Sunday, September 30, 2018

Diverse Reads on my Blog #21

Diverse Reads on my Blog #21

Will anything change should a certain volatile person be removed from the highest office of USA? I want to be optimistic and say yes, but deep inside, this person has unleashed something powerful that no one can control, I am afraid.

Blast from the Past

Once a hero...-Jillian Burns


Once a hero… always a hero.

Subject: Captain Luke Andrews, M.D.

Current Status: On stress leave in beautiful Hawaii 

Mission: Rest and recovery 

Obstacle: There's no rest from the wicked chemistry he's found with her.

After a too-close-for-comfort brush with cancer, ocean photographer Kristen Turner heads to Hawaii for three months, where fate hands her a smokin'-hot opportunity she can't resist…...

Captain Luke Andrews has to get some serious R & R, but he can't keep his hands off Kristen. She's wild and irresistible, and spending his nights with her seems more dangerous than his last mission.

But is their hot little vacation romp an escape from real life…or will the survivor and the hero battle it out and learn to live each day as a gift?

Why Its Diverse: The story has a breast cancer survivor as well as a soldier suffering from PTSD and how they found love with each other. Written by one of my favorite romance novelists.

Lifted up by Angels by Lurlene McDaniel

The companion to the Publishers Weekly bestseller Angels Watching Over Me.

This inspirational novel follows the story of Leah and her friendship with the Amish family she met while hospitalized for cancer treatment. When Leah takes a summer job near their Amish community, she is happy to be near Ethan again. He is now at the age at which an Amish young man is allowed a taste of non-Amish life before committing to the adults' rules. Will Leah and Ethan's feelings for each other overcome family obligations?

Why Its Divrse: The main character happens to suffer from cancer and is trying to come to grips with her disease.

Love in a Fallen City by Ailing Zhang

(from Norton Anthology Vol. F 2736)

Love in a Fallen City begins with the heroine Liusu trapped in the relationships of the Chinese family. In her late twenties, Liusu has been divorced for seven or eight years; her ex-husband has just died, and his family wants her back for ritual purposes, to play the role of the grieving widow in the funeral ceremony and perhaps to adopt a son to carry on her ex-husband's family line...Liusu wants the security of a marriage, but on her own terms, and she invites teh attentions of a rich playbo, Liuyuan, who a matchmaker had arranged to meet her sister. Liusu dances with Liuyuan, who a matchmaker had arranged to meet her sister. Liusu dances with Liuyan at their first meeting, and the couple continues to dance in a literal and figurative snese for much of the rest of the story.

Why its diverse: This was written by an author from China and is a mirror into that time of 1930s.

Blast from the Past: Allies of Diversity

The Living Reed by Pearl Buck

THE LIVING REED tells the story of a close-knit family who dedicate themselves to the salvation of their homeland, that tiny peninsula hanging like a golden fruit before the longing eyes of surrounding nations. The reader lives with them from the splendid era of Queen Min to the climactic days of the Second World War, and emerges not only with admiration for the Korean people and their rich culture but with the excitement of discovering a little known and fascinating history closely entangled with the history of America itself.

Kim Il-han, an adviser to the throne when we first meet him in 1881, is to become the family patriarch, and the steadfast and passionate love between him and his wife Sunia spins a shining thread that ties the story together. Il-han's father, he himself, his two sons, and the sons of the latter all are engrossed from birth to death in the struggle for Korean independence.

The elder of Il-han's sons, after Japan's seizure of Korea, joins the exiled revolutionaries and becomes the legendary figure known as "The Living Reed." Through his experiences we see a panorama of China and Manchuria in the violent 1920s and 1930s. The younger son marries a Korean Christian and becomes a martyr of Japanese persecution. From the tempestuous liaison of the elder brother with a Russian woman [The woman is Korean, not Russian], and from the bittersweet marriage of the younger, issue the two grandsons of Il-han, who mark the fourth generation. It is upon them that the story turns at its close.

Every major public event, from the assassination plots of the early pages to the landing of American troops at the end, and every public personage from Queen Min to Woodrow Wilson, is authentic. But the sweep of history and the excitement of great events provide only part of the book's power: the reader is drawn equally by the vivid detail of a remarkable people and culture, the course of three love relationships, and the color, warmth, power, conviction, and affinity for her subject that light up the printed page when PEARL BUCK writes about Asia.

How its diverse: Written by the famous Pearl Buck and it depicts three or so generations of a Korean family, from the time the last queen was on the throne to the time shortly before Korean War, I believe.

What I am Reading Now

The Hidden Light of Northern Fires by Daren Wang 

A novel rooted in the remarkable, but little-known, true history of the only secessionist town north of the Mason Dixon Line.

When escaped slave, Joe Bell, collapses in her father’s barn, Mary Willis must ward off Confederate guerillas and spies, Joe’s vengeful owner, and even her own brother to help the handsome fugitive cross to freedom.

Mary has always been an outcast, an outspoken abolitionist woman in a town of bounty hunters and anti-Union farmers. Helping runaways is the only thing that makes her life in Town Line bearable. As the countryside is riled by the drumbeat of civil war and the promise of an extravagant bounty for the wounded fugitive, Mary finds herself drawn to the stranger in forbidden ways. When rebels cross from nearby Canada intent on killing him, they bring the devastation of the brutal war to the town and the farm, and threaten to destroy all that Mary loves.

Pages: 290/312

Josh+Hazel's Guide to Not Dating-Christina Lauren (For Fresh Fiction, ally of diversity has AMWF relationship)

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them...right?

Pages: 250/309

Future Reviews:

The Kabbalah Master by Perle Besserman

Sharon Berg, a middle-aged divorcee with two children has gainful employment working overtime for the mysterious Rabbi Joachim, spiritual director of the Center for Mystical Judaism. Set in Coney Island, Sharon’s efforts at making a life for herself and her children take readers on a journey though Hasidism as it exists today including its schools for children and the fundamentalist characters that run them. When the Rabbi travels to Israel on a mission, and fails to return, Sharon must confront difficult choices and herself.

The Girls by Emma Cline

Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence, and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong.

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman

The Spirit Catches you and you fall down explores the clash between a small county hospital in California and a refugee family from laos over the care of Lia Lee, a Hmong child diagnosed with severe epilepsy. Lia's parents and her doctors both wanted what was best for Lia, but the lack of understanding between them led to tragedy. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Non-fiction, Anne Fadiman's compassionate account of this cultural impasse is literary journalism at its finest.

