyn: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

REVIEW:
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Marilyn has put together a treasure trove of inspiring “pieces of gold” or bits of wisdom she has acquired through years of interviewing and listening to others.  She has generously passed these on to her readers in her volume “The Wisdom of Listening”.
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She begins her book with her own story.  I am acquainted with Marilyn, having read her first book as well as through our connections on social media.  I’ve always been curious to learn more about her work as an author and fashionista and was delighted to read her story.
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Her “pieces of gold” are easily read and absorbed because her book is separated into little chapters that you can read in a few minutes.  At the end of each chapter she leaves us with an inspirational quote.
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Most of what we find in Marilyn’s book is practical wisdom such as building a good support team, taking time for yourself,  living one day at a time and being fully present and focused in the the moment.
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I really enjoyed reading each chapter and am thinking of the different ways I can apply what I’ve learned.
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