Category: iRead tour

Minute Zero (Stronghold Book 1) Spotlight Tour

iRead Book Tours

When the world ends in a heartbeat, suddenly old secrets don’t matter anymore. But new ones still do, and protecting the ones you love is the only thing that still remains.

About Minute Zero

Two sisters, one a trendy caterer on the run from a vicious killer, the other a country midwife. Because of a simple mistake, Lori Dovner must flee from the vicious mafioso Raoul Saldata, and her life goes from routine day to terrifying journey in a single moment. On the road with her two children, her only goal is to get to her sister’s Montana farm alive. But both Lori and Louise have been hiding a devastating secret for years.

Two brothers, one a Navy Seal on leave, the other a good man who wants to do right by his family. Captain Deacon Hale is taking two weeks to help his brother Roger and his wife Louise on their remote Montana farm. He loved Lori once, but has finally put her behind him. Roger Hale just wants to give his pregnant wife and two young children a good life. He has no idea about the betrayals that have been hidden from him.

Dangerous Identity.

Angela Jones is an FBI agent with a terrible debt that she knows she will someday have to pay. And when Raoul Saldata calls in that marker she has no choice but to comply.

Evil Incarnate.

Raoul Saldata as a child in Albania, would pretend he was a dhampir, the offspring resulting from the mating between a human female and a vampire. A myth of course, but the evil Saldata practices is anything but. And when he finds Lori Dovner, he intends to do a lot more than just kill her.

MINUTE ZERO (Stronghold: Book One) is an apocalyptic EMP thriller (with a touch of romance) about an ordinary family struggling to stay safe and find each other in the face of insurmountable odds, an abysmal loss of life and the dawn of a new, post-apocalyptic dark age.

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

About the Author

Could it happen?  Would you survive?

Chris Jayne is author of the apocalyptic EMP series “Stronghold.” 

Jayne is also the penname of a USA Today bestselling romance and thriller author who is has started asking “what if?”  What if the lights go off?  What if the food supply chain just… stops?   The world could become an unfriendly place in a hurry.

Three years ago, Chris began exploring the “prepper” lifestyle, and hopes that if TEOTWAWKI would actually happen, she would be in a position to protect her family and loved ones. 

She now spends her days splitting her time between her romance writing and her apocalyptic and dystopian fiction novels. Because what’s more fun than imagining the end of the world from the comfort of your couch?  And if the end of the world has a few sexy Navy Seals in it?  All the better!

She loves writing stories exploring how ordinary people cope with extraordinary circumstances, especially situations where the normal comforts, conveniences, and rules are stripped away.

You can connect with her on her website.

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

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Queen of the Owls Spotlight

iRead Book Tours

A chance meeting with a charismatic photographer will forever change Elizabeth’s life.

About Queen of the Owls

A chance meeting with a charismatic photographer will forever change Elizabeth’s life. Until she met Richard, Elizabeth’s relationship with Georgia O’Keeffe and her little-known Hawaii paintings was purely academic. Now it’s personal. Richard tells Elizabeth that the only way she can truly understand O’Keeffe isn’t with her mind―it’s by getting into O’Keeffe’s skin and reenacting her famous nude photos. In the intimacy of Richard’s studio, Elizabeth experiences a new, intoxicating abandon and fullness. It never occurs to her that the photographs might be made public, especially without her consent. Desperate to avoid exposure―she’s a rising star in the academic world and the mother of young children―Elizabeth demands that Richard dismantle the exhibit. But he refuses. The pictures are his art. His property, not hers. As word of the photos spreads, Elizabeth unwittingly becomes a feminist heroine to her students, who misunderstand her motives in posing. To the university, however, her actions are a public scandal. To her husband, they’re a public humiliation. Yet Richard has reawakened an awareness that’s haunted Elizabeth since she was a child―the truth that cerebral knowledge will never be enough. Now she must face the question: How much is she willing to risk to be truly seen and known?

