Category: book tour

Poppy The Montgomery Sisters Book Two

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What happens when love interferes and thrusts Poppy into discovering emotions she never knew existed?

About Poppy

Poppy Montgomery has always been good with a gun and could fight her way out of anything. Tough as nails and a sharp shooter, her beauty deceives the outlaws she’s after. Hot on the trail of the Clemmons gang, a group of outlaws who rob trains and killed an innocent woman and child a few months before, she is determined to make them pay for the sin’s they’ve committed by bringing them to justice. Pinkerton, Noah Shaw is investigating a ring of stage robberies and knows the Clemmons gang is behind them. Told to track down the infamous redheaded bounty hunter, Noah gets more than he bargained for when he arrests Poppy for assault. Handcuffed together the pair must work together to stop the robberies, and figure out who is behind them. But what happens when love interferes and thrusts Poppy into discovering emotions she never knew existed? Will she choose the solitude she’s always known, or Noah’s sweet embrace?

My Thoughts

I fell in love with this book, mostly because of Poppy. She is one tough, no nonsense young woman who knows what she wants and is not afraid to go get it. She also has this softer side of her that can be hurt easily and that she doesn’t let others see.

Her work catching a group of outlaws brings her into contact with Pinkerton Noah. He was sent to track down Poppy and find out what she knows about the robbery and murder but is not to let Poppy know. When he arrests Poppy in order to keep her safe, I don’t think he could even begin to imagine how his life would change!

Together the two form a strong bond as they work to stop the robberies and figure out the culprit behind a young woman and her child’s death. What they don’t expect? To be so attracted to each other! Both of them had refused to love again but these feelings begin to pop up. Do they ignore them? Do they act on them? How will this interfere with their case and their future?

This was a sweet, fast paced, romantic novel with one tough young woman as our lead role. I loved every moment of reading this book!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Kobo and Barnes & Noble.

Rating: 4/5

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About the Author

Kat Flannery’s love of history shows in her novels. She is an avid reader of historical, suspense, paranormal, and romance. A member of many writing groups including the National Romance Writers of America (RWA), Kat enjoys promoting other authors on her blog. When she’s not busy writing, or marketing Kat volunteers her time to other aspiring authors. She’s been published in numerous periodicals throughout her career, and continues to write for blogs and online magazines. A bestselling author, Kat’s books are available all over the world. The BRANDED TRILOGY is Kat’s award-winning series. With seven books published, Kat continues to write two novels a year.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Fern The Montgomery Sisters Book One

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Can one woman heal the heart of a lawman?

About Fern

Can one woman heal the heart of a lawman? A gardener who uses plants to heal, Fern Montgomery is an outcast who refuses to be pushed out of town. When her friend is murdered and all fingers point to Fern as the only suspect, she must find a way to prove her innocence while fighting off unwanted feelings for the sheriff. Sheriff Gabe Bennett has his mind set on arresting Sarah Fuller’s killer. But his key suspect isn’t what he expected. He soon realizes there is more to the quiet gardener than he’d first anticipated. As passion blooms, Gabe is forced to face his feelings—and the woman who has stolen his heart.

My Thoughts

Fern is one tough young woman living in an even tougher time out in the American West. This is a difficult time period for women, especially those that want to assert their independence and make a go at it on their own. Fern lives with her younger sisters and helps support them through her naturopathic healing combined with the knowledge that her father (a physician) taught her.

Because of her unique situation, Fern has gained quite a few enemies – including the local physician who will do anything to see Fern pushed out of the town, arrested or worse! When her best friend is murdered, he places the blame on Fern and she must solve the crime before she ends up being punished for something she didn’t do or even worse, pay with her life.

What she doesn’t expect? The local Sheriff to be on her side or at least willing to listen to her. He sees her for who she really is and loves every part of her. He is the first man that sees a woman for more than just raising a family. Not only does he work to solve this case but he also works at opening Fern’s heart to love.

