Monday, January 16, 2017

G799 Book Review of The Semper sonnet by Seth Margolis

Name of Book: The Semper Sonnet

Author:Seth Margolis

ISBN: 978-1-68230-056-5

Publisher: Diversion Books

Type of book: Mystery, thriller, killer disease, secrets, family line, Queen Elizabeth I, the New World, living off grid, secret societies, William Shakespeare, power, desires, goals, strong heroine, word play, games, extinct tribe, pirating

Year it was published: 2016

Summary:

In this stunning thrill ride, perfect for fans of Dan Brown and Steve Berry, a long-lost manuscript, written for Elizabeth I, holds the key to unlocking the past—and to eliminating the future.

Lee Nicholson is ready to take the academic world by storm, having discovered a sonnet she believes was written by William Shakespeare. When she reads the poem on the air, the words put her life in peril and trigger a violent chase, with stakes that reach far beyond the cloistered walls of academia.

Buried in the language of the sonnet, in its allusions and wordplay, are secrets that have been hidden since Elizabethan times, secrets known only to the queen and her trusted doctor, but guessed at by men who seek the crown and others who seek the world. If the riddles are solved, it could explode what the world knows of the great Elizabeth I. And it could release a pandemic more deadly than the world has ever imagined.

Lee’s quest for the answers buried in the sonnet keeps her one step ahead of an international hunt—from the police who want her for murder, to a group of men who will stop at nothing to end her quest, to a madman who pursues the answers for destructive reasons of his own.

As this intelligent thriller moves back and forth between Tudor England and the present day, Lee begins to piece together the meaning behind Shakespeare’s words, carrying the story to its gasp-out-loud conclusion.

Characters:

Main characters include Leslie "Lee" Nicholson, a literature major who has discovered a mysterious sonnet written by William Shakespeare. Lee is very knowledgeable when it comes to Elizabethan times and is also very resourceful and fearless. Although she later on partners up with Mark who has his own secrets, Lee does the rescuing and doesn't let others save her. Mark is Lee's love interest and is a very talented chef who also has his own dark secrets that greatly relate to Lee's quest for innocence. I wish I could say that the villain was complex but he wasn't, and his reasons for doing what he did don't really hold water in my view.

Theme:

One never knows where clues can lead to

Plot:

The story is in third person narrative from Lee Nicholson's point of view and quickly moved from one point of action to another, helping the reader discover the messages within the mysterious sonnet that was possibly written by William Shakespeare. Just as quickly as that is established, the author moves on to a mysterious murder followed by a 'what-if' scenario of Queen Elizabeth I. Lee Nicholson is a strong heroine who doesn't rely on others but only on herself, which is what I liked when it came to the story. I also loved the clues and the wordplay that the author used, although I'll be honest in saying that the disease thing is a bit beyond me, and I am wondering how much is true and how much is fiction. (Is the disease and the extinct tribe fiction or fact?)

Author Information:
(From HFVBT)


AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOKS-A-MILLION | INDIEBOUND

About the Author

Seth Margolis is a writer whose most recent novel, THE SEMPER SONNET, was published on April 19. He is the author of six earlier novels, including LOSING ISAIAH, which was made into a film starring Halle Berry and Jessica Lange.
Seth lives with his wife, Carole, in New York City. They have two grown children, Maggie and Jack. Seth received a BA in English from the University of Rochester and an MBA in marketing from New York University’s Stern School of Business Administration. When not writing fiction, he is a branding consultant for a wide range of companies, primarily in the financial services, technology and pharmaceutical industries. He has written articles for the New York Times and other publications on travel and entertainment.
For more information, please visit Seth Margolis’ website. You can also find him on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.
Opinion:

I never knew how much fun a mystery can be until I read The Semper Sonnet. As a teenager still grasping English language, I recall trying out Nancy Drew, but I do remember that I quickly figured out they were not my thing because at the time I feel that I needed books that have settings I am familiar with. Some years pass, and although I moved on from my original view of mysteries thanks to Susan Spann's Shinobi mysteries as well as the last Sano Ichiro book by Laura Joh Rowland, I also have discovered that mysteries can be fun. For me, The Semper Sonnet was a whole lot of fun and a great 'what-if' mystery. While reading it, I recall going back at some points and attempting to understand and solve the clues with Lee Nicholson. I also loved learning and imagining the possible scenarios of Queen Elizabeth I. (I was a bit disappointed that the secret wasn't what I thought it would, that Elizabeth I would be a male...) I also loved the action and protagonists in the book. I do feel that the villain could have used more work because the reader learns very little of him and why the villain behaves that way. I also was a bit surprised that a theory I had when it came to some of the characters turned out to be right, but despite that, the journey is a roller coaster ride that dares to combine history, word play, science and diseases into an electrifying read.

This is for HFVBT

Blog Tour Schedule

Thursday, December 1
Blog Tour Kick Off at Passages to the Past
Friday, December 2
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book
Saturday, December 3
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Monday, December 5
Review at A Bookaholic Swede
Tuesday, December 6
Spotlight at The Lit Bitch
Wednesday, December 7
Review at Kinx’s Book Nook
Spotlight at What Is That Book About
Thursday, December 8
Interview at Author Dianne Ascroft’s Blog
Spotlight at Susan Heim on Writing
Friday, December 9
Review at Trisha Jenn Reads
Monday, December 12
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Review at Queen of All She Reads
Wednesday, December 14
Review at JulzReads
Thursday, December 15
Guest Post at JulzReads
Friday, December 16
Spotlight at Books, Dreams, Life
Monday, December 19
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog
Wednesday, December 21
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation
Tuesday, December 27
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Wednesday, December 28
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Thursday, December 29
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Friday, December 30
Review at Broken Teepee

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.)

Book Spotlight and Gargoyle Pictures of The Elusive Elixir by Gigi Pandian


Gigi Pandian

on Tour

January 9-20

with

the-elusive-elixir-cover

The Elusive Elixir

(mystery / paranormal mystery)

Release date: January 8, 2017
at Midnight Ink


ISBN: 978-0738742366
336 pages

SYNOPSIS


Dorian Robert-Houdin, the three-and-a-half-foot gargoyle chef who fancies himself a modern-day Poirot, is slowly turning into stone, and it’s up to Zoe Faust to unravel the alchemical secrets that can save him. When they discover that a long-lost stone gargoyle with a connection to Dorian has reappeared in Europe, the stakes are even higher.

From Portland to Paris, Zoe searches for the hidden knowledge she needs, but a cold case that harkens back to 1942 throws her off course. With an ailing friend desperately trying to discover his own elixir of life and a new romantic interest offering the first chance at love she’s had in nearly a century, Zoe is torn between a dangerous form of alchemy and her desire for a safer life.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gigi Pandian

USA Today bestselling author
Gigi Pandian
spent her childhood
being dragged around the world
by her cultural anthropologist parents,
and now lives outside San Francisco
with her husband
and a gargoyle who watches over the garden.
Gigi writes the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mysteries,
Accidental Alchemist mysteries,
and locked-room mystery short stories.
Gigi’s fiction has been awarded the Malice Domestic Grant
and Lefty Awards,
and been nominated for Macavity and Agatha Awards.

Visit her website. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter

Subscribe to her newsletter

Visit her Gargoyle photography blog: http://www.gargoylegirl.com

Pre-order the book: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Midnight Ink

***


You can enter the global giveaway here
or on any other book blogs participating in this tour.
Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook,
they are listed in the entry form below
.

