Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Diverse Reads on my Blog #22

Diverse Reads on my Blog #22

Seems that things are escalating. Also, no matter your beliefs, lets please stop seeing each other as villains and start seeing each other as people we could learn from. Its not right to look at each other as bad people when we have more in common than in differences.

Blast from the Past

The Barrelmaker Brimful of love by Saikaku Ihara

Summary:

(from Norton World Anthology Vol.D 590)

The Barrelmaker Brimful of Love is a worthy introduction. The novella is part of a collection of stories, Five Women Who loved Love, written in 1686 when Saikaku had reached his full stride. It should be remembered, though, that this is a writer for whom language is always a bravura performance. Translation, inevitably obscuring linguistic aspects of a text, cannot display the stylist's forte to best advantage. Saikaku's many other strengths, however, do emerge.

How its diverse: The story was written by a Japanese author and is a bit scandalous.

Journey Home by Yoshiko Uchida

Summary:

World War II is raging. Yuki and her Japanese-American family are forced from their home in California and imprisoned in a US concentration camp called Topaz.

After months of unbearable life in Topaz, Yuki and her family are finally released. They are free, but are left with nothing.

WIth nowhere to go, and no money to get there, the road to rebuilding their lives seems endless. But in the end, it is their unyielding faith and courage that guide them home, reunited and hopeful.

Journey Home is an extraordinary story of one's family struggle to survive one of the most tragic episodes in US history.

How its diverse: The story was written by a Japanese-American author about her experience after the trip to Topaz during WW2.

Gray Hawk's Lady by Karen Kay

Summary:

When Lady Genevieve Rohan joins her father in the farthest reaches of the American West, she expects to bring a bit of genteel English charm to his dry, academic existence. Instead, she finds her father desperately ill, and it's up to her to finish his study of the Indian and publish his work- or face the wrath of his creditors.

Her troubles mount when the men hired to capture a member of the Blackfoot tribe dont' bring her a docile maid to study. They present her with a magnificent warrior- proud, outrageously handsome and simmering with fury at the loss of his freedom.

The white woman is beautiful beyond compare, but Gray Hawk can't think past his plan to exact revenge against this meddling foreigner. It's ridiculously easy to escape, then turn the tables and take her captive. When anger turns to passion, then to love, he embarks on a new quest. To claim the stubborn, red-headed vixen as his own.

Yet as their hearts strain toward each other, pride conspires to pull them apart...unless they can each find a way for their hearts to become one.

How its diverse: The author claims to have Native American ancestry, and I have to say that I like how the men are portrayed in the book

Blast from the Past: Allies of Diversity

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

Summary:

"Ma-niac, Ma-niac He's so cool Ma-niac Ma-niac Don't go to school Runs all night Runs all right Ma-niac, Ma-niac Kissed a bull!"

He wasn't born with the name Maniac Magee. His real name was Jeffrey Lionel Magee, but when his parents died and his life changed, so did his name.

Maniac Magee was a legend. Kids were always talking about how fast he could run; how high he could jump; how no knot would stay knotted once he began to untie it. BUt the thing Maniac Magee was best known for is what he did for the kids from the black East End and those from the white West End of Two Mills.

Maniac Magee was special. And this is his story.

Why its diverse: Although this book focuses on survival, but it also has human acts of kindness, and a strong reminder that good people come in all colors

What I am Reading Now:

So far nothing

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.

DARE TO DREAM IN THE MIDST OF WAR.

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


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Book Spotlight For Don't Write a Crappy Book by James M. Ranson



Book Details:



Book Title: Don't Write a Crappy Book by James M. Ranson

Category: Adult Non- Fiction, 210 pages

Genre: Business, Authorpreneurship

Publisher: Master Wordsmith Media, in association with Thanet House Books

Release date: Oct 1, 2018

Tour dates: Oct 8 to 31, 2018

Content Rating: PG for occasional mild swearing (hell and damn, mostly, one instance of "shitty")



Book Description:



A great book can launch your business into the stratosphere. Unfortunately, most self-published business books rank somewhere between “meh” and “flaming pile of crap.” But your book doesn’t have to suck!



