Sunday, November 28, 2021

Letters to Jacob: Grieving the Loss of a Child by Maria Hopfgarten


Join Us for This Tour:  November 8th to November 29th
Book Details:

​Book Title:  Letters to Jacob: Grieving the Loss of a Child by Maria Hopfgarten
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction (18+), 138 pages
Genre: Self-Help / Grief and Bereavement
Publisher: Amazon
Release Date: July 2021
Formats Available for Review: print- softback (USA and Canada), e-book (Gifted Kindle, mobi, ePub, PDF)

Tour dates: November 8 to November 29
Content Rating:  G - (It's general content, no sex at all)
Book Description:

"If you have lost a child, you know you're weathering the largest storm life can bring you. I hope that my words of loss, tears, punches, smiles, friendships, and renewed happiness can give you a sense of not being along on this journey."

Maria Hopfgarten's son Jacob was born on January 31, 2006. He was the most perfect baby boy she had ever seen. But Jacob had devastating health issues, culminating in a diagnosis of mitochondrial disease, a fatal condition.

In the ten short years of Jacob's life, Maria found strength in blogging about Jacob's life. Her raw, honest posts from the year after Jacob's passing have been gathered into this book along with Maria's tips for parents coping with their own grief after losing a child.

Buy the Book
Meet the Author:
Maria Hopfgarten began her blog Moments with Jacob in 2009, writing about Jacob’s life with mitochondrial disease. She had followers around the globe. Maria continued to write blog posts to Jacob after he passed in 2016 to make sense of the loss of her son. Jacob was 10 years old. She has now turned part of the blog into the book “Letters to Jacob,” sharing her raw, honest first-hand experience on grieving the loss of a child.

Maria is the President of the non-profit Miracles for Mito and has been supporting families living with mitochondrial disease for over a decade. She has also been an active Parent Partner at Children’s Hospital Colorado and has been a Parent voice for many chronically ill children. Maria also sits on the Patient Safety Committee of the Board at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Originally from Sweden and with a degree in Journalism from Stockholm University, Maria lives with her husband Joakim, daughter Sarah, and rescue dog Max in Colorado. Her favorite thing to do is to share a good cup of coffee or glass of wine with a friend. Maria loves the outdoor and is always up for a bike ride or hike.

Connect with the Author:  Website ~ Facebook ~ Instagram
Tour Schedule:

Nov 8 – Working Mommy Journal – book review / giveaway
Nov 9 – Splashes of Joy – book review / guest post / giveaway
Nov 10 –Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Nov 12 – Lamon Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Nov 16 – A Mama's Corner of the World – book review / giveaway
Nov 17 - Kam's Place – book review
Nov 18 - Cover Lover Book Review – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 19 –Lisa's Reading – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 22 -Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Nov 22 –Gold Dust Editing & Book Reviews - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Nov 23 –@twilight_reader – book review
Nov 24 –Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 29 -Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / giveaway
TBD – Books for Books – book review
My Review
Letters to Jacob: Grieving the Loss of a Child by Maria Hopfgarten was a very well written Adult Non-Fiction (18+) Self-Help / Grief and Bereavement book.  As a psychology graduate I found this book to be both accurate and useful. The book itself was at times hard to read as I felt like I could feel sympathetic grief, yet it gave me a true understanding of what a parent who has lost a child goes through. I would recommend this to anyone who losses a child as it is filled with valuable self-help from someone who has also experienced such a loss.
Enter the Giveaway:

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Fabyan Place: Two WWII GIs fight to survive and overcome racial strife as POWs by Peter Angus


Book Details:

Book Title:  Fabyan Place: Two WWII GIs Fight to Survive and Overcome Racial Strife as POWS by Peter Angus
Category:  Adult Fiction 18+, 350 pages
Genre:  Historical Fiction 
Publisher:  Dottenfritz Press 
Release date:   August 2021
Formats Available for Review: print-softback (internationally), e-book (mobi for Kindle, epub, and pdf)
Tour dates: November 22 to December 3
Content Rating:  PG13 + M: Some use of the “F” word, some swearing, bigoted pejorative vernacular common in the 1940s, treatment attributed to Nazi captors in both a POW and Death Camp and one antagonist suicide.

