Category: iread

Bound Book Review

iRead Book Tours

What happens when a forty-something, community college sociology professor learns that her mother―a charming, passive-aggressive, and needy woman who hasn’t had a lover in decades―has started seeing men who want to be bound, whipped, and sexually dominated? 

About Bound

What happens when a forty-something, community college sociology professor learns that her mother―a charming, passive-aggressive, and needy woman who hasn’t had a lover in decades―has started seeing men who want to be bound, whipped, and sexually dominated? What happens when that same mother, shortly after diving into her newly discovered sexuality, develops a cancer that forces her to accept radical changes to her body, and then another that forces her, and everyone around her, to confront her mortality? In Bound, Elizabeth Anne Wood addresses these questions as she chronicles the last eight months of her mother’s life―a period she comes to see, over the course of months, as a maternity leave in reverse: she is carrying her mother as she dies. Throughout their journey, Wood uses her notebook as a shield to keep unruly emotions at bay, often taking comfort in her role as advocate and forgetting to “be the daughter,” as one doctor reminds her to do. Meanwhile, her mother’s penchant for denial and her childlike tendency toward magical thinking lead to moments of humor even as Wood battles the red tape of hospital bureaucracies, the frustration of planning in the midst of an unpredictable illness, and the unintentional inhumanity of a health care system that too often fails to see the person behind the medical chart.

My Thoughts

Bound is an amazing read from start to finish. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I read the summary of the book but it blew me away.

This book focuses on the relationship between Mom and daughter as they struggle through an extremely difficult time – her Mother’s cancer and being a caregiver. Like many illnesses, they could never have known the road that they would go down based on the initial diagnosis and the stress, pain, uncertainty that cancer brings with it. The relationship between Mother and child (like so many of us) was complicated. So many times, Dr. Wood was more of a parental figure throughout her childhood, teen years and as an adult. Despite this and having to deal with the ups and downs of cancer, their relationship was special. Dr. Wood accepted and loved her Mother, she championed her Mother’s choices and never made her feel negative about the lifestyle she chose later in life. What I found interesting was how Dr. Wood connected the power that her Mother felt in her BDSM lifestyle and how this could possibly be connected to the insecurity and lack of power that her Mother must have felt as a child and in her marriage.

Dr. Wood shares an open and honest story of their battle with cancer, palliative care, navigating the health care system, struggling with her choices to ensure her Mother’s best interests were a top priority. While I initially thought the book would focus on the BDSM lifestyle, it was so much more. Instead, it tied in the confidence and power she found in her lifestyle, to her struggles with the health care field, her marriage and through palliative care. She openly shares the struggles they had with the health care system and how so often because of health care being viewed as a business with so many rules, the human aspect is removed and the negative impacts that this has on the patient.

I loved the way this book was written, you cannot put it down. It is an emotional journey – I laughed, I cried and my heart was sore at so many time throughout the story. This has been one of the best books that I have read this year.

You can purchase a copy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, Kew and Willow.

In honor of her mother’s birthday, Dr. Wood has arranged to the price of the e-book to $0.99 for the length of this tour (June 24, 2020 to July 10, 2020).

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Elizabeth Anne Wood is Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work at Nassau Community College in Garden City, NY. She is also Senior Strategist for Woodhull Freedom Foundation, the nation’s only human rights organization working full time to protect sexual freedom as a fundamental human right. She earned her PhD at Brandeis University in 1999 and has written critically about sexuality and society ever since. Born on an Army base in Kentucky, Wood grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and now divides her time between Queens, New York and Jamaica Plain, Boston. She is a devoted fan of Amtrak and an avowed cat person.

The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Continue Reading

Women of Color in Tech: A Blueprint for Inspiring and Mentoring the Next Generation of Technology Innovators

iRead Book Tours

Tech industry jobs are growing fast, offering great pay, career growth and learning opportunities. 

About Women of Color in Tech: A Blueprint for Inspiring and Mentoring the Next Generation of Technology Innovators

Tech industry jobs are growing fast, offering great pay, career growth and learning opportunities. Women of color, sadly, have not been able to fully participate in this boom. There are many misconceptions about the tech industry. Misconceptions can often discourage women of color from pursuing or remaining in technical careers. For example, misconceptions like “tech careers are all about coding ”or “there’s no diversity in tech.”

