Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Somebody's Daughter by Anne Goodwin + #FreeBook

Somebody's Daughter by Anne Goodwin
Individual stories previously published between 2005 and 2018. Published together in this collection in January 2020.

How I got this book:
Received a copy from the author as a newsletter signup reward

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What does it mean to have a daughter? How does it feel to be one?

A child carer would do anything to support her fragile mother. A woman resorts to extreme measures to stop her baby’s cries. A man struggles to accept his middle child’s change of direction. Another uses his daughter to entice young women into his car. A woman contemplates her relationship with her father as she watches a stranger withhold his attention from his child.

Mothers of daughters, fathers of daughters, daughters from infancy to middle age. Three award-winning short stories plus a couple more. You’ll never think about daughters the same way again.

From the Polari Prize shortlisted author of Sugar and Snails.

I've previously enjoyed several of Anne Goodwin's short stories and full length novels so was delighted at the opportunity to read a few more in Someone's Daughter, especially as several of this themed collection are prize winning compositions. As it turned out, Tobacco And Testosterone is included in Becoming Someone so I had already read this one but was more than happy to do so again! All the stories are linked by their theme of parents and daughters, and I loved seeing the varied directions in which Anne takes and runs with this idea. The child carer story, Mummy And Me, is heart-breakingly poignant while With A Small Bomb In Her Chest really creeped me out. I wasn't as keen on the five ninety-nine word flash fiction pieces because, understandably with such brevity, I didn't feel they had the compelling atmosphere of the longer works. Someone's Daughter is, however, an excellent introduction to Anne's writing for people who haven't read her books before, and a refreshing filler for those of us who are eagerly awaiting her next publication!

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Books by Anne Goodwin / Short stories / Books from England

Monday, 19 October 2020

Day of the Horn by Chris J Edwards + #Giveaway + #Excerpt

Day of the Horn
Chris J Edwards
Publication date: October 15th 2020
Genres: Fantasy

A kidnapped princess.

A reluctant mercenary.

A shamed prince.

Far in the west, isolated from the weary world beyond, lies the sylfolk kingdom of Céin Urthia – a woodland realm of ancient forests and sunlit meadows. But this kingdom cannot remain secluded forever; for Princess Dawn, heiress to the throne, has been

mysteriously abducted. Not even her kidnapper, a mercenary battle-mage, knows who ordered it – or why. A fevered pursuit begins as the High King commands every servant of the crown to rescue her, even the disgraced and imprisoned Herace the Shamed. But even as he and his companions follow in wild pursuit, Princess Dawn herself must decide – does she even want to be saved?

Meanwhile, powers beyond the sight of the court plot under cover of darkness – for not all wish to see the princess safely home…

As civil war darkens the horizon, will Princess Dawn save her beloved home, or will unseen enemies win the day?

Goodreads / Amazon.com / Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble / Kobo / The Book Depository


Gentle sunlight glowed upon the faun’s face. Willow branches cast their slender shadows onto the grassy banks of the spring, shading us from the gilded morning light.

She looked peaceful there as I knelt over her; she was asleep, head nestled in the dewy grass. I had heard so much about this Princess Dawn – and now I was finally seeing her.

I had heard she lived in a secluded kingdom, somewhere bright and beautiful. A realm of vibrant flowers and alluring aromas, quiet green places latticed by cool, meandering streams. A perfect place, as perfect in its natural beauty as it was in its isolation.

And I heard that, on a perfectly calm morning in this perfectly nestled kingdom, the child that would be called Dawn was born in the idyllic splendor of the realm’s very heart. That she was raised in seclusion, away from the evil and want and sadness of the world beyond that verdant countryside.

I heard that her parents, the rightful king and queen, ensured she live a honeyed life. That Dawn would never have to experience the meanness, the savagery, the brutality of the world beyond. That hers was a youth of sweet smells and pleasant breezes and laughter under the greenest bowers of the kingdom of Céin Urthia.

One could certainly envy Dawn, her happy youth, her blessed inheritance, the Sacred ground of which she was one day to be sovereign.

I, however, did not envy her.

I did not envy Princess Dawn. Not as I knelt over her, not as she lay enchanted beside her private spring, beneath the sightless gaze of the royal keep.

I looked up to the surrounding garden and waved my riders over; as silent as prowling cats the uyrguks slunk out from the brush. I gestured to the sleeping princess. Wordlessly they bound her, picked her up.

I cast a gaze up to the keep. No curtains in the windows stirred; no guards looked down from the battlements. There was nothing to fear; Naraya was safe. Naraya was the capital. And the princess could look after herself.

I smiled. My, had they been wrong.

The uyrguks carried the princess through the garden and slung her over the back of my horse. Then, after a moment lingering in the garden as all was still and the sun was rising, I followed after them.

Steam plumed from the horses’ nostrils in the cool spring air. I was cold too; my clothes were damp from the morning dew. It had been a long, long night of lying in wait.

I mounted up and my riders did the same. I surveyed the garden, the private spring, the imposing shoulders of the royal keep. Still no one stirred; clearly my careful preparation was paying off. No guards, no handmaidens, no attendants… the perfect kidnapping.

I looked back at Princess Dawn, slung like a slain deer behind me, antlers and all. The perfect kidnapping.

I smiled to myself, relieved that my task was coming to fruition, my debts that much closer to absolution.

Then I looked up to the sun crawling steadily over the teeth of faraway mountains.

The princess was mine. It was almost all over. The cool sense of relief that washed through me matched the crisp spring breeze.

I spurred my horse and rode away.

Author Bio:

Chris J Edwards is a Canadian author of fantasy novels. Formally educated in history, informally educated in poetry, Chris now spends time writing fiction.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Instagram


Win a paperback copy of Day Of The Horn by Chris J Edwards.

Open internationally until the 29th October.

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Books by Chris J Edwards / Fantasy fiction / Books from Canada

Sunday, 18 October 2020

Under Your Skin by Rose McClelland

Under Your Skin by Rose McClelland
Published by darkstroke on the 21st May 2020.

A Found On Twitter Challenge read

How I got this book:
Took advantage of a free Amazon download offer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Where is Hannah?

