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

Sunday, January 15, 2017

iRead Book Tours Anniversary Spotlight Post

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.


I was first introduced to iRead Book Tours a few years back when I posted reviews of books I've read on Amazon, and got into the top 10,000 reviewers ranking, during which I got an invitation to join the various tours. I've enjoyed reading most of the books with which I've been provided, and reviewing them on my blog. I also appreciate the occasional Amazon gift cards I receive for earning enough points, since I am a frequent Amazon shopper. I will gladly continue reviewing for iRead Book Tours for years to come.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A Thousand Salt Kisses

This contemporary fantasy novel focuses on a girl named Crystal Sarah White, who received her name from her mother constantly dreaming of gemstones during her pregnancy, as she and her environmental activist father move to the remote Starfish Island, and she attempts to find her own form of entertainment. During one night of swimming out at sea, however, Crystal finds herself stranded and about to drown until an enigmatic stranger named Llyr saves her from death, which makes her somewhat believe the island’s folklore. During the summer, Llyr introduces Crystal to his own world, although Crystal’s relation drives a wedge between her and her family, with other factors such as a local power plant polluting the sea catching her clan in the middle, with the magical and inane portions of her life converging.

The book is told from Crystal’s first-person perspective, which very well allows readers into her mind, and introduces some occasional friends such as the partygoing Rosie. Crystal also gets a job over the summer and is distracted from her final school days by her experiences, with occasional twists taking the story in a different direction, with other factors such as a messy relationship between her parents, and the ending definitely showing that the story of Crystal and her experiences isn’t quite over. Overall, the novel is enjoyable, although the name SKANX for the antagonistic corporation is somewhat laughable, this critic believing that if such a name for something sounds to have sexual overtones, it’s probably a good idea to change it. Even so, this story is worth a read, and this reviewer would very much be willing to read its sequel, A Thousand Salt Kisses Later.

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