Category: book tour

Above the Star Book Review

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The 8th Island Trilogy includes Above the StarBelow the Moon, and Inside the Sun. Over the three books, we follow the adventures of a quirky family, the Wellsleys. The main characters are frumpy senior citizen Archie, his daughter-in-law, Tessa, and his ill fourteen-year-old granddaughter Ella.

About Above the Star

When frumpy senior citizen Archie goes in search of his missing son in the Spanish Canary Islands, he stumbles upon a higher mission: locating a magical cure for his ailing fourteen-year-old granddaughter, Ella. Using a portal-jumping device called the Tillastrion, Archie and a stone-headed creature named Zeno are transported to Jarr-Wya, a magnificent yet terrifying island in a connected realm―along with Ella and her strong-willed mother, Tessa, who accidentally stow away on this not-so-secret quest.

What they find on Jarr-Wya is an island tortured by a wicked Star anchored in the sea, and a raging three-way battle for dominion between the stone-wielding Bangols, the fiery Olearons, and the evil Millia sands. Ella’s wit and resourcefulness emerge in this new world, while Tessa is forced to confront her long-buried secrets and a confusing new love triangle. When Ella is captured, Tessa and Archie―with the help of a company of peculiar allies―set out to save her and unravel the terrible mystery of her cure. A mesmerizing, stay-up-all-night adventure of three unlikely heroes, Above the Star reminds us that even the smallest act of bravery can transform our lives and the fates of the worlds around us.

My Thoughts

In this novel we are introduced to quite a few key characters in this series and an amazing magical world that is facing a crisis that could destroy the world as they know it.

At the heart of the story is a family that is struggling through their daughter’s diagnosis (and potential death), a father who has disappeared and a grandfather who is quirky. Archie (grandfather) is determined to find his son and find a cure to save his granddaughter. He follows a magical trail that takes himself, his daughter in law and sick grandchild on a cruise and mysterious clues tracking his son. Nothing could have prepared him or any one on that cruise for the horrors and mystery that awaits them when they are all accidentally transported to a new world.

When the ship is transported to a brand new world, they are met with violence and death which threw me a bit (I wasn’t expecting this at all!). Alexis draws us into this new world with brilliant descriptions of the people and land, I could easily bring the characters to life in my own mind. It is a beautiful but terrifying reality that they live in.

I loved the characters, they are real, with flaws that we can all relate to and struggle with parenting, making decisions and coming to terms with illness. You can’t help but adore Ella, who is smart, full of spunk and is a fighter. She is a young girl caught between wanting to enjoy her youth and knowing that she is so unwell. She struggles with her relationship at times with her Mother but loves her family more than anything in the world. Her family is doing everything they can to fight for Ella, keep themselves together, and picking up the pieces after her Father disappears. Throw in some magical creatures, mysterious civilization, a world that is falling apart and at war – you have quite the tale!

This is an excellent novel for readers of all ages, there is something for everyone, adventure, science fiction, mystery and more. It is well written with well developed characters that you just can’t help but love. It is a definite must read!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters, Target, Book Depository and Google Play.

Rating: 4.5/5

About the Author

Alexis Marie Chute is an award-winning author, artist, photographer, art curator, filmmaker, and public speaker. She has received over 40 noteworthy distinctions for her visual and literary work. Her award-winning fantasy series The 8th Island Trilogy includes, Above the Star, Below the Moon, and Inside the Sun. The series has been described as “A WRINKLE IN TIME meets THE PRINCESS BRIDE” by The Perpetual You magazine, and “Fast and bizarre… never a dull moment” by Forward Reviews. The 8th Island Trilogy “weaves STAR WARS-like characters with a WONDER-like message to form an enrapturing read for blooklovers of all ages” – US Review of Books. Chute’s bestselling memoir, Expecting Sunshine: A Journey of Grief, Healing and Pregnancy After Loss, was a top Kirkus title of 2017 and received a plethora of other literary distinctions. The memoir was accompanied by the feature documentary of the same name, which has screened internationally for the last three years. Chute received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art and Design from the University of Alberta, Canada, and studied at Media Design school in Auckland, New Zealand. She graduated valedictorian with her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, USA. Chute is a highly regarded public speaker. She has presented on art, writing, bereavement, and the healing capacities of creativity around the world. Contact the Author/Artist for bookings info@alexismariechute.com When not in her art/photo studio or at her computer, Chute loves to spend quality time with her family, read fiction and non-fiction, watch reality TV, paddleboard, and canoe. She is not a winter person but lives in frosty Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with her husband and their three living children.