When Kyle’s wife Hannah goes missing, the whole town is out in force to try to find her. One person knows where she is. One person is keeping a secret.

Detective Inspector Simon Peters and Detective Kerry Lawlor have been brought in to investigate the case, but Hannah has left no traces and Kyle has no clues.

Local Belfast resident Julia Matthews joins the #FindHannah campaign and becomes friendly with Kyle, sympathising with his tragedy. As Julia becomes more involved in the case than she bargained for, she begins to uncover more secrets than the Police ever could.

Julia was only trying to help, but has she become drawn into a web of mystery that she can’t escape? 

Discover a gripping thriller that has you on the edge of your seat!

I follow Rose McClelland on Twitter because I like her style and humour, although I hadn't previously read any of her books. When she tweeted about a limited time freebie on her new thriller, Under Your Skin, I leapt at the chance to download myself a copy. The novel is a fast-paced, exciting read told in turn from the first person point of view of each of the central characters. I did wonder whether having so many narrating voices would make it difficult to tell people apart, but McClelland has given everyone their own distinctive voice so I rarely lost track of whose thoughts I was reading. I enjoyed reading pivotal scenes from alternative perspectives because it was interesting to realise how these characters could interpret events so differently. Perhaps Julia's naivete let the story down because I struggled to believe how she could have usurped Hannah's place so swiftly without misgivings.

McClelland has a good understanding of how abusive relationships can develop so I felt this aspect of the story was authentically and sensitively portrayed. The police procedures didn't always feel as realistic, but Under Your Skin is a psychological thriller rather than a police procedural novel so I wouldn't have appreciated it getting bogged down in that level of detail either! I did love the snippets of Belfast slang which added to the story's geographic grounding.

Under Your Skin was a nicely tense thriller which kept me hooked over the couple of days it took me to read. I liked its female-centred cast and that Hannah was not conveniently written off as a bland, mute victim. McClelland's previous romance author experience could be glimpsed in characters' interactions throughout the story and I liked this unusual angle. I felt Under Your Skin was as much about the people themselves as about the search for Hannah. I did guess the 'where' before it was revealed, but was way off on the 'why' and the 'how'!

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Books by Rose McClelland / Thrillers / Books from Northern Ireland

Saturday, 17 October 2020

The Fish Tank And Other Short Stories by Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra

The Fish Tank And Other Short Stories by Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra
Self published on the 27th December 2016.

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from BooksGo Social via NetGalley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

2018 Silver Medal Winner at the Feathered Quill Book Awards
2018 Silver Medal Winner at Readers' Favorite International Book Awards
2018 B.R.A.G. Medallion Winner

"The Fish Tank is at times fun, exhilarating, haunting and intriguing. The author has done an excellent job of capturing the essence of the short story genre in this fantastic collection!" - Feathered Quill Spotlight Review

"The Fish Tank is a gracefully-written, varied collection of entertaining, touching, suspenseful, and thought-provoking short stories. Maria Elena skillfully paints rich scenes and crafts interesting characters. Her prose is vivid and distinct. 
You will not want to miss this collection!" - NY Literary Magazine

Delve into For the Fun of Writing, where flights of fancy are given voice in “Jerry’s Gift” and “Rites of Passage.” Glide into Soul Songs, stories from the Cuban Diaspora where the author weaves many of her own exile experiences in “The Fish Tank” (award winner), “Bubbles Don’t Bring Smiles,” “Lullaby,” and “A Day in the Life of Benito José Fuentes.” Take a peek at Prologues, two prequel short stories that introduce characters in upcoming novels. Twists and turns run rampant in “Into the Light,” and “Mirror, Mirror: A Detective Nick Larson Story.” Finally, enjoy, The End, a short short of whimsy in “Everyone’s a Critic.”

The Fish Tank and Other Short Stories is an impressive introduction to Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra's writing. It's rare I can equally highly appreciate every story in a short story collection - usually there's at least one or two which don't work so well for me - but that is absolutely not the case here. In her opening Note To The Reader, Alonso-Sierra states that "With short stories, a writer has to gut punch the reader immediately ... Characters must be real from the first words spoken. Conflict must be intense, almost at the climax point, and the resolution finished sometimes subtly, sometimes shockingly, and sometimes not necessarily as a happily ever after." Strong words, I thought, and then was delighted to discover that, story after story, Alonso-Sierra takes her own advice seriously, delivering brilliantly on every point. 

My favourite stories are both from the Soul Songs quartet in which we get inside views of life with Castro's Cuba and for emigrant Cubans who have fled their country. I could easily understand why The Fish Tank is an award winner and A Day in the Life of Benito José Fuentes was also a standout tale for me. Alonso-Sierra portrays a much darker reality than, say, Teresa Dovalpage, with the menace from both Castro's police and from American border staff leaping vividly from the page. On a completely different yet equally as scary note, supernatural horror story Into The Light would make a perfect Halloween read. The Fish Tank and Other Short Stories is a concise collection of just nine tales, but it is one that I am very happy to recommend widely. It's well worth a reader's attention especially at its ridiculously low ebook price!

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Books by Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra / Short stories / Books from Cuba

Friday, 16 October 2020

Redemption In Indigo by Karen Lord

Redemption In Indigo by Karen Lord
Published by Small Beer Press in July 2010. Audiobook, narrated by Robin Miles, published by Whole Story Audiobooks in March 2012.

How I got this book:
Bought the audiobook from Audible

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bursting with humour and rich in fantastic detail, Redemption in Indigo is a clever, contemporary fairytale that introduces readers to a dynamic new voice in Caribbean literature. When Paama leaves her husband, she attracts the attention of the undying ones - the djombi - who present her the Chaos Stick, which allows her to manipulate the subtle forces of the world.

This review was first published on my Stephanie Jane blog in February 2015.

I've finished Redemption In Indigo at last and, despite the ages it has taken for me to listen to its fairly short length, I am feeling a little sad to be away from Pamaa and her world. Having started at an awkward time without access to long solo walks which is when I do most of my listening, it is a credit to Karen Lord's memorable writing that I always found it very easy to both pick up my place in the tale, and remember how we had all got there, even though I had been away for several days. Redemption In Indigo is a perfect book to be heard, rather than read, because its narrator often breaks away to address the listener directly. With Robin Miles' able narration, these moments feel perfectly natural, but I think they might be odd for if reading a paper book.

