Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Book Blitz: A New Planet by Todd M. Thiede


A New Planet
By Todd M. Thiede
Genre: Science Fiction

As World Leaders Xiao, Rothchild, and Fisk work with and against one another, their government and way of life fall apart. One misstep creates a ripple effect that leads to the demise of the planet.

Tal Fisk and Jae Xiao, star-crossed lovers, meet as the stars have ordained. Fate and power work to keep them apart while they defy their parents. As the fragile ecosystem of Hongsu falls apart, the authority that comes as the children of World Leaders with very different views weighs heavily upon them.

Bastien works to end the unequal class system that keeps the poor down and helps the rich get richer. With the unwitting help of rich connections, Bastien’s part in an elaborate plan to scare the Council into action has disastrous consequences.

As they try to save their civilization they can’t help but wonder…Is it technology, greed, or human nature that causes the world to collapse?

About the Author

When you think of an Amazon bestselling author you probably won’t think of Todd M. Thiede. He’s been a finance manager at a car dealership in Illinois for over 15 years. He’s a father of 4 and now a grandfather of 3. When he’s not working or spending time with his family, he’s writing books. His Max Larkin Detective series has been on Amazon’s Bestsellers list for multiple books in the series. He’s also written Political Thrillers under the pseudonym T.T. Michael, and those books have won multiple awards from Readers’ Favorite and Book Excellence Awards. 


Todd M. Thiede is now diving into the Sci-Fi world with his new book “A New Planet”.

toddthiede.com



Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Book Review: Facebook Dating: from 1st Date to Soulmate


Facebook Dating: from 1st Date to Soulmate
By Dr. Paulette Sherman
Genre: Relationships, Mind/Body/Spirit

About the Book
Dr. Sherman says, “Facebook Dating’s mission dovetails with mine, to help singles date mindfully, with consideration. Singles can then attract their best match joyfully, peacefully and authentically, creating a heart-centered relationship. Facebook Dating enables singles to mine for meaningful matches based on common points of interest, shared groups, events and mutual friends.  It’s an intentional community that moves daters beyond swiping for hookups to forging sustainable relationships, encouraging meaningful conduct in an already safe space to connect with family and friends on a daily basis across the lifespan.  Facebook will use its extensive personal data to create meaningful matches.  They’ve put tools in place to help users eliminate common annoyances.  They have a pause button to avoid dating burnout, conversation starters, ways to avoid harassment and online strategies to deal with an ex. Singles can date mutual friends and singles at shared events and groups of interest. “
This book helps singles navigate dating stages & issues, while learning about themselves.  Paulette teaches that once singles are calm, positive, present, self-reflective and non-judgmental the ups and downs of dating won’t deter them.  They become aware of underlying factors that influence their choices and observe their feelings to see if they want to shift them.  They reflect on their self-esteem, boundaries, honesty, relationship patterns and standards.  Mindfulness makes dating painless, because all suffering comes from attachment to an outcome.  When you accept the present moment you enjoy planned and unplanned outcomes. Sherman created over 20 mindfulness practices around dating issues like anxiety, trust, rejection, breakups, fear of judgment, jealousy, dating multiple people, self-love, a fear of commitment, the need to please, dealing with bad dates, knowing when to get physical, when to become exclusive, when to move-in, get engaged and more.  This practice helps singles use consideration over impulse & Facebook Dating puts singles together to jumpstart this adventure.
My Review

Facebook Dating is exactly what you think it’s about. Facebook Dating! It’s filled with tips and tricks, as well as positive dating mantras. The dating guide discusses everything from how to best set up your dating profile to being emotionally ready for a relationship.


I found the book very well-written and thoughtfully planned out. Each chapter was carefully organized with pointers. The author did a good job of guiding you through the book and had a realistic view of online dating. She discussed healthy and unhealthy relationships, as well as how to preserve your privacy if your match seems off.

I would recommend this guide for anyone needing tips or tricks to online dating or wanting to explore Facebook’s dating options. I appreciate also that the author discusses safety options. Also, mentioning consent in one chapter which is a very important point when dating. 


