Book Review: A Night Twice As Long by Andrew Simonet @andrewSimonet @fsgbooks @XpressoTours

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Title: A Night Twice as Long
Author: Andrew Simonet
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication date: June 1, 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

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Purchase Links:

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What do you call the difference between what you should feel and what you do feel? Life?

The blackout has been going on for three weeks. But Alex feels like she’s been living in the dark for a year, ever since her brother, who has autism, was removed from the house, something Alex blames herself for. So when her best friend, Anthony, asks her to trek to another town to figure out the truth about the blackout, Alex says yes.

On a journey that ultimately takes all day and night, Alex’s relationships with Anthony, her brother, and herself will transform in ways that change them all forever.

In this honest and gripping young adult novel, Andrew Simonet spins a propulsive tale about what it means to turn on the lights and look at what’s real.

Many of us, if not most, have lived through a blackout and we know they’re no fun, for a lot of reasons, chief of which is the uncertainty of just how long it will last. In this case, the weeks-long outage has the feel of a post-apocalyptic scenario but without the tension I expect to find in such a story. That lack is detrimental to my way of thinking, creating a plot that’s a little too nebulous for me but the author has done a nice job with his characters, bringing them to life with significant issues that today’s teens face in real life.

Alex’s autistic brother, Georgie, was removed from her mother’s care a year earlier and Alex has become almost a shut-in because of how it happened. The truth is he may be in an environment that’s more suitable for his needs but her guilt interferes with her ability to see this; on the other hand, the blackout has given her a sort of new look at life and the journey she takes with Anthony opens her eyes even more.

Besides his depiction of severe autism and the effect it has on those around the disabled person, the author touches on racial animosity and parental issues and watching Alex learn to understand the world and herself is what makes this book tick.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, June 2021.

About the Author

 

Andrew Simonet is a choreographer and writer in Philadelphia. His first novel, Wilder, published in 2018. He co-directed Headlong Dance Theater for twenty years and founded Artists U, an incubator for helping artists make sustainable lives. He lives in West Philadelphia with his wife, Elizabeth, and their two sons, Jesse Tiger and Nico Wolf.

Find the author:

Website / Goodreads / Twitter

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Follow the tour here.

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Giveaway

One print copy of
A Night Twice As Long

Enter here.

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Book Blitz: Welcome to Planet Lara by Eliza Gordon @eliza_gordon & @RockstarBkTours

 

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I am so excited that WELCOME TO PLANET LARA by
Eliza Gordon is available now and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book, be
sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a signed finished copy of
WELCOME TO PLANET LARA and a couple eBooks courtesy
of Eliza and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance
to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

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Title: WELCOME TO PLANET LARA

Author: Eliza Gordon

Pub. Date: April 8, 2021

Publisher: SGA Books

Pages: 412

Formats: Paperback, eBook

 

Find it: Goodreads,
AmazonKindleB&N, iBooks,
Kobo
TBD, Bookshop.org 

 

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About the Book

“There are … stipulations on your inheritance, Ms. Clarke.”

Lara J. Clarke is used to getting her own way. Motherless at ten and raised by her oft-absent eco-warrior/philanthropist grandfather, she lives the high life afforded by her seemingly bottomless trust fund.

 

That is, until Grandfather Archibald sheds his mortal coil in a very public manner, and Lara’s privileged life is set adrift, headed for a collision course with the gorgeous, private Thalia Island off the coast of British Columbia. According to the will, Lara will step into the role of Project Administrator, wherein she has one year to fulfill her late grandfather’s dream of a self-sustaining, eco-friendly, family-centered utopia.

 

The stakes are real: fail, and lose access to the family fortune—forever.

 

Convinced Thalia Island will be an extension of the heiress lifestyle she’s long led, Lara is surprised to find her new coworkers—and neighbors—aren’t as pliable as the underlings of her former life. Even with the hunky lead engineer Finan Rowleigh showing her the ropes, Lara quickly learns just how unprepared she is to trade her Louboutins for steel-toed Timberlands.