Enter here

Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday
of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

Global giveaway open to all:
1 winner of a Grand prize:
the first two books in the series
(The Accidental Alchemist and The Masquerading Magician)
plus a set of gorgeous 7 book-themed recipe cards

***

CLICK ON THE BANNER
TO READ REVIEWS AND EXCERPTS

the-elusive-elixir-banner












Tuesday, January 10, 2017

G502 Book Review of The Little Restaurant by Wang Anyi

General Information:

Name of Book: The Little Restaurant

ISBN: 978-1-60220-225-2

Publisher: Tuttle Publishing

Year it was published: 2010

Summary:

Wang Anyi's short stories in The Little Restaurant illuminat the emotional and intellectual complexity of the lives of the multiple generations caught up in China. Some of her short stories describe the lives of young students caught in the Cultural Revolution who were sent away to rural communities across China to be educated and tempered in a hardscrabble existence; other stories revolve around the seemingly quiet lives of ordinary citizens in the city of Shanghai. In simple language and with an eye for detail, she describes their simple physical existence and their complex nterior lives. Her descriptions are often realistic, affectionate and vivid yet somehow they remain evocative and haunting. Creating poetry out of the ordinary and the mundane, her stories are at once both stark and deeply poetic.

Author: Wang Anyi

About the Author:
(From back of the book)

Wang Anyi, born in 1954, is currently vice-president of the Writers' Associaton of China, president of the Shanghai Writers' Association and professor at the Department of Chinese Language and Literature of Fudan University. In 1955 she moved with her mother to Shanghai. In 1970 under a government policy of the Cultural Revoltuion she was settled in rural Wuhe in Anhi Province. In 1972, recruited through a competitive examination, she joined the Xuzhou Regional Cultural Troupe of Jiangsu Province as a member of its musical band. In 1978 she was transferred to the China Welfare Institute Publishing House in Shanghai to be fiction editor for Children's Epoch magazine. In 1980 she attended the literature workshop of the Writers' Association of China. In 1983 she attended the international Writing Program of hte University of Iowa. In 1987 she was invited to be a professional writer of the Shanghai Writers' Association.

Her works, which began appearing in 1977, include more than 100 short stories, 40 novelettes, 10 novels and various prose pieces and essays. She has won numerous awards, her Who's the Future Squad Leader? won a National Children's Literature prize, The Last Stop of This Train won a National Short Story prize, Gone with the Tide and Xiaobao Village won the National Novella prize, Uncle's Story won a Shanghai Novel and Novella second prize, a A story from the Cultural Revolution and I Love Bill won a Shanghai Novel and Novella third prize, The Song of Eternal Regret won a Shanghai Literature and Art prize and a prize at the Fifth Mao Dun Literature Award. Her novel An Age of Enlightenment won her an Outstanding Writer award at the 2008 Chinese Language Literary Media Awards ceremony. Some ofher works have been translated into English, German, Dutch, French, Czech, Japanese, Korean and Hebrew.

1. The Little Restaurant

One Sentence Summary:

An unknown omniscient narrator describes a small corner of the location of the restaurant as well as people who inhabit that corner and their inner lives and turmoils.

2.The Story of Ah Qiao

One Sentence Summary:

In third person narrative the life of a young man by name of Ah Qiao is described. Ah Qiao is a man who suffered from polio which changed his life for the worse. The short story describes him from the time he is a baby to the time he is an adult and is tasked with giving a speech to his co-workers.

3. The Nest Fight

One Sentence Summary:

Auntie Xiaomei is an old woman who got turned out into the streets as soon as her mistress has died. Not having any family, she becomes desperate to procure a house in her old age and tries to use people to reach her goals.

4. Ah Fang's Light

One Sentence Summary:

In first person narrative, the narrator begins to recount how he always runs into a family and as time passes he describes their circumstances more and more.

5. The Grand Student

One Sentence Summary:

Daxiasheng  travels from Xibei with some migrants looking for a cousin of his, Li Wen'ge. Unable to discover his cousin, he decides to stay with the migrants but does little to help them out with their jobs. When he does think he can help the villagers by trying to talk some sense into them, he discovers that it's better if he kept his mouth shut.

6. Inhabitants of a Vintage Era

One Sentence Summary:

The story begins with a description of the passage of time, how things exist but then disappear. An unknown narrator, possibly a young child with an older sister visits the mother at a local movie theater but then they have to leave to get ice scream. After getting ice scream, they spot a couple-a man and a woman dressed in old fashioned clothes and they decide to follow them.