In “Don’t Write a Crappy Book,” editor and entrepreneur James Ranson unpacks the most common–and toxic–mistakes that first-time nonfiction authors make. Peppered with wisdom from a panel of industry experts, this book debunks the dangerous myths that can torpedo your text and offers clear, practical guidance for writing a book you’re proud of. This is the resource for the aspiring authorpreneur who wants to write and publish a book with minimum hassle and maximum results.



This book will teach you:



- How a self-published book can make or break your business (and the THREE factors that determine which it does)

- The biggest blind spots no one tells authors about (and how to look for them BEFORE it's too late)

- How to write a first book that will get positive reviews on Amazon (and why that’s a better goal than becoming a bestseller)

- When writing a business book is the right move for you (and when you should NEVER write one)

- How to self-publish on Amazon to actually get good results for your business (a lot of it happens before you even start writing!)

- What NOT to do when you’re looking for an editor (and how to find a great one)

- Why trying to write and publish a book in 90 days or less is a recipe for disaster (and why no one tells you that!)

- How to avoid do-overs, sunk costs, and other self-publishing headaches (and how to get out of them if they sneak up on you)



Stay out of the crap pile! Discover the secrets to creating a highly valuable book that will expand your influence and grow your business for years to come.



To read interviews and guest posts, please visit James M. Ranson's page on iRead Book Tours.







Buy the Book:





Meet the Author:




James Ranson, The Master Wordsmith(TM), is a Wall-Street-Journal-bestselling editor, ghostwriter and book coach who has helped over 200 consultants, coaches, speakers and other thought leaders create high-quality books. Clients of his have gone on to sell thousands of books, receive book deals from publishing houses, and be featured in regional and national media outlets. In addition to his own clients, James is a writer and book doctor for Thanet House Books, and is on recommended professional lists for Scribe Media(formerly Book in a Box), My Word Publishing, BrightFlame Books and Authors Unite. His second book, Don’t Write A Crappy Book!, will be published on October 1, 2018. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, James lives in Atlanta, GA, with his fiancĂ©e and a very needy cat.



Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook




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Ends Nov 7, 2018


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Book Spotlight For A Different Kind of Fire by Suanne Schafer


A Different Kind of Fire by Suanne Schafer

Publication Date: November 1, 2018
Waldorf Publishing
Paperback & AudioBook

Genre: Historical Fiction


Ruby Schmidt has the talent, the drive, even the guts to enroll in art school, leaving behind her childhood home and the beau she always expected to marry. Her life at the Academy seems heavenly at first, but she soon learns that societal norms in the East are as restrictive as those back home in West Texas. Rebelling against the insipid imagery woman are expected to produce, Ruby embraces bohemian life. Her burgeoning sexuality drives her into a life-long love affair with another woman and into the arms of an Italian baron. With the Panic of 1893, the nation spirals into a depression, and Ruby’s career takes a similar downward trajectory. After thinking she could have it all, Ruby, now pregnant and broke, returns to Texas rather than join the queues at the neighborhood soup kitchen. She discovers her life back home is as challenging as that in Philadelphia.

A Different Kind of Fire depicts one woman’s battle to balance husband, family, career, and ambition. Torn between her childhood sweetheart, her forbidden passion for another woman, the nobleman she had to marry, and becoming a renowned painter, Ruby’s choices mold her in ways she could never have foreseen.

Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | BookBub | Waldorf Publishing


Praise

"Writer Suanne Schafer spins a unique tale of a turn of the 19th century Texas heroine and her way of artistic expression. Her paintings shock her contemporaries and the love she's drawn to shocks herself. A Different Kind of Fire depicts the journey of a determined woman to meet life on her own terms." --Pamela Morsi, USAToday Bestselling Author of 26 books including The Cotton Queen and Bitsy's Bait & BBQ

"If you love historical novels about women who throw off the shackles of feminine convention, then this book is for you. In spare but sensuous prose reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy and E. Annie Proulx, Schafer brings Ruby Schmidt to life--a woman who doesn't belong in the late nineteenth century but gradually finds her place in the twentieth. You can't help but root for Ruby as she grows from Texas farm girl, to a freethinker and lover of men and women in Philadelphia, and finally into a consummate artist. This is a powerful and deeply satisfying read." --Helena Echlin, co-author of Sparked and author of Gone