Apparently the beginning of this enchanting tale is based on a traditional Senegalese folk tale. I loved the early episodes as the gluttonous Ansige attempts to win back his wife, Pamaa. She is forced to invent ever increasingly bizarre excuses to explain his mad behaviour! The intervention of various supernatural creatures, such as the Djombi and the tricksters meant that I never knew where Lord would take us next. I was reminded of the Neil Gaiman story Anansi Boys which is set in a similar environment. I think anyone who liked that would enjoy this although the stories themselves are different in their approach.

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Books by Karen Lord / Fairytales / Books from Barbados

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Silence of Islands by W.M. Raebeck + #Giveaway


Join us for this tour from October 12 to October 23, 2020!
Book Details:

Book TitleSilence of Islands — Poems by W.M. Raebeck
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction (18 +),  170 pages
PublisherHula Cat Press
Release date:   July 2020
Content Rating:  G. this book of poems is 'grown-up' but nothing violent, explicit, illegal, profane or hardcore.

Book Description:

Poetry for the summer day, poetry for the dark night. Poems that cut a walkable trail through the forest of life. Always with a nudge and a wink, “It’ll be okay.” This collection reflects a lifetime of nature, love, travel, death, joy, art, family, and the eternal questions. A potion of emotion to soothe and move you.

Buy the Book:
Amazon.com  ~ Amazon UK ~ B&N ~ BAM

KOBO ~ Book Depository ~ Waterstones
Add to Goodreads

Poetry is such a personal writing medium yet, when done well, it has an uncanny way of channelling universal emotional responses to love or grief or joy and that is exactly how I felt reading so many of W M Raebeck's accomplished poems in her collection, Silence Of Islands. This retrospective of her life's work takes us from a picturesque Greek island to the serene beauty of Hawai'i, from the rush of kindling a new romantic relationship to the grief of parental bereavement. I loved transposing Raebeck's atmospheric portrayals of her Zaxos sojourn over my memories of Lesbos and Paxos, and I was very moved by the way in which I could so completely identify with her grief at losing her father when I remembered my own mother's passing. I wish I had had this book back then. Raebeck's words articulate so beautifully how I was feeling at a time when I didn't have the clarity of thought to express myself adequately. I could have simply pointed to Don't Leave or I Will Not Pretend, for example, and allowed these poems to help others understand me.

Silence Of Islands is a generous collection comprising more than eighty poems and I appreciated how the timespan over which they were written resounds within the work as a whole. The 1970s poet is a very different woman to the 2010s poet, yet I felt I could sense her increasing maturity with her youthful experiences informing her later compositions. A lovely, brave collection that I am grateful to have had this opportunity to experience.

Meet the Author:

W. M. Raebeck's trademarks are humorous candor, spiritual stretching, and frequent exits from the comfort zone. She lives in Hawaii, with regular Mainland visits. Her 5 books to date are true-life accounts, from the misadventures of a sugar-freak hippie chick ('I Did Inhale'), to 20 stories about art, Hollywood, and spirits ('Stars in Our Eyes'), to trekking through the Costa Rican rainforest ('Expedition Costa Rica'), to teaching yoga in Santa Monica ('Some Swamis are Fat'),* and now her poetry collection, 'Silence of Islands.' Before authoring, Raebeck was a film and television actress based in LA, London, and NYC. She went on to freelance journalism, contributing to the then-alternative world of green politics, environmental protection, U.S. involvement in Central American wars, socially conscious investing, and much more. Her articles were always accompanied by her own photography, including numerous cover stories for the LA Weekly and other papers like the East Hampton Star from her former hometown. In Raebeck's personal life, yoga and natural health (sugar notwithstanding) remain institutions. As is maintaining a zero-waste household. Animal rights and environmental activism are lifelong commitments, including all-too-frequent bird rescue. W. M. Raebeck's books are available in print and ebook worldwide, and can be ordered from any book store or library. Audio editions are in the works! For additional info, or to join the email list, visit WendyRaebeck.com. Her next book, 'Nicaragua Story—Back Roads of the Contra War,' takes a hard look at a people's war, and will be out in 2021. * 'Some Swamis are Fat' is under the pen-name Ava Greene.

connect with the author:    website   ~   facebook pinterest goodreads

Tour Schedule:

Oct 12 – Merlot Et Mots – book review / author interview
Oct 12 - Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Oct 13 – Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 14 – Splashes of Joy – book review / guest post / author interview / giveaway
Oct 14 - Cover Lover Book Review - book review / giveaway
Oct 15 – Literary Flits – book review / giveaway
Oct 15 - Books and Zebras @jypsylynn – book review
Oct 15 - Pick a good book – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 16 – 30-something Travel – book review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 16 - Chit Chat with Charity - book review / author interview
Oct 19 – Pen Possessed – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 19 - Sefina Hawke's Books – book review
Oct 20 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 20 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review / giveaway
Oct 21 – Alexis Marie Chute – book review / author interview
Oct 21 - Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Oct 22 - Lisa's Reading - book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 23 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 23 - Books for Books – book review

Enter the Giveaway:

Win 1 of 5 ebooks SILENCE OF ISLANDS or a $25 Amazon Gift Card (6 winners) (open to Amazon.com customers) (ends Oct 30)

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Books by W M Raebeck / Poetry / Books from America

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Celtic Blood by James John Loftus

Celtic Blood by James John Loftus
Self published on the 15th October 2013.

How I got this book:
Took advantage of a free Amazon download promotion

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Set in 13th century Scotland. The son of the murdered Earl of Ross, is a fugitive when his family, rival claimants for Scotland's crown, are declared traitors. Influenced by MacBeth and the writing of Nigel Tranter it is a tale of high drama and suspense.

