Tuesday, 30 June 2020

State Of The ARC - June 2020

I saw this State of the ARC meme over at Avalinah's Books blog in January 2018 and thought it would be fun to join in. It's temporarily being hosted at All The Book Blog Names Are Taken.

The idea is to keep track of all the ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) books I've got awaiting reading and reviewing, and to make headway through the overdue pile. For my State of the ARC, I am including all books sent to me for review whether they are pre-publication copies (as ARCs should be) or simply review copies of books already available publicly. I don't include books that I have purchased myself, book exchange swaps, or free downloads.

In June I blogged my reviews of these ARCs:
(Click the cover images to visit their reviews)


Here's my State of the ARC numbers as of today:

Awaiting Reading

Read / Reviewed / Blogged






From Authors




Blog Tours




From Publishers




RRB (Read, Reviewed and Blogged) essentially means those book reviews are completed and I'm just waiting for their scheduled blog post date. None overdue!

No State Of The ARC would be complete without checking out the additions to my ARC stash.

Here are June's new arrivals

If you want to join this State of the ARC meme check out This Page at Avalinah's Books.

Monday, 29 June 2020

Women of Color in Tech by Susanne Tedrick + #Giveaway

Join us for this tour from June 22 to July 10, 2020!

Book Details:

Book Title:  Women of Color in Tech: A Blueprint for Inspiring and Mentoring the Next Generation of Technology Innovators by Susanne Tedrick
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction, 18 yrs +, 288 pages
Genre:  Business, Careers, Technology
Publisher:  Wiley
Release date:   April, 2020
Tour dates: June 22 to July 10, 2020
Content Rating:  PG.

Book Description:

Tech industry jobs are growing fast, offering great pay, career growth and learning opportunities. Women of color, sadly, have not been able to fully participate in this boom. There are many misconceptions about the tech industry. Misconceptions can often discourage women of color from pursuing or remaining in technical careers. For example, misconceptions like “tech careers are all about coding ”or “there’s no diversity in tech.”

In reality, tech career opportunities can be diverse, fun, and incredibly dynamic. While there are barriers to overcome, Women of Color in Tech is an indispensable resource for building a rewarding future in tech. Packed with inspiring stories and practical advice, this book shows you how to uncover the resources you need to succeed.

This practical guide will help you develop the blend of knowledge and skills needed for getting into tech—and staying there. Author Susanne Tedrick understands that, for a variety of reasons, young women of color are underrepresented in tech and may not have access to strong support networks or resources to be successful. Using her own experiences transitioning into tech, Susanne offers you real-world guidance on finding knowledgeable mentors, learning the latest industry trends, cultivating strong relationships and more.

If you’re thinking about going into tech, or you want to take your current career to the next level, Women of Color in Tech will help you build a blueprint for a successful career.

• Understand the reality of tech today, not misconceptions.
• Learn about the different tech jobs and opportunities that exist, not just coding.
• Gain an understanding of emerging technology areas that will affect jobs, like artificial intelligence, Blockchain and cloud computing.
• Discover traditional and non-traditional education option to get the skills you need.
• Find mentors, build your professional network and get the guidance you need.
• Stay motivated and deal with difficult situations.
• Recognize the importance of giving back to increase diversity and inclusion. 

Meet the Author:

Susanne Tedrick is a technical specialist for a Fortune 50 technology company. Fiercely committed to increasing participation of women and people of color in STEM educational and professional opportunities, she is a career mentor for the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) Initiative and a volunteer workshop technical assistant for Black Girls Code, a nonprofit that empowers girls of color to develop in-demand IT skills and prepare for careers in tech. Susanne was awarded the 2018 CompTIA AITP Rising Star of the Year Award, and nominated for the 2019 CompTIA Advancing Women in Technology Mentorship Guide Award, for her dedication to advancing her career and that of others. Views expressed are those of author Susanne Tedrick and are not endorsed by any of her current or former employers.