 

When a series of calamities reveals a sinister element undermining the security of the island and her residents, Lara and Finan must reach beyond their job descriptions to protect Archibald’s precious utopia from those who would do her harm.

 

And while keeping her late grandfather’s flame alight, Lara finds her own flame burning hot for a charming, kind man who wants nothing from her but her heart.

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Praise For WELCOME TO PLANET LARA:

“Eliza Gordon delivers a unique premise, delicious romance, and
plenty of intrigue. I loved it and can’t wait for more from Planet Lara!”

 Samantha Young, NYT and USA Today bestselling author

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“Smart, hilarious, and completely unpredictable,
Welcome to Planet Lara is your next must-read. West Coast Canada
Schitt’s Creek meets grown-up Nancy Drew for a riches-to-rags
adventure filled with murder, romance, mystery, and a heroine you
love to hate–until the moment you realize you just love her.”
Suzy Krause, author of Sorry I Missed
You and Valencia & Valentine

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“I absolutely loved Welcome to Planet Lara! It made me
feel all the feels … what a crazy ride! Eliza, once again, brings
her characters to life with humour, heart and realness. I loved
every minute of it and did not want it to end! Cannot wait to find
out what Eliza has in store for Lara.”– Brandee Bublé,
children’s author (O’Shae the Octopus and Jayde the Jaybird)

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“I love it, and I CAN’T WAIT TO READ THE NEXT ONE. The
concept is amazing, and the eco-message is so timely and very
dear to my heart. [Eliza] has tackled so much, and done it with her
usual spunk and zest.”– Stephania Schwartz, author and editor


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An Excerpt from
Welcome to Planet Lara

Chapter One

DEARLY BELOVED

I don’t know why they have pickles on this table. My mom hates pickles. Hated. Past tense. I heard Rupert correct my grandfather when he mentioned my mother the other day—they were talking in Grandfather’s huge office lined with bookshelves and Louis XV Savonnerie carpets and giant windows the housekeepers complain about cleaning when they don’t know anyone’s listening, and Rupert referred to my mother in past tense. I wasn’t supposed to hear their conversation—that’s
why the outside door was closed. When it’s closed, I’m not allowed in. But I’m very good at hearing things I’m not supposed to hear because, like that kid in my class who always smells like wet dog says, I’m so scrawny, he could stuff me into his rolling backpack and throw me into the ocean and no one would ever miss me.

I’d like to think that someone would miss me. Only now that we’re speaking of my mother in past tense, I guess that’s one less person who would wonder if I’m floating out to sea, trapped in a rolling backpack covered in dog hair. Also, I’d like to think my English teacher, Mrs. Buck, would be proud of me for understanding the difference between present and past tense, even if her nylons on her beefy thighs scrape together when she walks between our desks and the sound makes me shiver.

Like I was saying, I’m scrawny, so two days ago, I snuck into my grandfather’s office and tucked myself into the antique liquor cabinet—he doesn’t drink so the cabinet is empty and the perfect place for me to hide when I don’t want his bossy housekeeper to find me because her job is to vacuum and change sheets and make Grandfather’s special food but now she keeps trying to hug me and pet my hair and her boobs squish my face and I can’t breathe, so she thinks I’m crying about my dead mom, my mom who’s only alive in the past tense now, but I’m not crying about my dead mom. I haven’t cried yet. I think that makes me the worst kid ever.

Yeah—I mean, yes, since Rupert won’t allow me to say yeah—so I was in the cabinet and I heard Rupert say we needed to refer to my mother, Cordelia Josephine Clarke, in the past tense. “It will be easier for Lara if we don’t give her hope that her mother will be returning.” Rupert—I call him Number Two, like that character in Austin Powers, a movie I wasn’t supposed to watch but did anyway because one of the housekeepers invited me to her daughter Madi’s ninth-birthday sleepover because she felt bad for me that I never get to go to sleepovers. So I went, and Madi is basically my best friend now, but the housekeeper and her husband drink a lot of wine that comes in a box and they play their country music really loud. The biggest difference from the Number Two in the movie and Rupert Bishop is that Rupert doesn’t have an eye patch and he hardly ever laughs or smiles and even if he does smile, he’s like a hundred feet tall so I can’t even see up to his unsmiling face most of the time.