This review was first published on my Stephanie Jane blog in February 2015. Celtic Blood was my second book for the Read Scotland 2015 challenge

Celtic Blood is billed as a historical novel. It is set vaguely across Scotland and some parts of England although definite identifications of place are rare. The story initially concerns a Scandinavian teenage boy, Seward, who is washed up on Scottish shores following a shipwreck. The focus then shifts to a Scottish boy, Morgund, for whom Seward acts as a kind of Squire.

Primarily a coming of age adventure, the tale revolves around Morgund's attempts to become a true warrior and reclaim his family's noble heritage. There is a lot of posturing about the 'sacred brotherhood' of men who own swords and the need for such soldiers to discover their destinies through fighting each other. The main plotline of the story is entertaining enough though, other than a silly interlude with some Satanic witches. None of the novel's female characters are at all realistic, but the generic 'old crone' at the centre of those scenes is definitely the worst of the lot. 

The overriding problem with Celtic Blood however is that it is a difficult book to read. The language switches from contemporary to Olde Englishe - thank goodness no actual Scots is attempted! - and the random use of commas throughout means that some sentences have no meaning. Odd word orders frequently give the impression of reading the wisdom of Yoda. Loftus' use of sentence fragments could be considered a style decision if they were more consistently and sparingly applied. However, the combined errors of grammar, punctuation and spelling on every single page simply gave me the impression of a first draft that has somehow been published by mistake. The poor writing quality is repeatedly mentioned in other reviews dating back years though so, sadly, it would seem Loftus has not undertaken corrections and is not interested in providing the best experience for his readers. 

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Books by James John Loftus / Historical fiction / Books from Australia

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

The Deep Blue Between by Ayesha Harruna Attah

The Deep Blue Between by Ayesha Harruna Attah
Published by Pushkin Press on the 15th October 2020.

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A teen feminist epic of love, courage and determination, as twin sisters try to find each other again in 19th-century West Africa and Brazil

Twin sisters Hassana and Husseina are torn apart after a brutal raid on their village. This tragedy will set them on a voyage to unfamiliar cities and cultures where they will forge new families, ward off dangers and begin to truly know themselves.

As the twins pursue separate paths in Brazil and the Gold Coast of West Africa, they remain connected through their shared dreams. But will they ever manage to find each other again?

A rich, sweeping historical adventure, The Deep Blue Between is a moving story of the unbreakable bonds of sisterhood

I was pleasantly surprised by just how much I enjoyed reading The Deep Blue Between! This coming of age novel is intended for a young adult audience, but (as a much older reader) I never felt as though this story was too young for me. I would perhaps query the 'epic' claim of the synopsis because I found The Deep Blue Between to be a pretty fast paced book that I happily devoured in a day. My idea of an epic is more of a brick-sized book that overstays its welcome. That said though, The Deep Blue Between is a wonderfully detailed historical fiction story with lots to say about women's roles in 1890s West Africa and Brazil, and about our individual potentials to overcome extreme adversity and flourish. 

The two sisters, Hassana and Husseina, are beautifully complex characters and I loved how they are surrounded by a progression of equally interesting and authentic women as their individual journeys progress. Males do appear in peripheral roles and, in one case, as a suitably chaste love interest, but I appreciated how The Deep Blue Between resonates as a particularly female novel. (I'm not saying that male readers wouldn't enjoy the book too though!).

Attah's explorations of various culture clashes adds depth to the situations in which the twins find themselves. This was supposedly a post-slavery era yet the novel opens with Hassana and Husseina running in terror as their village is destroyed and its inhabitants taken prisoner. European missionaries are Christianising as many people as they can, insisting that pre-existing beliefs be suppressed, and the British are forcing through laws enabling them to grab the best African land for themselves. Over this dark background, Attah has painted a beautifully magical tale full of hope and joy, hard work and personal attainment, and the importance of us each finding our own niche in order to truly bloom. A wonderfully uplifting novel!

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Books by Ayesha Harruna Attah / Historical fiction / Books from Ghana

Monday, 12 October 2020

How Should One Read a Book? by Virginia Woolf and Sheila Heti

How Should One Read a Book? by Virginia Woolf and Sheila Heti
First delivered as a lecture to the girls of Hayes Court Common School in January 1926. Republished by Lawrence King Publishing today, the 12th October 2020.

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Published for the first time as a standalone volume, Virginia Woolf's short, impassioned essay, How Should One Read a Book? celebrates the enduring importance of great literature. In this timeless manifesto on the written word, rediscover the joy of reading and the power of a good book to change the world.

One of the most significant modernist writers of the 20th Century, Virginia Woolf and her visionary essays are as relevant today as they were nearly one hundred years ago.

Features a new introduction and afterword by Sheila Heti.

I've previously read, I think, five of Virginia Woolf's books including Jacob's Room and Mrs Dalloway which I loved, and The Waves in a soporific audio edition that repeatedly sent me to sleep! How Should One Read a Book? is a different prospect in that it is Woolf's 1920s equivalent of a TEDx talk, originally delivered to a girls' school audience. In a sign of the times a-changing, I was frustrated at Woolf's using male pronouns throughout her lecture. As a female author speaking to a female audience, I felt she should at least have identified her theoretical readers as women. Perhaps she could have included more than a token Jane Austen in her named authors too! Other than this, I was interested in her ideas around how we can hone our reading tastes and her concept of 'shadow shapes' which are the lasting impressions we carry away from each book we read. Sheila Heti elaborates further on this in her thoughtful introduction. Actually, I think I preferred Heti's two essays to Woolf's, even though I know they were supposed to support the headline speaker. Woolf's focus on classics that I haven't read and inclusion of (presumably) famous quotes that I didn't recognise left me feeling a little excluded. 

I'll finish up with my favourite quote from the central essay which are also Virginia Woolf's closing words:
“I have sometimes dreamt, at least, that when the Day of Judgment dawns and the great conquerors and lawyers and statesmen come to receive their rewards -- their crowns, their laurels, their names carved indelibly upon imperishable marble -- the Almighty will turn to Peter and will say, not without a certain envy when He sees us coming with our books under our arms, "Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give them here. They have loved reading.”

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Books by Virginia Woolf and Sheila Heti / Nonfiction books / Books from England and Canada

Sunday, 11 October 2020

The First Woman by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

The First Woman by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
Published in the UK by Oneworld Publications on the 13th August 2020. Published in the USA as A Girl is A Body of Water by Tin House Books on the 1st September 2020.

