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: 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:
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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.
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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!
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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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Thursday, November 15th: Instagram: @places_and_books
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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

​​

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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Book review: The Miracle Man by William R. Leibowitz

Book Details:

Book Title:  The Miracle Man by William R. Leibowitz
Series: The Miracle Man Series Book 1
Category:  Adult Fiction, 446 pages
Genre:   Thriller
Publisher:  Manifesto Media Group
Release date:  February 2014
Format available for review:  print & ebook (mobi, PDF & ePUB)
Will send print books to: USA & Canada
Tour dates: Aug 6 to Sept 14, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (Some profane language, some use of the word ‘g*ddamit’, mature subjects including pandemic disease, terrorism, sex abuse, suicide)

Book Description:

REVERED REVILED REMARKABLE

​The victim of an unspeakable crime, an infant rises to become a new type of superhero. Unlike any that have come before him, he is not a fanciful creation of animators, he is real.

So begins the saga of Robert James Austin, the greatest genius in human history. But where did his extraordinary intelligence come from?

As agents of corporate greed vie with rabid anti-Western radicals to destroy him, an obsessive government leader launches a bizarre covert mission to exploit his intellect. Yet Austin’s greatest fear is not of this world.

Aided by two exceptional women, one of whom will become his unlikely lover, Austin struggles against abandonment and betrayal. But the forces that oppose him are more powerful than even he can understand.

Miracle Man is the winner of a Best Thriller national award, and was named by Amazon as ONE OF THE TOP 100 NOVELS OF 2015, a TOP 10 BEST SELLING THRILLER and a TOP 10 NEW YORK TIMES/AMAZON BEST SELLER

Buy the book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ iBooks ~ Kobo
Add to Goodreads

William R. Leibowitz

Meet the Author:

William R. Leibowitz practices law internationally and prefers not spending too much time in any one place. He is a graduate of New York University and Columbia University Law School.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

REVIEW:

Peter and Edith Austin, who had successfully adopted and raised a large family and were now close to retirement, were were asked to adopt an abandoned baby.  They agreed, provided the child had no serious health issues.  When Bobby began to develop recurring nightmares they brought him to a doctor only to discover that their little boy’s intelligence was so extraordinary that he was soon placed in a government sponsored institute for gifted children.

As it turns out, Bobby’s IQ was off the chart.  Way off.   The government provided everything he needed to develop and grow his intellect.  But do the math and science skills Bobby possess come with a price?

A thought-provoking plot as well as a glimpse into the workings of the different governmental organizations and  pharmaceutical companies provide an interesting backdrop to the story.

Although the storyline was compelling and kept me turning the pages, there wasn’t a lot of character development.  The romance and accompanying dialogue between Bobby and Christina was awkward and superficial and didn’t sound very realistic. The characters were rather one-dimensional.

Although this is admittedly a work of fiction, there were some inaccuracies that could have been avoided with further research.

At 420 pages, this was a bit of a clunker but the unusual plot kept my attention until the very end.  The cliffhanger was a complete surprise (please stay tuned:  there is a 465 page sequel!)

If you are looking for a psychological thriller / scifi drama, you’re sure to enjoy this novel.

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Book review: The Life and Lessons of a Young Author by Sunayna Prasad

Book Details:
Book Title:  The Life and Lessons of a Young Author by Sunayna Prasad
Category:  YA Non-fiction, 19 pages
Genre:  Writing
Publisher:  Ingram Spark
Release date:  Sept 1, 2018
Format available for review:  ebook (PDF)
Tour dates: Aug 13 to 31, 2018
Content Rating: G
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Book Description:  Want to be an author? No matter where you are in life, you need to learn the reality of writing marketable books and the publishing world. I share my experience as a published author younger than 25 and offer tips, tricks, and guidelines about the life of being a young author.

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

Sunayna Prasad

Meet the Author:

Sunayna Prasad has been writing since she was six. She continues to write fiction and non-fiction today and has even won a Pacific Book-Review award. She lives in New York, and when not writing, likes to create art and cook.