Book Description:
Echoes of his WWII concentration camp incarceration resound as Sonny, a young war veteran, returns home to his family holiday celebration. There, on Christmas morning, an enigmatic visitor arrives unannounced. Sonny’s guest triggers memories of the war, horrors of the camp, and life-altering changes in his psyche as his relatives prepare for their annual feast.

Fabyan Place is the gripping tale of a mixed-race young man from Newark, New Jersey, Sonny, and his wartime encounter with John, a light-skinned Negro from rural Georgia. Their disparate military affiliations and ethnic identities tangle in a Nazi concentration camp.

But only one of them will survive the war psychologically alive, to struggle with a reprehensible bigotry remaining in the world that rises from the battle’s ashes. Which one is living on borrowed time, and which one survives to face his own shameful and ingrained prejudice?

Buy the Book:
Meet the Author:

Pete Angus spent his early years in New York City and environs. From there it was working and living in Vienna, Belgrade, Warsaw, Moscow, and Paris before settling in his current base, London. Fabyan Place, his first novel, is drawn from his own recollections and his extensive study of WWII military history. Pete has caught the writing bug and is currently working on a new mystery series featuring a military CID officer investigating unusual crimes in the 1940s.

Connect with the Author:  Author's Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Goodreads

My Review
Fabyan Place: Two WWII GIs fight to survive and overcome racial strife as POWs by Peter Angus was quite the Historical Fiction book and a credit to the genre. The author did a simply amazing job in staying true to the time period while weaving his own fictional story into it. The story was emotionally draining at times with the negative emotions it embodied, yet that just made it feel so real.



Book Details:

Book Title:  MIA AND THE HUMMINGBIRD by Nancy Carlisle
Category:  Children's Fiction (Ages 3-7),  34 pages
Genre:  Juvenile fiction/social themes or animals/birds
Publisher:  Sage Green Press
Release date:   March, 2021
Format available for review:  print-softback (USA and Canada), pdf
Tour dates: June 14 to June 25, 2021
Content Rating:  G. There is nothing that even comes close to PG.
Book Description:

Mia and the Hummingbird is the story of a young girl who immigrates to a new country and learns to accept a new life.She sees the hummingbird building her nest for her babies and thinks that she and the bird are similar as they learn to adapt to their new homes. Mia and the Hummingbird includes information about environmental and social reasons for immigration, the struggle to adapt to a new home and information about hummingbirds. Included is a glossary about these issues, a bibliography, and references.
Buy the Book:
add to goodreads

Author Nancy Carlisle
Meet the Author:

Nancy Carlisle is an author, illustrator and retired architect and manager. She writes hopeful books for kids that interweave facts and fiction about the environment and global responsibility.

During her 38 year career, as an architect and researcher, her focus was on the environment. She led work nationally and internationally on sustainable and energy efficient buildings and communities and won awards for collaboratively designing award-winning sustainable buildings, a laboratory campus, and as part of a team to develop a program to improve the energy efficiency of laboratories in the U.S.

connect with the author: website

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

FINDING MY SUNSHINE by Shannon Leith McGuire

 FINDING MY SUNSHINE by Shannon Leith McGuire

Book Details:

Book Title:  Finding My Sunshine (A Memoir)
Author:  Shannon Leith McGuire.
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction (18+), 198 pages
Genre:  Memoir
Publisher:  Sunshine Street Press
Release date:  March 2021
Tour dates:  Nov 15 to Dec 3, 2021
Content Rating:  PG+M for bad language, anger, and suicidal thoughts, clinical depression, and assault
Book Description:

"What if that someone was you?" Shannon had been so quick to blame others for her anger. She knew she was drowning in darkness and pain; being born with a learning disability made her feel defeated by life. She tried drinking heavily in order to quiet the demons. After being kicked out of college, Shannon took a leap of faith and started working in a nursing home. That's when her angels appeared and the miracle began. The insight and wisdom she gained from those elderly new friends led her on an inspiring journey of discovery and self-acceptance. Each of us has our own path. Some of us just need angels to help us find it. This is her story.
Buy the Book:
Meet the Author:

Shannon was raised in a small town in Eastern Montana, where you leave your car keys in the ignition and your front door unlocked all the time. The kind of place where sunsets and sunrises can be seen for miles on the horizon. Where the spring crickets and frogs resting in the irrigation ditches helped transition the days into a calm resting night. Where the winters can get so cold, air can freeze.

