Category: iRead tour

Finding My Sunshine

iRead Book Tours

Each of us has our own path. Some of us just need angels to help us find it. Finding My Sunshine is Shannon’s story.

About Finding My Sunshine

“What if that someone was you?” Shannon had been so quick to blame others for her anger. She knew she was drowning in darkness and pain; being born with a learning disability made her feel defeated by life. She tried drinking heavily in order to quiet the demons. After being kicked out of college, Shannon took a leap of faith and started working in a nursing home. That’s when her angels appeared and the miracle began. The insight and wisdom she gained from those elderly new friends led her on an inspiring journey of discovery and self-acceptance. Each of us has our own path. Some of us just need angels to help us find it. This is her story.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

Shannon was raised in a small town in Eastern Montana, where you leave your car keys in the ignition and your front door unlocked all the time. The kind of place where sunsets and sunrises can be seen for miles on the horizon. Where the spring crickets and frogs resting in the irrigation ditches helped transition the days into a calm resting night. Where the winters can get so cold, air can freeze.

It was only after she was academically suspended by the college she was attending, that she became a Certified Nurses Aide (CNA). She did her training in Billings, Montana and it was there she learned how to take care of others and bonded with the geriatric population.

​For over five years, Shannon worked in the same nursing home where she received her training. The work was hard, but it grounded her and helped her find balance in what had become a deeply unbalanced life. It was not until she was a CNA, at one of the hospitals that she had a dream-three nights in a row-that she was going to become a nurse.

She currently resides in Tampa, Florida, where you may hear her laughing with her husband of over 10 years,  scuba diving in the ocean, taking walks with their rescued pit-bull dog- Darby, or dancing together to life’s music.

You can connect with Shannon on her website.

The Giveaway

You can enter to win a signed copy of Finding My Sunshine here.

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

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Letters to Jacob: Grieving the Loss of a Child

iRead Book Tours

“If you have lost a child, you know you’re weathering the largest storm life can bring you. I hope that my words of loss, tears, punches, smiles, friendships, and renewed happiness can give you a sense of not being along on this journey.”

About Letters to Jacob: Grieving the Loss of a Child

“If you have lost a child, you know you’re weathering the largest storm life can bring you. I hope that my words of loss, tears, punches, smiles, friendships, and renewed happiness can give you a sense of not being along on this journey.”

Maria Hopfgarten’s son Jacob was born on January 31, 2006. He was the most perfect baby boy she had ever seen. But Jacob had devastating health issues, culminating in a diagnosis of mitochondrial disease, a fatal condition.

In the ten short years of Jacob’s life, Maria found strength in blogging about Jacob’s life. Her raw, honest posts from the year after Jacob’s passing have been gathered into this book along with Maria’s tips for parents coping with their own grief after losing a child.

My Thoughts

I am an incredibly sensitive and emotional person, and while I couldn’t put this book down – my boys found me two mornings in a row crying as I was reading this very powerful book.

I love working with children – they have such an innocence and beautiful way of seeing the world. I worked in Family Medicine for ten years and working with children during this time was a blessing to me, hearing that first heart beat, or watching a child grow at their well child visits, holding their hand when they were scared during stitches or listening to their stories of how they broke their arm. It felt a privilege to be a part of their live for that small moment in time and that they trusted you with these feelings. So often, we can get so caught up in ‘life’ that we forget what a special gift life actually is. And how quickly things can change and be taken away from us.

While I cannot comment on this book from a grieving parent viewpoint, as a parent I can tell you how this book made me feel. I don’t think any parent is ready for a diagnosis that will change their child’s life and their own life as they know it. We take for granted good health and the dreams that we have for our children. Grief is so overwhelming and powerful, we all experience grief in different ways but it is also one of the hardest things to talk about.