A More Than One Challenge read

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For one young girl, discovering what it means to become a woman in a family, a community and a country determined to silence her will take all the courage she has.

Growing up in a small Ugandan village, Kirabo is surrounded by powerful women. Her grandmother, her aunts, her friends and cousins are all desperate for her to conform, but Kirabo is inquisitive, headstrong and determined. Up until now, she has been perfectly content with her life at the heart of this prosperous extended family, but as she enters her teenage years, she begins to feel the absence of the mother she has never known. The First Woman follows Kirabo on her journey to becoming a young woman and finding her place in the world, as her country is transformed by the bloody dictatorship of Idi Amin.

Jennifer Makumbi has written a sweeping tale of longing and rebellion, at once epic and deeply personal, steeped in an intoxicating mix of ancient Ugandan folklore and modern feminism, that will linger in the memory long after the final page.

I enjoyed reading Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi's short story collection, Manchester Happened, in May last year so leapt at the chance to read an review this new novel of hers, The First Woman, when it appeared on NetGalley. (In America, the same book has been published as A Girl Is A Body Of Water and I do prefer that more enigmatic title.) Set in Idi Amin's Uganda, The First Woman is a strong coming of age story which explores not only Kirabo's personal experiences as she grows up, but also the effects of Ugandan creation myths and the historic role of women within the culture. My favourite aspects of the story were conversations between young Kirabo and her elderly neighbour, Nsuutu, who teaches Kirabo to see why their traditional way of life came to be. I loved the synchronicity of having recently read similar ideas from a Christian perspective in Susan Scott's In Praise of Lilith. Kirabo has to balance religious and cultural expectations against her own desires. Makumbi's nuanced portrayal of her confusion made it easy for me to empathise, especially as Kirabo observes the most ardent supporters of a repressively patriarchal lifestyle are actually other women - not men.

I am glad to have read The First Woman and there were plenty of philosophical concepts that I spent time mulling over both while reading the book and in the days since I have finished. I did think that the book was rather too long for its story because I sometimes found my concentration wandering. Also I struggled to differentiate between everybody in the large cast of characters, particularly those with similar names. That said though, I loved the historical side. Makumbi's way of depicting the era though the way in which characters dress, or comments they make about food shortages, is very effective. I liked Kirabo. She is someone I was happy to spend time with and the similarities between her life's trajectory and that of her grandmother provided The First Woman with a satisfying narrative structure.

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi / Coming of age novels / Books from Uganda

Saturday, 10 October 2020

The American Granddaughter by Inaam Kachachi

The American Granddaughter by Inaam Kachachi
First published in Arabic as Al-Hafida al-Amreekeya in Lebanon by Dar Al-Jadid in 2008. English language translation by Nariman Youssef published by Interlink on the 1st October 2020.

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Winner of France's the Lagardere Prize.
Shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.
Raises important questions about identity, belonging, and patriotism. 

In her award-winning novel, Inaam Kachachi portrays the dual tragedy of her native land: America's failure and the humiliation of Iraq. The American Granddaughter depicts the American occupation of Iraq through the eyes of a young Iraqi-American woman, who returns to her country as an interpreter for the US Army. Through the narrator's conflicting emotions, we see the tragedy of a country which, having battled to emerge from dictatorship, then finds itself under foreign occupation.

At the beginning of America's occupation of Iraq, Zeina returns to her war-torn homeland as an interpreter for the US Army. Her formidable grandmother - the only family member that Zeina believes she has in Iraq - gravely disapproves of her granddaughter's actions. Then Zeina meets Haider and Muhaymin, two "brothers" she knows nothing of, and falls deeply in love with Muhaymin, a militant in the Al Mehdi Army. These experiences force her to question all her values.

I loved this book so much! When Interlink offered me a review copy of The American Granddaughter I did initially have reservations because I have read quite a few novels set within American-occupied Iraq so I was concerned that Inaam Kachachi's story might be too similar to them. How wrong I was! The American Granddaughter does, of course have some overlap in its physical locations such as the formerly beautiful palaces I learned about from The President's Gardens by Muhsin Al-Ramli, but the central focus on Zeina's torn identity makes for a unique and powerful read. Through her eyes I was given an opportunity to see Iraq at that time from both the Iraqi and the American perspective simultaneously. I loved Kachachi's concept of The Writer wanting to steer Zeina's story into a more traditionally Iraqi direction while the realities of her situation perpetually leave her stranded with, metaphorically speaking, one foot each side of the fence.

Zeina's grandmother, left isolated in her home after her extended family have all scattered across the globe, is a poignant character, but never a woman to be pitied. I was moved by her distress on realising that the granddaughter she has longed to see again is now within reach, but that the Iraqi teenager who emigrated cannot easily be found within the American woman who returned. I felt that the grandmother representing historic Iraqi culture before Saddam was an important reminder that imposing one nation's ideals carte blanche onto other nations is never a good idea. 

Inaam Kachachi, for me, is now one of the strongest Iraqi voices and I am grateful to be able to read her work in this accomplished English translation. I particularly appreciated aspects such as the romantic potential between Zeina and Muhaymin being portrayed through an almost chaste Arabic lens. Focusing on meaningful glances and disrupted conversations seemed to intensify their emotion. I would highly recommend The American Granddaughter to readers who enjoyed The Baghdad Clock by Shahad Al Rawi or Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi.

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Inaam Kachachi / War fiction / Books from Iraq

Friday, 9 October 2020

The Perilous Life Of Jade Yeo by Zen Cho + #FreeBook + #Excerpt

The Perilous Life Of Jade Yeo by Zen Cho
Self published on the 30th May 2012.

One of my More Than One Challenge reads

How I got this book:

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Amazon UK (free) / Amazon.com (free)

For writer Jade Yeo, the Roaring Twenties are coming in with more of a purr. She's perfectly happy making a living by churning out articles on what the well-dressed woman is wearing. But when she pillories one of London's leading literary luminaries in a scathing review, she may have made the mistake of her career.

