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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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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Monday, October 2, 2017

Awoke




Book Details:

Book Title: Awoke (The Want Series) by K.T. Conte
Category: YA Fiction; 324 pages
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Publisher: SugarCane Publishing
Release date: October 2017
Format available for review: print & ebook (mobi, ePub, PDF)
Will ship print books to: Internationally
Tour dates: Sept 25 to Oct 27, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (mainly bad language)

Book Description:

Katya leads a normal life any teenager would be envious of – popular, pretty and dating the high school elite. Not she enjoys the spotlight, mind you. She wants everyone to believe she is normal.

But when Katya sees the real reason behind the earthquakes plaguing everyone in Boston, the truth rattles and shatters the perfect normal illusion Katya created for herself. An ability to see unearthly creatures and manipulate waves of life energy labels her as anything but normal. And it’s an ability that attracts unwanted and dangerous attention.

She reluctantly finds herself in the company of Gregor, a handsome member of an international spirit military team called the Kyrios. Her simple decision to help thrusts Katya in a world of the undead spirits, betrayal and a perpetual battle between undead monsters and the wardens that keep them in their place.

Katya must decide whether she values the simple and easy life she created for herself over the complex and difficult world now asking her to stand and fight.


Review

This contemporary fantasy and paranormal romance novel opens with protagonist and first-person narrator Katya Stevens intending to have a normal night devoid of the visions that have been plaguing her for some time, and she goes to her friend Amie Espinosa’s eighteenth birthday party at a bowling alley in Boston. A little backstory is exposed in the first chapter about tremors that have been occurring around the world, particularly in unusual locations such as the capital of Massachusetts. Kat is African-American, and has a Caucasian boyfriend named Roger Simmons, a high school basketball player.

At the birthday party, Kat encourages Amie to hook up with a mysterious Scotsman later identified as Gregor, although he rudely rejects her, and Kat consequentially tries to track him down so she can confront him. Oddly, she finds a man kneeling and pleading with the Scot, whom he addresses as a Kyrios, with Gregor indicating that an entity known as a Craver is coming, and Kat having a sensation accompanied by a malevolent force. The narrator ultimately awakes at home, with the Scotsman by her side, who reveals his background.

Kat ultimately finds herself thrust into a world of the supernatural, with the normal human domain being the Live Realm, with occasional further backstory and Christian mythology playing part in the story. She discovers that she has a latent power called the Vis, similar to the force from the Star Wars film franchise, and receives training to hone her abilities. Despite the derivative nature of the novel, it’s still a good start to a new series, although there is slight confusion towards the end, and an oddly out-of-place reference to a character codenamed Mini-Me. Even so, fans of modern fantasy will most likely enjoy this yarn.

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K.T. Conte is a lover of books, people and all things wild and crazy. She received her B.A. in English from Boston College and her law degree from Suffolk University Law School. While she has and continues to be a licensed attorney, her first love has always been books from the tender age of 2. Originally from Massachusetts, K.T. currently lives in New York City with the monsters in the closet, her husband Everett, a couple of building fairies and her dog, Champ.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Carbon



Book Details:

Book Title: Carbon - Book Two in the Watcher Series by AJ Eversley
Category: YA Fiction, 300 pages
Genre: Sci-fi Dystopian
Publisher: Self-published
Release date: Sept 26, 2017
Tour dates: Sept 4 to 29, 2017
Content Rating: PG (No swearing and PG kissing scenes)

Book Description:

Sawyer has lost everything. Her family, the man she loves...her humanity. No longer a Watcher, Sawyer must now begin a journey to understand her new identity. Carbon.

With no where left to call home, and no one left to guide her, Sawyer must rely on the help of a stranger to learn who she really is now, and how to use it to her advantage. In a world where nothing is as it seems, and who to trust is a thin line between friend and foe, Sawyer will turn to the stars that have shaped her destiny long before she even knew she had one. And the man who fate has sent her.

