Book review: The Bedtimeasnaurus by Mike Bayliss

  • Title and author:  The Bedtimeasnaurus by Mike Bayliss / illustrated by Megan Egan
  • Publisher:  Bespoke Book Publishing
  • Date published:  November 14, 2017
  • Pages:  32
  • Genre:  children’s literature / children’s fiction /  poetry

Description:

A charming collection of gorgeously illustrated poems to encourage fun and bedtime bonding between parents and their children.

The bright pink flamingoasaurus spends its day standing on one leg looking for something to eat. The round and delicious tomotoasaurus sings a tune while soaking up the sun. These are just two of the imaginative and amusing dinosaurs dreamed up in The Bedtimeasnaurus, the sometimes naughty and always hilarious poetry collection for children by Mike Bayliss.

Developing the idea for over thirty years while working on other projects , Bayliss was encouraged to publish his collection after being diagnosed with stage IV non – Hodgkin lymphoma in April 2017, using his work as a positive outlet for his energy as he worked to battle the illness.

Complimented by charming illustrations, opportunities for kids to draw their own dinosaur creations and simple quizzes on each of the characters, The Bedtimeasnaurus not only provides an entertaining read for young children before they go to sleep but also offers a valuable chance for parents to connect and engage.

Buy the book:   Amazon.co.uk   

Meet the author:   Born in Walsaill West Midland, UK, Bayliss is an entrepreneur that owns companies in several industries including building supply and property development. He also owns Bespoke Brewery, which opened in 2012 and has since won a number of awards for its craft beer. He lives with his wife and three children in Forest Dean, UK. This is his first book. 

Connect with the author:   Website    Facebook    goodreads

 

Meet the illustrator:
Hi there! My name is Megan Egan, and I’m a Brummie who just loves to create!

Creative Soul and Daydreamer, forged at Imaginate Creative in Leamington Spa, evolving into an Art Director at School of Communication Arts 2.0 in London.

I like drawing, pens, cats, big cities, drum & bass, spray paint, trainers, wine, weird clothes, clouds, graffiti, stickers, books, touchy-feely things, seals, cider, nice packaging, funky lights, bright orange, bare brick walls, scarves, abandoned buildings, olives, colouring in, bones, big windows, untouched snow, scribbling, pizza, fresh bedsheets, the smell of petrol, coffee… and I just bloody LOVE neon!

Connect with the illustrator:    Website    Twitter    Facebook    Instagram

REVIEW:

This is one of the funniest children’s poetry books I’ve read in a long time!  It’s pretty silly with a lot of “burping” rhymes!  It’s the kind of bedtime reading book that a child will want to have read over and over.  The illustrations are comical and interestingly, the more you look at them the more you see.

At the end of the book there is an interactive section entitled “Quiz time!” where you can go back and look for different things in the poems and pictures.

There is also an empty page where you can draw your own Bedtimeasnaurus (you can even give him a name!).  The last page is lined and you are encouraged to write your own funny poem.

It doesn’t end there!  What I like about this book is that it provides extra activities for the parent and child to do together.  The author has provided an email address where you can send your dino picture.  There is a competition for the best dinos.  https://www.thebedtimeasnaurus.co.uk/

A fun, interactive book that will tickle your funny bone!

Book review: Then She was Born by Cristiano Gentili

  • Title and author:  Then she was Born by Cristiano Gentili
  • Translator:  Lori Hetherington
  • Publisher:  #HelpAfricanAlbinos
  • Publication date:  January 9, 2017
  • Pages:  309 pages
  • Genre:  Women’s fiction / Africa / cultural heritage

SYNOPSIS

2017 Award Winning B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree and Awesome Indies Seal of Excellence for Outstanding Independent Literature.

Then She Was Born is more than a novel. It’s an international human rights awareness campaign supported by eleven Nobel Peace Prize laureates, the Dalai Lama and Pope Francis. Based on an inconceivable reality for many in the world today, Then She Was Born combines the drama and redemption of Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner with the spirituality of Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist.

A child is born and the joy of her parents turns to horror. The child is different, in a way that will bring bad luck to their superstitious community. The tradition should be for her to be abandoned, but Nkamba, the grandmother, is allowed to care for her.