"An exceptional first novel. Schafer has woven a cohesive tale from disparate elements--a stark life in the rugged countryside of 1890s Texas vs the gentility of an arts academy in the East; a traditional marriage and motherhood vs a secret and haunting sexuality. Unequivocally recommended!" --Michael R. Hardesty, Author of Amazon Best Seller, The Grace of the Ginkgo

"With rare artistry, Schafer paints a life both creative and cursed in A Different Kind of Fire.--Willa Blair, Award-winning Amazon and Barnes & Noble #1 bestselling author of His Highland Love, Highland Troth, Highland Seer, and ten other books

"The saga of a young woman determined to follow her dream, whatever obstacles cross her path." --MJ Fredrick, author of A Texas Kind of Love, Smitten in a Small Town, and twenty-five other books, a two-time Epic Awards winner and a four-time RWA Golden Heart finalist

Suanne Schafer's A Different Kind of Fire is a powerful story of a Gilded Age artist who brooks convention both in her art and her love. Read this book: It has both the depth of emotion of a modernist novel and the epic scope of a historical saga.--Alicia Rasley, author of The Year She Fell, an Amazon bestseller

"I absolutely LOVED A Different Kind of Fire. Suanne Schafer is a passionate writer with a gift to transport the reader back to the 1800's. With her book in one hand and my iPad in the other, I learned so much about artists and their work. Ms. Schafer's words are so visual, I actually watched the story play out with every riveting page I turned. Fantastic character development. There was no stone left unturned. "A Different Kind of Fire" gets a standing ovation and five stars from me. Five stars." --Tracy Stopler, Award-winning author of The Ropes That Bind

"I was amazed by Suanne Schafer's poetic and laconic turns of phrase. She has the gift of being simultaneously ornate and succinct, which is no easy task." --Joshua Mohr, Author Sirens, All This Life, Fight Song, Damascus, Termite Parade, Somethings That Meant the World to Me

"Told in a rich, sensual, style, A Different Kind of Fire is a book about reconciling the irreconcilable. It is a book about boundaries: the dilemmas they place upon those would dare rise above them. The book is also a study in contrasts rather than a polemical treatise. Is Ruby a heroine or a victim?--a free spirit or a narcissist? These questions are ultimately left to the reader to decide." --James Hanna, Author of The Siege, Call Me Pomeroy, and A Second, Less Head and Other Rogue Stories.

"Suanne Schafer's A Different Kind of Fire tackles the sensitive subject of bisexuality in 19th century America with grace, compassion, and empathy through fully developed characters in a story readers will cherish long after the book ends." --C.S. Fuqua, author of Walking after Midnight ~ Collected Stories

"An evocative and compelling story of a Texas-bred ranch girl-to-woman straddling the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and her conflicting and sometimes illicit desires for her art, her lovers and the freedoms some women were just beginning to glimpse. Ferberesque in scope, A Different Kind of Fire harbors the twists and turns of a thriller and the braided threads of explosive affairs that cannot possibly coexist. Schafer's marvelous book exudes undiminished spirit in the face of terrible loss." --Guinotte Wise, author of Night Train, Cold Beer, winner of H. Palmer Hall Award

"Insightful, loving, and endearing, A Different Kind of Fire, will draw you in and keep you spellbound. Suanne Schafer weaves Ruby Schmidt's journey from love in rural Texas to art school in sophisticated 1890s Philadelphia. Ruby's struggles and triumphs over 100 years ago ring true to the challenges still faced by 21st century women." --Kristine Mietzner, Founder, The Women Veterans Writing Workshop of California

About the Author

Suanne Schafer, born in West Texas at the height of the Cold War, finds it ironic that grade school drills for tornadoes and nuclear war were the same: hide beneath your desk and kiss your rear-end goodbye. Now a retired family-practice physician whose only child has fledged the nest, her pioneer ancestors and world travels fuel her imagination. She originally planned to write romances, but either as a consequence of a series of failed relationships or a genetic distrust of happily ever-after, her heroines are strong women who battle tough environments and intersect with men who might—or might not—love them.