Night by Elie Wiesel

Night is Elie Wiesel's masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie's wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author's original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man's capacity for inhumanity to man.

Night offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be

Dawn by Elie Wisel

Elisha is a young Jewish man, a Holocaust survivor, and an Israeli freedom fighter in British-controlled Palestine; John Dawson is the captured English officer he will murder at dawn in retribution for the British execution of a fellow freedom fighter. The night-long wait for morning and death provides Dawn, Elie Wiesel's ever more timely novel, with its harrowingly taut, hour-by-hour narrative. Caught between the manifold horrors of the past and the troubling dilemmas of the present, Elisha wrestles with guilt, ghosts, and ultimately God as he waits for the appointed hour and his act of assassination. Dawn is an eloquent meditation on the compromises, justifications, and sacrifices that human beings make when they murder other human beings.

Day (The Accident) by Elie Wiesel

"Not since Albert Camus has there been such an eloquent spokesman for man." --The New York Times Book Review

The publication of Day restores Elie Wiesel's original title to the novel initially published in English as The Accident and clearly establishes it as the powerful conclusion to the author's classic trilogy of Holocaust literature, which includes his memoir Night and novel Dawn. "In Night it is the ‘I' who speaks," writes Wiesel. "In the other two, it is the ‘I' who listens and questions."

In its opening paragraphs, a successful journalist and Holocaust survivor steps off a New York City curb and into the path of an oncoming taxi. Consequently, most of Wiesel's masterful portrayal of one man's exploration of the historical tragedy that befell him, his family, and his people transpires in the thoughts, daydreams, and memories of the novel's narrator. Torn between choosing life or death, Day again and again returns to the guiding questions that inform Wiesel's trilogy: the meaning and worth of surviving the annihilation of a race, the effects of the Holocaust upon the modern character of the Jewish people, and the loss of one's religious faith in the face of mass murder and human extermination.

One half from the East by Nadia Hashimi

Internationally bestselling author Nadia Hashimi’s first novel for young readers is an emotional, beautiful, and riveting coming-of-age journey to modern-day Afghanistan that explores life as a bacha posh—a preteen girl dressed as a boy.

Obayda’s family is in need of some good fortune.

Her father lost one of his legs in a bomb explosion, forcing the family to move from their home city of Kabul to a small village, where life is very different and Obayda’s father almost never leaves his room.

One day, Obayda’s aunt has an idea to bring the family luck—dress Obayda, the youngest of her sisters, as a boy, a bacha posh.

Now Obayda is Obayd.

Life in this in-between place is confusing, but once Obayda meets another bacha posh, everything changes. The two of them can explore the village on their own, climbing trees, playing sports, and more.

But their transformation won’t last forever—unless the two best friends can figure out a way to make it stick and make their newfound freedoms endure.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Henrietta Lacks, as HeLa, is known to present-day scientists for her cells from cervical cancer. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells were taken without her knowledge and still live decades after her death. Cells descended from her may weigh more than 50M metric tons.

HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks was buried in an unmarked grave.

The journey starts in the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s, her small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia — wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo. Today are stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells, East Baltimore children and grandchildren live in obscurity, see no profits, and feel violated. The dark history of experimentation on African Americans helped lead to the birth of bioethics, and legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.

Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet by Jamie Ford

Set during one of the most conflicted and volatile times in American history - the internment of American-Japanese families during World War II - Jamie Ford has created an unforgettable duo whose story teaches us about forgiveness and the power of the human heart.

In the opening pages of Jamie Ford’s stunning debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.

This simple act takes old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when young Henry’s world is a jumble of confusion and excitement, and to his father, who is obsessed with the war in China and having Henry grow up American. While “scholarshipping” at the exclusive Rainier Elementary, where the white kids ignore him, Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendship–and innocent love–that transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. And after Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept.

Forty years later, Henry Lee is certain that the parasol belonged to Keiko. In the hotel’s dark dusty basement he begins looking for signs of the Okabe family’s belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot begin to measure. Now a widower, Henry is still trying to find his voice–words that might explain the actions of his nationalistic father; words that might bridge the gap between him and his modern, Chinese American son; words that might help him confront the choices he made many years ago.

Set during one of the most conflicted and volatile times in American history, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is an extraordinary story of commitment and enduring hope. In Henry and Keiko, Jamie Ford has created an unforgettable duo whose story teaches us of the power of forgiveness and the human heart.

The Carrion Birds by Urban Waite

Set in a small town in the Southwest, a soulful work of literary noir rife with violence, vengeance, and contrition from a fresh voice in fiction-the author of the highly acclaimed The Terror of Living

Life hasn't worked out the way Ray Lamar planned. A widower and father who has made some tragic mistakes, he's got one good thing going for him: he's calm, cool, and efficient under pressure, usually with a gun in his hand. A useful skill to have when you're paid to hurt people who stand in your boss's way.

But Ray isn't sure he wants to be that man anymore. He wants to go home to Coronado, New Mexico, to see the twelve-year-old son he hopes will recognize him. He wants to make a new life far from the violence of the last ten years. One last job will take him there. All he has to do is steal a rival's stash. Simple, easy, clean.

Ray knows there's no such thing as easy, and sure enough, the first day ends in a catastrophic mess. Now, the runners who have always moved quietly through this idyllic desert town on the Mexican border want answers. And revenge. Short on time, with no one to trust but himself, Ray must come up with a clever plan or Coronado's newly appointed lady sheriff will have a vicious bloodbath on her hands.

Relentlessly paced and beautifully orchestrated, with refreshingly real, vulnerable, and very human characters and a vivid sense of place, The Carrion Birds is an unsettling and indelible work of literary noir in the tradition of Cormac McCarthy, Elmore Leonard, and Dennis Lehane.

Queen for a Day by Maxine Rosaler

The reader knows by page one of Queen for a Day that Mimi Slavitt’s three-year-old son is autistic, but if anyone told her, she wouldn’t listen, because she doesn’t want to know—until at last
Danny's behavior becomes so strange even she can’t ignore it. After her son’s diagnosis Mimi finds herself in a world nearly as isolating as her son’s. It is a world she shares only with mothers like herself, women chosen against their will for lives of sacrifice and martyrdom. Searching for miracles, begging for the help of heartless bureaucracies while arranging every minute of every day for children who can never be left alone, they exist in a state of perpetual crisis, normal life always just out of reach. In chapters told from Mimi’s point of view and theirs, we meet these women, each a conflicted, complex character totally unsuited for sainthood and dreaming of the day she can just walk away. Taking its title from the 1950s reality TV show in which the contestants, housewives living lives filled with pain and suffering, competed with each other for deluxe refrigerators and sets of stainless steel silverware, Queen for a Day portrays a group of imperfect women living under enormous pressure. Rosaler tells their story in ironic, precise and vivid prose, with dark humor and insight born of first-hand experience.