Book two in this epic series, Carbon will answer questions you didn't even know you had. And strangers will become the only ones who can help her. Join Sawyer as the journey to save humanity continues.

Review:

*possible spoilers for Watcher*

Like its predecessor, Carbon, the sequel to Watcher, is a dystopian science-fiction novel set in the future, with most chapters narrated by the female protagonist, Sawyer, with occasional third-person chapters that again feature another important character, Kenzie. In the beginning, she indicates that she is largely unable to move on from death, and is sailing from Kuros to the United Isles. Throughout the story, Sawyer has a mostly love-hate relationship with Max Murray, son of Commander Murray, although he does occasionally attempt to comfort her aboard the ship where the action begins.

As mention, Kenzie returns, his scenes commencing in a space station, with a fortnight having elapsed since he fled Kuros. Kenzie’s superior Coleman interrogates a prisoner for location of a special girl, and suspects a traitor among his ranks. Also introduced early on is the leader of the United Isles, Princess Lena, who has a childlike appearance but is in reality much older. Overall, this is an enjoyable sequel, even if a tad derivative of other dystopian works, but those that enjoyed the first book in the series will most likely enjoy the second.


To read more reviews, please visit AJ Eversley's page on iRead Book Tours.

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Meet the Author:




AJ Eversley is the author of the WATCHER series. A true north Canadian girl, AJ currently lives in Central Alberta with her husband and dog. When she’s not writing, she can be found binge watching Harry Potter, quoting various movies in every day conversation, and eating copious amounts of candy.

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


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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Alycat and the Monday Blues



Book Details:

Book Title: Alycat and the Monday Blues by Alysson Foti Bourque
Illustrations by: Chiara Civati
Category: Children's Fiction, 32 pages
Genre: Children's Picture Book
Publisher: Mascot Books
Release date: Sept 12, 2017
Tour dates: Sept 18 to Oct 6, 2017
Content Rating: G (appropriate for all audiences)

Book Description:

Alycat wakes up with the dreaded Monday Blues and is certain that nothing will go right. But when a mishap sends her astray, she discovers that helping a friend will help her discover her own hidden talent—curing her Monday Blues.


My Review

This illustrated children’s story opens with a foreword by Jennifer Niven (author Alysson Foti Bourque being the main writer of the text), that indicates she knows what it’s like to lose someone and want desperately to fit in with others, not to mention that we’re all unique. The chief writer herself dedicates her book to her siblings, those that purchased the book’s predecessor, Alycat and the Thursday Dessert Day (which readers luckily needn’t experience to enjoy its sequel, which mostly stands on its own and has very little, if any, references to outside literature), and those who set their life to music, with the narrative having a musical theme.

Monday Blues stars a cast consistent entirely of anthropomorphic felines, brought to life by illustrator Chiara Civati, with the titular protagonist, Alycat, despising Mondays, and, while personally not feeling up to it, goes to school anyway. Misfortune plagues her on her way home, mainly losing artwork created at school to a rainy day, although she takes solace in hearing her friend Spotty playing jazz music. She decides to sing along to his music, having a knack for it, and ultimately decides to participate in a talent show with both terming their team the Harmonicats, and seeking costumes for their performance, which occurs towards the end.

Song lyrics abound in the book as well, a “da-da-da-dum” prominent in moody jazz music following each line, with which most readers will be familiar, and can consequentially imagine the performances within their minds. Overall, this is an enjoyable children’s book with charming feline characters livened by the illustrations that very well follow along with the text, with this reviewer in particular having an affinity for literature starring anthropomorphic characters, and would recommend it to people young and old who have the same interest in animal characters.

To read other reviews, please visit Alysson Foti Bourque's page on iRead Book Tours.

