Friday, July 31, 2015

BLOG TOUR: The Color of Our Sky by Amita Trasi

Hi guys!
Welcome back to the Friday edition of Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.


I'm typing this up while "camped" out at our local bookstore after a rainy day off from work and a round of shopping.  Picked up some great reads at the second hand bookstore, became the proud owner of an AWESOME HARRY POTTER GRYFFINDOR CARDIGAN via Hot Topic at our local mall, and even found a cute outfit at Kohl's.  I'd call that a win...nothing like a little retail therapy to help sooth the savage beast that work created the past two days (or rather brow-beaten, sloped back worker...*sigh*).  

So, I'm sitting here in the cafe surrounded by books (freezing my tail off since they can't figure out that no one needs it to be 65 degrees inside even if it IS 100 outside), listening to the Genius Playlist on Spotify, and preparing to share my deep affection for today's featured title.  That's right.  I'm not even going to make you guess.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and to prove it to you, let's send July out on a high note.  Join me as we welcome today's Pump Up Your Book Blog Tour star and featured book of choice...


by
Amita Trasi
9780692429402
Bloomhill Books

About the book...
A sweeping, emotional journey of two childhood friends—one struggling to survive the human slave trade and the other on a mission to save her—two girls whose lives converge only to change one fateful night in 1993.

India, 1986: Mukta, a ten-year-old girl from the lower caste Yellamma cult of temple prostitutes has come of age to fulfill her destiny of becoming a temple prostitute. In an attempt to escape this legacy that binds her, Mukta is transported to a foster family in Bombay. There she discovers a friend in the high spirited eight-year-old Tara, the tomboyish daughter of the family, who helps her recover from the wounds of her past. Tara introduces Mukta to a different world—ice cream and sweets, poems and stories, and a friendship the likes of which she has never experienced before. In 1993, Mukta is kidnapped from Tara’s room. 

Eleven years later, Tara who blames herself for what happened, embarks on an emotional journey to search for the kidnapped Mukta only to uncover long buried secrets in her own family.

Moving from a remote village in India to the bustling metropolis of Bombay, to Los Angeles and back again, amidst the brutal world of human trafficking, this is a heartbreaking and beautiful portrait of an unlikely friendship—a story of love, betrayal, and redemption—which ultimately withstands the true test of time.





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This was the author's first novel?
Really?
Well, blow me down!

Though the page count isn't extraordinarily high (and smaller from ARC to finished product...curious what changed and yet I wouldn't want to lose a word of what transpired), this isn't the sort of book you can fly through. It requires, nay demands to be absorbed word for word, page by page.  You must take it in slowly, digest the information presented, seek the silver lining for some less than sunny circumstances, and feel your way through the emotional avalanche that falls at your feet.  You'll laugh, you'll cry.  You'll cringe at the treatment of others from outright ignorance, or in the name of "tradition".  Speaking of which, such atrocities committed all under the veil of that word!  Most of them couldn't even separate their "heritage" from what's right for the sake of their own families. (I'd like to tradition Mukta's grandmother right into the next century!) Mukta's Amma though, was a kind yet strong soul.  Determined to find a better way for her daughter to escape their world, yet despite that strength and determination, the world would not hear her cry...at least, not immediately or in the way you might expect.  

The story itself is told in both past and present times until the lives of our leading ladies overlap.  Does it all lead up to a happy ending?  That depends on how you look at things, but along the way we stumble, fall, and become acquainted with both characters to remember and those we'd like to forget.  In the former category, Aai, Tara's father, Sanjiv, and Amma; in the latter, Madam, Sakubai, and Salim...to name a few.  Sad to say the latter would have a larger calling card, but no one said this story was a bed of roses....but it does have a lining that would rival the brightest night sky and is told in such a way that it latches on to your heart.




It is asked in the reader's guide section if you had to choose, whom would be your favorite character...Tara or Mukta.  My knee jerk reaction was and still is to shout Mukta from the highest mountains.  The hope she carried within for herself and others that came along, despite all that she went through was beyond humbling.  I mean, most of us couldn't even begin to imagine having that kind of strength in the face of adversity and yet here she is.  Growing up without a father, surviving the passing of her Amma in the worst of circumstances, finding a place to call home only to have it ripped violently away again....I just, I mean it's beyond me how she held her memories so fondly, grasping them firmly in her hands to pull her through another day.  But, they do say hind sight is 20/20 for a reason...