Naming her Adimu, Nkamba raises her as her own. Adimu is constantly marginalized and shunned by the community, although her spirit remains undiminished and full of faith. But when she encounters the wealthy British mine owner Charles Fielding and his wife Sarah, it is the beginning of something which will test them all.

As Charles Fielding’s fortunes wane, he turns in desperation to a witch doctor whose suggestion leaves him horrified. But as events begin to spiral out of control he succumbs to the suggestions and a group of men are sent on a terrible mission. The final acts, of one man driven by greed and another by power, will have a devastating effect on many lives.

Cristiano Gentili’s glittering prose and vivid imagery will have you captivated from the first page.

Buy the book:   Amazon.ca      Barnes & Noble 

Meet the author:   Cristiano Gentili is an author and a civil servant, from the Italian region of Tuscany. He is married and has a child.

Since his graduation, where he obtained a BA in political science, a MAs in humanitarian assistance and a PhD in social science, Cristiano’s work has taken him to some of the most challenging locations around the world, often dealing with the after effects of war and natural disasters. He currently works in Ukraine, in the hazardous border area with Russia.

In 2011, he went on a personal fact-finding trip to Tanzania, to assess the living conditions of Africans with albinism. From that experience his goal became to raise awareness of the living conditions of African albinos through the #HelpAfricanAlbinos campaign. His novel, Then She Was Born, is the English translation of his book, originally written in Italian.

Cristiano has met with eleven Nobel Peace Laureates, the Dalai Lama and Pope Francis, who have each read a part of his novel and have leant their considerable support to the campaign.

Connect with the author:   Website   Facebook  Twitter  goodreads  Instagram 

REVIEW:

Adimu is a zeru-zeru, a nobody.  What her clan doesn’t understand is that she is not evil or to be feared, she is simply an albino.  This fictional story takes place in Tanzania where albinism is common.  In the larger cities such as Dar es Salaam, albinos are not treated any differently.  However, in small villages where tribal religions and superstition are the norm, these children are treated as non-humans.

Although this book is a work of fiction, it brings to light the tragedy of being born an albino in Tanzania.  Through the use of several very different characters, he author shows how these children are being abused solely on what they are perceived to be.

The plot was well written and suspenseful, however it does contain some very graphic scenes.  Apart from a couple of awkward parts, the translation was very well done.

I have met several albino children in Canada over the past few years.  These children are very much loved by their parents.  I thought I would include a heartwarming photo of two young girls enjoying themselves at a wedding.

Then She Was Born is a compelling and thought-provoking narrative that draws our attention to the plight of albinos in Tanzania.

Book review: First, We Brunch by Rebecca Wellman

  • Title and author:  First, We Brunch by Rebecca Wellman
  • Publisher:  TouchWood Editions
  • Date:  October 24, 2017
  • Pages:  304 pages
  • Genre:  Cookbook |  Food & Wine | local culture

DESCRIPTION:

A carefully curated collection of recipes from Victoria, BC, the brunch capital of Canada.

It’s the weekend in picturesque Victoria, and whether you’re planning on enjoying a scenic seaside hike or indulging in some window shopping, we all have priorities: First, we brunch.

This exquisitely photographed cookbook showcases more than 60 recipes from the city’s most beloved mid-morning eateries. Food writer and photographer Rebecca Wellman introduces us to the people and stories behind the capital city’s diners, bistros, cafés, coffee shops, bakeries, and more. Get the inside scoop on iconic diners such as Floyd’s and newer hot spots like Jam, Agrius, Be Love, and Nourish.

For the visitor, this cookbook is a simple, trustworthy guidebook to Victoria’s best eats, and a fabulous gift to take home to friends and family. Whether you’re after a quick, budget brunch, a hearty vegan breakfast, or a much-needed hangover cure, Wellman helps you choose the ideal mid-morning eatery. And if you’re a Victorian local, you’ll love the resources for finding the freshest ingredients so you can whip up a terrific brunch at home. This stylish, image-rich collection of recipes and stories is the ultimate guide to Canada’s brunch capital, and offers yet another delicious way to celebrate the city’s thriving food culture.