It was only after she was academically suspended by the college she was attending, that she became a Certified Nurses Aide (CNA). She did her training in Billings, Montana and it was there she learned how to take care of others and bonded with the geriatric population.

​For over five years, Shannon worked in the same nursing home where she received her training. The work was hard, but it grounded her and helped her find balance in what had become a deeply unbalanced life. It was not until she was a CNA, at one of the hospitals that she had a dream-three nights in a row-that she was going to become a nurse.

She currently resides in Tampa, Florida, where you may hear her laughing with her husband of over 10 years,  scuba diving in the ocean, taking walks with their rescued pit-bull dog- Darby, or dancing together to life's music.

connect with the author: website

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Thrive: The Facilitator's Guide to Radically Inclusive Meetings by Dr. Mark Smutny

 THRIVE: The Facilitator's Guide to Radically Inclusive Meetings by Dr. Mark Smutny

Book Details:

Book Title:  Thrive: The Facilitator’s Guide to Radically Inclusive Meetings by Dr. Mark Smutny
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction (18+),  262 pages
Genre:  Business Communication / Meetings & Presentations
Publisher:  Emerald Lake Books
Release date:   October 26, 2021
Tour dates: November 1 to November 19, 2021
Content Rating:  G. This is a business book.
Book Description:

Imagine meetings where everyone is heard and all people matter.

Picture organizations that embrace all voices and are committed to justice, equity and opportunity. Imagine businesses, nonprofits and the public sector creatively engaging people in thousands of ways—seeking their best ideas, empowering the silenced, and building communities where all are treated with dignity and respect.

That’s what Thrive seeks to create.

Each chapter contains practical insights and accessible stories that transform meetings from dull to dynamic.

You will learn how to:
  • capitalize on diversity's strengths.
  • keep meetings task-oriented and collegial.
  • facilitate effectively in polarized or conflicted settings.

Thrive includes chapters on privilege and power, multilingual and virtual meetings, and full inclusion of people with disabilities.

Whether you are a skilled practitioner or new to leadership, Thrive will teach you techniques for facilitating more effective, inclusive and energizing meetings.
Pre-Order the Book:
Release Date October 26, 2021!

Dr. Mark Smutny
Meet the Author:

Dr. Mark Smutny is a professional facilitator, consultant, speaker, author and founder of Civic Reinventions, Inc. He is known for helping organizations uncover the wisdom hidden in their diversity, build cohesion, and achieve their goals.

He draws upon decades of work planning and leading retreats, facilitating meetings, and working with nonprofits and businesses. He teaches and writes on the arts of inclusive facilitation and inclusive leadership skills. He has worked in the fields of homeless services, affordable housing, transportation services for special needs populations, business and resident associations, faith-based groups, and public/private partnerships dedicated to strengthening civic engagement.

Mark received his Master of Divinity degree from the Harvard Divinity School, one of the most religiously diverse theological institutions in the world. His doctorate focused on organizational revitalization in multicultural settings. He is a Program Associate with the Kaleidoscope Institute, an agency that equips leaders to communicate effectively across cultures, ethnicities and race.

When not working, Mark and his wife, Barbara Anderson, enjoy the Cascades, cooking, gardening, exercising their dogs, and playing with their granddaughters.

You can learn more about Mark Smutny and Civic Reinventions, Inc., professional facilitation services, consulting, coaching and training at or by sending Mark an email.

connect with the author:  website ~ email ~ goodreads

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Ponce: What Actually Happened at the Fountain of Youth by Jim Halveron



