Monday, April 24, 2017

Middle South Spotlight




Layla has recently moved out of her parents’ home in the Atlanta suburbs and into an apartment in the city to assert her independence. Between her job as a feature writer for a small newspaper and her social life, Layla has little time to think about marriage and children, much to the dismay of her Lebanese parents.

On a hilarious journey that takes Layla from the Southeast to the Middle East and back, she finds out a little more about herself and what she is looking for in life and in love.

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble ~ BookLogix  




Maya Nessouli Abboushi is a Lebanese American born and raised in the United States. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and three children. This is her first novel.

​Connect with the author:  Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Energy Trading and Risk Management

A comprehensive overview of trading and risk management in the energy markets

Energy Trading and Risk Management provides a comprehensive overview of global energy markets from one of the foremost authorities on energy derivatives and quantitative finance. With an approachable writing style, Iris Mack breaks down the three primary applications for energy derivatives markets – Risk Management, Speculation, and Investment Portfolio Diversification – in a way that hedge fund traders, consultants, and energy market participants can apply in their day to day trading activities.

  • Moving from the fundamentals of energy markets through simple and complex derivatives trading, hedging strategies, and industry-specific case studies, Dr. Mack walks readers through energy trading and risk management concepts at an instructive pace, supporting her explanations with real-world examples, illustrations, charts, and precise definitions of important and often-misunderstood terms.
  • From stochastic pricing models for exotic derivatives, to modern portfolio theory (MPT), energy portfolio management (EPM), to case studies dealing specifically with risk management challenges unique to wind and hydro-electric power, the bookguides readers through the complex world of energy trading and risk management to help investors, executives, and energy professionals ensure profitability and optimal risk mitigation in every market climate.
Energy Trading and Risk Management is a great resource to help grapple with the very interesting but oftentimes complex issues that arise in energy trading and risk management.

Buy the Book:   Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble 

Iris Marie Mack, PhD, EMBA, earned a doctorate in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University. She was also awarded a Sloan Fellowship Executive MBA from the London Business School. Dr. Mack worked at various energy and financial institutions, acted as a faculty member at MIT, and worked at NASA and AT&T Bell Labs – where she obtained a patent for research on optical fibers.

Dr. Mack currently lectures on Energy Trading and Risk Management for the Fitch Learning Certificate in Quantitative Finance Program on Wall Street and at Tulane University. Because of Dr. Mack's extensive knowledge of the derivatives, energy trading, and investment banking world, she has been invited to write opinion columns for the UK edition of the International Business Times.

Dr. Mack has also been named one of Glamour Magazine’s Top 10 Working Women, and she is no novice writer. This publishing will be her third financially-focused and published book – including her energy trading book published with Wiley Finance and a financial literacy book for teens and adults. With this breadth of experience and sheer intellectual prowess, Dr. Mack is more than able to help readers reach the financial stability they deserve.

In addition, Dr. Mack founded The Global Energy Post and MathQED - a homework help site for K-12 and college students. Previously known as Phat Math, this service has even been named one of the Top 50 Social Sites for Educators and Academics, 25 Savvy Social Media Sites for Grad Students and 25 Useful Networking Sites for Grad Students. Such accolades illustrate Dr. Mack’s ability to clearly inform the masses.

Connect with the Author:  Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook


Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall

In this modern paranormal novel, the titular protagonist and narrator, Vivienne Marshall, is hit by a truck and lies dying in a hospital bed, having numerous supernatural experiences close to her demise. Guiding her through a variety of different afterlives from which to choose is her guardian angel, Noah, whom she loved when she was younger and wanted to marry instead of her current husband and the father of her child Ivan. She occasionally lapses back into reality, with regular visits from her male nurse Marty, a character who remains positive despite facing the deaths of patients on a regular basis.

Another potential heaven she visits is that of the younger brother of one of her friends, Lachlan, who is smart for his age, and whom she babysat for one day. Vivienne occasionally reveals other facts of her background, such as only taking two days’ worth of ballet lessons before quitting, and visits Lachlan’s version of heaven that consists of a recreational beach. Central to the story is a children’s book, a Newbery Award winner, The One and Only Ivan, about a gorilla with the name, which just so happens to be that of Vivienne’s son.

The narrator reveals other memories such as a girl her age named Eleanor, who went simply by “Ele,” her Boston apartment, and a visit to Argentina where she briefly connected with a poor boy in the South American country. Overall, this story is definitely poignant, given its focus on near-death experiences, and while the ending may be depressing for some, it definitely does conclude on a high note. The overall concept of the novel has been done before in other media, although readers in search of a touching tale will certainly find plenty to celebrate in this story.
Shannon Kirk is the awarding-winning author of the international bestselling Method 15/33 (psychological thriller--bestseller in Colombia and Spain, will be lead title in Italy, 2017) and Heavens (Literary Fiction). Method 15/33 has received multiple accolades: 2015 Foreword Review Book of the Year (Suspense); Winner of 2015 National Indie Excellence Award, Best Suspense; 2015 USA Best Book Finalist; School Library Journal's Best Adult Books for Teens (2015); and Finalist in 2013 William Faulkner William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition (when a Novella). Method 15/33 is optioned for a major motion film and has sold to nineteen foreign rights.

When not writing, she is a practicing lawyer, residing on Massachusett's Cape Ann with her husband and son and two cat writing accomplices, Marvin Marquez (in honor of Gabriel Garcia Marquez) and Stewie Poe (Edgar Allen Poe).