I've had some time to ruminate on the story between the final page and today and also discovered that Tara was in fact in my favor as well.  For so many years, she lived a lie either created by her or for her.  She carried the guilt of her actions with her every step of each day and though she had found a way to age with it, the sudden death of her Father and the revelations that came with it, tore that wound open anew.  The fact that she created this situation in some way was beside the point.  The vigor in which she sought to rectify things with just the slightest breath of hope still alive...that's what spoke volumes. The fact that when things came down to it, she let her heart guide her, not scientific findings or the like (you'll understand that part when you read it).  That's what truly won me over with Tara.




So dear readers, you ask me if I recommend this book to you.  The short answer is a resounding YES. The long answer...is all the words I've put before your eyes prior to this sentence.  It's all the cliched words of heartwarming, moving, and the like, but it's also so very much more.  Long after you turn the final page, you'll remember the friendship and sisterhood that these two souls shared.  Though their lives walked different paths, the inevitability of them finding each other again was there in the shadows the whole time.  You just had to look to the stars for guidance.

Recommended for adult readers due to some content.  I for one will be waiting to see what we can expect next from this new talent, with a spot reserved on my wish list especially for it.



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About the author...


Amita Trasi was born and raised in Mumbai, India. She has an MBA in Human Resource Management and has worked with various International corporations for seven years. She currently lives in Houston with her husband and two cats. The Color of Our Sky is her first novel.  


SITE   |   FACEBOOK   |   TWITTER




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Special thanks to Dorothy at Pump Up Your Book for the ARC for review and the chance to bring this tour to you.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, the tour, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now via Bloomhill Books, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.

Until next time...happy reading!



Thursday, July 30, 2015

When life gives you lemons...

Hi guys and gals!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're shining the book spotlight on the second release in a soon-to-be-trio of Middle Grade books that are sure to deliver the three M's:  mystery, mishaps, and merriment!  Okay, so merriment was a bit of a stretch but it will suffice for the smile that will be on your face after turning the final page.  Without further ado, readers and readettes, make room on your wish list for today's book of choice...


by
Illustrated by
9780987372581

About the book...
Hot off cracking his first official case, Frankie Dupont is on the scene when his new teacher takes ill. The pint-sized detective suspects a classic case of sour grapes, but the evidence leads him to the one place he wouldn’t mind avoiding for the rest of his natural life. Enderby Manor has a few more secrets up her sleeve, and as Frankie begins to unravel them, he uncovers a plot stinkier than a sardine sandwich. In Book 2 of the Frankie Dupont Mysteries, Frankie will make some new friends, upset some old ones, and of course, there will be lemon meringue pie. 




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It's true!
Frankie Dupont is BACK and better than ever.  This time around he's got a NEW mystery to solve that's a little bit...tangy.  With the help of his partner Kat and his trusty sidekick Sherlock, he's determined to uncover just who wanted to take his teacher out of the picture...with a meringue pie.  Dun Dun DUNNNNN!  No, we're not talking a pie in the face situation despite the book's cover image.  We're looking at a case of who added what to the pie and why...and the answers may truly surprise you!


Along the way, Frankie must use his super sleuthing skills to uncover who is at the heart of this mystery and it's not going to be easy.  There are a lot of old faces popping up, some that are more devious than others, and a lot of doubts are being caste on those that seem above suspicion.  Add to that a few characters afflicted with matters of the heart (something Frankie isn't well versed at) and the waterworks flying about manage to cloud his judgement even further.  Will Frankie  be able to see through all the false starts to stop what's REALLY happening before it goes too far?  One would hope so, or it could spell the end of the Enderby Hotel....

I gotta say, I love Frankie's style!  He wears vintage Detective like it's nobodies business.  Aside from his wardrobe, this kid's got smarts and gut feelings that while perhaps not always leading him in the right direction, do manage to open door after door after door that can be followed to the solution.  Good thing our lads persistant, no?  It was also great seeing Kat again, this time in our own dimension, and Sherlock was a wonderful addition to their team.  I loved how he was a part of the final revelations that occurred.  Way to go Sherlock!  

In conclusion, another great addition to this growing series that while aimed at the younger crowd, can be enjoyed by all.  Definitely curious to see what happens in the next installment and if Frankie manages to overcome the achielles heel he's developed (regarding a certain someone's crush) or if it will be his downfall.  Dun dun dunnnnnn.....



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About the author...



With a background in paediatric nursing, Julie Anne Grasso spent many years literally wrapping children in cotton wool. Every day she witnessed great courage and resilience from the tiny people she cared for, which inspired her to write stories about a little girl elf just like them.

She lives in Melbourne Australia with her husband Danny and their little elf Giselle.

Escape From The Forbidden Planet is book 1 in the Adventures of Caramel Series so stay tuned for book 2, Return to Cardamom which will be released in 2013.

I would love to hear from you if you enjoyed the book so please visit my contact me button to leave me a message.