5 Books I am planning on tackling this year: 

Love, and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford

A powerful novel about an orphan boy who is raffled off at Seattle’s 1909 World Fair, and the friends who teach him what it really means to have a family, from the author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

Inspired by a true story, this is the unforgettable story of a young boy named Ernest, set during the 1909 Seattle world’s fair called the Alaska Yukon Pacific Expo. It is a time when the magical wonders of technology on display at the expo future seems limitless. But for Ernest, a half-Chinese orphan who found his way to America through a last desperate act of his beloved mother, every door is closed. A charity student at a boarding school, he has never really had a place to call home. Then one day, his wealthy sponsor announces that if a home is what he wants, then that is what he will have: Ernest will be offered as a prize in the daily raffle at the fair, advertised as “Healthy boy to a good home for the winning ticket holder.” The woman who “wins” him is the madam of a notorious brothel who was famous for educating her girls. He becomes a houseboy in her brothel and is befriended by the daughter of the madam, as well as a Japanese girl who works in the kitchen. The friendship and love between these three form the first real family Ernest has ever known.

Pages: 304

Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao

A searing, electrifying debut novel set in India and America, about a once-in-a-lifetime friendship between two girls who are driven apart but never stop trying to find one another again.

When Poornima first meets Savitha, she feels something she thought she lost for good when her mother died: hope. Poornima's father hires Savitha to work one of their sari looms, and the two girls are quickly drawn to one another. Savitha is even more impoverished than Poornima, but she is full of passion and energy. She shows Poornima how to find beauty in a bolt of indigo cloth, a bowl of yogurt rice and bananas, the warmth of friendship. Suddenly their Indian village doesn't feel quite so claustrophobic, and Poornima begins to imagine a life beyond the arranged marriage her father is desperate to lock down for her. But when a devastating act of cruelty drives Savitha away, Poornima leaves behind everything she has ever known to find her friend again. Her journey takes her into the darkest corners of India's underworld, on a harrowing cross-continental journey, and eventually to an apartment complex in Seattle. Alternating between the girls’ perspectives as they face relentless obstacles, Girls Burn Brighter introduces two heroines who never lose the hope that burns within them.

In breathtaking prose, Shobha Rao tackles the most urgent issues facing women today: domestic abuse, human trafficking, immigration, and feminism. At once a propulsive page-turner and a heart-wrenching meditation on friendship, Rao's debut novel is a literary tour de force.

Pages: 307

Israela by Batya Casper

In my heart, I call to their mothers, 'Take your sons to your houses. Bind them to your chairs; gag them, blindfold them if necessary until they grow calm. Then teach them, for they have forgotten, about peace, about the blessed life, about a future-a present-without pain.' Beneath their prayers, in their morning cups of coffee, beneath their love-making and their child-rearing, and in their sorrow, especially in their sorrow when burying their dead, I hear the simmering of heating souls; I smell the charge of armies, of lives exploding uselessly into smithereens. I sit in mourning over a disaster still to come. In Israel, the lives of three women interweave with the story of their country. Ratiba, an Israeli journalist, turns her back on her heritage to marry an Israeli Arab. Her sister Orit, an actor, lives alone and longs for her lost sister. Elisheva is a nurse who dedicates her life to the wounded and the dying. As their lives unfold, the three women find themselves facing choices they would never have envisioned. This is a story of secrets and alienation, yet also of hope and heroism. It is about Arabs who save Jews from disaster and Jews who heal Arabs. It is the story of everyday people torn and desperately searching for the right path. Here, the ancient pulsates in present time and the biblical holds prominence with the secular. Beneath this modern-day drama unfolds the story of a land and its people, revealing the historical trajectory of two peoples, victims and perpetrators of a biblical curse 'This perceptive, poignant novel offers a fresh and essential outlook on Israel. With memorable characters and an abundance of drama, Israela is gripping reading.' - Lou Aronica, New York Times bestselling author

Pages: 365

A Different Mirror; A History of Multicultural America by Ronald Takaki

"A Different Mirror" is a dramatic new retelling of our nation's history, a powerful larger narrative of the many different peoples who together compose the United States of America. In a lively account filled with the stories and voices of people previously left out of the historical canon, Ronald Takaki offers a fresh perspective - a "re-visioning" - of our nation's past.

Pages: 428

Forgotten Reflections by Young-Im Lee

In the current international climate where North Korea takes center stage, “Forgotten Reflections” weaves an inspirational tale of family, lost memories, folklore and an unforgotten history, spanning three generations as South Korea rises from the ashes.


1945. Rice fields seem endless in a quaint farming village of South Korea, yet Iseul the villagers have been starving for as long as they can remember. Their Japanese colonizers have taken every last grain with them as they are finally forced out of the Peninsula. In the newly independent Korea, Iseul and Jung-Soo dream of what their future might bring. Yet, war is on the horizon, and Iseul has fallen for an alleged North Korean communist spy.

Men are conscripted and rice is taken to feed the growing army as the Peninsula is thrust into an international war that would determine if the strategic region will become communist or democratic. With nothing but the news of death and hunger awaiting the village of women, children and the aged, Iseul musters up whatever hope she has left to bring the village together to make paper. Soon, the village once known for its rice, becomes famous for its paper, becoming a beacon of hope for their battle-worn soldiers awaiting letters from their loved ones.

Yet spies and communists continue to roam South Korea, turning neighbors and families against one another. For years, Jung-Soo has been suspicious of his father’s allegiances. With a series of mysterious revelations about his father, Jung-Soo is forced to choose between his tainted communist past, and the future he hopes to have with Iseul after the war.

Pages: 476

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Book Spotlight for We meet with manners by Cheryl Esposito

Book Details:

Book Title: We Meet with Manners by Cheryl Esposito

Category: Children's Fiction, 24 pages

Genre: Friendship, Social Skills, Manners, Growing Up & Facts of Life

Publisher: Mindstir Media

Release date: May 31, 2018

Tour dates: Sept 3 to 28, 2018

Content Rating: G

Book Description:

We meet with manners is all about being polite and respectful to people throughout the day. From people you know to strangers passing by, simple kind gestures not only lift the spirits of others but for ourselves too. The pictures demonstrate sign language to assist with the early communication and development.