7. A Nuptial Banquet

One Sentence Summary:

In the village of Xiaogangshang during a rainy day a wedding is to take place, and a teacher invites some youths to the wedding. Description of some of the traditions of the wedding follow.

8. The Meeting

One Sentence Summary:

Sun Xiazi agrees to prepare food for a meeting of "three echelons" Descriptiion of Sun Xiazi's family follows, along with what she will wear to prepare food for the meeting and what happens during the day is also described.

9. Xiao Hong of the Village of Huayuan

One Sentence Summary:

In first person voice, the narrator describes the place where they live with others along how its laid out and the people surrounding the village. Description of Xiao Hong, who happened to be the granddaughter of an actor begins as well some incidents that Xiao Hong goes through.

Personal Opinion:

My favorite stories, I'll admit are the first four because they're unlike anything I've read before. There seems to a strange and beautiful luminescence about the stories and descriptions are very unique to other books I've read. I am confused as to the significance of the last five stories and didn't really like them all that much, unfortunately, but they're still a good read if one is seeking some fascinating cultural tidbits of China

This was given to me by Tuttle Publishing House for an honest review

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.)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

G791 Book Review of now I know it's not my fault by Laurie b Levine

Name of Book: now I know it's not my fault

Author: Laurie b Levine

ISBN: 9781535511582

Publisher: Createspace

Type of book: abuse, trauma, grooming, emotional, mental, financial, humiliation, gray line, border, 1986-1990, USA, missing mother figure, teacher/student relationship, taking advantage, summer camp, borderline sexual, conversion techniques, discomfort

Year it was published: 2016

Summary:

"Alex is the articulate, first-person narrator of the tale; readers experience her obsession and emotional deconstruction from the inside...[Levine's] deep understanding of 'grooming' behavior...helps her to create a character that jumps off the page." -Kirkus

Alexandra Geller is a bright, underachieving fourteen-year-old coming of age in the big hair 1980’s. Alex is from an accomplished, well-educated family. The sudden death of her mother five years ago, and her relationship with her well-meaning but emotionally unavailable father, leaves her unmoored and vulnerable as she tries to figure out who she is. Early in her freshman year, she’s befriended by Paula Hanover, a young, attractive science teacher at her high school. Paula’s irreverence and charm attracts the attention of the girls, who look up to her, and the boys, who have crushes on her. Alex is thrilled to be chosen by this woman and relishes the feeling of finally “belonging” to a mother figure. Paula’s intentions aren’t so benevolent, as she slowly and carefully draws Alex into a relationship designed to meet her own needs, not Alex’s. Desperate for maternal attention, Alex finds ways to ignore the vague sense that something is wrong. Her compelling story sheds light on a common, but rarely talked about kind of trauma which is subtle, and occurs under the radar.

Characters:

Main characters include Alexandra Geller, a young Jewish teenager who has recently lost her mother and is craving to be validated and loved by a mother figure. She strikes me as bundle of energy because she constantly bounces her knee all the time and reluctant to open herself up to new people. She is also a bit of a chatterbox and wants to be liked for herself rather than being forced to be someone else. Paula Hanover is Alexandra's teacher, 29 in beginning of the story who is the "cool" teacher by riding on the motorcycle, being in a band and not really being a teacher. Throughout the story she tries to find direction in her life in different ways and she does take advantage of Alexandra's needs in different ways by humiliation, anger and even financially. Alexandra's father is also there, but he doesn't try to bond with his daughter or even care about her hobbies or interests (way too familiar to me,) and Alexandra does have strong friendships in terms of Amber, Sandra and even a boyfriend Adam as well as a counselor at a summer camp named Erica who is a psychology major. While the bond between the friends is strong, I have some trouble recalling definite characteristics of the two friends.