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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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A Warrior of Light: A Guide of Inner Wisdom for Challenging Times

Leave the guilty, overwhelmed, and bitter you behind. It’s time to find the peace and happiness that shattered when you heard your parent’s diagnosis: Alzheimer’s. Learn more in A Warrior of Light: A Guide of Inner Wisdom for Challenging Times.

About A Warrior of Light: A Guide of Inner Wisdom for Challenging Times

Leave the guilty, overwhelmed, and bitter you behind. It’s time to find the peace and happiness that shattered when you heard your parent’s diagnosis: Alzheimer’s. It’s time to release your inner Warrior of Light.A Warrior of Light tells the transformative journey of Eileen Silverberg, a Warrior who destroyed the feelings of guilt, bitterness, and overwhelm by reinventing herself and acquiring various tools, her shields and weapons. With an emphasis on self-care through meditation and Hawaiian-based practices, this book, with all of its tools, will help you release your Inner Warrior, just as Eileen did. By following the practices outlined in this book, she not only found peace and happiness but also formed a stronger bond with her mom. Through A Warrior of Light, Eileen guides all types of caregivers as they face challenges, helping them to relinquish self-sabotage, forgive themselves, deepen their spiritual practice, engage in self-care, and ultimately, find their own Inner Warrior. As you read her journey, you will repair your connection with yourself and become the best you.So choose today to get rid of those judgments and limiting beliefs surrounding Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers that are passed down from generation to generation, and instead connect deep within to find your own truths.

My Thoughts

“Smile. It is good for you.” – A Warrior of Light

This is by far one of my favourite lessons in this book. I constantly remind my children (and myself) that attitude and how we approach life and events is half the battle. Even when things are going wrong and you feel overwhelmed, it is so important to stop, take a deep breath and smile. It may take a few moments but this always helps me feel better.

Eileen shares her very real and honest story as a caregiver for her Mother with Alzheimer’s. As women (and definitely in certain cultures) we are taught that we need to care for our family (whether it is our children or our parents), regardless of the affect that this may have on our health and mental well being. I have seen others struggle through this and the emotions that they have (resentment, guilt, anger) and my heart has always gone out to them. They are doing a beautiful thing but they need support from others and to be able to make decisions that are good for not only their parent but themselves too (without the judgement from clinicians and society). As a parent myself, I have done this too – cared so much for others in my home that I did not focus on myself and this had negative consequences on both my mental and physical health. Eileen teaches you how to deal with your own expectations, others expectations head on with grace, honesty and love.

While I am not a caregiver for a parent, this book really touched my heart. So many areas of this book can and should be applied to that way we live our lives. I even shared this part of the book with my children as I think this lesson is so important to learn, “Wayne Dyer was so wise in saying..with everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.” (Warrior of Light). Life is made up of many choices – we get to choose how we react to the events and people in our lives, we can either choose to accept, learn the lesson and move forward or to let it consume us and become angry and sad.

This is a beautiful book for all ages (highly recommend for younger readers as there are so many real life applications in this book for them – lessons that are hard to learn) and told in an open, non-judgmental and honest manner. It felt like a conversation with Eileen versus a lecture, which I loved. This is so important for readers who are already struggling, they want and need to hear someone who has gone through the same and that their feelings are valid and okay to feel. A Warrior of Light is a beautiful read from start to finish.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Eileen Silverberg have been taking care of her mother with Alzheimer’s for over seven years and has taught and presented lectures for the Alzheimer’s Association on self -care and meditation practices. She has successfully conducted on-going sessions for staff in the most highly ranked nursing and rehabilitation nursing centers. With a desire to lift the veil on the judgment and expectations caregivers face, she wrote this book to help caregivers find themselves, free them from judgment, and embrace their new life with grace and happiness. As a self-love advocate, Eileen encourages all caregivers to practice mindful meditation with a base Ho’oponopono. She felt inspired to teach others after experiencing deep physical and mental benefits, so she became a skillful meditation leader for professional caregivers. Since she enjoys dancing, especially ballroom dance, she founded and directs E.S. Being Aloha Soul, which mixes movement with meditation. When she isn’t inspiring other caregivers, she works in the two luxury wine boutiques that she and her husband own in Florida and enjoys going to the beach, hiking, traveling, and playing with her two Chihuahuas. She hopes that her readers will learn to release the guilt, forgive themselves, and act with love and kindness towards themselves and the one they care for. (From the back cover of A Warrior of Light).

