Wednesday, 22 March 2023

Mirrored Reflections by J.F. Ridgley + Guest Post


Book Details:

Book Title:  Mirrored Reflections by J.F. Ridgley
Category:  Adult Fiction (18+) ,  418 pages
GenreChristian Romance
PublisherR Pride Publishing
Release date:   December 2022
Content RatingPG-13 +M.  This is a Christian Romance, no sex. two hot kisses. Lots of trauma but a happy ending. There is a language warning: Chad's debridement is painful, being a burn survivor is painful and the story is about also about sexual trafficking.
Book Description:

“I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU” - Hebrews 13:5

Opposites attract and Chad and Sierra are that.

Chad is destroyed on the outside by a suicide bomber while Sierra is broken on the inside by human trafficking. They are each other’s reflection of who they are - beautiful but ravaged by life.

Chad Michaels, an Afghan vet, comes home to a suicide bomber who destroys not only his family but the man he was. Now, he must deal with life as a burn victim -- as a monster. But Sierra sees what a beautiful man Chad truly is.

Not all wounds are flesh. Many are inside one’s soul where Sierra Smith’s scars run deep. Yet, Chad sees the innocence that Sierra fails to see. Kidnapped at the early age of six, Sierra was raised to become a high-end prostitute who now dreams of becoming a nurse...someone who helps heal people not service them. But her past relentlessly haunts her.

​Sierra and Chad are determined to help each other heal from their traumas – whatever it takes. And, somehow, with God’s help, they will survive to see a brighter day.
BUY THE BOOK:
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Guest Post by J F Ridgley: The Modern Slavery
And we thought slavery is had been ended in our world. Sorry. Slavery is very much alive and very real. And it’s no longer just for sex. Many are being kidnapped and forced into labor as with the drug cartels. This slavery is worse than what was in ancient history (however, there were situations that equaled modern slavery.) Slavery is not justifiable. People should not own the lives of others in any way.
In my story Mirrored Reflections, Sierra’s case and the other ‘kids’ are kidnapped and raised in the world of human trafficking or ‘groomed’ to service johns. Other victims are beaten and mentally abused into submission. As in as Annie Lobert /FALLEN and Lisa J Peck/SILENT CRIES, share their stories of how this happened to them. It is survival. 
According to https://dod.defense.gov/News/Special-Reports/0118_National-Slavery-Human-Trafficking-Prevention-Month/ $99 billion was made from this slavery. 4.5million became victims to this slavery. $51Billion was made from this forced slavery. 21 Million worldwide are victims of this slavery (forced labor) And one in six of runaways in the USA are likely to end up in this slavery.  And 20% are children. 
Fortunately, with groups like Truckers Against Trafficking/TAT and other organizations are waking up to what is going on in the streets of this world, doing something about it.   TAT is training of truck drivers, bus drivers, police officers, school staff on what to look for and what to do about the situation.  They offer training to anyone wanting to make a difference. The world needs more angels so get involved. https://truckersagainsttrafficking.org/

Meet the Author:

JF Ridgley is the author of eight novels and short stories set in ancient Rome and three contemporary romance novels. She loves researching history and writing fiction based on real stories of real people. She also loves to write contemporary romance because the ancient Roman saying of ‘Live. Love. Laugh.’ is just as true today.

connect with the author: website ~ twitter ~ facebook pinterest instagram goodreads

Enter the Giveaway!
Win $20 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of the author of Mirrored Reflections (one winner) (USA only) (ends Apr 14)
MIRRORED REFLECTIONS Book Tour Giveaway




Tuesday, 21 March 2023

The Adventures of Lefty & Righty: The Windy City by Lori Orlinsky

 

Book Details:

Book Title:  The Adventures of Lefty & Righty: The Windy City by Lori Orlinsky
Category:  Children's Fiction (Ages 3-7),  38 pages
Genre:  Children's Picture Book
Publisher:  Mascot Books
Release date:   Mar 7, 2023
Content Rating:  G for everyone.
Book Description:

Do you ever wonder what happens to socks that get lost in the dryer? Join Lefty and Righty for the adventure of a lifetime as they sneak out of the laundry room with a destination in mind: a White Sox game! But with so much to do in The Windy City, will they make it to the game in time? Through their fun-filled day, they’ll discover the sights, sounds—and even the tastes—of Chicago, all while encountering a few surprises along the way!