BUY THE BOOK:   AMAZON.CA   CHAPTERS / INDIGO    MUNROS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Rebecca Wellman has always had a strong love for all things culinary. Over the past decade, she has contributed her food and lifestyle photography to many print publications including Victoria’s EAT magazine and the Outlander Kitchen Cookbook (Penguin Random House, 2016), and has worked as a stills photographer on set with The Food Network. She continues to write, create, cook, style, shoot and enjoy all the West Coast has to offer. Find out more at rebeccawellman.ca.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR:

WEBSITE   TWITTER   FACEBOOK   INSTAGRAM

REVIEW:

I had just discovered Demitasse,  a little gem of a coffee shop in Oak Bay, Victoria.  While paying for my pecan square and cappuccino, I noticed an attractive cookbook next to the cash.  I immediately recognized that this is a book I had to have.  You see, I lived in Montreal (the foodie capital of North America) for many years.  It was taking me a while to adapt to western Canadian cuisine and culture.  It is very difficult to find a coffee shop or restaurant (other than a chain restaurant or pub) open after 5:00 in the city, so I was a little depressed.

Hmmm, there had to be a way to discover the best that Victoria had to offer. So I started walking.  and walking.  Guess what?  There is a fabulous brunch culture in Victoria!  Local chefs have combined fresh, organic ingredients and unusual combinations that will knock your socks off.

Rebecca Wellman’s book, “First, We Brunch” is a companion guide to the good brunch life here in the city.  I had already visited several of the local restaurants and was pleasantly surprised to learn that little restaurants I would walk by fairly frequently also had brunch menus.

The book begins with a quote:  “In Victoria, BC, we have priorities.  First, we brunch”.  Rebecca’s motto “I’m a simple woman.  I like handsome, bearded men and breakfast food” had me from the first page.  The book showcases several local breakfast institutions along with some pretty amazing photographs of dishes they serve.  Did you know that Rebecca is a talented photographer in her own right?  Yep.  I love a great photo book and Rebecca’s images make you want to put the book under your arm and run out for a “Dark Ale Caramel Toast with Espresso Whip” (the picture on the cover).

You can find a few recipes of some of your favourite dishes in the book as well farms and business where you can source local, fresh ingredients.  Maps of Victoria can be found on the inside of both the front and back covers.

If you aren’t sure where to begin, she has included a chart to make your selection easier:I’m looking forward to all sorts of new discoveries this winter! 😀

Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms by Robert Paul Weston

  • Title and author:  Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms by Robert Paul Weston and Misa Saburi
  • Publisher:  Penguin Random House
  • Published:  February 20, 2018
  • Pages:  40 pages
  • Genre:  Children’s literature / children’s picture books / culture

SYNOPSIS

Sakura’s dad gets a new job in America, so she and her parents make the move from their home in Japan. When she arrives in the States, most of all she misses her grandmother and the cherry blossom trees, under which she and her grandmother used to play and picnic. She wonders how she’ll ever feel at home in this new place, with its unfamiliar language and landscape. One day, she meets her neighbor, a boy named Luke, and begins to feel a little more settled. When her grandmother becomes ill, though, her family takes a trip back to Japan. Sakura is sad when she returns to the States and once again reflects on all she misses. Luke does his best to cheer her up — and tells her about a surprise he knows she’ll love, but she’ll have to wait till spring. In the meantime, Sakura and Luke’s friendship blooms and finally, when spring comes, Luke takes her to see the cherry blossom trees flowering right there in her new neighborhood.

Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms captures the beauty of the healing power of friendship through Weston’s Japanese poetry-inspired text and Saburi’s breathtaking illustrations.

Buy the book:   Penguin    Amazon    Barnes & Noble

Meet the author:   Robert Paul Weston’s first novel was Zorgamazoo, a Booklist top ten debut of 2008. Born in the UK and raised in Canada, Robert Paul Weston lives in Toronto, where he currently teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto.

Connect with the author:  Website   Facebook   Twitter   Instagram

REVIEW:

This little story is about Sakura, a Japanese girl whose life is transplanted from Japan to America. She misses her grandmother, Obaachan and the little things they would do together in the spring when the cherry trees were blooming. Sakura finds learning a new language to be a bit tricky, as English sounds are very different from Japanese words. Her new little friend Luke is helping her adapt to her new life in America, such as making snow angels (I adore the snow angel picture!)