Theme:

There is more to inappropriate relationships than just physical sexual acts

Plot:

The story is in first person narrative from Alexandra's point of view. In beginning of the story, Alexandra is about thirteen or fourteen years of age and has lost her mother when she is about nine years of age. That is also when she meets Paula who happens to be her bio teacher. The story itself becomes fascinating as it goes on and years pass and Alex grows up from an awkward teenager craving mother's attention into a young woman who has love/hate relationship with the mother figure, eventually trying to mature and stand up for herself. I do hope that the author will write a sequel or so to the book that will take a look at Alexandra when she becomes an adult and will try to heal from her past. What is good about the book is the issue that's presented because it's often not talked about or even acknowledged, and I also liked the psychology aspects as well as seeing how Alexandra goes under Paula's spell. What I do feel that the author could have worked on more are the secondary characters because I have trouble recalling how Amber and Sandra differed from one another and I do feel that more explanation about psychological process is needed, at least for me.

Author Information:
(From book)

Laurie B Levine has a PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy from Syracuse University, and is Clinical Fellow in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She ahs been in private practice, helping people understand their trauma stories, for more than twenty years. She lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her husband, three children, and a massive dog.

Opinion:

In a lot of ways this is probably an uncomfortable but a very necessary novel to read. It's easy to identify and say that novels that possess sex between students and authority figures is wrong and everyone knows its wrong on so many levels. However, emotional, mental as well as grooming are much more difficult to identify and are easy to get into the game of 'he said-she said' where one side tries to convince the other that they misunderstood or are wrong. I have to say that was my experience reading the book: and that was Alexandra's experience as well with her teacher Paula. I also am being honest in saying that I am still confused on how and why it is wrong to know these things about an adult? Aside from that, I could really relate to the religious angle that was played in the book by Paula towards Alexandra, especially how Paula tried to get Alexandra to become a christian and it wasn't until I read that book did I realize that I had a very similar "friendship" with someone who strongly resembled Paula in a lot of ways (although the guy was three years older than I) I do think that some issues are pretty obvious, but its only a minor complaint and didn't deter me from enjoying the rest of the book which spans from 1986-1990.

This is for Claire McKinney Public Relations, LLC

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, January 7, 2017

G790 Book Review of the glorious heresies by Lisa McInerney

Name of Book: The Glorious Heresies

Author: Lisa McInerney

ISBN: 978-0-8041-8906-4

Publisher: Tim Duggan Books

Type of book: drugs, gangs, Ireland, church, giving up children, coming-of-age, sex, jail, family, father-son relationship, modern times, prostitution, beating up, violence, murder, choices, consequences, converting, Catholic church

Year it was published: 2015

Summary:

One messy murder affects the lives of five misfits who exist on the fringes of Ireland's post-crash society. Ryan is a fifteen-year-old drug dealer desperate not to turn out like his alcoholic father Tony, whose obsession with his unhinged next-door neighbour threatens to ruin him and his family. Georgie is a prostitute whose willingness to feign a religious conversion has dangerous repercussions, while Maureen, the accidental murderer, has returned to Cork after forty years in exile to discover that Jimmy, the son she was forced to give up years before, has grown into the most fearsome gangster in the city. In seeking atonement for the murder and a multitude of other perceived sins, Maureen threatens to destroy everything her son has worked so hard for, while her actions risk bringing the intertwined lives of the Irish underworld into the spotlight . . .

Biting, moving and darkly funny, The Glorious Heresies explores salvation, shame and the legacy of Ireland's twentieth-century attitudes to sex and family.

Characters:

Main characters include Ryan Cusack, a half Irish-half Italian boy who is the oldest son of an alcoholic father and also has five younger siblings. He has a long-term girlfriend and in beginning seems to be naive about the consequences his actions will have on his family. He sells drugs and at first is likable, sort of. But then things happen and he becomes an ugly person. Maureen is Jimmy's mother and seems to yin to his yang. Maureen has had a difficult past and seems to understand what Georgie is going through and also takes advantage of it. Georgie is a reformed sex worker who is stuck between a rock and a hard place, while Jimmy Phelan is in crime and is best friends with Ryan's father. He is brutish and hot tempered and dangerous. Ryan's father is alcoholic and feels helpless and takes advantage of the situation.