Book Details:
Book Title:  Ponce: What Actually Happened at the Fountain of Youth by Jim Halveron
Category:  Adult Fiction 18+, 164 pages
Genre: Satire / Historical Fiction
Publisher: Gail Force Publishing
Release Date: November 2021
Format available for review:  print-softback (USA only), ebook (Gifted Kindle, mobi file (for Kindle), ePub, PDF, NetGalley download)
Tour dates: November 1 to November 19
Content Rating:  G - Mentions of violence, but nothing specific. No language.
Book Description:
Two Florida State geology students found the pages written by Ponce de Leon’s chronicler in a dry limestone cave in the northwest panhandle. The original Spanish papers, five hundred years old, were found in relatively good shape, protected from time and moisture in a heavy triple-walled leather case. They chronicle Ponce de Leon’s second expedition to Florida in search of the fountain of youth.
Buy the Book
(coming soon-Release Date Nov 2021)
Meet the Author: 

Jim Halverson grew up in the rural, gold-mining town of Mokelumne Hill, CA and received his MBA from Golden Gate University. He spent part of his life on a ranch and is an avid student of psychology. He recognizes the struggles of all men and women seeking equality and respect. Jim and his wife, Gail, spend their time traveling from their small farm in Forestville, CA.

connect with the author:  website ~ goodreads

My Review
 Ponce: What Actually Happened at the Fountain of Youth by Jim Halveron was quite the read! This Satire / Historical Fiction followed  Ponce de Leon’s second expedition to Florida in search of the fountain of youth and it was quite the journey. Jim Halveron drew my attention into this story right from the beginning and there was not a single moment where I wanted to stop reading.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Buried Secrets


Inside the Book


Buried Secrets

Author: Mike Martin
Publisher: Ottawa Press and Publishing
Pages: 285
Genre: Mystery




RCMP Sergeant Winston Windflower is at a crossroads as career opportunities intrude on his near-perfect life in the blustery paradise of Grand Bank, Newfoundland. Just as the pandemic ends, the little oceanside communities are rocked by the murders of prominent figures, an RCMP Staff Sergeant in St. John’s and a minister in Grand Bank, and it’s implied that there are national security implications to at least one crime. There’s also a sinister new character hanging around doing the parish’s dirty work. Windflower finds himself a primary investigator, balancing work, potential major changes, and life with a young family while seeking guidance from his ancestral teachings and dreams.

Are the crimes connected, and can Windflower and his team find the killer before they strike again? Even as the police work becomes more complicated and even dangerous, Sgt. Windflower finds time to enjoy his family, his friends and always some great food. Come back to Grand Bank for another great adventure in Sgt. Windflower Mysteries.




Buried Secrets xxx

is available at:


Buried Secrets 7



Mike Martin

Mike Martin was born in St. John’s, NL on the east coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a long-time freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand.

He is the author of the award-winning Sgt. Windflower Mystery series set in beautiful Grand Bank. There are now 11 books in this light mystery series with the publication of Buried Secrets. A Tangled Web was shortlisted in 2017 for the best light mystery of the year, and Darkest Before the Dawn won the 2019 Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award. Mike has also published Christmas in Newfoundland: Memories and Mysteries, a Sgt. Windflower Book of Christmas past and present.

Mike is Past Chair of the Board of Crime Writers of Canada, a national organization promoting Canadian crime and mystery writers and a member of the Newfoundland Writing Guild and Ottawa Independent Writers.

Buried Secrets is his latest book.

You can visit his website at or connect with him at Twitter and Facebook.

My Review

Buried Secrets follows RCMP Sergeant Winston Windflower in Grand Bank, Newfoundland. Just as the pandemic is winding down the little oceanside communities are rocked by the murders of prominent figures. This act of murder sends  RCMP Sergeant Winston Windflower on a new investigation as the national security implications require him to be on the case. I really enjoyed following Winston on this case as I really loved seeing him in investigation mode while also seeing him in a more family setting as well. This was a great read and I truly love this series!

Tuesday, November 9, 2021



Inside the Book

Creature Cat Tales

Author: M.G. Rorai
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 68
Genre: Kids Poetry/Stories in Verse


This whimsical collection of poetic life lessons is sure to inspire positivity and values while delighting young readers with charming creature cat stories and illustrations. Come join the creature cats as they make learning fun—a purrfect addition to any kid’s collection. Suggested reading age 8-12.

Pick up your copy of Creature Cat Tales at Amazon.



M.G. Rorai

M.G. Rorai enjoys hanging with her cats and annoying her husband. She’s been writing for as long as she can remember and is slightly obsessed with cats.

Her latest book is Creature Cat Tales.

