Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Cancer Awareness Multi-book Spotlight Tour


According to the National Cancer Institute, "In 2020, an estimated 1,806,590 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 606,520 people will die from the disease." It is impossible to meet someone who has not been touched by this disease in some manner, whether it be physically or emotionally.

There are many types of cancer--so many that each month of the year is dedicated to promoting awareness of a different type. Just as cancer comes in various forms, it touches different people in various ways.

When a writer is touched by this disease, the natural reaction is to take pen to paper--or rather fingers to keyboard.

The results will surprise you! The stories are as diverse as the disease.

During the month of April, here at iRead Book Tours, we are featuring some tremendous titles written by or inspired by cancer survivors!

AGAIN: Surviving Cancer Twice with Love and Lists by Christine Shields-Corrigan
Book TitleAgain: Surviving Cancer Twice with Love and Lists
Author:  Christine Shields Corrigan
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction (18+), 256 pages
Genre:  Memoir
Publisher:  Koehler Books
Release date:  Oct 2020
Formats Available for review: print-softback (USA and Canada), ebook (
mobi file (for Kindle), gifted Kindle copy, PDF, NetGalley download)
Tour dates:  May 10 to May 28, 2021
Content Rating:  PG-13. My book has some profanity and one non-explicit sex scene with my husband.

"This no-nonsense debut memoir recalls Corrigan's two-time battle with cancer and takes a pragmatic approach toward guiding other patients. Candid, sagacious writing on illness and adaptation." --Kirkus Reviews
A breast cancer diagnosis at forty-nine forces Christine Shields Corrigan, a wife, mom, and meticulous list-maker, to confront her deepest fears of illness, death, and loss of control as she struggles to face cancer again. From the discovery of a “junky” cyst, to chemotherapy and surgery, sleepless nights filled with rosaries and “what ifs,” and shifting family dynamics, her adult experience mirrors her teen bout with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, with one exception—she no longer has parents keeping her in the dark.

With the ghosts of cancer past hovering around her, Chris falls into the same overprotective traps her taciturn Irish-Catholic parents created, striving to keep her family’s life “normal,” when it is anything but, and soldiering through on her own, until a neighbor’s unexpected advice and gift move her to accept others’ help. With fierce honesty, poignant reflection, and good humor, Chris shares a journey filled with sorrow, grace, forgiveness, and resilience, as she winds her way through cancer for the second time. Again offers practical guidance and hope to individuals that they have the strength to forge a path beyond a diagnosis.


FLYING AGAINST THE ODDS by Jean-Jacques Trochon
Book Title:  FLYING AGAINST THE ODDS: One Man's Journey to New Ways of Healing by Jean-Jacques Trochon with Heather Whitehall-Trochon
CategoryAdult Non-Fiction (18+),  249 pages
Genre:  Memoir
PublisherIkhaya Publishing
Release date:   November 2020
Format available for review:  print (Internationally), ebook (mobi, epub)
Tour dates: May 17 to June 4, 2021
Content Rating:  G. Memoir for General Audience.

Author Jean-Jacques Trochon

Jean-Jacque (JJ) had a devastating problem. At age fifty-one, he was diagnosed with stage four cancer and given three years to live. Rather than accept that outcome, JJ did what he always does: he set out to find a solution. Desiring to look beyond traditional treatments and their often harmful side effects, he put his unconventionally wired mind to work. JJ was relentless as he investigated alternative therapies and pursued global trailblazers in cancer research. Moving from the role of patient to patient-researcher, he became a trailblazer in his own right, being sought after for his latest findings. Ultimately, JJ brought together the most innovative international minds at the Rethinking Cancer 2017 conference in Paris. Together, they found common ground, and they continue to create integrative, synergistic approaches to treatment. Today, almost a decade after his diagnosis, JJ has defied the odds and is cancer-free. Recently retired from his career as a commercial airline captain on the Airbus A380, he now devotes himself to sharing his ongoing research with scientists and patients. JJ’s story illustrates how looking at things differently often enables us to see them in a whole new light.

