Category: giveaways

A Delicate Dance of Souls Book Review

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When souls intersect deeply, but their paths are separate.

About A Delicate Dance of Souls

After a harrowing experience from his service in the military, Matt returns only to find his marriage to the love of his life is over. In the midst of his darkness, Matt seeks peace camping in Wyoming, where he meets Nicole, an intriguing woman who shifts his perspective, and changes his life forever. As their connection deepens, their relationship uncovers the fears that are holding both of them back.

Matt isn’t the only one with an unresolved love in his past. Waiting in the wings is Sam, Nicole’s business partner and best friend. The pair have a history of more than just catering and event planning, but Nicole has always been afraid of letting Sam get too close.

In this novel of self-discovery, compassion and healing, Nicole and Matt are brought to a greater understanding and acceptance of themselves, and who they are in the world.

My Thoughts

This novel introduces us to two main characters – Nicole and Matt. Nicole has had a rough past and from the outside, she doesn’t seem to like to let people to get to close (especially men). She holds a lot of her past inside her and this prevents her from allowing herself to be open to receiving love. She is a bit of a free spirit, she doesn’t seem to care about what others think of her, and she dances to the tune of her own beat. But at the same time she is thoughtful and kind – just timid in accepting love because of her past. Matt has his own scars after serving in the military. His time serving causes him to become emotionally and physically distant from his wife, to the point that they separate after not being able to come to some middle ground. He is left lost, hating himself and feeling lonely and lone.

The two characters have a chance encounter, with sparks flying but more importantly they connect on a deeper level. Matt is finally able to open up to someone about his past and face his fears about the past, himself and his worries about his future. He is able to push past those mental blocks that kept him emotionally and physically distant from those he loves, including his wife that he is separated from. Nicole while initially is the one that appears to do all the helping, is also able to confront her past and work through her own mental and emotional blocks.

This is a wonderful story of faith, second chances and the healing powers of friendships. Their chance encounter develops a strong friendship that helps them face their past, come to a level of healing and understanding and the ability to move forward with hope and trust. While they are at first physically attracted to each other, out of this grows so much more. This novel is different then anything I have read before but I enjoyed it. The beginning felt a bit rushed as their physical relationship developed but about a quarter of the way in, the novel returns to a normal pace and we can appreciate their relationship and the healing nature of it.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound and Books-a-Million.

Rating: 4/5

About the Author

Karen D. Hamilton’s spiritual journey has spanned decades and has included several teachers with transformative perspectives. Believing that life is a wondrous gift, she strives to appreciate all aspects of the human experience. Karen loves the excitement of thunderstorms, the silence of falling snow, the chirping of late summer crickets, the meditative art of weaving, and the natural beauty of mountain streams. She especially loves being with family and friends. She currently lives in Colorado with her husband and fluffy cat, Merlin. Karen hopes her work will give readers a broader and more compassionate view of their own lives. You can connect with her on her website.

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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 Nightjar’s Promise Book Review

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As they search for “The Nightjar’s Promise” and the truth surrounding it, Carolina and the FIGs come face to face with evil that threatens to destroy not only their genius, but their very lives.

About The Nightjar’s Promise

Jennifer Torres, one of the three FIGs (Females of Intellectual Genius) who is a genius in both music and art, is the last to leave the closed rehearsal for her upcoming performance over Thanksgiving break at Carnegie Hall when she hears something in the darkened Hall. Recognizing the tilt of the woman’s head and the slight limp of the man as they hurry out an exit door, she realizes it is her parents who were supposedly killed in a terrible car accident when she was 15 years old. Devastated and feeling betrayed, she sends a text to Carolina and the other two FIGs—THURGOOD. It is the code word they all agreed to use if ever one of them got into trouble or something happened that was too difficult to handle. They would all meet back at Carolina’s bungalow at Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women to figure it out.

As soon as they receive the text, because of their genius, Dara starts thinking of words in ancient Hebrew, German, and Yiddish, while Mackenzie’s visions of unique math formulae keep bringing up the date October 11, 1943. That is the date during World War II when the Nazis—the Kunstschutz—looted the paintings of targeted wealthy Jewish families and hid them away under Hitler’s orders. And as Carolina waits for the FIGs to return to Wood Rose, she hears warnings from Lyuba, her gypsy mother, to watch for the nightjar, the ancient name for the whip-poor-will.