Buy the Book:

Meet the Author:

Cheryl Esposito has come from a corporate background and has since become a full-time Mom with three children under 4 and an amazing husband. I have always enjoyed writing but my children are the one’s who inspired me to write about our everyday routines and family fundamentals. My husband provides me the support to believe in myself and never lose faith in who I am. I believe, if there is something you have always thought about doing, you should always follow through. Having children has given me one more reason to follow through. Sharing everything that is good in life is a reward by itself. I am blessed to be able to do just that. So please enjoy these books and I hope it can help your life with children be just a little bit easier.

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

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Oct 6, 2018

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

G1039 Book Review of Stolen Obsession by Marlene M Bell

Name of Book: Stolen Obsession

Author: Marlene M. Bell

ISBN: 9780999539408

Publisher: Self published

Type of book: mystery, murder, art, curse, Greece, attraction, chemistry, trust issues

Year it was published: 2018


People die, but legends live on.

New York antiquities appraiser Annalisse Drury recently lost her best friend to murder. The killer’s identity may be linked to her friend’s expensive missing bracelet—a 500-year-old artifact that carries an ancient curse, one that unleashes evil upon any who dare wear the jewelry created for the Persian royal family.

Weeks later, Annalisse sees a matching necklace at a Manhattan gallery opening. She begs the owner to destroy the cursed piece, but her pleas fall on deaf ears—despite the unnatural death that occurs during the opening. With two victims linked to the jewelry, Annalisse is certain she must act.

Desperate, Annalisse enlists the gallery owner’s son to help—even though she’s afraid he’ll break her heart. Wealthy and devastatingly handsome, with a string of bereft women in his wake, Greek playboy Alec Zavos dismisses Annalisse’s concerns—until his parents are ripped from the Zavos family yacht during their ocean voyage near Crete.

Annalisse and Alec race across two oceans to save his mother, feared dead or kidnapped. When the killer changes tactics and goes after Alec behind Annalisse’s back, can her plan to rescue Alec’s mother save them all?

Hold on for a heart-thumping, thrilling adventure through exotic lands in this fast-moving romantic suspense mystery by Marlene M. Bell.


Main characters include Annalise and Alec. Annalise is best described as a talented antiquities appraiser who has trust issues and who also is hesitant in letting people into her heart. I get the sense she is an independent spirit and doesn't like depending on others. Alec is half Italian/half Greek man who is really too good to be true. As the reader is constantly reminded, he is attractive and is heaven-sent. He also has trust issues, although for different reasons than Annalise.


You never know how things tie together


The story is in third person narrative from Annalise's and Alec's points of view. The point of view happens a lot without a warning, and to be honest I found the story quite a bit confusing. As I understood it, its about a necklace that got Annalise's best friend murdered, and I thought that perhaps it would go a supernatural route. I also had hoped that Alec's heritage would be treated as more than just words.

Author Information:
(From website)

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
Kobo ~ Smashwords ~ Google Play
Add to Goodreads
Meet the Author:

Marlene Bell is an acclaimed artist and photographer as well as a writer. Her sheep and lamb landscapes grace the covers of many publications such as, Sheep!, The Shepherd, Ranch & Rural Living and Sheep Industry News, to name a few. Her mail order venture, Ewephoric, began in 1985 out of the need to find personalized stationery depicting sheep that truly looked like them. She wrote Among the Sheep, nonfiction in 2009, and the Annalisse Series launched in March 2018.

Marlene and her husband, Gregg reside on a wooded ranch in East Texas with their 50 head of spoiled Horned Dorset sheep, a lovable Maremma guard dog named, Tia, and 3 attention-loving cats who rule the household.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook


I am really sorry but this book  is far more of a miss for me rather than a hit.. I did manage to get  a bit into the story towards the end, but from beginning to that point, I found myself frustrated and disappointed in the story. First what I liked is an interesting mystery of who had done it and why. The first few chapters really did start out with a bang. When the characters began emerging and showing their unique personalities, I liked that a great deal and thought that the story is definitely a hidden gem of sorts. What I really didn't like is that the author never lets a reader forget that both Alec and Annalise have hots for one another. I literally felt as if every page has a variation of  how they find one another attractive, which was very annoying for me. Towards the end, I think I got a bit lost in what was going on and why it was happening. All in all, a casual read.

This is for iRead Book Tours


Sept 10 - FLY HIGH! - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sept 11 - 411 on Books, Authors, and Publishing News - bk spotlight / guest post / gw
Sept 11 - Truly Trendy - review
Sept 12 - Locks, Hooks and Books - review / author interview / giveaway
Sept 13 - Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sept 14 - T's Stuff - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sept 17 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review / giveaway
Sept 18 - Writers and Authors - book spotlight / author interview
Sept 19 - Cheryl's Book Nook - review / giveaway
Sept 20 - Library of Clean Reads - review / giveaway
Sept 20 - Rockin' Book Reviews - review / guest post / giveaway
Sept 21 - Books for Books - review
Sept 24 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review
Sept 24 - Amy’s Booket List - review / guest post / giveaway
Sept 25 - Laura's Interests - review / guest post / giveaway
Sept 26 - A Blue Million Books - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sept 26 - Sefina Hawke's Books - review
Sept 27 - Mystery Suspense Reviews - review
Sept 28 - Jessica Cassidy - review / giveaway
TBD - meirem_in_booksland - review
TBD - Falling Into A Good Book - review 

2 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

G1048 Book Review of A black matter for the king by Matthew Willis and J.A. Ironside

Name of Book: A Black Matter for the King

Author: J.A. Ironside and Matthew Willis

ISBN: 978-1-946409-46-1

Publisher: Penmore Press

Part of a Series: An Arguement of Blood is the prequel

Type of book: 1050s-1080s?, William the Bastard Duke of Normandy, political power, intrigues, England, Harold, the Godwin family, battles, wars, slights, oath, Edward the Confessor, control, Battle of Hastings 1066, death, aging

Year it was published: 2018


TWO POWERFUL RIVALS -- ONE DECISIVE BATTLE Now a political hostage in Falaise, Aelfgifa forms an unlikely friendship with William, Duke of Normandy. William has been swift to recognize her skills and exploit them to his advantage. However, unbeknownst to the duke, Gifa is acting as a spy for her brother, Harold Godwinson, a possible rival for the English throne currently in the failing grip of Edward the Confessor. Homesick and alienated by the Norman court, Gifa is torn between the Duke's trust and the duty she owes her family. William has subdued his dissenting nobles, and a united Normandy is within his grasp. But the tides of power and influence are rarely still. As William's stature grows, the circle of those he can trust shrinks. Beyond the English Channel, William has received news of Edward's astonishing decree regarding the succession.