Sebastian Hardie is tall, dark and handsome--and more intrigued than annoyed. Jade is irresistibly drawn to the prospect of adventure he offers. But if she succumbs to temptation, she risks losing her hard-won freedom--and her best chance for love.


Hardie looked at me. I thought he was going to say something serious and philosophical about loneliness, but instead he lifted his hand and traced the air just above my cheekbones, almost touching me but not quite.
“It’s a shame I’m no sort of artist,” he said, so low I had to strain to hear him over the noise. “How I should like to paint those lines.”
Now what is one supposed to say to that?
“I’m sure you’d be nice to paint too,” I said, unable to think of anything better.
Hardie laughed.
“Poor Ariel,” he said. “Alone on an incomprehensible island. Has any other mariner heard your whispers, or did they think it just the wind?”
“I’m really more of a Caliban,” I said primly.
Hardie tilted his head.
“Even better,” he said.

I spotted The Perilous Life Of Jade Yeo as a free Amazon ebook download last month and, having previously enjoyed Zen Cho's fantasy novel, The True Queen, I eagerly snapped up this novella too. The two books are very different in subject and genre - Regency witchcraft fantasy to 1920s urban romance - and I just as happily immersed myself in Jade Yeo's perilous life as I had in The True Queen.

Jade has escaped parental pressure to marry back home in Malaya by being terribly daring and travelling to London, alone, to write. The trouble is that her life now consists of even less by way of excitement as she fills her days with cooking, reading or writing. So when Bohemian cad Sebastian Hardie turns out to be more amused than offended by Jade's slating of his new book, she finds herself very tempted to embark on a little dalliance - purely out of curiosity of course!

I loved Jade because we share a similarly dry sense of humour and I appreciated her frequently being underwhelmed by traditionally romantic situations. The novella is written as a series of private diary entries so Jade is hilariously honest about her first kiss and first sexual encounter. The repartee between her and Sebastian is fun as is the verbal sparring between Jade and her overbearing Aunt Iris. I liked spotting nods to various classic novels with Jade's frequent references to the Bronte sisters reminding me that I really must pick up their novels one day! Cho's sharply observed comments about English attitudes to 'the colonies' are still, unfortunately, still valid over a century after the story is set and I was interested in the different ideas around plain speaking and appropriate conversational topics that Jade notes between her Malayan upbringing and her London life.

The Perilous Life Of Jade Yeo is an entertaining novella that was perfect escapism from a grey, rainy day. Cho's brisk prose keeps the story moving along, but with enough geographical and historical detail to create a good atmosphere and depth to the tale. 

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Zen Cho / Historical fiction / Books from Malaysia

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Freedom Lessons by Eileen Harrison Sanchez + #Giveaway

Join us for this tour from Sept 28 to Oct 9, 2020!

Book Details:

Book TitleFreedom Lessons (a novel) by Eileen Harrison Sanchez
CategoryAdult Fiction (18+) ,  245 pages
Genre: American Historical Fiction
Publisher:  She Writes Press
Release date:   November 2019
Content Rating:  PG. This book is a clean read. The use of the words Negro, colored and a one time reference use of nigger, though not politically correct by today's standards, is era specific and not intended in any kind of pejorative sense.

Chosen as a 2020 Pulpwood Queens Book Club pick
2019 Best Book Awards Finalist in Fiction (Multicultural)

“This powerful tale offers a beacon of hope that individuals can inspire change.”
Library Journal

Book Description:

Freedom Lessons begins in Louisiana 1969 as Colleen, a white northern teacher, enters into the unfamiliar culture of a small Southern town and its unwritten rules as the town surrenders to mandated school integration. She meets Frank, a black high school football player, who is protecting his family with a secret. And Evelyn, an experienced teacher and prominent member of the local black community, who must decide whether she’s willing to place trust in her new white colleague. Told alternately by Colleen, Frank, and Evelyn, Freedom Lessons is the story of how the lives of these three purportedly different people intersect in a time when our nation faced, as it does today, a crisis of race, unity, and identity.

School desegregation is something we all learn about in history class; perhaps we even remember the striking image of Ruby Bridges being escorted to and from school by the U.S. Marshals. But for most of us in 2019, that’s near the extent of what we understand about that tumultuous time. Eileen Sanchez, the debut novelist behind Freedom Lessons (She Writes Press, November 12, 2019), draws on her own remarkable experience as a young, white teacher in the Jim Crow South during desegregation, to write her immersive work of fiction inspired by those events. The result is an unusually authentic exploration of a snapshot in history through the eyes of characters that are relatable and unmistakably human—living lives and navigating relationships against the backdrop of extreme societal upheaval. Sanchez has woven a beautiful story not just about desegregation as an abstract concept, but about the people who lived it—and asks us to question our assumptions about that time, and the issues it has left in its 50-year wake. 

Freedom Lessons is a quiet gem of a novel which I am grateful to have had the opportunity to read thanks to this iRead Book Tours blog tour. Narrated in turn by three residents of a small 1960s Louisiana town, Freedom Lessons, by focusing through this small personal lens manages, I think, to authentically portray the intense upheaval across great swathes of America at this time and the antagonisation that has, sadly, continued through the following decades.

I understand that this book was initially envisaged as a memoir and, in its final incarnation, the character of idealistic new teacher Colleen is based on author Eileen's own experiences. Despite the years that have passed, I felt her recounting of events and the people's reactions to them retains a such a freshness that I easily became immersed in this story. Evelyn is a strong character too. Her views of the forced school integration being informed by local history and knowledge allowed me to understand how the way in which the law was (finally) enacted made no sense and was instead yet one more way for white Louisiana to oppress and denigrate the black population. I was horrified (although not surprised) at things like the black kids' football team automatically being considered second-rate to the white team, and that the teams were kept strictly segregated. That this effectively prevented black footballers from representing 'their' school was intentionally cruel.

There are numerous such instances of cruelty and spite throughout Freedom Lessons, however, other than one sensitively handled fire scene, nothing is graphically violent so I feel that the book would still be highly suitable for young adult audiences as well as adults, and I think it would be particularly beneficial for white readers. Following Colleen's journey gave me insights into institutional racism that wouldn't necessarily make headlines, but its daily accumulation was so damaging to young minds, both black and white. 