The story is written in a series of traditional tanka poems. A lovely little book that teaches children that, although learning a new language and culture can be difficult, it can have it’s own rewards and joys.

Book review: Whisper of the Moon Moth by Jayne Ashford

  • Title and author:  Whisper of the Moon Moth by Jayne Ashford
  • Publisher:  Lake Union Publishing
  • Date released:  October 1, 2017
  • Pages:  352
  • Genre:  Biographical | historical fiction

SYNOPSIS:

For nineteen-year-old Estelle Thompson, going to the cinema is more than a way to pass the time…it’s a way out. In 1931 in Calcutta, Anglo-Indian girls like Estelle are considered half-breeds, shunned by both English and Indian society. Her only escape is through the silver screen, where she can forget the world around her.

When Estelle catches the eye of a dashing American heir with connections to a major motion-picture studio, he also captures her heart. Soon, Estelle has a one-way ticket to London and a recommendation for a screen test.

To get to the top, she must keep her Indian heritage concealed—and so begins her new identity as movie goddess Merle Oberon. But just as her dreams are poised to come true, she discovers that her own family is keeping a much more shocking secret from her—one that changes everything she’s believed about her past.

Buy the book:   Amazon    Barnes & Noble    Audible

Meet the author:  Raised in Wolverhampton, UK, Lindsay Jayne Ashford became the first woman to graduate from Queens’ College, Cambridge in its 550 year history. She gained a degree in Criminology and was employed as a reporter for the BBC before becoming a freelance journalist, writing for a number of national magazines and newspapers.

Lindsay began her career as a novelist with a contemporary crime series featuring forensic psychologist Megan Rhys. She moved into the historical genre with ‘The Mysterious Death of Miss Jane Austen’, and her two most recent books, ‘The Color of Secrets’ and ‘The Woman on the Orient Express’ blend real events with fiction and are set in the first half of the twentieth century.  She has four children and divides her time between a house overlooking the sea on the west coast of Wales and a small farmhouse in Spain’s Sierra de Los Filabres. When she is not writing she is a volunteer with the charity Save the Children. She also enjoys kayaking and walking her dog – a Border Terrier.

Connect with the author:   Amazon author profile

MY REVIEW:

An absorbing fictional and biographical account about Merle Oberon (formerly Estelle Thompson) who had to hide her Anglo-Indian ancestry in order to break into the narrow-minded and bigoted film industry in England and then later Hollywood. Not a completely accurate account, the author describes the fictional liberties she took with both Merle and the other characters in the book.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the book was entertaining and had me constantly googling the characters and places that were mentioned in the book and I was able to sort out fiction from fact.

A fun read for anyone who loves Hollywood stories with a bit of fantasy and intrigue thrown in.

A Recipe for Disaster – a cookbook, travelogue and the companion to Cookucina, a six-part TV series

A Recipe For Disaster

A Recipe for Disaster is a cookbook, a travelogue and the companion to Cookucina, a six-part TV series available on Amazon Video, iTunes and Google Play – see www.cookucina.com .

It’s also the entertaining journey of an Englishman struggling with the ups and downs of living in rural Italy. After giving up a successful career in television, Stephen found himself dragged back into a world he had happily given up when his neighbour, Lia, persuaded him to listen to her Big Idea – making a TV cookery series. But Lia speaks no English.

 And Stephen’s partner, Tam, can’t cook. So, much against Stephen’s better judgement, the three of them embarked on a six-part series set among the rolling hills of the little-known, but spectacularly beautiful, Italian region of Le Marche. In the Cookucina TV series Lia teaches Tam to cook alla Marchigiana, while Tam translates. A Recipe for Disaster follows their many encounters with the real Italy – a world away from the picture-book ideal of summer holidays in Tuscany.

As the team try to construct a professional series with no funding they come to rely on the generosity of the Marchigiana people, while attempting to overcome the constant difficulties thrown up by those whose stubborn adherence to their age-old way of life is rooted in their beloved fields and woods. A Recipe for Disaster is a goldmine of simple yet delicious recipes, while peeling back the veneer of television professionalism and opening the door to a world of Italian surprise and delight.