Aelfgifa returns to an England where an undercurrent of discontent bubbles beneath the surface. An England that may soon erupt in conflict as one king dies and another is chosen. The ambitions of two powerful men will decide the fates of rival cultures in a single battle at Hastings that will change England, Europe, and the world in this compelling conclusion to the Oath & Crown series on the life and battles of William the Conqueror.


Main characters would be AElfgifa and William as well as AElgifa's older brother Harold. AElgifa continues to remain the sharp-tongued and wise beyond her years woman whom many are afraid to trifle with, and its not because of her intelligence but also because of her appearance, as sad as it to report. Most likely, she is probably the only woman I have run across that actually never ended up having a paramour. She lives and breathes for intrigues, knowledge and for control, and unfortunately ends up in situations where she cannot use her gifts as they are meant to be used. William, the Duke of Normandy, feels friendship for AElfgifa and often uses her gifts for his own means. He is best described as tempered, stubborn and determined to avenge whatever slights he is able. He is also a capable leader and tends to judge people well in terms of helping him reach his goals. Harold in this book is happy-go-lucky as well as daring and someone who is charming and often resists listening to reason.


Things don't go as often as planned


The story is in third person narrative from AElfgifa's and William's points of view. The characters continue to remain the same as in the previous novel, and there are a number of memorable scenes with William and what he did during the battles. Probably because most of my readings of the road to Battle of Hastings comes from Harold's points of view, it's odd to not be in the thick among the important events, although AElfgifa does provide the Battle of Stamford Bridge. I also appreciated how clear the battles are written for the readers and that I had understood what was going on and why, which is new with when it comes to historical fiction.

Author Information:
(From the book)

J.A. Ironside (Jules) grew up in rural Dorset, surrounded by books – which pretty much set he up for life as a complete bibliophile. She loves speculative fiction of all stripes, especially fantasy and science fiction, although when it comes to the written word, she’s not choosy and will read almost anything. Actually it would be fair to say she starts to go a bit peculiar if she doesn’t get through at least three books a week. She writes across various genres, both adult and YA fiction, and it’s a rare story if there isn’t a fantastical or speculative element in there somewhere.

Jules has had several short stories published in magazines and anthologies, as well as recorded for literature podcasts. Books 1 and 2 of her popular Unveiled series are currently available with the 3rd and 4th books due for release Autumn/ Winter 2017.

She also co-authored the sweeping epic historical Oath and Crown Duology with Matthew Willis, released June 2017 from Penmore Press.

Jules now lives on the edge of the Cotswold way with her boyfriend creature and a small black and white cat, both of whom share a god-complex.

Matthew Willis is an author of historical fiction, SF, fantasy and non-fiction. In June 2017 An Argument of Blood, the first of two historical novels about the Norman Conquest co-written with J.A. Ironside, was published. In 2015 his story Energy was shortlisted for the Bridport short story award.

Matthew studied Literature and History of Science at the University of Kent, where he wrote an MA thesis on Joseph Conrad and sailed for the University in national competitions. He subsequently worked as a journalist for Autosport and F1 Racing magazines, before switching to a career with the National Health Service.

His first non-fiction book, a history of the Blackburn Skua WW2 naval dive bomber, was published in 2007. He now has four non fiction books published with a fifth, a biography of test pilot Duncan Menzies, due later in 2017. He currently lives in Southampton and writes both fiction and non-fiction for a living.

The previous book, AN ARGUMENT OF BLOOD, has set the bar very high when it comes to this book: I think I expected for this book to contain a lot of Aegilfa, and much to mine disappointment it doesn't contain much of her. While the events have very high stakes, (the future of England, and the deciding ruler,) I don't think this book had as much sparkle as the prequel. Previous times when I have read about the road to Battle of Hastings in 1066, most likely the narrator was Harold, thus I knew next very little about William Duke of Normandy beyond the fact of his birth. Probably for the first time I've actually read a tale from William's point of view. I also think that both books need to be read immediately after one another because when the time period is long between the readings, a lot can be lost between the space (for one thing I was confused with which characters were important,)

This is for HFVBT

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

G1034 Book Review of The hope fault by Tracy Farr

Name of Book: The Hope Fault

Author: Tracy Farr

ISBN: 9781910709436

Publisher: Aardvark Bureau

Type of book: Australia, last 100 years, life, family, complexity, relationships, first love, shifting roles, science, role of science, weekend, selling house,  party, secrets

Year it was published: 2018


Iris’s family – her ex-husband with his new wife and baby; her son, and her best friend’s daughter – gather to pack up their holiday house. They are there for one last time, one last weekend, and one last party – but in the course of this weekend, their connections will be affirmed, and their frailties and secrets revealed – to the reader at least, if not to each other. The Hope Fault is a novel about extended family: about steps and exes and fairy godmothers; about parents and partners who are missing, and the people who replace them.


There are no villainous characters, and there are no perfect characters,but instead these are people and not specific archetypes. People who are imperfect yet perfect, who are somewhere in-between rather than all white or black. Having said that, its a bit difficult for me to describe one person as one way, and the other as the other way. Suffice to say, the characters are important to one another in their lives and are creative and make use of their creativity. They also treat one another civily and more as friends. (Where in the world will you get ex-spouses together who are friendly to one another, especially when one of them is married with a baby and an almost adult son? And where family did not get torn by divorce?) I really do need to re-read the book to fully grasp the complexity of the tale.