Shannon enjoys writing in several genres: literary fiction, psychological thriller, young adult, and poetry. She has been honored three times by the William Faulkner William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. ​

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook



Monday, January 23, 2017

A Thousand Salt Kisses Later

In the first sequel to Josie Demuth’s A Thousand Salt Kisses, four years have elapsed before protagonist and first-person narrator Crystal White fell in love with Llyr, a merman prince living in a colony off the coast of Starfish Island, and with whom she had an enchanting summer, although they eventually parted, with Crystal still holding him dear to her heart. She has recently graduated, although she has no foreseeable work, and thus, she returns to the island, ultimately gaining the opportunity to revisit the world of the merfolk, although Llyr has moved on, and she seeks to save their world and rekindle her former romance.

When the sequel commences, Crystal has been studying in London, has a relationship with Sam, and is seeking work at a bar and generally, an income to support herself. Eventually, she reconnects with the merfolk she had visited and is thrust once more into their underwater world, developing a relationship with Nephys. A submarine ball is forthcoming, during which Crystal seeks to find how to become human again, while furthering her relationship with other merfolk such as Jasper, with an antagonistic bond between her and Spirit, as well.

Overall, this is an enjoyable sequel that fans of the first book will enjoy, with a strong fantasy element with the contemporary setting that clearly places the book into the modern fantasy subgenre, although there are occasional confusing portions, such as one chapter referencing a male character with “he” but not identifying the speaker for some time, but otherwise, the read is worthwhile.

Josie Demuth is an author based in London. First published on Wattpad, her Salt Kisses series has garnered nearly four million reads and are now serialised on Radish Fiction. The second of this series, A Thousand Salt Kisses Later is her fourth novel.

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


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Skeleton Code

In their lives, people learn how to embellish good personal qualities while simultaneously concealing their weak posts. This book, billed as a satirical guide to keeping secrets, looks at the many ways individuals closet their secrets, which the authors consider a self-deluding method of living one’s life. The narrative aims to be a parodic take on the self-help genre, providing asinine resolutions about how to cover up inane secrets before turning to something known as “The Skeleton Cure.” The preface opens the book with an indication that most have skeletons in their closets, how one can find it entertaining to play with them when belonging to somebody else.

The authors continue with the well-known assertion that one’s secrets aren’t always secure, and present a set of guidelines for reading the book, among them warning readers not to use them to commit illegal acts. After the preface, the writers acknowledge various individuals in the production of their book, including family and friends, although they indicate that the openness and vulnerability of them inspired it, not to mention their publishing team, editor, and cover artist.

The guide contains a second introduction opened by a Benjamin Franklin quote that asserts that most people feel insecure in modern society. The intro informs that people find it both offensive and delightful when they see skeletons in someone’s closets, such as those of friends, family, celebrities, and politicians. Most of the book is spent detailing the various kinds of skeletons in closets, concluding with what the writers call “The Skeleton Cure,” which overall accounts for a humorous, engaging tale that teaches readers good points about negative characteristics and traits.

Ken Massey is a public speaker, author, humorist and minister enjoying the second and truer half of life. He holds two graduate theological degrees and is trained as a life coach, conflict manager and transition specialist. He enjoys golf, and traveling, but finds his greatest fulfillment helping other people discover their true worth as human beings. Ken, a native Texan, loves the beauty and the people of North Carolina, where he and Alla reside.

Alla Campanella, after traveling throughout the world, has lived in the US since 1992. A longtime student of the arts and humanities, she enjoys her work as an artist and photographer. Alla was inspired to write this book because she heard so many personal and painful secrets from her clients about their failures and foibles and wanted them to face these realities rather than hide from them.

Connect with them: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook




Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Children's Book Spotlights

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
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
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
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". 
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".





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Monday, January 16, 2017

Westobou Gold

The second installment of author Hawk MacKinney’s Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series opens with backstory concerning a Native American queen that keeps secrets from “metal-clothed” white settlers even at the risk of her own life, with her treasure consequentially never found.  However, the secret may yet be found when amateur archaeologist and private investigator Craige Ingram finds himself in the crosshairs of kidnapping. Other things such as underage sex-tape blackmailings and murders for thrills occur on federal land, alongside soured drug deals and political corruption that threatens the lives of Ingram and his love Terri.

The present-day story opens proper with an imaginative and avaricious but street-sense-lacking Johnny Crockett, who makes sex videos with his friend Emmett Whitfield, and is a bit of a nymphomaniac even with married women. The second chapter reintroduces protagonist Craige Ingram, who has a German shepherd named Lucky he had found as an abandoned highway puppy, and meets with a man named Effington Crawforde, a fellow archaeologist, who informs of Native American artifacts being stolen from tribal lands and their burial sites. Those who don’t remember the first book too well will definitely relish at the backstory exposed for Ingram, such as going to the Naval Academy in Annapolis.

Ingram has a relationship with Terri Wofford Stanley, a widow with one son from her previous marriage who had a near run-in with death with Craige towards the end of the previous installment. Overall, this is an enjoyable sequel that’s largely on par with the original, with plenty of action and mature themes dealing with things such as sex videos, although there is occasional confusion, for instance, with regards as to whether the character Purvis is a state trooper, given the mention of a “uniform” after the first reference to the character. Even so, those that enjoyed and remembered the first book will most likely enjoy its sequel.
Internationally acclaimed author and public speaker, Hawk MacKinney began writing mysteries for his school newspapers. He served in the US Navy Reserve for over 20 years, and was a tenured faculty member at several state medical facilities, teaching postgraduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem, Israel. Since retiring Hawk has authored several novels that have received national and international recognition. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel, was nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award. The Cairns of Sainctuarie, his science fiction series, includes The Bleikovat Event and The Missing Planets, with a third book in the works. Hawk’s latest project focuses on The Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series. Book 1 in the series, Hidden Chamber of Death, was released early 2016.

Connect with the author:  Website