Connect with the author: 
Website ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Instagram ~ Goodreads

Tour Schedule:

June 22 - Splashes of Joy – book spotlight / author interview / guest post / giveaway
June 22 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
June 22 - Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
June 23 – Rockin' Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 24 – Alexis Marie Chute Blog – book spotlight / author interview
June 25 – Pen Possessed – book spotlight / giveaway
June 26 – Her Book Thoughts – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
June 29 - Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
June 30 – Celticlady's Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
July 1 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 2 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
July 2 - Over Coffee Conversations - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 3 – Olio by Marilyn – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
July 6 – Mowgli with a book – book spotlight / author interview
July 7 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 8 – Connie's History Classroom – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
July 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway:
Win an autographed copy of Women of Color in Tech by Susanne Tedrick and a $25 Amazon gift card.
Open to the USA only until the 17th July

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Books by Susanne Tedrick / Self help books / Books from America

Sunday, 28 June 2020

The Mimosa Tree Mystery by Ovidia Yu

The Mimosa Tree Mystery by Ovidia Yu
Published in the UK by Constable on the 4th June 2020.

One of my More Than One Challenge reads.

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mirza, a secretive neighbour of the Chens in Japanese Occupied Singapore, is a known collaborator and blackmailer. So when he is murdered in his garden, clutching a branch of mimosa, the suspects include local acquaintances, Japanese officials -- and his own daughters.

Su Lin's Uncle Chen is among those rounded up by the Japanese as reprisal. Hideki Tagawa, a former spy expelled by police officer Le Froy and a power in the new regime, offers Su Lin her uncle's life in exchange for using her fluency in languages and knowledge of locals to find the real killer.

Su Lin soon discovers Hideki has an ulterior motive. Friends, enemies and even the victim are not what they seem. There is more at stake here than one man's life. Su Lin must find out who killed Mirza and why, before Le Froy and other former colleagues detained or working with the resistance suffer the consequences of Mirza's last secret.

My second Crown Colony Mystery by Ovidia Yu although this new story, The Mimosa Tree Mystery, is actually the fourth book in the series. I felt happy reading it as a standalone novel, however characters (Le Froy in particular) from the the previous novel, The Paper Bark Tree Mystery, (the only other one I've read!) do get mentions so I might actually have benefited from a deeper understanding by reading the four books in order rather than starting in the middle!

The Mimosa Tree Mystery is set in Singapore at the same time as How We Disappeared by Jing Jing Lee. Ovidia Yu's crime fiction focuses more on aspects of a murder investigation than the war, but does give an emotive portrayal of how Singaporeans had to live under Japanese occupation. I was interested by the comparisons drawn between this experience and the previous British occupation of the island. In a lot of ways, very little changed for ordinary Singapore nationals others than the language of their oppressors.

Su Lin is co-opted as a sleuth when her neighbour is found murdered and I love her character. Her dry sense of humour chimes well with my own and I enjoyed her offbeat way of seeing the world around her. It's a difficult environment with everyone seemingly out for themselves. Deception is rife throughout this story so it's tricky to establish who can be trusted. I'm not sure I actually kept up with all the threads that came together at the denouement, but I did enjoy following the trails to get there. The Mimosa Tree Mystery is a good blend of crime fiction and historical fiction and I like Ovidia Yu's style.

Etsy Find!
by YJsupplies in
South Korea

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Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Ovidia Yu / Crime fiction / Books from Singapore

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay by Katie Ginger

Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay by Katie Ginger
Published in the UK by HQ Digital on the 24th June 2020.

Grab your strawberries and cream and get ready to return to the beautiful Swallowtail Bay!

Summer is in full swing and the locals are getting excited for the launch of the Swallowtail Bay strawberry food festival. But will all run smoothly when festival organiser Hetty’s heart is torn between lord of the manor John Thornhill and successful bakery owner Ben?


Context: This excerpt is from Chapter Four. Even though Hetty has tried her hardest, she just can’t get stuffy lord of the manor, John Thornhill to agree to her hosting the food festival at Thornhill Hall! Luckily, Hetty is nothing if not determined!