Complexity of family is related to complexity of the world


The story is told in third person and first narrative from multiple characters' points of views. The third person narrative takes place in the present day of Rosa's daughter's family and friends, while the first person narrative is of Rosa. I also think its the first time in a long time that I question the choice of having third person narrative for everyone but Rosa. The tale is of details,  of small significant happenings, which means its of a family and friends getting together and just doing ordinary everyday things during the weekend. There is nothing earth shattering, although quite a number of things are left unfinished and are likely to remain unfinished in the novel. What is also unique is Rosa's point of view because instead of going from start to finish, the story is finish to start which makes it a challenging read. (Never having read that sort of tale, because I am more used to beginning or media res,) but it begins with events from the time Rosa is 100 to the time she is born and it focuses a lot on specific events of her life. I think I found it challenging mainly because I had to remember the previous events going backwards instead of forwards.

Author Information:
(From the book)

Tracy Farr is a novelist and short story writer who used to be a scientist. SHe grew up in Australia, and has lived in New Zealand for twenty years; she calls both places home. Her debut novel THE LIFE AND LOVES OF LENA GAUNT (Freemantle Press), was longlisted for the 2014 Miles Franklin Literary Award, shortlisted in 2014 for teh WA Premier's Book Awards adn Barbara Jefferis Award, and subsequently published in the UK and US. THE HOPE FAULT is her second novel. @hissingswan


I had very fond memories of my college years, and one class in particular taught me a valuable lesson: to see the disciplines of humanities and science as not different but ultimately the same. The stories I read in that particular class have truly underscored a wonderful writing style when the author is talented in both "disparate" fields. Reading THE HOPE FAULT put me back into that wonderful time of unlimited time and possibilities and of complexity of the world.  This is truly a unique story of everyday life, and of one life in particular and the secrets it holds and doesn't release. A wonderful multi-layered story that deserves multiple re-reads.

This was given to me for an honest review

5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

G1041 Held Together; a true story of love's victory

Title of the book: Held Together; a true story of love's victory

Author: Jenny Q

Publisher: Self published

Publishing Date: 2018

ISBN: 978-1-54392-841-9


In January of 2014, Joshua Tree's beloved village herbalist, Jenny Q. suddenly became seriously ill and rapidly descended into a coma with slender chance of survival. The shock of this news initiated an overwhelming outpouring of love, wit, service, practical magic and sharing of spiritual wisdom between those in her intimate desert community. Indeed it seemed that the entire group became one in their desperate effort and race against the clock to save her life.

While the words of others in the community tell the story in this book, it is Jenny's own insightful writings that provide a fascinating window into a range of rare experiences. She gives us a unique glimpse into the mysterious worlds encountered while in a coma, the absolute alteration of losing one's legs, the subtle venom of PTSD, the nightmare of withdrawal from prescription opiates, and the maddening frustration of having to re-learn basic skills previously taken for granted such as the ability to walk.

This is a story of love and tenacity which speaks to the power of a mother's connection to her child and of the fierce determination and dedication of a lover who, faced with unthinkable tragedy during the tender stages of a new and beautiful relationship, managed to create a sacred moment amidst the ravages of sepsis and the wounds of surgery to propose to her best friend.

Though Held Together ruthlessly explores dark and often fear-filled places, it is ultimately a celebration of human will, the value of community and the power of love. This book will inspire and light a path for every person caught in a struggle against all odds.

Author Info:
(From iRead Book Tours)

Meet the Author:

Jenny Q was born in Southern California to Palestinian immigrants. Her love of herbs began in her teens while on the road following the Grateful Dead. After exploring many heart homes, she set her roots in Joshua Tree, California, where she opened Grateful Desert, the local apothecary. Joyously sharing her life with her tight-knit desert community, Jenny lives with her beloveds~ Yazzy, her daughter and Myshkin, her wife.

​Connect with Jenny: Website
Personal Opinion:

Very often in many books, one finds a story in acknowledgements that it takes a village to write a book, and very often those villagers are more at the background than at the front. In this book, however, it really did take a village to tell the story of Jenny Q, an amazing and resilient woman who survived so many odds. In a number of ways, this is my first time in reading a memoir about an amputee, and a lot of things about her thoughts and experiences surprised me and educated me. Her friends and family heavily  advocated and fought with her through spiritual or physical means. There are many voices in HELD TOGETHER, many points of view, and all of them are focused on Jenny Q. What I find remarkable is perhaps the structure of the book, how in beginning of the tale, Jenny Q's friends and family tell what happened and their reactions, but as the reader reaches the end, more and more is told by Jenny Q and her life partner Myshkin. More than anything, its memoirs like HELD TOGETHER that will restore hope in these fractured and turbulent times.

This is for iRead Book Tours

Sept 10 - - book spotlight / giveaway
Sept 10 - Heck Of A Bunch - review
Sept 11 - This and That Book Blog - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sept 11 - Writers N Authors - review / guest post / giveaway
Sept 12 - Cheryl's Book Nook - review / guest post / giveaway
Sept 13 - Writers and Authors - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sept 17 - Olio by Marilyn - review / author interview / giveaway
Sept 18 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review
Sept 19 - Divas With A Purpose - review
Sept 20 - Between the Shelves - review / giveaway
Sept 20 - Rockin' Book Reviews - review / guest post / giveaway
Sept 21 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review / giveaway
Sept 24 - Buttercup Review - review / author interview / giveaway
Sept 25 - StoreyBook Reviews - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sept 26 - Library of Clean Reads - review / giveaway
Sept 27 - fundinmental - book spotlight / giveaway
​Sept 27 - Just Reviews - review
Sept 28 - Jessica Cassidy - review / giveaway
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Write-Publish-Profit Super Stack Campaign

From Obscurity to Highly Paid Bestselling Author

41 cutting-edge e-books, e-courses, and other resources to help you fulfill your dreams of becoming
a bestselling author!

What is the Write-Publish-Profit Super Stack?

It's a curated selection of premium resources and tools, including e-books, e-courses, software, and coupons. It includes 35+ contributors across a broad range of the self-publishing space.

The combined retail value of everything in the stack is almost $3000.00, but you get everything for a humongous 96% off!

This is one of the best compilation of resources I've ever seen for writers and self-publishers.

When is this sale happening?

For a very limited time from September 10 to 14. After the “Flash Sale” is over, this deal is gone.

Who is this resource for?

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, are just starting out or are attempting to take your already successful writing career to the next level, there’s tons of cutting-edge up-to-the-minute content here for you.

What kind of resources are included?

I don’t even know where to start telling you about the depth of information they’ve compiled… but here’s a quick list of just some of the info that’s included:

Derek Doepker shows you how to discover the insider strategies used to launch a book that sold over 631 copies in only 5 days. You’ll find out how a bestselling author goes from just a vague book idea to proven concept, to bestselling book in today's extremely competitive kindle market... including strategies even total newbie authors can use

Jonathan Green tells you how to get paid upfront as a writer for hire, and how to find the most loyal (and lucrative) clients. He also shares his best strategies as a ghostwriter, and how he’s able to write 5,000 words every day before lunch.

