Category: iread

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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Zither! Spotlight Tour

iRead Book Tours

A nutty religious cult rustles a herd of prime gazebos (huh??) and it’s up to bumbling P.I. Mars Candiotti to rescue them. Wannabe author Mars chronicles his quest in Jeffrey Hanlon’s rom-com mystery Zither.

About Zither

​A nutty religious cult rustles a herd of prime gazebos (huh??) and it’s up to bumbling P.I. Mars Candiotti to rescue them. Wannabe author Mars chronicles his quest in Jeffrey Hanlon’s rom-com mystery Zither.

Guided by his magically prescient IHOP waitress, Mars strives to mitigate the shocking global consequences of the gazebo heist, even though he has no idea what the word mitigate means.

As Zither swallows its own tale, Mars finds it increasingly tricky to distinguish between real people and his rambunctious fictional characters. Zither becomes the romper room where his reality meets fantasy – and get frisky with each other.

Mars’ international odyssey leads to an explosive conclusion in Panama. Teevees around the world tune in to watch live coverage of “Carnage in the Canal”.

And amid the lunatic havoc that is Zither there is (of course!) an epic love story as Mars meets Marian, the brainy librarian he had dreamt of. Marian says his books are “slapstick existentialism with subjective reality couched in parable”. (This is news to Mars). But is Marian real, or just another illusion in Zither World?

And in Mars’ klutzy (yet endearing) courtship of the enchanting Marian will he ever muster the nerve to ask her for a date???​

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

About the Author

I was born in a Southern California beach town.

My family moved to Northwest Oregon when I was 7. Or maybe when I was 8.

Had we stayed in the Beach Boys town, and knowing myself as I do now, I suspect I would have grown long hair, started a rock band, and been heavily into drugs. The rock band would probably have been pretty good. The rest of it, not so much. I’d likely have joined the ranks of those like Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin.

We moved to a mountaintop. The last five miles to get there were gravel. The final two miles were steep and to the end of the road.

That’s where we lived: the end of the road, 22 miles to the nearest town.

Our closest neighbor, about a mile down the road, was a hermit who lived in a shack. He had a goat. About once a month the goat would visit us. Then the hermit would show up to retrieve his goat. I think the goat liked us better than the hermit, which is why the goat kept showing up. Goats are funny animals. I think they aspire to be house pets.

And speaking of animals, we had cats. Lots and lots of cats. Because we were remote and at the end of the road, unkind people – and ‘unkind’ is the kindest description I can use here – would dump their unwanted cats on or near our property. The cats would find our house. We gave them Fancy Feast and our love, and in turn they loved us.

My childhood friends didn’t visit too often. That was at least partly because when they did show up my father would say something like this: “Great! We have a job that could use an extra hand. Won’t take more than five minutes.” Well, that five minutes usually turned into an hour or two – volunteer labor! – and that friend would seldom visit again.

So my favorite childhood playmate was a 2000 pound Hereford bull, a big boy with horns spanning three feet. I’d go out in the pasture and the bull would strike a pose not unlike what you’ve seen in the movies where the bull was ready to charge, head down, eyeing me. But he wasn’t going to charge me. He just wanted his forehead scratched. And so I would scratch his forehead. He liked that, shaking his head every so often to show his approval. Then we’d elevate to a game that the bull might have called ‘Let’s see how far we can toss this little kid!’ and I’d place my right hip against his massive head and he’d toss me into the air like a sack of flour. Over and over, farther and farther, higher and higher. I could have done that for hours – I can fly! – but after a few tosses the bull would grow bored with the game and wander off. Probably to chase some cute heifers.

The nearest library was 30 miles away, and we ventured there often. It was a majestic old building, and the Grand Room had books on all four walls with reading chairs in the center. But that was not where I wanted to be. I figured all those books were popular books or books I was supposed to read. I wanted something different, so I would enter the room with a small sign that said ‘Stacks’. It was row after narrow row after row of books, floor to ceiling, dimly lit, dusty. It was like entering a cave. Filled with treasures!
It was in those Stacks that I discovered the likes of Kerouac and Heller and Huxley and Fowles and Steinbeck and Ellison and Bradbury and Hemingway and many many others.