About the Author 

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a licensed psychologist, Relationship expert, dating coach and author of, Dating from the Inside Out, published by Atria Books and 21 others.  Her books are published in 6 languages & won 14 awards. She has a private psychotherapy practice in Manhattan and does international phone coaching on relationships.  Sherman has twenty years of experience as a psychotherapist, was an adjunct professor at two universities and pens a monthly Relationship column at Eligible Magazine. An expert on television including Channel 11, Fox 5, the CBS Early Show & the AM Northwest Early Show and a radio guest on the Curtis Sliwa show, NPR’s Cityscape, Unity Radio’s ‘The Soul-Directed Life, Pathways and others, her advice has been quoted in MSN.com, USA Weekend, NY Post, Newsweek, Lifetime.com, More, Match.com, Vogue, Teen Vogue, Foxnews.com, NY Daily News, Fox Business, Crains, Better Homes & Gardens, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Forbes, Woman’s Day, Metro newspapers, P&G Everyday, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Muscle and Fitness, Marie Claire, Allure, Seventeen, Men’s Fitness, Bustle, Woman’s Day, Web MD, Everyday Health, Elle, Psychology Today, Complete Woman magazine, Aaptiv, Well & Good, Fast Company, The Knot, WeddingWire, Best Life, Guideposts, Refinery29, JDate, Spirituality and Health, Mind Body Green, Om Times, Spirit and Destiny, Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides, Business Insider, New York Magazine, Redbook, Reader’s Digest, The London Times, Oprah Magazine, the Huffington Post and the NY Times.  Dr. Sherman lives in NY with her husband of 12 years and their two children. Visit her website at www.DrPauletteSherman.com

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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Book Review: Decanted Truths by Melanie Forde

Decanted Truths
By Melanie Forde
Genre: literary, historical, family saga, women's

For Irish immigrant families like the Harrigans and Gavagans, struggle has been the name of the game since they arrived in Boston in the nineteenth century. For twice-orphaned Leah Gavagan, who comes of age in the Depression, the struggle is compounded by bizarre visions that disrupt her daily life -- and sometimes come true. She has difficulty fitting in with her surroundings: whether the lace-curtain Dorchester apartment overseen by her judgmental Aunt Margaret or the wild Manomet bluff shared with her no-nonsense Aunt Theo and brain-damaged Uncle Liam. A death in the family disrupts the tepid life path chosen for Leah and sets her on a journey of discovery. That journey goes back to the misadventures shaping the earlier generation, eager to prove its hard-won American credentials in the Alaskan gold rush, the Spanish-American War, and The Great War. She learns of the secrets that have bound Theo and Margaret together. Ultimately, Leah learns she is not who she thought she was. Her new truth both blinds and dazzles her, much like the Waterford decanter at the center of her oldest dreams -- an artifact linking three Irish-American families stumbling after the American Dream.

My Review

Decanted Truths tells a story about an Irish-American, Leah Gavagan, who struggles to find herself in the Great Depression and Prohibition Era. During the novel, Leah deals with her “sight,” something that connects her to her family's elders. Many truths come out as family members pass, and secrets are revealed.


The author did a wonderful job with character development. I can definitely tell that she put her whole heart into creating each character detail and making sure each person had a purpose. Decanted Truths is a very well written historical novel, as you get deeper into the story, you understand what each person is experiencing in this time period, and Leah connecting with her roots. Leah is at the beginning of her journey of adulthood. I could see the struggle of her trying to grow into her adult role, yet her childhood kept her from just barely reaching that. 

Decanted Truths is perfect for anyone who wants to get invested in a novel full of secrets set in early Boston. I think this is a wonderful book to dive into and get sucked in!

About the Author

Raised in a Boston Irish family, Melanie Forde knew her life was infinitely easier than that of her ancestors, refugees from the Potato Famine. The storytelling skills of her elders kept ancestral triumphs and tragedies alive, so that the Potato Famine and the Easter Rebellion felt as real as the Cold War. Inheriting the storyteller gene, Ms. Forde is the author of three earlier novels, her Hillwilla trilogy. She now lives far from her roots, on a West Virginia farm. She still maintains a potato patch—just in case.