Matt Stone (aka Buck Flogging) shares his definitive course on e-mail list building for authors. Find out the exact steps one of the web’s top list building experts uses to rapidly build a list of raving fans in any niche or genre.

Tom Morkes, founder of Insurgent Publishing, is including access to what many consider the premier self-publishing and bestseller book launch platform in the world: “Publishers Empire.” Inside, Tom shares step-by-step tutorials on how to create, package, and launch your book, even if you're starting from scratch (these are the same strategies his clients, authors, and students have used to land on the New York Times, WSJ, USA Today, and Amazon bestseller lists).

C.S. Lakin gives you access to her book called “Crank it Out” that will show you once and for all how to hack through the excuses, bad habits, and distractions that block your way from becoming the writer you know you're capable of becoming.

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Thursday, September 13, 2018

G1033 Book Review of The Austin Paradox by William R Leibowitz

Name of Book: The Austin Paradox

Author: William R Leibowitz

ISBN: 9780989866293

Publisher: MMG

Part of a Series: Miracle Man is a prequel

Type of book: Medical thriller, deadly disease, morality, questions, medicine, terrorists, pharmaceuticals, secrets, intelligence, politics, modern times

Year it was published: 2018



THE AUSTIN PARADOX is Book 2 in the award-winning, critically acclaimed, New York Times Best Selling MIRACLE MAN series that chronicles the remarkable saga of Robert James Austin, the greatest genius in human history, whose medical cures saved countless millions. A fully "stand-alone" novel, THE AUSTIN PARADOX can be enjoyed without having read the series’ first book.

In this emotionally-charged medical/psychological/conspiracy thriller, author William R. Leibowitz takes the reader on an unpredictable action-packed journey. The suspense doesn't let up as the fast paced twisting plots unfold and Austin battles Big Pharma which views him as their worst enemy, a CIA Director who is hell-bent on exploiting his genius, terrorists who lose control of a biological weapon, and a bevy of corrupt politicians and oligarchs.

William R. Leibowitz has been lauded as a "mastermind storyteller with a unique literary voice" and has been favorably compared by readers and critics to Michael Crichton, Robin Cook, Stephen King, John Grisham and Ken Follett.

THE AUSTIN PARADOX opens with Austin having lost his extraordinary intellectual powers in a laboratory explosion that was intended to kill him. Still in the prime of life, the blast cuts him down at the pinnacle of his brilliance and robs him of his tools. The greatest genius in history now struggles to find meaning in a life that has become devoid of purpose. 

Embarking on a journey of self-discovery in an effort to regain his abilities, Austin struggles with private demons that threaten his sanity, a government obsessed with controlling him, and metaphysical forces intent on destroying him. When ruthless political and business interests align to pose an existential threat to humanity, Austin is thrust into the maelstrom.
Doubted even by those who love him, Austin confronts a harrowing paradox as time runs out to save mankind from extinction.

THE AUSTIN PARADOX is the sequel to the critically acclaimed, award winning novel, MIRACLE MAN, which 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.


Main characters include Robert "Bobby" Austin, a talented and savant man who has previously discovered cures for many incurable diseases. He is best described as dedicated and loyal no matter what happens to him and is basically seen as a saint, although he tends to be in denial about what happened to his lab in the previous book. He is also suspicious of media, and of government and pharmaceuticals. Other prominent characters include Gunther Ramirez who works as an assassin with important networking skills and also works for Colum McAlister who has personal vendetta against Austin. Colum McAlister is in charge of a pharmaceuticals company and cares more for money or blackmail rather than human life. There is also the doctor Mahmoud who has his own secrets and who agrees to develop the deadly disease as well as allowing himself to be blackmailed. There are some other characters, but I feel it would be more fun to discover them on one's own.


The cure might be worse than disease


The story is written in third person narrative from a lot of characters' points of view. Most of the time the readers are with the villains rather than the heroes, which tends to humanize Austin, or make the readers realize that Austin is not as omniscient as we are led to believe. It also simplified the plot and made it easier to follow. While from time to time Austin does have a voice, most of the book is voiced by his enemies and few times by the two women who love him most: Christina and Susan. Time tends to pass quickly in the book, and few times I was confused as to how many months or years passed since certain events have happened (For example when disease mutated to when Austin began to figure out the cure?) I do look forward to the future books if possible, and hope to see Austin's children being featured as prominent characters.

Author Information:
(From iRead Book Tours)

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

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

After finishing the first book, THE MIRACLE MAN, I immediately dived into this one. Yes, the previous one does need to be read in order to understand what is going on, but even if the reader doesn't, the book does a good job in informing one of the heroes and villains. While the previous book seemed to have Austin without limits, this one strongly reminds the readers that Austin is only human. Austin's past is glossed over and doesn't hijack the story. I found the story to be exciting and couldn't wait to see what happened next. In other words, THE AUSTIN PARADOX is a true medical thriller in my eyes.  Unfortunately I'm not sure of the accuracy of the jihad religion or their beliefs, but its a pretty scary thought about how a disease can be bred to control the population.

