Friday, 25 September 2020

Eternal Forever by Syl Waters


Eternal Forever by Syl Waters
Published by Eleftheria on the 27th August 2020.


Fame, glory and… foul play!
Jessie was a shop worker dreaming of the big time, then YouTube found her. But staying in the limelight requires meticulous management: pop stars are made not born.

With awards night approaching, the pressure’s on for Tito, Jessie’s manager, to whip her into shape. Getting so close wasn’t in the contract, but then neither was him being murdered in Spain.

Alone and scared of the negative publicity, Jessie turns to Mack, her account manager at Eternal Forever, the UK’s first digital legacy management agency. But Mack’s got his own issues: the company’s fast running out of cash, his key developer’s on the turn and a blogger’s suicide looks suspicious.

With the help of J-Pop, Mack’s assistant and wannabe reality TV star, Jessie turns sleuth. But in a world where everybody’s watching, it’s hard to escape. Reputation is everything and some people will do anything to protect it.

Can Jessie remain on top or will her pop star crown come crashing down?



Excerpt
 The Prologue. This sets the scene for the entire book.

Sunday: Spain
They didn’t see the man approach. “Perdón, dónde está… ?” 
Tito looked up into the face of a handsome young Spaniard, chestnut hair, long and loose, like an adolescent Antonio Banderas. 
“Sorry, mate, I don’t speak Spanish, so I can’t help you.” Tito smiled apologetically and went to move on, clutching Jessie’s hand closer to him.
“I’ll help you.” The young Spaniard’s smile switched to a hard snarl. His hands clenched Tito’s collar, gripping his sweaty skin, bunching his flesh between his fingertips. Tito turned, but it was too late. 
The blade punctured his chest. He could feel the hard metal hot inside of him, blood spurting and spouting all around; tightness in his chest, an urge to vomit. He grappled with the handle, tried to wrench it from his flesh. Wet fabric clung to him, his hands slippery, sliding, unable to grip. Pain scorching. His head full, banging, heavy, dull. Shallow breaths, forced air, trying to pump his lungs. Eyes wild, hunting the street, screaming: “Jessie! Jessie! Jessie!”
Then an empty cobbled street and the blood-covered torso of what had been an extremely handsome young man. 

Meet the author 

Sign up to Syl Waters newsletter to receive a free copy of The Little Book Of Curiously Fascinating Facts about Guinea Pigs

Most people know crazy cat ladies are a ‘thing’, but I’m a proud crazy guinea pig lady! I love fun in the sun and plenty of cocktails. My happy place is flip flops. I write stories to keep me company - my characters ensure I’m never lonely and always smiling (when I’m not tearing my hair out!)

Author links: 
WebsiteTwitterFacebook ~ Instagram





Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Syl Waters / Crime fiction / Books from England

Thursday, 24 September 2020

One Boy's War by Nancy McDonald + #Giveaway

Join us for this tour from Sep 14 to Oct 2, 2020!
Book Details:

Book Title:  One Boy's War by Nancy McDonald
Category: Middle-Grade Fiction (Ages 8-12),  134 pages
Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher:  Iguana Books
Release date:   April, 2020
Content Rating:  G. There is no violence, bad language etc. in this book.


Raves for Boy From Berlin by Nancy McDonald:

"Inspired by a true story, Boy from Berlin shares a unique voice in the Holocaust. Highly recommended!”
- Jennifer Roy, author of Yellow Star, winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Award.

“A compelling introduction to themes of war, courage and identity, certain to engage young readers.” - Trilby Kent, author of Stones for my Father, winner of the TD Canadian Children’s Literary Award.


Book Description:

ENGLAND, SUMMER 1940. Following a brush with death in the Irish Sea, 10-year-old Käfer Avigdor unexpectedly finds himself back in London. There, he stumbles upon a sinister Nazi plot that targets hundreds of people in Britain—including the most powerful man in the country. The one person who might be able to defeat Adolf Hitler. With the Germans threatening to invade England at any moment, Käfer musters all his courage and ingenuity in a valiant effort to thwart the Nazis. But will he succeed in time to save the day? One Boy’s War, the sequel to Boy from Berlin, is inspired by real people and historical events.


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  Book Details:

Book Title:  Boy from Berlin by Nancy McDonald
Category: Middle-Grade Fiction (Ages 8-12),  142 pages
Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher:  Iguana Books
Release date:   May 7, 2018
Format available for review:  PDF
Tour dates: September 14 to October 2, 2020
Content Rating:  G. There is no violence, bad language etc. in this book.