This novel is a quick, sweet and exciting read from start to finish. I fell in love with the characters, the simple yet complicated story and the ending suits the novel perfectly. This will make for a fantastic summer time beach read!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Kobo and Barnes & Noble.

Rating: 4/5

The Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Kat Flannery’s love of history shows in her novels. She is an avid reader of historical, suspense, paranormal, and romance. A member of many writing groups including the National Romance Writers of America (RWA), Kat enjoys promoting other authors on her blog. When she’s not busy writing, or marketing Kat volunteers her time to other aspiring authors. She’s been published in numerous periodicals throughout her career, and continues to write for blogs and online magazines. A bestselling author, Kat’s books are available all over the world. The BRANDED TRILOGY is Kat’s award-winning series. With seven books published, Kat continues to write two novels a year.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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American Red Book Review

In American Red, as the Great American Century begins, and the modern world roars to life, Capitalists flaunt greed and seize power, Socialists and labor unions flex their violent will, and an extraordinary true story of love and sacrifice unfolds.

About American Red

In American Red, as the Great American Century begins, and the modern world roars to life, Capitalists flaunt greed and seize power, Socialists and labor unions flex their violent will, and an extraordinary true story of love and sacrifice unfolds.

In his critically acclaimed debut novel, Fortunate Son, David Marlett introduced readers to a fresh take on historical fiction–the historical legal thriller–bringing alive the people and events leading to and surrounding some of the most momentous, dramatic legal trials in history. Now he returns with American Red, the story of one of the greatest domestic terrorists in American history, and the detectives, lawyers, spies, and lovers who brought him down.

The men and women of American Red are among the most fascinating in American history. When, at the dawn of the 20th century, the Idaho governor is assassinated, blame falls on “Big Bill” Haywood, the all-powerful, one-eyed boss of the Western Federation of Miners in Denver. Close by, his polio-crippled wife, Neva, struggles with her wavering faith, her love for another man, and her sister’s affair with her husband. New technologies accelerate American life, but justice lags behind. Private detectives, battling socialists and unions on behalf of wealthy capitalists, will do whatever it takes to see Haywood hanged. The scene is set for bloodshed, from Denver to Boise to San Francisco. America’s most famous attorney, Clarence Darrow, leads the defense—a philandering U.S. senator leads the prosecution—while the press, gunhands, and spies pour in. Among them are two idealists, Jack Garrett and Carla Capone—he a spy for the prosecution, she for the defense. Risking all, they discover truths about their employers, about themselves and each other, and what they’ll sacrifice for justice and honor—and for love.

My Thoughts

American Red is an incredibly powerful, touching novel that you will not be able to put down.

The novel centres around a dark time in our history, where money and power were placed above the lives of men, women and children. Where good people suffered, died and lived in poverty while you had others living in extreme wealth and privilege. Where there were no rights to protect workers, no breaks, no minimum or equal pay and no minimum age to work. Where the focus was on profit, even if it meant sacrificing lives and safety.

It is in this backdrop, where we really see the union power emerge and where people really began to stand up for what is right by defining and demanding this as law. We see how the union struggles with standing up to the government and law enforcement, who consistently side with the corporations. We watch as they escalate their demands for basic human rights to include bombings, murder and deceit. Many times you struggle with the decisions the union president makes, especially when it comes to bombings and murder but you also see the other side where your heart aches for the everyday worker who no one else cares for.

This is an incredibly well written novel, packed full of history. As a member of a union, I can sometimes take for granted how hard people fought for me and others to have the rights we have today. We work only eight hour days, we have breaks and lunches, vacations, safe working conditions because so many fought and lost their lives before us. This novel brings this struggle back to the fore front at a time that you begin to wonder if we need a good reminder of our past. Sometimes I wonder if we are back to putting profit over health and safety, and this is an important topic to never forget.

