Category: iread

James Dreadful and the Tomb of Forgotten Secrets

iRead Book Tours

James Dreadful’s Epic Adventure Continues in Book Two of the Dreadful Series, James Dreadful and the Tomb of Forgotten Secrets.

About James Dreadful and the Tomb of Forgotten Secrets 

After narrowly escaping a contract with his father’s evil servant Rekenhowler, James reluctantly decides to return home to the Cades Isles to live out the rest of his youth training to become a sorcerer. The only problem: James and his companions are adrift on the boat Persephone in the Realm of Shadows without a crew.

When a stowaway aboard Persephone informs James that his father—the Dark Lord—might have been mind-slaved by the mysterious, evil Cowl, James is shocked. The only proof that he will accept is the soul of his father, which he learns is lodged deep in the Tomb of Forgotten Secrets. In confronting his father’s soul, James can learn the truth about the Dark Lord—and if he is destined to become one himself.

​But before he can reach the Tomb, James must travel to Sarvelok, an island protected by raiders, to retrieve the key his uncle Oskar stole from him. Attacking the island would be suicide—but possible with the help of Rekenhowler. The price James will have to pay, however, is too high, but without it, will he ever learn the truth of his father—and his own fate? 

You can purchase this book on Amazon.

About the Author

Alan Creed fell in love with storytelling after seeing Star Wars for the first time as a child. When he was ten years old, his tutor asked him to write sentences containing three words: Ocean, Desert and Jungle. Instead of sentences, Alan wrote a 103-page story entitled Journey through the Desert. That’s when he knew he wanted to be a writer. His 103-page story served as the source material for the Dreadful Series. Alan is currently working on the next installment in the James Dreadful series.

You can connect with Alan on his website.

The Giveaway!

Enter to win an e-book of James Dreadful and the Tomb of Forgotten Secrets 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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Mother’s Love: Animal Moms and Their Babies

iRead Book Tours

Mother’s Love is a lyrical celebration of the unconditional bond every mother has with her child.

About Mother’s Love: Animal Moms and their Babies

A mother’s love is like the air;
you may not see it, but it’s there.

A mother’s love is universal; and yet the way each species shows its love is unique.

In a cloud, I’ll build a nest.
For you, I want the very best.
My love is fierce and very bright.
It makes the world feel safe and right.

Mother’s Love is a lyrical celebration of the unconditional bond every mother has with her child. The book is written from the point of view of ten different animal moms, ranging from elephants to eagles and depicts the various sides of motherhood, including joy, resilience, and sacrifice.

Our Thoughts

A mother’s love for her child is precious and special. They are nurtured and developed before they are born and each mother protects and grows her child in a different way.

I loved learning about the special bond between mother and their baby in this beautifully told story. While we learn about all different animals and the bonds they share, at the heart of the story – we are all the same regardless of what we look like on the outside. We love, care, protect and guide our babies the best way we know how to. We all want to see our babies soar, be safe and be ready for the future. We see the story told through the eyes of an octopus, a koala, a penguin, a cat and so much more. The story flows so well and was a treasure to read aloud. The illustrations were soft and warm, and worked well to bring the story of love and strength to life.

This is a beautifully written and illustrated children’s book celebrating the special bond and love between parent and child. It is a welcome addition to your child’s home library and would make a beautiful gift to a new Mom.

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

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Born and raised in Bulgaria, Diana Aleksandrova moved across the ocean in pursuit of the American dream, only to realize that her dream was not limited to any one country, or even continent. Rather, it was within her all along.

Diana finds joy in creating stories that make kids of all ages laugh-out-loud, open up their minds and hearts, and let their imaginations run freely.

“Books are our tickets to adventure. They let us explore fascinating places, and join charming heroes, crooked villains, and magical creatures through unforgettable journeys. My job is to create the itinerary.”

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

The Giveaway!

Enter to win a signed copy of a Mother’s Love 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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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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Thrive: The Facilitator’s Guide to Radically Inclusive Meetings

iRead Book Tours

Whether you are a skilled practitioner or new to leadership, Thrive will teach you techniques for facilitating more effective, inclusive and energizing meetings.

About Thrive: The Facilitator’s Guide to Radically Inclusive Meetings

Imagine meetings where everyone is heard and all people matter.