Meet the Author:

Award-winning children’s book author Lori Orlinsky lives in. . . you guessed it . . . Chicago! Lori is the mother of three little ladies, who are small but mighty. At 5’1”, she wishes her children’s picture book, Being Small (Isn’t So Bad After All), was around when she was growing up. Lori also wrote The Tooth Fairy’s Tummy Ache and Balloons for Tiger. Her latest book, The Adventures of Lefty and Righty: The Windy City, was inspired by her daily struggle to find matching socks when they come out of the dryer.

connect with the author: website ~ instagram ~ facebook ~ youtube ~ goodreads

Enter the Giveaway!
Win a signed copy of The Adventures of Lefty & Righty: The Windy City by Lori Orlinsky (one winner) (USA only) (ends Apr 3)
Lori Orlinsky's ADVENTURES OF LEFTY AND RIGHTY Book Tour Giveaway



Monday, 20 March 2023

Peace In The Midst Of The Storm by Kaleb Thompson



Book Details:

Book Title:  Peace in the Midst of the Storm by Kaleb Thompson
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction (18+), 86 pages
Genre:  Poetry
Publisher:  Wipf and Stock
Release date:   December, 2021
Content RatingG because it provides positive, wholesome content through spiritual poetry that seeks to encourage and inspire others.
Book Description:

Anxiety and fear seek to prey on the damaged and create heavy burdens that scar the soul, being heartless and insensitive to the lost, unkempt, and broken-spirited in a troubled, unwholesome world. However, they do not reign for eternity, as faith, resilience, and empowerment remain planted from within to help overcome pressing obstacles, regardless of how difficult they may be. Peace in the Midst of the Storm primarily focuses on the beauty of positivity, selflessness, and honorable confidence that symbolizes the importance of light being present within darkness. This book also holds accountability in facing the realization that as life may prove frustrating at times, giving up is never an option! This shows that regardless of our mistakes, life does not promise us that we will remain positioned in negativity. What we were in our pasts will not seep into who we have grown to be as positive individuals. What we have now realized is that we often must prepare to speak victory over our storms and, as we continue to encourage ourselves to do that, we will overcome anything.

Meet the Author:

Kaleb Thompson is a dedicated and optimistic individual who enjoys living life to the fullest. Being a native of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Kaleb received his Bachelor's degree and Master's Degree from Coastal Carolina University where he has valued much of his educational experience and career within the hospitality and tourism industry. He has recently started to write poetry to not only inspire others but to help relieve stress as a whole.

connect to the author: website goodreads


Enter the Giveaway!
Enter to win a signed copy of PEACE IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM (one winner) (USA only) (ends April 14)
PEACE IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM Spotlight Book Tour Giveaway




Friday, 17 March 2023

Face Value: From Working the Pole to Baring My Soul by Christine Macdonald


Book Details:

​Book Title:  Face Value: From Working the Pole to Baring My Soul by Christine Macdonald
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction (18+),  320 pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher:  Wordee
Release date:  Mar 8, 2023
Content Rating:  R: Story of days of stripping to now better life.   
Book Description:

Face Value: From Working the Pole to Baring My Soul is Less Than Zero meets Miami Vice but with more make-up and hairspray. It is the story of a beautiful, free-spirited, wide-eyed little girl from the island of O`ahu who has no childhood memories before the age of nine. What trauma could have erased her early life, she may never know. What she does know is that for as far back as she can remember these events influenced her unusual life. Christine tells her story with raw, honest, relatable, and no holds barred writing, taking us through the pain of her adolescence compounded by a rare skin disease that left her face permanently disfigured. Her darkest moments include drug addiction and dancing nude on stages in Waikiki. In Christine’s personal story, we experience life behind the tropical island backdrop of coconuts and palm trees, falling headlong into the underground world of adult entertainment where Christine spent nearly a decade trying to find her self-worth.