As Stephen King said, “Books are a uniquely portable magic.”

And those, each in their own way, was the inspiration for the first book I wrote at the age of eight or nine: ‘Pond Scum’.

It was illustrated.

Jeffrey currently lives at an undisclosed location on the shores of the Caribbean where he spends his days is shorts and sandals making up stories.

He has a pet goat.

You can connect with him on his 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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Lost and Found Book Review

iRead Book Tours

In Lost and Found, Abel had worked tirelessly to earn respect in the courts, avoiding any semblance of a personal life to achieve his goals. Now, his personal and professional lives had collided and he found himself being rejected by the community that had previously supported and admired him. 

About Lost and Found

When community leaders began to doubt Abel Mendoza, the law practice he had spent years building began to crumble. It was the 1960s and there was but a handful of Mexican lawyers in California. Abel had worked tirelessly to earn respect in the courts, avoiding any semblance of a personal life to achieve his goals. Now, his personal and professional lives had collided and he found himself being rejected by the community that had previously supported and admired him. His fears of inadequacy kindled, Abel began to question who he really was, what he did, and where he belonged. A desire to avoid these questions and the people who had provoked them sent this small-town lawyer on a trip to escape not only his community but his own self-doubts, and into a relationship that changed his life completely.

My Thoughts

Lost and Found follows the story of Abel who has worked hard his whole life to be successful. He grows up in a time where people looked down on him (and others) due to him being Mexican. He puts himself through law school at night while teaching during the day in order to be successful. Once he becomes a lawyer, he learns quickly that he is not done fighting and that he will continue to have to fight for the respect and his position in his community.

Abel works hard defending criminals that are court appointed to him after he quickly learns that being Mexican puts him at a disadvantage – even in his own community. He works hard in this role – giving up countless hours and days to devote to his work and slowly he gains the respect of his community and peers. His mentor gives him just a few words of advice, and at the time Abel thinks nothing of them but he quickly learns how hard one can fall. It is when Abel is at the top of his game that he is delivered a blow that feels crippling and when he goes to recover, he makes a few more mistakes that leaves him spinning. He has to really examine himself, his life and where he is going on order to take his next steps forward.

Lost and Found is a well written novel from start to finish. I loved the buildup of the story as we learn about Abel, his journey to becoming a lawyer and how he works to build the trust in his community. He is devoted to his work, something not many people can understand nor appreciate. When all of this comes tumbling down, he is left to pick up the pieces – something we can all relate to at some point in our lives. I liked his story because all of us can relate to the self-doubts, a relationship or friendship that changes our lives and even a pivoting moment in our lives that causes us to step up and rebuild. I think we can all find pieces of ourselves in Abel’s story. You will enjoy every moment of this well thought out and written novel.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 4.5/5

About the Author

Ronald L. Ruiz is the author of a memoir and six previous novels. His novel Giuseppe Rocco (1998) received the national literary prize, 1998 Premio Aztlán Award, and his novel Life Long (2017) was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2017. His work has been compared to Richard Wright’s Native Son (Publisher’s Weekly, featured review) and his writing described as “frighteningly real” (New York Newsday). Ron was born and raised in Fresno, California, and educated at St. Mary’s College, University of California, Berkeley Law, and University of San Francisco School of Law. Ron practiced law for over 30 years in California, as a Deputy District Attorney, criminal defense attorney, and Deputy Public Defender. He was appointed to the California Agriculture Labor Relations Board by Governor Jerry Brown in 1974, and later served as the District Attorney of Santa Cruz County, California. Ron retired from criminal law and continues to write every day.

You can connect with him on his website, and Facebook.

The Giveaway!

You can enter to win a signed copy of Lost and Found here.

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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 Wilderness Spa Book Review

iRead Book Tours

The Wilderness Spa brings people from three quite different sources together to survive catastrophe in the Alaskan wilderness. 

About The Wilderness Spa

The Wilderness Spa brings people from three quite different sources together to survive catastrophe in the Alaskan wilderness. They amaze themselves in their ability to coalesce and work cohesively in the face of hunger, injury, insecurity, and possible death. With that on their minds, they explore statistics, logic, social justice, and challenges to philosophies and social norms.