A Recipe for Disaster comes with unique access to Cookucina, the final six-part TV series, so you can see for yourself how the team cracked their problems and (just about) held it all together in a blistering heatwave. Experience this contradictory world of vendettas and kind hearts through the laughter and frustrations of Stephen and the team, as you follow A Recipe for Disaster slowly coming to its surprising fruition.

Purchase Links:

iBooks http://bit.ly/iRecDis

Kindle http://bit.ly/KdleRecipe

Paperback http://bit.ly/RecDis

Goodreads http://bit.ly/GoodRec

Smashwords  http://bit.ly/SmaRec

Trailer for Cookucina – https://youtu.be/rh_wHv1o1Lg

Stephen Phelps

Educated at Oxford University, I began working with BBC Radio, moving to BBC TV where I launched Watchdog and produced the investigative legal series Rough Justice. In Hong Kong for BBC World Service Television I oversaw the start of BBC World. I then spent twelve years running my own TV production company, Just Television, specialising in investigative programmes in the field of law, justice and policing. In particular, Trial and Error for Channel 4 which exposed and investigated major miscarriages of justice, winning the Royal Television Society’s inaugural Specialist Journalism Award in 1999. Recently I have been working as a consultant for Aljazeera English on major documentary projects.

In 2002 I took an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. Writing credits include many plays for BBC Radio, my most recent being a drama documentary for the 30th anniversary of the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster. Books: The Tizard Mission published by Westholme Publishing in the United States, tells the extraordinary story of how Britain’s top scientists travelled in secret to America in the autumn of 1940 to give away all their wartime secrets to secure US support in WWII. A Recipe for Disaster is a book about living in Italy while trying to make a TV cookery series, Cookucina (now available on Amazon Video, Google Play and iTunes.

I have several other books and three screenplays in development.

Social Media Links 

Twitter:         @StephenP_Writer

Faceboook:   https://www.facebook.com/stanley.tinker

Instagram:    stephenp_writer

Medium:        https://medium.com/@stephenphelps

Web:                www.cookucina.com

Trailer for Cookucina:   https://youtu.be/rh_wHv1o1Lg

REVIEW:

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I began reading “A Recipe for Disaster”.  Was it a cookbook?  A travel or food commentary?   It was a bit of both, really.

I had no idea how much work went into producing even the simplest TV / video segment.  Stephen as director (D), recounts the ups and downs (or should I say (the different degrees of how excessively hot it can get) of filming in different locations around the Italian countryside.  His description of different Italian towns, country settings, local foods, lovable characters and the odd overprotective dog thrown in makes for a highly entertaining and educational read.  I learned so much about Italian history and, well, at this point, just want to pack up and move there (hey, we have earthquakes here on Vancouver Island as well).

The author had me smiling and laughing at some of the unusual situations they found themselves in.  His use of word pictures made me feel that I was right there watching it all.  I haven’t seen the video series yet but am keen to do so.

The recipes were very simple to prepare as Lia (a chef) is teaching Tam (who is learning to cook) how to cook traditional Italian dishes.  The only drawback was that the recipes were written for a European audience (I would imagine). In North America we don’t use the metric system for cooking (we use  Imperial measurements such as cups and tablespoons) and these would have to be converted.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves cooking, Italy and a good laugh!

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Book review: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #1) by Iain Reading

  • Title and author:  Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #1) by Iain Reading
  • Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Date published:  December 3, 2012
  • Pages:  270
  • Genre:  mystery / thriller / women sleuths

Book description:

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty’s adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada’s Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska’s inside passage and Canada’s Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves as Kitty prepares for her next adventure – flying around the world!

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

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

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

Buy the book:   Amazon    Barnes & Noble

About the author:

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

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

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

Connect with the author:    Website    Facebook    Twitter    Kitty Hawk Website

REVIEW:

The cover of Kitty climbing a mountain with a seaplane in the background immediately caught my eye.  Kitty is a girl from Vancouver Island (where I presently live) and lives in Tofino, about three hours away by car.  I’ve also lived in northern BC and have always wanted to go to Alaska so this novel had had me hooked from the start.