Book Description:

Berlin, April 1938. One night, eight-year-old Käfer Avigdor uses his specialty toilet-paper roll binoculars to spy on his Mama and Aunt Charlotte. The whispered conversation he overhears alerts him to a danger he didn’t know existed and starts him rethinking who he really is and where he belongs. Within hours, Käfer and his family flee their comfortable life. In a desperate race to stay one step ahead of the Nazis, Käfer is called on to be braver and more resourceful than he ever imagined possible. But will it be enough? Boy from Berlin is based on real people and actual events.


Meet the Author:

Nancy McDonald began her career as a journalist on television programs that include W5, Canada AM, and Marketplace before going on to become a sought-after freelance writer, penning everything from documentaries to live-action scripts to comic books. One Boy’s War is the highly anticipated sequel to Boy from Berlin. Nancy lives in Stratford, Ontario, where she revels in Shakespeare, takes theatergoers on tours of the Costume Warehouse, and treads the boards with the Perth County Players. She also works part-time at Fanfare Books, Stratford’s only independent bookseller.

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

Tour Schedule:

Sep 14 –Splashes of Joy – book review of Boy from Berlin / guest post / author interview / giveaway
Sep 14 - Working Mommy Journal - book review of Boy from Berlin / giveaway
Sep 14 – Sefina Hawke's Books – book spotlight
Sep 15 – I'm Into Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 15 - Adventurous Bookworm – book review of One Boy’s War / giveaway
Sep 16 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of Boy from Berlin / giveaway
Sep 17 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of One Boy’s War / giveaway
Sep 17 - Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sep 18 – Splashes of Joy – book review of One Boy’s War / giveaway
Sep 18 - Nighttime Reading Center – book review of Boy from Berlin / giveaway
Sep 21 – Rockin' Book Reviews – book review of Boy from Berlin / guest post / giveaway
Sep 22 – Pen Possessed – book review of One Boy’s War
Sep 22 - Library of Clean Reads - book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 23 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of Boy from Berlin / giveaway
Sep 23 - Working Mommy Journal - book review of One Boy's War / giveaway
Sep 24 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 24 - Books and Zebras @jypsylynn – book review of One Boy’s War
Sep 25 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 25 - Writer with Wanderlust - book review of Boy from Berlin / giveaway
Sep 28 - Books for Books – book spotlight
Sep 29 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sep 29 - Sylv.net – book spotlight
Sep 30 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of One Boy’s War / giveaway
Oct 1 – Connie's History Classroom – book review of Boy from Berlin
Oct 1 - Writer with Wanderlust - book review of One Boy’s War / guest post / giveaway
Oct 2 - Connie's History Classroom – book review of One Boy’s War
Oct 2 - Nighttime Reading Center – book review of One Boy’s War / giveaway
Oct 2 - Hall Ways Blog – book spotlight / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway:
Win an Autographed set of BOY FROM BERLIN & ONE BOY'S WAR. (one winner) (USA and Canada only) (ends Oct 9)

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Nancy McDonald / Historical fiction / Books from Canada

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Play the Red Queen by Juris Jurjevics


Play the Red Queen by Juris Jurjevics
Published by No Exit Press on the 27th August 2020.

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

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Vietnam, 1963. A female Viet Cong assassin is trawling the boulevards of Saigon, catching US Army officers off-guard with a single pistol shot, then riding off on the back of a scooter. Although the US military is not officially in combat, sixteen thousand American servicemen are stationed in Vietnam 'advising' the military and government. Among them are Ellsworth Miser and Clovis Robeson, two army investigators who have been tasked with tracking down the daring killer.

Set in the besieged capital of a new nation on the eve of the coup that would bring down the Diem regime and launch the Americans into the Vietnam War, Play the Red Queen is a tour-de-force mystery-cum-social history, breathtakingly atmospheric and heartbreakingly alive with the laws and lawlessness of war.

Having not so long ago read Tim Tran's refugee memoir, American Dreamer, which recounts his childhood in 1960s Vietnam, I was drawn to try Play The Red Queen because of its social history aspect. I love to learn about other countries' pasts through reading historical fiction and, on that score certainly, Jurjevics portrait of pre-war Saigon is indeed as 'breathtakingly atmospheric' as the synopsis promises. I understand Jurjevics revisited his own memories of Vietnam at this period as well as undertaking extensive research, and the approach allowed me to really feel as though I were in Saigon alongside Miser and Robeson. Seemingly minor details of scents, colours and texture, mentioned in passing, help to build up the authenticity of each scene.