SITE   |   BLOG   |   TWITTER   |   FACEBOOK   |   PINTEREST



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Review copy courtesy of author Julie Grasso.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the series, the author, the illustrator, or anything else that might have struck your fancy during this post, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.  If you haven't checked out book one, I highly suggest you do (CLICK HERE for my review!) and stayed tuned as book three, Frankie Dupont and the Science Fair Sabotage, makes its way to store shelves next month!  *adds to wish list*

Until next time...happy reading!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

BLOG TOUR: Method 15/33 by Shannon Kirk

Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're playing host to a PICT promotion circling the blogosphere right now starring an unusual title that is sure to garner some attention.  How so?  Well you see, this isn't the usual murder/mystery type of read but one where a kidnapping is turned around on the kidnappers.  Intrigued?  You should be and to satisfy your curiosity, here comes today's book of choice...

 
cover
Method 15/33 by Shannon Kirk
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Number of Pages: 258
ISBN: 1608091457 (ISBN13: 9781608091454)
Purchase Links:
 Amazon Barnes & Noble Goodreads

Synopsis:

Imagine a helpless, pregnant 16-year-old who's just been yanked from the serenity of her home and shoved into a dirty van.


Kidnapped...
Alone...Terrified.
Now forget her...

Picture instead a pregnant, 16-year-old, manipulative prodigy. She is shoved into a dirty van and, from the first moment of her kidnapping, feels a calm desire for two things: to save her unborn child and to exact merciless revenge.

She is methodical—calculating— scientific in her plotting. A clinical sociopath? Leaving nothing to chance, secure in her timing and practice, she waits—for the perfect moment to strike. Method 15/33 is what happens when the victim is just as cold as her abductors.

The agents searching for a kidnapped girl have their own frustrations and desires wrapped into this chilling drama. In the twists of intersecting stories, one is left to ponder. Who is the victim? Who is the aggressor?




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This was definitely a unique read.
While you might initially feel sorry for the kidnapped leading lady, there is so much more going on than meets the eye.  Yes, she was kidnapped against her will.  Yes, she is a pregnant teen trying to deal with all that life is throwing her way.  No, she is not helpless.  No, she is not dependent on others to pull her out of the situation she has landed in.  She is methodical, calculating, observant, and intelligent beyond her years.  What most people would dismiss as a hopeless case, she digs at to find the silver lining...and then proceeds to pull it out and turn it into something more useful than you could have dreamed.  Though the contraption she imagines then turns into reality is fairly frightening, it is also VERY impressive (though perhaps not to the captor that it is made for...dun dun dunnnn)! 
 
With all of that said though, she is infinitesimally close to crossing the line from SCARY SMART to just plain SCARY.  It wouldn't take much...just a nudge in the right direction.  I couldn't say I'd blame her either what with everything she endures.  Just the "dynamic duo" alone would make you want to turn a blind eye to anything she had planned.  Will it happen?  I'm afraid I can't say, but trust in the fact that no matter what they do to her, or how they try to intimidate her, she'll ALWAYS have the upper hand.   You'll be amazed by her ingenuity as well as her heart.  It doesn't show often (by choice) but when it does, you are protected even at the cost of herself.
 
In the end, while not for every reader, it was an interesting read to this one.  The concept of being able to turn off ones emotions at will, to simply focus on the task at hand and calculate things until there are no loose ends.  That part?  Sounds amazing....scary, yet amazing.  *ponders* The way it is portrayed here, we get to see both sides of the story and how a twist of fate can be created by anyone's hand.  The author does a great job of getting us inside the mind of this unique character and I think many readers will fall under its spell.  Recommended for older teen readers through adults due to some content.
 
 
 
 
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Trailer:

 

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Author Bio:

authorShannon Kirk is a practicing attorney and a law professor. She attended West Virginia Wesleyan and St. John’s Universities, is a graduate of Suffolk Law School, and was a trial lawyer in Chicago prior to moving to Massachusetts. She has been honored three times by the Faulkner Society in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, a physicist, and their son. Method 15/33 is her first novel.

Catch Up:
Shannon Kirk's website Shannon Kirk's twitter Shannon Kirk's facebook


 

 

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Tour Participants:

Learn More About This Awesome New Thriller & Author At these sites!

To Sign up either complete the form below or email me at gina@partnersincrimetours.net. Thank you for your interest in this tour.
  

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours


 
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Special thanks to Gina at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for the review copy as well as the chance to bring this title to you!  (THANKS!)  For more information on the title, author, publisher, or those tours on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now via Oceanview Publishing, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.
 