Eileen Silverberg is the creator and founder of E.S. Being Aloha Souls® Meditation, and the author of  “A Warrior of Light: A guide of inner wisdom for challenging times”.  She has also translated the book in Spanish, “Una Guerrera de Luz; Una guía de sabiduría interna para tiempos difíciles”.   She has spoken for ADI (Alzheimers Disease International) in Key Largo Conference and for ADI Miami, Florida, The Palace skilled nursing homes facility, and for the Alzheimer’s Association support group. Apart from writing, Eileen is a meditation and wellness coach, as well as a business entrepreneur.

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

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The Last Sword Maker Book Review

The Last Sword Maker is a globe-trotting thriller with unforgettable characters that depicts a haunting vision of the future of warfare.

About The Last Sword Maker

In the high mountains of Tibet, rumors are spreading. People whisper of an outbreak, of thousands of dead, of bodies pushed into mass graves. It is some strange new disease that can kill in minutes.

The Chinese government says the rumors aren’t true, but no one is allowed in or out of Tibet.

At the Pentagon, Admiral Curtiss is called to an emergency meeting. Satellite images prove that a massive genocide is underway, and an American spy has made a startling discovery. This is no disease. It is a weapons test. Chinese scientists have developed a way to kill based on a person’s genetic traits. But that is only the tip of the iceberg. The success of their new weapon proves that the Chinese are nearing “Replication”—a revolutionary breakthrough that will tip the global balance of power and change the way wars are waged.

Now the US must scramble to catch up before it is too late. Admiral Curtiss gathers the nation’s top scientists, including a promising young graduate student named Eric Hill who just might hold the missing piece to the replication puzzle. Soon Hill and his colleague Jane Hunter are caught up in a deadly game of sabotage as the two nations strive to be the first to reach the coveted goal. But in their headlong race, they create something unexpected, something the world has never seen and something more powerful than they had ever imagined.

My Thoughts

This novel was exciting and terrifying from start to finish. The technology that is explored in this novel doesn’t seem real because you really don’t want it to be but in the back of your mind, you can keep thinking could this be real.

The novel starts with a mysterious disease that is killing thousands of individuals living in Tibet but no one really knows what it is, why it seems to only target these individuals and how the disease came to be. When it becomes clear that this is just not your regular illness, the US military steps in.

What begins to unfold is mind blowing, as the characters enter a high risk race to be the first to develop this new weapon but at what cost? The race to be the first to uncover the secrets to replication is full of betrayal, death and lies, and puts two super giants fighting against each other. Who will discover the technology first? Who can you trust? How do you decide who lives and who dies?

This novel was both terrifying and incredible at the same time – I loved it and could not put it down. The plot is nothing that I could have expected and is well developed, leaving you on the edge of your seat and needing to know what happens next. I was not sure what to expect when I read the book description, but this novel did not disappoint. A definite must read thriller!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Brian Nelson is a former Fulbright Scholar who holds degrees in international relations, economics, and creative writing (fiction). His first book, The Silence and the Scorpion: The Coup against Chávez and the Making of Modern Venezuela, was named one of the Best Books of 2009 by the Economist. His work has appeared in the Virginia Quarterly ReviewChristian Science Monitor,and the Southern Humanities Review, among others. He lives in Colorado with his wife and two children.

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 Annie Oakley Mystery Series Spotlight

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Get ready for four amazing mystery books in The Annie Oakley Mystery Series!