Play The Red Queen unfortunately doesn't centre on the Viet Cong assassin of the title, but rather on the political manoeuvrings of two potential targets - President Diem himself and American ambassador, Lodge. I did frequently lose track of who was who in their entourages, especially when it came to the many Generals who might (or might not!) be involved in a planned coup. Miser and Robeson are bounced around like pinballs by far more powerful men so following the action from Miser's point of view meant I often felt too distanced. Although he managed to get himself into a number of unlikely situations, much of what really drives this narrative happened off the page leaving me frustrated that the stories I glimpsed in the shadows were more interesting, but remained untold.


Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Juris Jurjevics / Historical fiction / Books from Latvia

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Queen Of The Owls by Barbara Linn Probst + #Giveaway + Guest Post

Join us for this tour from Sep 9 to Sep 25, 2020!

Book Details:

Book Title:  Queen of the Owls by Barbara Linn Probst
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 +),  307 pages
Genre:  Upmarket Women's Fiction
Publisher:  She Writes Press
Release date:   April 2020
Tour dates: Sep 9 to Sep 25, 2020
Content Rating:  PG-13: Includes situations and discussions of adult subject matter.

"A stunner" — Caroline Leavitt, best-selling author

"A must-read"
— Barbara Claypole White, best-selling author

"Nuanced and insightful" — Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times
best-selling author


Book Description:

A chance meeting with a charismatic photographer will forever change Elizabeth’s life. Until she met Richard, Elizabeth's relationship with Georgia O’Keeffe and her little-known Hawaii paintings was purely academic. Now it’s personal. Richard tells Elizabeth that the only way she can truly understand O’Keeffe isn’t with her mind―it’s by getting into O’Keeffe’s skin and reenacting her famous nude photos. In the intimacy of Richard’s studio, Elizabeth experiences a new, intoxicating abandon and fullness. It never occurs to her that the photographs might be made public, especially without her consent. Desperate to avoid exposure―she’s a rising star in the academic world and the mother of young children―Elizabeth demands that Richard dismantle the exhibit. But he refuses. The pictures are his art. His property, not hers. As word of the photos spreads, Elizabeth unwittingly becomes a feminist heroine to her students, who misunderstand her motives in posing. To the university, however, her actions are a public scandal. To her husband, they’re a public humiliation. Yet Richard has reawakened an awareness that’s haunted Elizabeth since she was a child―the truth that cerebral knowledge will never be enough. Now she must face the question: How much is she willing to risk to be truly seen and known?



Guest post:  Getting into Georgia O’Keeffe’s Skin by Barbara Lynn Probst

Queen of the Owls is a story about a woman’s search for the missing sides of herself, framed around the art and life of iconic American painter Georgia O’Keeffe.

If you haven’t heard of O’Keeffe, stop and Google her. I’ll wait—because this essay will mean a lot more if you’ve had a chance to look at a few of her paintings. 

Okay, all set?

The story is set in motion when a charismatic photographer convinces bookworm Elizabeth that the only way she can truly understand O’Keeffe, whose little-known Hawaii paintings are the topic of her thesis, is to get inside O’Keeffe’s skin and “do what she did.”  As you’ll discover when you read the book, that means reproducing the nude photos that O’Keeffe posed for—which Elizabeth does, with disastrous results. 

When I talk about the research I did for the book, the question inevitably arises about what I did that helped me understand Elizabeth’s experience, and I usually answer, “I visited the places where she lived and worked, went to see her paintings in person. The only thing I didn’t do was to pose nude—well, not yet.”  It always gets a laugh, yet it’s not really a joke because I did try to get into O’Keeffe’s skin.

One of the ways I did that was by going to Hawaii (I know, poor me, the things we writers have to do) so I could understand, through my body, what O’Keeffe might have felt while she was there.  And to my surprise, I got it.

I captured my experience in this passage, about halfway through the book:

“Everything about Hawaii was the inverse of what Georgia was used to. Breathing itself must have been strange and new. In New Mexico, Georgia had breathed air that was crisp and dry; in Hawaii, the very oxygen was thick and soft, heavy with a different kind of heat. Volcanic mountains replaced New Mexico’s bare red hills. High and craggy, emerald and jade against the azure sea. A landscape lush and fecund and wet, unlike anything in Georgia’s experience. 
“How had Georgia coped, a desert creature flung into the tropics? The weight of the air, hot and moist on her skin—it must have pushed at her with the relentless question. Who am I, here, in this place? 
 