Decanted Truth's Amazon page:  https://amzn.to/2JjXbtu



Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Book Review: Sisters of Element by O. Salazar de Breaux


Sisters of Element: Book One of the Luna Family Chronicles
By O. Salazar de Breaux
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Fiction

Sisters of Element is the first book in a series about the Luna sisters, four Mexican American young women living in present day Percival Falls, Washington. Lina, Val, Zo, and Rory Luna have special abilities based on the elements: water, fire, air, and earth. Having lost their parents at an early age, the sisters have an unbreakable bond. When faced with a dark force that threatens their very existence, they don’t hesitate to fiercely protect each other — even if it means the ultimate sacrifice. 
Lina has it all — her soulmate Gabriel, her dream job, and a close-knit relationship with her three younger sisters. But meeting her sister Val’s new boyfriend triggers a series of nightmares leaving Lina frightened that something terrible is about to happen to her sister. Little does she know, she and her family are in even more danger than they could have imagined. 
Readers will go on a magical and mysterious journey with the Luna sisters. The characters will share their inner strength, their sacrifice, their resilience, and the power of sisterhood. At its heart, Sisters of Element is a story about unconditional love and how with it, you can overcome even the greatest obstacles.
My Review

Sisters of the Element is a book about four sisters with extraordinary gifts, all revolving around fire, water, earth, and air. They battle with childhood trauma that transforms them into independent women who conquer their gifts. The book follows eldest, Lina, who talks about her experience being the eldest and stepping up for her younger sisters during the obstacles they faced growing up.


I thought Lina was a brilliant lead and helped balance the strong personalities of her sisters. The sisters Val, Lina, Zo, and Rory, have distinct aesthetics and character traits. I wish I had more time to get to know each individual better in the book. I especially had a soft spot for Rory, who I thought was just the cutest, and I loved how the author described her connection with her gift, which is earth. I can see how each sister can be a bit stereotypical when there are other young adult books that do follow the same narrative of sisters having gifts that deal with the four elements. 

Sisters of the Element is incredibly detailed. I favored the thoughtful and heartwarming background about Mama Joyce, who was an actual hoot.
A critique I would say to the author is that I would have left out the prologue. As a reader, I feel like it spoils the experience of getting to know or favor the sisters when I get a glimpse of what is to come. The book would not be affected by the removal of it, and I think it would bring a bigger plot twist to the story. Overall, Sisters of the Element is a young adult book I believe many will enjoy. I am excited to see the future for these women.


About the Author 


O. Salazar de Breaux grew up in Olympia, Washington with five younger sisters. An entrepreneur and community leader with a long career in public service, Salazar de Breaux is also an incurable creative who’s inspired by her Mexican- American heritage. Her work incorporates her love of family, food, music, and culture. 

She stayed in Olympia to study, earning a B.A. in English from The Evergreen State College, and still lives there with her husband – her sweetheart of more than 20 years – and their two sons, whom she considers her greatest achievements. 
Sisters of Element is her debut novel.




Friday, September 13, 2019

Adventurous Ali Book Blitz


Adventurous Ali: Temple of the Monkey God
By Tyler H. Jolley
Genre: Middle Grade, Adventure, Friendship

After Alison Liv Isner is sucked into an old globe that sat on her father’s desk, she wakes beside a campfire in a lush jungle, surrounded by five talking animals. She quickly realizes these are the same friends her mom wrote about in her expedition journal. Now, at only eleven-years-old, she has the opportunity to complete her deceased mother’s unfinished expedition in the Temple of the Monkey God.  

With her new found friends, a monkey, a fat rat, a bat, a burro with a piranha in a mason jar tied around his neck, Ali decides to face the treacherous booby traps inside of the temple and save the monkey idol from an evil group called The Geese. 

As she learns more about her deceased mom through her adventure journal, Ali and her friends realize the book is the key to lead them through the tunnels of the dreaded Temple of the Monkey God. If not, their lives are at stake and Ali will be trapped in the expedition realm forever. 

About the Author

Tyler H. Jolley is five-foot sixteen inches. By day he is an orthodontist, and by night he is a sci-fi/fantasy author. He carries a curse with him each day, too many fun book ideas and too little time to write them. There isn't a place or time that ideas don't slam into the creative squishy part of his brain. Fun facts: he hasn't puked since 1996, he loves pencils and mountain biking. Writing and riding are a big part of his life.