‘There isn’t anywhere else,’ Hetty exclaimed, throwing her hands in the air as her patience ran out. ‘And I can’t get people on board if I can’t tell them where they’re going to be. Urgh, I’m actually getting cross now at how stubborn John-bloody-Thornhill was in saying no. It’s the perfect spot. He’s being such an idiot. I mean, what will it take to convince that man? Do I need to show him projected profit? Detailed health and safety plans? My colour-coded spreadsheets? I don’t understand how someone who runs a successful antiques business doesn’t have enough business sense to see this is an excellent idea. And he didn’t shake my hand. Did I tell you that?’
Down the other end of the phone, Macie giggled. ‘Yes, you did. Twice. He’s really got under your skin, hasn’t he?’
Hetty’s free hand rested on her hip as she paced around her living room. ‘I just don’t understand how he hasn’t leapt at this chance. This is the most brilliant idea ever to walk up to his enormous, crumbly old house and fall into his lap.’
‘Wait, did you fall into his lap? You didn’t mention that before.’
‘You know what I mean,’ Hetty said, refusing to think about what that might be like. She flopped onto the sofa, then curled a leg underneath her. 
With all the windows open, birdsong filled the late afternoon air and mixed with the constant hum of the sea. A wonderful breeze rustled the leaves of nearby trees, cooling the warm day. Her home had originally been part of a pair of fisherman’s cottages, complete with flowering window baskets giving huge pops of colour against the bright white canvas of the walls. Across the road from her, the beach was so full she couldn’t see anything except for a mass of heads and sunhats.
Though Hetty had originally called Macie to ensure everything was in place for the retirement party they were running that night, she hadn’t been able to stop herself talking about the food festival and John’s refusal to support it. After much research she hadn’t come up with anywhere else that was suitable and had even made a tentative call to a contact in the council who’d confirmed everything she’d expected about the chances of getting the road closures to hold it in town. He’d actually laughed at her before giving a kinder answer of slim to none. The whole situation was frustrating and Hetty could feel it knotting her shoulders.
‘So, what’s the plan?’ asked Macie. ‘Oh, hang on a second.’ In the background Hetty heard Macie telling someone where a balloon display was supposed to go. ‘I’m back,’ she said, cheerfully. ‘I take it we’re not giving up.’
‘Of course we’re not,’ Hetty replied. ‘I’ll keep researching and find somewhere else. There must a local farmer who’ll let us have a field. I’m not letting this opportunity go, even if it means I work day and night between now and the bank holiday to get it done.’
‘This is why I love you,’ said Macie, sweetly. ‘You’re my hero.’
‘Are you just saying that because they’ve got those mini spring rolls at this buffet tonight and you want me to turn a blind eye to you eating them all?’
‘Something like that.’

Meet the author 

KATIE GINGER lives in the South East of England, by the sea, and she really wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay is her fifth novel. The first, Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay is available now. Her debut novel The Little Theatre on the Seafront was shortlisted for the Katie Fforde Debut Novel of the Year award, and her stand- alone Christmas novel Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage was a US Amazon bestseller.

When she's not writing, Katie spends her time drinking gin, or with her husband, trying to keep alive their two children, Ellie and Sam. And there's also their adorable King Charles Spaniel, Wotsit (yes, he is named after the crisps!).

Author links: 
WebsiteTwitterFacebook ~ Instagram

Etsy Find!
by Rewrapped UK in
the UK

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Books by Katie Ginger / Romance fiction / Books from England

Friday, 26 June 2020

A Secret Life: Enduring and Triumphing Over OCD by James S. Juliana + #Giveaway

A Secret Life: Enduring and Triumphing Over OCD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder by James S. Juliana
Self published in October 2019.

Are you one of the millions who reside within a secret life, a life which constantly feels out of your own control: Are you plagued by repetitive thoughts and/or actions which interfere with your daily activities? The author lived for more than 40 years with an undiagnosed form of mental illness, a phobia now known as OCD: obsessive-compulsive disorder. His emotional pain and suffering were at times almost unmanageable. In his mid-sixties, the author, a loving husband, father and accomplished high school teacher and athletic coach, discovered a unique psychologist within the Denver therapeutic community who utilizes a radical but highly successful treatment that's allowed the author to control his OCD symptoms almost 100%. "A Secret Life" is one of the few books written by an OCD sufferer and describes in detail the pain and chaos living with this illness can cause not just the victim, but those closest to him. This story doesn't stop there, but provides readers with options and advice dealing with OCD from someone who broke the curse of living a secret life. Now he's ready to share his story in order to help others.

Meet the author:
Jim Juliana was a hard-working family man with a devoted wife and adoring children. As a teacher, he taught numerous subjects over a 28-year career, was an assistant principal/athletic director for three years and mentored generations of youngsters in the classroom and in athletics. Juliana was a coach for forty years at the high school level. Coach Juliana has been a part of two state championship teams, a city championship team and several league title teams. He spent two years as a college instructor and football coach. But Jim Juliana had a secret life, one over which he had no control. For most of his life, he also fought - and eventually defeated - an embarrassing and almost debilitating OCD. OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder that effects three to five million adults in the US each year. OCD involves irrational fears or repeated thoughts or obsessions that drive an individual to engage in repetitive behaviors or compulsions. Jim Juliana's life was finally changed when he found a therapist whose treatment all but eliminated his OCD incidents. A Secret Life chronicles Juliana's battle against his OCD and gives readers options and information for treatment based on his experiences.