Meet the Author:

Eileen Harrison Sanchez is now retired after a forty-year career in education. She started as a teacher and ended as a district administrator. She has been writing part time for seven years with a writers group in Summit, NJ. Eileen is a member of the Historical Novel Society, Philadelphia Stories Writers Community, Goodreads American Historical Novels Group, and several online writers’ groups. A reader, a writer, and a perennial—a person with a no-age mindset—she considers family and friends to be the most important parts of her life, followed by traveling and bird watching from her gazebo.

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

Tour Schedule:

Sep 28 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / giveaway
Sep 28 - Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sep 29 – All Booked Up Reviews – book review
Sep 29 - Pen Possessed – book review
Sep 30 – Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Sep 30 - Rajiv's Reviews – book review
Oct 1 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / author interview / giveaway
Oct 2 – eBook addicts – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Oct 5 – Book World Reviews – book review  
Oct 5 - Momfluenster - book review / giveaway
Oct 5 - Jackie's Book Reviews - book review
Oct 5 - Hall Ways Blog - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Oct 6 – Library of Clean Reads – book review / giveaway
Oct 6 - Books and Zebras – book review
Oct 7 – My Fictional Oasis – book review
Oct 7 - She Just Loves Books – book review / giveaway
Oct 8 – Literary Flits – book review / giveaway
Oct 8 - Divas With A Purpose - book review / author interview
Oct 9 – On My Bookshelf – book review / author interview / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway:
Win an autographed copy of FREEDOM LESSONS or a $15 Amazon Gift Card (2 winners) (USA only) (ends Oct 16)

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Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Eileen Harrison Sanchez / Historical fiction / Books from America

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Birds Don't Cry by Sandy Day

Birds Don't Cry by Sandy Day
Self published on the 31st August 2020.

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the author

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An outsider in her family. Tormented and hindered by secrets. Desperate to find her missing sister-in-law.

She’s in danger of losing herself, while uncovering more than she ever wanted to know. 

Kaffy Sullivan, ornery in her middle-age, expects to inherit Sullivan House, a lovely old inn perched next to a magnificent forest. But if Kaffy hopes to live the rest of her life on the earnings from her grandparents’ legacy, she needs to steer the inn into the twenty-first century, and prevent her siblings from staking their claim. 

A prestigious reviewer from The Lonely Tripper books a reservation—a review that could make or break the inn’s reputation. But on the very same morning, Kaffy’s right-hand woman doesn’t show up for work. Kaffy relies on Sylvia for everything from roast chicken dinners on Saturday nights, to lively conversation with the guests on the porch—a skill that eludes the thorny innkeeper. 

How can Kaffy possibly get Sullivan House ready in time by herself?

Where is Sylvia? 

As time ticks by, Kaffy realizes she’s the only one asking the question. Even Sylvia’s husband, Kaffy’s creepy brother Red, doesn’t seem to care that his wife has disappeared. But he sure seems concerned about the upcoming reading of Gran’s will and the settlement of the estate.

Where is Sylvia? 

Disturbed by Red’s indifference to his wife’s whereabouts, and by his sly retorts about the future of the inn, Kaffy struggles to cope with her odious brother. Pushed on by the impending review, not to mention the reading of the will, Kaffy embarks on an erratic search for Sylvia, while Red’s obstruction becomes worse than ever. 

Kaffy’s never trusted him. Why should she start now?

As she hurtles down a road of dark discoveries, Kaffy tries frantically to get her life under control. 

Where is Sylvia?

Can Kaffy find out before her world flies apart? 

Birds Don’t Cry is a psychological story of rivalry and buried memories among adult siblings. A page turner that drops you directly into one family’s conflict and search for survivors.

Can we ever make amends with our siblings? Are there events we choose not to remember? Or are some memories to awful to contemplate? 

Birds Don't Cry is the fourth of Sandy Day's books that I've read and, for me, she has become an author whose works I will pick up without even necessarily glancing at the synopsis because I know I will greatly appreciate her prose and storytelling. This novel explores the cracked relationships within a dysfunctional family. At the centre is the youngest of three siblings, Kaffy, a prickly introvert with whom I could strongly empathise. It's so unusual to read a novel where an introverted character is truly understood and sympathetically portrayed, but I felt that Day absolutely nails it here. Kaffy's traumatic past has left her scarred and untrusting and she is a difficult to like. I never found myself wondering if she could be someone I might be friends with in the real world (as I often do with fictional people), but I did recognise several of my own traits in her behaviour - a strong distaste for small talk being one example!

I liked how Day wrote the dialogue between everyone. The perpetually awkward atmosphere is informed as much by what doesn't get said as by what does and Kaffy's insecurities really came through in the way she interacted with the people who should have been closest to her. The mystery of Gran's will brings the tension to a head with stilted and deceitful conversations being cleverly used to allow readers to understand hidden motives.

Birds Don't Cry didn't quite hit the notes of my absolute favourite Sandy Day book, The Empty Nest, but it was still a very rewarding read that I enthusiastically recommend to literary fiction and women's fiction fans.

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Sandy Day / Women's fiction / Books from Canada

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Candidate For Murder by Lauren Carr + #Giveaway

Join us for this tour from Aug 31 to Oct 9, 2018!

Book Details:

Book Title: Candidate for Murder by Lauren Carr
Series:  A Mac Faraday Mystery (Volume 12)

Category:  Adult fiction, 464 pages
Genre:  Murder Mystery / Political Satire
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  June 9, 2016
Content Rating: PG-13 - (Lauren Carr's books are murder mysteries, so there are murders involved. Occasionally, a murder will happen on stage. There is sexual content, but always behind closed doors. Some mild swearing (a hell or a damn few and far between). No F-bombs!