After rocky starts when new members enter the group, they learn to find the best in their fellow travelers, how to help, follow, and lead when necessary. Nothing is ever easy. Without attacking each other, they dig deep to reconcile their differences.

Join the group as they make the best of what they have. Struggle along with them and reconcile your own philosophical belief systems with logic and science.

My Thoughts

Take a dive into the Alaskan wilderness where a group of individuals from different backgrounds must work together to survive.

An earthquake has hit the Alaskan wilderness and has put several different groups of individuals (with very different backgrounds, comfort levels and survival skills) on a different path of survival. Each one of the individuals has their own strengths and weaknesses, and each is vital to the survival of the group in the face of such uncertainty and wildness. Tom brings his knowledge of the land and strong survival skills, while other brings medical skills, food handling skills, leadership and hunting skills. They have been thrown together in an almost impossible situation – facing death, injury and hunger. They not only have to survive but have to learn how to trust each other as well (no easy task under such intense pressure!). Can Tom ensure that the group survives? Can he tame the personalities and encourage them to work together for the greater good?

This was an incredible tale of survival, and how individuals from different walks of life can come together to overcome obstacles. It is also an important reminder that every member is vital to the groups survival – bringing to the group different skills necessary. The novel is well written and the characters each bring with them a different approach and flavour to the novel that you can appreciate and recognize in real life (you may even be able to recognize a few of your own colleagues in this group). You do not want to put this novel down, as you follow along with their struggles and achievements in the wilderness, a great summer time read.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Books a Million and Indie Bound.

Rating: 4/5

About the Author

J​im Halverson is the author of Trials & Trails (2019) and Ponce, What Actually Happened at the Fountain of Youth (upcoming, 2021). Jim grew up in the rural, gold-mining town of Mokelumne Hill, CA and received his MBA from Golden Gate University. He spent part of his life on a ranch and is an avid student of psychology. He recognizes the struggles of all men and women seeking equality and respect. Jim and his wife, Gail, spend their time traveling from their small farm in Forestville, CA.

You can connect with him on his website.

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 Art of Time: A Mother – Daughter Sprezzatura on the Spirit of Time Spotlight

iRead Book Tours

The Art of Time offers concepts and images that introduce readers to a new—and wonderful—realm of being.

About The Art of Time: A Mother-Daughter Sprezzatura on the Spirit of Time

In The Art of Time: A Mother-Daughter Sprezzatura on the Spirit of Time, Martine Therese and her daughter, Martina Franca, invite you into a lush world where time has no limits. Consisting of paintings, meditations and poetry, The Art of Time merges maternal & youthful wisdom into a one-of-a-kind artistic showcase with a powerful message: humanity’s experience can be enhanced by developing our minds into sensual thought.

A gorgeous book to be treasured by everyone from art connoisseurs to children, The Art of Time offers concepts and images that introduce readers to a new—and wonderful—realm of being.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

Martine Therese was a practicing Certified Public Accountant when she became pregnant with her daughter, Martina Franca. She decided to leave her accounting job and focus on her daughter instead. The transition, while “brutal,” completely transformed Martine’s life, and opened up a whole new world of possibility.

For Martine, who has been writing poetry all her life, motherhood expanded her creativity, and she finally felt the courage to bring her work to the world. Martine and her daughter discovered a love for painting, and their artwork, combined with Martine’s poetry, form the basis of The Art of Time; A Mother-Daughter Sprezzatura on the Spirit of Time. The book is a token of their shared loves and talents.

Martine and Martina Franca are putting together a follow-up collection on the topic of what it means to be human, exploring the theme of building the potential of humanity. Martina Franca embraces her maternal side on a daily basis, be it with caring for her baby dolls or her puppy, Marcello. She gets a kick out of tailgating with Mom and watching people’s reactions, and playing practical jokes like hiding Daddy’s shampoo bottle, and she loves having conversations. She regularly chills out with Mom during yoga in their special “rainbow room,” a room just for the two of them to recharge. On sunny days, gorgeous rainbows fill the wall of the Rainbow Room, and Martina and Mom bask in those colors—which is why Martina loves infusing her art with rainbows.

You can connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

Giveaway!

Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card 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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