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Meet the Author:



Alysson Foti Bourque is the author of the Rhyme or ReasonTravel series, and the multi-award winning Alycat series. Alysson received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a law degree from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge. She believes that there is an Alycat in all of us, encouraging our imaginations to guide us through new opportunities and adventures.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook


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Monday, September 25, 2017

The Sky Throne



Book Details:

Book Title: The Sky Throne by Chris Ledbetter
Category: YA Fiction, 300 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Month 9 Books
Release date: April 18, 2017
Tour dates: Sept 18 to Oct 20, 2017

Content Rating: PG + M (No f-words but there may be some mild profanity, and mild religious expletives such as "damn", "hell" and "Oh God!", some depictions of violence. No drug use or underage drinking. Some semi-mature themes - suggestion of sexual misconduct by certain characters, but not the actual performing of it.)

Book Description:

Duality dwells at every turn, and an adolescent Zeus will learn that all too well when Hyperion attacks his family on Crete.

When the dust settles, his mother is unconscious and his best friend left for dead.

Stacking epic insult upon fatal injury, Zeus discovers the woman who raised him is not his biological mother. But to ensure her safety while she recovers, a heavy-hearted Zeus leaves her behind to seek answers at Mount Olympus Preparatory Academia.

Zeus embarks on a quest to discover who ordered the attack on his home, avenge the death of his friend, and find his birth mother. When some of his new schoolmates vanish, Zeus's quest is turned upside down, and the only way to make things right is to access the power of The Sky Throne, confront a most dangerous enemy, and take his life back.

On his way to becoming king of the Greek gods, Zeus will learn to seize power, neutralize his enemies, and fall in love.


My Review

The fantasy literary genre dates back to the nineteenth century, with several examples of classical fantasy such as Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking Glass, not to mention L. Frank Baum’s massive Oz series. Religious mythology would ultimately become a heavy influence in works such as J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and its prequel The Hobbit, rooted in Norse mythos, and C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, based on biblical themes. Greek mythology hasn’t been heavily utilized, though, except perhaps in works such as Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians cycle.

Modern writer Chris Ledbetter, though, takes a similar stab at Greek-themed fantasy with The Sky Throne, which he dedicates to his father, who introduced him to Hellenic mythology when he was five years old. The perspective is first-person, with the narrator being Zeus, many other characters through the story named after Greek deities, although a few have nicknames, such as Poseidon’s being Don and Hades’ being Shade. The initial setting is the island of Crete in an unidentified period, with the author rarely mentioning his own unique days of the week, appropriate since those in English are largely based on the nomenclature of Nordic gods.

Zeus opens his story with his belief he is an outcast at the Eastern Crete Lower Academy during the two years he has attended, although he does have his talents, chiefly javelin-throwing and wrestling. One of his pranks, however, results in his expulsion, and an ultimate transfer to Mount Olympus Prep, situated on its namesake peak, where much of the action occurs. Several twists abound towards the end of the narrative, with this story generally being enjoyable, if somewhat derivative, particularly with regards to certain familial revelations, although The Sky Throne is definitely a great story for teenagers, particularly fans of Percy Jackson.

To read other reviews, please visit Chris Ledbetter's page on iRead Book Tours.


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Meet the author:



Chris Ledbetter is an award-winning author of short fiction and novels for young adults. “Jason’s Quest,” a short story retelling of the Jason and Medea Greek myth was published in the anthology, Greek Myths Revisited. His first full-length novel, Drawn earned him two awards, Library of Clean Reads Best YA 2015 and Evernight Publishing Readers’ Choice Award Best YA 2015, as well as a USA TODAY “Must Read” recommendation. His second novel, Inked, concludes that duology. The Sky Throne is his newest young adult novel. The second book in the series is set to release in 2018.

He's a proud member of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) and a strong supporter of the Need for Diverse Books. He now writes and lives in Wilmington, NC with his family, including three cats.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ facebook ~ Pinterest


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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Watcher



Book Details:

Book Title: Watcher - Book One in the Watcher Series by AJ Eversley
Category: YA Fiction, 300 pages
Genre: Scifi Dystopian
Publisher: Self-published
Release date: March, 2017
Tour dates: Sept 4 to 29, 2017
Content Rating: PG (No swearing or explicit sex scenes...there are kissing or romantic scenes that are considered PG. The word Hell or Damn is used only a few times.)