Suanne completed the Stanford University Creative Writing Certificate program. Her short works have been featured in print and on-line magazines and anthologies. Her debut women’s fiction novel, A Different Kind of Fire, explores the life of Ruby Schmidt, a nineteenth century artist who escapes—and returns—to West Texas. Suanne’s next book explores the heartbreak and healing of an American physician caught up in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, October 29
Book Nerd
Creating Herstory
A Chick Who Reads
Passages to the Past
The Reading Woman

Tuesday, October 30
Jathan & Heather
CelticLady's Reviews
The Book Junkie Reads
Svetlana's Reads and Views
Historical Fiction with Spirit
So Many Books, So Little Time

Wednesday, October 31
A Book Geek
Umut Reviews
100 Pages a Day
Just One More Chapter
What Is That Book About

Thursday, November 1
Tea Book Blanket
Amy's Booket List
Donna's Book Blog
Clarissa Reads it All
What Cathy Read Next

Friday, November 2
The Writing Desk
Puddletown Reviews
Hoover Book Reviews
Locks, Hooks and Books

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away A Fiery Bookish Prize Pack, including a literary scarf, beaded velvet bookmark, a copy of A DIFFERENT KIND OF FIRE & $10 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 2nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to readers in the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen

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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Book Spotlight for Joy to you and me by Amy Thornton



Book Details:



Book Title: Joy to You and Me (at Work!) by Amy Thornton

Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 179 pages

Genre: Self-help, Business

Publisher: Tell-Tale Publishing Group, LLC

Release date: June 5, 2018

Tour dates: Oct 1 to 19, 2018

Content Rating: PG (This book is for ages 16+, so there is the occasional "damn", "hell", and "ass" thrown in as far as language, but nothing worse than that.)



Book Description:



Are you one of the 48% of employees worldwide who doesn't like their jobs? Do you feel constantly stressed at the office? Or maybe you're just feeling "blah" about your job and want to bring some life back into your workplace. If you talk to anyone about their careers or jobs these days, most of the time you won't hear positive stories or excitement. You'll probably hear words like "busy", "stressed", "exhausting", and "mind-numbing." And with the good old 40-hour workweek becoming a distant memory for many of us, this reality is just plain sad.



Joy to You and Me (At Work!) helps turn these situations around by giving the reader easy tips they can implement quickly to start making a positive difference in the workplace. Being joyful isn't just a "fluffy-cutesy-nice" thing to do each day - it actually increases productivity and is good for any company or organization. The book helps anyone learn how to:



- Be a more joyful person

- Bring joy to co-workers

- Bring joy to customers

- Bring joy to networking



This fun, easy-to-read guide shows people of all ages and personalities how to make a difference immediately to make not only themselves happier, but to spread that happiness throughout the workplace - and beyond!



By sharing stories from the author's 25+ years of making a joyful difference in the workplace and examples from truly kick-ass companies, Joy to You and Me (At Work!) is a life-changing, fun read for anyone who wants to improve their work life.



Buy the Book:




Meet the Author:





Amy Thornton Shankland, GPC, has been bringing joy to her workplaces for over 25 years thanks to her innate enthusiasm. She is a former Dale Carnegie instructor, has been a grant professional for 17 years, is a former columnist for the Noblesville Daily Times, and is a current board member of Noblesville Main Street.





Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Oct 27, 2018



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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

G1044 The Wisdom of listening; pieces of gold from a decade of interviewing and life

Title of the book: The Wisdom of listening; pieces of gold from a decade of interviewing and life

Author: Marilyn R Wilson

Publisher: Real Lives Press

Publishing Date: 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9953147-2-6

Summary:

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

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

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


Author Info:
(From iRead Book Tours)

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


Meet the Author:

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

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

Connect with Marilyn: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram
Personal Opinion:

I LOVED reading this book! Really loved it. Its very inspirational and the author is very open with her vulnerabilities and issues she has had, but she didn't let them stop her from thriving and being the best she could be. A lot of the values she wrote about were the ones I tend to agree with, and I applaud her using the environmental conscientious effort in trying to stem the mass consumerism of the culture.This book came at the right time for me in my life. Also, a very gorgeous and beautiful cover.