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

About the Author

BARBARA LINN PROBST is a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, living on an historic dirt road in New York’s Hudson Valley. Her debut novel QUEEN OF THE OWLS (April 2020) is the powerful story of a woman’s search for wholeness, framed around the art and life of iconic American painter Georgia O’Keeffe. Endorsed by best-selling authors including Christina Baker Kline and Caroline Leavitt, QUEEN OF THE OWLS was selected as one of the twenty most anticipated books of 2020 by Working Mother, a debut novel “too good to ignore” by Bustle, and “one of the best new novels to read during the quarantine” by Parade Magazine and Entertainment Weekly. It won the bronze medal for popular fiction from the Independent Publishers Association, placed first runner-up in general fiction for the Eric Hoffer Award, and was short-listed for the $2500 Grand Prize. Barbara has a PhD in clinical social work and blogs for several award-winning sites for writers.

You can connect with her on her website, Instagram and Facebook.

The Giveaway!

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

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Inside the Sun Book Review

iRead Book Tours

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 Inside the Sun

All worlds are dying, and it’s up to one broken and dysfunctional family from Earth―the Wellsleys―to save the day.

Cancer-ridden Ella celebrates her fifteenth birthday beneath an enchanted mountain, but it is what lies even farther below―the mysterious Star in the sea―that demands she grow up quickly. While Ella grapples with the sacrifice she must make and the lies she is forced to tell, her mother, Tessa, is hell-bent on protecting her.

Through bizarre encounters, love-sick Tessa realizes that she is not the lonely orphan she believes. Her husband, Arden, and father-in-law, Archie, are not the only ones with magical bloodlines. This revelation changes everything. As Archie chooses to embody his unexpected ancestry, he learns that leading the charge in the ultimate battle against evil won’t be as easy as he thought. He’ll need his family―and the strange allies he has gained―by his side to give Ella enough time to set things right.

Can they defeat the unstoppable Millia sands―and another unexpected foe―before everything they hold dear is destroyed? Or will their adventure tear them apart for good? The finale to The 8th Island Trilogy will hold you spellbound until the final page, and long after.

My Thoughts

Inside the Sun is a stunning, incredible finish to this trilogy that I could not put down. This is the final battle between good and evil – can they defeat what feels like an overpowering evil, will they find Ella’s cure and who else will fall in this epic struggle?

I love Ella’s character – she is strong, smart, sassy and vulnerable. While her cancer diagnosis has shaped her life and the way others view her, she refuses to let it stop her. I love this strength and goodness in her. It allows her to see the goodness in others and show compassion and strength, even when she has so little left to physically give.

What was really amazing in this novel was how all of our characters evolved. Archie embraces his true ancestry and leads his new people but is conflicted – can he handle the responsibility and stress of leading his people during such an epic battle? Is he strong enough mentally and emotionally for this responsibility? Tessa, Ella’s Mother, who was always special (regardless if she knew it or not) finds out her own special past that blew my mind! My heart was so happy for her as she has struggled for so much of her life feeling unloved as she was orphaned at such a young age.

This is a well written, action packed series that young adults and adults will love. The plot is unique and I loved the character development, they are all so special and unique. I loved the messaging in this series – it is full of hope, forgiveness, love and family. Our characters are just like you and me – you can relate to their emotions and their sufferings. This is a definite must read novel in this series!

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

Rating: 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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Below the Moon Book Review

iRead Book Tours

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.

Below the Moon

Ella Wellsley is not your typical teenager. Cancer left her mute, but not powerless. Trapped in a parallel dimension, Ella rallies her strength to join her family―her mother, Tessa, her grandpa Archie, and her magical boyfriend―in locating the cure to her illness. This cure is entangled in the fate of all worlds, and threatened by the presence of an evil Star anchored in the sea. The Star has thrown life everywhere into chaos―and it is Ella who holds the key to unlocking its mystery.

Caught in a web of betrayal, mistaken identities, secrets, and love triangles, Ella, Tessa, and Archie must overcome their troubled pasts to ensure a future for all worlds. On this journey―armed with unearthly abilities and unexpected allies―each member of the Wellsley family will learn the power of love in the face of their greatest fears.

My Thoughts

Below the Moon takes off from the first book in this series and is one incredible, fast paced ride that you will not want to put down.

While I really enjoyed the first book in this series, I fell in love with this one. Our story really soars and I loved how Ella takes a lead role in this novel. Despite not being able to speak and her cancer diagnosis looming over her head, she shows her strength, compassion and her youthful nature. You can’t help but fall in love with her! And to see her relationship with Luggie develop is special.