Until next time...happy reading!
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Taste Testing Tuesdays

Today's teaser comes from an ebook I'm just cracking the virtual spine and is written by one of my favorite authors. No high hopes or anything... *smile*

"I  could  still  remember  how it felt  to be  a  lonely  teenager, sitting  in the  middle of  another mind-numbing  social studies class with old Mr. Tremain  droning  on and on about the  political factors contributing  to WWII... As he  jabbered,  I'd drift  off into my  favorite, most often replayed romantic  fantasy. The  one where  my  high-school crush or my  latest  movie-star heartthrob—or, ideally, both—confessed their  love for  me..."

THE ONE THAT I WANT by Marilyn Brant

Monday, July 27, 2015

BLOG TOUR: Angels, Angels, Everywhere by Michelle Beber

Hi there!
Welcome back to the Monday edition of Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
 
Today, we're kicking off the week with a visit from a tour currently rolling through the blogosphere via Pump Up Your Book.  It stars a Children's Picture Book that aims to uplift spirits, comfort the lost, and explain the heavenly beings that surround us...all from a child's perspective.  Intrigued?  Well then, I guess we better get on with the show!  Ladies and gents, children of all ages, prepare to come face to face with those winged beings of religious infamy.  Today's eBook of choice is...
 
 
 
by
Michelle Beber
Balboa Press
 
About the book....
Angels, Angels, Everywhere is a non-denominational, multiracial book written in delightful rhythm and rhyme and accompanied by charming illustrations. The themes of constant support and unconditional love are designed to help children deal with everyday experiences in life.
By developing children’s faith in knowing that they are not alone and building their trust that they are consistently watched over, cared for, and loved, children will become empowered to deal with life’s challenges. The book also lets children know that angels are there in good times as well, sharing in their joy.
 
 
AMAZON   |   B&N
 
 
 
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With picture books, it all comes down to a balance between written word and imagery.  Here, I found the feelings and ideals shared a good fit for the target audience.  They conveyed how much our angels are rooting for us in every situation as well as how their hearts break with our own.  Aside from the jubilant scenes of excitement at accomplishments achieved, my favorite scene was when the angels was providing comfort to a lonely child.  Sad but touching.  Now, over to those pictures...
 
The illustrations worked well with the messages being shared but they did leave something to be desired in the details.  I can't really explain it, it was more of a feeling.  I did however find it wonderful to glimpse angels of all shapes and sizes.  I mean really, can anyone think of a story where angels of various nationalities/races were represented with child charges as assorted as they?  Exactly.  Often times it's pale faced winged cherubs hanging around in the clouds while here, they are more accessible, easier to relate to especially for the children that are so curious to understand their existence in the first place.
 
Overall, I can definitely see little ones being caught up in this story on a rainy day or even as a nightly bedside read.  It can help answer those hard questions that curious minds want to know at their tender age like what angels are and where do they come from...with a healthy dose of reassurance for those times when they're feeling less than their bright sunny selves and need a friend of the spiritual variety. 
 
 
 
 
 
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About the author....
 
 
Michelle Beber has certifications as an Angel Intuitive and Angel Oracle Card Reader from renowned "angel lady," Doreen Virtue, as well as certifications as a Spiritual Teacher and Archangel Life Coach from Doreen's son, Charles Virtue.
In 2008, Michelle's life changed when she attended a spiritual retreat and learned about angels and how they communicate through repetitive number sequences known as "angel numbers." Little did she know that this insight would lead her on an amazing spiritual journey that would directly connect her with angels and result in the discovery of her life purpose.
Always grateful for the spiritual guidance she has received, Michelle looks forward to sharing the knowledge she has gained to inspire others, especially children. Michelle is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
Her latest book is the juvenile fiction/children’s picture book, Angels, Angels, Everywhere.
 
SITE   |   FACEBOOK   |   TWITTER   |   BLOG
 
 
 
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Special thanks to Dorothy at Pump Up Your Book for the eBook for review as well as the chance to participate in this tour.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the tour, the author, or those promotions on the horizon, feel free to click through the links included above.  This book is available now via Balboa Press, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.
 
Until next time...happy reading!
 
 


Sunday, July 26, 2015

And on the Seventh Day...Ads for God by Tony Vanderwarker

Hi guys!
Welcome back to the Sunday edition of Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
 
What's that?  What's so different about the Sunday edition?  Ah, well you see usually I go with a quick cartoon or funny picture to brighten your day, but not this week.  This week, we're talking about the big G-O-D and the other deities are even making a cameo.  Wonderful, isn't it?  Hmm, interesting is more the word I would have chosen, but before we split hairs let's properly introduce the title on the menu.  Today's book of choice is...
 
 
 
by
Tony Vanderwarker
9781942882008
 
About the book...
 Dinsmore “Dinny” Rein is 55, divorced and demoted, since he’s been freezing up in meetings at his Chicago ad agency. At the company, run by the loathsome Steve Sinkle and sexy creative director Ester, Dinny is derisively referred to as “Noodles” because one of his two remaining clients is a pasta company.