“Elizabeth could almost feel it. The sensuality, everywhere. Georgia had to paint. It was the only way to keep from drowning in sensation.”

I would never have been able to write that passage—or understand the embodied experience that Elizabeth craves, and finds—if I hadn’t gone to Kauai.  But I didn’t know that until I was actually there.

Authors spend a lot of time learning about the world of their characters, collecting material and taking notes that never appear in the actual book. It’s part of the behind-the-scenes process that can make the story seem so effortless! 

So no, I didn’t pose nude—although I did have an amazing experience surrendering to the camera when I was beginning to work on Queen of the Owls and preparing to launch a new website. That experience was, in fact, the seed for the descriptions of Elizabeth surrendering to Richard’s camera in his studio.  It’s often like that. We take the kernel of what we’ve actually experienced and enlarge it, translate, re-embody it in a fictional character.

You could say that I got into Elizabeth’s skin, as well as O’Keeffe’s.  A very different kind of “research” than reading books and articles!








Meet the Author:

BARBARA LINN PROBST is a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, living on an historic dirt road in New York’s Hudson Valley. Her debut novel QUEEN OF THE OWLS (April 2020) is the powerful story of a woman’s search for wholeness, framed around the art and life of iconic American painter Georgia O’Keeffe. Endorsed by best-selling authors including Christina Baker Kline and Caroline Leavitt, QUEEN OF THE OWLS was selected as one of the twenty most anticipated books of 2020 by Working Mother, a debut novel “too good to ignore” by Bustle, and "one of the best new novels to read during the quarantine" by Parade Magazine and Entertainment Weekly. It won the bronze medal for popular fiction from the Independent Publishers Association, placed first runner-up in general fiction for the Eric Hoffer Award, and was short-listed for the $2500 Grand Prize. Barbara has a PhD in clinical social work and blogs for several award-winning sites for writers.

Connect with the Author:  website  ~ facebook  ~ instagram ~ goodreads
Tour Schedule:
Sep 9 – Rockin' Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sep 9 - Locks, Hooks and Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 9 - Working Mommy Journal - book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 10 – My Fictional Oasis – book spotlight
Sep 10 - Bookish Paradise – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sep 10 - Book Corner News and Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 11 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 14 – Pen Possessed – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 15 – Lamon Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sep 15 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 16 – I'm Into Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 16 - Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sep 17 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 17 - Library of Clean Reads - book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 18 – Hall Ways Blog – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sep 21 – Sefina Hawke's Books – book spotlight
Sep 22 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sep 22 - Deborah-Zenha Adams - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sep 22 - Sylv.net – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 23 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sep 23 - Alexis Marie Chute Blog - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sep 23 - Books for Books – book spotlight
Sep 24 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – book spotlight / guest post
Sep 25 - Novel Escapes  - book spotlight
Sep 25 - 100 Pages A Day – book spotlight / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway:
Win an Autographed copy of QUEEN OF THE OWLS and gift basket.
(USA only) (ends October 2)

  a Rafflecopter giveaway



 
Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Barbara Linn Probst / Women's fiction / Books from America

Monday, 21 September 2020

Igifu by Scholastique Mukasonga


Igifu by Scholastique Mukasonga
First published in French as L'Iguifou in France by Editions Gallimard in 2010. English language translation by Jordan Stump published by Archipelago Press on the 17th September 2020.

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

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The stories in Igifu summon phantom memories of Rwanda and radiate with the fierce ache of a survivor. From the National Book Award finalist who Zadie Smith says, "rescues a million souls from the collective noun genocide."

Scholastique Mukasonga's autobiographical stories rend a glorious Rwanda from the obliterating force of recent history, conjuring the noble cows of her home or the dew-swollen grass they graze on. In the title story, five-year-old Colomba tells of a merciless overlord, hunger or igifu, gnawing away at her belly. She searches for sap at the bud of a flower, scraps of sweet potato at the foot of her parent's bed, or a few grains of sorghum in the floor sweepings. Igifu becomes a dizzying hole in her stomach, a plunging abyss into which she falls. In a desperate act of preservation, Colomba's mother gathers enough sorghum to whip up a nourishing porridge, bringing Colomba back to life. This elixir courses through each story, a balm to soothe the pains of those so ferociously fighting for survival. 

Her writing eclipses the great gaps of time and memory; in one scene she is a child sitting squat with a jug of sweet, frothy milk and in another she is an exiled teacher, writing down lists of her dead. As in all her work, Scholastique sits up with them, her witty and beaming beloved.