Meet the Author:

Macdonald is a Los Angeles-based author who grew up on the Hawaiian Island of O Ľahu. At 13, she was diagnosed with Acne Conglobata, a rare and severe skin disease that left over 80 percent of her face scarred. Adding to her trauma of an emotionally and psychologically neglected childhood, it led her to Hawaii's underworld as an exotic dancer in Waikiki. For the first time, she felt beautiful and partially fulfilled her dream of becoming a Fosse dancer. Through her writing, Macdonald uses her voice, a unique blend of cutting-edge truth, and self-deprecating humor to inspire others to release their shame and tell their story. She is public about her struggles with addiction and mental illness—and her road to recovery. It is her passion to speak to people with self-esteem issues and, rather than judge them for their choices, help them find value in embracing what they consider to be their flaws.

connect with the author: website twitter ~ facebook  instagram



Wednesday, 15 March 2023

Contest Of Queens by Jordan H. Bartlett






Book Details:

​Book Title:  Contest of Queens (The Frean Chronicles #1) by Jordan H. Bartlett
Category:  YA Fiction (Ages 13-17),  464 pages
GenreYA Fantasy 
Publisher:  CamCat Books 
Release date:  Jan 2022
Content Rating: PG. Very clean, but there is some brief violence.
Book Description:

In a Queendom divided, can one girl unite the realms?

Jacs, an inventor’s apprentice from the Lower Realm, has only ever dreamed of what the land among the clouds holds. That is until she finds a letter from Connor, an Upperite boy hoping to learn more about the land below. Little does Jacs know, Connor is actually Prince Cornelius of the Queendom of Frea. With wooden boats and hot air balloons, the two begin a secret correspondence. But their friendship is divided by a heavily-guarded bridge and an inescapable prejudice.

The strength of their bond was thought to transcend distance and time, but when the royal family visits the Lower Realm, the Queendom’s feud is reignited.

​To save her people, Jacs must infiltrate the Upper Realm and earn her place to compete in the Contest of Queens. In a story about friendship, love, bravery, and defying gravity, Jacs will strive to prove that a Queendom is strongest when united.

My Review
I was drawn to read Contest Of Queens by its beautiful 'stained glass' cover design. I loved how eyecatching this is and I felt it set Jordan Bartlett's first Frean novel apart from other series in the YA fantasy genre. Although, and let's be honest here, as a reader who is a few decades past the young adult catchment, I wasn't expecting to so swiftly become caught up in Jacs and Connor's story. All credit to Bartlett for not only writing a cracking tale, but also for so deftly incorporating social commentary aspects such as the reverse sexism which ultimately defines this fantasy world. In her Afterword, Bartlett talks about her disappointment in more traditional fantasy authors who, when attempting to create a whole new world from scratch, still maintained their own societies' sexist and/or racist norms. By turning this on its head in Frea, yet keeping other concepts such as a feudal hierarchy, Bartlett so clearly illustrates the ludicrousy of a solely gender-based society.

I was impressed with Bartlett's portrayal of such a physically divided queendom too, especially how she shows that keeping people apart is the easiest way to foster hatred between them. In Frea, the Upperites and Lowrians are separated by geology - a sheer cliff face - and all bar one of the bridges that used to allow interactions were destroyed long ago. Now access is strictly controlled and manipulated, resulting in extreme suspicions and antagonism from both sides. I can see this same attitude of divide and truth twist clearly reflected in the political 'leadership' of my own country right now, which made Bartlett's Frea all the more real in my mind.

I loved Jacs as a character and enjoyed spending time with her. Her curiosity and ability to instinctively think around a problem makes her the perfect protagonist in this story, yet she is not infallible and I could empathise with her emotional responses to her mistakes. All the characters, even those we only briefly meet, felt plausibly real to me. While Contest Of Queens is the first novel in the Frean Chronicles series, I was pleased that it felt like a fully contained story in its own right. I don't like abrupt cliffhangers! That said though, I am keen to read on into the next book in this series, Queen's Catacombs, which I am delighted is already waiting for me to open!