You can visit her website at or connect with her on Facebook or Instagram.

Sign up for the author’s newsletter at her website.

My Review

CREATURE CAT TALES is a great collection of poetry well suited for kids aged 8 to 12. I personally am more of a dog person than a cat person, yet I enjoyed the collection quite a bit myself Its a great starter for animal lovers looking for a positive poetry experience to get them hooked on poetry books.

Monday, November 8, 2021



Inside the Book

A Christmas Kindness

Author: Cheryl C. Malandrinos
Publisher: 4RV Publishing
Pages: 52
Genre: First Chapter Reader


Eight-year-old Robert is eager to share his wish list with Santa at the mall on Christmas Eve. When he meets Glenn, who only has one request for Santa, Robert is confused about what he should do. Can he cast aside what he wants and ask Santa to bring his new friend a special gift?


It is not often that a simple children’s book can nearly bring me to tears, but this one succeeded. There is nothing better than reading a story at Christmastime that reminds you that there are still good people and good kids in the world. This is one heartwarming Christmas story that you and your kids can read and enjoy. It will remind you of the true meaning of Christmas, and I believe that the author’s purpose is accomplished.

– Ruth, Amazon Reviewer

Robert can’t wait to see Santa. He’s got a pile of stuff he wants to ask for. Then he meets Glenn in line, and Robert himself gets to play Santa. I was touched by the main character’s transformation after he came in contact with someone in real need. The glow he walks away with can’t be bought, and he’ll never find it under the Christmas tree, but it’s the heart of the season that he’s found. Nicely illustrated, enjoyable story for readers of all ages. 

– Jude, Amazon Reviewer


A Christmas Kindness 7






Cheryl C Malandrinos

Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of four children’s books including, A Christmas Kindness, released by 4RV Publishing. A member of SCBWI, she is blogger and book reviewer. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters. She also has a son who is married.

Visit Cheryl online at and her children’s book blog at

Connect with Cheryl on Twitter and Facebook.

My Review

 A CHRISTMAS KINDNESS was a very sweet and emotional Christmas book. This is best suited for readers who have recently started reading chapter books as the length and word choice make it a good first chapter book. 


Sunday, November 7, 2021

MEASURE, MIX, AND MARINATE by Cheryl Schuberth



Book Details:
Book Title:  Measure, Mix & Marinate: Embracing the Key Ingredients to a More Fulfilling Life by Cheryl Schuberth
Category:  Adult Fiction 18+, 174 pages
GenrePersonal Growth, Memoir
Publisher:  Key Ingredients
Release Date: August 2021
Formats Available for Review: print-softback (USA & Canada), ebook (Gifted Kindle, BookFunnel download)

Tour dates: October 25th to November 12th
Content Rating:  G - Good for all audiences

​Book Description:

​​As a wife, mom and former corporate go-getter, Cheryl knows firsthand the frustration of trying to do it all and feeling that none of it is good enough. As the world slowed down for a global pandemic, Cheryl inspected her own life and who she wanted to become—who she needed to become—to serve at her highest level. Much of this discovery occurred in the kitchen during playful evenings side-by-side with her sons, husband, and mother. Their time together led Cheryl to realize that how you measure your priorities, mix them in with your life experiences, and marinate on and adjust to the results determines the direction of your life.
Buy the Book
Meet the Author:
As the world slowed down for a global pandemic, Cheryl inspected her own life and who she wanted to become—who she needed to become—to serve at her highest level. Much of this discovery occurred in the kitchen during playful evenings side-by-side with her sons, husband, and mother. Their time together led Cheryl to realize that how you measure your priorities, mix them in with your life experiences, and marinate on and adjust to the results determines the direction of your life.
connect with the author: website ~ facebook instagram ~ goodreads
My Review
Measure, Mix & Marinate: Embracing the Key Ingredients to a More Fulfilling Life by Cheryl Schuberth was a worthwhile read. I felt like reading this book helped me to better understand my own mother as there were a lot of similarities between her and Cheryl, especially with both of them feeling the   firsthand the frustration of trying to do it all and feeling that none of it is good enough.  I found myself wanting some of Cheryl's experiences  for my own family and taking steps to make them happen.