Monday, December 4, 2017

Cathadeus Spotlight



Book Details:

Book Title: Cathadeus (Book One of the Walking Gates)
Author: Jeff J. Peters
Category: YA Fiction, 344 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
Release date: Dec 8, 2017
Tour dates: Dec 4 to 15, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (fighting scenes)

Book Description:

It has been six hundred years since the Alchemists fused together men and beasts to form strong, mindless slaves. Now, their most vicious creations have attacked the mystical Walking Gates, slaughtering their Keepers and isolating their cities. Wounded in the brutal attack, Braxton Prinn’s mother is on the verge of death and he makes a desperate journey to find the reclusive elven master who can save her. But when he discovers an ancient magic, Brax is caught up in an even greater struggle and soon finds himself hunted for his power. Drawn into the chaos of an impending war and pursued by enemies on all sides, Brax must fight to save his mother and her race from slipping into darkness. Though his untamed magic may be the greatest threat of all . . .

What Readers are Saying about Cathadeus:

“Jeff J. Peters’ strong cinematic writing style allowed me to easily visualize the story and feel that I was right there alongside the characters.”
- Alison W.

“Jeff J. Peters’ writing is so smooth and easy to read – I can’t tell you how much of a pleasure it was…and how quickly you end up being drawn into the story because of it.”
- Amanda R.

“Cathadeus is the best kind of fantasy story - you get to learn along with a flawed main character while you get lost in a richly designed world. You can’t help but keep reading. A cleanly written pairing of characters you wish you could spend more time with and an enthralling world built around them. Cathadeus is the kind of story that plays perfectly off of your imagination, with characters grounded in reality to make it feel like you could really be there.”
- Ryan N.

“Jeff J. Peters definitely has storytelling skills...The story stayed on my mind when I wasn’t reading it. Young readers will be drawn in this imaginative story, while they relate to Braxton’s struggles with temper, insecurity, and young love. Cathadeus is dramatic, with an anxious tone—at times bleak, as the story keeps you wondering until the final battle if good will prevail.”
- Elizabeth C.


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Meet the Author:



JEFF J. PETERS was born in South Africa and immigrated to the United States as a teenager, where he fell in love with all things fantasy. He obtained degrees in digital electronics and computer science and worked as an IT professional for more than twenty years. In 2014, he left his corporate position to focus full-time on writing. Cathadeus is his debut novel. He is currently working on the sequel.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Facebook

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

21 Days to Happiness


Author Ingrid Kelada dedicates this self-help book to her supportive number and fellow author father, regularly peppering the text with quotations from real-life figures, and ending each of the titular days with questions about whether they helped the reader. She further gives links to additional resources and webpages, although this reviewer thinks it somewhat inconvenient to visit all the sites while breaking from the middle of the text. This author should mention that he suffers from regular anxiety, and easily forgets commonsense solutions to typical daily issues such as being in a bad mood.

The writer opens with a preface discussing her BHAG, or “Big Hairy Audacious Goal,” and has a brief initial part where she discusses happiness basics, noting that she once lost contact with a childhood friend. She mentions occasional statistics of which this reviewer has been somewhat aware, such as happy people living longer, with three factors to happiness, being genetics, portions within human control, and life circumstances. She occasional delves into the scientific, mentioning the four “happy hormones,” which include dopamine, oxytocin, endorphins, and serotonin, which she suggests the reader give occasional breaks.

Kelada opens the longest second part with the first day, stating that people should be gracious with what they have, and follows with other topics such as listening to music to elevate your mood, laughing to make the world a better place, decluttering one’s living space, enjoying nature, getting good sleep, exercising, paying it forward, enjoying eating and preparing food, and so forth. Overall, this is an enjoyable self-help book, some of whose solutions this reviewer has already begun to implement even without finishing it, although a sizeable fraction of it is common sense. Even so, this reviewer would definitely recommend this book to those seeking to uplift their lives.

Book Details:

Book Title: 21 Days to Happiness: Increase Your Happiness, Productivity and Happiness
Author: Ingrid Kelada
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 230 pages
Genre: Motivational, self-help
Publisher: Wellness Ink
Release date: September 19, 2017
Tour dates: Nov 27 to Dec 15, 2017
Content Rating: G (The subject is intended more for adults, but there's no explicit language or content.)

Book Description:

Struggling to find work-life balance? Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed and frustrated or just want to increase your happiness, you can learn how in just 10 minutes a day!