His debut novel, EXTRACTED came out in 2013 with Spencer Hill Press, and has been a Spencer Hill Press Best Seller, as well as an Amazon Best Seller. PRODIGAL and RIVEN, the second and third books in The Lost Imperials series were released in May of 2015.

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Excerpt:

“Here we go.” Ali stepped into the dark opening. Cool, damp air tickled her nose. It reminded her of the inside of a trunk her dad had accidently left in the rain. The next week when they’d opened it, the moldy smell was pungent. 
Just a few feet in, light from the entrance cast itself at an angle on the opposite wall.
Everyone had sidled up next to Ali.
“What are you thinking, human?” Figgy asked.
Ali shrugged.
Chicaletta rummaged through the pack on Figgy’s rump and produced a metal-handled flashlight. Ali tripped just as Chicaletta flicked on the light.
Ali looked down at what she’d fallen over. A skeleton with rotted clothes. She screamed.
Suddenly, a huge, square stone as wide as her father was tall and at least two times her height crashed from the ceiling and blocked the entrance.
Trapped.
Glenda’s high-pitched scream nearly deafened Alison Liv Isner.
Chicaletta whipped around and pointed the flashlight at the stone blocking the door. Ali tried to speak but couldn’t find her voice. Adrenaline surged through her veins. The stone wasn’t just blocking the door, but it was also a weapon. Spikes of varying lengths jutted out at them from the rock.
Ali shook her hands, trying to calm her nerves. “What now?”
“We’re trapped,” Tristan said. “We’re going to die.”
“Never mind him,” Bait said.
“Ignore me all you want,” Tristan said. “But one day I’ll be right. Probably.”
“Chicaletta?” Ali walked toward Figgy’s pack. “Do you have another flashlight in there?”
“Yes,” Chicaletta said. “But we should save the batteries.”
“Just light one of those bones on fire,” Tristan yawned.
“What?” Ali nearly yelled.
“It’ll be fine, watch,” Tristan said. He scurried over to the bones. “Hey, skeleton, do you mind if we use your femur?” He held his pink hand up to his ear. “Skeleton, if you don’t want us to use your leg and clothes, speak now.” The skeleton didn’t move. Tristan turned back to the group. “See? He doesn’t care.”
Ali looked to the others for guidance.
“I’ll fish out the flint,” Tristan said. “No offense, Bait.”
Ali walked toward the skeleton with trepidation. But, Tristan was right, after all. Any adventurer would wish to be useful, even in death.
“I guess,” Glenda swallowed hard, “it should be okay.”
Chicaletta blinked and nodded at Ali. “Hurry.”
Ali knelt next to the skeleton and wrapped her hands around its leg; she closed her eyes and cringed. The femur was the largest bone and came free easily from the hip joint. She wrapped the tattered clothes around the end just as Tristan scurried back with a flint and steel. Ali struck the U-shaped steel against the flint, and sparks fell toward the old cloth. It smoldered, and she blew on the embers. Flames encompassed the cloth. It cackled to life, illuminating a modest space in front of her.
Between Ali’s torch and Chicaletta’s flashlight, the tunnel was still fairly dark. The temple felt more like a cave. Musty air permeated the ten foot high stone tunnel.
A hideous scraping sound of stone on stone grabbed their attention. The large block with spikes slid toward them. Slowly, at first. Then with momentum.
“Run!” Ali waved her torch toward a tunnel. “This way.”
The block slid forward with spikes inching closer to Ali and her friends. But then it momentarily stopped, caught on the dry skeleton. Bones crunched and twisted. The skull had become wedged. The spiked stone lurched, and the skull exploded, filling the room with white dust behind them.
Alison Liv Eisner ran down the tunnel, her friends in tow.
There was no stopping the boulder. Filled with terror, Ali pushed forward. The torch’s weak light made it difficult to see far in front of them. The barbed block was a bulldozer, pushing aside dirt and leaves, combined with the dead adventurer’s clothes and bones. A loud banging and clanking noise drew Ali’s attention to what was ahead of them.
“What on earth is that ruckus?” Bait asked.
“I don’t know,” Glenda said. “But it sounds dangerous.”
            “Glenda,” Ali said. “Fly ahead and use your echolocation to figure out what it is.”
            “Ali, that is a spectacular idea. I can totally do that.” Glenda fluttered away.
“Be careful,” Ali yelled after her.
            The group carefully trudged forward, but the spiked stone didn’t stop. Chicaletta’s flashlight cast a dull-yellow cone just a few feet ahead. The hallway narrowed the deeper they walked.