Monday, 13 March 2023

PAPERBOY A Dylan Tomassi Novel by Dan Romanello + Author Interview


Book Details:

Book Title:  PAPERBOY (A Dylan Tomassi Novel) by Dan Romanello
CategoryAdult Fiction (18+), 332 pages
GenreComing of Age Contemporary Thriller
Publisher: Sanitas Publishing, Inc.
Publication Date: August, 2022.
Content Rating: R: A series of explicit sex scenes, minimal bad language and drug use are utilized for character and plot development.
Book Description:

Abandoned by his father as an infant and raised by a single mother among the wealthy and privileged in Fairfield County, Connecticut, Dylan Tomassi grew up poor. As a boy he is befriended by a mysteriously reclusive widow he meets on his paper route. She mentors him with sage advice on matters facing a young man growing up without a father. She never pays for her newspapers, and he never asks for the money because of all the good advice she dispenses. When she finally does square up, it changes his life forever.

Dylan relocates to Florida and becomes a successful private investor, wealthy beyond his wildest dreams. His newfound socioeconomic status introduces him into the upper echelon of Florida society where he finds many things going on in the world simply don't make sense. With the help of his old friend and mentor, he navigates life in a turbulent modern-day society and vows to use his wealth to make a difference when he’s not sidetracked running into nefarious characters or busy keeping his best friend, wealthy playboy Alex Malloy, out of hot water. With corruption, debauchery, deception, and murder swirling around him, Dylan proves nice guys can finish first.
Buy the Book:
Amazon
BAM ~ B&N ~ Bookshop.org 
Indigo ~ Indiebound
BookBub
add to goodreads

Meet the Author:

DAN ROMANELLO began his career working for a large Florida newspaper before attending law school at the University of Florida. After serving as an assistant state attorney, he entered private practice where he spent more than 20 years as a civil trial lawyer litigating cases in courtrooms throughout Florida. He retired from the active practice of law in 2017 and, before writing PAPERBOY, spent four years coaching college athletics. He lives in St. Petersburg, Florida.

connect with the authors: website ~facebook ~ twitter ~ bookbub ~ goodreads

Enter the Giveaway!
Enter to win a signed copy of PAPERBOY (A Dylan Tomassi Novel) by Dan Romanello and a $50 American Express gift card. (USA only) (ends Mar 24)
PAPERBOY Book Tour Giveaway



Friday, 10 March 2023

Flightlog by Susan Humphrey


Book Details:

Book Title:  FlightLog: The Novel Adventures of a Stewardess Wannabe Who Becomes a Flight Attendant by Susan Humphrey
Category:  Adult Fiction (18+),  338 pages
Genre:  Women's Fiction, Chick Lit, Memoir(ish), Coming-of-age
Publisher:  Majuscule Press
Release date:   August, 2022
Content Rating:  PG. A few romantic encounters but light on the details. Reference to tobacco use.



Book Description:

“It was 1978. People didn’t have home computers, video players, or answering machines. We rented our telephones from local phone companies and hand-wrote letters. The terms ‘politically correct’ and ‘African-American’ had not been coined. ‘Eating disorders’ and ‘alternate lifestyles’ were not yet common household phrases. Only strippers wore thongs, which made perfect sense to me, as they only caused one to gyrate their hynie in a desperate attempt to dislodge the bothersome wedgie.”

So writes Sherri Van Ness, an unassuming girl from the burbs of Kansas who’s about to embark on the adventure of her life when she signs up to become a stewardess. But it’s much more turbulent than this doughy-eyed 19-year-old ever imagined as she tries to navigate past grouchy passengers, fly-by-night relationships and the unforgiving, relentless, humiliating, monthly weigh-ins. Some dreams come true. Others require a vomit bag.

That’s not to say Sherri doesn’t enjoy herself. Au contraire! There are friends to be made and men to be made and the maid who made up her room in New York is so nice!

Yes, the work is difficult at times and the money isn’t always good, but there are perks: free flights and an endless supply of tiny vodka bottles and salted peanuts (peanut allergies hadn’t been invented yet.)