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Book Depository
add to Goodreads

Book Title: Caroline & Mordecai the Gand by Jeff Gunhus
Category Middle-Grade Fiction (Ages 8-12), 186 pages
GenreFantasy, Literary
Publisher Seven Guns Press
Release date March 31, 2021
Format available for review:  print (USA), ebook (mobi for kindle, epub, PDF, audiobook (audible download)
Tour dates:  Mar 31 to May 11, 2021
Content Rating: PG: The language is G. There is one scene with the main character punches a bully resulting in a bloody nose. The emotional treatment of grief and the death of a loved one can be somewhat intense.

"Readers of all ages who look for ethereal, haunting stories of recovery and courage will find Caroline & Mordecai the Gand may hold the trappings of a fantasy adventure; but inside there is so much more. Make the right decision, to read this!" - D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

"Caroline’s story is profoundly sad, and yet hopeful, magical, and yet rooted in reality. There is magic, mystery, and daring adventure." - BooksCoffee
Author Jeff GunhusJeff Gunhus
This novella was written by USA Today bestselling author Jeff Gunhus after he received a devastating diagnosis of state 3 cancer. The story is a message to his five children on how to deal with grief and a plea for them to grasp onto joy and love even in the darkest of times.

Caroline loses her spark. It takes a great adventure for her to find it again.

Caroline loses her father in a car accident for which she feels responsible. Consumed by grief, she has a difficult time readjusting to a world that has changed so dramatically for her. On the anniversary of her father’s death, a strange window opens in the middle of the small lake behind her house. She climbs up an old oak to peer inside, but falls out of the tree and discovers that the window also serves as a door into a different world.

Enter Mordecai the Gand, a mysterious traveler who befriends Caroline and promises to help her find a way back home since the window she fell through has disappeared. The two set out on a series of adventures that include visiting a tree village populated by a tribe known for eating travelers, running into a witch under a spell of her own making, hiding in a cave with a dragon encased in a wall of ice (prone to melting by campfire), all the while being pursued by a mysterious entity call the Creach which promises to devour Caroline and trap her in an eternity of despair.

As they navigate these adventures and this new world, Caroline slowly discovers that she is meant to help each of the characters she meets. As she battles internally whether to stay or return home to the sadness and grief waiting for her there, she must regain perspective and open her heart to the act of caring and to the joy of love itself. In the end, she must demonstrate great courage, loyalty, and caring as the plot unfolds, becoming the active hero of her own story.

Buy the Book:
Add the Goodreads

MARVELLOUS MACEY by Caitlin Bangsund
Book Title:  Marvellous Macey, The Delightful Days by Caitlin Bangsund
CategoryChildren's Fiction (Ages 3-8),  40 pages
GenreChildren's Picture Book
PublisherCaitlin E. Bangsund
Release date:   March 2021
Format available for review:  print, ebook (PDF)
Will send print books out:  USA and Canada
Tour dates: Mar 1 to mar 28, 2021
Content Rating:  G. This children's book is for everyone.

Author Caitlin Bangsund you va va voom? Do you light up the room? Marvellous Macey does! She may not quite fit the mould, but she is living delightful days. Embrace Macey's world of imagination and ability to love and accept everyone. Life may not be perfect and some things might be hard, but Macey shows us how to live in the moment and find the delight! Be inspired by Macey to make everyday the BEST day.

Caitlin Bangsund is the author of Marvellous Macey, The Delightful Days. It is the first in a series based on true life. Caitlin knows the trial and trauma of childhood cancer, childhood disability, and the fear of almost losing her daughter — the star of the series — Macey. She encourages readers to look for the treasures that hide in the rubble and gloom. Life is beautiful chaos and her message is to press on and conquer. Read her stories and help create a world that is full of kindness and acceptance.


Book Title:  MC Plays Hide and Seek: An Empowering Story for Healthy Children Who Care About a Person Living with Cancer by Eva Grayzel
CategoryChildren's Fiction (Ages 3-7),  64 pages
Genre:  Children's Picture Book
PublisherMascot Books
Release date:   Jan 5, 2021
Format available for review:  print (USA), pdf
Tour dates: Jan 5 to Feb 1, 2021
Content Rating:  G for everyone.