“They didn’t find a body, Rupert. They found the wrecked plane, but no Cordelia. What if she made it? What if someone in that god-awful jungle has her?”

Through the slats in the square cupboard door, I saw Number Two shake his head and look down at his shiny brown loafers. One of these days, I’m going to take a black marker and color the tops of his shoes so he can’t shine them anymore. I’m also
going to cut off those stupid tassels and use them as fishing lures.

“Sir, this is the best course. Do not cancel the memorial. Plant the tree, give Lara some closure. Let her move on. She’s only ten. Still young enough to have a satisfactory life wherein her memories will fade, even in the face of this tragedy. It’s not as though she’s spent a lot of time with her mother anyway.”

My grandfather’s face hardened for a minute, that look he gives when he’s about to blow his top, his chin jutting and eyes narrowed.

“Pardon me, sir. I overstepped.” Rupert folded his hands behind his back. He’s not wrong, though. My mother hasn’t been around for a long time. She works a lot, or so she says. When she’s home, it’s all fun, fun, fun, like she’s trying to make up for the next time she leaves a note on my nightstand covered with Xs and Os and smiley faces and promises of trips to zoos and museums and amusement parks and my favorite ice cream shop when she gets home.

Rupert told me once that my mother’s first love was her airplane. And even though she named it Lara, after me, I have always known that Lara the plane was more important to my mom than Lara the human kid.

My grandfather, unlike me, has cried a lot since the men in black suits showed up a week ago and asked for a place to talk privately. Rupert’s comment has made my grandfather cry again. Maybe I will forget coloring his shoes and just drop them all—his entire collection of fancy, tasseled loafers—into the pond in the back with the koi.

Cordelia was my grandfather’s only daughter. His only child, actually.

I am his only granddaughter.

Archibald Magnus Clarke the First, and only, was almost an old man when Cordelia was born. Her mother left her behind, just like Cordelia left me behind.

I haven’t cried yet. Maybe I will later.

But there are pickles on this big stupid table, and Cordelia hated pickles. And everyone in the room—all these faces I’ve never seen before—are looking at me like they’re expecting me to burst into tears at any moment.

Instead, I pick up the plate of pickles of all varieties and whistle once with my fingers tucked into my lips like Madi taught me. Once I’m sure I’ve got the room’s undivided attention, I launch the plate overhand, anticipating the satisfaction that will come when the glass hits the de Gournay papered wall and shatters into a thousand pieces and stinky pickle juice seeps across the bamboo floor and into the fibers of the eighteenth-century Persian rug we’re not supposed to wear our shoes on.

Except at the same moment, this tall, lanky kid steps into the plate’s trajectory and the heavy crystal hits him instead with a dull crack!

Everyone in the spacious, light-filled room gasps. The kid, stunned, looks in my direction, big brown eyes wide, not quite sure what just happened. And then blood spills down the side of his head and he slumps to the floor into the pile of pickles and juice, followed by grown-ups freaking out and the big-boobed housekeeper barking orders at some other member of the house staff to get the first-aid kit and then Rupert’s bony but well-manicured hand is around my arm and he’s pulling me out of the solarium and forcing me down onto the soft, carpeted steps in the main foyer.

“What on earth possessed you to do that, young lady?”

I look up at him and am surprised when tears sting my eyeballs. I didn’t mean to hit that kid.

“My mother hates pickles. If any of you guys even knew her, you’d know she hates pickles.”

Past tense, Lara. Your mother hated pickles.

Rupert kneels, his joints cracking even though he’s not even that old.

A commotionbehind us draws our attention. Two parents huddle around the tall boy who is again on his feet. They pause just long enough for me to look at the kid, a bloody cloth pressed against the left side of his head and face.

“Sorry,” I whisper.

He nods once, and they leave.

Then I start crying, and I don’t stop for a year.