Connect with the author:
Website  ~ Facebook

Enter the Giveaway!  

Win 1 of 3 ebooks of A Secret Life
or a $25 Amazon Gift Card
(4 winners) (Open internationally until July 3)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Etsy Find!
by spinsteraunts in
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Books by James S Juliana / Self help books / Books from America

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Bound by Elizabeth Anne Wood + #Giveaway

Join us for this tour from June 24 to July 10, 2020!

Book Details:
Book Title:  Bound: A Daughter, a Domme, and an End-of-Life Story by Elizabeth Anne Wood
Category:  Adult non-fiction 18 yrs +,  296 pages
Genre:  Memoir
Publisher:  She Writes Press.
Release date:   August 2019
Content Rating:  PG-13 + M. In addition to its primary focus on confronting terminal illness in the context of a complex mother-daughter relationship, this book addresses mature themes of sexuality (specifically BDSM), death, and illness. Conversations about sexuality are related, sex toys and body parts are mentioned by name, but there are no actual erotic sex scenes. There are healthcare scenes that describe procedures and bodily functions and fluids. There is a fair amount of poop in some scenes. The F-word appears once, on page 167, used in an expletive sense. The word "shit" appears twice, once as an expletive on p. 51 and once in reference to bodily waste and also metaphorically.

 Book Description:

What happens when a forty-something, community college sociology professor learns that her mother ― a charming, passive-aggressive, and needy woman who hasn’t had a lover in decades ― has started seeing men who want to be bound, whipped, and sexually dominated? What happens when that same mother, shortly after diving into her newly discovered sexuality, develops a cancer that forces her to accept radical changes to her body, and then another that forces her, and everyone around her, to confront her mortality? In Bound, Elizabeth Anne Wood addresses these questions as she chronicles the last eight months of her mother’s life ― a period she comes to see, over the course of months, as a maternity leave in reverse: she is carrying her mother as she dies. Throughout their journey, Wood uses her notebook as a shield to keep unruly emotions at bay, often taking comfort in her role as advocate and forgetting to “be the daughter,” as one doctor reminds her to do. Meanwhile, her mother’s penchant for denial and her childlike tendency toward magical thinking lead to moments of humor even as Wood battles the red tape of hospital bureaucracies, the frustration of planning in the midst of an unpredictable illness, and the unintentional inhumanity of a health care system that too often fails to see the person behind the medical chart.

* Kew and Willow is Dr. Wood's local indie bookstore. If you put a comment in the order form saying that you want a signed copy, they'll call the author to come down and sign your book. They also do a lovely wrapping job.

* In honor of her mother's birthday, Dr. Wood has arranged to the price of the e-book to be $0.99 for the length of this tour 
(June 24, 2020 to July 10, 2020) *

Meet the Author:

Elizabeth Anne Wood is Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work at Nassau Community College in Garden City, NY. She is also Senior Strategist for Woodhull Freedom Foundation, the nation’s only human rights organization working full time to protect sexual freedom as a fundamental human right. She earned her PhD at Brandeis University in 1999 and has written critically about sexuality and society ever since. Born on an Army base in Kentucky, Wood grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and now divides her time between Queens, New York and Jamaica Plain, Boston. She is a devoted fan of Amtrak and an avowed cat person.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

Tour Schedule:

June 24 – Working Mommy Journal – book review / giveaway
June 25 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
June 25 - Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
June 26 – Books for Books – book review
June 29 – I'm Into Books – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 29 - T's Stuff – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
June 30 –Pen Possessed - book spotlight / giveaway
July 1 – Svetlanas reads and views – book review / guest post
July 1 - Lamon Reviews - book spotlight / author interview
July 2 – Leels Loves Books – book review / giveaway
July 5 – Cheryl's Book Nook – book review / giveaway
July 7 – Sefina Hawke's Books – book spotlight / giveaway
July 8 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / giveaway
July 10 - Adventurous Jessy - book review / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway:
Win 1 of 5 autographed copies of Bound by Elizabeth Anne Wood or a $50 Amazon gift card.
Open to the USA only until the 17th July.

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Etsy Find!
by Durga Design Studio in

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Books by Elizabeth Anne Wood / Biography and memoir / Books from America