This novel is full of characters that lived and fought during this time period, and will inspire you to do your own research. It is a definite must read novel.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Rating:

About the Author

David Marlett is an award-winning storyteller and writer of historical fiction, primarily historical legal thrillers bringing alive the fascinating people and events leading to major historical trials. His first such novel, Fortunate Son, became a national bestseller in 2014, rising to #2 in all historical fiction and #3 in all literature and fiction on Amazon. The late Vincent Bugliosi — #1 New York Times bestselling author of Helter Skelter — said David is “a masterful writer of historical fact and detail, of adventure, peril and courtroom drama.” Just released is American Red which follows the extraordinary true story of a set of radical lovers, lawyers, killers, and spies who launched the Great American Century. Visit www.AmericanRedBook.com. He is currently writing his next historical legal thriller, Angeles Los, which continues some of the lead characters from American Red. Angeles Los is based on the true story at the 1910 intersection of the first movies made in Los Angeles, the murderous bombing of the Los Angeles Times, and eccentric Abbot Kinney’s “Venice of America” kingdom. In addition, David is a professor at Pepperdine Law School, was the managing editor of OMNI Magazine, and guest-lectures on story design. He is a graduate of The University of Texas School of Law, the father of four, and lives in Manhattan Beach, California.

Book Excerpt

The lawyer lobbed a verbal spear across the courtroom, piercing the young man, pinning him to the creaky witness chair and tilting the twelve jurymen forward. Their brows rose in anticipation of a gore-laden response from the witness as he clutched his bowler, his face vacant toward the wood floor beyond his shoddy boots. When the judge cleared his throat, the plaintiff’s attorney, Clarence Darrow, repeated the question. “Mr. Bullock, I know this is a strain upon you to recount that tragic day when fifteen of your brothers perished at the hands of the Stratton—”

“Your Honor! Point in question,” barked the flint-faced defense attorney representing the Stratton Independence Mine, a non-union gold operation near Cripple Creek, Colorado. On this warm summer afternoon in Denver, he and Darrow were the best dressed there, each wearing a three-button, vested suit over a white shirt and dull tie.

The robed judge gave a long blink, then peered at Darrow. With a chin waggle, his ruling on the objection was clear.

“Yes, certainly. My apologies, Your Honor,” feigned Darrow, glancing toward the plaintiff’s table where two widows sat in somber regard. Though his wheat-blonde hair and sharp, pale eyes defied his age of forty-nine, his reputation for cunning brilliance and oratory sorcery mitigated the power of his youthful appearance: it was no longer the disarming weapon it had once been. No attorney in the United States would ever presume nascence upon Clarence Darrow. Certainly not in this, his twenty-sixth trial. He continued at the witness. “Though as just a mere man, one among all …” He turned to the jury. “The emotion of this event strains even the most resolute of procedural decorum. I am, as are we all, hard-pressed to—”

“Whole strides, shall we, Mr. Darrow?” grumbled the judge.

“Yes,” Darrow said, turning once again to James Bullock who seemed locked in the block ice of tragedy, having not moved a fraction since first taking the witness seat. “Mr. Bullock, we must rally ourselves, muster our strength, and for the memory of your brothers, share with these jurymen the events of that dark day. You said the ride up from the stope, the mine floor, was a swift one, and there were the sixteen of you in the cage made to hold no more than nine—is that correct?”

“Yes, Sir,” Bullock replied, his voice a faint warble.

“Please continue,” Darrow urged.

Bullock looked up. “We kept going, right along, but it kept slipping. We’d go a ways and slip again.”

“Slipping? It was dropping?”

“Yes, Sir. Dropping down sudden like, then stopping. Cappy was yelling at us to get to the center, but there was no room. We was in tight.”

“By Cappy you mean Mr. Capone, the foreman?”

“Yes, Sir. Our shift boss that day.” The witness sucked his bottom lip. “He was in the cage ’long with us.” He sniffed in a breath then added, “And his boy, Tony. Friend of mine. No better fella.”

“My condolences,” said Darrow. “What do you think was the aid in getting the men to the middle of the cage?”