At first I wasn’t sure that a young girl would be capable of the things Kitty was able to do, but growing up in a small community with parents who were very pro-active with Kitty’s education certainly moulded her into an independent young person.

The author has written not only an exciting and interesting story, but has deftly added in bits containing history, geography and literature.  I was a fervent reader as a teenager and would have LOVED to  have read this book!  As an adult reader, I can say that it would captivate anyone who loves travel and adventure.  The book was coherent, well edited and had enough plot twists and suspense to make you keep reading until way past your bedtime.  I was constantly doing research about the places Kitty was travelling to and the maps and illustrations in the book were helpful visual aids to help me place exactly where she was in the story.

I’m ready for the next four books!

(PS:  I love the new cover art!)

Book spotlight: The Painter’s Apprentice: A Novel of 16th-Century Venice by Laura Morelli

Book Details:

Book Title:  The Painter’s Apprentice: A Novel of 16th-Century Venice
Author:  Laura Morelli
Category:  Adult Fiction,  350 pages
Genre:   Historical Fiction
Publisher:  The Scriptorium
Release date:  November 15, 2017
Tour dates:  Oct 16 to Nov 17, 2017
Content Rating:  PG-13 (some adult situations but no sex or explicit violence)

Book Description:

In 16th-century Venice, a young woman is apprenticed to a painter under false pretense. But as the bubonic plague begins to ravage the city and she must take greater measures to keep her secret, she must decide whether to risk the future of her family workshop or the desire of her heart.

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

Picture

Meet the Author:

​LAURA MORELLI holds a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, has taught college students in the U.S. and in Italy, and currently produces art history lessons for TED-Ed. She authored a column for National Geographic Traveler called “The Genuine Article” and has contributed pieces about art and authentic travel to CNN Radio, The Frommers Travel Show, and in USA TODAY, Departures, and other media. Laura is the author of the Authentic Arts guidebook series that includes the popular book Made in Italy. Her fiction brings the stories of art history to life. Her debut novel, The Gondola Maker, won an IPPY for Best Historical Fiction and a Benjamin Franklin Award.

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

BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR SCHEDULE:

Oct 16 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 16 – Book Nerd – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 17 – Library of Clean Reads ​- book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 17 – Just One More Chapter – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 17 – Books for Books – book spotlight
Oct 18 – Wander Girl Life – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 18 – Reading is My Passion – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 19 – Hooked To Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 20 – History from a Woman’s Perspective – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 23 – Elizabeth McKenna Romance Author – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 24 – A Holland Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 25 – Studentessa Matta – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 26 – Words And Peace – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 27 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 30 – The Autistic Gamer – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 31 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – book spotlight
Nov 1  – What Cathy Read Next – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 2  – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 2  – Celticlady’s Reviews –  book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 3  – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 6  – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 7  – Dab of Darkness – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 8  – Essentially Italian – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 9  –  T’s Stuff – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 13 – A Soccer Mom’s Book Blog – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 13 – The Book Drealms – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 14 – 100 Pages a Day – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 15 – Monica Cesarato – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 16 – Lukten av trykksverte – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway

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Book review: The Fabergé Entanglement by Lesley Meryn & Elle Brookes

Book Details:

Book Title:  The Fabergé Entanglement by Lesley Meryn & Elle Brookes
Category:  Adult Fiction: 306 pages
Genre:  Suspense/Action/Romance
Publisher:  Lisa Kolber
Release date:  July 2015
Format available for review:  ebook (gifted Kindle copy, ePub, PDF)
Tour dates: Oct 9 to Nov 10, 2017
Content Rating: PG + M (There is some, not much, bad language, sensuality, one alluded sex scene but not described, possible triggers for sexual abuse/non consensual sex as a plot point, action-style violence)

Book Description:

Sabinne ‘Saber’ Darrieux’s father, the billionaire CEO of Frontenac Global Security has been kidnapped. His ransom is not cash in a numbered offshore account, or a briefcase of Bearer Bonds but something utterly unique, incredibly valuable, and until recently, hidden away from the world.

The kidnapper seems to know Saber very well, and knows that the next day, through her work as an elite translator she will be in the same location as the Object. She must steal the Object and deliver it to the kidnapper to ransom her father.