Theme:

Life is harsh and impossible to dream about

Plot:

The story is in third person narrative from Ryan's, Georgie's, and Ryan's father's point of view. Most of the book is written from Ryan's point of view, although other characters do butt in and tell their stories as well. There are also some small italicized chapters in first person narrative from Ryan's point of view. I have an idea of what happened in the story, but I have no idea how it should've been seen as darkly comedic or how all those events connected to one another. The story is mostly coming of age of Ryan Cusack while others seem to play small roles or parts in how Ryan grows up. It also spans years and strikes me as needlessly complicated. Also as well, Irish slang took away my enjoyment. (Honestly, if the audience is in America, maybe some resources to understand Irish slang, or at least some context clues please...)

Author Information:
(From book flap)

Lisa McInerney's first novel, The Glorious Heresies, won the 2016 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction and the Desmond Elliot Prize, was shortlisted for Best Newcomer at the Irish Book Awards, and longlisted fort he Dylan Thomas Prize. Her short stories have been featured on BBC Radio 4 and in Granta, the Stinging FLy, and the anthologies The Long Gaze Back and Faber's Town and Country. Lisa lives in Galway with her husband, their daughter, and a dog named Angua

Opinion:

From goodreads reviews, I got an impression that this will be a hidden gem and that I will enjoy it. I really wanted to like it, to enjoy the dark humor enlaced within the pages, but I found the opposite happening: I read the book from cover to cover and realized that I had very little idea of what is going on, and instead of the book as dark comedy, it is dark, ugly and depressing. I have very little idea of what was going on except it deals with drugs, spans years and seems to be a coming-of-age story for Ryan Cusack, a half Irish-half Italian oldest son of an alcoholic father and a mother who has passed away. Ryan is also a drug dealer and has to face consequences for his choices just like his father, neighbor, girlfriend and others. Other occupants of the book, Maureen, Georgie, Maureen's son Jimmy and Ryan's father didn't play a big role, and even now I am still not sure what happened. Also, there is a lot of Irish slang in the book. Nothing against that, but if you don't know slang or aren't familiar with it, then its bound to take enjoyment away.

This is for Blogging for Books

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.)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

iRead Book Tours is 3 years old!



Since 2013 or so, I have been part of a lot of awesome book tour companies. Unfortunately with some I had to part, and with others I  continue to remain. iRead Book Tours as well as its sister company Italy Book Tours are ones I remain with. There are a lot benefits that I enjoy in hosting iRead Book Tours as well as Italy Book Tours on my blog; one discovering some pretty awesome reads that I might not have known about, and another is working with passionate and dedicated Laura Fabiani and Debra Schoenberger who understand the value of being a reviewer and add awesome incentive of amazon gift cards in addition to free reads. The books that iRead Book Tours as well as Italy Book Tours specialize in, from what I can see, are indie, which makes it highly likely that a hidden gem is waiting to be discovered by the reviewer. 

Some favorite reads I found at iRead Book Tours and Italy Book Tours: The Publicist Series by Christina George, The Gondola Maker by Laura Morelli, What Counts Most is how you finish by Shelia Payton, Baby Comes Home by Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Jesusita by Ronald L Ruiz, Kings or Pawns by J.J Sherwood, Bianca's Vineyard by Teresa Neumann, Venice in the Moonlight by Elizabeth McKenna, Dreaming Sophia by Melissa Muldoon, and The Artisan's Star by Gabriella Contestabile. 


About iRead Book Tours:

At iRead, we give special attention to every book that tours with us. We are passionate about books and we customize all our tours because no two authors are alike.

We don't just market books. We help our authors get the best exposure with traditional tours consisting mainly of reviews. We work closely with our authors and pride ourselves on our highly individualized customer service.

All our staff are book bloggers and authors, so we understand the process and the hard work involved. We've built a solid relationship with our database of reliable book bloggers who are eager to read your books.

Welcome to the iRead experience!