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About the Author

A native of Portland, Oregon, Eliza Gordon (a.k.a. Jennifer Sommersby) has lived up and down the West Coast of the United States. Since 2002, home has been a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia. When not lost in a writing project, Eliza is a copy editor, mom, wife, bibliophile, Superman freak, and the proud parent of two very spoiled tuxedo cats.

Eliza writes stories to help you believe in the Happily Ever After; Jennifer Sommersby writes young adult fiction. Her debut, Sleight, was published in 2018 by HarperCollins Canada, Sky Pony (US), and Prószyński i S-ka (Poland). The sequel, Scheme (called The Undoing in Canada), is out now!

Follow Eliza on social media or go to her website at http://www.elizagordon.com and sign up for her newsletter.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Eliza’s Newsletter|
Tumblr | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

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Giveaway Details: International

1 winner
will receive a signed finished copy of
WELCOME TO PLANET LARA, International.

2 winners
will receive an eBook of
WELCOME TO PLANET LARA sent by
BookFunnel, International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Review: The Ninth Session by Deborah Serani @DeborahSerani @TouchPointPress @AnAudiobookworm

 

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Title: The Ninth Session

Author: Deborah Serani

Narrator: Deborah Serani

Length: 6 hours and 52 minutes

Publisher: TouchPoint Press

Released: Apr. 16, 2021

Genre: Suspense

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An edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller that brings a unique mix of psychotherapy and sign language and Coda culture. Just when you think you have it figured out, think again!

Dr. Alicia Reese takes on a new patient. Lucas Ferro suffers with crippling anxiety, and as sessions progress, he begins to share the reasons why he’s struggling. As Ferro’s narrative becomes more menacing, Reese finds herself wedged between the cold hard frame of professional ethics and the integrity of personal truth. And, finally, when Ferro reveals his secrets, Reese learns how far she’s willing to go, willing to risk and willing to lose to do the right thing.

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Buy on AmazonBuy on Audible

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Deborah Serani is an award-winning author, writing about psychological topics in many genres. She is a psychologist in practice over 30 years and a senior professor at Adelphi University. Dr. Serani has worked as a technical advisor for the NBC television show, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – where a recurring character, Judge D. Serani, was named for her.

 

WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreads

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Way back in medieval times, I majored in psychology; although I never did anything with it, to this day, I’m still fascinated by the abnormalities of the mind and, in particular, implications in criminal justice. The Ninth Session, written by a woman who knows her topic very well, satisfied my interests as well as any crime fiction I’ve read. Luke is a formidable and dangerous man while his doctor, psychologist Alicia Reese, may or may not be truly prepared for what she learns about him from one session to the next and my nerves became ever more tense with every revelation. Like Alicia, the more I learned, the more I realized that he was capable of causing great harm to Alicia and those who were important in her life. “Creepy” doesn’t begin to cover it.

As narrator, Ms. Serani is clear but the various voices are not especially distinguishable. Her pace is a little slow and I could understand very well at 1.45 speed which didn’t make her sound like she’d been inhaling gas.

One thing I especially liked was the author’s method of interweaving sessions and supervision and personal life. It was interesting that the notes Alicia wrote out provided a fair amount of information not heard in the session, meaning I had to always pay attention. All in all, this was a compelling look at a psychopath’s mind and how others, including his doctor, are affected.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, May 2021.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Deborah Serani. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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Book Review and Spotlight on Motts Cold Case Mysteries by Dahlia Donovan @DahliaDonovan @ttpubs @SDSXXTours

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Title: Pierced Peony
Series: Motts Cold Case Mystery Book 2
Author: Dahlia Donovan
Publication: Tangled Tree Publishing, May 2021
ISBN 978-1-922359-57-5
Trade Paperback
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From the publisher—
 
On a casual walk along the Cornish Coast, Pineapple “Motts” Mottley stumbles upon a body and a perilous new murder case in the second novel in the Motts Cold Case Mystery series.
 