“Keep it centered in the shaft, I reckon. We was all yelling.” Bullock took a slow breath before continuing, “Cappy was trying to keep the men quiet, but it wasn’t making much a difference. Had his arms around Tony.”

A muscle in Darrow’s cheek shuddered. “Please continue.”

“So we was slipping, going up. Then the operator, he took us up about six feet above the collar of the shaft, then back down again.”

“Which is not the usual—”

“Not rightly. No, Sir. We should’ve stopped at the collar and no more. But later they said the brakes failed on the control wheel.”

“Mr. Bullock, let’s return to what you experienced. You were near the top of the shaft, the vertical shaft that we’ve established was 1,631 feet deep, containing, at that time, about twenty feet of water in its base, below the lowest stope, correct?”

“Yes, Sir. Before they pumped that water to get to em.”

“By ‘them’ you mean the bodies of your dead companions?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Ok, you were being hoisted at over 900 feet per minute by an operator working alone on the surface—near the top of the shaft, when the platform began to slip and jump. Is that your testimony?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“That must have been terrifying.”

“Yes, Sir, it was. We’d come off a tenner too.”

“A ten-hour shift?”

“Yes, Sir.”

Darrow rounded on the jury, throwing the next question over his shoulder. “Oh, but Sir, how could it have been a ten-hour work day when the eight-hour day is now the law of this state?”

The defense lawyer’s chair squeaked as he stood. “Objection, Your Honor.”

“I’ll allow it,” barked the judge, adding, “But gentlemen …”

The witness shook his head. “The Stratton is a non-union, gold ore mine. Supposed to be non-union anyway. Superintendent said owners weren’t obliged to that socialist law.”

“Hearsay, Your—”

“Keep your seat, Counsel. You’re going to wear this jury thin.” Darrow stepped closer to the witness.

“Mr. Bullock, as I said, let’s steer clear from what you heard others say. The facts speak for themselves: you and your friends were compelled to work an illegal ten-hour shift. Let’s continue. You were near the top, but unable to get off the contraption, and it began to—”

“Yes. We’d gone shooting up, then he stopped it for a second.” 

“By ‘he,’ you mean the lift operator?”

“Yes, Sir. He stopped it but then it must have gotten beyond his control, cause we dropped sixty, seventy feet all the sudden. We were going quick. We said to each other we’re all gone. Then he raised us about ten feet and stopped us. But then, it started again, and this time it was going fast up and we went into the sheave wheel as fast as we could go.”

“To be sure we all follow, Mr. Bullock, the lift is the sole apparatus that hoisted you from the Stratton Mine, where you work?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“And the sheave wheel is the giant wheel above the surface, driven by a large, thirty-year-old steam engine, run by an operator. That sheave wheel coils in the cable”—he pantomimed the motion—“pulling up the 1,500-pound-load platform, or lift, carrying its limit of nine men. And it coils out the cable when the lift is lowered. But that day the lift carried sixteen men—you and fifteen others. Probably over 3,000 pounds. Twice its load limit. Correct?”

“Yes, Sir. But, to be clear, I ain’t at the Stratton no more.” 

“No?” asked Darrow, pleased the man had bit the lure.

“No. Seeing how I was one of Cappy’s men. Federation. And, now ’cause this.” His voice faded.

Darrow frowned, walked a few paces toward the jury, clapped once and rubbed his hands together. “The mine owners, a thousand miles away, won’t let you work because you’re here—a member of the Western Federation of Miners, a union man giving his honest testimony. Is that right?”

“Yes, Sir.”

Again, the defense counsel came to his feet. “Your Honor, Mr. Darrow knows Mr. Bullock’s discharge wasn’t—”

The judge raised a hand, took a deep breath and cocked his head toward the seasoned attorney before him. “Swift to your point, Mr. Darrow.”

“Yes, Your Honor.” Darrow’s blue eyes returned to the witness. “Mr. Bullock, you were telling us about the sheave wheel.”