About Laura Fabiani:

In 2008, Laura began blogging about books shortly after she published her first book. She started Library of Clean Reads, a book review blog, and discovered the joy of reviewing a variety of genres. Her children have joined her in this venture and they spend many happy hours reading books together. A Special Care Counselor by profession, Laura has co-led and developed programs for seniors with dementia, including Alzheimer's Disease. She has a passion for the topic of neuroscience and wellness.

Throughout the years she has met and worked with wonderful publishers, both traditional and indie, as well as publicists and authors. Best of all, she discovered the world of book bloggers--a community of special people who spend their precious time sharing their love of books and all things related to books. 

Taking part in book tours has always made Laura feel more connected to authors and the publishing field. She organized her own virtual tour when her book was published and she learned several things. As an author, it exposed her to actual reader views and social media. As a book blogger and book tour organizer, it taught her the amount of work it entailed. And she loves it!

You can find Laura blogging at Library of Clean Reads and Essentially Italian. She is the owner of iRead Book Tours,  Italy Book Tours, and Je Lis Blog Tours.

Giveaway:​

Win $50 cash or a Basic Virtual Book Tour Package (2 winners, open int’l)
Ends Feb 4


TOUR SCHEDULE:

Jan 2 -   Library of Clean Reads - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 2 -   Book Lover Promo - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 3 -   Essentially Italian - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 3 -   Rockin' Book Reviews - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 3 -   Bookworm for Kids - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 3 -   Nighttime Reading Center - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 3 -   Katie's Clean Book Collection - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 3 -   My Journey Back - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 4 -   Spines in a Line - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 4 -   Book Crazy Scrapbook Mama - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 4 -   Svetlana's Reads and Views -  spotlight / giveaway
Jan 4 -   Books, Dreams, Life - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 5 -   Words And Peace - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 5 -   Puddletown Reviews - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 5 -   fuonlyknew - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 6 -   Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine - spotlight 
Jan 6 -   Deal Sharing Aunt - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 9 -   Mystery Suspense Reviews - spotlight
Jan 9 -   Books Direct - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 10 - Sincerely Stacie - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 10 - Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 10 - FLYLÄ“F Reviews - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 11 - I Love A Good Book - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 11 - #redhead.with.book - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 11 - Writers and Authors - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 12 - A Holland Reads - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 12 - Cheryl's Book Nook - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 13 - Romantic Reads and Such - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 13 - Celticlady's Reviews - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 13 - Book Lover in Florida - spotlight
Jan 15 - Working Mommy Journal - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 15 - Zerina Blossom's Books - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 16 - Book and Ink - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 16 - The Autistic Gamer - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 17 - JBronder Book Reviews - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 17 - Blooming with Books - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 18 - Lisa Loves Literature - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 18 - Fantastic Feathers  - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 19 - Christy's Cozy Corners - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 19 - Over the hills and far away - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 20 - The Writing Garnet - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 20 - Bound 2 Escape - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 23 - Brooke Blogs - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 23 - Teresa Edmond-Sargeant - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 24 - All things bookie - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 24 - Olio by Marilyn - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 25 - Laura's Interests - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 25 - Bound 4 Escape - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 26 - Sahar's Blog - spotlight / giveaway
Jan 27 - Books for Books - spotlight / giveaway


Monday, January 2, 2017

Book Spotlight for Let's Hug: 15 Hugs for Beginners by Efrat Shoham and The Unusualasaurus: 15 Playful Dinosaurs by Efrat Shoham

Title: Let's Hug: 15 Hugs for Beginners

Author: Efrat Shoham

Illustrator: Yuval Israeli

Publisher: The Pink Camel

Summary: 

There must be over a millions ways to say "I love you" or "I care about you", but with a single hug, even without words, you can simply feel it. This book is for toddlers, and encourages children and adults alike to try out all possible types of hugs. It's everyone's gain.

It took seconds for the sweet testers who accompanied the writing of this book to adopt these 15 ways of showing love, to give and receive it. And our testers are not alone. Recent studies reveal that Oxitocin, the most fun hormone available, also known as the Love Hormone, is released into our bodies when we hug.