          Exhausted and irritated, Dinny agrees to meet the baritone who keeps calling him on his cellphone. The old man says he’s God and he needs to get people back to church. He wants Dinny to do an ad campaign. Dinny is skeptical at first, but he then learns that $10 million has shown up in the agency’s bank account.

          The drama heats up as Sinkle and Ester work behind Dinny’s back to create an alternate campaign and win God’s favor. Worse still, God proves to be less than all-powerful, with a slippery hold on the human forms he inhabits, and campaign monies provided through questionable means

 
 
AMAZON   |   INDIE
 
 
 
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**Please note, no offense is meant to anyone's beliefs by anything said below.  It is merely a review of a Fiction novel sub categorized as Humor/Satire**
 
Now you see why I chose today as the day that I featured this title?
Yep, it's all about the big man upstairs...
...coming downstairs, taking up residence in several odd, interesting, and unusual characters (including a dog!) in order to gain Dinny's assistance in upping his popularity among the masses (both of this world and beyond...more on the latter, you'll have to discover on your own).  What better way to do it than through advertising?  Am I right?  Huh, am I?
*-*
 
Does it provide for humorous situations?
Certainly!  Everything from Dinny rediscovering the power of one (as in himself...yeah, double doors required for HIS entry into a room) to running from a less than on the up-and-up group of "moneymakers" that have been swindled out of millions of dollars...all thanks to Him...leading eventually to a campaign that would have most of us wondering WTH?!  (I can't explain as it would spoil the surprise, but trust me...the moment is worth it and will have you loathing a particular character more than you already do.)
 
Does it provide for a unique story?
Again with the virtual nodding in agreement.  I can't say that I've ever read a book quite like this one. My favorite parts included Dinny's initial meeting with Him (think old guy in Bermuda shorts and sandals in the winter), his lady love's freak out moments when He would speak through Dinny (apparently it was right up there with a bad ventriloquist act), and the ending (no...not because it was the end) with its little twist.  You know the old joke (or maybe you've seen it somewhere) with the Avon lady going door to door (not in my time either, but I've heard it mentioned)?  How about... Hello....God calling!
 
 
 
 
Drawing things to a conclusion, though not a high rating on my own list of reads, it did have its moments and was certainly memorable.  To me, the writing flowed well, and the plot was creative, but the story dragged its feet.  There were multiple parts that could have been cut and you still wouldn't have missed a thing.  Does that mean that I recommend it any less to you?  No....just go in with your eyes and your mind wide open.  There's definitely no room for hardcore "Bible thumpers" here....unless you have a HEALTHY sense of humor (and are an adult reader...due to topics discussed and limited content).
 
 
 
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About the author...
 
 
        Tony [Vanderwarker] was a creative director at ad agencies in Chicago and New York before starting his own firm which he grew into one of Chicago’s largest before leaving the business and moving to Virginia to fulfill a dream of writing novels.

          His first novel, Sleeping Dogs, was published in 2014 along with a non-fiction book, Writing With The Master, about crafting the novel with his friend and mentor, John Grisham.

          Later in 2015, Tony will be publishing a second comic novel, Say Something Funny and he has two other novels and a non-fiction book in the works. “I resist being pigeonholed as a writer,” Tony explains, “I enjoy crafting thrillers, have a blast doing comedy and revel in the honesty of writing memoirs.”

        Another of Tony’s passions is rural preservation, smart growth and the local food movement. Living on a farm outside of Charlottesville with his wife, four dogs, four horses and a Sicilian donkey named Jethro, he says “Piedmont Virginia is so gorgeous, it has to be kept that way for ourselves and future generations.
         
SITE   |   FACEBOOK
 
 
 
 
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Special thanks to Penny at Author Marketing Experts, Inc. for the review copy as well as the chance to bring this book to all of you.  (THANSK!)  For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, or those promotions on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now via Cedar Creek Publishing, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.
 
Until next time...happy reading!
 
 
 


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Playful Pigs From A to Z by Anita Lobel

Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're jumping aboard the edutainment train with a title that's part Picture Book, part ABC Primer, adding up to a whole lot of enjoyment for readers of all ages.  So, if you're ready, join me in the sunny meadows of imagination as we discover today's book of choice...



by
Anita Lobel
9780553508321
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

This is a journey through your ABC's like none you've taken before.  With an earthy, rich color palette and soft, gentle illustrations, your eyes will be delighted with every turn of the page.  Right from the start of the text, we discover that these 26 piglets are not only here for educational purposes, but are ready for an adventure.  Boy do they deliver!  From Amanda in her adorable outfit Admiring an "A' to wonderful Wanda watering her "W", there is fun to be had from A to Z...and a few surprises too!  (Hint:  Look at the bottom corners in each frame.  There's something added that starts with the same letter as featured on each page!)