As spring rolls into summer, Motts settles into her cottage. She’s enjoying a daily stroll when a body in the sea destroys her peace and quiet. It brings yet another mystery for her to solve.
 
How does a woman who vanished from Polperro three years prior wind up battered by waves?
 
Motts is drawn into the investigation despite her best attempts. She finds a family in turmoil and loads of suspects. With no easy answers, she tumbles further into chaos and ever closer to danger.
 
Can Motts find the killer before she’s the one put on ice?
 
Will she survive a bone-chilling brush with death? 

I have a definite fondness for British village mysteries and this one set in Cornwall drew me like a magnet. Add to the charming setting a protagonist who’s autistic AND not one to fall into a romance at the first sight of a handsome cop and, well, what more could I possibly want?

A compelling mystery full of misdirections and clues would make Pierced Peony just about ideal but I can’t go quite that far. Motts is a paper crafter and didn’t know the dead woman, who had been missing for several years, so her reasons for snooping are even thinner than in most cozies. Pacing is a bit uneven and the tale occasionally drags just a little.

On the other hand, it’s really nice to have an autistic character in a series again—the one I enjoyed in the past is E.J. Copperman’s Asperger’s Mysteries featuring a character on the spectrum—and that does explain some of Motts’ driven behavior. I love her pets, a hairless cat and a turtle who are certainly not your usual fluffy, ultracute critter companions and Motts herself is appealing in unexpected ways; also, the people around her are supportive and caring enough to give her a true community.

All in all, this is a delightful story that happens to have a few flaws and much gentle humor and I think any cozy fan will be happy to discover this series.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, May 2021.

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Poisoned Primrose
Motts Cold Case Mystery Book 1
Author: Dahlia Donovan
Publication: Tangled Tree Publishing, July 2020
ISBN 978-1-922359-19-3
Trade Paperback
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“Wonderful mystery with a unique and special heroine!” – A Cozy Cup of Murder
 
Meet Motts and the quirky cast of characters in her world. Poisoned Primrose is a quintessential cosy British mystery and an all-round fun story to throw yourself into.
 
Autistic, asexual, and almost forty, Pineapple “Motts” Mottley flees London with her cat and turtle to a quaint cottage in Cornwall. She craves the peace of life in a small village. The dead body buried in her garden isn’t quite what she had in mind, though.
 
Unable to resist her curiosity, she falls directly into a mess of trouble and runs head-first into the attractive detective inspector, Teo Herceg. She tries to balance her business with the investigation, but as the killer focuses on her, staying alive becomes trickier than advanced origami.
 
Will Motts survive the onslaught of murderously bad luck?
 
Can she solve the mystery before it all spins out of control and off a cliff?
 
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Dahlia Donovan wrote her first romance series after a crazy dream about shifters and damsels in distress. She prefers irreverent humour and unconventional characters. An autistic and occasional hermit, her life wouldn’t be complete without her husband and her massive collection of books and video games.

Find the author:

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram
* Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads * Newsletter

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Spotlight on Silent Altitudes by Michael James Emberger @MEmbergerAuthor @prismbooktours

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On Tour with Prism Book Tours

(Affiliate links included.)

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop

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Silent Altitudes
By Michael James Emberger
Christian Sci-Fi, Cl-Fi
Paperback & ebook, 270 Pages
March 30, 2021 by Ambassador International

The world looks up to the sky in hopeful anticipation as the Pennychuck Atmospheric Carbon Reduction System comes online. Finally the chance to eliminate global warming will be obtainable.

Within moments, something goes terribly wrong. Dr. Milford Pennychuck races to find the underlying problem that caused so much destruction. Yet when an assassination attempt and system sabotage blindsides him, he has to rely on a surprising ally. Together they delve into a conspiracy deeper than they can fathom. As the system operates at progressively higher altitudes, the two scientists must find a way to shut it down…or die trying.

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An Excerpt from Silent Altitudes

Katherine walked over and looked at the terminal and then at her watch. “It’s 10:05. The reaction should occur any minute, if it works.”

“If wh-what works?” Barry said. “What just happened here?”