Hugs are proven to have a generally positive healing and relaxing effect, since they increase calm and happiness, reinforce our self esteem, and support our sense of connection to those who are close to us. If you'd like to validate these studies, go ahead and hug.

This book was beautifully illustrated by Yuval Israeli, and it's the second creative collaboration between Yuval Israeli and Efrat Shoham.


Buy the Book: Amazon

Title:The Unusualasauruses: 15 Playful Dinosaurs

Author: Efrat Shoham

Illustrator: Lilach Ramati

Publisher: The Pink Camel

Summary: 

Ages and ages ago, many different kinds of dinosaurs roamed our planet. Some were as large as whales, while others were the size of small dogs. Some were plant-eaters, while some ate other animals. Some had very long necks and tails, while others were tiny. Some had horns. Some had wings and could fly.

Despite all of these many variations, they were all part of the dinosaur family. And, as is often the case with family, they shared many common features.

No one has ever never whatsoever seen a live dinosaur or spoken to one of them. So, what if dinosaurs could really talk, or smile, cry, dream, dance, play and joke?

To answer all of these questions, all you have to do is become an Imaginesaurus, and meet the Unusualasauruses.

This book is aimed at children aged 4 to 120. It introduces the readers to different types of personalities, characters, and skills and thus helps us to spot them at a glance.

This book was beautifully illustrated by Lilach Ramati.

Buy the Book:  Amazon

About the Author:

Efrat Shoham is an Israeli writer and independent publisher (The Pink Camel).

Shoham grew up in a small agricultural village in Israel. Her father was a farmer and her mother – a teacher and librarian. She lives with her family in Tel Aviv, on a small street lined with eucalyptus, mulberry and loquat trees, where 3 rabbits from the nearby kindergarten run wild.

She thinks and believes that curiosity, imagination, humor, green fields, fresh mango or avocado and pink camels are some of the keys to a good and happy life.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~ Facebook

About the Illustrator of Let's Hug


Yuval Israeli 
"I grew up in a kibbutz in the north of Israel and for years I live in Tel Aviv with Roy and our cat "tsimuki". I studied design and illustration at "Vital" the school of visual arts, which reunited later with "Shenkar".


I also learned classical painting in the "station studio".

I always paint pop icons and characters which affected me, and I also always paint portraits of friends. Besides, I always enjoyed painting all kinds of creatures from my imagination". 

About the Illustrator of The Unusualasauruses

Lilach Ramati

"I majored in visual communication in Holon Institute of Technology. I studied Interactive, but eventually my final project was an illustrated book. Today I work as a designer in games company". 

SPOTLIGHT BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE:

Jan 2 - The Cheshire Cat's Looking Glass - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 2 - Did you hear about the Morgans? - book spotlight
Jan 2 - Rockin' Book Reviews - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 2 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 3 - A Soccer Mom's Book Blog - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 3 - Rainy Day Reviews - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 3 - Laura's Interests - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 4 - Elsie's Audiobook Digest - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 4 - Books, Dreams, Life - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 5 - The Pen and Muse Book Reviews - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 5 - And the Buck Starts Here - book spotlight 
Jan 6 - Bookroom Reviews - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 6 - Katie's Clean Book Collection - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 6 - 100 Pages A Day - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 9 - My Journey Back - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 9 - Puddletown Reviews - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 10 - Cheryl's Book Nook - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 10 - Library of Clean Reads - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 11 - Bound 2 Escape - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 12 - Christy's Cozy Corners - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 13 - Writer with Wanderlust - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 13 - Bookworm for Kids - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 15 - Outset-Rakhi Jayashankar's blog - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 16 - fuonlyknew - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 16 - Nighttime Reading Center - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 17 - Lukten av Trykksverte - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 18 - The Autistic Gamer - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 19 - Reading Authors - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 20 - One Frugal Girl - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 20 - KC Beanie Boos Collection - book spotlight / giveaway

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