So whether you're interested in harnessing the learning power it possesses or simply an adorable venture through the alphabet with some porcine friends to lead the way, this is definitely a Picture Book/Primer that should be on your wish list...or even perhaps on your wall.  How so?  Right back to those illustrations.  I could easily see with no stretch of the imagination these pages becoming framed images in a child's nursery, classroom, or library.  Just a thought.



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About the author...

Author self portrait

Anita Lobel is well known and well loved by picture-book fans young and old, most recently for Taking Care of Mama Rabbit, 10 Hungry Rabbits, and Lena’s Sleep Sheep. She received a Caldecott Honor for her illustrations in On Market Street, and her memoir, No Pretty Pictures: A Child of War, was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Ms. Lobel lives in New York City. She enjoyed revisiting the alphabet and painting an ABC parade of pigs in costumes for this book. You can visit her gallery of animals and other paintings, as well as see a complete list of her books, at anita-lobel.com.



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Special thanks to Cassie at Random House Children's Books for the review copy and chance to bring this title to you.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, or their growing catalog, be sure to click through the links provided above.  This title just reached publication July 14th, 2015 via Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children's Books, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.

Until next time...happy reading!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday Fun Break

Taking the day off the blog guys but couldn't resist this calendar page share.
Have a great weekend and happy reading!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

BLOG TOUR: Thrill Me by Susan Mallery - Book Excerpt + GIVEAWAY!

Hi guys and gals!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're joining a Blog Tour already in progress starring none other than the latest addition to the Fools Gold series from Susan Mallery, Thrill Me.  It's a two part tour (of which I shall be participating in both...hehehe) celebration with the first half featuring excerpts of the book that when read post by post add up to a pretty good start on the novel.  So, if you're ready to travel back to the fabulosity that is this Contemporary Romance series, glue your eyes to the screen as we present excerpt number 12....



BOOK EXCERPT #12
Thrill Me by Susan Mallery
 
The Nicholson Ranch had been in the Nicholson family for something impossible like five generations. Maya wasn’t sure of the exact number. What she knew for sure was how impressed she’d been when she’d first seen it twelve years ago. She’d been a scared sixteen-year-old who’d only ever lived in Las Vegas. Going from barren desert that grew neon rather than actual trees to the ranch had been like something out of a PBS miniseries.

The two-story house had seemed impossibly huge. There had been acres of grass and trees, horses and cattle, along with cashmere goats.

Her mother had hit the jackpot when she’d met Rick Nicholson. They’d dated for two weeks, then had married in a drive-through church. Less than a month later, Maya and her mother were leaving everything behind and moving to California. Maya hadn’t known what to expect, but every hope and dream had been fulfilled when she’d first seen the ranch.

It didn’t matter that Rick wasn’t especially friendly. Being ignored by her mother’s new husband was far preferable to the attention from some of the woman’s previous boyfriends. She’d had her own room, with a bathroom! Three meals a day and two stepbrothers. While the older brother, Zane, had glared at her with contempt, little Chase had been adorable.
Even more incredible, had been the town. 

Fool’s Gold had been clean, friendly and welcoming. She’d made friends, she’d had teachers who not only knew her name but cared about how she was doing. For the first time in her life, Maya had allowed herself to hope she could have a future. She’d dared to whisper the possibility of going to college.

Now she drove onto the ranch property and headed for the main house. After her mother and Rick had divorced, Maya had stayed in touch with both Zane and Chase. While her relationship with Zane had been more adversarial than familial, she hadn’t given up on him. The previous month, they’d reconciled, helped by Zane falling totally and completely in love with Maya’s best friend, Phoebe.

Maya parked and grabbed her oversize bag before heading toward the house. She knocked once on the front door, then stepped inside.

“It’s me,” she called.

Phoebe, a petite, curvy brunette, stepped out of the kitchen and smiled. “Yay. I love it being you.”

They hugged, then walked into the kitchen, where Phoebe poured them glasses of iced tea.

Maya sat at the old, battered table and watched her friend collect a salad from the refrigerator, along with tiny sandwiches.

“You didn’t have to feed me,” Maya said, knowing Phoebe couldn’t help herself. She was born to take care of the world.

“I thought you might be hungry.”
Phoebe set the food on the table, then collected napkins and flatware.

She moved easily—as if she’d always lived in the old house. Even better, Phoebe looked content. Happiness radiated out of her brown eyes. She was relaxed. Every now and then, she glanced at the diamond ring sparkling on her left ring finger. The beautiful solitaire would soon be joined by a wedding band.