In reality, tech career opportunities can be diverse, fun, and incredibly dynamic. While there are barriers to overcome, Women of Color in Tech is an indispensable resource for building a rewarding future in tech. Packed with inspiring stories and practical advice, this book shows you how to uncover the resources you need to succeed.

This practical guide will help you develop the blend of knowledge and skills needed for getting into tech—and staying there. Author Susanne Tedrick understands that, for a variety of reasons, young women of color are underrepresented in tech and may not have access to strong support networks or resources to be successful. Using her own experiences transitioning into tech, Susanne offers you real-world guidance on finding knowledgeable mentors, learning the latest industry trends, cultivating strong relationships and more.

If you’re thinking about going into tech, or you want to take your current career to the next level, Women of Color in Tech will help you build a blueprint for a successful career.

• Understand the reality of tech today, not misconceptions.
• Learn about the different tech jobs and opportunities that exist, not just coding.
• Gain an understanding of emerging technology areas that will affect jobs, like artificial intelligence, Blockchain and cloud computing.
• Discover traditional and non-traditional education option to get the skills you need.
• Find mentors, build your professional network and get the guidance you need.
• Stay motivated and deal with difficult situations.
• Recognize the importance of giving back to increase diversity and inclusion.

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

About the Author

Susanne Tedrick is a technical specialist for a Fortune 50 technology company. Fiercely committed to increasing participation of women and people of color in STEM educational and professional opportunities, she is a career mentor for the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) Initiative and a volunteer workshop technical assistant for Black Girls Code, a nonprofit that empowers girls of color to develop in-demand IT skills and prepare for careers in tech. Susanne was awarded the 2018 CompTIA AITP Rising Star of the Year Award, and nominated for the 2019 CompTIA Advancing Women in Technology Mentorship Guide Award, for her dedication to advancing her career and that of others. Views expressed are those of author Susanne Tedrick and are not endorsed by any of her current or former employers.

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

The Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Continue Reading

The Annie Oakley Mystery Series Spotlight

iRead Book Tours

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.

The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Continue Reading

A Secret Life: Enduring and Triumphing Over OCD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Spotlight

iRead Book Tours

Are you one of the millions who reside within a secret life, a life which constantly feels out of your own control: Are you plagued by repetitive thoughts and/or actions which interfere with your daily activities?

About A Secret Life: Enduring and Triumphing Over OCD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Are you one of the millions who reside within a secret life, a life which constantly feels out of your own control: Are you plagued by repetitive thoughts and/or actions which interfere with your daily activities? The author lived for more than 40 years with an undiagnosed form of mental illness, a phobia now known as OCD: obsessive-compulsive disorder. His emotional pain and suffering were at times almost unmanageable. In his mid-sixties, the author, a loving husband, father and accomplished high school teacher and athletic coach, discovered a unique psychologist within the Denver therapeutic community who utilizes a radical but highly successful treatment that’s allowed the author to control his OCD symptoms almost 100%. “A Secret Life” is one of the few books written by an OCD sufferer and descries in detail the pain and chaos living with this illness can cause not just the victim, but those closest to him. This story doesn’t stop there, but provides readers with options and advice dealing with OCD from someone who broke the curse of living a secret life. Now he’s ready to share his story in order to help others.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

Jim Juliana was a hard-working family man with a devoted wife and adoring children. As a teacher, he taught numerous subjects over a 28-year career, was an assistant principal/athletic director for three years and mentored generations of youngsters in the classroom and in athletics. Juliana was a coach for forty years at the high school level. Coach Juliana has been a part of two state championship teams, a city championship team and several league title teams. He spent two years as a college instructor and football coach. But Jim Juliana had a secret life, one over which he had no control. For most of his life, he also fought – and eventually defeated – an embarrassing and almost debilitating OCD. OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder that effects three to five million adults in the US each year. OCD involves irrational fears or repeated thoughts or obsessions that drive an individual to engage in repetitive behaviors or compulsions. Jim Juliana’s life was finally changed when he found a therapist whose treatment all but eliminated his OCD incidents. A Secret Life chronicles Juliana’s battle against his OCD and gives readers options and information for treatment based on his experiences. You can connect with him on his website and Facebook.

The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This is a spotlight post, I received no compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Continue Reading

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.

The Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Continue Reading