Adrian Steele, a British Intelligence agent has just come off of two harrowing missions. Upon returning to London for a well-earned rest, he learns that his friend and fellow agent, has been murdered in Moscow, but not before he made use of a unique Object as a mobile ‘drop site’ for the valuable intelligence he was carrying.

​The drop site is traveling from Moscow to England. Steele insists on completing the mission to honor the death of his friend, Gerry Cornell.

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Meet the Authors:

LESLEY MERYN
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Enjoyed an exotic, adventure-filled childhood, following her anthropologist father and travel writer mother to the farthest corners of the world. She later took inspiration from her Aunt Sophia Francesca and became the author of romantic adventure novels. She alternates her time between Los Angeles, and a family property located in Yorkshire England.
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ELLE BROOKES
​She is the author of the first two books of the Time Frame Series, LUST. MECHANICS. MINI COOPER. and SEX. COFFEE. TIME TRAVEL. Loves travel, discovering new foods to try, reading and writing. She currently lives in the central highlands of Costa Rica with her dog Pixie and her hedgehog Quiller.​
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Connect with the Author:  Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter
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REVIEW:

Remember those Marvel comic movie intros where the comic book pages are flipping really fast?  This action packed “James Bond picks a fight with Catwoman” (aka Steele and Saber) novel is just that.  To be honest, there wasn’t a lot of character development at the beginning of the book, just two gorgeous super-smart people lustily duking it out over a valuable Faberge egg.  This improves slightly as the storyline continues and we are thrown from one hair-raising adventure after another.

The storyline was uniquely presented as very short one-page chapters alternating between Steele and Saber.  This made the story a lot easier to read and felt like I was watching alternating scenes in a movie.

Would I recommend this book?  I have to admit, it has a page-turning plot and is a great story to read on vacation.  However, the plot does contain plenty of colourful metaphors and sensitive situations of past child abuse and emotional manipulation.  The Faberge egg, was, of course exquisite.

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Book spotlight: Wanderers No More by Michelle Saftich

Book Details:

Book Title:  Wanderers No More by Michelle Saftich
Category:  Adult Fiction,   290 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher:  Odyssey Books
Release date:  August 2017
Format available for review: ebook (gifted Kindle copy)
Tour dates: Oct 23 to Nov 3, 2017
Content Rating: PG (Very little bad language (if any), kissing, references to sex but nothing actual or explicit, some violence in the way of school bullying – no major adult themes like abortion or suicide etc.)

Book Description:

The war may be over, but the fight to belong is just the beginning.

Left homeless, starving, and almost killed by the Second World War, the Saforo family are refugees fleeing Italy for a better life. The shores of Australia are calling to them and they head off, packing dreams of jobs, a home and… soccer.

But from the moment they get off the boat, adapting to the Australian way of life is harder than it seems. Their family doesn’t speak right, eat right or even look right. As they struggle to build a simple life against the backdrop of 1950s’ racism, they start to wonder if they will be outsiders forever.

A true family affair, Wanderers No More will make you laugh, remind you of your family, and warm your heart.

Michelle Saftich

Meet the Author:

Michelle Saftich resides in Brisbane, Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Business/Communications Degree, majoring in journalism, from the Queensland University of Technology.

For the past 20 years, she has worked in communications, including print journalism, sub-editing, communications management and media relations.
Born and raised in Brisbane, she spent 10 years living in Sydney; and two years in Osaka, Japan, where she taught English.

Her historical fiction novel, Port of No Return, was inspired by a true family story. It was published by Australian independent publishing house, Odyssey Books in 2015. Its sequel, Wanderers No More was released in August 2017. Michelle is married with two children.

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook


BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE:

Oct 23 – Working Mommy Journal – review / giveaway
Oct 23 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 24 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 24 – The Book Drealms – book spotlight
Oct 25 – Leels Loves Books – review
Oct 26 – 411 on Books, Authors, and Publishing News – book spotlight / interview / gw
Oct 26 – Jayne’s Books – review
Oct 27 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 27 – Literary Flits – review / giveaway
Oct 30 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Oct 31 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 1  – Just One More Chapter – review
Nov 2  – Essentially Italian – review / giveaway
Nov 3  – Cheryl’s Book Nook – review / giveaway

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