This is for iRead Book Tours

BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE:

Sept 24 - FLY HIGH! - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sept 24 - This and That Book Blog - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sept 25 - #redhead.with.book - review / giveaway
Sept 26 - Rockin' Book Reviews - review / guest post / giveaway
Sept 27 - Read and Review - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sept 28 - Truly Trendy - review / author interview
Oct 1 - Writers and Authors - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Oct 2 - Library of Clean Reads - review / author interview / giveaway
Oct 3 - T's Stuff - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Oct 4 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review / giveaway
Oct 5 - The Autistic Gamer - review / giveaway
Oct 8 - From Isi - review
Oct 9 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review
Oct 10 - Jorie Loves A Story - guest post
Oct 10 - To read is a great adventure - review / author interview
Oct 11 - Paulette's Papers - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Oct 12 - Jessica Cassidy - review / giveaway
Oct 12 - One Frugal Girl - review / giveaway
Oct 12 - Jorie Loves A Story - review
TBD - Live To Read ~Krystal - review / guest post / giveaway

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.)

G1038 Book Review of Death Logs out by E.J. Simon

Name of Book: Death Logs Out

Author: E.J Simon

ISBN: 9781980730318

Publisher: Endeavour Media

Part of a Series: Michael Nichols

Type of book: Humanity, brotherhood, intelligence, artificial intelligence, secrets, pope, the vatican,  murders

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

Is Alex Nicholas really dead?

Two years since the brutal shooting of Alex Nicholas, a gambling underworld boss in Queens, NYC. But his brother, Michael, a respected CEO, struggles with a secret: his murdered brother has been communicating with him via his laptop using AI. This AI-Alex can foresee dangers in Michael’s path, and appears to be trying to help him – even controlling machinery and electronics via WiFi. Meanwhile, trouble is stirring in the historic capital cities of Rome, Berlin and Paris. Inside the Vatican, Monsignor Kurt Schlegelberger has designs to build his power and prepare for the sudden ascension of the Free Forces Party, a throw-back to the Nazis.

Schlegelberger will stop at nothing, but first he must deal with a new threat: someone appears to know the true story behind a series of murders in the US, committed by clergy to cover their tracks of child abuse within the Church. Alex’s re-appearance puts Schlegelberger’s plans in jeopardy. Dead or alive, the way to finish off Alex for good can only be to get to his close family, namely his brother Michael…

This fast-paced third instalment of E.J. Simon’s Death series will keep readers guessing to the very end.

Characters:

Main characters include Michael, younger brother of Alex who took over Alex's business when Alex has died. Michael is resourceful and intelligent. There is also Alex who seems to be evolving as the story goes on and is also resourceful, intelligent and fun loving. Of course, he also loves messing with people, and thrives on attention. There are other characters such as Sindy Steele, the killer nurse and the evil guys in form of Vatican, but they aren't as developed.

Theme:

What is humanity

Plot:

The story is in third person narrative from a lot of characters' points of view such as Michael, his brother Alex, then their paramours. I feel that points of view tended to jump a lot and it was difficult for me to understand who is talking and who isn't. It's also action-paced and there doesn't seem to be a lot of character development,. although its a different story with Alex. I also feel that the author really wrestled with the question of what makes humans humans and whether or not machines or artificial intelligence can achieve that level.

Author Information:
(From iRead Book Tours)

Meet the Author:

E. J. Simon is the author of three commercial fiction thrillers, Death Never Sleeps, Death Logs In and Death Logs Out. He has just completed his fourth manuscript, Death in the Cloud.

He is a member of the Authors Guild, the Mystery Writers of America and the North Carolina Writer’s Network. He holds an M.A. in Corporate & Political Communications from Fairfield University and a B.A. in Journalism from the University of South Carolina. He lives with his family in Cary, North Carolina in the United States. For more information, visit his website: www.ejsimon.com.

Connect with E.J.: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram
Buy the Book:
Amazon
Add to Goodreads
Opinion:

To be honest, I have read the prequels for the book years and years ago, which in hindsight is not good because I didn't enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed the prequels, and which does answer the question that its obviously not a stand-alone novel and that previous books are a must-read, and that all three must be read in a few sittings as possible. The story is very quick paced and somehow I couldn't really catch up to the level I felt that I needed when I read the book. Its definitely interesting and does have potential, but I feel that it should have been developed more to help the readers who are not familiar with the characters or past events become more familiar.