Phoebe sat across from her and grinned. “The ranch closed. I got my commission check.”

It took Maya a second to make the transition.

Recently, Phoebe had sold a nearby ranch to action movie superstar Jonny Blaze. It had been Phoebe’s last real estate deal before moving in with Zane and probably the only one where she’d made any money. Until the unexpected deal with Jonny Blaze, Phoebe had specialized in starter homes—a challenge in the expensive LA real estate market.

“You’re rich,” Maya teased gently.

“I am for me.” Phoebe sounded thrilled. “I have no idea what to do with the money. Zane told me to keep it in a separate account. That I earned it before the wedding, so it’s mine rather than ours.”

Because Zane would always take care of her, Maya thought, still amazed at how falling in love had mellowed her usually tight-ass brother.

“Are you going to listen to him?” Maya asked.

Phoebe nibbled on her bottom lip. “I think it should be ours.”

“Zane has the ranch. Keep the money. You’ll feel better having a nest egg.”

“Maybe.”

“You’re going to buy him something, aren’t you?”

Phoebe laughed. “I haven’t decided. So what’s going on with you?”

Maya told her about the videos planned for the town. “I’ll be working with Del.”

Phoebe’s brown eyes widened. “Del, the guy you knew after high school? The one who wanted to marry you?”

Maya shifted on her seat. If only it was that simple. “He’s the one,” she said, hoping her tone sounded light rather than guilty.

“What’s that like?”

“I don’t know. I thought it would be awkward, but he seems fine with us handling the project together.”

“How do you feel?”

“Confused.” Maya pulled the tablet out of her bag. “I told you that Del and I fell crazy in love that summer.”

“Uh-huh. It was after high school, right?”
Phoebe knew enough about her past that Maya didn’t have to explain about her mother or how difficult times had been before the move to Fool’s Gold.

“I loved him,” Maya said, feeling the guilt forming a knot in her stomach. “But I was so scared. Scared of what getting married would mean. Scared of getting stuck.”

“Scared you’d turn into your mom.”

Maya nodded. “I always knew that there wasn’t going to be a white knight on a horse riding in to rescue me. I knew I’d have to rescue myself. But with Del, I started to believe.”

“Loving him wasn’t enough,” Phoebe said quietly.

“It wasn’t. The closer we got to the date when we were going to run off, the more I started to freak. I finally had an opportunity to break free. To make something of myself. Was I really going to give that up for a guy?”

Phoebe leaned toward her. “Did you ask him about that? About going to college with you or finding some kind of compromise? Did you tell him you were scared?”

“No.” Maya swallowed. “I dumped him. I told him he was boring and this town was boring and that I didn’t want anything to do with him. Then I left.”

The truth was, she’d run. Away from Del, away from Fool’s Gold. Part of her wondered if she was still running. Fear was a powerful motivator.

“Ouch. You never talked to him again?” Phoebe asked.

“Not until a few days ago, when he walked into Mayor Marsha’s office.”

“How was he?”

“Fine. Friendly. Charming. He didn’t say a word.”

“How do you feel?”

“Guilty,” Maya admitted. “Like I have to apologize. But the timing is tricky. We’re working together. I don’t want it to be weird, but I owe him an apology and an explanation. Even if he has completely moved on, I need to do it for myself.”

“Then you have a plan.”

“I do. I also need you to look at a video I did. It’s a story about him. I have no idea how Mayor Marsha ever saw it, but she did and mentioned it to Del. So I’m going to have to show it to him. Can you watch it and tell me if it’s okay?”

What she really meant was, were there signs of unrequited love or anything else remotely humiliating? But she wouldn’t have to say that to Phoebe. Her friend would understand what she meant.

“I love watching your work,” Phoebe told her. “Let’s see what brilliance you’ve created.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Special thanks to Lisa at TLC Book Tours for the chance to participate in this promotion.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this leg of the tour (as well as the chance to read all the excerpts!), the title, author, publisher, or future bookish fun on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is set to release July 28th, 2015 via Harlequin Books, so add it to your wish list now or pre-order it at your favorite brick-and-mortar or online store.

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Be sure to stay tuned for the REVIEW portion of the tour kicking off July 27th and if you happen to be in the Chicago area, at the end of July there will be a 2-day reader retreat called the Susan Mallery Fool’s Gold Getaway. It’s going to be a fantastic event and ticket sales have been brisk – but there are still some remaining!  For more details or to find out how to get yours, CLICK HERE!



 BUT WAIT!
 One more thing before you go.
You see this little picture?


THAT is what YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN!
It's a fun little Fool's Gold prize pack which includes...