When asked about her motivation for writing her children's picture book about cancer, author Eva Grayzel explains:

My children were 5 and 7 when I was diagnosed with stage IV oral cancer. It’s a disease that cannot be hidden under clothing. My caregivers were so consumed with me, we didn’t addressthe feelings of our children. I regret not seeking professional attention for them during that time, but we didn’t think of it. If my healthcare providers had recommended it, we would have followed through. 
Since my voice was compromised during treatment, finding a book about understanding cancer would have been an easy solution. However, I could not find one to help start the conversation with our children.
Months after my recovery, my daughter still wouldn’t kiss me. She was intuitive, afraid of losing me and didn’t want to commit to another day of loving me. My son was shopping  with his grandma for a birthday card and he found a Get Well card. “Let’s buy this for Mom.” Grandma had to tell him that I wasn’t sick anymore.
When I reached my 10 year cancer-free anniversary, I had to mark it. There was no better way than filling the void for a children’s book to minimize fear and promote dialogue about cancer. ‘M.C. Plays Hide & Seek’ emphasizes feelings children experience and ways to address their emotions in a healthy, comfortable way. It’s everything I wished I had for my children. And, I hope it will be everything you need for yours.


Tour Schedule:

Apr 5 – Cover Lover Book Review – books spotlight
Apr 6 – Man of la Book - A Bookish Blog – books spotlight
Apr 7 – Lamon Reviews – books spotlight
Apr 8 – Rockin' Book Reviews – books spotlight
Apr 8 - Thoughts in Progress – books spotlight
Apr 13 – Books for Books – books spotlight
Apr 13 - Gina Rae Mitchell - books spotlight
Apr 14 – Literary Flits – books spotlight
Apr 15 – A Mama's Corner of the World – books spotlight
Apr 20 – The Adventures Of a Travelers Wife – books spotlight
Apr 21 – Lisa's Reading – books spotlight
Apr 22 – jayme_reads – books spotlight
Apr 23 -  Splashes of Joy – books spotlight
Apr 27 – Sefina Hawke's Books – books spotlight
Apr 28 – Locks, Hooks and Books – books spotlight
Apr 30 – Kam's Place – books spotlight



Monday, 12 April 2021

Come, Thou Almighty by FKAHerSweetness

Come, Thou Almighty by FKAHerSweetness
Self published in installments from January to March 2021.

How I got this book:

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Come, Thou Almighty is a fan fiction novella I discovered by supporting talented author FKAHERSweetness on Ko-Fi. I understand the main characters are inspired by the television series Hannibal, but I haven't yet watched any of that so I can't comment on how closely or distantly they resemble their screen counterparts. I do know that Come, Thou Almighty is set in an alternative reality with a self-contained storyline so I didn't miss out at all (I don't think) for reading this work in isolation.

I love FKAHS' prose style which is beautifully flowery and thoughtful in a way that perfectly suited the deeply traditional, monastic setting of the story. Elements of the tale reminded me of the Gormenghast reality with its rigid structures and rituals, reinforced over generations of faithful repetitions. Come, Thou Almighty is set within a closed community who live around a sumptuous cathedral, tunnelled into a mountain. I don't think I've ever read a setting quite as unique as this and I was entranced by it. 

At the centre, is sixteen-year-old Will, a boy destined to become the Godsmouth on his seventeenth birthday and to spend the rest of his solitary life channelling the word of God to his people. It's a cruelly hugh responsibility to place on such young shoulders and I could completely empathise with Will's reluctance to embrace his destiny any sooner than he absolutely must. Hannibal Lecter's character arrives as a young trainee physician, only a few years older than Will. Hannibal really doesn't have any understanding of quite what he is walking into and I won't reveal too much about it either for fear of spoiling the intense atmospheres that FKAHS creates. Suffice to say that Come, Thou Almighty is as much a coming of age story for Hannibal as it is for Will. 

Despite my eclectic reading over the years, I have hardly read any fan fiction so surprised myself in just how much I enjoyed reading Come, Thou Almighty, especially as I couldn't reference the original characters or story. No doubt fans of Hannibal would benefit from a greater familiarity with the characters, but I thoroughly enjoyed the story on its own account. There are a few pretty graphic sex scenes and a scene of grim violence, as well as moments of real poignance. I'm delighted to have discovered both this impressive new-to-me author and, on the strength of this tale, to have a whole new genre of fiction to explore.