Book Description:

"I knew I was not alone. They would never leave until every last one of us was gone." Sawyer Russo has sworn to protect humanity, and as a Watcher she’s done just that. But the Bots and Carbons that took her city are evolving, and they start picking the Watchers off one by one. One last rescue mission will change everything. When someone betrays them, the line between friend and foe is no longer easily drawn. Sawyer made a vow, and she will fulfill it, even if it means ending the person who deceived them, no matter who it might be. It all comes down to one choice... Who can she save? And who does she have to let go?

Review:

Author A.J. Eversley’s Watcher is a dystopian science-fiction novel mostly narrated in the first person by female protagonist Sawyer, although there are occasional third-person chapters focusing on another important character, the young man Kenzie. Before the main events of the novel, the base where Sawyer serves was built in 2024 A.D., three years before the outbreak of the Third World War, the chief timeframe being a century and a half after the base’s construction. The novel gives further occasional glimpses of backstory, such as the mechanic Bots revolting against humanity.

In the book’s “present,” Sawyer watches her city, some time ago destroyed by Bots and Carbons, the latter being human in appearance but having microchips implanted in their skulls, other characters including Adam, fascinated with robots, and Sam the technician. Early fights erupt between the humans and Carbons, with Sawyer getting a gash for which he sees Doc, unsurprisingly a doctor. Sawyer reveals her mother was part of a rebel organization before her death, with her father also being supposedly dead, allegedly passing when she was eight years old.

Kenzie is introduced early on as a secondary protagonist, with Sawyer ultimately tasked with training him to fight the Carbons and Bots. Some twists occur in the novel’s latter portion, with occasional turncoats as well. Overall, this is an enjoyable dystopian novel, although it somewhat goes where other science-fiction stories have gone before, with the mention of a past rebel organization evoking thoughts of the Star Wars franchise, the part-human Carbons reminiscent of replicants from Blade Runner as well. Even so, this is a good start to its series, and is recommended to fans of both sci-fi and dystopia.

To read more reviews, please visit AJ Eversley's page on iRead Book Tours.

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Meet the Author:




AJ Eversley is the author of the WATCHER series. A true north Canadian girl, AJ currently lives in Central Alberta with her husband and dog. When she’s not writing, she can be found binge watching Harry Potter, quoting various movies in every day conversation, and eating copious amounts of candy.

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


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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Journey's End Spotlight


Book Details:

Book Title: Journey's End: Death, Dying and the End of Life
Authors: Victoria Brewster & Julie Saeger Nierenberg
Category: Adult Non-Fiction; 558 pages
Genre: Resource/Educational
Publisher: Xlibris
Release date: July 20, 2017
Tour dates: Sept 4 to 22, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M

Book Description:

In Journey's End, we write about death, dying, and end of life issues. We attempt to define and describe these real-life circumstances, and we discuss ways to proactively deal with them. Multiple personal and professional perspectives provide valuable insights.

What is dying like for dying persons, for loved ones, and for those who lend support in the process? Each experience will have unique qualities. Everyone dies in his own way, on his own schedule. While we explore the dying process, we make no assumptions about how any particular death will unfold.

Grief and bereavement support, training tools, and educational resources are included.

Meet the Authors:




Victoria has a master of social work degree. She has worked as a case manager with older adults for the past seventeen years and as a group facilitator. Her past work experience was as a therapist with children and families, and as a case manager for adults with mental health issues. She just launched a consulting business, NorthernMSW to focus on end of life issues, planning, training, and advocacy, along with memoir writing and life legacy writing.

Julie was inspired equally by her professional backgrounds as a biomedical researcher and long time educator. Julie values open and lively discussions based on interview and research findings, trends in health and wellness, and exciting new modalities of treatment and professional education. She believes it will be through such discussions that we will create new and more satisfying cultural paradigms within which we may live all the days of our lives with dignity and quality of care.

Connect with the authors: Website ~ Facebook

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