...a AUTOGRAPHED copy of UNTIL WE TOUCH
(an earlier book in Susan Mallery's Fool’s Gold Series)
...Susan Mallery lip gloss (to make your lips “Kiss Me” kissable)
...a map of Fool’s Gold
...a heart shaped Susan Mallery notepad and matching pen


 ...and all you have to do to win is fill out the Rafflecopter below.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Until next time...happy reading!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Romance Goes Vintage: Catching Dorothy by Lady Courths Mahler

 Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
 
Today I'm catering to my fellow female readers out there with a review of a Vintage Romance via JKS CommunicationsWhat's that...you ask?  Why it's a romantic tale from yesteryear (think late 1800's to the early 1900's) brought back to the forefront for your reading pleasure...and what's more it's been translated from its original German so the chances of you having read it before are slim to none.  Don't believe me?  Well then, I see the challenge has been laid before me.  Not to worry, both I and the book are up to the task.  Without further ado, today's eBook of choice is...
  
 
 
 The Lady Courths Mahler Series
by
Lady Courths Mahler 
9783732505760
Bastei Entertainment
 
About the book...
Albert Groner wants two things from life: To see his lovely, unbridled daughter Dorothy happily married, and to secure the future of his aircraft company. What could be better than to see her matched with dashing Jim Boker, heir to another aircraft empire? When comical subterfuge thrusts Dorothy into Jim’s life, the result is much more than a marriage of convenience—but the discovery of two souls who were made for each other.
 
 
 
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 Alright so let's cut right to the chase.
My reaction to the cover...

 
Yeah.  That cover is NOT something it has going for it, in my personal opinion.  I can honestly say, if I'd seen it on the shelf (virtual or non), I would have left it alone.  Yep.  Sad but true.  Now, the reason that would have been sad brings me to my second point.  My reaction to the story itself...


 
 
...was fantastic!
Really and truly, despite the fact that I wanted to smack Mr. Boker upside the head several dozen times, the tale stands strong on its on virtual merit.  Dorothy is a headstrong, slightly bratty, leading lady that is use to getting her way...and when she doesn't, she's been known to resort to stomping her foot and pouting.  Yeah...quite the grown up, right?  *chuckles*  Even though that painted her in a less than endearing light, she is rather delightful and I admired the fact that she was willing to stand up to whomever or whatever dared to stand in her way.  In this case, let's discuss one Mr. Boker, or Mr. White as he presents himself to Ms. Dorothy (don't worry, I didn't spoil a thing...it's all right there in the first few pages). 

This is a chap that certainly knows what he wants and feels entitled to obtain it, including the bride he fancies even though she has vehemently denied any interest in him (without having met him, the key to her own downfall you might say).  Now before you go stoning him entirely, because there are other reasons to grab the nearest rock and connect it with his pretty little head, there is a method to his madness.  He wants her for his own but she must feel the same about him and be able to concede on a few points now and again to make the match heavenly.  In other words, he wants to break her will to some degree so she's not so stubborn all the time (talk about the pot calling the kettle!).  I'm not saying I condone his actions, though they did provide much entertainment along the way, but I get where he was going with things...and don't worry, she had some surprises in store for him along the way as well.
  
 In conclusion, a surprisingly fun read perfect for a summer afternoon.  There's just enough romance to warm the heart with plenty of antics for you to get your exercise in...you know, from laughing!  All in all, the perfect match for Romance and Chick-lit fans of all ages.


Oh and if you're wondering why I chose cats for today's pics...I just felt like it.  Plus, they conveyed by feelings to a "T". ^-^
 
 
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About the author...
 

The author's story could have come from one of her novels:
Born on February 18, 1867, Hedwig Courths Mahler was the product of an out-of-wedlock affair, raised by various foster parents. She wrote her first seventeen books while working as a saleswoman,
and soon became a highly circulated author with her Courths Mahler romance novels. In 1939, the
Nazis refused to publish her work and the Gestapo arrested her daughter. Courths Mahler never
wrote again. She died on November 26, 1950 without witnessing the Renaissance of her novels.
Thanks to Bastei Entertainment, her gorgeous romances are being resurrected for a new generation.
 
 
 
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Special thanks to Angelle at JKS Communications for the eBook for review.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the publisher, or those promotions on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now via Bastei Entertainment, so be on the lookout for it on a virtual shelf of your choosing.
 
Until next time...happy reading!

 

Are you an avid reader looking for your next "fix"? Can't bear to be without some form of reading material in your spare time? Welcome to my world! Whether you are seeking a new book to "feed your need", or you are an author seeking an unbiased point of view on your own recent masterpiece, this is the place to be. With life as with books, you never know where the next step might take you...
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