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by FKAHerSweetness / Fan fiction / Books from America

Sunday, 11 April 2021

It's A Mad World by Susie Kelly

It's A Mad World: Travels Through a Muddled Life by Susie Kelly
Published by Blackbird Books on the 17th February 2021.

Unlike her daredevil husband, Susie Kelly is afraid of water, elevators, heights, skiing and flying upside down and she hates being in the spotlight. 

No matter how hard she tries, things seem to go wrong more often than they go right. Fortunately she can see the funny side of most things, even her cancer diagnosis. However, snoring transforms her from a sweet little thing into a pitiless monster.   

These often funny and sometimes poignant tales of travels through Susie’s muddled life confirm that, as Simon Reeve writes in his autobiography, Step by Step, ‘…it is always worth remembering that some of the most memorable times can happen when things go a bit wrong.’ 

If you enjoy collections of funny, poignant true stories, you'll love this.

Meet the author
Born a Londoner, Susie Kelly spent most of the first 25 years of her life in Kenya. She now lives in south-west France with her husband and assorted animals. She believes that her explosive temper is a legacy from her Irish-American grandfather, but has no idea who to blame for her incompetence as a housewife. Still, she’s very kind to animals, small children and elderly people. Susie particularly enjoys exploring the road less travelled, discovering the lives and events of lesser-known places.

Prior to publishing with Blackbird, Susie was with Transworld who sold over 50,000 of her titles in the UK.  Some of those are rights-reverted and are now available to readers worldwide for the first time. 25% of Susie’s royalties from The Valley of Heaven and Hell are shared equally between Cancer Research and Tower Hill Stables Sanctuary in Essex.

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Susie Kelly / Biography and memoir / Books from England

Saturday, 10 April 2021

The Deadly Truth: A Dr Basil Willing Mystery by Helen McCloy

The Deadly Truth: A Dr Basil Willing Mystery by Helen McCloy
First published in 1941. Republished by Agora Books on the 25th March 2021.

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When psychologist Dr Basil Willing rents a cottage on Long Island for a vacation, he falls into the company of his landlady, Claudia Bethune and her friends.

But when Claudia throws a last minute dinner party with a special cocktail, Basil’s relaxing holiday takes a turn. It seems Claudia’s drink du jour has in fact been laced with a new truth serum. And as secrets begin to spill, everyone is on edge.

When morning comes, it seems there are some lasting effects to the night’s imbibing: the hostess herself is found dead at the table.

Now, all thoughts of holiday set aside, Dr Willing finds himself at the heart of the murder case. Will he be able to use his skills to untangle the lies from the truth and bring the killer to justice?

The Deadly Truth is the third in Helen McCloy's 'Dr Basil Willing' series of golden age mysteries. It took me a little while to really get immersed in this story but, once I did, I appreciated the intricacies of the plotting. I loved the Long Island setting too, especially the isolated Blessingbourne country house setting. The weekend party gathering brings together a disparate group of deftly portrayed characters all of whom profess to be friends, but whose underlying grievances come to the fore as Claudia Bethune's party rapidly descends into chaos. McCloy had a wonderful talent for writing these crime stories, liberally sprinkling genuine clues and plausible red herrings throughout each chapter. Her central character, Dr Willing, has a greater personal depth than is often the case with classic detective novels, and his bringing of psychological expertise to each case has kept me pleasantly intrigued throughout all three books in this series so far. I'm already looking forward to a fourth!

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Helen McCloy / Crime fiction / Books from America

Friday, 9 April 2021

The Other Side of Magic by Ester Manzini + #Giveaway

The Other Side of Magic
Ester Manzini
(Parliament House)
Publication date: April 6th 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

For fans of Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

In a world inspired by 16th century Italy, magic is a common occurrence. Everyone in the realms of Epidalio and Zafiria is gifted with it at birth, but with every spell cast, their power wanes.