This is for iRead Book Tours

BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE:

Aug 20 - TFaulc Book Reviews - book spotlight / guest post
Aug 21 - Library of Clean Reads - review of Death Never Sleeps / giveaway
Aug 22 - The Book Drealms - book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 23 - Jane Reads - review of Death Logs Out / guest post / giveaway
Aug 24 - T's Stuff - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Aug 24 - meirem_in_booksland - review of Death Never Sleeps
Aug 27 - Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Aug 28 - Two Points of Interest - review of Death Never Sleeps / giveaway
Aug 29 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review of Death Logs Out / giveaway
Aug 30 - Truly Trendy - review of Death Never Sleeps
Aug 31 - The Nerdy World Blog - review of Death Never Sleeps / author interview
Sept 4 - Bound 4 Escape - review of Death Never Sleeps / giveaway
Sept 5 - Two Points of Interest - review of Death Logs In / giveaway
Sept 6 - Truly Trendy - review of Death Logs In
Sept 7 - Books for Books - review of Death Never Sleeps
Sept 11 - Two Points of Interest - review of Death Logs Out / giveaway
Sept 12 - Books for Books - review of Death Logs In
Sept 13 - Bound 4 Escape - review of Death Log In / giveaway
Sept 14 - meirem_in_booksland - review of Death Logs In
Sept 17 - Truly Trendy - review of Death Logs Out
Sept 17 - Writers N Authors - review of Death Never Sleeps / giveaway
Sept 18 - Locks, Hooks and Books - review of Death Never Sleeps / giveaway
Sept 19 - Library of Clean Reads - review of Death Logs In / giveaway
Sept 20 - FUONLYKNEW - review of Death Logs Out / giveaway
Sept 21 - Nighttime Reading Center - review of Death Logs Out / giveaway
Sept 24 - It’s My Life - review of Death Never Sleeps
Sept 25 - Locks, Hooks and Books - review of Death Logs In / giveaway
Sept 25 - Writers N Authors - review of Death Logs In / giveaway
Sept 26 - Readers Muse - review of Death Never Sleeps / guest post
Sept 26 - Writers N Authors - review of Death Logs Out / giveaway
Sept 27 - Bound 4 Escape - review of Death Logs Out / giveaway
Sept 28 - Books for Books - review of Death ​Logs Out
Oct 1 - Cheryl's Book Nook - review of Death Logs Out / giveaway
Oct 2 - Celticlady's Reviews - book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 3 - Locks, Hooks and Books - review of Death Logs Out / giveaway
Oct 4 - Readers Muse - review of Death Logs In
Oct 8 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review of Death Logs Out
Oct 9 - The Booksnake Etc.- review of Death Logs Out
Oct 10 - The Nerdy World Blog - review of Death Logs Out
Oct 10 - Library of Clean Reads - review of Death Logs Out / giveaway
Oct 11 - meirem_in_booksland - review of Death Logs Out
Oct 12 - Readers Muse - review of Death Logs Out
TBR - The Booksnake Etc.- review of Death Never Sleeps
TBD - The Booksnake Etc.- review of Death Logs In
TBD - The Nerdy World Blog - review of Death Logs In
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.)

An Important Article: 10 Things Indian Students Miss About Home When Studying Overseas

From the time I arrived to America to now, I always found myself being involved in immigration tales as well as the fine line between assimilating and staying true to one's roots. Although the article is geared towards Indian (students of South Asian ancenstry,) I imagine that it can apply to anyone, especially towards international students.

This article was not written by me, but was written by someone, and I agreed to share it on my blog because I feel its important to recognize and know others' experiences. 