Having been moved by Scholastique Mukasonga's memoir of her childhood, The Barefoot Woman, which I read a couple of years ago, I jumped at the chance to read and review this new English translation of her short story collection, Igifu. Igifu translates as 'hunger' and is the title of the first story, a disturbingly powerful account of a five year old girl slowly starving to death. It is heart-rending to read, yet so beautifully written and I was reminded of how I felt reading Jack London's classic tale, To Build A Fire.

Igifu, the book, is a collection of five short stories, each of which took me deeply into aspects of Rwandan life pre- and post-genocide. Mukasonga vividly illustrates the daily lives of Tutsi people who lived under extreme circumstances, displaced and intimidated, for years before the genocide violence finally erupted, and the stories Fear and Grief powerfully convey their eponymous emotions. The Glorious Cow describes the aching void left in a community by the loss of their prized cattle herds around which their lives had formerly revolved. And in The Curse Of Beauty, possibly my favourite of the stories although I thought each of the five equally maintained Mukasonga's high standards, we follow the life of Helena who is feted yet also excluded, purely because of her physical appearance.

Igifu isn't an easy read, but I loved every minute I spent engrossed in these stories and am very grateful to Archipelago Press for this opportunity to read Mukasonga's work in translation as I know my own French isn't up to capturing all the detail and nuances of this masterful prose. 


Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Scholastique Mukasonga / Short stories / Books from Rwanda

Sunday, 20 September 2020

Then The Dawn Returns by Imad Afdam


Then The Dawn Returns by Imad Afdam

Self published on the 4th September 2017.

How I got this book: Purchased an ebook copy via Smashwords

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Buy this book via

Smashwords / Amazon.com / Amazon UK


The book entitled Then The Dawn Returns is a poem on poetry, humanity, love and life. It involves 63 poems that launch the reader into a journey of reflection and profound sensation of what it is to be a human in this modern world. Perhaps the answer to that question is love, and poetry is its Ambassador, because poetry, is the only evidence of life in the Milky Way.

I chose to read Then The Dawn Returns to complete a quintet of Moroccan books for my WorldReads project and I am glad I took a chance on this self-published poetry collection. The 63 poems range from two-line flash poetry to works that run for a page or more, and Afdam ponders a variety of subjects in his thoughtful and philosophical style. Romantic love and grief are, perhaps unsurprisingly, the most prevalent topics. For me, the earlier poems felt the strongest emotionally and I particularly appreciated connecting with Hope, Eternal Inspiration, The Fallen Man and Let Us. I think Then The Dawn Returns would be a worthwhile addition to any poetry fan's virtual bookshelf (I don't know if the book is available in print or just digitally).


Search Literary Flits for more:

Books by Imad Afdam / Poetry / Books from Morocco

Saturday, 19 September 2020

The Girl From The Hermitage by Molly Gartland


The Girl from the Hermitage by Molly Gartland

Published by Lightning Books on the 23rd April 2020.

How I got this book: Received a review copy via Rachel's Random Resources

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Eye Books (20% off with discount code HERMITAGETOUR. Free UK p&p)

Amazon UK / Amazon.com / 

The Book Depository / Waterstones

Galina was born into a world of horrors. So why does she mourn its passing?

SHORTLISTED: Impress Prize

LONGLISTED: Bath Novel Award

LONGLISTED: Grindstone Novel Award

It is December 1941, and eight-year-old Galina and her friend Vera are caught in the siege of Leningrad, eating soup made of wallpaper, with the occasional luxury of a dead rat. Galina’s artist father Mikhail has been kept away from the front to help save the treasures of the Hermitage. Its cellars could now provide a safe haven, provided Mikhail can navigate the perils of a portrait commission from one of Stalin’s colonels.

Nearly forty years later, Galina herself is a teacher at the Leningrad Art Institute. What ought to be a celebratory weekend at her forest dacha turns sour when she makes an unwelcome discovery. The painting she embarks upon that day will hold a grim significance for the rest of her life, as the old Soviet Union makes way for the new Russia and Galina’s familiar world changes out of all recognition.

Warm, wise and utterly enthralling, Molly Gartland’s debut novel guides us from the old communist world, with its obvious terrors and its more surprising comforts, into the glitz and bling of 21st-century St Petersburg. Galina’s story is at once a compelling page-turner and an insightful meditation on ageing and nostalgia.