"It is an amusing look at politics and media today.  Appropriate to see how the Deep Creek mayoral election relates to current events. Dissatisfaction with politicians on many levels often leave us looking for extreme change.  It may leave you thoughtful.  It may leave you writing Gnarly's name in as your preferred candidate in the next election." Reviewer: Merry Citarella, Jaquo.com

"Hilarious, mysterious and full of adventure, Gnarly and his human friends will have you on the edge of your seat unable to put your book down. Candidate for Murder is well written, played out and a story that you have just never heard before. I enjoyed every moment reading this book!" Reviewer: Working Mommy Journal

Book Description:

It’s election time in Spencer, Maryland, and the race for mayor is not a pretty one. In recent years, the small resort town has become divided between the year-round residents who enjoy their rural way of life and the city dwellers who are moving into mansions, taking over the town council, and proceeding to turn Deep Creek Lake into a closed-gate community—complete with a host of regulations for everything from speed limits to clotheslines. When the political parties force-feed two unsavory mayoral nominees to the town’s residents, David O’Callaghan, the chief of police, decides to make a statement—by nominating Gnarly, Mac Faraday’s German shepherd, to run for mayor of Spencer! What starts out as a joke turns into a disaster when overnight, Gnarly becomes the front-runner, and his political opponents proceed to dig into the canine’s past. When one of the mayoral candidates ends up dead, it becomes apparent that slinging mud is not enough for someone with a stake in this election. With murder on the ballot, Mac Faraday and the gang—including old friends from past cases—dive in to clear Gnarly’s name, catch a killer, and save Spencer!

Buy the Book:  
Audible ~ Amazon.com ~ Amazon UK
B&N ~ BAM ~ BookBub
Add to Goodreads

With the American presidential election taking centre stage practically everywhere at the moment, it was a perfectly appropriate time for me to read Lauren Carr's political satire / murder mystery novel, Candidate For Murder. This book is the twelfth in her Mac Faraday series (of which I read the first, It's Murder My Son, last month) and, while I think reading all the books in order would enable readers to have a greater understanding of the central characters and their motivations, I have only read a few of the series so far, but I had no trouble keeping up with everything that was going on.

Lauren Carr is known for her eventful narratives and Candidate For Murder is no exception on that score. I enjoyed the initial setup where, in exasperation at the self-serving uselessness of the two official mayoral candidates, police chief David O'Callaghan nominates his friend's dog to stand for election too. Ordinarily this would be impossible of course, but Gnarly is far from an ordinary dog! Gnarly has serious competition as both his rivals start to realise that the popular canine is actually a genuine contender and I loved how Lauren uses this situation to shine a spotlight on the real life shenanigans that blight elections everywhere. From a relatively gentle small-town beginning, I found myself in the midst of such a whirl of action and intrigue that it's almost impossible to hint at the breadth of this tale without risking spoilers so I'll just say that Candidate For Murder is a true rollercoaster of a read!

Meet the Author:

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Chris Matheson Cold Case, Thorny Rose Mysteries, and the Nikki Bryant Cozy Mysteries—close to thirty titles across five fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

​A popular speaker, Lauren is also the owner of Acorn Book Service, the umbrella under which falls iRead Book Tours. She lives with her husband and two spoiled rotten German Shepherds (including the nephew of the late-great Gnarly! (pictured above)) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Instagram ~  Pinterest ~ Goodreads
Aug 31 – Rockin' Book Reviews – audiobook review of It’s Murder, My Son / giveaway
Sep 1 – Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews – audiobook review of Candidate for Murder / giveaway
Sep 2 – Books for Books – book review of It’s Murder, My Son
Sep 2 - Blooming with Books - book spotlight of Candidate for Murder / giveaway
Sep 3 – Bound 4 Escape – book review of It’s Murder, My Son / giveaway
Sep 4 – Rockin' Book Reviews – audiobook review of Candidate for Murder / guest post / giveaway
Sep 7 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sep 8 – Christa Reads and Writes – book review of It’s Murder, My Son / giveaway
Sep 8 - My Reading Journeys - audiobook review of It's Murder, My Son / giveaway
Sep 9 – My Fictional Oasis – book review of Candidate for Murder
Sep 10 – Confessions of the Perfect Mom – book review of It’s Murder, My Son / giveaway
Sep 11 – Nighttime Reading Center – audiobook review of It’s Murder, My Son / giveaway
Sep 11 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 14 – Literary Flits – book review of It’s Murder, My Son / giveaway
Sep 15 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review of Candidate for Murder / giveaway
Sep 16 – Books for Books – book spotlight
Sep 17 – Confessions of the Perfect Mom – book review of Candidate for Murder / giveaway
Sep 18 –My Journey Back - audiobook review of It's Murder, My Son / giveaway
Sep 21 –My Journey Back - audiobook review of Candidate for Murder / giveaway
Sep 22 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – audiobook review of Candidate for Murder / author interview
Sep 23 – Books and Zebras @jypsylynn – book review of Candidate for Murder
Sep 24 – Bound 4 Escape – audiobook review of Candidate for Murder / giveaway
Sep 25 –Buried Under Books - audiobook review of Candidate for Murder / giveaway
Sep 28 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sep 29 – Sefina Hawke's Books – book spotlight
Sep 30 – Locks, Hooks and Books – audiobook review of Candidate for Murder / giveaway
Sep 30 - Blooming with Books - audiobook review of It's Murder, My Son / giveaway
Oct 1 – Christa Reads and Writes – book review of Candidate for Murder / giveaway
Oct 1 - So Fine Print – book review of Candidate for Murder / giveaway
Oct 2 – Adventurous Jessy – book review of It’s Murder, My Son / giveaway
Oct 5 – Splashes of Joy – book review of It’s Murder, My Son / giveaway
Oct 6 – Literary Flits – book review of Candidate for Murder / giveaway
Oct 6 - Amy's Booket List - audiobook review of Candidate for Murder
Oct 7 – Sylv.net – book spotlight
Oct 7 - My Reading Journeys - audiobook review of Candidate for Murder / guest post / giveaway
Oct 8 - Splashes of Joy – book review of Candidate for Murder / guest post / author interview / giveaway
Oct 9 – Nighttime Reading Center – audiobook review of Candidate for Murder / giveaway
Oct 9 - Adventurous Jessy – book review of Candidate for Murder / giveaway

Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of Lauren Carr, author of CANDIDATE FOR MURDER (ends Oct 16)

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Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Lauren Carr / Crime fiction / Books from America