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Victoria Book Blitz


Victoria
By John Molik
Genre: Technothriller, Science Fiction, Action and Adventure

It's the year AD 2430. Almost four hundred years earlier, humanity had barely survived a horrific near-extinction-level event: a solar micronova. Survivorship colonies set up by a cabal with advanced technologies eventually evolve into a global Perfect Society called the United Federation of Connectedness (UFC). 

Initially based on co-ops, barter and trade, and equal access for all, a model that rose out of the ashes of the authoritarian governments of the past, humanity, bored and striving for more, eventually steers the planet to a balanced authoritarian model run by Victoria, a genetically engineered Master Server, implanted with artificial intelligence.

When the Animal Rights Act is introduced, the backward-looking religionists and many others think that Victoria has finally gone too far. Artificial love is the glue that keeps the heavily networked society together, but a radicalized religious cult, the MHs, who yearn for a natural connection to their God, reject technology and the electronic beasts who govern. Protected by the blood of their human messiah, they launch a terrorist attack to take down the Perfect Society and replace it with their own.

A top scientist, Claressa, who is loyal to Victoria, and her boyfriend, Pierre Lewalski, are summoned to UFC Capital City to thwart the attack.

Will they be successful? Should they be?

About the Author

John grew up in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, graduated from UC Davis with a bachelor's degree in economics, and has worked in numerous corporate finance and project management positions in the consumer electronics and IT industries. In 1990, he took an extended backpacking trip of the South Pacific before attending graduate school. He met his future wife in New Zealand, and they were married in 1991. They settled in Laguna Niguel, California. In 2003, John and his family (now with two kids in tow) relocated to Christchurch, New Zealand.

John's passion for writing began when he was a student at UC Davis and worked as a feature writer for the California Aggie newspaper. Having been nominated for a Hearst Journalism Award (1986) for a feature on genetic engineering, John later found the inspiration to write again. In 2013, he began outlining his first thriller, The Fiduciary Delusion, which became the first novel in the Horsemen trilogy. John loves to read techno-thrillers, science fiction, murder mysteries and action and suspense novels. Some of his favorite authors include: Philip K. Dick, Kurt Vonnegut, Lawrence Sanders, Isaac Asimov, Michael Faber and Clive Cussler. 


John's interests also include science, existential philosophy, health, and both Western and Eastern holistic medicine. John also plays guitar, piano, sings, and writes music. In addition, a self-confessed “gym rat,” John can be regularly found lifting weights, trudging up hills, sea kayaking, and getting out and about enjoying the beautiful wild outdoors.