“Yes. It’s a big thing up there, out over the top of the shaft. You see it on your way up. We all think on it—if we was to not stop and slam right up into it—which we did that day. We all knew it’d happen. I crouched to save myself from the hard blow I knew was coming. I seen a piece of timber about one foot wide there underside the sheave, and soon as we rammed, I grabbed hold and held myself up there, and pretty soon the cage dropped from below me, and I began to holler for a ladder to get down.”

“Must have been distressing, up there, holding fast to a timber, dangling 1,631 feet over an open shaft, watching your fifteen brothers fall.”

Bullock choked back tears. “Yes, Sir. That’s what I saw.” He paused. When he resumed, his tone was empty, as if the voice of his shadow. “I heard em. Heard em go. They was screaming. They knew their end had come. I heard em till I heard em no more.”

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Eternally Artemisia Book Review

Italy Book Tours

In a journey that arcs back to biblical days and moves forward in time, Maddie encounters artists, dukes, designers, and movie stars as well as baser and ignoble men with Artemisia never far from her side, we follow Maddie’s journey.

About Eternally Artemisia

Maddie, an art therapist, who wrestles with the “peculiar feeling” she has lived previous lives and is being called to Italy by voices that have left imprints on her soul, this idea is intriguing. Despite her best efforts, however, proof of this has always eluded her. That is, until one illuminating summer in Italy when Maddie’s previous existences start to bleed through into her current reality. When she is introduced to the Crociani family—a noble clan with ties to the seventeenth-century Medici court that boasts of ancestors with colorful pasts—she finally meets the loves of her life. One is a romantic love, and another is a special kind of passion that only women share, strong amongst those who have suffered greatly yet have triumphed despite it.

As Maddie’s relationship develops with Artemisia Gentileschi—an artist who in a time when it was unheard of to denounce a man for the crime of rape, did just that—Maddie discovers a kindred spirit and a role model, and just what women are capable of when united together.

In a journey that arcs back to biblical days and moves forward in time, Maddie encounters artists, dukes, designers, and movie stars as well as baser and ignoble men. With Artemisia never far from her side, she proves that when we dare to take control of our lives and find the “thing” we are most passionate about, we are limitless and can touch the stars.

My Thoughts

It is hard to put into words how incredible this story is. I loved every moment of this well laid out and written novel.

The story centers around two incredibly brave and strong women, Maddie and Artemisia. Maddie is an art therapist who is drawn to Italy by voices that tie her to its artistic and at times violent past. Artemisia is a female painter who was a strong woman that stood up for female rights at a great cost. She was raped, faced a trial against her accused where she was tortured and then faced being an outcast because she was no longer pure. Both women found release and freedom in the arts (which I love since I also love the arts!) where they forced others to come face to face with the way women were treated.

I loved the idea of time travel and how Maddie was tied to women from the past and her love, Matteo, that she finds each century. I fell in love with Venice when I traveled there as a teen, nothing has ever felt more like home. I felt like I had walked those streets before, seen those sights and smells. So for me, I could definitely appreciate the idea of time not being linear and a soul being tied to a certain time, person and love.

I also loved the focus of how strong these women were. They faced great trials and humiliation but through it all they remained strong and defiant. They showed that society could try to beat them down but they would not remain down. This is such an important, positive message for young women today. We are not our past and we should never let it define us.

This novel is a definite must read, you will not want to put it down.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Melissa Muldoon is the author of three novels set in Italy: “Dreaming Sophia,” “Waking Isabella,” and “Eternally Artemisia.” All three books tell the stories of American women and their journeys of self-discovery to find love, uncover hidden truths, and follow their destinies to shape a better future in Italy.