As they search for “The Nightjar’s Promise” and the truth surrounding it, Carolina and the FIGs come face to face with evil that threatens to destroy not only their genius, but their very lives.

My Thoughts

I fell in love with this group of strong, intelligent young women. Each one has had a difficult past but instead of letting this define them, they embrace what makes them special and support each other through all of their ups and downs. Each of the young women carries a special gift – arts, language and math. Combining these skills with the guidance, connection and love from their teacher, Carolina, they can be unstoppable. They use these special gifts to help solve their past and the current mystery in the novel.

In this novel, Jennifer is presented with a huge mystery – what really happened in the deaths of her parents, could they possibly still be alive? And if so – how could they just leave her, did they not love her?? As she pulls from her own strengths and the strengths of her friends, terrible secrets unfold along with a plan to regain what was lost so many years ago. We are taken down a path of darkness and pain but along this path, we find glimmers of hope, strength and kindness.

This is an excellent short story for young adults and adults who like an interesting, suspenseful read. You can read the novel on its own but I would recommend reading the rest of the novels in this series. We are given enough of the history of each of the young girls and Carolina’s family but to really gain a better understanding of their past, it is best to read each of their stories (bonus – you will not be disappointed). I loved the build up of the story and how we uncover Jennifer’s family history and how this was connected to the looting of arts from World War II. I loved how their friendship, their unique skills and their strength is highlighted throughout the novel. While they are strong individually, they need each other in order to solve the mystery (a great reminder that we are always stronger together!). This is a novel that does not disappoint.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 4.5/5

About the Author

Originally from Carrollton, Illinois, author/agent/publisher Barbara Casey attended the University of North Carolina, N.C. State University, and N.C. Wesleyan College where she received a BA degree, summa cum laude, with a double major in English and history. In 1978 she left her position as Director of Public Relations and Vice President of Development at North Carolina Wesleyan College to write full time and develop her own manuscript evaluation and editorial service. In 1995 she established the Barbara Casey Agency and since that time has represented authors from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. In 2014, she became a partner with Strategic Media Books, an independent nonfiction publisher of true crime, where she oversees acquisitions, day-to-day operations, and book production.

Ms. Casey has written over a dozen award-winning books of fiction and nonfiction for both young adults and adults. The awards include the National Association of University Women Literary Award, the Sir Walter Raleigh Literary Award, the Independent Publisher Book Award, the Dana Award for Outstanding Novel, the IP Best Book for Regional Fiction, among others. Two of her nonfiction books have been optioned for major films, one of which is under contract.

Her award-winning articles, short stories, and poetry for adults have appeared in both national and international publications including the North Carolina Christian Advocate Magazine, The New East Magazine, the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, the Rocky Mount (N.C.) Sunday Telegram, Dog Fancy, ByLine, The Christian Record, Skirt! Magazine, and True Story. A thirty-minute television special which Ms. Casey wrote and coordinated was broadcast on WRAL, Channel 5, in Raleigh, North Carolina. She also received special recognition for her editorial work on the English translations of Albanian children’s stories. Her award-winning science fiction short stories for adults are featured in The Cosmic Unicorn and CrossTime science fiction anthologies. Ms. Casey’s essays and other works appear in The Chrysalis Reader, the international literary journal of the Swedenborg Foundation, 221 One-Minute Monologues from Literature (Smith and Kraus Publishers), and A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation).

Ms. Casey is a former director of BookFest of the Palm Beaches, Florida, where she served as guest author and panelist. She has served as judge for the Pathfinder Literary Awards in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida, and was the Florida Regional Advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators from 1991 through 2003. In 2018 Ms. Casey received the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award and Top Professional Award for her extensive experience and notable accomplishments in the field of publishing and other areas. She makes her home on the top of a mountain in northwest Georgia with her husband and three cats who adopted her, Homer, Reese, and Earl Gray – Reese’s best friend.

You can connect with her on her website, 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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Killer Deadline Book Review

iRead Book Tours

Folks in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, claim that where Nikki Bryant goes, trouble is not far behind. Her refusal to back down from a challenge has made Nikki Bryant a top investigative journalist. With the clues in her father’s cold case hot again, Nikki intends to chase down the story of her life until she catches his killer—no matter what it takes.

About Killer Deadline

Folks in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, claim that where Nikki Bryant goes, trouble is not far behind. Her refusal to back down from a challenge has made Nikki Bryant a top investigative journalist.