10 things Indian students miss about home when studying overseas

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Clash of Empires by Paul Bennett Book Blast


Clash of Empires by Paul Bennett

Publication Date: December 8, 2016
Paperback & eBook; 224 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1540666628

Series: The Mallory Saga, Book #1
Genre: Historical Fiction


In 1756, Britain and France are on a collision course for control of the North American continent. The eventual result can be described as the first world war, known as the Seven Year’s War in Europe and the French and Indian War in the colonies. The Mallory family uproots from eastern Pennsylvania, and moves to the western frontier, where they find themselves in the middle of war. Daniel, Liam, and Liza (the three Mallory siblings) become involved in the conflict in ways that lead to emotional trauma for each. The story focuses on historical events and includes historical characters. Clash of Empires is an exciting look at the developments leading to the events of July 1776, which are chronicled in the sequel as we follow the exploits and fate of the Mallory clan.

"I feel both educated and thoroughly entertained by Mr. Bennett’s debut novel ‘Clash of Empires’. Rich in detail mined from the author’s clearly painstaking research, we find lessons that should have been learned from the distant past rising to the fore once more; cannons boom, bullets fly and tomahawks spin through the air as the war builds towards a brutal climax. A fresh voice and a cracking tale. Recommended!" - Author Gordon Doherty

Amazon US | Amazon UK | IndieBound

About the Author

Paul’s education was of the public variety and when he reached Junior High he discovered that his future did not include the fields of mathematics or science. This was generally the case throughout his years in school as he focused more on his interest in history; not just the rote version of names and dates but the causes. Paul studied Classical Civilization at Wayne State University with a smattering of Physical Anthropology thrown in for good measure. Logically, of course, Paul spent the next four decades drawing upon that vast store of knowledge working in large, multi-platform data centers, and is considered in the industry as a bona fide IBM Mainframe dinosaur heading for extinction. Paul currently resides in the quaint New England town of Salem, Massachusetts with his wife, Daryl. The three children have all grown, in the process turning Paul’s beard gray, and have now provided four grandchildren; the author is now going bald.

For more information, please visit the Mallory Saga Facebook page. You can also find Paul on his Blog, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Book Blast Schedule

Thursday, September 20
Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Friday, September 21
Passages to the Past

Monday, September 24
Donna's Book Blog

Tuesday, September 25
Impressions In Ink

Wednesday, September 26
SilverWoodSketches

Thursday, September 27
The Book Junkie Reads
Carole Rae's Random Ramblings

Friday, September 28
Jathan & Heather

Monday, October 1
Book Nerd
The Lit Bitch

Tuesday, October 2
Just One More Chapter

Wednesday, October 3
Svetlana's Reads and Views

Thursday, October 4
A Darn Good Read

Friday, October 5
100 Pages a Day

Monday, October 8
CelticLady's Reviews

Tuesday, October 9
Maiden of the Pages

Wednesday, October 10
The Book Review

Friday, October 12
Bri's Book Nook

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a signed copy of Clash of Empires to one lucky reader! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on October 12th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US/Canada only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Clash of Empires Blast


Monday, October 1, 2018

Coming Attractions for October 2018

October is my birthday month, and yes, I'm not looking forward to my birthday, which is four days away. I dream of a birthday that cannot be achieved, that cannot be done, that's why I'm not looking forward to it. This birthday will be like a day just like any other.

Book Spotlights and Tours:

CLASH OF EMPIRES BY PAUL BENNETT Book Spotlight (October 3rd, 2018)

Death Logs Out by E.J. Simon (October 8th, 2018)

The Wisdom of Listening: Pieces of Gold from a Decade of Interviewing and Life by Marilyn R. Wilson (October 9th, 2018)

Joy to You and Me (at Work!) by Amy Thornton Book Spotlight (October 11th, 2018)

Murder by Perfection by Lauren Carr (October 16th, 2018)

Don't Write a Crappy Book by James M. Ranson Book Spotlight (October 23rd, 2018)

Lullaby Road by James Anderson (October 30th, 2018)

Hopeful reads:

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Tamara Jenkins Reid

Love, and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford

The Room on Rue Amelie by Kristin Harmel

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

Sown in Tears by Beverly Magid

The Master and the Maid by Laura  Libricz

Amnesia nights- QUINTON SKINNER

A Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper

For Fresh Fiction:

The Abbot's Tale by Conn Iggulden

Lady be Good by Amber Brock

The Way of Beauty by Camille di Maio

The Lost Season of Love and Snow by Jennifer Laam

Only Killers and Thieves by Paul Howarth

Crimson Lake by Candice Fox
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