For some of us, feeling busy or stressed has become the new normal. Others feel okay, but just want a boost to productivity, energy and motivation.

Instead of hoping for happiness, what if happiness is something you DO, something you CHOOSE every day? The good news: it is and the solutions are simple.

Psychologist and happiness expert Ingrid Kelada provides a practical, step-by-step guide to help you increase your personal happiness and feel more motivated. You can learn how with simple 10-minute strategies. Each day of the 21-day journey focuses on one key area of your life, including:

Time: how to break the cycle of chaos and manage your time effectively.
Body Language: exploring the surprising links between body language and happiness.
Relationships: how to make the most of the number one predictor of happiness.
Work: how to use your strengths and talents so that you are engaged and motivated.
Money: what you should spend your money on to feel most satisfied.

The book is interactive. Each chapter features resources like apps to try, videos to watch for deeper understanding, or tools to help you master these new habits. At the end of three weeks, along with increased happiness, you’ll find you’ve become more:

• productive
• focused
• patient
• energetic
• healthy
• motivated
• positive

Happiness is a choice. A daily decision to choose happy can be easy, fun and rewarding. With this book, in just a few minutes per day, you can practice one new happiness habit, add resources to your arsenal, and jot down your notes in the journal section.

Buy 21 Days to Happiness today to create a happier more satisfying life.



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Meet the Author:




Ms. Ingrid Kelada is an experienced psychologist and happiness expert. She is a speaker and has facilitated over 1000 workshops all over the world. People find her to be pragmatic, inspiring and funny! She has an online personality questionnaire store to help people identify their talents and interests. With over 25 years experience, she offers her expertise to a wide range of clients. She is bilingual and a member of the professional association of Psychologists of Quebec. Visit her online at www.keladacc.ca

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ LinkedIn ~ Instagram


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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

First Crush, Last Love Spotlight



Book Details:

Book Title: First Crush, Last Love by Elizabeth McKenna
Category: Adult Fiction, 314 pages
Genre: Romance - Contemporary
Publisher: Elizabeth McKenna
Release date: Aug 1, 2017
Tour dates: Oct 16 to Nov 3, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (There are a few short, mild sex scenes - nothing too graphic. There is swearing by certain characters. Mature themes include drinking/alcoholism, verbal abuse with some physical pushing, AIDS (a minor character is gay), stalking, brief descriptions of child abuse by a step parent, and suicide attempt (overdose).

Book Description:

Remember your first crush? How your heart raced and your cheeks flushed whenever you saw him? Jessie Baxter does, and it’s happening again. Ten years ago, despite her best efforts, Lee Archer wanted to be just friends. Now, he wants more, but Jessie's still recovering from a psycho ex-husband. Can she learn to trust again and make her first crush into her last love?

Elizabeth McKenna’s latest novel will have you remembering the angst of high school, the grief of a failed relationship, and the happiness of true love.

To read reviews, please visit Elizabeth McKenna's page on iRead Book Tours.

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Meet the Author:



Elizabeth McKenna works as a full-time technical writer/editor for a large software company. Though her love of books reaches back to her childhood, she had never read romance novels until one Christmas when her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene).

She had always wanted to write fiction, so she combined her love of history, romance and a happy ending to write Cera's Place and Venice in the Moonlight. Her short story, The Gypsy Casts a Spell, is available for free on her site http://elizabethmckenna.com/. She hopes you will enjoy her first contemporary romance novel, First Crush Last Love, as much as others have enjoyed her historical romances.

Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a sassy Labrador. When she isn't writing, working, or being a mom, she's sleeping.

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

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Monday, October 30, 2017

The Painter's Apprentice Spotlight



Book Details:

Book Title: The Painter's Apprentice: A Novel of 16th-Century Venice
Author: Laura Morelli
Category: Adult Fiction, 482 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: The Scriptorium
Release date: November 15, 2017
Tour dates: Oct 16 to Nov 17, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (some adult situations but no sex or explicit violence)

Book Description:

Would you rather sacrifice your livelihood, your lover, or your life? When the Black Death comes knocking on your door, you’d better decide quickly.

Venice, 1510. Maria Bartolini wants nothing more than to carry on her father’s legacy as a master gilder. Instead, her father has sent her away from the only home she’s ever known to train as an apprentice to Master Trevisan, a renowned painter.