I am so glad to have been given the opportunity to read and review The Girl From The Hermitage as part of this Rachel's Random Resources blog tour. My attention was captured by the very first heartbreaking scene - of a man scraping dried paste from wallpaper to make soup for his daughter during the bitter siege of Leningrad - and I remained engrossed in this accomplished novel from that moment on. I was amazed to realise that The Girl From The Hermitage is actually Molly Gartland's debut novel! Her characterisation, dialogue, world building and narrative are so spot on throughout this book that I had assumed it to be the work of a veteran novelist. I  understand that Gartland spent several years in Russia herself and I felt that her experience of the Russian people and culture really shines through. This story is grounded in truth, while also being compelling historical fiction. We see Galina mature from starving war child to Perestroika-baffled matriarch and her poignant nostalgia for her past reminded me strongly of the nonfiction accounts I read in Dancing Bears by Witold Szablowski.

Art, particularly the psychology of its creation, plays a vital part in The Girl From The Hermitage and I loved the scenes where Galina immerses herself in her art as an escape from the realities of her situation. Gartland evokes the inconveniences of Soviet style communal living in the city and I freely admit to being envious of Galina's rural dacha. The constants of her art and the dacha provide Galina an anchor while we watch the Soviet Union disintegrate around her which I thought was such an interesting way to witness this time of great social change for Russia. The Girl From The Hermitage is a fascinating story, deftly and sensitively told, which I highly recommend to historical fiction fans.


Meet the author   

Originally from Michigan, Molly Gartland worked in Moscow from 1994 to 2000 and has been fascinated by Russian culture ever since.

She has an MA in Creative Writing from St Mary’s University, Twickenham and lives in London.

The manuscript for her debut novel The Girl from the Hermitage was shortlisted for the Impress Prize and longlisted for the Mslexia Novel Competition, the Bath Novel Award and Grindstone Novel Award.

Author links: 

Twitter


Search Literary Flits for more:

Books by Molly Gartland / Historical fiction / Books from America

Friday, 18 September 2020

The People We Meet Along The Way by Beth Rinyu + #Giveaway

The People We Meet Along The Way
Beth Rinyu
Publication date: September 17th 2020
Genres: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Would you be able to grant the same forgiveness to someone else that you’re so desperately seeking yourself?

Jillian O’Rourke’s marriage died long before her husband’s tragic accident. Years of battling with infertility and demanding careers melted their once solid relationship. Bearing the burden of guilt over his death, Jillian gets lost in despair and a series of what ifs. But one chance encounter with a stranger, changes everything. Now being faced with newfound knowledge and a painful decision, Jillian must push past her anger, learn to forgive and open her heart in ways she never could’ve imagined.  As she comes to grips with the devastation of her past, she learns to embrace the possibility of a future she never thought possible.  A bittersweet story of love, forgiveness, and the unexpected destiny that is sometimes handed to us in life from the people we meet along the way.

Goodreads / Amazon.com / Amazon UK

EXCERPT:

“I just wish you didn’t hate me so much.” I concentrated on the coffee in my cup as I swirled the wooden stirrer round and round.

“I don’t hate you,” I said, focusing my attention back to him. “I hate what we did. I hate that I let it define who I was for so long, and I hate that I hurt someone I cared about so much because of it. But I don’t hate you—you were just one of the many cracks in my life.”

He creased his forehead. “I don’t understand.”

I gazed at him long and hard, finally fearless of the shame the man staring back at me conjured up inside of me. He held no control over me, and he never had. I stood up and pushed my chair in as he sat there waiting for an explanation. “And I wouldn’t have expected you to. Goodbye, Jonathan.”

Author Bio:

Ever since I can remember, I have always enjoyed Creative Writing. There was always something about being able to travel to a different place or become a different person with just the stroke of a pen - or in today's world a touch of the keyboard. I love creating deep characters who you will love or love to hate.

My life is not as interesting as my books or the characters in them, but then again whose life is? My happy place is a seat by the ocean with my feet in the sand or on the busy streets of New York City. You will more than likely find one of these places as the setting for most of my books.

Blog / Facebook / Instagram / Amazon / Bookbub


GIVEAWAY!

Win a $15 Amazon gift card. 

Open internationally until the 24th September.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Beth Rinyu / Romance fiction / Books from America

Thursday, 17 September 2020

The Rue Stone by Janet Stock + #Giveaway


The Rue Stone by Janet Stock
Self published in the UK in October 2019.


The rue is a mysterious and rare being who is rarely seen, and Janna is amazed when one arrives at the inn where she works, looking for a room. The next morning, her life has changed, and she is left wondering whether she will ever see him again, but only time and the rue stone know the answer to that question.