A phone started ringing, and Katherine answered it. “Hello? Gunshots? No, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t know—the door won’t open. What? What? You’re breaking up. What was that?”

The walls of the bunker were thick, but a staticky hissing sound was getting louder outside. Barry turned his attention back to Valentina. The gauze had soaked through, so he added more and continued putting pressure on the wound. He could feel the rise and fall of her chest and the thrum of her heart beating, but she remained unconscious.

“The phone line went dead,” Katherine said. “What is that sound? It’s getting louder.”

“I don’t know. I need help!”

Katherine went to the window. “What are they looking at?”

“Who?”

“The protesters. The media. They’re all looking at the sky and covering their ears. Why are they doing that?”

Barry didn’t know. It was all happening too fast. Why was she asking him? He glanced at Katherine for a moment. Wasn’t she going to help him? Maybe not. She was watching the crowds. He had to focus. He turned his back to Katherine and the world outside the window, and then a flash filled the room, erasing Valentina from his vision.

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About the Author

Michael James Emberger is an author of thrillers and suspense, and he resides in Wilton, New Hampshire. He enjoys weaving narratives of conspiracy and misguided intentions around divisive topics. Where there is debate, there is always room for a villain with goals far out of alignment from either side. Michael is a graduate of Messiah College, where he studied Engineering and met his wife racing solar cars cross-country. When he’s not working on home renovations or writing, he enjoys visiting the ocean and exploring the majesty of God’s creation on the summits of New Hampshire’s Mountains.

Find the author:

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Blitz Giveaway

One winner will receive a signed print copy of
Silent Altitudes and a $25 Amazon gift card (US only)

Ends May 14, 2021

ENTER HERE

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Book Review: Runaway Train by Lee Matthew Goldberg @LeeMatthewG @WiseWolfBooks @YABoundToursPR

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Book Tour! 

Runaway Train
(Runaway Train #1)
by: Lee Matthew Goldberg
Release Date: April 29, 2021
Genre: YA

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Purchase Links:
Barnes & Noble // The Book Depository // Amazon
Books-A-Million // Alibris // Indiebound

At turns heartbreaking, inspiring, and
laugh out loud funny, Runaway Train is a wild journey of a bygone era and a
portrait of a one-of-a-kind teenage girl trying to find herself again the only
way she knows how.

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Runaway Train
Runaway Train #1
Lee Matthew Goldberg
Wise Wolf Books, April 2021
ISBN 978-1953944030
Trade Paperback

From the publisher—

They told me I was an out-of-control train about to crash…

Everything changed when the police officer knocked on the door to tell me – a 16-year-old – that my older sister Kristen had died of a brain aneurysm. Cue the start of my parents neglecting me and my whole life spiraling out of control.

I decided now was the perfect time to skip town. It’s the early 90’s, Kurt Cobain runs the grunge music scene and I just experienced some serious trauma. What’s a girl supposed to do? I didn’t want to end up like Kristen, so I grabbed my bucket list, turned up my mixtape of the greatest 90’s hits and fled L.A.. The goal was to end up at Kurt Cobain’s house in Seattle, but I never could have guessed what would happen along the way.

The 90’s are not my era, not by a long shot, but I think every teen at one time or another, has wanted to take that magic road trip that lets us escape from the hard days of life. Do you remember? My low point came in the 60’s when my best friend was diagnosed with a brain tumor but, being raised during the Leave It to Beaver generation, such was not really an option for the likes of me. A girl heading out alone like that would have garnered heavy frowns at the very least. All of which is to say I kind of envy Nico and her “throw caution to the winds” attitude.

What I don’t envy is the way Nico is treated by her own parents after Kristen’s sudden death. We’ve seen it before, the parents who are obsessed with the golden child who’s gone and who seem to forget that there’s another child (or more), one who is hurting just as badly as they are. No wonder she runs.