When the painter’s servants uncover the real reason why Maria has been sent away, they threaten to reveal a secret that could tear down her family and the future of their trade. She is forced to buy the servants’ silence, but as their greed steadily grows, Maria resorts to more desperate measures. She questions whether her heart’s desire is worth risking her family, her trade, and her future, but Maria’s sacrifices may amount to nothing if the plague arrives on her father’s doorstep before she is able to get back home.

From the author of the award-winning The Gondola Maker comes a rich tale of Renaissance Venice, a heroine with a lust for life, and love against all odds.
Pre-Order Campaign:
Laura Morelli's new book, The Painter’s Apprentice, is out on November 15, and she is offering a set of great bonuses exclusively to her readers. If you like to delve deeper into the “story behind the story,” you’ll want to take advantage of Laura’s pre-order package (ends Oct 31st), which takes readers behind the scenes of The Painter’s Apprentice with videos, pictures, commentary about Renaissance Venice, and other exclusive content. Learn more here and order your copy today!


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Meet the Author:




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

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

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Space Between


Author Susan Rooke dedicates this contemporary fantasy novel to Katie, Glen, and especially Denise, the last who read the book first and “believed.” Opening the story is a prologue with a mysterious unidentified narrator who thinks that his fall is going on forever, although he doesn’t fall alone. The main chapters begin with the female protagonist, Mellis, with her dog Orlando in the park. Mellis has three semesters of college under her belt, and has worked the kitchen at Goodwin’s Permanent Care part-time since high school. Mellis quickly finds herself in an otherworld thanks to an old woman named Deidre, who has her companions Fetters and Feldspar.

The mentioned unidentified narrator, later titled the Son of the Morning, gets his own chapters in between the main ones, known as interstices, the first of which describes him as being broken from the fall in the prologue, recovering. The story fuses Christian and Greek mythology, with Satan ultimately mentioned later in the story, and the Titans from the latter towards the end. Another significant piece of backstory is the expulsion of two different sects of angels from Heaven, the first of which are the Evil Fallen, and the second of which are the remorseful Penitent.

Other characters introduced include the talking cat Kindle, not to mention Fellson, who seems to be a person of interest to the Son of the Morning. This story overall will likely please enthusiasts of modern fantasy stories, although it does a tad too much setting up for future installments, particularly regarding the enigmatic interstices, and has several confusing portions, particular regarding the fact that Kindle is actually a talking cat. This reviewer further had difficulty imagining the appearances of the sundry characters, given their general lack of descriptions, although it’s by no means a bad read.


Book Details:

Book Title: The Space Between: The Prophesy of Faeries by Susan Rooke
Category: Adult Fiction, 452 pages
Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tale
Publisher: Holynok Press
Release date: September 12, 2017
Format available for review: ebook (mobi, ePub, PDF)
Tour dates: Oct 23 to Nov 17, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (For some violence. There is no sex or bad language)

Book Description:

Mellis, a courageous and resourceful young woman, is kidnapped from the human world and taken to the Space Between by a tribe of faeries called the Penitents. Because of guilt over an ancient sin committed by their angel ancestors against the Maker, the Penitents have cursed themselves with grotesque physical disfigurements. Mellis can help them reunite with the Maker and find their way back to redemption, but she would need to give up the life she's always known to remain in the Space Between.

As she struggles with this heart-wrenching decision, one of the Penitents, bent on revenge, commits a gruesome attack against the tribe, and they learn he has taken Satan--the Maker's greatest enemy--as his ally. All in the Space Between are facing grave danger. Will a long-awaited act of vengeance save them?

Susan Rooke builds a rich and fantastical world of angels and demons, monsters, faeries and dragons. Abounding with spirituality and humanity, this faery tale for adults has a cast of vivid characters you won't soon forget.

To follow the blog tour and read reviews, please visit Susan Rooke's page on iRead Book Tours.


Meet the Author:



Susan Rooke is a Pushcart-nominated poet and author of the forthcoming The Space Between Series. Her short stories and poems have appeared in publications such as The Christian Science Monitor and The Twilight Zone Magazine, among many others. She resides on a square of green, peaceful country not far from Austin, Texas, with her husband Glen, who runs a small cattle operation while Rooke writes fiction about angels and demons, monsters, faeries and dragons. Look for her fantasy novel, The Space Between: The Prophecy of Faeries on Amazon.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ facebook


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Monday, October 23, 2017

Tribal Affairs


One could definitely describe this contemporary fantasy novel an odd duck. Several chapters an unidentified female character narrates, who has a husband named Alexander. For most of the story, chapters appear to be in third-person, with the main character being Liana, daughter of the magician Jamison the Great, one of whose performances has a misfire early on. In another dream-dedicated chapter, Alexander hangs beaten and upside-down from a tree, with the narrator soon saying that she has influence over Liana’s dreams.