Like Dorothy Gale sans Toto, Sherri leaves Kansas and finds herself amidst a cast of characters as strange to her as the Scarecrow and the Munchkins were to Dorothy. Her whirlwind journey takes her from innocent, insecure stewardess to mature and confident flight attendant. Or does she?

​Book your flight now with this very enjoyable read, put your seat back in the upright position, and enjoy the ride!

BUY THE BOOK:
AMAZON ~ Audible
BAM ~ B&N ~ Bookshop.org
add to goodreads

Author Interview with Susan Humphrey

Q. WriterSuz – I’m calling you that because of your website title. You grew up overseas, worked for an airline, then leapt into healthcare where you’re still on the go as a travel nurse. If you had to do it all over again, would you follow the same path?

A. I don’t think so. No regrets - those careers have been wonderful for me. I wanted to be a ‘stewardess,’ as a kid; but I’d go right into travel writing. That would keep me happily on the road while starting my writing career earlier and honing my craft.

Q. Do you write every day now?

A. Yes, if you stretch the definition of ‘writing’. I record wherever I am. Thank goodness for cell phones. My note and recorder apps include voluminous amusing thoughts and quips I hear or utter myself during the day. If I don’t jot them down, I lose them.

Q. Your main character in FlightLog, Sherri, does just that. She records events in her logbook. Did you do that when you were flying? Was that how you gathered material for this book?

A. Absolutely. Sadly, I didn’t keep my logs. But because I had recorded in those early years, I remembered so much; it’s mental muscle-memory.

Q. I heard you call this project ‘Faction’ – a mix of real history and fiction in your BeondTV interview. Why didn’t you write your story as non-fiction?

A. Too confining for comedy. I would have had to stay married to the behavior of characters who weren’t always funny. Instead, I took people I knew, combined them and exaggerated their playful personalities. I needed the flexibility to create more hilarity in some of the scenes.

Q. Who did you feel was your funniest character? Did your readers agree?

A. The character I thought was the most amusing was Maurice. But more readers said it was Danny they laughed at and loved the most. He is in more of the story. Sherri meets him early-on, thinks it’s ‘love at first sight’, then his shenanigans begin, and they never end. 

Q. So we’ll see more of Danny in the sequel? When do you think FlightLog Two will debut?

A. Indeed; Danny and Maurice both return. I panic at the thought of broken promises, so I’ll go stretch out far: let’ say eighteen months.
   
Q. I’m curious about your chapter titles: All songs. Are you a musician?

A. Writers use lyrics to help set the tone and era of a scene. When I realized I’d used some as chapter titles, I went back and re-named all my chapters after songs. It made sense. I do pluck at guitars pitifully, but I haven’t given up - yet. I promise to leave songwriting to the pros.



Meet the Author:

Susan Jo Humphrey, the daughter of a diplomat, was born in Izmir, Turkey where she lived for three years. She also lived in Korea and Thailand, before returning home to the US with her family as a teenager. She has traveled all over the United States, and has called several parts of this country ‘home.’ Her many airplane rides as a child convinced her she must one day become a stewardess. Suz was a flight attendant for thirteen of her twenty-five years with UAL. She began penning FlightLog with the help of the Naperville Writer’s Group, outside of Chicago. There, she published in their annual pamphlet, had a humor piece printed in an online magazine, and contributed many articles to local newspapers. At the time of publication, she is busy working on FlightLog II.

Away from the keyboard, Suz loves yoga, reading, cooking, listening to music and playing her guitar. She still enjoys mapping out travel to faraway places she’s never seen, as well as planning return trips to her favorite spots.

She currently lives in Southern California and has two grown children. Today, she’s in healthcare, where she’s worked since 2014. Suz was the ‘baby’ of her flight attendant classes – and the ‘senior’ student in her nursing classes. She’s eager to write that story as well: a novice baby-boomer RN begins her dream career as a travel nurse – just as a pandemic breaks out!


connect with the author: website 


Enter the Giveaway!

Win a signed copy of FLIGHTLOG: The Novel Adventures of a Stewardess Wannabe Who Becomes a Flight Attendant (one winner/USA only) (ends Mar 31)

FLIGHTLOG by Susan Humphrey Book Tour Giveaway