Nico’s journey does satisfy some of her most pressing needs but it’s no joyful lark and we’re given a raw look into this girl’s mental and emotional pain, not to mention how it all can be so exacerbated by substance abuse and the latter is even more poignant considering what eventually happened to her idol, Kurt Cobain. This story is tragic and filled with grief but there’s also a sense of redemption and, although I found it difficult to read at times, It’s a worthwhile coming of age tale.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, April 2021.

About the Author

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE ANCESTOR, THE MENTOR, THE DESIRE CARD and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the Prix du Polar. His first YA series RUNAWAY TRAIN is forthcoming in 2021 along with a sci-fi novel ORANGE CITY. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in The Millions, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitReactor, Monkeybicycle, Fiction Writers Review, Cagibi, Necessary Fiction, the anthology Dirty Boulevard, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City. Follow him at LeeMatthewGoldberg.com

Website // Twitter // Facebook // Goodreads // Instagram

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Follow the tour here.

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Giveaway! 

Grand Prize: Signed paperback copy
of Runaway Train! (US only)

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Book Review: Blood of the Dragonfly by Hawk MacKinney @iReadBookTours

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Title: Blood of the Dragonfly
Series: The Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series, Book V
Author: Hawk MacKinney
Publisher: Sage Words Publishing
Publication Date: February 17, 2021

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Purchase Links:
Books-A-Million // Amazon
The Book Depository // Indiebound

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Blood of the Dragonfly
The Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series, Book V
Hawk MacKinney
Sage Words Publishing, February 2021
ISBN 978-1732918269
Trade Paperback

From the publisher—

While dangling a fishing hook from his flat bottom skiff before dawn, former SEAL-turned-PI Craige Ingram spots grey-black smoke coiling above the treetops across the river in the direction of the Georgia bayous and Corpsewood Manor. Bayou or bogs, fire in the uncut cypress and pines bodes a sense that the river is no barrier to the fire that threatens his ancestral home, Moccasin Hollow. Neither are the bodies later found in the burned mansion of Corpsewood Manor. Craige wastes no time in helping his ex-SEAL buddy Lt. Graysen MacGerald who is now Head of Buckingham Homicide Investigations by unofficially investigating the bodies and an exquisite dragonfly brooch found in the mansion with a reputation for evil, hauntings, and mystery.

The combination of a private investigator with a police detective has appealed to me for a long time and I’m always happy to find a new duo. Craige Ingram and Lt. Graysen MacGerald aren’t really new since this is the fifth series novel but they’re new to me and, going into this story, I was even more pleased to see that these two men were former SEALs. There’s something about SEALs that appeals to me, probably the thought that their extensive training and self discipline make them uniquely qualified for their chosen post-Navy careers (and I think the same can be said of their counterparts in other military branches like Rangers and Green Berets).

To my delight, Craige and Gray turned out to be just as compelling as I anticipated and it’s clear that Mr. MacKinney knows how to craft and develop strong, intelligent characters who, whatever their advantages, are also very normal; they’re people who certainly have more than a bit of baggage but have learned to cope and move on. I liked them a lot and wouldn’t mind having them on my side. Craige is the actual star of the show but I hope the sense of equal status that I got from them in this book holds true in other volumes because they’re so well-tuned and have such trust in each other.

They need those qualities as they work, in tandem and each in his own arena, to find the answers to a lot of questions in this case, a case that’s full of twists and turns that kept me guessing almost to the very end. At first, the threads are seemingly unrelated but, before long, they’re so interwoven only thoughtful instincts and intuitive detecting can bring it all together. To say I was well satisfied is putting it mildly and I’m looking forward to reading the four previous books.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, April 2021.

About the Author

Hawk MacKinney began writing mysteries for his school newspaper, served in the US Navy for over 20 years, earned two postgraduate degrees with studies in languages and history, taught postgraduate courses in the United States and Jerusalem, authored professional articles and chordate embryology texts on fetal and adult anatomy, and is well known for his works of fiction. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel, was nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award. Both his CAIRNS OF SANCTUARIE science fiction series and the MOCCASIN HOLLOW MYSTERY series have received worldwide recognition.

Connect with the Author:   Website  

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Blood of the Dragonfly

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