Shoot Like A Girl

Shoot like a Girl depicts the historically fictive tale of a young Annie Oakley’s struggles before she becomes the most famous sharpshooting woman of all time. After the death of her father, Annie is sent to the Drake County poorhouse where she learns to cook, sew, and keep house for other families to help her mother make ends meet. Annie ends up at the McCrimmons, a couple whom she comes to refer to as “the wolves.” Cruel and neglectful, the McCrimmons push Annie to the brink of despair. The only bright spot in her dreary existence is Buck, a beautiful buckskinned horse, and the two form a bond. Despite her resolve to help her family, Annie loses hope of ever seeing them again, as life at the McCrimmons’ becomes more oppressive, and she is cut off from all outside communication. Physically and emotionally weak from illness, hunger, and abuse, Annie resigns herself to a life of servitude to the abusive couple. But, when Mr. McCrimmon’s continued cruelty to Buck finally threatens the horse’s life, Annie takes matters into her own hands and formulates a plan for escape.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Girl With a Gun

In an exciting new historical mystery series, award-winning author Kari Bovee brings the beloved American icon, Annie Oakley, into the world of mystery and crime as a plucky, amateur sleuth. Fifteen-year-old Annie Oakley is the sole supporter of her widowed mother and two younger siblings. An expert markswoman and independent spirit, she hunts game to sell to the local mercantile to make ends meet instead of accepting a marriage proposal that could solve all her problems, including the impending foreclosure of her family’s farm. After a stunning performance in a shooting contest against famous sharpshooter Frank Butler, Annie is offered a position in the renowned Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Finally, she has a chance to save her family’s farm–and make her dreams come true. But after her catapult to fame, a series of crimes takes place in the Wild West Show, including the death of Annie’s Indian Assistant. The coroner claims the death was due to natural causes, but Annie is unconvinced. Then her prized horse, Buck–a major part of her act–is stolen, and she realizes that someone is out to get her. With the help of a sassy, blue-blooded reporter, Annie sets out to find her horse, solve the crimes, and clear her good name–before everything she’s worked for is destroyed.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Peccadillo at the Palace

In this second book in the Annie Oakley historical mystery series, award-winning author Kari Bovee brings back the lovable character, Annie Oakley, as an amateur sleuth. It’s 1887, and Annie and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show are invited to Queen Victoria’s Jubilee celebration in London, England. But their long journey across the Atlantic takes a turn for the worst when the queen’s royal servant ends up dead and Annie’s husband, Frank Butler, falls suspiciously ill. Annie soon discovers that the two events are connected–and may be precursors to an assassination attempt on the queen. In London, it becomes clear that there is rampant unrest in the queen’s kingdom–the Irish Fenian Brotherhood, as well as embittered English subjects, are teeming in the streets. But amid the chaos, even while she prepares for the show, Annie is determined to find the truth. With the help of a friend and reporter, Emma Wilson, the renowned poet Oscar Wilde, and the famous socialite Lily Langtry, Annie sets out to hunt down the queen’s enemies–and find out why they want to kill England’s most beloved monarch.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Folly at the Fair

She never misses a target. But unless she can solve this murder, she’ll become one… Chicago World’s Fair, 1893. “Little Sure Shot” Annie Oakley is exhausted from her work with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. But when a fellow performer scuffles with a man who threatens her harm, she has to keep her eyes peeled. And when the heckler is found dead under the Ferris Wheel, Annie won’t rest until she proves her defender is innocent. Before she can rustle up any clues, an old friend asks Annie to protect her young daughter. And as more bodies turn up around the grounds, she’s going to need all her sharpshooting skills just to stay alive. Can Annie live up to her reputation and put a bullseye on the killer? Folly at the Fair is the third book in the Annie Oakley Mystery historical fiction series. If you like strong heroines, Wild West adventures, and suspenseful twists and turns, then you’ll love Kari Bovee’s fast-paced whodunit.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

When she’s not on a horse, or walking along the beautiful cottonwood-laden acequias of Corrales, New Mexico; or basking on white sand beaches under the Big Island Hawaiian sun, Kari Bovee is escaping into the past—scheming murder and mayhem for her characters both real and imagined, and helping them to find order in the chaos of her action-packed novels. Empowered women in history, horses, unconventional characters, and real-life historical events fill the pages of Kari Bovée’s articles and historical mystery musings and manuscripts. An award-winning author, Bovée was honored with the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards Hillerman Award for Southwestern Fiction for her novel Girl with a Gun. The novel also received First Place in the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards in the Mystery/Crime category, and is a Finalist in the 2019 International Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Awards and the International Chanticleer Goethe Awards, as well as the Next Generation Indie Awards. Her novel Grace in the Wings is a Finalist for the 2019 International Chanticleer Chatelaine Awards and the International Chanticleer Goethe Awards. Her novel Peccadillo at the Palace is a Finalist in the 2019 International Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Awards and the 2019 International Goethe Awards, as well as a Finalist in the 2019 Best Book Awards Historical Fiction category. Bovée has worked as a technical writer for a Fortune 500 Company, has written non-fiction for magazines and newsletters, and has worked in the education field as a teacher and educational consultant. She and her husband, Kevin, spend their time between their horse property in the beautiful Land of Enchantment, New Mexico, and their condo on the sunny shores of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

You can connect with her on her website, Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

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Disclosure: This is a spotlight tour. I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

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A Goddess Among Men

iRead Book Tours

From the primitive ruggedness of the Amazon rainforest to the privileged society of New York, three generations experience triumph and tragedy in this saga of loyalty, corruption, greed . . . but one woman has the power to change it all.