When an online friend nudges her to join him in a pact to reconnect with their first loves, Nikki and her boxer dog Elmo leave the bright lights of Las Vegas for the charming town of Pine Grove. There, she must face the biggest challenges in her career and life—the first love she had left behind and her father’s unsolved murder.

But before she has time to unpack her car, Nikki stumbles upon the dead body of local news anchor, Ashleigh Addison, her childhood rival. Could Ashleigh’s death be connected to an explosive news story that she had teased about airing live? Did that explosive story have anything to do with the murder of Nikki’s father?

With the clues in her father’s cold case hot again, Nikki intends to chase down the story of her life until she catches his killer—no matter what it takes.

My Thoughts

I love the way that Lauren Carr writes and she does not disappoint, this book is a huge treat! I loved our strong, independent characters, the plot that was true to her style of writing and full of twists – the novel is fantastic from start to finish.

Nikki is incredible – brave, confident and strong. She is not afraid to say how she feels and go after what she wants (except for maybe that lost love of hers). She lost her Father many years ago and the murder had gone unsolved, something that she intends to change once she gets a tip from a frenemy (who she also later discovers dead!). This sets her off on a very dangerous path of lies and betrayal and a discovery in the death of her Father, while reuniting her with a lost love, her hometown and those who she thought loved her family.

There is an excellent blend of mystery and suspense with comic relief and romance throughout novel. Lauren has a great way of balancing this without taking away from the story. We have well developed characters, that you can’t help but feel a connection to. I loved Nikki’s character but also her connections to her hometown, her family and her lost love. We learn about so much history in this small town and how this ends up being connected to several murders. I loved the way the story unfolds, it kept me on my toes and constantly guessing on who actually committed the murder of her Father so many years ago. I definitely did not see the end coming!

Killer Deadline is a fantastic read from start to finish – you will love the plot and characters. A definite must read.

You can pre-order a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Chris Matheson Cold Case, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty-five titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Killer Deadline marks Lauren’s first venture into mystery’s purely cozy sub-genre with a female protagonist.

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

A popular speaker, Lauren is also the owner of Acorn Book Service, the umbrella under which falls iRead Book Tours. She lives with her husband and two spoiled rotten German Shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with her on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

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Bury Him: A Memoir of the Vietnam War

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In this frank, engaging memoir, Captain Chamberlain chronicles the missions, personal courage and sacrifice of the Marines he was privileged to command.

About Bury Him: A Memoir of the Vietnam War

In this frank, engaging memoir, Captain Chamberlain chronicles the missions, personal courage and sacrifice of the Marines he was privileged to command; painfully recalls the unspeakable order he and his Marines were forced to obey; and the cover-up which followed. Nearly four decades later, Captain Chamberlain makes right what was wrong; brings closure to the family of a fallen and abandoned warrior; and attempts to put to rest the guilt which plagued his military career and life. Unlike most books on the Viet Nam War, this book is written at a tactical level by a Marine Company Commander who was there.

My Thoughts

Bury Him is a journey through the struggles, pains and missions through the Vietnam War as seen through the eyes of Captain Chamberlain.

As a Canadian, we do not learn about the Vietnam War in school so most of what I knew about this war was from reading online and media. Reading through this book, it gave me time to look up events and some of the history during this time period to get a better understanding of what is told to us in this autiobiography.

While all conflict is full of pain and suffering, my heart goes out to Captain Chamberlain and those who served during this time period. They were young men who were asked to serve their country, they did so without argument and faced horrors, found themselves caught up in politics and faced hate from their own countrymen (which we were exposed to several times through the story). I can’t even begin to be able to understand or relate on how this has impacted their lives, but this book gives us some insight into this.

Captain Chamberlain gives us a good history of how he found himself serving as a Marine. I really enjoyed learning about the training and the build up to the war. He has a quiet, determined personality with a sense of responsibility and strong morals that shines throughout his book. He cares for others and is determined to do what is right. He is determined to protect those who have been assigned to him and does everything he can to ensure their safety and well being. He is strict with his men but it all has a greater purpose, to ensure the safety of each Marine so that they could go home. He is strict but fair – he stretches the rules to ensure that each of his men are taken care of.