Maria shares in her story how wonderful Jacob was – his sense of humour, his relationships with his sister and peers, his time spent at school, his trip to Disney all in the context of his health conditions that ultimately led to his passing. I loved how she shared these intimate details that I am sure were difficult to share but so important, too often we see the patient as a patient and not for the incredible, strong person that they are. It was special reading the beautiful stories of Jacob, his sister, family and the impact he had on those around him in his ten years.

From the very beginning of the story, Maria shared the importance of living and cherishing each moment. I find I am very guilty of not always being present, especially in these last two years dealing with COVID and my own mental health. It is something that personally touched me, the importance of slowing down and living in each and every moment. While Maria may have had to live in each moment due to how quickly things could change for Jacob, this is so important for all to take a step back and use as a guide. I appreciated the personal guidance and tips that Maria shared at the end of each entry for parents as they struggle to cope with their grief and the things that helped her and her family. Maria did not encourage a one size fits all approach, instead she offered several solutions that aided her and offered suggestions on what others could do.

This is an incredibly touching and powerful story of love, grief and how one family has coped with the passing of a very special young man. While a great support book for grieving parents, I think this would be a great book for parents to read as well.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Maria Hopfgarten began her blog Moments with Jacob in 2009, writing about Jacob’s life with mitochondrial disease. She had followers around the globe. Maria continued to write blog posts to Jacob after he passed in 2016 to make sense of the loss of her son. Jacob was 10 years old. She has now turned part of the blog into the book “Letters to Jacob,” sharing her raw, honest first-hand experience on grieving the loss of a child.

Maria is the President of the non-profit Miracles for Mito and has been supporting families living with mitochondrial disease for over a decade. She has also been an active Parent Partner at Children’s Hospital Colorado and has been a Parent voice for many chronically ill children. Maria also sits on the Patient Safety Committee of the Board at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Originally from Sweden and with a degree in Journalism from Stockholm University, Maria lives with her husband Joakim, daughter Sarah, and rescue dog Max in Colorado. Her favorite thing to do is to share a good cup of coffee or glass of wine with a friend. Maria loves the outdoor and is always up for a bike ride or hike.

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

The Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of Letters to Jacob: Grieving the Loss of a Child here.

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 Keepers

iRead Book Tours

In The Keepers, Beth can’t imagine a worse nightmare until she gets a call in the middle of the night with shocking news about her son!

About The Keepers

Despite struggling to raise a troubled teenage son on her own, Beth Marshall has no intention of selling her beloved vineyard and moving to the city where her ex-boyfriend awaits with open arms. She has strong ties to the land, where she is happy living with her granddad and aunt in the old farmhouse, so when she gets an offer to sell her property, she turns it down. Meanwhile, a writer recovering from a shattering past moves into the guest house, tugging at her heart. She’s not going anywhere.

But after her granddad discovers a dead body in their shed, Beth fights jail time. She can’t imagine a worse nightmare until she gets a call in the middle of the night with shocking news about her son!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Author’s Note

Children’s mental health is a growing concern in today’s schools. Often kids suffer in silence because of the stigma attached to their mental health needs. Mental health organizations such as the Canadian Mental Health Association work hard to change this mindset. It can’t come soon enough. As a teacher, I worked with troubled teens and saw firsthand the devastating effects of their silence. With this in mind, I began writing The Keepers, for if I could help just one “Alexandre” find his voice, my efforts would be well worth it. There are a few mature scenes and some bad language here and there, reflective of a character coming-of-age.  

Book Trailer

About the Authors

Joy Lynn Goddard teamed up with husband Daniel Pike to write contemporary adult fiction. Their first and second novels, Moonshadow and The Keepers, have global appeal and won Canada Book Awards. Besides novels, they wrote Buyers, Liars, Sellers and Yellers, a collection of humorous short stories about the real estate industry. Although she is well known for her young adult and junior fiction—starting with the award-winning Daredevils and including Hello, my name is Emily, Charlie’s Song, Jazz, When Pigs Fly, and Mrs. Maloney’s Garden—her adult novels are quickly attracting attention. Each book involves romance, mystery, and suspense genres.