Gaiane Asares is the result of an accurate selection by her mother, the queen of Zafiria. She’s infinitely powerful; a weapon of mass destruction kept segregated in a tower and used against her will to conquer Epidalio.

Meanwhile, in Epidalio, Leo was born with no magic at all, a rarity. She lost her home and family when Zafiria attacked, and her resentment toward the invaders still burns.

Gaiane manages to escape her gilded cage, and the two girls cross paths. But when war threatens the land again, their loyalty will be put to the test. Will they manage to overcome their differences in the name of freedom?


Win 1 of 10x ebook copies of The Other Side of Magic.
Open internationally until the 22nd April.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by:


Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Ester Manzini / Young adult fiction / Books from America

Monday, 5 April 2021

#WorldReads - Five Books from Bulgaria

If this is your first visit to my WorldReads blog series, the idea of the posts is to encourage and promote the reading of global literature. On the 5th of each month I highlight five books I have read by authors from a particular country and you can see links to previous countries' posts at the end of this post. From May 2016 until March 2020, WorldReads was hosted on my Stephanie Jane blog. From April 2020 onwards it is right here on Literary Flits
Click the cover images to visit their Literary Flits book review pages.

This month we are going to Bulgaria!

That's it for April's WorldReads from Bulgaria. I hope I have tempted you to try reading a book from this country and if you want more suggestions, click through to see all my Literary Flits reviews of Bulgarian-authored books!

If you missed any earlier WorldReads posts, I have already 'visited'

Africa: Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Zimbabwe,

Americas: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago, United States of America,

Asia: China, India, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Syria, Turkey, Vietnam,

Australasia: Australia, New Zealand,

Europe: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Ukraine, Wales.

In May I will be highlighting five books by Cuban authors. See you on the 5th to find out which ones!

Sunday, 4 April 2021

The Dragons, the Giant, the Women by Wayétu Moore

The Dragons, the Giant, the Women by Wayétu Moore
Published by Pushkin Press on the 25th March 2021.

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A powerful and poignant memoir of survival and resistance by the critically acclaimed author of She Would Be King, about her family's dramatic escape from the Liberian Civil War, and how they were eventually reunited

My Ol' Ma says the best stories do not always end happily, but happiness will find its way in there somehow.

When Wayétu Moore turns five years old, her father and grandmother throw her a party at home in Monrovia, Liberia. Yet all she can think about is how much she misses her mother, studying in faraway New York. Before they can be reunited, the Civil War breaks out in Liberia. The family is forced to flee their home on foot, walking along dangerous roads to the relative safety of their ancestral village. Here they will hide until a remarkable rescue by a rebel soldier, who smuggles them across the border.

The Dragons, The Giant, The Women spans this heartbreaking journey into childhood, and Moore's years adjusting to life in the USA, where she discovers a new kind of danger, as a black woman and an immigrant. This is an unforgettable memoir of the search for home in the midst of political upheaval, and an intimate story about the tenacious power of love and family.

The Dragons, the Giant, the Women begins by showing us Liberia through the eyes of five-year-old Wayétu. I loved this first section the best because it is so vividly recollected and described, and Moore manages to perfectly capture a young child's understanding of the world around her. She weaves together imaginative ideas from the stories her grandmother tells and tries to use these images to make sense of the encroaching civil war chaos. The family's long trek to escape the fighting is heartbreaking as is Wayétu's longing for her absent mother. 

Moore then goes on to portray her experiences as a Blackgirl in Texas once her immediate family is given permission to immigrate to America, sadly having to leave her grandmother behind in Liberia. I cannot begin to imagine the intensity of the culture shock the family went through. That they escaped at all, and were reunited with Wayétu's mother is miraculous. As Moore explains it though, possibly due to her youth at the time of their escape, her sense of dislocation from her homeland is more of an influence on her adult life than the trauma from which she is expected to suffer. 

I enjoyed reading this memoir, especially Moore's prose style which I felt suited the work well. She puts her ideas across in an accessible way which was useful for me particularly in understanding the complexities of Liberia's civil war. I am now keen to also read Moore's novel, She Would Be King.

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Wayétu Moore / Biography and memoir / Books from Liberia