Melissa is also the author of the Studentessa Matta website, where she promotes the study of Italian language and culture through her dual-language blog written in Italian and English (studentessamatta.com). Studentessa Matta means the “crazy linguist” and has grown to include a podcast, Tutti Matti per l’Italiano and the Studentessa Matta YouTube channel, Facebook page and Instagram feed. Melissa also created Matta Italian Language Immersion Programs, which she co-leads with Italian schools in Italy to learn Italian in Italy. Through her website, she also offers the opportunities to live and study in Italy through Homestay programs. Melissa has a B.A. in fine arts, art history and European history from Knox College, a liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, as well as a master’s degree in art history from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

She has also studied painting and art history in Florence. She is an artist, designer, and illustrated the cover art for all three of her books. Melissa is also the managing director of Matta Press. As a student, Melissa lived in Florence with an Italian family. She studied art history and painting and took beginner Italian classes. When she returned home, she threw away her Italian dictionary, assuming she’d never need it again, but after launching a successful design career and starting a family, she realized something was missing in her life. That “thing” was the connection she had made with Italy and the friends who live there. Living in Florence was indeed a life-changing event. Wanting to reconnect with Italy, she decided to start learning the language again from scratch. As if indeed possessed by an Italian muse, she bought a new Italian dictionary and began her journey to fluency—a path that has led her back to Italy many times and enriched her life in countless ways. Now, many dictionaries and grammar books later, she dedicates her time to promoting Italian language studies, further travels in Italy, and sharing her stories and insights about Italy with others. Melissa designed and illustrated the cover art for Eternally Artemisia, Waking Isabella, and Dreaming Sophia.

She also curates the Dreaming Sophia Art History blog site and Pinterest site: The Art of Loving Italy, where you will find companion pictures for all three books. Visit MelissaMuldoon.com for more information about immersion trips to learn the language with Melissa in Italy, as well as the Studentessa Matta blog for practice and tips to learn the Italian language.

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Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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The High Court Book Review

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In a race against time and beasts, Zeus and his friends must find a way to survive not only the toxin ravaging Zeus’ body, but also the giants who grow stronger after every attack, and somehow make it to The High Court alive.

About The High Court

High atop Mount Olympus, as dawn breaks on a new academic term, normalcy returns to campus following a harrowing expedition into The Underworld to rescue kidnapped students.

Zeus and his fellow Olympians now prepare to testify in The High Court where Hyperion will be tried for the attack on Crete and death of Anytos and Kronos will stand trial for the murder of MO Prep’s Headmaster Ouranos.

As the trial draws near, the MO Prep students and faculty are besieged repeatedly by a race of gargantuan stone and earth giants. Under heavy assault, the Olympians are forced to flee to the volcanic island of Limnos to regroup. Meanwhile, a toxic poison Zeus has carried with him since a prior fight with a dragoness creeps toward his brain.

My Thoughts

This is the exciting sequel in this new series by Chris Ledbetter. I could not put this book down as I had to know what happens next to our young heroes.

In this book, we have our young heroes and future Olympians that we all know and love, preparing to testify in The High Court against Hyperion and Kronos for the crimes that they committed in the first book. The book jumps in where the story left off, so I would strongly suggest reading the first in this series (you can find my review here).

If you thought our characters would get an easy ride – no way. They face struggle after struggle in this book. It seems that someone would do anything to stop them from reaching The High Court to stand against Hyperion and Kronos. Enemies are at every turn and it is hard to know who to trust. They face multiple challenges with strength, wisdom and resilience. When it looks as though they may fall apart, they rally around each other and protect each other.

I loved the character development in this book. We are getting to really know and understand what makes each of the Olympians tick and how they developed into the Gods we know. Zeus is becoming the leader and I love watching him grow in maturity and wisdom. He constantly puts the needs of others ahead of his own. I am excited to see where the third installment will take this young group.

This is a perfect book for young adults and adults alike as you will enjoy the suspense, challenge and humour throughout.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Ebay and Indiebound.

Rating: 4.5/5

About 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 USATODAY “Must Read” recommendation. His second novel, Inked, concludes that duology. The Sky Throne is his newest young adult novel.

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.

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Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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