This is for iRead Book Tours


Aug 6 - Working Mommy Journal - review of Miracle Man / giveaway
Aug 6 - TFaulc Book Reviews - book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 7 - Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Aug 8 - Library of Clean Reads - review of Miracle Man / giveaway
Aug 9 - Writers and Authors - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Aug 9 - Cheryl's Book Nook - review of The Austin Paradox / giveaway
Aug 10 - OIio by Marilyn - review of Miracle Man / author interview / giveaway
Aug 13 - Working Mommy Journal - review of The Austin Paradox / giveaway
Aug 14 - Two Points of Interest - review of Miracle Man / giveaway
Aug 15 - Library of Clean Reads - review of The Austin Paradox / giveaway
Aug 16 - Truly Trendy - review of Miracle Man
Aug 17 - OIio by Marilyn - review of The Austin Paradox / giveaway
Aug 20 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review of Miracle Man / giveaway
Aug 21 - Two Points of Interest - review of The Austin Paradox / giveaway
Aug 22 - Books for Books - review of Miracle Man
Aug 22 - - review of Miracle Man / giveaway
Aug 23 - Truly Trendy - review of The Austin Paradox
Aug 27 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review of The Austin Paradox / giveaway
Aug 28 - The All Night Library - review of Miracle Man
Aug 29 - Books for Books - review of The Austin Paradox
Aug 29 - - review of The Austin Paradox / giveaway
Aug 30 - The All Night Library - review of ​The Austin Paradox / author interview
Sept 3 - Locks, Hooks and Books - review of Miracle Man / giveaway
Sept 3 - Bound 4 Escape - review of Miracle Man / giveaway
Sept 4 - Just Reviews - review of The Austin Paradox
Sept 5 - Locks, Hooks and Books - review of The Austin Paradox / giveaway
Sept 6 - Bound 4 Escape - review of The Austin Paradox / giveaway
Sept 6 - Jessica Cassidy - review of Miracle Man / giveaway
Sept 7 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review of Miracle Man
Sept 8 - Readers Muse - review of Miracle Man / guest post
Sept 10 - Rainy Day Reviews - review of The Austin Paradox / guest post / giveaway
Sept 10 - Jessica Cassidy - review of The Austin Paradox / giveaway
Sept 11 - fundinmental - review of Miracle Man / giveaway
Sept 11 - What Emma Read Next - review of Miracle Man / giveaway
Sept 12 - What Emma Read Next - review of The Austin Paradox / interview / giveaway
Sept 12 - Vithyas Blog - review of Miracle Man
Sept 13 - fundinmental - review of The Austin Paradox / author interview / giveaway
Sept 13 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review of The Austin Paradox
Sept 14 - Vithyas Blog - review of The Austin Paradox / author interview
Sept 14 - Readers Muse - review of The Austin Paradox
TBD - Writers N Authors - review of Miracle Man / guest post / giveaway
TBD - Writers N Authors - review of The Austin Paradox / giveaway
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

G1049 E-Reading Book Review of Nothing is Forgotten by Peter Golden

Name of Book: Nothing is Forgotten

Author: Peter Golden


Publisher: Atria

Type of book: 1950s-1964, New Jersey, family secrets, thriller/spy, strong heroine, WWII in Russia as experienced by Jews, forbidden music, grandmother/grandson relationship, secrets, spying, double dealing.

Year it was published: 2017


From the beloved author of Comeback Love and Wherever There Is Light, comes a novel about the life-changing journey of a young man who travels from New Jersey to Khrushchev’s Russia and the beaches of Southern France as he finds love and discovers the long-hidden secrets about his heritage.

In 1950s New Jersey, Michael Daniels launches a radio show in the storage room of his Russian-Jewish grandmother’s candy store. Not only does the show become a local hit because of his running satires of USSR leader Nikita Khrushchev, but half a world away, it picks up listeners in a small Soviet city.

There, with rock and roll leaking in through bootlegged airwaves, Yulianna Kosoy—a war orphan in her mid-twenties—is sneaking American goods into the country with her boss, Der Schmuggler.

But just as Michael’s radio show is taking off, his grandmother is murdered in the candy store. Why anyone would commit such an atrocity against such a warm, affable woman is anyone’s guess. But she had always been secretive about her past and, as Michael discovers, guarded a shadowy ancestral history. In order to solve the mystery of who killed her, Michael sets out to Europe to learn where he—and his grandmother—really came from.

Featuring Peter Golden’s signature “vivid characters and strong storytelling” (The Washington Post), Nothing Is Forgotten changes our understanding of the impact of World War II on its survivors and their descendants, and will appeal to fans of novels by Anita Diamant and Kristin Hannah.


Main characters included Michael Daniels aka Dainov, a Russian-Jew who became a radio DJ of sorts to play music but then his radio show became popular and spun out of control, even playing as far away as Germany and Russia. He is best described as creative, loyal and someone extremely resourceful. Yuliana is an orphaned Jew of Russian descent who lives with a man named Der Smugler. She has many secrets that she doesn't want for Michael to know, and she is also extremely paranoid when it comes to life. Other characters would have included Michael's beloved grandmother whom on the outside is sweet, gentle and is determined to raise her grandson after his family's tragic death, but who has her own secrets she must keep. Other characters are best described as resourceful and people who pretty much have each finger in a pie.


You never know what secrets your family hides


Primarily the story is from Michael Daniels' point of view as well as Yuliana's. Michael's is first person narrative, while Yuliana is third person narrative. I found the tale to be pretty interesting and really enjoyed seeing the Russian-Jews' WWII also acknowledged. The beginning aspect was really reminiscent of MY MOTHER'S SON by David Hirshberg, which I have reviewed for Fresh Fiction website. The middle of the story as well as the end weren't as tense as I thought they'd be.

Author Information:
(From HFVBT)

About the Author

Peter Golden is an award-winning journalist, novelist, biographer, and historian. He lives outside Albany, New York, with his wife and son. He is the acclaimed author of the novels Comeback Love, Wherever There Is Light, and Nothing Is Forgotten.

For more information, please visit Peter Golden’s website. You can also connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

I was pretty excited to read it because for one it dealt with Russia in 1960s, the time my parents were young children, and I also was excited that the main characters were Jews and that the story wasn't over taken by neither WWII nor Holocaust. I also loved that the story covered the ways Jews in Russia and in Ukraine were murdered, which many Americans don't really know about, as sad as I am to say. While these topics were copiously covered, other heavy topics relating to Michael Daniels' family seemed to be brushed over and weren't really answered as I wished. Coming into the story, I expected historical fiction, but instead the story was more of a spy/thriller as well as a who-done-it and historical fiction aspect was right at the beginning. I think I expected quite a lot from the book, and unfortunately it didn't end up meeting my expectations. Also, one minor point I want to make is that it wasn't until we moved to America that we heard of Anne Frank. (My parents were children in the '60s, and I asked them about Anne Frank and whether or not they have heard or read her diary. Their answer: They haven't.)

This is for HFVBT

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 20
Feature at To Read, Or Not to Read

Tuesday, August 21
Review at Hoover Book Reviews

Thursday, August 23
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Monday, August 27
Review at Creating Herstory

Wednesday, August 29
Feature at Maiden of the Pages

Friday, August 31
Review at Passages to the Past

Monday, September 3
Feature at Donna’s Book Blog

Thursday, September 6
Review at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Sunday, September 9
Feature at Clarissa Reads it All

Monday, September 10
Review at A Book Geek

Tuesday, September 11
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)
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