The chapters flow together well and the background that he gives us serves to help us understand that moment when he was given the orders to bury a fellow Marine instead of bringing the body home. It is this moment and orders that is the centre of his book and the investigations that lead from it. This event leads to a great deal of anxiety, anger and desire to make things right for that Marine’s family members.

This is an incredible autobiography, it is honest, raw and gives us a deeper look at the lives of those who served during the Vietnam War. We gain first hand knowledge of their struggles, pains, losses and how this impacted each of them differently. Captain Chamberlain is a man of honour and responsibility. We see this through his actions during the war and the dedication he had ensuring closure for the family of an abandoned Marine. This is a well written book and I wish him all the best, thank you for your service and the work you have done after.

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

Rating: 4.5/5

About the Author

Doug Chamberlain, the grandson of homesteaders in eastern Wyoming and western Nebraska, grew up with the “country values” instilled in him in the rural environment of a very small community. Even though there were only 10 students in his high school graduating class, several of his classmates pursued careers, public service, and military service that took them to various locations around the world. His rural values and the foundational reinforcement of those values at the University of Wyoming and John Brown University proved to be tested in their entirety when he became a Marine Infantry Officer in the Viet Nam War. His life changing experiences in that war proved to haunt him during his search to solve a mystery that spanned 50 years…and Bury Him details the sordid facts and the horrible truth that had eluded him.

Connect with him on his website and Facebook.

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Perils and Pearls Book Review

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This is the story of a Dutch family, resident in the Dutch East Indies, that fell victim to the Japanese occupation and was interned in jungle camps throughout the war.

About Perils and Pearls

In World War II much of Asia fell under Japanese control after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. All non-Asians were imprisoned in concentration camps until August of 1945, the end of the war in the Pacific. This is the story of a Dutch family, resident in the Dutch East Indies, that fell victim to the Japanese occupation and was interned in jungle camps throughout the war. It tells the journey from riches to rags, from fear and suffering, to the joy of freedom and recovery.

My Thoughts

I love reading historical novels, documentaries and biographies. They give a intimate look at a period of time, offering new insight and encourages you to take a deeper look at a time period, to research more and understand the people, lives and cultures.

This book does just that, I never knew about the Dutch that lived in Indonesia and the route to Indonesia Independence. This was never discussed at school and I don’t think I have ever seen this in media accounts or in any of the books that I have read that covered this time period. Perils and Pearls gave an interesting account of the Dutch living in Indonesia before the war broke and during, the road to Indonesia’s independence and how this intersected with World War II.

In her book, we learn the history of her family who lived both in Indonesia and the Netherlands. Many times, their family members came back to the Netherlands but somehow always found their way back to Indonesia, which is where they called home. This is where Hulda found herself when the Japanese invaded Indonesia.

We dive into the Japanese invasion of Indonesia and learn about what happened to those living there that were imprisoned in civilian concentration camps. Hulda, her Mother and brother were imprisoned in one of these camps, while her Father (a soldier) escaped to Australia on a mission. We get an intimate look at the fears, horrors and moments of hope for her family. Her Mother’s fears of how this would affect their growth, watching her child become sick and suffer and not being able to stop this. The children’s general curiosity that tended to get them in trouble. The strength of these civilians is incredible – faced with the unthinkable, they stuck together and did their best to survive. They had no idea of what happened to family members outside of the camp, how they would ever reach them again but they still fought on, living and surviving.

This is well written look at events that are important in our history and as we move forward a lesson that we can all learn from to ensure this never happens again. It is a story of survival at all costs, hope for the future and healing. She writes in an unique manner, telling the story how it happened but does not insert hate or blame. This is an excellent book for young adults and adults to read, to understand the mistakes of the past, how we can ensure it never happens again and to appreciate the sacrifices those who came before us gave. A definite must read, I could not put this one down.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million and IndieBound.

Rating: 4.5/5

About the Author

Hulda Bachman–Neeb was born in Indonesia of colonial Dutch parentage two years before the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941. Because much of Asia fell under Japanese control, all non-Asians were imprisoned in concentration camps until August of 1945, the end of the war in the Pacific. As a member of the Dutch Foreign Service in her adult life, Hulda held assignments in twenty-five countries over a period of thirty-six years, retiring in 1996. She is married to an American, James Bachman, a historian and author, and has dual citizenship. Hulda and her husband live in Estes Park, Colorado.

Connect with her on her website, Facebook and Twitter.

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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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