Joy and Dan divide their time between Guelph and Belleville, Ontario, where they spend time with family when not working on their next book.

You can connect with them on their website, Twitter and Facebook.

The Giveaway!

Enter to win a copy of The Keepers here.

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

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Awake with the Songbirds

iRead Book Tours

Awake with the Songbirds is a collection consisting primarily of poems written during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time of loneliness and rumination.

About Awake with the Songbirds

This collection consists primarily of poems written during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time of loneliness and rumination.

Lyndon’s poetry stems from intense emotions that swing from one end of the pendulum to the other as she captures the agony of love and loss, along with innocent joy and lighthearted fun.

Each poem is an earnest response to life, love, and everything in between.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

Kyrian Lyndon is the author of Shattering Truths, the first book in her Deadly Veils series. She has also published three poetry collections, A Dark Rose Blooms, Remnants of Severed Chains, and Awake with the Songbirds – Poems from the Pandemic. Kyrian began writing short stories and fairy tales when she was just eight years old. In her adolescence, she moved on to poetry. At sixteen, while working as an editor for her high school newspaper, she wrote her first novel, and then completed two more novels at the ages of nineteen and twenty-five.

She is forthcoming about being a person with many years of recovery, as well as a trauma survivor. Throughout her journeys, she expressed her thoughts through poetry, embracing every challenge to triumph over adversity. In her conviction that learning, growing, healing, and evolving is a never-ending process, she remains as grateful for the dark days as she is for every flicker of hope and light. She considers herself a cheerleader for those trudging on against all odds in the hopes of living their dreams.

Born and raised in Woodside, Queens, New York, Kyrian was the middle of three daughters born to immigrants –her father from Campochiaro, Italy; her mother from Havana, Cuba. She has worked primarily in executive-level administrative positions with major New York publishing companies.

Kyrian loves nineteenth-century British literature, parallel universe fiction, and dark romanticism. She also enjoys music, art, history, fitness, and cooking.

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

The Giveaway

Enter to win a $25 Amazon giveaway and copy of the book here.

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

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Behind Closed Doors

iRead Book Tours

In Behind Closed Doors, Lucy has it all – until it all comes to an abrupt and unexpected end.

About Behind Closed Doors

From the outside, anyone would think that Lucy Palmer has it all: loving children, a dashing husband and a gorgeous home.

But when her marriage to Michael comes to an abrupt and unexpected end, her life is turned upside down in a flash.

As the truth of her marriage threatens to surface, Lucy seizes the opportunity to swap her house in London – and the stories it hides – for a rural escape to her parents’ farmhouse in the Chilterns.

But Lucy gets more than she bargained for when she moves back to her childhood home, especially when it throws her into the path of an old flame.

Coming face-to-face with her mistakes, Lucy is forced to confront the secrets she’s been keeping from herself and those she loves.

​Is she ready to let someone in? Or will she leave the door to her past firmly closed.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon and Book Depository.

About the Author

Catherine has sold over 3 million bestselling novels worldwide.

The first of these novels Catherine started under the desk when she worked as an advertising copywriter. She was duly fired. With time on her hands, she persevered with the novels, which happily flourished.

In the early days she produced a baby with each book – but after three – stuck to the writing as it was less painful.

She writes with her favorite pen in notebooks, either in the garden or on a sofa.

Home is a rural spot on the Hertfordshire border, which she shares with her family and a menagerie of horses, cows, chickens, and dogs, which at the last count totaled eighty-seven beating hearts, including her husband. Some of her household have walk-on parts in her novels, but only the chickens would probably recognize themselves.

​All her novels are published by Penguin Random House internationally, and by No Shooz Publishing in America.

You can connect with her on her website and Facebook.

The Giveaway!

Enter to win a Kindle fire loaded with five of Catherine’s titles here.

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

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