Picture organizations that embrace all voices and are committed to justice, equity and opportunity. Imagine businesses, nonprofits and the public sector creatively engaging people in thousands of ways—seeking their best ideas, empowering the silenced, and building communities where all are treated with dignity and respect.

That’s what Thrive seeks to create.

Each chapter contains practical insights and accessible stories that transform meetings from dull to dynamic.

You will learn how to:

  • capitalize on diversity’s strengths.
  • keep meetings task-oriented and collegial.
  • facilitate effectively in polarized or conflicted settings.

Thrive includes chapters on privilege and power, multilingual and virtual meetings, and full inclusion of people with disabilities.

Whether you are a skilled practitioner or new to leadership, Thrive will teach you techniques for facilitating more effective, inclusive and energizing meetings.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Book Trailer

About the Author

Dr. Mark Smutny is a professional facilitator, consultant, speaker, author and founder of Civic Reinventions, Inc. He is known for helping organizations uncover the wisdom hidden in their diversity, build cohesion, and achieve their goals.

He draws upon decades of work planning and leading retreats, facilitating meetings, and working with nonprofits and businesses. He teaches and writes on the arts of inclusive facilitation and inclusive leadership skills. He has worked in the fields of homeless services, affordable housing, transportation services for special needs populations, business and resident associations, faith-based groups, and public/private partnerships dedicated to strengthening civic engagement.

Mark received his Master of Divinity degree from the Harvard Divinity School, one of the most religiously diverse theological institutions in the world. His doctorate focused on organizational revitalization in multicultural settings. He is a Program Associate with the Kaleidoscope Institute, an agency that equips leaders to communicate effectively across cultures, ethnicities and race.

When not working, Mark and his wife, Barbara Anderson, enjoy the Cascades, cooking, gardening, exercising their dogs, and playing with their granddaughters.

You can learn more about Mark Smutny and Civic Reinventions, Inc., professional facilitation services, consulting, coaching and training at civicreinventions.com.

The Giveaway

You can enter to win a signed copy of Thrive 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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Chipper Makes Merry

iRead Book Tours

Chipper Makes Merry takes you on Chipper’s arctic quest filled with lessons of love, kindness and determination.

About Chipper Makes Merry

Tip toe, tip toe, crackle, crunch!

​Chipper the Fox sneaks through the forest to spread cheer to his weary friends. Will his merry making be a success? Or will a smelly fish disaster and a log pile tumble ruin his plans?

“Chipper Makes Merry” takes you on Chipper’s arctic quest filled with lessons of love, kindness and determination.

Our Thoughts

Small acts of kindness go a long way, especially now as we face uncertainty, and it can be hard to find the good each day.

Chipper the Fox is a kind-hearted little critter who just wants to help his friends find happiness at a very difficult time in the Arctic. All of his friends are sad for different reasons and he wants to add just that tiny bit of sunshine to their lives. Does he makes little mistakes during his adventure? He sure does – but his kindness and good spirit shines through.

This is an adorable children’s book for an important message to young children. It is so important to teach young children that kindness, thoughtfulness and giving to others goes a long way. We never know what is going on in someone’s life – it is always best to treat all with kindness. If you see someone having a bad day, week or even month, it is a small gesture that could make a difference in their life. And if you can do it together as friends, even better! It is also important for them to understand that sometimes our kindness doesn’t work out quite the way we wanted it too but that doesn’t mean it was wrong or bad, just different.

The illustrations are lovely and bring to life the compassion and warmth of the story. The story itself is easy to read with a young child, we loved the way the story flowed together. This will be a great addition to your home library for all year round.

You can purchase a copy on Kimber Fox Morgan and Amazon.

About the Author

Morgan is a fun wife, and imperfect mom of 3 crazy kiddos and 2 little lemon (problematic) dogs. She tries to live her strengths the best she can. She likes to say she is creative, not crafty. Morgan is a homemade Halloween costume type of mom. She lets her kids mix the play doh. She bakes fun birthday cakes (cutely, but far from perfection). She loves a homemade valentine and a school project. Chipper the Fox is an extension of Morgan’s creative strength. Originally designed as character to create merry during the holiday season, Chipper has grown and developed into a story of determination and love.

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

The Giveaway!

Enter to win a signed copy of the book 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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