The plot takes off in this novel as the team works to destroy the star that has caused havoc in the once peaceful Jarr-Wya and find Ella’s cure. But just like in the first novel, this is no easy task. The group is faced with both new and old enemies, and have to use everything they can to stay alive. They face terrifying scenarios but do so with bravery, quick thinking and team work.

There is so much to love in this book – from the vivid scenes, to the strong characters and the unique plot. I could not put this novel down, I had to know how their story would evolve, what would happen to Ella, how would her parents relationship evolve (can this relationship be healed?), how does her Grandfather fit into the bigger picture, can they help heal this beautiful planet?

I loved the second novel in this series and cannot wait to start on the third novel. A definite must read!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Chapters, Barnes & Noble, 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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The Takeaway Men

iRead Book Tours

Poignant and haunting, The Takeaway Men explores the impact of immigration, identity, prejudice, secrets, and lies on parents and children in mid-twentieth-century America.

About The Takeaway Men

With the cloud of the Holocaust still looming over them, twin sisters Bronka and Johanna Lubinski and their parents arrive in the US from a Displaced Persons Camp. In the years after World War II, they experience the difficulties of adjusting to American culture as well as the burgeoning fear of the Cold War. Years later, the discovery of a former Nazi hiding in their community brings the Holocaust out of the shadows. As the girls get older, they start to wonder about their parents’ pasts, and they begin to demand answers. But it soon becomes clear that those memories will be more difficult and painful to uncover than they could have anticipated. Poignant and haunting, The Takeaway Men explores the impact of immigration, identity, prejudice, secrets, and lies on parents and children in mid-twentieth-century America.

My Thoughts

The Takeaway Men is a powerful novel following a family that has immigrated to the US after the horrors of WWII. We learn about the horrors of WWII, the affect on families both during and post WWII and the stressors of adjusting to a new culture and country.

Aron and Judy have an incredibly past – Judy was not born Jewish but fell in love with Aron and did everything she could to protect him from the Nazis. With Judy’s help, Aron escapes the Holocaust but loses so much including his immediate family. The two marry and give birth to twin girls in one of the camps in Europe before they leave for the US (such a blessing of life!). Both see the birth of the girls as a blessing and they know that they will do anything to protect their girls.

When the family moves to the US, they are met with a bit of a culture shock. Aron struggles with his own history and religion is followed differently in the US, something he is not used to. Judy has her own struggles as she was not born Jewish and is worried that people will find out and shun her and her daughters. She also hides her own family history, embarrassed and worried that this would change the way people think about her. The twin girls want nothing more than to fit in with their peers but they notice the difference – their clothes are different, their Father speaks with a thick accent and their peers tease them. Their parents have done everything they could to hide the war from them and what happened during the Holocaust, but they did so at the expense of not telling them anything about their family, the lives that were lost and their own experiences that have caused them trauma.

I very much enjoyed this novel, I cried and I laughed. My heart went out to these parents who wanted nothing but a fresh start for their girls but inadvertently cause a new set of problems. We also learn about the other characters in their lives, who have their own struggles post WWII. Each character has their own way of dealing with the past, denial, talking about it, hiding it, etc. It was a truly beautiful story of hope, love, and pushing forward that I could not put down.

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

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Meryl Ain’s articles and essays have appeared in Huffington Post, The New York Jewish Week, The New York Times, Newsday and other publications. The Takeaway Men is her debut novel. In 2014, she co-authored the award-winning book, The Living Memories Project: Legacies That Last, and in 2016, wrote a companion workbook, My Living Memories Project Journal. She is a sought-after speaker and has been interviewed on television, radio, and podcasts. She is a career educator and is proud to be both a teacher and student of history. She has also worked as a school administrator. The Takeaway Men is the result of her life-long quest to learn more about the Holocaust, a thirst that was first triggered by reading The Diary of Anne Frank in the sixth grade. While teaching high school history, she introduced her students to the study of the Holocaust. At the same time, she also developed an enduring fascination with teaching about and researching the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg case. An interview with Robert Meeropol, the younger son of the Rosenbergs, is featured in her book, The Living Memories Project. The book also includes an interview with Holocaust survivor, Boris Chartan, the founder of the Holocaust Museum and Tolerance Center of Nassau County, New York. Meryl holds a BA from Queens College, an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University, and an Ed.D. from Hofstra University. She lives in New York with her husband, Stewart. They have three married sons and six grandchildren.

You can connect with her on her 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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