About A Goddess Among Men

In 1907, Julian Welch and Alan Reid meet by chance in the jungles of the Amazon attracted by the riches of the rubber boom. Pioneers in an era of uncertainty, they form an unlikely alliance and establish the foundation for a successful empire, Reid & Welch. However, with Julian’s death, the empire is left to Alan, as is the responsibility for Julian’s newborn daughter, Christel.

Yet for Christel, there’s no growing up as a privileged heiress. Instead, Alan subjects her to a life few endure, much less overcome. Through her will to survive and being as uncompromising as she is beautiful, Christel puts the horrors of her past behind her and begins to build a seemingly bright future. But when the success built on corruption starts to crumble, Christel will be forced to address the past or pay for the sins of the fathers.

My Thoughts

I was very intrigued when I saw this book cover and read the description, I had to read it! The book is multi-generational and covers a wide range of topics – greed, betrayal, deceit, family secrets and more (so many aspects that creates a novel that you don’t want to put down).

The story I feel is based on this odd relationship that is formed between Julian and Alan. They have an unique first encounter – which Julian first feels like the luckiest man alive but is soon left to deal with Alan’s consequences. This starts this odd relationship they have, Julian is the kind, thoughtful person who wants to earn enough to just make it in the world, have a wife and do good, while Alan is the smart but cruel businessman (who will do anything to get what he wants). Alan seems to be lacking any compassion, understanding or care for others (and as we get glimpses of his childhood, we begin to start to understand the damage that was done there). Together they build an empire, which from the outside seems to be a sound, wealthy business with good practices but on the inside the empire holds dark secrets, which we only begin to learn how evil some of it truly is near the middle to the end of the book. Just before Julian’s death, he finds out he is a father and to ensure his daughter’s safety he entrusts Alan (warning bells here) with her care and to ensure she receives Julian’s portion of the company. I am sure you can just picture what Alan does to his daughter, Christel.

Christel spends all of her childhood as part of an experiment that Alan commissioned and later becomes a weapon for Alan, as she uses her beauty to gather secrets. She is physically, sexually, emotionally and mentally abused. She almost becomes a shell of a person and it isn’t until later in life when a good hearted soul (who never stopped looking for her) helps her discover her worth.

This is an intense, well written novel. Some of the parts of the novel are hard to stomach (especially when we learn parts about Christel’s past) and may be difficult for some readers (they do not go into great detail but we are given high level descriptions of the events she endured). Christel is a strong woman, who despite enduring so much wants to ensure she rights the wrongs of the past. She is sometimes caught between wanting revenge and wanting to heal at parts in the book. Like her Father, she is constantly bearing the weight of the sins of Alan and his very shady practices, she is determined to make right all that they did wrong but some sins are difficult to make right. Alan made me angry throughout the novel, how could one person behave in such a way and that Julian turned a blind eye so many times does not make it right (despite how much humanitarian work he does).

I enjoyed this novel and could not put it down, I wanted to know how Christel’s story played out. Would she be able to forgive, heal and move forward? Could she find healing in her own family and giving back to others? Could she ever right all the wrong that Alan and Julian did? Christel ends the story a stronger, better and open to healing. I loved every moment.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 4/5

About the Author

Born in 1969, Brazil, Daniel Davidsohn’s novels have been called exciting, gripping, and engrossing, garnering him praise and rave reviews. He is passionately attracted to unfamiliar things and enjoys taking readers off the beaten path. His books include From The Nile to The Euphrates (2009), Mare Crisium (2015), A Higher Power (2016), The Karma Code (2017), Leave Her Out, a 2018 Readers’ Favorite Book Award Finalist, and A Goddess Among Men (2020). Connect with him on his website, Twitter and Facebook.

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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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