The Rue Stone is a sweet fantasy novella which I enjoyed reading in the style of a traditional fairytale. Janna is an interesting young woman, striving for independence, who takes employment at a mystical inn. I liked Janet Stock's descriptions of the inn and its customers, especially the way in which she establishes its isolated location. It's all too easy for travellers to be marooned there by inclement weather! The Rue Stone has a good sense of atmosphere throughout. Unfortunately the storyline was too patriarchal for my tastes. I wanted Janna to have a real say in her life choices and to be the driver of her own story. Instead everything is seemingly either predetermined by the Rue's destiny or only a possibility once Janna is securely attached to a male. Watching Janna waiting for others to act was frustrating. 



Meet the author   

Having written all of my life, I decided to self-publish my writing when I turned 50. I have published four books since then. Two are collections of short stories; Dark & Fluffy; Dark & Fluffy II and 500 Words, which is flash fiction. My latest book The Rue Stone is a fantasy novella. My passion is medieval fiction, and I am working on my first novel The Little Servant - The Wait's Son, set in the 12th century, in Lincoln, where I live. All four books are available on Amazon.

Author links: 
WebsiteFacebook ~ Twitter


And now it's time for the Giveaway!

Win 5 paperback copies of The Rue Stone (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Books by Janet Stock / Fairytales / Books from England

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Beyond What Separates Us by R.A. Morris + #Giveaway


Join us for this tour from Sep 9 to Sep 22, 2020!

Book Details:

Book Title:  Beyond What Separates Us by R.A. Morris
Category:  Adult fiction 18 yrs +,  277 pages
GenreDystopian, Sci-Fi
PublisherIguana Books
Release date:   September, 2020
Content Rating:  PG-13 Some swearing and violent scenes.  
 
Book Description:

Four strangers from distant parts of the world struggle to survive on a planet torn apart by war, greed and disease. Living under drastically different circumstances, they are each presented with an opportunity to choose what type of world they want to live in. Beyond What Separates Us follows these four strangers as they attempt to overcome hardships and reach their full potential. This is a story about the best and worst aspects of humanity clashing to determine not only the fate of our species but all other life on Earth. 
 
 B&N ~ iTunes ~ kobo
 

Beyond What Separates Us is a science-based novel that explores the aftermath of global devastation caused by climate change. Four characters, located in different parts of the world and living in very different circumstances, illustrate scarily plausible futures for humanity within the coming century. Having recently read Jonathan Porritt's depressing nonfiction work, Hope In Hell, on just this subject, I can attest to the accuracy of Morris' research. While I did struggle to keep each of the four lead characters separated in my head (because they all speak with remarkably similar voices) the scenarios in which they find themselves are vividly portrayed and convincingly authentic. I liked that Morris takes into account the present and recent history for each area, using this to extrapolate into the future so the Colombian character's life is still dominated by gangs and local warlords while, in Canada, an orderly megacity is thriving and India has vast crumbling slums.

Beyond What Separates Us focuses on what sort of society could be rebuilt on a planet where half the human population has been wiped out by lack of resources (and the resultant long-running wars to cling to what remained) over just a few decades. There are lots of discussions around what constitutes freedom and ideas of social responsibility versus personal choice which I found interesting. Some people are trying to reinstate outdated concepts of government and democracy while others are building independent self-supporting farming communes. There is a surprising lack of any religious beliefs among the survivors though which is perhaps overly optimistic, and farmed animals still 'give us' their eggs and milk (as if they have freedom of choice too!). 

Beyond What Separates Us is a novel on an impressively ambitious scale, especially for a debut, and one which I felt achieved its aims in an entertaining yet thoughtful way. It depicts humanity at our absolute worst, yet with moments of joy and hope. Its premise that we failed to reverse the climate emergency in time will hopefully resonate with enough readers to help avert this disastrous prophecy and keep the novel as science fiction. As a fatalistic-resilient though, I expect many of Morris's predictions to come true.



 
Meet the Author:

R.A Morris was raised in Ancaster, Ontario and holds a Master of Environmental Studies from York University. After graduate school he spent a year teaching science in Honduras before heading back to Canada to work in the environmental sector. He has lived in the small remote community of Fort Good Hope and the territorial capital of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. He currently lives in Toronto. His first novel, Beyond What Separates Us, is a timely work of speculative fiction that offers a glimpse of what societies may look like if we continue on our path of ecological degradation.