Connect with Sunayna: Website ~ Facebook

REVIEW:
It was Sunayna Prasad’s dream to have her stories published.  She was a prolific writer, even as a young girl.  She tried to go it alone.  Until she realized that writing a book involved more than a good storyline.
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Through trial and error Sunaya learned what was necessary to publish her book.   It wasn’t easy and at times quite painful, especially when she would have to get rid of a favourite character (kill her darlings …).
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A down-to-earth, informal memoir that gives other aspiring writers the advice they need to tell their story.
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Book review: The Mystery of the Missing Mask (a Maple Harbour Adventure) by M.A. Wilson

  • Title and author:  The Mystery of the Missing Mask by M.A. Wilson
  • Publisher:  Rainy Bay Press
  • Date of publication:  November 16, 2017
  • Pages:  158
  • Genre:  children’s fiction / action & adventure

DESCRIPTION:

Ryan and Kendra have returned to Maple Harbour on the British Columbia coast to visit their cousins Claire and Nathan. But the sleepy little town has been rocked by the news that a valuable Indigenous mask has been stolen, only days after it arrived at the local museum! While museum officials and the police search for answers, the four children and their new friend Tyler stumble upon a series of exciting clues. As they enjoy their summer holidays, not everything is what it seems. Join the four friends on another unforgettable summer of adventure!

Buy the book:   Amazon    Indigo-Chapters

Meet the author:  Michael Wilson lives with his family in Gibsons, British Columbia. The Mystery of the Missing Mask is his second book for children. His first book, Adventure on Whalebone Island, was shortlisted for the BC Reader’s Choice Children’s Book Award and the Saskatchewan Young Readers’ Choice Award. When not writing, he likes to sail his Flying Junior in the waters of Howe Sound.

Connect with the author:   Website   

REVIEW:  

I had so much fun reading about Ryan and Kendra’s adventure on Whalebone Island that I decided to follow them on their next trip back to the BC coast the following year.

What I love about this series is that the stories are good, clean reads with a lot of excitement thrown in.  The children portrayed in this series are polite, hardworking and curious.  In this book, one of the characters is confronted with a moral issue about returning stolen property even though the owner treated her badly.   The young reader will also learn a bit about geography, marine biology, history, anthropology, sailing and learning to work together with others on projects.

Aunt Jennie is a great cook, just reading about what she cooks for the family every day makes me want to hang out with them!

A great vacation read that every kid should have tucked into their backpack!

Book review: Dear Mrs. Bird by A. J. Pearce

  • Title and author:  Dear Mrs. Bird by A. J. Pearce
  • Publisher:  Scribner
  • Date of publication:  July 3, 2018
  • Pages:  288
  • Genre:  historical fiction

DESCRIPTION:

A charming, irresistible debut novel set in London during World War II about an adventurous young woman who becomes a secret advice columnist—a warm, funny, and enormously moving story for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Lilac Girls.

London 1940, bombs are falling. Emmy Lake is Doing Her Bit for the war effort, volunteering as a telephone operator with the Auxiliary Fire Services. When Emmy sees an advertisement for a job at the London Evening Chronicle, her dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent seem suddenly achievable. But the job turns out to be typist to the fierce and renowned advice columnist, Henrietta Bird. Emmy is disappointed, but gamely bucks up and buckles down.

Mrs Bird is very clear: Any letters containing Unpleasantness—must go straight in the bin. But when Emmy reads poignant letters from women who are lonely, may have Gone Too Far with the wrong men and found themselves in trouble, or who can’t bear to let their children be evacuated, she is unable to resist responding. As the German planes make their nightly raids, and London picks up the smoldering pieces each morning, Emmy secretly begins to write letters back to the women of all ages who have spilled out their troubles.

Prepare to fall head over heels with Emmy and her best friend, Bunty, who are spirited and gutsy, even in the face of events that bring a terrible blow. As the bombs continue to fall, the irrepressible Emmy keeps writing, and readers are transformed by AJ Pearce’s hilarious, heartwarming, and enormously moving tale of friendship, the kindness of strangers, and ordinary people in extraordinary times.

Buy the book:    Amazon    Indigo/Chapters   Barnes & Noble

MEET THE AUTHOR:   AJ Pearce grew up in Hampshire and studied at the University of Sussex. A chance discovery of a 1939 women’s magazine became the inspiration for her ever-growing collection and her first novel Dear Mrs Bird. She now lives and writes in the south of England.

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REVIEW:

A delightful and witty piece of historical fiction which will have you both laughing and crying. Emmy is an aspiring girl war correspondent who leaves her job as a secretary at a law firm to work for a newspaper. Her dreams are dashed when she discovers that she is merely a typist for Mrs. Bird, an overbearing and imperious ladies columnist writer who brooks no “unpleasantness” in her column. As Emmy reads the letters sent into the paper, she feels impelled to respond to these heartfelt requests. But she hadn’t counted on the consequences her actions would eventually bring. Funny, poignant and touching, this novel will soon become one of your favourites.

If you enjoyed reading “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” then you will fall in love with “Dear Mrs. Bird”. I would love to see a sequel to this story.