Liana is still a student in grade school, with a few classmates pranking a slide presentation by including pictures of her father’s failed performance. She is a troubled pupil, under the care of a psychiatrist named Dr. Rattner, who suggests medicating her. Liana quickly finds herself thrust into a fantastical world inhabited chiefly by genies, with one named Stefan serving as something of an antagonist later on. The author divides genies into a few tribes, such as the Marid and Ifrits in a reflection of real-life djinn mythos that adds well to the narrative.

Liana and a friendly genie, Taffi, male, set off on a ship called The Drunken Maiden, with Liana urged to keep control of her supernatural abilities, and while the action isn’t exactly on an epic scale, there is some revelation towards the end, such as who exactly is narrating the story, which accounts for an overall satisfying yarn. There are some derivative aspects such as an apparent inspiration by the Star Wars franchise, and the author does err in mentioning witch burnings regarding the Salem Witch Trials (where no alleged magicians were incinerated), but the book is otherwise recommended.



Book Details:

Book Title: Tribal Affair by Matt Dallmann
Category: YA Fiction, 277 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Matt Dallmann
Release date: July 2017
Tour dates: Oct 9 to 27, 2017
Content Rating: G (No bad language or sex)

Book Description:

Dahlia, a centuries-old genie, lies hopelessly trapped in a damaged golden locket charm attached to an ankle bracelet. Its owner, sixteen-year-old Liana, wears it for the first time during her father Jamison’s opening night illusion spectacular. Not only does its presence cause Jamison to folly his performance, but it also starts a chain of bizarre events that lead to a showdown with Dahlia’s mortal enemy, Stefan, and an unsuspecting romance between Liana and his son.

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Meet the author:


Matt Dallmann has a background in acting and holds a BFA from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. His films and screenplays have been featured at film festivals across the United States including Cinequest, Big Apple Film Festival, Seattle’s True Independent Film Festival, DragonCon and Zero Independent Film Festival. His piano compositions have been published for commercial use and he is a member of ASCAP. Matt is also the Co-Founder and Vice President of the boutique medical billing firm VGA Billing Services, Inc. in New York City. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.

Connect with the author: Website

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Appointment With Yesterday Spotlight



Book Details:

Book Title: Appointment with Yesterday: A Novel in Four Parts with a Prologue and an Epilogue
Author: Christopher Stratakis
Category: Adult Fiction, 334 pages
Genre: coming-of-age / WWII / immigrant experience
Publisher: IndieReader
Release date: January 2017
Tour dates: Oct 2 to 20, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (There is no bad language or violence, but there are references to sex and sexual situations (including between a pre-teen and teen)


Book Description:

A poignant and compelling first novel, Appointment with Yesterday tells the story of Yanni, a cheeky and delightful Greek boy growing up in a small town on an island in the eastern Aegean.

Left in the care of his loving grandparents, Yanni endures the deprivation and terror of the German occupation during World War II and finally leaves his beloved homeland and family to rejoin the parents who had left him behind to make a better life for themselves in America.

Filled with heartbreaking and heartwarming stories of love, devotion, disenchantment, and dashed dreams, Appointment with Yesterday is, ultimately, the story of hardships overcome and a determined boy’s journey toward finding his destiny.


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Meet the Author:




Christopher Stratakis was born and raised in Greece. After moving to America, he graduated from Drexel University in 1951 and New York University School of Law in 1955. Shortly after joining the law firm of Poles, Tublin & Patestides in 1960, he became a partner, specializing in admiralty and corporate law.

He has written and published several articles, lectured on professional and historical subjects, served as Legal Advisor to several non-profits (pro bono), and was an arbitrator in maritime disputes. He is the author of Mnimes “Memories” (2010), a book of essays, short stories, and poems that he wrote as a teenager. In 2015, he co-edited Chains on Parallel Roads, a book published by Panchiaki “Korais” Society of New York. In recognition of his extensive community involvement, he has been the recipient of several awards from religious, governmental, and educational institutions.

Mr. Stratakis lives with his wife in New York City. He is the proud father of three and grandfather of three. This is his first novel.

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