Connect with the Author:  twitter  ~  facebook  ~ instagram  goodreads
 
Tour Schedule:

Sep 9 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Sep 9 - Pen Possessed – book review
Sep 10 – Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Sep 10 - Books for Books – book spotlight
Sep 11 – Sefina Hawke's Books – book spotlight
Sep 14 – Sylv.net – book spotlight
Sep 15 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 15 - Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / giveaway
Sep 16 – Momfluenster – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 16 - Lamon Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sep 16 – Literary Flits – book review / giveaway
Sep 17 - Books and Zebras @jypsylynn – book review
Sep 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sep 21 – Splashes of Joy – book spotlight / guest post / author interview / giveaway
Sep 21 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
Sep 22 – My Fictional Oasis – book review  
 
Enter the Giveaway:
Win 1 of 3 ebooks of R.A. Morris' BEYOND WHAT SEPARATES US (3 winners) (USA & Canada) (ends Sep 29)

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Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by R A Morris / Science fiction / Books from Canada

Monday, 14 September 2020

It's Murder My Son by Lauren Carr + #Giveaway


Book Details:

Book Title: It's Murder, My Son by Lauren Carr
Series:  A Mac Faraday Mystery (Volume 1)

Category:  Adult fiction (18+), 288 pages
Genre:  Murder Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  June 23, 2010
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!

Book Description:

What started out as the worst day of Mac Faraday’s life would end up being a new beginning. After a messy divorce hearing, the last person that Mac wanted to see was another lawyer. Yet, this lawyer wore the expression of a child bursting to tell his secret. This confidence would reveal Mac as heir to undreamed of fortunes, and lead him to the birthplace of America’s Queen of Mystery and an investigation that will unfold like one of her famous mystery novels.

Soon after she moves to Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, Katrina Singleton learns that life in an exclusive community is not all good. For some unknown reason, a strange man calling himself “Pay Back” begins stalking her. When Katrina is found strangled all evidence points to her terrorist, who is nowhere to be found.

Three months later, the file on her murder is still open when Mac Faraday, sole heir to his unknown birth mother’s home and fortune, moves into the estate next door. Little does he know as he drives up to Spencer Manor that he is driving into a closed gate community that is hiding more suspicious deaths than his DC workload as a homicide detective. With the help of his late mother’s journal, this retired cop puts all his detective skills to work to pick up where the local investigators have left off to follow the clues to Katrina’s killer.

"Lauren's dialogue is brisk, her setting beautiful and the addition of Gnarly is very clever...It's Murder, My Son is a delightful read and I look forward to more of Carr's Mac Faraday mysteries." --Connie Gregory, Connie's Reviews
"I couldn't put this book down! Lauren Carr develops the characters and weaves the details of the murder investigation into a complex storyline that keeps the reader relentlessly turning pages. She is skilled at teasing you into reading more. I finished the last page still wanting to read more!" -- Kelly Carpenter, Kelly's Lucky You
"No disrespect to Mac Faraday, Archie Monday, David O'Callaghan, Travis Turner or any of the multitude of good, bad and ugly characters populating Lauren Carr's It's Murder, My Son; but to me the most interesting character in the book is a lovable, mischievous, sneaky German shepherd named Gnarly." - David M. Kinchen, Huntington News

I've already read the second book in Lauren Carr's 'Mac Faraday' mystery series, Old Loves Die Hard, so I appreciated this opportunity to right go back to the series' beginning and discover how Mac found himself living in luxury at Deep Creek Lake. He's just inherited an almost unimaginable fortune, but before he can start to accustom himself to his changed circumstances, Mac embroils himself in a complicated murder investigation.

I was impressed by just how many threads Carr manages to entwine in order to keep her readers guessing the murderer's identity. At one point I think I had practically everyone in town on my suspects list and, as the body count rises, it seemed the solution might boil down to the last person standing! The case centres around Mac's investigation, but for me it was the varied characters surrounding him that made It's Murder My Son such an interesting story. The ghastly Hardwicks make for great reading although I'm glad not to actually know them in real life. I could empathise strongly with Betsy's notebook obsession (although I was disappointed at the continual fat shaming of this character), and sympathised with David's struggle against repeatedly being shunned by his superior officers. Of course it's German Shepherd dog Gnarly who steals every scene - along with pretty much everything else that isn't tied down, especially food! I love Gnarly!

Deep Creek Lake makes a gorgeous setting for It's Murder My Son and I enjoyed peeping into the glamorous lifestyles of the super-rich characters. I didn't manage to work out the whole mystery before the big reveal, but was kept happily enthralled and am now looking forward to rejoing Mac and Gnarly to solve another mystery very soon.



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

TOUR SCHEDULE:
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

ENTER THE 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