Excerpt

“Careful! If you don’t get this part right, you will blow us all to hell!”
Boniface Rotner faltered, shook his head, and aggressively ran his hands through his shoulder-length black hair.
Cornell Elam, a bald 54-year-old technician from the sect, leaned against the stainless steel railing which encircled the metal alloy chamber. Peering down, he glimpsed the top of Boniface’s mat of black hair. Cornell wiped sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand. He pleaded. “Come on! You can do this!”
Boniface Rotner gazed up through the metal tunnel and bit his lip. “Of course I can, Mr. Elam.”
Boniface, at only 15 years old, was far ahead of anyone in their sect in intelligence, creativity, and focus. Earlier, it was decided by sect leaders that he was the only one that could accomplish this critical mission. Not only was Boniface the only one who understood the technical complexity of this 398-year-old technology, he also had very small hands due to his age, which was a crucial job requirement for this particular task.
Having recently resurrected the bank of Moray generators using his keen intellect, time was of the essence.
Boniface grasped the magneto coil wand and carefully inserted it into the capacitance resonator of the high-voltage transformer. Mr. Elam is right. This goes wrong and this entire community will be enveloped in a ball of super-heated plasma.
Cornell’s breathing quickened and his palms were clammy. Fidgeting, he mindlessly looked right then left, and replied, “Alright, then! But, you got to hurry, lad! You got to hurry!” Cornell nervously glanced over his shoulder as if the empty ten-by-ten-foot, fully contained and impenetrable control room was suddenly being breached by a pack of rabid wolverines.
Sweat was pouring down the nape of Boniface’s neck, but he paid little attention to it. Busy concentrating on the task at hand, he knew that the magneto wand must not touch the quantum harmonic oscillator. The Moray generators were at full bore, producing over 5,000 kilowatts of raw electrical power, and were just one step away from being connected to the Tesla scalar interferometer which, when ignited, would produce a thin, impenetrable shell of electromagnetic energy hovering over the sect’s temple and surrounding area. No weapon, or even gamma radiation from an electromagnetic pulse, would be able to touch those living under it. But, if Boniface screwed this up and touched the oscillator, it was lights out for every living thing in a ten-mile radius.
Suddenly, the dead quiet of the sealed control room was interrupted by a strange, distant whirring sound.
Like a cocker spaniel sensing the scampering of a squirrel, Cornell jerked his head in the direction of the sound. “Shit! Those are fucking incomings!” He pounded the steel railing with both fists. “Hurry!”
Boniface squeezed his eyes tightly to assuage the anxiety and regain focus. Opening them slowly, he made sure his steady hand did not waver. The magneto wand just had to pass by the hidden oscillator and make contact with the bridging terminal.
The sound of the incoming missiles, likely all nuclear-tipped, grew louder and louder as their perilous cargos came closer to their target.
“For fuck’s sake, Rotner! It’s now or never!”
Boniface didn’t like swearing, as it was against their religion. Besides, it was Mr. Elam who had taught him acceptable words from the past to use as substitutes. Yet, he also realized that when your life and the lives of all your community looked like it was nearing their end, man’s evil tongue could sometimes release vulgarities, so he forgave Mr. Elam.
Figuring he had about five seconds, he quickened his pace. Biting his lip, he edged his hand forward through the small gap toward the contact plate.
A thin, shrill voice, like the cry of a dying mouse, emanated from Cornell Elam. He held his head in his hands.
Four inches to go. Boniface precisely guided the wand upward. The sonic roar of the incoming missiles was now vibrating the entire control room. It was now or never.
As soon as Boniface touched the plate, an ear-shattering electronic clang and hum assaulted their ears. The hair on his head stood on end as if he was grabbing the top of a Van de Graaff generator. The banks of LED lights on the control panels illuminated just before the entire room shook violently.
Cornell Elam was thrown from his perch into the steel chamber, landing on top of the 15-year-old.
Boniface’s face was red hot. This was the last thing he felt before his rapid descent into total darkness.



Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Becoming Grim Book Blitz!


Becoming Grim
By Ashley Tomlinson
Genre: NA Urban Fantasy

Piper is running away from a cheating boyfriend and New York City when something terrible happens, her plane crashes. Instead of going to Heaven or even to Hell she goes to a whole other plane of existence. Now not only is she dead but she is a reaper learning the ropes to collecting souls from the handsome, Zeke. 

Everything is going great until Piper sees something that she's not supposed to see. Now she is torn between keeping it to herself or putting her and everyone she's come to care for in danger. 

About the Author

Ashley Tomlinson was born in a very small town in South Carolina and now she lives in a slightly larger city in South Carolina with her husband. Most days you can find her writing in her home office that is filled to the brim with books and candles. When she isn’t writing she’s spending time with her plethora of animals, curled up reading on her couch, painting, or crocheting a blanket that she will probably never finish. She also loves being apart of the bookstagram world, especially taking photos of books. 

She knew she wanted to be a writer in high school but didn’t pursue it fully until she was in her twenties. Now not a day goes by when she isn’t in front of her laptop typing away. Her head is always in the clouds thinking up new scenes or coming up with a new book idea.

Website: http://www.hyperashley.com/